What are the best ways to promote a podcast? This is a question every podcaster has asked at least once and a problem that you come back to again and again after trying and failing with different promotional strategies.
Stop Focusing on Sharing Episodes
Today, I’m going to flip podcast promotion on its head and show you how you are trying way too hard.
In podcasting, we have a lot of things backwards and this idea of podcast promotion is one that we completely mess up on an ongoing basis.
Don’t promote a podcast the average way
You see, once you have your own show the average podcaster goes on the hunt looking for someone to interview on their podcast. Then the podcast host schedules an interview and sends the guest their list of questions. Then the day of the interview rolls around and you connect with your podcast guests, ask your questions and then have what you feel like is an awesome discussion with the guest and you feel like you’ve made a great podcast.
Eventually, the podcast gets published to your own audience, and then you go on a hunt across the internet looking for more podcast listeners and places to promote this interview to. You feel like if you can just get the interview in front of enough people, that surely some of them will be interested in the topic and listen to the show. Then your will have a successful podcast.
Podcast Audience Pattern Interrupt
Have you ever been out an about in your daily life of running errands and taking care of your household, and have a mundane task like pumping gas at the gas station turn into a weird encounter when a sketchy character walks up to you while you are pumping gas, and they have a gold chain or a watch or something else that they perceive as valuable, and the want to unload it to you because they need the money?
Well, this is kind of how the rest of the internet views your efforts to promote your podcast on your social channels. Your target audience isn’t looking for or wanting your content, but yet you show up in the least likely of places, trying to shove your podcast content in the face of potential listeners, and promising them they will love it if they just listen to it.
You Don’t Create Traffic
Here’s what you have to realize about the internet. Everyday there are thousands of people online who are searching for specific types of content and they would love to come across some of the topics you talk about in your podcast.
You are not a traffic creator
Traffic on the internet already exists. There are a few things you need to know to capture this existing traffic.
It isn’t your job to create traffic to your podcast episodes. Podcast directories already get all the traffic you could ever need. It’s like pulling teeth to get people who are uninterested in your podcast topic to become new listeners based on your promotional efforts with social media posts.
You will continue to fall flat on your face if you think that sort of podcast marketing and promotion will get you new listeners.
Spamming Your Podcast Links Isn’t Cool
It’s time consuming to cross promote your episode links on all the social media channels where you could possibly find podcast listeners.
It won’t and it will only leave you frustrated and exhausted to go about podcast discovery this way.
A better way to create content is to realize that there is already tons of traffic for your niche that is on the internet everyday. You just have to get your podcast in front of that traffic and it’s not always to promote a podcast with spammy links.
You just have to focus on podcast SEO instead of social media ads or other podcast growth methods.
Jumping In Front of an Existing Audience
What is that traffic looking for?
There are SEO tools that can give you this information.
This information can become a goldmine for you and it will increase your current listeners.
If you start creating content by looking for what a majority of the people in your niche are searching for each and everyday, then your job becomes to create content that will be found by them when they are searching in the podcast apps.
Again, you aren’t trying to create traffic, you are just wanting to jump in front of as much existing traffic in your niche of the podcasting community as possible.
This relieves you of the burden of having to spam your podcast links all over social media platforms to people who aren’t the least bit interested in your podcast content and may not even be podcast listeners in the first place.
Episode Titles and Content Creation Framework
So, the framework I want to show you is:
1) Use a trustworthy SEO (search engine optimization) tool to determine what podcast listeners in your podcast niche are searching for. (If they are looking for you, then you don’t have do podcast promotion, right?)
2) Rank the top things your podcast audience is searching for based on the number of monthly searches.
3) Create a podcast episode about that topic and use the exact search phrase as the title of your new episode.
4) Rinse and repeat every time you create a new episode published to your RSS feed and podcast website.
Tools of Podcast Discoverability
The best tools for keyword research for your podcasts are:
– Free – ubersuggest.com for a couple of free searches per day.
– Cheap – paid chrome extension called Keywords Everywhere
– Best – SurferSEO – I use and love this tool so much that I am an affiliate for it. Surfer gives you every tool you need to do keyword research for your podcast, content planning for each podcast episode, do an SEO audit of your podcast website, and also write your podcast content that can rank on Google.
Don’t Cheap Out on SEO
It’s the easiest SEO tool I have ever used, and I have used a bunch of them. I have paid for SEM Rush previously, and this is hands down a much better tool. Surfer is also constantly adding new features to the tool, so it just gets better and better over time.
To help you get a better feel for what Surfer can do for you, I have created a video on my youtube channel that I have linked in the show notes, and I’ve also shared that video with my private Facebook group called, Podcast Monetization Secrets.
If you want the special benefits of signing up through my affiliate link, just go to TeamPodcast.com/surfer.
I can use the Content Planner in Surfer and find out all of the keywords and keyword phrases that my podcast audience is looking for. The results tell me how many online searches there are just in the US each month for those keywords.
So, I could easily take the top searched keywords and phrases and make those my next several podcast episodes.
Mining Data from Online Communities and Searches
By doing this process, all you are doing is identifying WHAT solutions your podcast listening audience is searching for. Then, using the real data, you are playing the odds of SEO, you are creating content that is highly searched for, in the hopes that you can siphon off some of that existing internet traffic for your podcasts.
Then, I can use the Surfer content editor to create SEO optimized content for my podcast website that will have a high statistical probability of ranking on Google.
Never Spend a Dime on Pro SEO Help Again
I can do this because Surfer gives me all of the keywords to use in the correct saturation levels to outrank other podcasters and the existing ranking Google content.
It will tell me how many H1 headings I need to use. It will tell me how many paragraphs I need to have in my podcast content. It will also tell me how many images I need to have in the other podcasts to outrank exiting ranked pages.
Armed with all of this, I can create the first episode and post it to my website.
Social Media Links Don’t Hold a Candle to This
THEN, I can grab the url for the blog post and put it into Surfer to do an audit on that page for the exact keywords I am trying to rank for. This keyword phrase then becomes my podcast title.
If you follow this process, you will get more organic traffic to your podcast, from all channels – Google podcasts, Apple Podcasts, etc.
The best part is, that traffic won’t be disinterested people on social media that really don’t care what you are talking about. They will be people who are searching a podcast directory for your solutions.
Podcast Growth Through Targeted Traffic
The traffic you will get will be the people who are actively searching for the type of content you are providing in your podcast feed. Other podcasts can randomly pick topics and hit or miss with the traffic game.
Then they are left to open the rest of their week on podcast promotion.
Traffic the easy way or the hard way?
Now, which type of podcast traffic would you rather have finding your podcast?
The traffic for which you have had to do a massive pattern interrupt to get their attention on social media because the weren’t already looking for your solutions?
Or the person who is desperately searching Apple Podcasts for solutions to the problems you can solve and they stumble upon your podcast content because – hello SEO – and they immediately feel grateful that they have discovered your show and they binge listen to all of your podcasts and become podcast subscribers?
Targeted Traffic, Lifelong Customers
I know which one will ultimately make a better customer and that should be the one you want coming into your funnel and becoming raving fans of your own podcast.
If you do this, you will be doing almost the exact opposite of what other podcasters in your niche are doing.
Getting the Upper Hand on the Competition
It will give you an unfair advantage over your competitor’s podcast promotion efforts and you will never again have to promote a podcast into every Facebook group you can find.
You’ll also never again have to run Facebook ads just to try to find your target audience who listen to podcasts. Better yet, your target audience will find you!
So again, the framework is:
1) Use a trustworthy SEO tool to determine what people in your niche are searching for. I recommend Surfer SEO.
2) Rank the top things your podcast audience is searching for based on the number of monthly searches.
3) Create a podcast episode about that topic and use the exact search phrase as the title of your podcast episode.
Again, If you want the special benefits of signing up through my affiliate link, just go to TeamPodcast.com/surfer.
Never Struggle to Promote a Podcast Again
Let’s face it…
Apple Podcasts will never promote a podcast for you. They will let you drive podcast traffic to their platform all day long without any reward.
Unless you want to spend 80% of your time doing podcast promotion and only 20% of your time creating content, then you should follow this framework to create highly desirable podcast content.
Defy the Podcast Gurus
Some podcast gurus will tell you that the 80/20 rule for content creation vs. promotion makes sense, but what they fail to realize is that you are an expert in your niche and creating content is your passion.
You didn’t set out to become a marketer with a special expertise in podcast promotion.
Granted, podcast promotion will always go hand in hand with podcast content creation, but it doesn’t have to be nearly as painful.
Play the Odds for Search Traffic and Go All in on YouTube Video
By now you are aware that Google is the largest search engine.
The second largest search engine is YouTube.
The third biggest search engine is Apple Podcasts.
If you only play in the podcast audio space, you have #1 and #2 search engines covered.
Play Full Out With Video
It only makes sense that you would take advantage of the 2nd largest search engine by getting your content on YouTube as well.
Plus, since Google now owns YouTube, guess what types of content Google pushes higher in the rankings – podcasts or YouTube video?
You guessed it – video for the win!
SEO is Playing the Long Game for the Big Win
When you put out content week after week, it only makes sense that you would use an SEO tool like Surfer SEO to help set you up for success.
If you put all the effort into your podcast and miss the most important piece of discoverability, it is no wonder that you will struggle to find listeners and eventually get frustrated and walk away from your podcast.
SEO the Smart Way
You don’t want to ignore these SEO tactics and be left spending all your money on Facebook ads to try to find your audience.
If you follow these SEO tactics from your first episode to your next episode, then you are building an SEO traffic powerhouse over time.
My Mother always said, “Anything that is worth doing is worth doing right!”. And SEO is exactly that – worth doing right.
From podcast episode titles, to formatting your content, to keyword saturation, it ALL matters!
Paying attention to all of these things will make your podcast marketing efforts pay off in a big way. In fact, your podcast marketing could be turned into SEO tactics and you’d probably have just as big of an impact on your audience growth.
Social Media Shouldn’t Be Your Crutch
Don’t just promote your podcast on social media. Sure, you’ll need to be on social media for your podcast launch to try and build buzz and build a following.
Then after your podcast launch, you can let your social media followers know that you release episodes each week.
Unburden Your Podcast Marketing Efforts
Wouldn’t it be a relief if you didn’t feel like you had to be on ALL the social media channels ALL the time?
After all, social media can be as exhausting as it is toxic.
Podcast marketing isn’t just about social media though. In fact, there are so many better ways to promote your podcast. I’ve literally seen podcast producers who only know to tell clients to promote on social media.
If social media is the main way you promote your podcast, then it is no wonder you are exhausted, overwhelmed, tired and cranky.
Use SEO to your advantage and unburden yourself fo the obligation to be all over social media. Social media is a noisy place to be and your audience will get more if they can find you when they are searching for you!Again, If you want the special benefits of signing up through my affiliate link, just go to TeamPodcast.com/surfer.
Want to learn more? Join our private Facebook group here!
You can also find Christy and her team at www.teampodcast.com!
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