You would think podcasting, with its natural affinity toward niche topics and audiences that care deeply about them, would be the perfect medium for marketers. In some ways it is. Pods are intimate, like you’re sitting in a friend’s living room listening to them talk. They’re also generally unadorned — there are no visual bells and whistles to catch your attention; just a person talking directly to you. For marketers who love wordplay, that makes it ripe for word-based marketing strategies: puns, insider references, double meanings; all great tools for getting potential listeners to take notice of your show.
Who’s Listening to Podcasts?
Podcast listeners are a passionate, engaged bunch. A study by Edison Research found that podcast listeners are twice as likely to have climbed a mountain, gone scuba diving, or volunteered with children than non-podcast-listeners. That said, podcasts aren’t just for outdoor adventurers and parents, and anyone who’s curious about podcasting probably isn’t just one kind of person. There are, however, some trends in who’s listening to podcasts and why. Edison Research’s Podcast Consumer study found that podcast listeners are generally younger than the general population. They’re also more likely to be employed and have higher income, but lower levels of education. They can be more urban, too, with a slightly higher concentration of Asians and African Americans.
Why Podcasters Should Care About Marketing
Even if the only thing you want to do with your podcast is keep your friends and family in the loop with “behind the scenes” info, you can only do that if your friends and family know your podcast exists. Otherwise, marketing is the only way you’ll reach new people and grow your audience. Podcasting is a medium that depends on people finding your show through organic (i.e. un-paid) discovery. You can’t pay to put your show in front of people’s faces. If people don’t know your podcast exists, they won’t find it.
The Basics of Effective Marketing for Pods
When it comes to marketing, you have to be careful not to stray too far into what would be considered “spam.” Podcasters who spam their listeners or abuse the word “podcast” in their marketing efforts are the ones who give the medium a bad name. That said, there are plenty of ways to market your show that are classy, creative, and effective. Below are some of the basics. - Be authentic - Be yourself and let that be reflected in your marketing. If you aren’t excited about what you’re creating, why should anyone else be? - Be strategic - Know who you want to reach and how you want to reach them. For example, if you’re going for younger listeners, you’re more likely to find them on social media. If you’re going for older listeners, you’re more likely to find them on podcasts like NPR or public radio stations. - Be consistent - Regularly releasing your podcast and engaging with your audience will help you attain new listeners, keep your old ones, and build your brand over time. - Be thorough - Don’t just slap a few links in your show notes and call it done. Create a comprehensive plan for your show’s marketing, and follow through on it.
Tools for effective marketing and engagement
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s talk tools. There’s a wide range of tools available to podcasters looking to engage with their audiences and market their shows. We’ve broken them down by category below. - Social media - We’ve already talked a bit about social media as a way to market and engage with your audience, but it bears repeating. If you’re not on social media, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to build your brand and connect with your audience. - Live events - Whether you host an in-person event or a virtual event using a platform like Zoom, live events are a great way to build community around your show. - Paid advertising - Most ad platforms offer a way to target listeners by podcast. This is an effective way to reach new people and get them hooked on your show.
Podcasting is a great way to build a community around your brand and your content. To do this, you must first understand who you are trying to reach and how they like to engage. It is important to understand that marketing your podcast is different than marketing a product. A podcast is a service that you provide to your audience. Keep this in mind as you create your marketing strategy and use these tips to create a successful podcast marketing strategy. And remember, you don’t have to be a big name or have a big budget to benefit from the intimacy and word-based marketing opportunities of podcasting. With a little creativity and persistence, you can create a loyal audience that loves your show just for being yours.