Now that you’ve decided to start and launch your own podcast, it is time to start thinking about the long road to growing your audience. Podcasting is indeed a long-term content marketing play. Results are not immediate. This episode will show you some of the tactics you need to build into your podcasting for the long haul.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- Why your show’s USP is so important
- How to cross-promote your podcasts on your blog
- Why you should have an official landing page for your podcast
- How you can use Facebook ads to promote your podcast
- How to use other podcasts to promote your own
- Much more 😉
If you’re going to bother podcasting, you might as well do it for keeps. 🙂
Once again, welcome to another episode of Coffee Break Blogging!
Today we are going to continue talking about podcasting. Now in Episode 96 we started talking about “Should you actually start a podcast”, is this something that will actually be a good fit for you… And then in Episode 97 we went into how to start and actually launch your own podcast. Now in this one, 98, we are going to talk about how to grow your podcast audience. I am going to assume at this point that you have decided to start and launch your own podcast.
Now here is the thing about podcasting is that it is a long term play. This is not something where you can just kick it out there and it is just going to kind of host on its own. So we need to realize that it is a long term play and that the idea of growing our audience is something that we are going to be doing on an ongoing basis.
So with that in mind we are going to talk about strategies to grow your podcast audience and we are going to get started on those, right now.
8 Different Strategies To Grow Your Podcast
1. Be Consistent
Now, this one I learned the hard way because when I first started this podcast it was called The Blog Program. And it went through about 30 episodes but it was kind of in this roller coaster fashion as we did it. And I kind of then let it die and it really got to a point where my listener audience really just dropped down to less than a hundred people a day were actually listening to the show. It was because “nothing” was happening; I was not putting out anything new.
And so for that reason, and obviously with Coffee Break, I do it completely differently. It is 2 episodes a week. Consistency is extremely important. So we talked about that with “Launching your own podcast” and also “Should you start your own podcast”; you need to make sure that you can be consistent. And when it comes to growing your podcast audience, it is extremely important that you are able to remain consistent. And if it is going to be a weekly show, make it a weekly show. In my case, I am doing it twice a week and I am pretty religious about doing it twice a week. And in fact, I am pre-recording these episodes and people are watching me do it right now; I am pre-recording this episode about 3 weeks before it is actually going to be released because I am leaving town with the family. And I am doing that in order to keep it consistent. So that is the first strategy to growing your audience; keep it consistent.
2. Have A USP
Unique Selling Proposition… Yes, the good ol’ fashion USP. And that is also a very important one. The thing about podcasting is that it is really easy to fall into the trap of doing exactly the same thing as everybody else. And I personally have found that with interview style shows, I feel like many people are doing that. They come out and they do interviews and they try to get popular guests and use that to grow your audience. And that is not a bad idea! It is just that you need to make sure that if you are going to do it, you have something unique to bring into the table.
So when I came up with the Coffee Break concept for Coffee Break Blogging; my USP was that I was actually not going to make a lot of interviews, that I was going to make each episode very tactical and that it was all going to kind of go in a sequence. And this particular podcast, does. They kind of go in a general order and right now we are actually talking about traffic generation. It is the Stage 4 of a Seven Stage process that I have outlined. And if you want the Roadmap, by the way, you can run over to coffeebreakblogging.com and grab that roadmap for this podcast. So have some kind of Unique Selling Proposition; have something that you plan to bring into the table that is going to attract people who are searching for your topic on iTunes.
3. Cross-promote Your Podcast On Your Blog
It might seem pretty obvious but many people do not do it and in fact, I forget many, many times to do this one. So you have probably seen “related posts” and that type of thing many times on blogs. Well, why can’t you cross-promote your own podcast as a blog post on your blog? Now if you are doing everything on one WordPress install then you can probably automate this pretty easily using a plug-in. That being said, you can also do it manually because right inside the content when it makes sense, you can create internal links to your own stuff and you can cross-promote your podcast when people are reading video post or written posts on your blog.
So that is one big way to do it is to cross-promote on your own blog. Most likely, if you came into it like I do, your blog gets more traffic than your podcast. Now my podcast is starting to catch up. I am actually almost at about half right now where the podcast on a weekly basis was doing half the reach of the blog and that is after 6 months of doing this. So it will definitely play catch-up. But for most of us, you have got the blog and you can piggy-back on that and really cross-promote the podcast.
4. Have An Official Podcast Landing Page
Now, I have one at coffeebreakblogging.com and I actually set it up like a landing page. It does not look like a typical blog category and that is what many people do with their podcast, is they set it up essentially like a blog category, so they just post, post, post… Well, that is okay. But I think having a landing page for the blog that actually has a video or something of you introducing your podcast, has a call to action which on a squeeze page will typically be the opt-in to an email list but in a podcast lander it is probably going to be some link to subscribe to the show.
Now on that, you can also provide an opt-in which I’ve done at coffeebreakblogging.com. But the whole idea with having a podcast landing page is that you have got a homebase for the podcast. And in fact, you can do what I did, and that is actually grab a domain for your podcast that you can then just view when it makes sense. I mean, I can stay here and say “Go to coffeebreakblogging.com” and you can subscribe to the podcast. I don’t have to go and say “Go to blogmarketingacademy.com/something” it is just coffeebreakblogging.com. Okay?
5. Have Some Kind Of Episode Continuity
Now the whole idea here is that you want to have your episodes have some linkage between them. Now if you have done any copywriting training with regard to autoresponders, you know that one way to increase open rates on emails; on autoresponder sequences is to create open loops throughout it so that you have one email that teases something that is going to come in a later email. Well, you can do the same thing with your podcast because you can create a sense of continuity between your episodes.
I don’t typically tease a whole lot in my particular podcast. Sometimes I do because I do have this show planned out for quite some time. But one of the things that I do is I purposely set this thing up to operate in a particular sequence. This is a 7 Stage Process and what comes after that, we’ll see. But when you go to coffeebreakblogging.com it is very clear that this is not just a podcast that just has one episode and they can all standalone. I make it a point to say that they go in a particular order. And so that provides some level of continuity between the episodes. And what does that actually do, it encourages people who first subscribed to go back and start listening toward the beginning and come up. Now what does that do? Well, that drives more download and that is great for iTunes, that raises our ranking. So having some kind of episode continuity is a good idea for growing your podcast audience.
6. Promote Your Podcast On Social Media
Now this one might ring in the “duh” category, but I want to include in this the idea of running paid advertising to your podcast. It is not outside their own possibility to do something like that, and in fact, if you really look at your podcast as a real business asset, then like any asset you might need to invest a little bit into it. And so that is something that I recommend that you consider doing with your podcast as running a little bit of paid advertising.
I have experimented with this and I actually ran some Facebook ads directly to coffeebreakblogging.com. I am not running that ad right now because I have redirected those funds into some other stuff. But while I was doing it I was definitely getting some people subscribing and in fact I did have some of my highest ever at the time; downloads for the week when I was actually promoting the podcast using Facebook ads. One of the things that I did there was I didn’t just willy-nilly threw it out there to anybody; I did break the audience down between desktop and mobile; I forgot which one actually worked the best. I’ve got coffeebreakblogging.com as mobile responses so it actually will work just fine with desktop.
But what some people have done is that they will promote on Facebook ads and they will specifically limit it to mobile and also specifically limit it to iOS devices which you can do with Facebook targeting because it is generally going to be easier if somebody is holding their iPhone at the time to just direct them right into iTunes like that is what you point them to, directly to iTunes. And you can test out what the results are going to be there. Now, unfortunately, you can’t track conversions or anything like that when you do that. You can’t get a Facebook conversion pixel and drop it anywhere because iTunes is kind of like a black hole, all you really have is some download stats and that is about it. But you can track your downloads and just look for general trends and see if it is working. And if you can get a good cost per click on that, then you can actually grow your podcast.
7. Promote Yourself On Other Shows
Really easy. You have to put yourself onto a mindset of a typical podcaster who is doing interviews. They are probably constantly looking for a new guest. And so it is not as if you are coming on as “needy” by proposing yourself as a possible guest. You are actually, in many cases, doing them a favor.
And so if you can go to other interview style podcaster where you think you can be a good fit, you can actually put yourself there as a possible guest for the show. It is probably going to be a hell lot easier than trying to do standard guest posting because these people really need guests. Okay? So you can appear in front of their audience and then of course every time I have ever been on an interview they always ask me “Where can people find out more about you?” well, you drop the link to your podcast. You can mention your blog as well, but if you have that podcast landing page that we talked about earlier with a domain name that refers right to it, it is really easy to mention that on other people’s podcast.
8. Ask For Reviews Of The Show
I forget this one a lot. I have to put it on my outline here to remember to do this but you will very often hear podcasters ask you to go and review the show on iTunes. And the reason is it is not just a vanity thing. It actually helps grow the show because when you have more star ratings and more reviews on iTunes, it will help your show come up in the rankings inside your iTunes and that grows your audience. So you should have it as part of your system, part of your outline that you always ask for reviews of your show at the end. Now I’ve seen some people feature reviews or actually read one of their reviews.
Another thing that you should do; because iTunes links are notoriously nasty, is to create a shortened link to say on the podcast. And my shortened link by the way is blogmarketingacademy.com/itunes. That is a shortened link that is operated from the Pretty Link plug-in which is a plug-in for WordPress. Pretty Link Light is completely free, very cool. And I have just set up a folder there to actually point people right into the web based version of iTunes which they can then go and click in to the full program if they would like. So that is the easy way to do it, to create a shortened link to your show on iTunes.
So those are the 8 Strategies for Growing Your Podcast Audience. This is something that you have to build into your system and do in an ongoing basis because like I said at the beginning, it is a long term play; you are not going to put a podcast out there and instantly have all the listeners you want. You got to keep that in mind.
Practice What You Preach 😉
Now with that in mind, I’m going to practice exactly what I preach here, in the end… And that is I am going to ask you to go and review the Coffee Break Blogging Podcast. And you can do that at blogmarketingacademy.com/itunes and obviously I would want you to post an honest review; even if you think I suck, hopefully you don’t.
But run over to blogmarketingacademy.com/itunes and post an honest star rating and review of Coffee Break Blogging and of course it helps me grow my podcast audiences which like any other podcaster including you guys, is something that I am interested in as well.
So again, thank you so much. I will see you in the next episode where we are going to be talking about taking our podcast and actually using it to build our list and build sales with our podcast. See you then! 🙂