In this short report we will discuss the marketing aspect of podcasting. We all as marketers know, online competition is tough for just about everything.
It would, in our opinion be a huge mistake to think that marketing your podcasts is any less important than producing them. When you’ve put in all the hard work and created content you can be proud of, do you want it to go unnoticed?
Podcasts are a digital way to produce and distribute audio content. Podcasting combines traditional broadcasting (radio) with a digital syndication network. There are several advantages of going the route of podcasting instead of trying to conquer the more expensive and difficult radio.
Here are some of the advantages of podcasting
- Podcasting is a medium that lends itself well to many genres e.g. Standup, Religious, News, Sports, music, drama, politics, age specific etc.
- Podcasting is very cost effective. You do not need to spend much, if anything at all, to get started.
- There is a huge global audience for podcasts.
- Podcasts can be accessed according to the listener’s schedule. Unlike radio, podcasts are downloaded and can be saved for later.
- There isn’t a steep learning curve when it comes to the production process.
- Podcasting has no licensing laws (as of now). So you don’t have to worry about the kind of content and censorship.
If you are convinced of the power of podcasting let’s get a move on and learn how to market those podcasts!
WhyMarket Your Podcast?
The “build it and they will come” mentality will not work for podcasting! You need to become the mountain and be ready to go looking for prophet if you want to succeed in any online venture. Let’s put it this way, if creating quality podcasts were only about 30% of the equation. The other 70% was marketing and relationship building. Would you ignore the marketing side? Or put it second?
So without waiting another precious minute lets learn how to effectively market your podcasts.
Marketing Idea #1
Just by selecting a niche for your podcasts you are creating a built-in audience. It’s not always the best idea to go for niches with huge audiences e.g. online dating. The competition will be tougher and you will probably be competing directly with some big businesses.
So select a niche, but make it ultra focused e.g. instead of going for the “online dating” niche you can choose “online dating for gay couples with feet fetishes” niche. Get the drift?
Know Your Target Audience
Once you have a highly focused niche, you should find out the
- age group,
- income and education bracket,
- regional location
- and any other information about your target
To market effectively you have to know who you will be catering your podcasts to.
Marketing Idea #2
Be the King of Content
To stay ahead of the competition, you have to become the ultimate source of authentic and up-to-date content; within your niche. You will not only become a trusted source of information but will garner respect from your audience and competition.
That in our view is the ultimate goal of podcasting establishing you as the go to expert in your niche. The authority for providing insightful and timely content.
Make it Sound Like the Pros
“The sound of a word is at least as important as the meaning.”
~ Jack Prelutsky
If content is king; quality is definitely the reigning queen. People will not listen to great content if the audio is bad. Just like people will dismiss a great thought in a poorly written article. Spend some time perfecting your voice and the audio settings. The little things make the difference between an amateur and a professional sounding podcasts.
Think of the quality of audio of your podcasts as its packaging. How many times have you passed on a book because of an unattractive cover? Or a shoe that was designed perfectly, but wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. Sound quality plays the same role for podcasts.
Spend a little money on good headphones and microphone if your budget allows. It will help sweeten the audio for you. Making it sound as sweet as possible with all the necessary bells and whistles will also establish you as an expert or at the very least a professional in your niche.
Marketing Idea #3
Havea Dedicated Blog
Think of having a podcast without a dedicated blog this way – you create a beautiful painting but have no walls to hang it. You need a dedicated blog as the hub of your podcasts and any news relating to it. A central place your audience can go to find all the podcasts as well as a little about you and/or your business.
Some people in the business are of the opinion that a Facebook fan page is just as good as having a dedicated blog. They couldn’t be more wrong.
- A blog gives you far more control over your content, the way you choose to present it.
- It gives you control over the way you interact with your audience.
- Not everyone is on Facebook y’all! But just about anyone with a cell phone can access a blog.
- Having a dedicated blog gives your podcast a professional Just having a Facebook fan page might make you seem lazy.
- It helps with driving SEO based traffic to your podcasts.
Go create a free blog! What could it hurt?
Add Your Feed to Your Digital Signature
A signature online mostly refers to a few lines of content you put after your name or your comments for various forms of digital communication. You can add a signature to your email and have it repeated every time you send out an email.
You typically have signatures under comments you make on bulletin boards and forums on various sites. You also add a signature to articles you write and publish over the web.
Adding your podcast URL to these digital signatures will not only help spread the word about your podcasts. It will also help you get the all important backlinks to your blog.
Marketing Idea #4
Spread it Like WildfireThrough Social Media
If we were to define social media marketing in two words, those would be “Marketing Goldmine”. Since there is no denying the power of Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, MySpace, Linked In, and so on (and the list is long) we will just discuss how to best market your podcasts through social media.
Go to a social media site that is the most closely related to your selected niche. If your podcasts are about creating picture blogs about cats you might want to go to an image based social media site like InstaGram.
Publish your podcasts on as many social media sites as you want to always remembering the holy grail of social media:
- Twitter and the recent addition
Other than these LinkedIn, Tagged, Google +, Instagram and four square, there are also social media sites you should target.
It is also important to find your niche oriented social media sites to get real traffic to your podcasts. Traffic that is interested in and receptive to your message.
Marketing Idea #5
When we asked a bunch of random people, where they would go to search for podcasts? Almost all answered, iTunes! Now, itunes might be a music store, but it is also the most popular podcast directory. The first directory you submit your podcast to (no matter what the niche) is
- say it with us – iTunes!
The directory submission does not stop there though. There I a long research filled road ahead. We have added the best, most popular podcast directories list to the comprehensive ebook, “podcasting Mantra” .
Even with that list you will have to look for and find niche specific directories or specialty sites that will allow you to add your podcasts to them.
The best way to submit podcasts to directories is to submit the playlist feed and the episode feed. This way someone looking for more podcasts from you will not have to wait for you to update the podcasts manually. The playlist will be automatically updated as you add more podcasts to your feed.
With directory submissions it is best to give yourself goals e.g. “I will submit my podcasts to at least ten niche specific directories”. This will keep you motivated to go that extra step. Some people tend to give up the search if they find only five directories at first click.
A few things you need to remember when submitting your podcast/s to different directories are:
- Pay attention to the tags, title, subtitles, description and other information you are asked for. These are handy ways to optimize your podcast with keywords specific to your niche. Just don’t do it in a spammy way.
- Directories do not immediately publish your podcast the moment you hit submit or share. Directory moderators review your podcasts before adding them to their list. It can at times be a couple of days wait. Don’t start sharing your directory links before your podcast gets published.
- Some directories will not allow users to add playlists that automatically updates content. These directories wants control over the quality of content they archive.
- Not all directories will give your podcasts the option of a paid subscription. You need to include an iTunes link for people interested in buying a subscription or simply buying your podcast/s.
Marketing Idea #6
Don’t Forget the Age Old Word-of-Mouth
Word-of-Mouth is without contest the oldest form of marketing. People used to tell each other if someone was bartering a goat for cheap in a village nearby was before any posters or flyers were created. Most marketing executives still agree it is the most trusted form of marketing.
Having a bunch of testimonials or reviews you paid people to record or write is not the same as someone mentioning your podcast to a friend or family member. Coming from a trusted source it is instantly more credible. But how can you employ word-of-mouth marketing?
The simplest way to do it would be to ask your friends and family to check out your podcast and spread the word. Also send out emails to your entire contact list asking them to listen to your podcast. Tell them they should share the link if they like what they hear.
You will be surprised by the kind of response you will get by just asking people you know if they can review your podcast. One word of caution though, family members and friends can be tough critics so don’t get disheartened by any misjudged opinions.
Promoting Your Podcast Locally
This might not be the way to go for all podcast producers. Either because of the niche they have selected or due to the amount of money or time required to put together a local event. For those who can afford to promote their podcasts locally should start printing out flyers right now!
Go to clubs, bars and restaurants and partner up to do live readings / recordings to generate interest. Hold raffles both online and off with creative prizes. Ask your listeners to schedule visits and record their opinions if they want to. Create small neighborhood clubs around your niche. Heck, you should mention your podcast to your book club!
Once you generate interest locally the world will follow suite. People from other states and countries will want to join into the conversation. They will want to interact with you and your audience.
There are literally endless numbers of sites and ways to market anything today. What you as a producer and marketers need to do is separate the noise from the real sound and focus. Focused energy is far more productive than running around in circles.
Have a marketing plan for your podcasts before you even start writing your first script. Make that plan both podcast and niche specific. Lay it all out what you have to do and when. Don’t worry, there is room for errors. You can always fine tune once you get more familiar with the process.
Always remember 70% of your podcast success will depend on how well you market it.
Go put yourself out there, good luck!