Promoting your podcast to new listeners
Once your podcast is up and running, it's often unclear how to get more folks listening to your podcast. There's a lot of advice out there, and if often comes with mixed success. Here's what we've seen working (and not working!); hopefully you can draw some inspiration and ideas from it.
Places to promote your podcast
First and foremost, make sure you're getting the low-hanging fruit of podcast promotion:
- Post your podcast and exciting episodes to relevant subreddits. Be sure to observe the rules of each subreddit, and don't spam your content. Choose subreddits that have an audience that are likely to enjoy your show.
- Use our Short Links feature to post your content to social media. Short Links are optimized for social media previews, and are designed to drive folks to subscribe (rather than just check out a single episode).
- Start social media groups for your show, like Facebook groups or other places where your listeners can interact with the show. Post new episodes to these places to keep listeners engaged and reach their networks.
- Consider using services like Headliner to create audiograms for your episodes. These help to give potential listeners a curated snippet of your show to entice them to subscribe. You can also use services like this to encode your episodes as a video, which you can post to services like YouTube for increased reach.
Engaging with other podcasts that are relevant to your own is a great way to build listenership. Appearing on other podcasts and hosting guests from other shows will help cross-pollinate your content.
- There are tons of directories listing folks who would be interested in appearing on your show as a guest to promote their work, and they're often happy to promote the episode(s) to their network. A simple Google search lists over a dozen podcast guest directories.
- Look in relevant communities, like Reddit, LinkedIn, etc. for folks who are interested in appearing on your show, or who are looking for guests.
- For some kinds of podcasts, reaching out to shows of a similar size can be useful. Folks who play games (e.g., D&D and role playing), talk about community news (e.g., video games or pop culture) are often open to collaborating.
Subscriber growth is built around your podcast community: marketing your show is a function of finding people who would otherwise be interested and attracting them to your content. They might be attracted because the content is relevant to them, or because they've heard a bit of your episode and want to hear more.
What NOT to do
- Don't spend money on display advertising. Almost nobody clicks through Google or Facebook ads for podcasts. The return on investment for these kinds of ads is near zero.
- Don't waste your time worrying about SEO. Pinecast podcast websites contain all of the features you need to be successful out-of-the-box, and most third party websites are good enough. Homepages aren't a huge driver of subscribership—the folks visiting them are either already subscribers or likely to become subscribers. You will rarely attract non-subscribers to your homepage and convert them to regular listeners.
- Unless you're attending an event, don't spend money on swag as a way to grow your audience. Swag is great for keeping existing listeners engaged, but it's not a useful tool for building listenership.
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