12 Tactics to Advertise Your Podcast

Written by
Sandy Diao
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8
min read

Learning how to advertise or market a podcast is almost as important as creating the show itself. You don’t have to have delusions of reaching millions of listeners — every creator wants their content to find an audience. 

Whatever your ultimate goal may be, intelligently advertising your podcast will help you get there.

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All about podcast advertising

The process of creating an effective podcast marketing strategy tailored to your podcast isn’t only about telling your audience about the latest episode. Mark Asquith, CEO of Captivate.fm, says marketing your podcast requires a more holistic approach.

“Marketing is a much more strategic, multi-faceted, and considered process that should be considered a long-term focus,” he says. “Podcasters should spend the time learning the basics like SEO and copywriting. An hour per week spent on these elements and podcasters will be surprised at the growth they can achieve.”

The first place to start is to create a show that’s worth sharing. No amount of advertising time or dollars spent will help if your listeners won't like your show. Sounds easy, right? Creating a well-liked show looks different for each podcaster, but in general, a great podcast tends to have the following qualities:

  • Offers its listeners value: Whoever listens to your podcast needs to be able to leave entertained, learn something, or satisfy their curiosity about a topic. 
  • Has a unique angle: Your podcast needs to stand out from others in your niche or category. If it can’t meaningfully add something new to the topic, it’ll get lost in the sea of podcasts.  
  • Keep the audience top of mind: The more know who is listening to the podcast, the more effective you’ll be at capturing and sustaining their interest. It also means you’re taking the time to continually improve your show to turn listeners into loyal fans.

12 Different podcast advertising tactics

Remember, advertising your podcast is all about trial and error — what works for one show may not work for another. Consider taking some of the following tactics and experiment to see what sticks. Regularly review your efforts and don’t be afraid to pivot as many times as needed. Here are twelve different ways to market podcasts.

1. Have your podcast listed in aggregators and directories

Making sure listeners can find your podcast is one of the simplest ways to market it. While Apple Podcasts and Spotify are the most popular podcast directories in the United States, your listeners may use other aggregators. 

The easiest way to make sure your podcast is listed in as many places as possible is to look at where your podcast hosting service automatically submits your episodes. If your hosting service doesn’t do this automatically, or if there are podcasting directories on which you’d like your show to appear, manually submitting them is as simple as filling out a form on a website, including a link to your RSS feed.

2. Make it easy for listeners to share your show

Asquith suggests podcasters focus on shareability, as that’s one of the most effective ways to market your show. You’ll also want to ensure you tell your listeners to share and find an easy way for them to do so.

“Ask your listeners to share your podcast and do so very regularly throughout your episodes,'' he says. “Don’t say things like ‘listen where you get your podcasts’ and instead use a measurable single promotional link instead.” 

In other words, instead of just asking your listeners to share your podcast with friends, you can create a unique link that you can give them to share — perhaps offering some sort of promotion in return (a month’s worth of exclusive content, for example). 

3. Create your own website

Although your podcast hosting provider may offer you a basic website to showcase your episodes, having your own can help you grow your show even more. 

For one, it can be easier for listeners to share specific episodes or content with others as compared to sharing an Apple Podcast or Spotify link, which not everyone uses. A link to your website is device and app agnostic. 

Plus, having your own website helps you create assets such as auxiliary blog posts, or to start building an email list.

4. Start an email newsletter

Starting and maintaining an email newsletter is a smart way to encourage your new and repeat listeners to further engage with your podcast. You can send them emails alerting them about new shows, telling them about promotions or giveaways, asking them to subscribe to your show, and more 

5. Network with other podcasters

Getting to know other podcasters in the space is useful to help you gain insights into new and out-of-the-box marketing tactics you haven’t thought of before. Plus, it could make it easier to pitch yourself on other podcasts, which is a fantastic way to leverage someone else’s existing audience to learn more about your show. For example, you could do a crossover episode with another podcasting friend, where you let them air part or all of one of your episodes—it gives you access to another audience and gives them a break from writing, recording, and editing an episode. 

6. Ask guests to share your episodes

Asking guests to share or cross-promote episodes is another way to leverage someone else’s existing audience to find out about your podcast. Make it easy for the guest to share the episode by providing items like images, text, or sound bites they can easily copy and paste to any of their social media accounts. 

Help sweeten the deal by using your platform and audience to promote them as well. Doing this type of cross-promotion for your guests is also a common courtesy for them taking the time to appear on your show, and is yet another tool to promote your pod. 

7. Customize posts for each social media outlet

Using the same images and text for all your social media platforms isn’t as effective as tweaking the content and posts for each individual platform. What is shareable and viral in the Twitterverse is very different from what goes viral on TikTok. 

As an example of ways to diversify your posts, you can post images of you and your guest on Instagram with a witty caption that lets people know about the basics of the episode, whereas you can instead post tasty grab quotes from that show to your Twitter. Save the group TikTok dances for your personal accounts though, please. 

8. Use paid ads

Before going the “brute force” route, otherwise known as paying for direct advertising, Asquith cautions making sure you can prove it’ll work before putting a lot of money into paid ads. 

“Test with a small budget and a specific goal in mind, like sending traffic to your single promotional link,” he says. “Only if you see results should you slowly scale up your budget.” 

You need to find a measure for your return on investment with supporting data to make an educated decision to invest in advertising and where. Perhaps you thought you’d get a great return targeting “people who follow yoga accounts” for your hot yoga podcast but it turns out that “people who like to sweat” offered a much better return on investment. 

9. Create branded audio pieces 

Consider segmenting your podcast episode into branded audio pieces you can use to market your show. Asking listeners to check out these segments is an easier task than having them listen to a longer episode. 

Asquith says taking this approach makes your episode more accessible to new listeners and more specifically targeted to those who're interested in your subject matter.

10. Repurpose your podcast into a Youtube video

 Youtube is increasingly becoming a popular way for people to find new podcasts, but often they are the video recording of the podcast…being recorded. If you have the time, consider filming your podcast and uploading that video to Youtube. You can even edit both your podcast and the video on Descript so that they match.

11. Transcribe the podcast audio

Transcribing your podcast allows you to reach audiences who may prefer to read a transcript, like those who are hard of hearing. It also allows you to repurpose your content into blog posts, show notes, social media content, Youtube subtitles, and more. 

“[Transcripts] are not only useful for audiograms but they’re useful for long-tail search engine optimization and of course, paramount for accessibility,” says Asquith.

All of this content leads back to the source, your podcast, helping you gain more listeners.

12. Share reviews and testimonials

Sharing reviews and testimonials you receive from emails or podcast directories like Apple Podcasts (particularly the funny ones) show your existing listeners you are paying attention to their feedback. 

If you do this regularly, it could entice listers to submit their review to see if you’ll mention it on your podcast. Doing so could increase your listenership and turn casual listeners into mega fans. 

Reviews and testimonials also give would-be listeners a first impression of your show. If there are a bunch of positive reviews for your podcast, it could entice new listeners to check out your new show.

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Written by
Sandy Diao

Director of Growth at Descript. Former growth, marketing, and strategy at Facebook, Pinterest, Indiegogo.

Descript is a collaborative audio/video editor that works like a doc. It includes transcription, a screen recorder, publishing, and some mind-bendingly useful AI tools.
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Sandy Diao

Director of Growth at Descript. Former growth, marketing, and strategy at Facebook, Pinterest, Indiegogo.

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