Whether you have just started a podcast or have been operating one for some time, it’s critical to develop a successful podcast marketing strategy. The simple fact is that many podcasters spend most of their time thinking about the actual content of their episodes. Episode content is certainly an important part of the overarching podcast production process. That being said, getting those episodes in front of listeners is just as important. Without a consistent (and growing) audience listening to your episodes, you will find it increasingly difficult to create new episodes. Motivation will start to fade and you may focus your marketing time and dollars on something else.
In this post, I want to spend a good amount of time talking about successful podcast marketing. While there may be some unique things about your show, there are some universal marketing tips and strategies that can help you find new listeners. Not only that, but these tips can help you get more leads, more signups, and ultimately more revenue.
To better help us understand these tips and strategies, I sat down with Hala Taha and Pelpina Trip. Both Hala and Pelpina are expert podcasters, so they were able to offer some helpful insights on how to best market your show. They shared their complete insights on Dubb’s Connection Loop podcast. You can find Hala’s interview by clicking here and Pelpina’s interview by clicking here. By implementing these tips and strategies into your marketing work, you’ll be in a much better position to grow your show and even find new clients.
So are you ready to accelerate your podcast? You are just a few steps away from getting that much closer to your podcasting goals.
The Value of Podcasting
Before getting into the specific tips and strategies of successful podcast marketing, however, I think that it’s important to discuss some of the most valuable parts of podcasting. Yes, marketing strategies are helpful in and of themselves. Nonetheless, if you have a deeper goal behind your podcast, you will find that your marketing work is actually much more effective.
For starters, podcasts let you learn about a whole host of things. For me, it is one of my favorite parts of Connection Loop. Whether you are producing an interview-only podcast or are including interviews as part of an overarching episode, podcasts give you the opportunity to speak with fascinating people. Most likely, they are experts in their craft. As a student of both your industry and of life, you can use your podcast to learn more about the world around you—all while meeting some incredibly talented guests.
But beyond the educational benefits to you, podcasts let you provide immense value to your audience. Whether your audience is made up of customers, prospects, or other groups, they can learn about your industry and business. Depending on your podcast, they may even learn some key lessons that can transform their lives. If you create a consistent podcast and provide value in every episode, your audience will thank you.
Finally, podcasts can accelerate your business. In fact, this may be the prime motivation for your podcast. If so, that’s not a problem. But even if you aren’t trying to use your podcast to lead to more sales, you’d be surprised at how much serendipity podcasting provides. Much of it comes from the fact that you are both interviewing interesting people and having interesting people listening to your episodes. Through the power of serendipity, you may find a lucrative new client or a fascinating new employee. It’s impossible to know who will reach out, so the only way to know is to start producing episodes.
These are just some of the many benefits that you can get from podcasting. Even though there is certainly a time commitment—both in creating episodes and marketing those episodes—the benefits are certainly worth it. If you haven’t yet entered the podcasting universe, I certainly encourage you to give it a try. If you already have, however, open yourself up to the serendipity of podcasting. By being open to new ideas and connections, you will leverage one of the best things about this exciting medium.
Exploring the Two Types of Podcasts
Traditionally, there are two types of podcasts. The first is a produced podcast and the second is an interview-style podcast. There are plenty of examples of both. For the first, you can look at a show like Masters of Scale. Here, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman hosts an intricately-produced show on certain topics related to startups, scaling, and entrepreneurship. You may be more familiar with interview-style podcasts. These include shows like The Joe Rogan Experience. Here, Joe Rogan brings on one (or several) guests and has a conversation for multiple hours.
Beyond the episode content, there are some key distinctions between produced podcasts and interview-style podcasts. For one thing, produced podcasts take time and investment. Care is taken in writing a script, identifying and speaking with guests, and packaging all of that up in an intricately-edited episode. While the end product is often more polished than an interview-style podcast, the time commitment is often too much for many podcasters.
On the flip side, interview-style podcasts are much easier to produce. If you’d like, you can just interview the raw footage of your interview and call it a day. Other podcasters may add features like intro and outro music or perhaps a brief introduction to the interview. Beyond that, however, you don’t need to do much with an interview-style podcast. Because of this, we recommend that new podcasters start with interview-style podcasts. It reduces the necessary production work and lets you focus more on the content itself and how you are going to market your show.
Picking Your Theme
One successful podcast marketing strategy is to settle on a unique and compelling theme. You may think this is a moot point if you have already started your podcast. Ultimately, however, podcast pivots can certainly occur. I wouldn’t encourage you to automatically dismiss this advice if you have already started your show. As Hala says, if you don’t know what your podcast is about, you are never going to find people who want to listen to your podcast.
For any podcast host, you want your theme to entice your audience. One great way to think about this is to ask yourself one question: what is a book that I would want to write about? Is there a topic in your mind that you are passionate about and that is somewhat related to your business? If so, don’t hesitate to explore that idea. Go to the major podcast directories (like Apple Podcasts) and see if there are other shows that are similar to yours. If there are, see if you can differentiate yourself from those shows. And if there aren’t? Try to verify if there truly is a market for your theme idea.
In the end, your theme doesn’t need to be totally groundbreaking or earth-shattering. There are around 850,000 active podcasts right now, so it is getting increasingly difficult to come up with an “original” idea. That being said, you don’t want to go with a complete generic or copycat idea. Use your best judgment here and see how your audience responds. If you aren’t getting much traction, you may need to pivot and adopt a different theme.
Why Video is Essential For Marketing Your Podcast
While this may sound counterintuitive to some new podcasters, we always record our podcasts using video. We even live stream every episode of Connection Loop. While this may seem redundant, it actually offers several key benefits—all of which are important elements of a successful podcast marketing strategy.
First, you are getting two pieces of content in one. Many podcast listeners tend to listen to shows while they are away from their computers. Whether they are working out, commuting, or simply walking around in their city, they rely on audio podcasts to pass the time. While many podcasters focus on these listeners, there is another subset of listeners who enjoy consuming the video forms of podcasts. This is true whether the video podcast is on YouTube or your company’s website. Considering all of this, the great thing about recording video podcasts is that you can explicitly cater to both audiences. Simply extract the audio from the video file and upload both to their respective destinations.
Along with this, video podcasts can be more engaging. If you are familiar with Dubb, you know about the many benefits of video. Video is a great medium for visual storytelling and building authentic connections with your viewers. Even if the video is just you and your guest having a conversation, they can be more engaged by the conversation that you’re having.
To stream our podcasts, we use a platform called StreamYard. StreamYard is an excellent and easy-to-use tool that lets you simultaneously stream to all major platforms—directly from your browser. StreamYard offers a free plan and several free plans, so there’s no reason not to try it. Not only can you record your episode content itself, but you can record mini teasers that can help you promote particular episodes.
When you do an interview-style podcast, you are most likely recording it via Zoom or Skype. Because of this, it is really easy to ask your guests if they are comfortable turning on their cameras. Most likely, they will say yes. If not, however, you don’t need to cancel the entire interview. You can still record the audio and distribute the audio wherever you’d like.
Whenever you are finished with your interview, you can download the audio of the video recording and then send it to your podcast hosting company. At Dubb, we use Anchor (which is a Spotify company), but there are plenty of other hosting companies out there. Once you send your audio to your podcasting hosting company, it then distributes your episode to all of the major podcasting platforms (like Apple Podcasts and Spotify).
Once you have distributed the audio versions of your podcast, I recommend that you create some clips from the longform video of your episode. At Dubb, we take this longform video and chop it up into micro clips. These clips are around 30 seconds to two to three minutes. The clips may share a single idea or may have a few ideas embedded.
Whatever the case may be, our team at Dubb takes these clips and shares them with our community. When sharing them, we mention the guests’ names and share them on all different sorts of social media channels. That gets us into a connection loop with others, thereby letting us build long-term relationships and even generate more sales.
Power Your Content Ecosystem Through Video
Ultimately, your podcast clips can power your entire content ecosystem. In other words, they can be the force that generates not only interest in your podcast itself, but future sales for your company. It is an important component of any successful podcast marketing strategy.
With those podcast clips, you can create so many different pieces of content. They can be in the form of vlogs, videos, Instagram photo carousels, and more. All of these can be created from one podcast episode. Better yet, this adapted content does not need to be in video or photo form. You can create entire blog posts out of podcast interviews. For the really ambitious creators out there, you can even write an entire book from the theme and ideas that you discuss on your show. All of these things are digital assets and they are working for you 24/7/365. One glance at a blog post on Instagram photo carousel, for instance, can lead to an interested prospect becoming a paying customer.
There are several steps you can take to make all of this work easier. For one thing, you can convert your audio files into rough transcripts. You can do this with Dubb’s caption tool or any other transcription tool. Adding that transcript to your company blog both helps your SEO and offers another way for listeners to engage with your content. Having this rough transcript also makes it easier to find certain parts of your episodes that you want to cut into bite-sized clips.
Along with this, don’t hesitate to work with freelancers. Whether you have a small staff or need some ad hoc marketing work, freelancers can be excellent alternatives. Simply find a talented writer on platforms like Fiverr or Upwork and ask them to summarize your podcast episodes in blog form. Having blog summaries of your podcast can save you time, boost your website’s SEO, and offer another way for your audience to consume your podcast.
As you can see, multi-purposing your podcast episodes may be easier than you think. Because of this, I encourage you to do so. By investing the time in doing this, you’ll discover that your awesome podcast episodes are powering your entire content ecosystem.
Leverage Video Booking Pages
While this may not be an obvious successful podcast marketing tip, one great marketing tip (and way to impress your guests) is to leverage video booking pages. If you are just hearing about video booking pages for the first time, they are essentially webpages that make it easy for guests to book slots on your calendar. The potential guest visits your video landing page, watches the video, and then can immediately book a slot with you.
At Dubb, we are huge fans of video booking pages. We not only use them for booking podcast interviews, but we use them when scheduling any type of meeting. The reason that we choose video over a standard calendar booking page is that it’s easier to get more conversions. Creating an authentic, down-to-earth video makes it much more likely that the viewer will select your call to action (here, booking a slot on your calendar).
As you can imagine, creating a personalized video and distributing it through a video booking page increases your chances of booking your target guests. Let’s face it: your potential podcast guests are likely busy. While they may want to appear on your show, they have so many other things going on in their lives. And for those podcast guests that aren’t in your immediate network? You need to show immediate value. You need to show that you are polished, knowledgeable, and that your show will provide some sort of value in their lives.
A video booking page addresses all of these issues. In the video, you can explain who you are, what your podcast is about, and what they can expect by being a guest on your show. It can even be a quick 30 to 60-second video. Whatever it is, creating a personalized video and uploading it to a video booking page can help you book more guests.
If you want to try creating a video booking page for yourself, I recommend that you check out Dubb. Using Dubb, you can quickly shoot a personalized video and then customize your automatically-generated video booking page. You can add a direct calendar integration, making it seamless for podcast guests to schedule time on your calendar. You can see this in action in the gif below:
Ultimately, video booking pages can be great ways to book guests. But they are also great marketing tools. Even if a prospective guest doesn’t appear on your show, he or she can view your video booking page and spread the word about your podcast. Like I referenced above, serendipity powers podcasting. You never know who will view your video booking page. It can be an A-list guest or even a key prospect for your business.
Make Your Podcast Inviting
No matter the subject area of your podcast, you want your guests and audience to have fun. You can think of “fun” in different ways. Yes, fun can be an entertaining podcast with captivating banter. But it can also be educational or informative.
Whatever it is, you want everyone involved to have fun with your podcast. To think of it another way, you want your podcast to be inviting. It should be a central hub where your audience can come, gather, and become a member of your community.
In the end, it isn’t necessarily about the number of subscribers or listeners of your show. It certainly boosts the ego if you have tens or hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Having said this, it is going to take a very long time for a large audience to form. Really, you should think of each podcast as a one-on-one relationship building session. You are building relationships with people. If you are doing it in a way that is not too salesy, you could build actual business relationships with both your guests and listeners.
In the end, there are so many benefits to having genuine conversations with people and then recording them for your show. Then, you are getting content opportunities for your entire ecosystem. While you have to define what “success” means for you, all of us at Dubb are focused on creating those relationships, increasing our brand awareness, and generating more sales and growth.
Hustle and Stay Consistent
Finally, a great marketing principle in general is to hustle and stay consistent. In the beginning, you may need to do some nontraditional things to get guests and listeners. This can include everything from promoting your podcast in the comments sections of social media websites to individually asking your customers to check out your show. In the early days, virtually anything goes.
But along with the hustle, one of the best marketing strategies is to adopt a consistent show schedule. In the very early days of podcasting, the excitement of creating and releasing a show can keep you on track. Nevertheless, as you keep producing and releasing shows, that initial excitement will wear off. It may be more tempting to skip an episode or two or take a break between episodes.
I urge you to resist this temptation. Consistency is the name of the game in podcasting. Whatever your podcasting schedule is, stick with it. Your audience, whether you realize it or not, is expecting it. Therefore, successful podcast marketing is about staying consistent and giving your audience what they want. Be cognizant of this fact, as falling to be consistent can make it much more difficult to grow your audience.
Leveraging Successful Podcast Marketing to Grow Your Show
There are plenty of ways that you can leverage successful podcast marketing for your show. Whether you have just started your show or already have an audience of thousands, these strategies can help you grow your podcast and grow your business. Better yet, you can start implementing them today. I highly encourage you to do so.
And finally, I encourage you to check out Dubb. Dubb can not only help you create video booking pages, but can help you leverage video marketing throughout your entire business. If you are interested, you can click here to register for a free 14 day trial of Dubb.