Learn how to promote a podcast to the top spot of New & Noteworthy on iTunes in record time using the strategies revealed by podcasting veteran Tyler Basu.
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Transcript of: How to Promote a Podcast to #1 on iTunes
Welcome to The Project Ignite Podcast, a podcast designed to skip the hype, skip the bs, and bring you real actionable tips and strategies to help you grow your business and grow your income on the internet.This is your host, Derek Gehl. Today we’re going to be talking about how to promote a podcast. Effectively this is a podcast about podcasting today and how you can leverage this incredible channel until you grow your business.
Our guest today is an inspiring young entrepreneur who by the age of 26 is rapidly building his online empire. He’s published 3 books on Amazon, he just launched a second podcast so he now has 2 podcasts. He runs an online magazine called Lifestyle Business. By the age of 26 he’s accomplished more in online business than a lot of people do in their entire life and he’s definitely an expert on how to promote a podcast.
Without further ado I’d like to welcome Tyler Basu to the show.
Tyler, thanks for being here to talk about how to promote a podcast.
Hey, thank you so much, Derek. It’s a pleasure. That was a fantastic intro. I’ve been listening to your podcast for a couple of months now. You’ve had some fantastic guests. It really is a privilege to be here. Thanks for having me.
That’s awesome. I’ve been having a ton of fun with it. Podcasting for me … As you know I haven’t been doing it for a particularly long time. I started in August of 2015. I guess, well, time’s flying but I’ve found it to be such an incredible vehicle for connecting in business, for growing business, for generating leads for business. Learning how to promote my podcast has been an adventure.
I truly believe not enough people are leveraging this tool that’s easily available. As far as I can tell that has been a major drive around what you’re doing. I’m really looking forward to diving into how you’ve been so successful with figuring out how to promote a podcast.
Before we get started can you just take a minute to share your journey as an online entrepreneur or a lifestyle entrepreneur if you will. How did you get started and what was your path to where you are today?
Yes. I actually, I was in real estate for a couple of years before jumping into the whole online business space. I spent a few years as a realtor working for developers selling townhomes and condos.
While I was in real estate I just had this feeling that even though it’s a great industry and I was doing well there and I was good at it. It just wasn’t exactly the type of lifestyle that I wanted long term. I did want to be able to work from home and be home on weekends for when I eventually had a family and things like that. Just because of some of those values I gravitated towards online business but I didn’t know anything about it.
While I was working in real estate full-time I started out my first podcast and I was hosting that on the side and I would do a couple of interviews per month with various entrepreneurs. Not always online entrepreneurs but some offline business owners, some online business owners, internet marketers, and so on.
I just kept that going. For about 2 1/2 years I interviewed over a 100 entrepreneurs and in that journey I got a crash course, I guess, in online business because I really got to peek behind the scenes at how a lot of these people had built their businesses.
In many cases they were working from home, they were working while travelling. They had virtual assistants and independent contractors working for them. They had this freedom and flexibility that was just so attractive to me.
In the process of interviewing all those people and while I was learning how to promote a podcast I started to try some of the things that I was learning. I started off with a little bit of affiliate marketing from the blog just by creating a resource page with the links to some of the stuff that was mentioned on the show. I published a couple of ebooks on Amazon.
Then in 2015 I published a book called Lifestyle Business Blueprint and I talked about 5 of the ways that a bunch of these lifestyle entrepreneurs that I interviewed had built their businesses and I included case studies like a quick summary of what their journey was.
I got some really good feedback on those case studies, people liked the balance between the concepts and the theory in actual proof that of how people did it. The book did quite well. That was earlier in 2015.
A couple of months after that I interviewed a guy from Australia who was doing really well with a digital magazine and we got to talking after the interview. I told him I had all these people as guests on the podcast, I had all these interviews that I had done. I even had them transcribed but I didn’t do much with it.
I started playing around with the idea of creating a digital magazine. Then in the summer of 2015 I took that leap. I quit real estate, I added an extra person to my team so at that point I had a virtual assistant and a graphic designer. We started working on creating lifestyle business magazine.
We ended up getting our first issue in the App Store in September. Since then we’ve been publishing, we’ve published multiple issues and then we launched the podcast in November, so a couple of months after. We’ve been using that podcast to publish the interviews that I’ve done with people who are featured in the magazine and also help promote the magazine as well.
That second podcast has done quite well. The first one was all trial and error for me so I made a ton of mistakes because I didn’t know a lot about how to promote a podcast or how to get podcast listeners. I learned from my mistakes and I invested some time and some money into learning how to attack the podcasting thing and the launch properly and how to market a podcast, and I ended up doing better as a result of that.
I have a question for you. When you start an online business there are so many directions you can go. Now most people are naturally thinking, “Hey, I’m going to build a website, I’m going to drive traffic, I’m going to do that.” You started with a podcast, is that correct?
Yeah. Actually even before it became a podcast I was just interviewing people and putting the interviews on a blog … that was from 2012 to almost the end of 2013. After I had put about 30 interviews on the blog people had started saying to me, “You should really have a podcast. Nobody goes to a blog to listen to audio interviews that usually … They go to iTunes, they go to Stitcher to find a podcast to subscribe to.”
I decided to look into this podcasting thing. I found a tutorial online. It showed me how to create a feed and upload it to iTunes. I did that at the end of 2013. Then I had to learn how to promote my podcast. From that point forward, from interview number 30 up to number 105, which was the last interview I did for Chatting With Champions, those were all being published on the podcast.
When you went from publishing on the blog, putting interviews there, and moved it over to the podcast, how did that affect your growth?
It had 2 effects. One effect was credibility. I was immediately able to reach out to that next level or that higher level of guest for the show. I really struggled to get those high level guests in the beginning. I was mostly interviewing my personal network and referrals and so on. Not necessarily people who had big influence online but they had something good to say just not huge audiences.
Once I had the podcast and I figured out how to promote my podcast I was then sending out cold emails and I was introducing myself as a podcast host all of a sudden people could go over to iTunes, they could see all the interviews, they could see some ratings and reviews from listeners, they could see the line-up of past guests, and it just … I guess because I was leveraging that platform I got a lot more yeses whenever I reached out to somebody to interview.
I also did start to notice an increase in my download numbers just organically. I guess because it’s pretty hard, I’m not an expert on SEO or anything but I definitely wasn’t getting my website ranked very high on Google.
The podcast was able to rank on iTunes for some of those words like interviews with entrepreneurs, successful entrepreneurs, those kinds of keywords. Learning how to promote on iTunes is so important. Just people searching for podcasts about entrepreneurship and business and success they were able to find our show that’s why I ended up with just a bit of organic growth from that without really using what I had learned about how to promote a podcast.
Yeah, it’s interesting. I think a lot of people when they look at podcasting don’t realize that it can be such a big driver of new leads, new connections because effectively the iTunes, the App Store, Soundcloud or Stitcher are effectively search engines, really.
People go in there and are typing keywords to find podcasts that they’re interested in that can really drive organic growth and new clients which is a huge benefit. I mean the App store now is … I have no idea actually even what the numbers are on it from people using it and actual podcast downloads but it’s looking at some of the big podcasts out there and their per episode download numbers are absolutely staggering. If you know how to promote a podcast you can be killing it in the market right now.
Yeah, of course. I think it was back in 2013 iTunes came out with a report. They said that they had over 1 billion podcasts subscriptions and that’s just on iTunes. That’s not 1 billion people subscribed to a podcast as some people were subscribed to a small handful of shows.
Yeah. The US is definitely the biggest market. My experience is now seeing countries globally really starting to pick that up and a lot of growth in those so knowing how to promote a podcast in those markets is important.
Now, let’s shift gears a little bit. You’ve recently launched the new podcast in conjunction with your lifestyle business magazine. This has … I’ve been tracking it, it’s been doing really well. You’ve been in number 1 in New and Noteworthy, in various countries, you’ve done really well in the US which is such a competitive market so you’ve clearly learned a lot about how to promote a podcast.
Let’s dig into that. What did you do in this launch? Let’s contrast it against your first podcast. What did you learn along the way, what to do, what not do when planning out how to promote a podcast.?
That’s just a technical step involved in the launch strategy so just getting there and then putting a quick post on Facebook saying, “Hey, I got a show on iTunes now.” It wasn’t exactly a launch strategy. It took me a long time now to actually figure out how to promote a podcast to get a show to rank higher on iTunes and probably more importantly how to get a show to get exposure from day 1.I spent a year really hustling to get people to listen to this show, get those ratings interviews for the show, and to get the kind of exposure that this new podcast is getting right away from the first couple of weeks.Having a specific pre-determined launch strategy for how to promote a podcast is important so that you have a way to get yourself in New and Noteworthy for whatever your categories are.
Just to explain for the listeners who maybe are not quite sure what New and Noteworthy is, when you’re in iTunes and you’re looking at the iTunes store and it got the podcast section the first thing you’re going to see right at the top is this category that says New and Noteworthy. They’ve got that section for every one other categories, for every one of the categories on iTunes so business, health, education, and so on. It’s a really crucial component when you’re deciding how to promote a podcast.
Whenever you launch a new podcast you have this 8-week period where they’ll feature you there if it looks like your show is getting some popularity. They’ve got some algorithms to figure that out. It’s important to tailor to that when planning how to market your podcast.
They’ll feature your show there if it seems that a lot of people are checking out your show and you’re eligible to be there for those first 8 weeks. The higher that you can rank in the New and Noteworthy section for your categories the more exposure you’re going to get to people who are checking out iTunes.
One of the things you should do when planning how to promote a podcast is If you’ve got an audience already that’s fantastic like if you’ve got a blog or you’ve got an email list and you can promote your show to your existing audience that’s fantastic.
If you don’t have an audience or let’s say you’ve got a small audience to begin with that exposure on New and Noteworthy on iTunes is going to help you attract an audience that wouldn’t have known about you otherwise. You end up building some momentum for your show in attracting a lot of listeners for your show from the beginning which really helps in the long run.
Let’s dig in to your launch strategy and to some specifics about how to promote a podcast and how to get podcast listeners. When you push a podcast out there if you look at what you did this round and to get that momentum right out of the gate let’s break it down if you say. What are the top 3 activities or actions that you did that gave it that momentum?
Launch Strategy on how to promote a podcast
Perfect. Yes, sounds good. I’d actually like to break it up into 2 parts. I’ll talk about some marketing tactics, I guess, in a second. In the planning stages of how to promote a podcast there are a couple of key decisions that you want to make that just set foundation for a show.
You really want to have some clarity on what your topic is going to be, what the focus of the show is going to be, who your target audience is, and what kind of value or what kind of benefits you’re going to provide to that audience.You want to get that stuff clear so that you can build and create the branding for the show around that clarity. Things like the logo for your show, the title of the show, the description for the show.
If you didn’t have that clarity of that foundation to begin with then it’s going to be really hard to brand your show in a way that attracts that ideal listener, maybe that ideal client that you want to attract for that business. It’s just so much harder to figure out how to promote a podcast.
That should be your foundation when planning how to promote a podcast, get those things right first and then you can move on into planning how you’re going to market the show. The magic formula for getting featured on iTunes New and Noteworthy… I don’t know what exactly, of course. I’m guessing the only people who do are the ones who work over at iTunes.
We can assume it’s a combination of your subscription numbers, your download numbers, your ratings, and your reviews. It’s like an algorithm. iTunes is going to pick up on activity in each of those 4 areas so the more that you have going on for all 4 of those things the more likely you will be featured in New and Noteworthy and in the long run get some good exposure for your show as well, not just in those first 8 weeks.
You want to be intentional about it in those first 8 weeks, getting as many people as possible to go subscribe to your show, listen to a few episodes, and leave your rating and a review with some feedback. That’s the magic formula when you’re talking about how to promote a podcast.
Knowing that … Again, I didn’t know that when I launched my first show. In fact, I didn’t even know that New and Noteworthy existed. I found out afterwards and I’m like, “Damn. I missed my chance. How many people would know about my show if I had done that?”
This time around, round 2, I knew going into it that that was the objective was to get featured on New and Noteworthy so I spent weeks before the launch planning how to make that happen. Even after we launched I spent 8 weeks really hustling to keep bringing those ratings and reviews coming in using everything I know about how to promote a podcast.
A couple of things I did while planning how to promote a podcast before the actual launch was number 1, I started building my email list a few months before we launched the podcast. I created the magazine first so the magazine can hit the App Store in September, podcast went online in November, and I had set up the website and the newsletter a couple of months before we launched the magazine. I think it was in July of 2015.
I didn’t have a huge list by the time we launched the podcast, it was somewhere between 400 – 500 people because it’s a brand new audience. My goal was just to leverage my own list just to get that initial boost, it’s such a crucial part of planning how to promote a podcast.
Then to get, to go from just being on New and Noteworthy to climbing to number 1 on New and Noteworthy I maxed out asking my own audience to rate and review the show. Right around the time that we got number 1 in Canada.
We made it into the top 10 in the US but we didn’t quite claim any of those number 1 spots just from asking our own audience and probably because our audience wasn’t big enough. If we had a much bigger audience we could probably make that happen. If I were to be planning how to promote a podcast with a much bigger audience it would definitely be easier.
I had to resort to some other things as well to claim the number 1 spot in the US for our categories as part of my plan in how to promote a podcast.
Building a list and building up a bit of hype before we launched so we created some profiles on social media. We were sharing picture quotes and helpful articles all related to online business and lifestyle entrepreneurship to attract some of that target audience to the social media.
From there we directed people to our website. If we had a blog post we would share that on social media and that would help get people to our website. Then our website would help get people onto our email list.
Then in September we got our first magazine in the App Store and in our magazine on the last page we’ve got a link to our free resource that we give away and exchange for joining our newsletter. We got a few more people on our newsletter from the magazine and then by November we were ready to launch the podcast. We had spent a lot of time planning how to promote a podcast.
Even if you’ve got your own audience and they’re already in and you’re going to promote your show to your audience it might take them a while to leave you a rating and a review. Some people just subscribe to a podcast, they might not get around to rating and reviewing that show for a few weeks or a few months if at all.
Because for most people listening to a podcast might be something new to them and leaving a rating and a review is definitely something that most people haven’t done before. Expecting your audience to do that for you from day 1 is a little bit unrealistic. You have to have patience for your audience to leave you those ratings and reviews. This was a hard lesson we learned in how to promote a podcast.
What I did to help with that was I put together a launch team and I reached out to about 25 people on Facebook, created a Facebook group, and I said, “Hey, in a couple of days I’m going to have a podcast on iTunes. I’m planning out how to promote a podcast and here’s how I could use your support.”
I explained why those ratings and those reviews and those downloads help a podcast rank on New and Noteworthy and I created a step-by-step outline of how to do it. I even did a video tutorial on how to promote on iTunes, put that on YouTube, and gave them a link to that as well so they could see that portion of how to promote a podcast. I had a launch team that was ready and willing to help support the show the day that it went live.
Because, again, that way I could count on from day 1 getting, having people checking up the show and leaving those ratings and reviews. This is probably one of the most important parts of how to promote a podcast.
Ratings and reviews from the audience came afterwards but having that launch team ready to support me from day 1 really helped to build some momentum. I also created a Facebook event on launch day and invited all my Facebook contacts. I emailed my list, we promoted our own social media so all the standard stuff that you do when you’ve got some content, when you’ve got a big announcement and you want to share it with your audience.
Having that launch team support the show I think probably had the biggest impact, at least in the beginning. Definitely the most important factor in how to promote a podcast.
Interesting. When you say launch team who are these people you reached out to?
These are friends and people that I had met in person or that I had supported in various ways like other blogs or even other podcast hosts. Of course I was willing to reciprocate. I’m asking somebody for a favor so of course after I ask for the favor I’ll let them know if there’s ever any of your projects that you’ve got that you need support please let me know and I’d be happy to reciprocate.
Yeah, basically my warm network, people that I knew in person and that I had met online that I was comfortable reaching out to and asking for a favor. You don’t need a huge amount of people because again, you’re just trying to get that initial boost so I had 25 people in my launch team. But getting 25 ratings and reviews for a show in the first couple of days tells iTunes that something’s happening there – that show is picking up in popularity so it helps. It tells them that you know how to promote a podcast.
Okay. Once you got it launched, you did the email to create hype or the buzz leading up to it, you’re using social, you promoted it in the magazine as well. All key aspects of how to promote a podcast. You created a launch team, it goes live so you get that initial punch.
I think that’s a key thing for people to realize … I’ve seen people do this, they launch their podcast and they just upload their first episode to get it established. They really do need to know how to promote a podcast and how to get more listeners.
One of the the interesting things that I found when I launched my podcast back in August is we made it up into New and Noteworthy and we were in a whole bunch of different countries. Because I have a big audience overseas in Asia and Australia and stuff like that, we did really well in a lot of those countries as well.
What I was finding was that when you are staying strong in the New and Noteworthy they would leave you in there longer. I wonder if not as many people in those markets know how to promote a podcast.
I was shocked that in some of the smaller markets and in countries so outside of the US we were sitting in the New and Noteworthy for I think up to 16 weeks which was a real surprise to me.
Once you get up there you need to really think in terms of trying to stay there longer and knowing how to market your podcast is key. If you don’t mind I want to highlight a point here, too, because a lot of people don’t realize that iTunes is different in every country. They treat every country differently so when you’re in iTunes if you scroll through the bottom of iTunes and click ‘change country’ you can see all the different countries iTunes is available, which is pretty much all of them.
You can actually go to different countries and see where you’re ranking in those specific countries and it’s different from country to country. For yourself were you focused on promoting your podcast primarily in the US and Canada or were you focused globally?
Yeah, you bring up a really good point about how to promote a podcast. There is a separate New and Noteworthy section for every country that iTunes is available. I was focusing on the US because that is primarily where my target audience is based and where lot of the guests that I feature on the show are from. They’d be more recognizable in that market.
Canada as well just because I’m from Canada but Canada is a very small market compared to the United States. I’m glad that we did well in Canada. We got to number 1 in Canada within the first 2 or 3 weeks of being on New and Noteworthy.That was great but it wasn’t a ton of exposure just because it’s not a huge market. We got more exposure when we started to rank on the US New and Noteworthy.
You know I actually have seen cases of people who launched their podcast and after that 8-week period was up they were still showing up in New and Noteworthy. I haven’t seen that happen on the US one though. Maybe it is different for Canada or places like Australia or Malaysian things, other countries like that. As far as I know for the United States they are pretty firm on that 8-week window.
I suspect you’re right, I suspect it’s 8 weeks in the US because they’ve got a higher volume of new podcasts coming in.
It’s interesting because although I do business in the US, there’s so much growth happening in these other countries that I would encourage anybody learning how to promote a podcast to make sure you’re checking these other countries as well. Because there is a huge, huge opportunity that exists there.
I have a question for you and that relates around the magazine. Your magazine is published on iTunes as well, correct?
Yes. In the App Store.
In the App Store. You’ve got a magazine and you’ve got a podcast. Now, do you … I don’t know if there’s any empirical evidence or if you’ve been tracking it long enough but are you able to track the responses that you’re driving from your magazine to your podcast or your podcast back to your magazine?
Yes. What you can actually do is for a podcast episode you can actually (I do this through my media host which is Libsyn) …when you upload an episode to whatever media host you’re using you can tag that episode with a title and a description.
In the description for a podcast episode I’ve got that quick one paragraph summary that summarizes the episode but below that I have all these calls to action. One of them is to subscribe to the podcast if they haven’t already and that will link to the podcast in iTunes.
Another one is a leave a rating and a review and that actually links to the rating and review page in iTunes just to make it really easy for them. I’ve got the links toward social media our website and a link to our magazine.
They’ve got all those different options and also lots of calls to action to one place. They’ve got that choice of what they want to click on. When somebody’s actually listening to a podcast episode let’s say from their iPhone or from their mobile device when they tap on that episode and the description pops up they’re going to have all those links right there at their fingertips and they can choose which one they want to tap on.
I figured that out about a couple of weeks after I launched so I went back and added all those links to all my episode descriptions. I’m starting to track those now and I used a WordPress plugin called Pretty Link to track if people actually click on those links.
To answer your question I am seeing more people check out the magazine now since we launched the podcast.
Fascinating. Okay. I just learned something from you. I love that. You know why I love doing these interviews? It’s just for anybody who’s thinking of doing a podcast who wants to learn how to market a podcast … I have a real selfish reason for doing this because I got to talk to really cool people like Tyler who have this incredible knowledge.
Not only am I doing something that’s providing value for my tribe, for my people, but I get to talk to awesome people learn stuff.
Okay, in your episode descriptions you are creating links. Is there a character limit in the description? I assume there is.
There might be. I’ve got a full paragraph in there and then about 5 or 6 calls to action with probably 10 links including the social media. I could probably check Libsyn to see if there’s a limit. I don’t remember having a limit imposed on me though.
Yeah. I can’t think of a limit either. In fact I was just putting a description on Libsyn this morning. Yeah, that’s fascinating. I have to add that to my to-do list, that’s a brilliant, brilliant.
Just for everybody listening, the process there happens when you’re uploading your podcast to iTunes if you’re using a service like Libsyn which is what I use. I think it’s probably the most popular podcast hosting service out there. It makes it easy. After you put in the description of the episode which should be a compelling description that convinces people to watch it you can have then calls to action.
What Tyler is doing there is he’s not just linking saying, “Hey, go check up my magazine in the store,” and direct linking there. He’s creating redirects on his WordPress website and he’s using a plugin called Pretty Link and you can get Pretty Link Lite for free.
If you search Pretty Link you can add that to your website, it’s a brilliant plugin. You can create 301 redirects … you could have your domain.com/, make up whatever URL you want. You put that as your call to action and that redirects people to the magazine or whatever the action is and now you can see how many people are clicking those so you can actually measure that.
That’s the tactic I just really want to break down because it’s a great way to be able to track links like that.
Yeah. I will say that it’s great to have calls to action in the description but also in the episode itself. I always wrap up an episode with a call to action. Whether that’s visit the show notes page, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already.
I hired a professional voice talent to record my intro and my outro that we use for every single episode so this is not counting that personalized intro that I put in myself. At the end of an episode you’ll hear that music come in and that voice come on and he always tells people, “Check out the website and check out the magazine.” That essentially is the call to action. Having that at the end of all your episodes. It’s another point to remember when learning how to promote a podcast.
Maybe you’re a coach and you offer like a free consultation. If you’re doing a podcast, then at the end of every episode you can remind your audience that hey, if they want to come and talk to you just mention the link and tell them where to go to apply for a quick session with you.
You can play around with however you want to do it or whatever your objective is. All part of the process of how to promote a podcast.
Yeah. That’s absolutely crucial, definitely have those calls to action and just again to summarize for the listeners, call to action at the end of your episode. That’s you and then also in your outros you get those professionally recorded.
When you’re listening to my podcast today you’re going to hear my outro and you’re going to hear exactly what Tyler was talking about there where there’s calls to action inserted. You want to do that as well, totally agree. Such an important part of how to promote a podcast.
How to monetize a podcast
Now, let’s shift gears again and let’s talk about monetizing a podcast. Because it’s all good and well to go out there and create a podcast and learn how to market a podcast and create a following. It’s good for the ego whenever it says how great you are. Ultimately it’s a business tool, right?
What are the different strategies that you can utilize to actually monetize, to profit from a podcast? How do you help it grow your business or grow your cash flow?
That’s really a good question. This is super popular because a lot of people who are thinking of starting a podcast and want to know how to promote a podcast usually their number 1 question is how am I going to make money? How’s it going to help me grow my business?
There are benefits aside from the money, for example if you’re doing an interview-based podcast, building your network is a great benefit. Maybe from a personal branding standpoint getting that exposure is a great benefit for you or it helps increase your authority and your market or whatever your niche is. These are all good reasons to learn how to promote a podcast.
To actually convert that audience into money there’s a couple of ways you can do it. One approach is to go to the sponsorship route. Now I haven’t personally gone this route so I can’t speak to much of it in detail but essentially if you’re promoting your podcast to a big enough audience and you don’t have your own products or services to offer to that audience then you can go out and find somebody who does have a product to service that your audiences is likely to be interested in.
You can mention it on your episode and then charge them based on either the number of people who hear that recommendation and you can get that information just by tracking your download numbers or you set up an affiliate relationship with them and they pay you based on how many people you actually refer to their business.
That’s one route, it’s the sponsorship route. In the beginning it’s not viable for most new shows because again, you need to have thousands of people, even tens of thousands of people listening to an episode before it really makes sense to invest the time to arrange an agreement with someone.
My favorite way is to use a podcast to promote whatever your existing business is. Maybe right now you’re service-based business or you maybe offering coaching or consulting, maybe you sell digital products, maybe you’ve got an app or a done-for-you service.
Usually the first step is getting them to your website or getting them on your email list. You want to have a strategy and have those systems in place from the beginning to convert a certain percentage of your podcast listeners into your email subscribers. I think this is a great reason to figure out how to promote a podcast.
Once you’ve got people on your email list then you can guide them through a sales process of some kind. Maybe you’re using webinars, maybe you send them to a sales page, maybe you offer them a free consultation. However you want to do it this would depend on your specific business but absolutely I agree with you that podcasting is such a powerful way to get your message out there, attract whoever your ideal client is, then once you’ve build up that audience you set up those systems to convert some of that audience into your clients or customers.
It’s important to see a podcast as a way to promote your existing business rather than a business on its own, if that makes sense. Your existing business benefits hugely when you figure out how to promote a podcast.
Absolutely, makes perfect sense. Going back to the sponsorship, I did a little research into the sponsorship. It’s a bit of a different beast. What I understand, and I’m no expert on this as well, is basically when you’re negotiating sponsorship they’re going to pay you per the standard metric in the industry seems to be per 5,000 listeners.
In the advertising world, banner display, stuff like that, we have a term called CPM, right? Cost per mail and that means I’ll pay you X amount every thousand impressions, every thousand times my banner’s displayed. Basically, from what I understand in that sponsorship world, they’re going to pay you for 5,000 listeners.
When you’re getting started learning how to promote a podcast, building up to those 5,000 listeners an episode is difficult, obviously. Right out of the gate. You need to get a significant volume before you start to think sponsorship.
For me I’m more in the same boat as you. For me this podcast was never about selling sponsorship. It’s all about engaging with existing customers, bringing them back and reaching out and in a new channel finding new customers. That was my main reason to learn how to promote a podcast.
Now I have another question for you. As you’re launching episodes you did this launch sequence for the podcast itself.Each time you launch a new episode what do you do to promote that episode, if anything?
Yeah, great question. Actually I will also say that when you launch your podcast you shouldn’t just launch with 1 episode. You should have a minimum of your first episode which should just be an introduction to your show. It might only be 10 or 20 minutes long or even 5 minutes long. A quick intro, tell your audience who you are, who the show is for, what they can expect going forward and also launch a minimum of 3 other episodes.
This should be part of your how to promote a podcast strategy for a couple of reasons so it’s going to help iTunes recognize that you’re serious about your show. You’re not just showing up with 1 episode and then nobody knows when the next one’s coming. You’ve already got some frequency behind you.
It does help increase your download numbers, and it also shows your listeners that you’re committed as well. It gives them a few things to listen to while they’re waiting for your next episode.
The first thing that I would say is launch with at least that introductory episode and 3 other episodes for whatever your normal format is. Then have a strategy in place for how to promote a podcast and sharing those episodes.
Whenever we have a new podcast episode that goes online we have a how to promote a podcast system in place. We email our newsletter to let them know. We give them a link to listen to the episode directly from our website if they’d like to. If they’re already subscribed on iTunes then they’ve just been given a heads up that they can go in, open up our podcast in iTunes and it will be there as well.
Another key factor in how to promote a podcast is we also promote on social media. We’ve got profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google+. Now of those 5 we’re mostly focused on Twitter and Instagram.
I’ll create an image for each episode, a square image that fits Instagram nicely and then I’ll post that on Instagram and then the link to the show notes page will have its image as well which will be a bit of a wider image because it’s essentially a blog post. That will get shared on the other social networks. Which again it helps bring some traffic to our site.
When planning how to promote a podcast this helps people who aren’t subscribed on iTunes already, find out about us, and go through the website first before they get to iTunes. It also makes it easy for the episode to be shared.
We’ll email our guest and let them know that the episodes have been published and we’ll give them a link to share it if they decide to do that. Our audience itself is able to share it as well if they want to because all those social sharing, plugins we’ve got … I think we’ve used a plugin called Access Social Media that’s on the website there. Somebody can easily share our show notes page across any platform they want so that helps as well.
Interesting. Now why don’t we just take a step back to the social. You were saying that you focus primarily on Instagram and Twitter. I didn’t hear Facebook. I thought for sure when you said, “We focus primarily,” you were going to say Facebook and it never came out. I would have thought that was an important part of how to promote a podcast. Why is that?
With Instagram we’re getting a ton of engagement there. It’s been an important factor in figuring out how to get more listeners. This goes back to when I interviewed that guy back in 2015, his name is Nathan Sean and he’s got a great magazine called Founder Magazine. He’s built up a massive audience for his magazine and his primary social channel for doing that was Instagram and he’s killing it on Instagram. Instagram is such a big part of how to promote a podcast.
I even took his course on Instagram marketing to emulate some of his strategy. We’re getting the most engagement there. If I put a picture quote on Instagram for example and I put that same quote on Twitter and I put that same quote on Facebook I’ll get minimum 10 to 20 times more people liking and commenting on the Instagram post than I do on the Twitter or Facebook.
Our audience on Facebook isn’t very big because I haven’t really done much there yet. I probably will work more on how to promote a podcast on Facebook. I’ll put together like an ad budget because it seems like to do well on Facebook you got to really pay to play. It’s pretty tough to do it organic there. Just organic on Instagram and Twitter, that’s where we’re getting the most traction.
Yeah, Instagram is an interesting … I’m running a couple of cool things on Instagram. One thing that we do is we’ll post an image, a quote or a picture of our latest magazine issue or a picture of our latest podcast episode. We’ll have a quick description there. Then I’ll go in and comment on the image itself. In that first comment I’ll paste about like 20 to 30 hashtags. They’re all specifically chosen to attract our target audience of lifestyle entrepreneurs and online business owners and such.
Doing that hashtag thing it helps us get a ton of organic exposure and every time I do that we end up with new followers. I was able to grow the Instagram account, I think we’re up to about 6,000 or 7,000 followers in a couple of months without spending money on ads. Just from posting picture quotes and the occasional podcast episode everyday.There’s so much interesting stuff about how to promote a podcast.
That’s incredible. That’s incredible. For everybody listening who wants to learn how to promote a podcast that was a wealth of tips in there and very, very valuable. We default to Facebook, right? Instagram is not something that I’ve ever used to promote my podcast. I know I need to do more on it. You just lit a fire under my butt. I appreciate that.
That’s a whole other topic in itself.
Yeah, exactly. Maybe we’ll do another episode about how to promote a podcast on Instagram and I’ll grill you on that. 2 more questions for you on how to promote a podcast before we start to wrap up and that is frequency and your schedule for episodes, how often do you recommend people post episodes, what’s the frequency, any best days, time, stuff like that?
Yeah. That’s a great question. There seems to be about 4 different types of frequencies that I see most common among podcasts.
One is the daily show, that takes a ton of work. There are some people who are doing it and are very successful with it. In most cases they’ll batch their content creation so if they’re doing an interview based podcast they’ll do all their interviews on one day then have a how to promote a podcast plan to have those go out one day at a time throughout the week.
It’s a lot of content for your audience. In fact some of audiences have a hard time keeping up with the daily show, but it is a ton of content if you’re able to make that commitment.
One step down from that would be 2 to 3 times a week. This is definitely doable. It’s not easy, it still takes some commitment but it is definitely doable. The people who do 2 to 3 times a week they usually change up the type of episode that they do when making their how to promote a podcast plan.
They might do one interview per week, one solo episode per week, and maybe a Q and A where they answer a question that their audience submitted. A mix of those different formats just to bring a different type of episode to their audience on a weekly basis.
The most common frequency is definitely the weekly frequency. We’re pretty much weekly because for each monthly magazine that we publish I do 3 interviews with entrepreneurs and I turn those into really in depth success stories or featured stories. When planning how to promote a podcast, this is the most common.
I have 3 interviews that I can put on the podcast each month and then I like to hop on and do a solo episode every month or two just to share something specific that I learned or share something that I think helps the audience.
We usually end up with 4 episodes per month, sometimes we end up with 3 episodes per month. We’re pretty much a weekly show.
Then one step below that would be if you’re doing 1 to 2, maybe 3 episodes per month. That’s definitely easy to maintain but it’s less content for your audience so you might find it harder to figure out how to promote a podcast and build some traction for your show if your frequency is less than once a week.
Got it. The last question I have for you about how to promote a podcast is regarding the different channels. I mean obviously iTunes is the behemoth. We’ve got Stitcher, we’ve got Soundcloud, we can embed on websites. Where else do you publish your podcasts?
We’re on iTunes and Stitcher. That’s because we focus our how to promote a podcast launch strategy on iTunes. It’s like all the downloads, the ratings, and reviews were all geared towards iTunes just because they have that New and Noteworthy section.
We publish on Stitcher as well because a lot of the people out there who have an Android device will be subscribing through Stitcher. That’s it for now. As we look further into how to promote a podcast we may submit to a couple of others like TuneIn Radio.
I’m seeing Google Play is putting together a podcast platform as well. I think that as of right now if you’re in the US you can submit your show. I don’t think the platform is live yet. They’re just collecting those submissions. In Canada we can’t even submit it yet so I’m just waiting to see what happens there. This will probably start to become more important in planning how to promote a podcast.
I definitely focus on iTunes, and Stitcher is the secondary platform. It doesn’t hurt to get on a bunch of other platforms. We’ll probably do that as well.
Again, just a lot of the research about how to promote a podcast shows that the majority of podcast listeners are coming from iTunes so I would definitely focus there first and then worry about the other platforms afterwards.
Yeah, I totally agree. Now what about embedding on your website? That was an interesting part of the how to promote a podcast strategy. Now you embed your episodes on your website as do I. What’s your strategy with that? Do you track how many people are listening from your website versus iTunes?
Here’s a multi-part question, do you ever feel like maybe you’re taking away from the momentum you could be driving on iTunes by giving that option on your website?
Possibly, but the people who already subscribed to the podcast on iTunes are probably listening through the podcast app or the iTunes app on their phone already. I created those show notes mostly for people who aren’t subscribed on iTunes yet.
Maybe they came to our website to check out our magazine issue, maybe they’re writing a blog post and they see the podcast have there and I want to be able to give them show notes pages where they have the option to listen from the website if they like to.
Because I’m hosted with Libsyn the only numbers I get are my total download numbers. I can see Libsyn gives me the stats of what technology or what sources those download numbers came from. Again, the majority is definitely iTunes.
I created the show notes pages more of a resource for the audience because it’s got the recap of the episode, it’s got links to any resources that were mentioned like books or softwares, things like that. It’s got those call to actions at the bottom where if they do want to subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher I’ve got the links to iTunes or Stitcher at the bottom of that post, and a link to our review pages if they want to give us some feedback.
Again, I don’t think that a huge of percentage of our audience is actually streaming the episodes from the website itself but it’s just kind of an additional resource for the existing audience.
Fantastic. Okay. Last question about how to promote a podcast and that is how can our listeners learn more from you, what you’re doing. I know you’ve launched a podcasting training program on how to promote a podcast as well based on exactly what you’ve done, what we’ve been talking about. Where do people go to find out more?
Perfect. We did create a free resource that somebody can grab if they want to learn more about how to promote a podcast and that’s called the Podcast Launch Checklist. That’s the 12 steps that we went through as my team and I created and launched the Lifestyle Business podcast.
All 12 steps are outlined in that checklist. You can grab that by going to podcastlaunchblueprint.com.
I did create an online course as well called Podcast Launch Blueprint with lots of information on how to promote a podcast. You’ll get some information on that after you grab the checklist. Basically when we launch our podcast I knew that there would be a bunch of people who would want to know how to launch a podcast because a lot of our audience are thinking of launching a podcast because of the nature of online business and the lifestyle entrepreneurship audience.
I recorded my entire launch process. Every step that I took to launch the podcast I was recording my screen so I had all these video tutorials. Then I went back and created some powerpoint slides to introduce the concepts, introduce the strategy and then actually show you the work that I did. That formed the content for the course itself. Lots of material on how to promote a podcast.
You won’t just get the step-by-step. You’ll get a video that says here’s how we did it and it did end up working. As you mentioned in the beginning we ended up number 1 in multiple categories in New and Noteworthy, we got more exposure for our magazine.
I started getting high quality guest for the show from day 1. Applications from people who want to be on the show, who I wouldn’t be able to send an email to successfully without that launch, without that buzz that we created by showing up in New and Noteworthy.
Anyone who’s interested in launching a podcast and how to promote a podcast just go to Podcast Launch Blueprint, you’ll get a free checklist there and a lot of the steps involved.
That is awesome. Tyler, thank you so much for unconditionally sharing so much of your knowledge and experience going through this process and giving our listeners so many valuable podcasting and how to promote a podcast tips. Thank you so much.
No problem, Derek. This was a ton of fun and how to promote a podcast is one of my favorite topics. Thanks so much for giving me that chance to chat about it.
Thank you. Now, everyone that was podcasting expert, Tyler Basu.
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