Read time: 5 minutes
Podcasting can be a powerful marketing tool. It can also be a valuable product that can help you connect with customers. Unlike videos and written content, podcasts are a versatile form of media that can reach audiences in any situation; in the car on the way to work, at work during lunch break, or in the kitchen while preparing dinner. This makes it an excellent choice of media, as podcasts can easily be converted to video or written form.
#1. Choose a Niche and Stick to It
A podcast's topics can make or break it. Good topics can attract thousands of listeners, but too broad of a topic or a lack of focus can quickly lead to a loss of audience. For this reason, it is essential to select a very specific topic. Instead of writing a general podcast about health, start smaller. Focus on exercise tips and routines or special diets such as paleo or keto. These two specific topics can then produce many topics.
#2. Get on iTunes
Although there are some restrictions on content, iTunes is a popular platform for podcasting. iTunes already has a huge audience (iTunes is responsible for as much as 70% of a podcast’s listens and downloads); this eliminates many of the initial problems with reaching people. That's not to say a podcast should only be published on iTunes, but it's definitely a big help with establishing an audience for it.
#3. Choose a Podcast Model
While it's important to choose a niche for a podcast, selecting a model is equally important. A podcast can be used to market products and services, drive traffic to a website, or attract attention to an organization, or the podcast itself can be a product.
A common way to utilize podcasts is to write content around sponsors and sell advertising spots. Many podcasts that feature product reviews or spotlights will have at least one spot for a sponsored product where they are paid to write a review on a product or given a product as compensation. Advertisements can also be sold much like radio advertisements. Some writers include a short break in the middle or at the end of the podcast for such advertisements.
Podcasts can be sold as information products. A podcast might feature weekly web building tips that users pay to listen to. Courses can be hosted as a podcast with worksheet or workbook downloads available as a bonus for purchasing the podcast. In this model, it's important to create a call to action, whether it's subscribing to an email list, completing coursework, participating in community discussion, or anything else. Information products often rely on community engagement.
#4. Utilize Social Media Platforms
To gain listeners, it's a good idea to utilize social media. Facebook and Twitter are two of the top social media platforms but don't rule out Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+. There are many tools available to help streamline social media management so that you don't spend a lot of time posting and marketing podcasts on social media. However, user engagement is also important. Creating graphics for podcasts and posts as well as engaging with users can be time-consuming, and many businesses have dedicated positions or outsource their social media marketing.
Don't forget email as a way to grow your podcast. Email is a great way to let people know about new episodes, special offers, or anything!
#5. Don't Overthink SEO
SEO has become such a big thing that many people tend to focus on it too much. Keywords are vital so that users can find relevant podcasts. However, stuffing titles and descriptions with keyword just to try to help rankings can come off as being "spammy," driving away potential listeners. In the long run, too much focus on SEO can hurt ranking more than help it. SEO should never detract from an audience's experience.
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