Gather ‘round, it’s time for another installment of our ongoing “Questions From The Client” series. This week’s question comes from one of our newest clients: “How can I promote my podcast using advocacy marketing?”
Listen up all you would-be radio DJs, shock-jocks, and show hosts: today’s blog post is all about how to use the power of advocacy marketing to get your podcast in front of an ever-widening audience. Whether it’s a new show from the mind of a rising star or a marketing info-cast backed by a big brand, podcasts are becoming a more common piece of our client’s content mix.
As more people start jumping behind the mic, we’re seeing a correlating increase in competition for listenership (10-20% increases each year). It can sometimes seem like an uphill battle to get your podcast in front of the people that you just “know are going to like, totally dig it, man.”
When our clients ask us for promotional ideas for their podcasts, the first place we send them is to an advocacy marketing program. The reason? A single advocacy marketing program can hit a whole host of marketing objectives including:
- Increasing listenership
- Sharing teasers and behind-the-scenes posts
- Expanding your understanding of “who” is listening to you
- Earning those 5-star iTunes reviews
Intrigued yet? Keep reading then.
If we thought 2018 was a big year for podcast listening, 2022 has BLOWN IT OUT! Stats say that 32% of Americans are now listening to podcasts at least monthly. That’s around 10 MILLION total podcast listeners every month. To help maximize your podcast listenership, we’ve updated this post with even more tips for earning new podcast subscribers.
Podcast People Are Social People
One of the main reasons why advocacy marketing makes sense for podcasts is the simple fact that podcast listeners are more active on social media than non-podcast listeners. In fact, 64% of monthly podcast listeners check social media at least several times a day. Only 52% of average Americans can say that. On top of that, 48% of monthly podcast consumers follow companies or brands on social media and podcast listeners show a greater willingness to engage with companies on social sites.
While not a social stat per se, 16% of podcast listeners have an annual household income of $150K or more; this means that your audience can not only help get your podcast (and advocacy program) in front of more people, but chances are that the new audience you’ll reach is likely to be similarly affluent.
How to Promote Your Podcast With Advocacy Marketing: The Basics
Launch & Grow Your Advocacy Marketing Program
If you want to start using an advocacy marketing program, you first need to HAVE a program (shameless plug for SocialToaster).
Once the basics of the program are in place, most brands are left wondering how they are going to get the word out about their advocacy program. Luckily, the podcasters of the world have an amplifying platform ready to go – your podcast!
To grow your advocacy audience, stat by plugging your advocacy program several times during each episode. Give the advocacy marketing program a branded name, and easy to remember URL, and start treating your advocates like the VIP fan base they are. Talk about the program, and (most importantly) talk about what is in it for the listener when they become part of your special community of VIP listeners.
Push New Episodes Through Your Program
Whether you use Spotify or kick it O.G. with iTunes, you can use your ever-growing advocacy audience to help promote your newest episodes. When sharing your new episodes, be sure to keep these best practices in mind. Each episode’s post should provide the reader with:
- A basic understanding of the general subject matter or theme
- The highlights of the specific episode being shared
- An easy-to-follow URL that takes a user directly to your show’s page
Remember, in an advocacy marketing campaign, your posts are being shared with your advocate’s social networks. This means that there’s a good chance that this may be the first time someone’s heard of your podcast. Write the post for the newcomer, not the VIP advocate.
Pro Tip: When choosing the platform you’ll use to manage your advocacy marketing program, be sure to choose one that has built-in Spotify integration (like SocialToaster). This will make it easier for your advocates and their friends to listen to your podcast once they click on your link.
Offer Podcast-Related Incentives
Specialty content. VIP extras. Branded swag.
When it comes to incentivizing your advocates, the best practice is to provide your loving fans with what they want: more of you! There’s a strong correlation between your biggest fans and your biggest advocates.
As an extra bonus, if you have a paid subscription offering, consider awarding a free month of this premium tier to advocates that go above and beyond in sharing your content. The more you get them hooked on your great show, the louder they’ll be advocating your show to their friends.
Advanced Advocacy Marketing Promotion Techniques
Use Your Advocates To Tell Your Whole Story
Sure, your polished hour-plus-long episodes are the heart of your podcast, but they aren’t the full story. Always remember, an audience is invested in the show; a fan is invested in you, the person behind the podcast. They want to know what happens to you when the mics get turned off. Give the people what they want. Use your advocates to share behind the scenes photos, teasers of upcoming episodes, and glimpses into the host’s life outside of the show.
People start to listen to new podcasts for a variety of reasons. Often people are intrigued not only by the subject matter of an individual episode but also by the relatability of the host(s). The more content you share, the more insight you give into your personality, the greater the chance to grab that new listener.
Create & Post Teaser Content via Soundcloud
It can be a hard sell to get someone to commit to a full hour of a new podcast. Make your podcast more approachable by using your advocates to share smaller digestible bites in between episodes. Showcase your best work and pique people’s interest early to grab them in for the long haul.
Twitter makes this easy through their integration with Soundcloud. Simply create a 15-second clip. Upload the clip to Soundcloud. Slap on an image. Then use your advocates to share your soundbites on Twitter. Your audience will be able to play your sound bite directly from your shared Tweet.
You can use these soundbites to promote your best work, or to help build anticipation for an upcoming show. Release new show previews through your audience 24- 48 hours before your next full-length episode to encourage people to subscribe in preparation for the episode.
Give the People What They Want
While sharing your content is mission #1 for your advocacy marketing program, your advocates can also give you valuable insights into WHO your most rabid fans are. The better you get to know your audience, the more control you have over potential content to create.
Pro Tip: SocialToaster makes this easy with our built-in survey functionality. You can use your advocacy platform to create and send regular surveys to your advocates. You can even reward them for completing the surveys!
Encourage Reviews on iTunes
On top of introducing your show to their social friends and family, you can also ask your advocates to help increase the visibility of your podcast on iTunes and other aggregators by leaving reviews. Ratings and reviews provide social proof – the more ratings and reviews your podcast receives, the better the perceived quality of the show. Reviews and ratings help eliminate the fear that every new listener shares: “Is this episode going to be a waste of my time? “
Send regular posts to your advocates asking them to rate and review your podcast. Consider incorporating an incentive reward into your review push. And be sure to show your appreciation to advocates that take the time to leave you a review and help support your podcast.
Leverage Audiograms to Take Advantage of New Social Media Placements
Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a shift away from traditional media formats (looking at you 1080×1080). With the rise of TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels, vertical videos are all the rage. Not only are social consumers seeking out these new placements, but the social platforms themselves are rewarding brands that embrace these new media styles with increased impressions and improved exposure.
Take advantage of this perfect storm!
Audiograms are a powerful medium for teasing your podcast episodes. Through a mix of image/video and a soundwave file, you can capture the attention of new audience members while driving up your subscriber account.
Pro-tip – Add captions to your audiogram to improve engagement and ensure that your podcast brilliance shines through (even if the volume is off).
Cross-Promote Relevant Podcast
No one relates to a selfish artist, and podcast lovers are no different! Leverage your advocacy audience as a bargaining chip to entice podcasts that share a similar target audience to set up a cross-promotion.
Quid-pro-share, and grab new listeners while also building allies in your industry.
Convert Your Podcast to Video – Then Promote!
Even though it’s 2022, it doesn’t mean that everyone is listening to podcasts. Some people prefer to receive their audio entertainment via video platforms like YouTube.
It’s crazy, we know.
Introduce your podcast to an all-new audience by taking your most popular episodes and repurposing them as YouTube videos. Use the below best practices to make your new content more discoverable:
- Optimize your video title and ensure it conveys the subject of the episode.
- Include a call-to-action to subscribe to your podcast.
- Tag your video with an end-card that advertises other video versions of your podcasts.
- Leverage your advocates to share the video and drive viewership.
What is a podcast without listeners? You spend a lot of time developing your show; give it the visibility it deserves by using an advocacy marketing program to encourage your fans to share your latest episodes. Give a behind-the-scenes look at the work that goes into a podcast, and earn those reviews!
Ready to get started with your podcasting advocacy marketing program? Schedule a free demo with SocialToaster today.