Spun Today

Spun Today with Tony Ortiz gets its turn for a promotional health check in The Podcast Clinic. Tony has published more than 200 episodes, but are there some promotional tips he can use to improve his reach, profile and stats?

1. Pod swaps

This month’s Guest Consultant Lauren Passell is a huge fan of this technique. The idea is simple: find a podcast that’s a good fit for your audience then ask them if they want to swap ad-reads, recommendations, feed-drops and more. If everyone gets something from the swap – and both shows are on a similar footing – this can be a really powerful way of growing your audience.

What we liked

Using a little-known tool called Rephonic, any podcaster can see how their show is connected to others via their listeners’ habits. And, boy, is Tony’s show connected!

What we recommend

If he’s not already doing so, Tony should consider reaching out to the podcasts shown on his Rephonic report – especially those that are two steps removed from his – and see if they want to do some form of swap. Chances are the listeners from both shows would appreciate discovering a new show with a similar feel.

2. Cover Art

It’s a consistent theme here at the clinic, but arguably the most important one when it comes to podcast promotion. The best cover art grabs attention, showcases the tone of a show and tells us what it’s about. If you can do all three, you’ll get more clicks and more clicks = more listens.

What we liked

The font is really engaging and helps give the show a warm feel. It also suggests to potential listeners that the show is themed around writing and culture.

What we recommend

In terms of colours, grey isn’t one that typically stands out or invokes excitement. We’d suggest picking a brighter background colour that still reflects the tone of the show – perhaps a warm salmon pink or sky blue? The other thing to consider is that Tony has chosen to put his name on the show cover. This works well with a celebrity host, but otherwise could be a distraction. Consider using this space to make the central imagery bigger or adding a few words that tell potential listeners more about the show. For example, “anchored in writing, unlimited in scope” is a really powerful phrase from the show description and could get more people clicking.

3. Listener Journey

It’s going to sound a little ‘marketing speak’ but thinking about the journey listeners go on – from discovering a podcast to choosing to listen and ultimately subscribing – can be a really rewarding thing to do. For instance, having a podcast website can be a good way to pitch yourself and your show. But, on the other hand, asking listeners to click more than they need (or might want to) in order to listen to something could prove to be a turn-off. At Podspike we call this effect ‘listener friction’ – and it’s generally a good idea to remove it.

What we liked

The Spun Today podcast is clearly part of a wider set of content Tony wants audiences to engage with, so it makes sense for the journey he wants his listener to take involves his website, where they can learn more about his work before deciding whether to subscribe or not.

What we recommend

Having sent people to his website, however, Tony risks sending them away again when they click on the ‘Podcast’ page, as the first thing they see is a huge wall of links to podcast apps and players. Instead, we recommend Tony makes the episode descriptions underneath more prominent and embeds individual episode players (with subscribe buttons), instead of asking audiences to click again in order to listen. This way he keeps the listener journey consistent and minimises any friction they might face.

4. Calls to Action

Podcasters shouldn’t be afraid to ask their listeners to follow, like and share their content – they’re already listening so there’s a reasonable chance they’ll show the podcast some love. But, as we touched upon in a recent tweet, it’s really important to switch your point of view when you make these requests. Rather than ask listeners for something you want, offer them something they want.

What we liked

When Tony asks his listeners to subscribe to his YouTube page, he gives them a great reason to do so: bonus content. He also makes it very clear how they can find the page.

What we recommend

Consider applying this excellent approach to everything in the ‘call to action’ at the start of the episode. For instance, instead of simply asking people to support the podcast, tell them why they should – explain what’s in it for them.

As our featured podcaster, Tony will receive one free month of Pro Membership, giving him access to Podspike’s Powerups – a range of professional services he can use to help promote his show. We recommend Tony considers using the Swap Shop Powerup in order to exploit his excellent listener network.

  • Listen to Spun Today here