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Marketing your podcast can sometimes feel like trying to run uphill through deep mud--a lot of work and sweat and muck with little progress. This week, we will kick off a two week discussion on ways to market your podcasts. You might be thinking, "I'm trying to figure out how to prep my podcast, not market it." If marketing is not yet part of your preparation checklist, you should start including it.

One of my favorite examples of marketing planning comes from the world of books--the New York Times Best Seller list. This is a screen shot of the header on their website. Notice what it says . . . and what it doesn't.

"Authoritatively ranked lists of books sold" (italics for emphasis). Notice it doesn't say anything about how well the books are written--only the number of sales.

You may not realize this, but publishing companies do a massive marketing push to get their books on this list which includes pre-sales, author/book promotions and interviews across all forms of media, write-ups and reviews, etc. This effort begins months before the book becomes available to purchase and lasts several weeks after it is on the shelves.

Similar to books, no matter how good your podcast is and how well it helps listeners, the likelihood of people "just finding it" is low.

Discoverability (or lack thereof)

Podcast services like Apple and Spotify have horrible search engines. Google, which can help you find everything including where you left your keys, does not handle podcast searches well either. Having someone run across your podcast in a search AND start listening to it has a low probability of success. Therefore, you must take matters into your own hands and market your show.

I break podcast marketing down into two separate tracts: 1. marketing through podcasts and 2. marketing outside of podcasts. We will examine the former this week and the latter next week.

Marketing Through Podcasts

Podcast listeners listen to podcasts. Yes, this phrase seems to be obvious (and a bit redundant), yet it is true not only for podcasts but for other mediums of content. People who listen to podcasts will be more inclined to check out a podcast they learn about while listening to a podcast

Why? They are listeners and predisposed to the medium. They may be readers or viewers too, but they definitely like listening to content. Therefore, getting in front of listeners makes it a much easier sell than trying to convert a reader to a listener. It's more natural for them to pull up your podcast on their podcast app and check it out than it would be for a reader to find your podcast.

These are three ways to market your podcast through podcasting.

1 - Interview guests who host podcasts

If you host a podcast, make sure to include other podcast hosts as part of your strategy when looking for guests for your show. Don't make this a required criteria for potential guests, yet it will be an additional benefit. They have an audience of listeners and this provides a way to cross-promote your podcast and their podcast to listeners.

For example, last week I interviewed Marcus Schaller on my podcast. He is the host of the Attract Your Ideal Customers podcast. He shared our conversation with his listeners and followers. I had been a guest on his podcast previously, so inviting a podcast host onto your show can also create a potential opportunity to be on their show, which leads us to point number two.

2 - Be a guest on other podcasts

You benefit from the "halo" effect by being on their show. I like how Robert Cialdini defines this term in his book, Influence. "A halo effect occurs when one positive characteristic of a person dominates how he or she is viewed in most other respects." Most people listen to podcasts hosted by people they like. Once they find a podcast and host they like, they will likely listen to many episodes by the host, which means a high level of trust has been built between the host and the listener. This means any guest on that show will be considered trustworthy by the listener (at least until proven otherwise).

3 - Swap promos with another podcast

Talk with other podcasts and ask if they would like to swap promos for one or more episodes with you. A promo is a 15 to 30 second spot where the host says, "Check out this podcast which discusses topics A, B, and C through the link in the show notes or anywhere you listen to podcasts."

You can provide a script to them which they can read or give them a couple of talking points for them to discuss--whatever they prefer. In turn, they would provide you the same material for you to include on your show. Podcasts are constantly trying to find ways to expand their listenership, so this is a win-win in many cases for you and them.

Now What?

This gives you a few ideas to get started (there are other options too). Next week we will look at how to market a podcast through non-podcast means. Be willing to experiment to see what works best for you and your show.


Till next time!

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