No one would listen to or even discover your podcast if you will not do the work to increase its visibility. However, podcast publicity is way different than promoting a book or starting a new business venture. Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard talk about the niche publicity approaches to make your podcast known to the public. They discuss the importance of launch events, the impact of podcast swapping, and the power of alumni magazines. Tracy also presents an interesting listening app that allows users to curate podcast lists, which helps users connect with other podcasters and their target audience. The two also tease Podetize’s upcoming scoring system that will require prototype clients to join in beta testing.
Watch the episode here
Listen to the podcast here
Boost Your Podcast’s Visibility: Unveiling the Secrets of Podcast Publicity
In this episode, we’re going to talk about a fantastic topic boosting your podcast visibility. Unveiling the secrets of podcast publicity is important, but I also feel like most podcasters don’t know a lot about how to do that. Would you agree?
I don’t think they understand where the power lies. This is much more of a grassroots PR world. I want you to think about this. We’re talking about a lot of grassroots things that you can do yourself, hiring a big publicity firm. Having been a member of the media for a long time and writing articles and other things, the last thing I want to hear from is a new podcaster launching. I don’t care about the press releases, and most of the media doesn’t. Why? It’s because so many podcasters quit.
It’s risky for them to write an article about someone who won’t even make it past ten episodes. Unless it happens to be coming from a famous person or on a famous network. Those are how that works. If there’s a lot of money behind it, then they’ll write about it. You, as a lowly independent podcaster, have trouble competing in that world against the amount of dollars that they can spend and the publicity you already have to have or the celebrity you already have to have in order to make that PR work for you.
I’m not a big fan of, and I have very rarely seen it work in a general publicity way. It tends to work best in grassroots, or if you’re going to pay a PR agent, and I’m all for it. There’s some great publicity out there. Make it niche. Niche it down and make it tight. That’s what we’re going to talk about. Understanding the nuances of promoting a podcast is not the same as promoting a book. It’s not the same as promoting a new business venture. It’s different. In order to get the right publicity and get more listeners from it, it requires some different strategies.
Tracy, let’s talk about the strategies because I’m sure everybody’s very interested to hear about that. I am interested to hear what you have to say because you have a lot of experience with us.
We’ve got to think about it. If we’re thinking about niche publicity, one of the easiest places to get publicity is localized. People want to write a great story about a cool podcaster in their neighborhood. They want to write about an event that’s happening. Having a launch event like we went to before is a great way to get publicity because they’re not writing about the podcast, which they’re worried about.
They’re writing about the fact that you’re having an event, and that event is occurring. The kinds of people that it’s drawing are similar to the audience you want to draw. There’s a matching that goes on with that. That’s a great way to do it. Have a launch event because it gives you something to talk about locally. Local media is desperate for great content, great stories, and great people to write about and you make new connections. The next time you have an amazing guest or some topic that goes viral, you have someone you can pick up the phone or send an email to and contact and let them know what happened. Now, they’ll write it because it’s a follow-up to a story they wrote before. They love that.
A podcast launch event is still not as common as other events. When people see a podcast launch event, that gets their attention. If you’re having an in-person podcast launch event, like you said, Tracy, that needs to be local. People probably aren’t going to fly across the country, for one. In fact, in this podcast launch event, there are a couple of different hosts of the show. One of them is in Chicago and did not travel to Los Angeles for the event. One of the hosts of the shows didn’t even do that. It’s not that practical, but you can have a local event that’s all so live streamed or portions of it are live-streamed, which this event did.
We’re going to cover all about launch events or events that you might want to run from your podcast in future coaching call topics. We’re going to cover that in more detail because there’s a lot to go on to it. I want to remind you that you don’t just have to do this at launch. What if you reached 100 episodes and had a gigantic celebration and invited the local guests that you’ve had on your show before? Now you’re drawing an audience, and there’s more for the media to write about. There’s more to publicize in that model as well.
You would also do it in conjunction with having a party and an event that’s already happening. Now you’ve got a built-in audience already there and a reason to celebrate and to bring that in. It’s good for the event and you. There are all kinds of ways you can do that and get more localized media, which is always good.
It’s still general media, but it’s great media to have that gives you publicity and backup so that you can say, “I’ve got these logos, I was featured in.” In our case, it might be the Orange County Register and the LA Times. That’s a big deal. You could then use that to parlay itself into other media mentions in other types of media that are more important to you. That’s where we niche down. There is one of the most successful podcasters I’ve ever met who did 250,000 downloads and episodes.
An episode, Tracy?
He did The Not Old-Better Show. He had 250,000 downloads per episode and he got it by being featured in a list. It was not even a long article about him. It was a list of top podcasts to check out if you’re over the age of 50. In the AARP magazine, the printed magazine, it was 250,000 downloads an episode because The Not Old-Better Show was a perfect match for that audience.
He made a list. He probably had 50 episodes easily before he got featured. It’s not something that happened at the beginning of a show. That boosted his show so tremendously that he was able to take on all kinds of sponsors he was able to take on. I don’t believe he runs the show anymore. I think he stopped, unfortunately.
That was a fantastic show. If someone could check it out, let me know. The last time I checked, he wasn’t running the show, but that is a great way. When you’re in a niche publication, first off, they want things that are extremely relevant. When we did our 3D Print show, it was part of the reason we were able to get 100,000 downloads a month.
We were able to do that because we were able to be a part of the 3D Print media. We were being featured and commented on. We were sharing stories back and forth and media was passing us things. The print publications were as eager to have podcasting be a part of that. Going back and forth between the media types is extremely important in your niche industry. Remember that all your audiences are the same.
Those publications have as much trouble gathering readers as you have in gathering listeners. Matching the two things up is valuable because they know if they mention you and then you mention them, we’re doing cross-promotion. It’s no different than a podcast swap, which is another great way to get publicity.
A podcast swap is where you go on someone else’s show and they come on your show. You’re swapping your guesting opportunities, but when there’s a matched audience, it works a lot better. Media has the same model. Some people might not be readers who are listeners to my show, but there is an overlap between people who consume different types of media.
We want to have that happen, and one of the best ways to do that is by niching down, picking your publications, featuring the editors of those publications, and swapping stories with the other columnists. Those are other ways to boost. Invite them on as guests on your show, and the next thing you know, you are featured in an article in their magazine.
Tracy, here is one of the things I like about the example of The Not Old-Better Show, which is still active. The last episode was published not so long ago.
The last time I talked to him, he was taking a break.
It is out there, but what’s wonderful about that is, number one, its audience is Baby Boomers. People always wonder, “Are older generations listening to podcasts?” The answer is yes. This show has proven that for a few years. You’re talking about AARP. One of the oldest magazines that is still in print, and it’s in print because older people tend to like print media. Even I like reading the print edition of Wired Magazine rather than the online version. You’re getting people off of traditional media and engaged in podcast media. Those couple of points of emphasis are important.
Don’t underestimate alumni magazines and newsletters. These are also other things. Newsletter subscriptions don’t stay subscribed. You unsubscribe from newsletters when it’s not valuable to you. This is an area where you’re going to get more visibility than you would in a general email list. Keep in mind that alumni magazines, local papers, newsletters, and these niche publications are some of the best ways for you to bring exposure.
I already mentioned podcast guesting swapping. That, hands down, is the number one thing I hear from every podcast that I’ve ever interviewed or ever discussed it with. Some of the best listener boost they’ve received and the growth of their show has happened from a guest swap. We’ve gotten clients from guest swaps many times.Going back and forth between media types is extremely important in the podcast industry and remembering that all your audiences are the same. Click To Tweet
We know that it has a higher return on investment because there’s a matched audience, very typically. I like to be discriminate about it. I like to make sure that the show that I want to be on has an audience, that it’s a good show and that I want to be up next to that host, and that we see eye to eye or, if we have differences, we can have a great robust discussion about those differences because there may be a lot of his audience that disagrees with him too. They might be drawn to us in exchange for that. That’s not a bad thing. Think about that. I don’t just agree to go on someone’s show without checking it out. You should check it out and make sure there’s a match for you. That goes to something new we’re not going to announce now.
We’re going to tease it? I’m thinking it already.
Promo ads on other podcasts are a great way to do it, and we do hear people put an advertisement on other people’s podcasts. However, there are some nuances to how you do it, how it works, how you choose a show, and all of those things. Because we have our Podetize scoring system and some other things, we are almost completed and ready to launch a system by which we can do this. We’ll be announcing that in an upcoming episode and livestream.
We’ll be announcing how it works, but we’re going to make this super easy for you to participate in this as a Podetize customer, so Podetize clients will all get to beta-test it first. That is what we will be doing. Coming up, promo ads on other podcasts are worth the value. In fact, I interviewed a podcaster on The Binge Factor and he mentioned that he has doubled down and is willing to pay $5,000 a month because the growth in its audience has been so high that he has been able to. He spreads that $5,000 around to a lot of different shows. Let me remind you, he doesn’t pay one show for $5,000.
Don’t get confused by that. He spreads that money around. That’s his budget because he sees such a high return on the numbers, which then translates because his entire show is ad-based. All of his revenue is based on ads. If he spends $5,000, he makes more than that in ad revenue by the boost. That’s how he measures it.
He’s already got the amount of position in place and he’s scaling it by advertising his show elsewhere.
This is something to be watching. When you set a budget that high, you have to be careful about what you’re choosing to promote because the shows that you went on and advertised before could have diminishing returns. Whereas, the first time you place that ad, it might be valuable. The second and third times, the percentage of people coming over will be much lower because you may only be capturing the interest of those who didn’t listen the first time or new people to that show.
It may not be worth the value you pay the second and third time. Keep thinking about that as you’re going forward. Measure it constantly. The other two things I have are a lot more work, but some people have found great value in it. Our friends over at PodPros, Alex Sanfilippo, and the PodPros community have something called PodLottery, which is a review. You have to do work. In other words, you have to review other people’s shows. They have to review yours. You have to agree to it. You have to do it consistently or you get dumped out of the system.
It is work on your end to do it, but if you’ve got more time than you have money, this is a way if you want to add reviews to it. We are still skeptical about whether or not we see shows with tons of reviews that have no listeners and we see shows with no reviews and have tons of listeners. We don’t see a direct correlation between the two. However, the power is to be at Apple has said time and time again that reviews matter, so this might be something worth doing. It’s only worth doing in the very beginning. If you’re going to spend your time doing it, do it in the first eight weeks of your show. After that, a review strategy, you’d have to have a real purpose to it that was driving something else.
I agree. There’s not enough quantifiable return for continuing to push for more reviews with a mature show. People who are finding your show new, look to see, “Do they have a decent amount of reviews? Are they all rated four to four and a half stars or higher?” If so, it checks the box that the show has some credibility and that’s it. It doesn’t figure into the algorithms that are going to get you found in more searches or more listeners because of the number of views. It doesn’t work that way.
The last one I have is discoverability on listening apps sucks. Do you know how to be nicer about it? Everybody knows it sucks. It’s all driven by what Spotify wants and what Apple wants. It is not really what you want, what you’re searching for, or what you’re thinking about. It’s not easy to discover something new. Even the searching doesn’t work well. However, there are some podcast player apps or listening apps that do a fairly good job.
We know that Apple dominates on its own side for all iPhone users. However, the market is up for grabs in the Android market. From our positioning, when we were doing our 3D Print podcast, we had a ton of Android listeners because a lot of our listeners were outside of the US. They were from other countries and there were a lot more Android users in those areas. We had, because of our topic and the area, had a large amount of Android listeners.Keep in mind that alumni magazines, local papers, and newsletters are some of the best ways for you to bring exposure to your podcast. Click To Tweet
That goes to all these sub-listening apps. Where can I create value in them? What’s going on in them? Stitchers is gone. The Android apps die left and right. It happens. If they don’t garner enough media and enough listeners, then it doesn’t happen for them. They die very quickly. One of the ones that’s been around a while that does a fantastic job of discoverability and creating a better listener experience is Goodpods.
I’m thrilled with Goodpods and loved the experience. I loved the team over there. They’re so nice. They give shout-outs to podcasters all the time. When you’re new to their platform, they pay attention to you. Go on and claim your show over there. It’s super easy to do, but here’s something else. You can create a curated list of podcasts. You can do some fabulous things with your profile. You can create a deeper connection for your listeners that come from this platform.
You can add a tip jar, find friends, and add a Q&A in there. This is my profile within it, but all my shows are already claimed, and you can see all the shows I’ve listened to on the app are showing here because this is my profile. I don’t know if everybody can see that, but I can see it. It shows you all my shows. It has my list and everything. Here’s a podcaster Q&A, so you can type in a bit about you and get to know you.
I didn’t do this yet. I wanted to show you what it looks like, so I left it blank for The Binge Factor, but here’s the Binge Factor. You can answer some questions. When did you start the show? What do you hope listeners game from listening? There are some great things here that they utilize in how they present this and set this up for someone who’s trying to discover shows. There are some great things here. The best podcasters for a business Binge Factor are curated by me.
You can curate your own list. You can put your own show in it, but you don’t need to because this is my show. It’s listed at the top. What is my podcast about and how does it relate to the playlist I created? What is my podcast playlist about? I’ve given shoutouts to some of the people who’ve been on my show. If they’ve been on my show, they’re here and they were some of my favorite shows for various reasons, and I wrote why this podcast.
In TherapyBites A.R.T. LAB, they talk about the psychology of everyday life, so I give a little bit about them. You’ll want to binge on it. Not just for topics that interest you because the show is too much fun to miss an episode. Now, I’ve said something that the podcast host is going to want to share. That’s going to help me. From here, you can listen, play, and explore the podcast.
This is a great service to other listeners who are out there exploring the show, and if they like your show, they want your advice. This is a great way for you to give shoutouts to some of your guests and create an authority position for yourself as the curator of a list. This is what I highly recommend doing. It’s a little bit of a time-consuming system because you’ve got to create the list. If someone drops out, you want to edit the list and remove them. You can. It’s no big deal. You can keep this updated regularly as well.
This is one of those great ways for you to make sure that you’re featured because you’re the curator of the list. You’re also doing a service to the guests within your show, which is very helpful for you, and getting them to promote your show, which, as you all know, your guests can be, if they do it right, the biggest draw for new listeners to your show. Those are some of my ideas, tips, and ways to bring and boost publicity for your show, whether it’s new or a seasoned pro or OG podcaster looking at still trying to get it. Keep your growth on the same trajectory, 100 episodes in and 500 episodes in.
That’s great advice, Tracy. I’m very interested to talk with our podcast listeners and our customers about the new opportunities coming for promoting your podcast and getting more exposure to other podcast listeners. That’s a key thing, promoting on social media. We have people that have huge social media followings and they promote their show there. Maybe they may get a little bump of a dozen more listens per episode or 50 if they’re lucky.
It doesn’t set the world on fire because you’re promoting to people who aren’t necessarily podcast listeners or are not looking for it there. It is fishing where the fish are, promoting your podcast with other people who are already listening to podcasts. It probably makes a lot of sense, and that’s why I’m excited to talk about that as we get there. Put that tease out there a little more. Stay tuned to an upcoming episode when we’re going to talk more about that. Anything else, Tracy, before we wrap up?
That’s it for me. I am excited for all of you to get more visibility for your show. Go out there and give us some feedback. Tell us what’s working for you.
We love to hear that. Reach out to us at Podetize.com. You can submit a contact form or reach out to us anywhere on social media at Podetize. Thanks, everybody. We’ll be back next time with another great episode.