Publishing your podcast doesn’t necessarily mean that it reaches your desired audience, let alone that the audience subscribes to your podcast channel. Therefore, it can be beneficial to create a plan to promote your podcast and allocate time to do so. When drawing up a plan, it is important to keep in mind who you want to reach. It also makes sense to set some goals for yourself. Then think about questions like these: Where can I find my target audience? What exactly do I want to tell my target audience? How do I do that in an appealing way? And who can help me with that? 3
We previously wrote about how metadata can make your podcast easier to find. Here are a few more tips that can help raise attention for your podcast.
Select the right channels
When you start promoting your podcast, it can be useful to first map out which channels (e.g., social media, website, and newsletter) you have at your disposal. Using social media is generally a good idea, but you want to make sure that you use platforms that are popular with the audience you want to reach4. You may also want to consider a website site or blog for your podcast. Not only does it provide a central place for your content. It can also make your podcast easier to find online. In addition, also give consideration to offline means of promotion. Perhaps certain events may provide an opportunities to raise attention to your podcast.
Also think about who may be able to help you reach your intended audience. This could be a guest you have interviewed or persons and organizations that are concerned with the subject matter and/or the target group.
Asking others to help promote your podcast episode on their channels, can be useful to extend your reach as well as target specific audiences. It may be best to reach out to others in an early stage, before you put the episode online. This provides more opportunities to coordinate the promotion. You may also want to consider developing content that others can use for their own posts (e.g., write a catchy post with links to your podcast and social media and an eye-catching visual), as this can make it easier for them to promote your podcast.
Also, don’t forget to tag relevant people and/or organizations in your own social media post by using the ‘@’ symbol. It will notify them of your post, and may allow (depending on the security settings) your post to be seen by their followers. It may also encourage them to share it themselves.
Lastly, if you have a budget, you could also make us of the advertising resources that social media platforms offer. Social media advertising allows you to target people based on certain criteria, such as location, demographic characteristics or interests.
Create appealing content
Think carefully about the content you want to use to promote your podcast. There are many different types of content you could use The most important thing is that your content matches and appeals to your target audience and fits with the message you want to convey. Also, it should direct the audience to your podcast (e.g., “listen to the podcast episode on…”), so always place a link. Furthermore, keep in mind that some social media platforms are more suitable for a certain type of content than others. As a general rule, visual content is more attention-grabbing than text-only content. It is also processed more effectively. Examples of visual content that creators use for their podcast episodes include topic-related illustrations, photos of guests, images with quotes, and behind-the-scenes footage. You may also want to consider sharing enticing soundbites or trailers that give people a taste of the podcast’s content. It is beneficial to make these visual. For instance, by creating an audiogram or showing footage from the recording. When you do so, also consider including captions. As videos tend to be watched in silent mode when people scroll through social media.
To extend your reach and get the audience talking about your issue, your content should also stimulate engagement and interaction. For starters, you could include a ‘call-to-action’ that encourages your (potential) listeners to subscribe to your podcast and share your content. But it makes sense to take it a step further and make more use of the interactivity that social media provides. Encouraging the audience to respond to your posts by including questions, statements, and polls may be one way of doing so. For instance, ask them share their thoughts on an episode or to give their opinion about something that was discussed. You can also engage your audience by inviting them to share their own questions and experiences. It can contribute to more engagement if you also take time to attend to audience responses. You can respond directly to posts on your social media or address comments and questions in podcast episodes.
Broaden the conversation
Posting attractive content regularly and consistently helps to keep listeners engaged. To increase the likelihood that your audience will see and respond to your content, post at a time when your audience is most active on social media. It is also beneficial to make use of clever hashtags. Hashtags are words or contiguous phrases with a # symbol in front of them. A good hashtag not only increases your findability, it can also encourage people to talk about your content. Examples of well known and powerful hashtags that managed to spark widespread discussions on sensitive social issues include #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter and #StopFundingHate.
Make use of social media analytics
Finally, it is beneficial to make use of the analysis possibilities provided by social media platforms. Statistics such as the number of impressions, likes, shares, comments, followers, click-throughs, etc., can give you an idea of what works and what doesn’t work in promoting your podcast. The content of comments can also provide relevant insights. We’ll talk more about this later when we discuss how you can evaluate your podcast initiative.
The makers of Resilience have promoted the podcast in a number of ways. For example, the podcast has been promoted repeatedly through its makers’ channels. Not only through posts, but also through short blogs. A newsletter was also sent out to a network of youth professionals and civil servants. The makers also called on third parties for the distribution. News items about the podcast were posted on various channels aimed at the target group, such as websites for youth workers and educators. Finally, the podcast was promoted through several (online) events, including a series of community of practice meetings intended for youth workers.