Now that you’ve launched your initial podcast, you may wonder what’s next? What are you supposed to do to help your podcast grow and reach the potential you set out to? You likely got into podcasting to create a community of listeners who share your interests and value your point of view, and who eventually could become valued customers. You’ve spent lots of time planning, researching, and recording great content. Now you need to get it into the hands of your target audience. Here are some tips to promote, market, and monetize your podcast so you can start to capitalize on all your hard work!
Whether you plan to view your podcast as a show, publication, or as another way to create a highly portable form of content, a podcast can open numerous doors.
Before you start throwing lots of time and effort into promoting your podcast, you want to be completely certain that your content is sound. It should be high-quality, valuable, entertaining, unique, and sustain your audience’s attention. Once you are confident that you are promoting a great podcast that your audience will love, you must understand that podcasting is a long-term endeavor. It may take some time to see a significant increase in listeners or traffic to your site. However, remaining consistent and producing great content will eventually yield growth.
Building a Following
First things first… Producing a podcast that generates revenue will start with growing an engaged, trusting, and targeted audience. So, how do we accomplish this?
By proving you are an expert in your field by developing entertaining, engaging, and educational content, you will gain the trust of your listeners, who will value your thoughts and opinions and keep coming back for more. Eventually, you will build a following who will potentially become customers, as people typically buy products from people they can count on.
Create Relationships With Your Audience
Spend time interacting with your listeners via comments or social media interactions. Ask questions for your audience to answer or comment on. Because podcasting feels like a conversation, it will keep your listeners engaged and make them feel like their opinions are valued. Keep in mind that you don’t always have to talk or post about your company/brand. Talk about current events or things that relate to your target audience/listeners.
Promote on Social Media
Share new episodes and broadcast your show over all your social media accounts, especially on accounts where your audience is most present. This is especially important because 94% of podcast listeners are active on at least one social media platform. Use quotes and links to specific episodes, pictures, audiograms, and short video clips to promote your podcast and attract new listeners.
Having great SEO will not only attract more listeners but will attract the “right” listeners that will benefit most from your information. Write a detailed podcast description that will tell your audience about your podcast as a whole. Use keywords in your titles, episode descriptions, and transcripts to increase your chances of showing up in related searches.
Invite Guest Speakers
Collaborate with other podcasters within your market and invite them to speak on your show and vice versa. Good guests will build your credibility and help you engage with your audience. Your guest will also share the episode on all their platforms, expanding your reach to new listeners and helping build your brand by introducing you to more professionals within your niche.
Use a Call-to-Action (CTA)
A strong and simple CTA encourages your audience to do something after listening to your podcast. It can be as simple as following you or sharing your content on social media, subscribing to the show, visiting your website, or signing up for an email list. Only use one CTA per episode and keep it light and fun so your listeners know how to keep seeing your content.
Monetize Your Podcast
Now that you have built a community that values your brand, you can start implementing other marketing strategies to help your business generate additional revenue. Most successful podcasts use a variety of ways to make a profit from their show. It may take some trial and error to discover what technique and strategy work best for your show and audience.
Here are a few ways you can generate revenue from different sources.
A podcaster will promote a sponsor through spoken ads or “shout-outs” throughout the episode. It is helpful to have a larger following because sponsors will pay more. There are multiple options available to promote your sponsor. However, mid-show ads typically work best because your audience is paying more attention. Therefore, you can charge more for these slots.
Ask for Direct Support
Ask devoted listeners to make a small donation towards your podcast so you can continue to make great episodes. Come up with compelling CTAs or set up a GoFundMe page. Your audience will be more willing to donate to your cause if you have optimized your content/show.
Paid Membership Tiers
Once your audience is intrigued by your content, you can create tiers where listeners can pay to have more access to your content. This includes newsletters, special episodes, or social media groups.
If you are promoting a company or product on your podcast, the company will give you a commission based on what you sell from your show. Typically, you will be given a link and receive compensation when your listeners use that link to purchase a product.
Repurpose Your Content
Take some of your best-performing episodes and transcribe them into an ebook or newsletter that your listeners can purchase. Add additional information and content from your website that your audience will enjoy. Bring attention to this service by promoting it on your podcast.
Lock Previous Episodes
If you have created a lot of episodes and have a reasonably extensive back catalog, you can lock the older episodes and collect a small fee to access them.
Share on YouTube
You can upload your podcast onto a YouTube channel to expand your SEO and reach other types of listeners. You can upload the entire episode or break it into chunks to keep the viewer’s attention. All you have to do within your YouTube channel is enable monetization of your content and Google with distribute your money and allow ads within your videos.
You want to implement these strategies without irritating or disappointing your audience. Your listeners don’t want to feel like you’re being pushy or salesy, so finding a monetization technique that works best for you and your audience may take some trial and error.
Measure Your Success
From your podcast’s initial launch date, you will want to determine metrics to measure the success and growth of your show. To adequately measure the success of your podcast, you will need to pick a goal you intend to accomplish with your show and align it with metrics that reflect it. Measuring the success of your podcast becomes even more important once you put marketing tactics into place, so you can see what is working and what isn’t.
Variables that are important to follow and analyze are called key performance indicators (KPIs). While marketers typically like clear-cut analytics for their efforts, podcasting analytics can be more challenging to track. A few KPIs to keep track of include:
While total listeners will tell you the number of times the “play” button is pressed, unique listeners will give you a narrowed-down statistic displaying the number of individual people or devices that have played your episode. This metric will show you how many different people are listening to or downloading your episode. This is beneficial because a single person can press “play” on your episode multiple times, but this metric will only count one play per device. You will also be able to see the reach of your show and if you are capturing the right audience.
Unique downloads is a similar metric to unique listeners. This metric will measure the number of downloads per episode. Again, a single listener can press the “download” button multiple times, but this metric will only count it once. While this method has some flaws, it is the most accurate way to determine the size of your audience.
Reviewing the number of subscribers your podcast has is essential for determining your show’s popularity and who is listening. Are you reaching your target audience? This metric will tell you how many of your unique listeners are actual subscribers. It will also show the growth of your podcast over time.
This metric will help you see if people are enjoying your content or not. If a listener feels strongly enough about your podcast, they will leave a comment or review. You can then monitor and modify your show as needed. If enough listeners review your podcast, it can increase your ranking and exposure to new listeners across other podcasting platforms.
Website and Social Media Traffic
Setting up links and a landing page for your website and social media pages can help you calculate how much traffic your podcast is pulling in. This is valuable because it will give you an idea of how your audience wants to interact and engage with you. It can also help you determine how effective your podcast and CTAs are.
Social sharing is also beneficial to be aware of. It will give you an idea of who is enjoying your content enough to share with their own network. This can help you interact with your audience and observe what groups of people you want to cater to, and possibly introduce you to new groups of people.
Single Episode Metrics
By looking at each episode’s analytics, you can determine which topics, titles, and CTAs perform best with your audience. It can also give you an idea of your growth over time and if your marketing and promotion efforts are paying off.
Make a Plan for Success
It may be a good idea to start considering how you will respond once things pick up with your podcast. Before you figure out how to spend your increased revenue, you will need to train your staff to cope with the increased interest and additional consumer inquiries so that website visitors can become satisfied, loyal customers.
It’s important to remember that your podcast is only one part of the marketing mix. So anything that you highlight in your podcast must be reflected elsewhere. There’s no point directing people to check out a new range of products online if they can’t find them on your site. It seems obvious, but it’s usually the seemingly simple things that get overlooked. It’s also important to note that your sales force or customer representatives will require training so they are equally knowledgeable about new developments and prepared to answer any questions that may arise. This is critical because sales force members are your company’s ambassadors: if they don’t know about the product, no one else will either. To make things easier, preparing a list of Frequently Asked Questions and their appropriate answers may be worthwhile so that everyone is informed and consistent in their replies to inquiries.
When those inquiries prompt sales (your ultimate goal), you certainly want to be equipped to satisfy increased customer demand. Be sure that your product or service is readily available and that distribution channels are in place for customers to receive what you have to offer quickly. After all, it doesn’t matter how many customers you attract if the infrastructure to serve and retain customers isn’t in place.