Tired of endless Google searches and overblown, impractical advice? Ask the Consultant to get direct answers to your pressing promotional puzzles. Send your query to email@example.com and include the name of your show so, if your question is chosen, we can give it a plug.
This month's consultant: Dan Page
Dan is founder and CEO of Podspike and has made it his mission to give podcasters access to easy, affordable and effective marketing services. He was one of the speakers at this year’s London Podcast Festival Makers Weekend
Bhavneet and Taranjit, hosts of Drive With Us Podcast, ask:
We have a very specific topic that doesn’t really fall into any mainstream niches, so we struggle finding the best ways or places to promote our podcast and get in front of more potential listeners. We would love to hear more about what the best method is to market a podcast like ours.
It may sometimes be tempting to glance enviously across at the podcast next door and think, why didn’t I start a show about football – the potential audience is so huge, especially during the World Cup – why did I choose a show about baked beans, or the decline of the fax machine, or handstands?
But, actually, one of the most commonly cited reasons for the popularity of podcasts is that they offer the opportunity to drill down into specific subjects, rather than, say, radio or television often being orientated towards more populist viewpoints.
And, from a marketing perspective, having a niche show can be really beneficial. For a start, there is likely to be far less competition so if you are able to tap into an audience, you have a better chance of really engaging with that community, who may be crying out for a decent podcast about their passion.
Secondly, it can simplify the process by having a limited number of places to focus your attention. For an indie podcaster doing most or all of the promotion yourself, this can be a real blessing, meaning you don’t have to spread your efforts so thinly,
Yes, some marketing techniques work better for shows with a wide appeal because there are lots of places – such as newsletters, apps and forums – that can be used to reach a generalist audience.
But if your show is about, say, beekeeping, it does not necessarily make promoting it harder for you.
It is easier to think in detail about your target audience: rather than something general like ‘football fans’, you might be able to say that your ideal listeners are retired men over 60 who love bees and long-form listens on BBC Radio 4. Being specific like this gives many more clues about where to find them. Plus, people who like niche things tend to really like them, so their engagement and loyalty is potentially very strong. (And remember, the reason advertisers love podcasts – and like to sponsor them – is because of their clearly defined, heavily engaged audiences).
Because niche topics live in niche places, it can be hard to find them but once you do, it’s like discovering a vein of gold.
So, in our bee example, we might suggest you:
– advertise in BeeCraft Magazine
– join the Beekeeping Basics Facebook group
– cross-promote with other bee-themed podcasts
– offer to record a live session at a beekeeping conference
– run a Facebook ad targeting the millions who have an interest in beekeeping
Yes, millions! A YouGov survey in 2018 reported that 1% of the UK population had an interest in beekeeping, which would translate to more than half a million people. And that’s just in the UK. The huge advantage a podcast has over, say, a magazine is that it can be published and distributed across the whole world in one click.
So, some niches aren’t so niche after all.
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