When launching your podcast, you probably experienced all the feelings, ranging from excitement to insecurity about your content, especially when it comes to your podcast promotion.
Once you’ve gotten a few weeks under your belt and seen how your content can impact others, your confidence likely grew and reconfirmed the idea of creating a podcast.
After a few episodes, you might experience something called the “sophomore slump.” This happens when you’re consistently publishing high-quality episodes, but your audience has seemed to stall out and isn’t growing quite as you expected.
There are tons of ways you can go about growing your podcast audience, but it’s important to focus on the ways everyday podcasters are building their audience and finding success.
Below, I’m going to share eight key ways to grow your audience and promote your podcast. These aren’t the typical tactics you can find everywhere else, but instead, they provide you with the best tools and insights you need to take your audience from 10 to 1,000.
Optimize your podcast for iTunes
When your podcast is displayed on iTunes, it will show the podcast title, subtitle, and description. Make sure to take advantage of the subtitle section by incorporating key terms, names of guests, and anyone unique aspect of the podcast.
Make sure to have an eye-catching title, describe exactly what the episode captures, and use cover art that meets the iTunes guidelines. You should be able to set this up wherever your feed is managed.
Facebook is a good platform to promote your podcast
Facebook is easily one of the more versatile social media platforms. With over 1.62 million active users, you can reach the largest relevant audience using Facebook ads.
Be careful when setting up your Facebook ad, though, because they can be tricky and may cause you to overspend. You should focus on narrowing down your audience to describe your ideal listener. Consider age, location, career/job, key interests, gender, behaviors, or anything they can list in their profile.
To utilize Facebook ads to its fullest potential, you’ll need to test and optimize your ads, but for now, it’s a great way to boost our audience quickly.
Use Twitter in your podcast promotion
Just about everyone loves Twitter, and it’s a great platform that will help you get straight to the point — to listen to your podcast.
Link your account to your podcast or blog to reach new listeners, and make sure to frequently post quotes from your podcast and show notes.
You can also pre-write a tweet for your guests to share, so all they have to do is send it out, which helps reach an even broader audience. You want your information to be easily accessible, which helps foster relationships.
Active users tend to check out the profiles of their new followers, so by creating a following on Twitter and creating a well thought out profile, you can lead your new follows to your blog or podcast.
Use email marketing
Nope, email marketing is not dead!
Quite the opposite, actually.
Building an email list is a great way to reach your followers. If you can come up with a creative way to provide links for your podcast guests to send out to their subscribers, you’ll automatically reach an entirely different audience you didn’t have access to before.
Email lists are somewhat of a treasure to bloggers and other podcasters, though, so make sure there is a mutually beneficial reason for them to send the link.
Reach out to potential big guests
If you can get a well-known guest on your show, this is a fantastic way to get your name out to a large audience, as well as boost legitimacy for your show. However, keep in mind that getting busy, popular guests on your shows takes a solid combination of luck and persistence.
While your podcast is probably awesome, that isn’t always enough to entice your ideal guests. Try finding something in common with them, and make sure to follow them on social media and subscribe to their blog. Connections take time, so be patient.
If you have the option, try establishing the relationship in person. Attend conferences and networking events so you can get your face (and name) out there.
Make sure you add a CTA
Creating a call-to-action tells your audience exactly what to do, which is sometimes that extra push they need.
By asking your listeners to subscribe, share, and rate your podcast at the beginning and end of each episode, you’re providing your listeners with information they otherwise may not have known. Make sure to approach this authentically, and not as pushy. When you explain that you need their subscribes and reviews to produce better content, most people are more than happy to oblige.
As with most things, the higher your reviews, the more likely you are to get new listeners to hit that subscribe button.
A fantastic way to encourage your current audience to leave reviews is to create an incentive Run a giveaway where one of the rules is for your listeners to leave a review for the chance to win something. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant prize, some of your podcast swag will do. If you don’t have swag, try a Starbucks or Amazon gift card.
What’s more, make sure to read the reviews you do get! They may contain some valuable information that will help improve your listeners’ experience.
Invite guests on your podcast
Inviting guests to your podcast means also inviting their entire audience.
By having other guests on your show, you’re also establishing a relationship with them that spurs mutual benefits for both you and your guest. By inviting them on your show, they get to promote themselves and you get to grow your listeners.
Also, by inviting interesting guests to your podcast, you’ll produce more unique episodes that cover topics you may not know a lot about, but your listeners are interested in.
You can go so far as to provide pre-written social media captions, preformatted images, and the correct links for your guests to share. Make sure you explain how you plan to promote the episode they appear on, so they know they are also going to be promoted to your audiences.
Make sure you invite guests that are relevant to your niche, though. You want your listeners to engage and identify with each guest.
Interact with your audience
You want your listeners to talk about your show on social media!
Make sure to show your appreciation for them for listening to your podcast by reading them on your show or sharing them on your social platforms. This will also encourage other listeners to leave a review or share your podcast so they can get that same pat on the back.
Since podcasts are audio-based, ensuring your show produces high-quality audio and covers interesting topics will help grow and maintain your audience.
To grow your following quickly, choose a few of the tips above that you can start implementing today and keep at it. Find what works, what doesn’t, and constantly improve your marketing strategy.
Melissa Guller is the founder of Wit & Wire, where we help everyday experts become profitable course creators. She previously worked full-time for Ramit Sethi, Teachable, and General Assembly. Today, she shares simplified tech tutorials and modern marketing strategies through our blog, YouTube, and Wit & Wire Weekly newsletter