Guests who came along to Promo Club, an unofficial fringe event for The Podcast Show 2023, were treated to free advice from experts in the field of podcast marketing.
Dan Page, CEO and founder of Podspike, and Becky Lamb-Pritchard, head of marketing for Distorted, hosted the event at the Regent pub in Islington, North London, aimed at creating a free space for independent creators and brands to meet each other and access specialist podcast marketing expertise. They were joined by Arielle Nissenblatt and Emily Crosby, each taking a moment to give a few, quick tips to the gathered group of attendees at the start of the session.
The guests were then encouraged to mingle, find out about each other – and their shows – and also seek out Dan, Becky, Arielle and Emily for a bit of one-to-one advice – with some pizza and drinks thrown in.
Here, we have compiled the top tips each of the four experts shared with the group:
Emily made the crucial point that successful podcast marketing begins when you first plan your podcast. “Making sure you give time and energy to promoting your show within your production schedule ensures that your show gets seen and heard once it’s out in the world,” she said. This can be as simple as dedicating time to social media promotion on launch day, before you dive into making the next episode, or it can mean that you choose to create a whole season of your show before launch, concentrating completely on marketing once the shows go out.
This approach also means you can create your assets as you go, rather than as an afterthought. Making video as you go, whether that’s behind-the-scenes shots or quick guest intros, is a great way to create engaging promotional content, even if your show is audio first.
Emily also introduced Podpads to the group – superbly useful desktop planners for podcasters. If you want one (tip: you do), they are available here.
Emily provides friendly, practical media solutions for small businesses, including podcasters.
Arielle spoke about the need to be a podcast listener as well as a creator. She suggested starting out by finding podcasts in your general network by using Rephonic, a handy open-source online tool that reveals what other shows your audience also listens to. The next step is to fill out a spreadsheet on all the ways you could collaborate with those shows – such as guesting on them, doing 30-second promo swaps, setting up a guest correspondence once a month, or coming up with your own unique “creative integration”.
“A lot of this is a lesson in being a podcast listener first,” Arielle said, “… to set you on a path to collaborating with other podcasts”.
Arielle is the founder of recommendations newsletter EarBuds Podcast Collective.
Becky started out by suggesting that podcasters should not spend all their time and money on producing their show, but should in fact spend 50% of it on marketing. But that is not just paying other people to do it for you. “Marketing shouldn’t be shrouded in mystery,” she said. “It shouldn’t be a dark art”. Anyone can do their own PR for a podcast, but Becky warned that it does take time and effort. Don’t think you can only contact podcast-specific publications, she said, there will be more general publications in your niche subject area that would be interested in what you have to say – be it running, women’s health or deep-sea diving! She suggests using #journorequests on Twitter and delving deep into publications’ websites to find email addresses – “they will be there somewhere”. She also stressed the importance of finding a “hook” for your pitch – an interesting angle or guest or event – rather than simply saying you have a new show or episode. She also recommended providing a “media kit” that includes high-res images and perhaps a preview listen before publication.
One thing to remember, Becky said: “Always make sure the audience is at the centre of everything you do.”
Becky is the head of marketing at audio content agency Distorted.
Dan’s top tip was for podcasters to think about the “funnel” that draws listeners in to their podcast. “The saying is, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ but, unfortunately, people do judge a podcast by its cover,” he said.
The funnel starts with cover art that grabs attention. If that works, is it strong enough to make the potential listener stop? If they stop, does it engage them enough for them to read the show description? Then, is the description effective enough to make them press play? The podcast itself might be amazing content, but without each of those steps being successful, no-one will get to hear it. “Don’t be afraid to be really bold with what you name your show or with your artwork,” Dan said. “Don’t be afraid to express what makes you, you. The packaging does matter.”
Dan is founder and CEO of Podspike
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