Podcasting 101

How to Launch and Grow Your Podcast

So You Started A Podcast. Now What?

Starting a podcast can be a daunting task, especially at a time when it seems like everyone hosts a show of their own. Between coming up with a captivating topic, formatting episodes, getting audio recording tools, and editing software, it’s a lot of work that requires thought and planning. And, once you’ve got a podcast set up, you still need to find loyal listeners who want to come back for more. Running a podcast and making sure it’s marketed properly can be a full-time job on its own.

According to Discover Pods, 61.3% of podcasters list marketing and building their audience as their biggest challenges. If you’re struggling to market your podcast, here are some of our best tips to help your message find its target audience!

Decide on a Format 

While planning your podcast, think about the format it will take. Will you have one or more co-host? Guests? What type of podcast will it be—journalistic, nonfiction storytelling, fiction, or witty banter between hosts? 

Analyze Your Audience Data

Even if you think you know your target audience, you’d be surprised as to who your biggest listeners could be. Using tools on Spotify, or all-in-one services apps like Fireside allows you to see things like your audience’s age, gender, country, and more. If you have a website for your podcast setup, Google Analytics is also great for checking this information. Figure out where your audience hangs out online. It’s not always just Facebook or Instagram. It could be other sites and apps like Reddit, Snapchat, or Twitter, especially if you have a younger audience.

Check your podcast statistics to see which episodes really resonated with your audience. Relisten to these episodes and take notes on what you think went well,  what topic you discussed in that episode, and consider how you can implement these best practices in future episodes. You could also poll your audience on a social media account to ask them what topics they would like to see covered in the future.

Make Your Podcast Engaging

Listening to your podcast should be an enjoyable experience. Anyone can talk into a microphone and post it online, but it takes skill to make content that keeps people coming back for more–and makes people want to tell their friends and colleagues about it. Tell a story and add character to your podcast. People are more likely to remember a story than a bunch of facts and statistics strung together. 

Here are a few additional things you can do to spice up your podcast:

  • Audio clips
  • Trivia
  • Q&A about the previous episode
  • Guest speakers (experts, influencers, and other podcast hosts with similar or related topics)
  • Use language like “you” when referring to listeners; it’s more personal and engaging
  • A professional intro and outro theme with voiceovers

Promoting Your Podcast

You might be great at idea generation and podcasting, but maybe your marketing chops aren’t quite there yet. Starting a new podcast is where you’ll have to flex your marketing muscles. Start by promoting the podcast online.

Create a website for the podcast, and include:

  • All episodes
  • A bio
  • Links to your podcast on all platforms (YouTube, Spotify, etc)
  • An email newsletter subscription form
  • How often episodes run

Make sure the landing page is clean, loads fast, and is easy to navigate. If you have the budget, run ads for your podcast. You should also promote your podcast on forums related to your chosen topic.

Start a show-specific blog for your podcast and write posts related to your upcoming episodes. Give teasers and say that you’ll go into more detail on the podcast to generate interest. Host networking events like local meet-and-greets, contests, giveaways, and discount codes to entice your audience into sticking around and showing them appreciation for listening to you. 

In addition to this, when you release a new episode, make sure you do the following:

  • Include show notes with links and other helpful information
  • Encourage listeners to rate your podcast on Spotify and iTunes
  • Send an email to your subscribers announcing each new episode
  • Post the episode on YouTube
  • Post an episode to the official podcast Instagram account and/or on other social media platforms
  • When you have the budget, post transcripts of each episode on your website

Monetizing Your Podcast

As we said before, running a podcast can be like a full-time job. As the industry has grown, it actually is a full-time job or a significant revenue stream for some hosts. If you want to get started with making money on your podcast, consider setting up a Patreon account for your listeners. Patreon allows users to subscribe to different “tiers,” which gives them benefits related to that tier. Make a low, inexpensive tier for loyal subscribers with a few benefits, and make more expensive tiers with more benefits. 

Benefit ideas include the following:

  • Q&A or hangout sessions with the host(s)
  • Access to a patron-only chat community on a site like Discord or Facebook
  • Patron shout-outs
  • Early access to episodes
  • Patreon exclusive episodes/behind-the-scenes episodes
  • Early access to register for live events or online courses
  • Merchandise

Many podcasts also have sponsors that keep the podcast up and running. Partnerships with podcasts are especially appealing to brands. Research done by Discover Pods suggests that 55.6% of listeners have purchased an item that was advertised on a podcast they listen to.

Partner with brands similar to your podcast topic that your target audience may be interested in (for example, a partnership with a brand that sells protein powder if you have a bodybuilding podcast). 

Ready to launch?

If you’re ready to develop a strategy to promote your podcast, or you need a website and social media strategy, we’re here to help! Contact us to get started.

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