We’re back from Podcast Movement: Evolutions, and our minds are buzzing with ideas!

For those of you who may not know, Podcast Movement conferences are the premier events for podcasters and industry professionals. Podcast Movement: Evolutions focused on some of the main pain points that podcasters are facing today: discoverability, growth, and monetization.

 

Audioburst VP of Product Strategy, Rachel Batish gives a talk @ Podcast Movement: Evolutions

 

Filled with experts from every aspect of the industry, the conference offered attendees access to an endless supply of content and knowledge, covering all facets of creating and marketing a podcast. 

Many themes seemed to resurface throughout the conference. Talk of short audio was all around, making it clear that short-form is quickly becoming the way to get to people’s hearts and minds.

As such, the Audioburst booth was hardly ever without a crowd. 

The Audioburst team demoed our Creators platform a hundred times a day, and the response was breath-taking: Users were excited about the robust capabilities rolled up into one single application, as well as amazed by the platform’s sleek user interface and ease of use.

 

Conference attendees check out an Audioburst demo w/Product Manager Roni Kandel

 

Every podcaster who visited our booth discussed the challenges of podcast marketing and the difficulty in spreading the word. The relief on their faces when they saw how Creators could help simplify the process was pure delight.

The best part of the entire experience, by far, was having the chance to hear the podcasters’ ideas and feedback first hand. The next few months of the Creators roadmap is now full of new capabilities, all responding to the unique challenges we heard from PM attendees – we can’t wait to dive in!

 

Attendees talk with Audioburst CTO & Co-founder Gal Klein

 

Now that the dust has settled and we’re able to take a beat to reflect on the Podcast Movement experience, we can’t help but feel excited about the future of Audioburst Creators.

Creating audio “bursts,” video as a means of opening additional distribution channels, a streamlined sharing process, and our easy to use editor all proved to be extremely valuable for the podcasters in attendance. The features were especially appreciated by those who found themselves short on time but are still in need of a way to boost their podcast’s signal effectively.

When you add in Audioburst’s unique distribution channels and our user-friendly mobile app as means of further exposure and discoverability, we feel like we’re offering something to the community that is really special.

Now it’s time to get back to work, implementing all of the amazing features inspired by Podcast Movement. But before we sign off, we just wanted to raise our glasses to all of the wonderful members of the podcasting community we got to connect with. 

 

Team Audioburst toasts to an amazing time at Podcast Movement: Evolutions

 

Until next time!

 

 

You’ve finished recording, editing is complete, and now your podcast is live and ready to take the world by storm!

There’s just one problem. No one knows your show exists. #fail

 

While making a space for yourself in the podcasting world isn’t an easy task, it’s also not impossible. By leveraging your most valuable asset (your podcast!) and the most powerful free marketing channel in today’s world (social media), you can organically grow your audience from the ground up.

Ready to get started? This post will cover:

  • The basics of using social media for podcast promotion
  • A primer on the various algorithms used by the major social platforms
  • Audioburst Creators, the definitive tool for podcast promotion

 

Promoting your podcast on Social Media

Photo by Tracy Le Blanc from Pexels

 

Social media is, by far, the easiest and most cost-effective way to reach potential podcast listeners.

After all, the numbers don’t lie:

  • Facebook has 2.45 billion monthly active users (source)
  • Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users (source)
  • Twitter has 33 million monthly active users (source)
  • YouTube has 2 billion monthly active users (source)

With such a vast pool of users, there’s no doubt that your ideal audience is out there, ready to engage with you and your content.

But how do you promote on social media effectively? The first step is understanding where your audience lives online, and actively growing that audience.

 

Best practices for audience growth and podcast marketing

If you’ve decided to take the plunge and begin promoting on social media, here are a few best practices to keep in mind to help ensure that your campaign is a success:

 

Choose your platform wisely

 

Not all social media platforms are created equal! While you may want to have a presence on all of the main channels (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and  Instagram), it’s best to start slow. You can always expand in the future.

Focus on who your ideal listener may be, as well as the subject matter covered in your show – where do those types of people congregate online? Do they engage with Facebook groups? Are they on Twitter? Are they on Instagram? YouTube?

Use audience data to pick the platform that best matches your listener and spend your initial efforts where you can make the largest impact on your target audience.

Be consistent

 

One of the keys to success with social media, blogging, or podcasting, in general, is consistency.

Followers appreciate a schedule so they know where and when they can find you, so create a posting schedule and stick to it. Practicing consistency will not only be good for growing your podcast audience, but it will also help increase trust for you and your brand.

Actively engage with your audience

 

While it may be tempting to ‘set and forget’ your posts via a social scheduling service, make sure you set some time aside for engaging with your fans. 

The more you respond to DMs and comments, the more your audience will trust you and your brand. Also, make sure to follow your most influential fans and engage with them via comments and DMs. This, in turn, will help you connect with their personal audiences.

Hang out on the platforms where you promote. Like or respond to every comment you receive with genuine, thoughtful responses, and in a timely manner. Publish additional content beyond promotional posts and actively socialize with your followers. Introduce yourself, make friends, and dedicate time towards building your community.

Cross-promotion

 

Don’t just interact with your own followers. Spend time on the pages and in the comments of other podcaster’s posts. Like and follow other like-minded podcast pages. Recommend podcasts on your social channels that have a similar listener base to your own, maximizing crossover potential. Engaging with the content and audience of other podcasts can open up the opportunity for guest appearances on other shows, social media cross-promotion, and the introduction of your content to an entirely new audience.

Experiment with copy and content

 

When creating social posts, experiment with your copy and content choices. Varying word choice, caption length, and the types of posts that you make will elicit different levels of engagement from your audience. Trying different things out will allow you to learn what performs the best. 

Looking for ideas? In addition to show trailers and new episode announcements, you might consider adding questions or giveaways to your social calendar. These types of posts are ideal for encouraging interaction and increasing engagement. One company that does this well is the podcast hosting platform Anchor. Take a look at the examples below and note the high level of engagement:

 

 

https://twitter.com/anchor/status/1227659528122118144

 

Leverage audio and video in your posts

 

With 45% of the total world population using social networks, there is a lot of competition for visibility. Posts with images, video, or embedded audio gain attention over those that are just plain text and are more likely to convert to new listeners. 

For instance, “Headliner performed a study where they shared a podcast episode on Facebook 2 different ways. This was with a static image versus an audiogram, and the audiogram generated 5X the results and traffic.” (source

Talk about impressive results!

Sharing audio clips is a great way to metaphorically “flag down” social media users and give them a taste of your show. We’ll discuss how you can start creating audiograms of your own later in the post.

Optimizing content for social

 

When preparing your visual assets for social posting, it’s important to keep each platform’s content requirements in mind and optimize accordingly.

This blog post from Buzzsprout does a great job in outlining the different needs of all of the major social media sites. Here is the breakdown of size and layout recommendations they provide for the most common platforms and media types:

Square vs. Landscape 

  • Square audiogram (for Social Feeds)
  • Vertical audiogram (for Stories)
  • Landscape audiogram (for YouTube)
  • Square image (for Quotes)
  • Square thumbnail (for Facebook)
  • Landscape thumbnail (for YouTube)

Recommended Image Sizes

  • Square (Social Feeds): 1080px by 1080px
  • Vertical (Stories): 1080px by 1920px
  • Widescreen (YouTube): 1920px by 1080p

 

Besides these posting and engagement basics, understanding how content is delivered to users is also an important consideration when developing a podcast marketing strategy.

This means understanding the algorithms each site uses to prioritize content in someone’s personal feed.

 

Algorithm Basics

Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

 

Algorithms have a significant effect on which content users see. As you are probably aware, just because you post something, doesn’t mean your audience will see it, or even like it. Let’s take a look at what the algorithms of a few of the most popular social networks take into consideration when deciding what content to display.

Twitter

Originally Twitter (and most other platforms) operated under a chronological method for content delivery. Today, however, Twitter relies on an algorithm to make sense of the large amount of content being shared.

Sprout Social breaks the Twitter algorithm down into these four factors:

  • Timeliness – how recently a Tweet was published
  • Engagement – how many Retweets, clicks, favorites, and impressions a Tweet has received
  • Media Type – the types of media included in a tweet (images, videos, GIFs, etc.)
  • Activity – how active the user is (how often the user visits the site, how many followers they have, etc.)

Then the Twitter feed itself is split into three sections:

  • Tweets ranked by the algorithm above
  • “In Case You Missed It” – important tweets from frequently engaged accounts
  • Reverse chronological-order tweets – after you view all of the tweets pushed to the top by the algorithm in the sections above, remaining tweets are shown in reverse chronological order.

 

Facebook

In 2018, Facebook announced that going forward the platform would focus on “prioritiz(ing) posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.”

What does that mean exactly?

According to this post from Hootsuite, Facebook bases its algorithm on ranking signals (“data points about a user’s past behavior, and the behavior of everyone else on the platform, too.”) that fall into 3 main categories:

  • Who a user typically interacts with
  • Media Type (videos, photos, gifs, etc.)
  • Post Popularity (engagement)

In addition, the company rolled out the “Why am I seeing this post?” feature in 2019 to let users fine-tune what they’re seeing in their newsfeed more acutely.

 

Instagram

 

Social media scheduling platform, Later, broke down the Instagram algorithm in this blog, explaining that IG bases what you are shown in your feed on six core factors:

  • Interest – how you’ve engaged with similar content in the past
  • Relationship – how close you are with the poster (i.e. frequency of engagement with their content, if you DM with each other, whether you know the poster in person, etc.)
  • Timeliness – how recent the post is 
  • Frequency – how often you engage with the app (i.e. once per hour, day, week, etc.) 
  • Following – the number of users you are following 
  • Usage – the amount of time spent in-app

The blog post also covered Instagram’s responses to some of the common IG algorithm myths. Instagram notes that:

  • Photos and Videos are treated equally
  • Fake / Inauthentic activity can be detected and is ranked accordingly
  • All comments count as engagement, no matter the length
  • All Account Types (Personal/Business/Creator) are treated the same 
  • Engagement in the first 30 Minutes doesn’t determine ranking

YouTube

E-commerce platform, Shopify, analyzed a research paper published by Google engineers to give a glimpse into the YouTube recommendation algorithm. 

According to Shopify, the Youtube formula focuses on: 

  • Click-through rate – the likelihood of someone clicking on your video after seeing it
  • Watch time – the combined amount of time that viewers spend watching your videos)
  • How many videos the user has watched from your channel
  • How recently the user watched a video about this topic
  • What the user has searched for in the past
  • The user’s previously watched videos
  • The user’s demographic information and location

 

Now, after taking a look at each algorithm, what is the key takeaway?

The main factor is clearly engagement. When users interact with one of your posts, it increases the chance that your content will be recommended to them again in the future.

When planning social content, revisit the ‘Best Practices’ section above. Consistency, interacting with your followers, experimenting with copy and content, and leveraging rich media types such as video and audio are all great ways to boost engagement and improve the likelihood that potential listeners will get to see your posts.

 

Putting it all together

 

So, now that you have the best practices for social media posting under your belt, and you understand how the algorithms affect who is exposed to your content, it’s time to start sharing.

If you’re looking for a solution to make the process easy, consider Audioburst Creators.

 

 

Audioburst Creators makes creating and sharing clips from your podcast on social media simple and fast. Enjoy features like: 

AI-Clip Creation (Bursts) 

Burst are concise, short-form audio clips that capture the best moments from a podcast or radio broadcast. 

Bursts are automatically created by Audioburst’s AI-powered system, utilizing metadata such as keywords, sentiment, and speaker changes to segment your show into searchable, shareable audio clips, ideal for usage on social media.

Social Sharing Tools

 

Social sharing screen / Audioburst Creators

Once your show is segmented into bursts, start putting them to work using Creators’ social sharing tools.

Seamlessly share the best moments of your podcast to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube directly from your Show Highlights page, or grab an embed code to add audio “bursts” to any webpage.

Video Burst (audiogram) creation

 

As mentioned earlier, when promoting podcasts on social, audiograms outperform static images 5 to 1. That’s why Audioburst has streamlined the process of creating and sharing video clips of your content, reducing it to 3 simple steps:

 

 

Show Highlights Page / Audioburst Creators

 

  1. Locate the audio burst you want to create a video for on your Show Highlights page. Click either the video camera icon or choose ‘Create video’ in the drop-down menu to be transported to our video editor.

 

Video burst editor / Audioburst Creators

2. Choose the video size you want to create, upload a background image, customize the video’s title, and give photo attribution.

 

Video burst editor / Audioburst Creators

Once everything is perfect, hit save to create your burst.

 

Video burst editor / Audioburst Creators

3. Download your video bursts for use on visual platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok.

Automatic transcripts

 

Automatic transcripts / Audioburst Creators

 

Our AI-powered audio system “listens” for your content, allowing for the automatic creation of a fully editable episode transcript moments after you hit publish.

Transcripts can be used as the basis for social media content:

  • Use episode content from transcripts to create engaging social copy
  • Pull quotes from guests to use as audiogram visuals and other imagery for social promotion
  • Edit your transcripts to create a complementary blog post for your episode, rich in audio and video from your podcast

The options are endless!

 

All of these features are great, but the best part of Audioburst Creators? Unlike many other podcast promotion services, it’s 100% free!

The Bottom Line

 

Your audience is out there! With consistency, engagement, and strategic use of your content, you can take your podcast’s social media marketing to the next level.

Ready to take Creators for a test-drive? Click here to get started!

 

 

Tips for distributing and promoting your first podcast

 

Welcome back to The Burst’s ‘Podcasting A-Z’ series!

In the first post of the series, I explained best practices for setting up your podcast for success. Next, we’re going to discuss podcast promotion basics that will help you grow your audience and stand out against the crowd. We’ll be touching on:

  • Syndicating your podcast
  • Social media for podcast promotion
  • Creating a podcast website
  • Encouraging listener interaction
  • Obtaining social proof
  • Leveraging your network

Syndication

An important fact about today’s consumer is that they have mad brand loyalty. From toothpaste to potato chips to podcast apps, people like what they like, and it can be challenging to get them to switch things up.

What does this mean in terms of distributing your podcast?

Since it’s difficult to motivate listeners to change their habits, your best bet is to distribute your show widely and have it be everywhere that they are.

Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard via Audioburst Search

There are the obvious places to post your show, such as Apple PodcastsGoogle Play, and Spotify, but there are also many other platforms and podcatchers (apps that play podcasts) to consider. Here are a few to get you started:

Get social

Now that you have published, branded, and submitted your podcast to podcatchers far and wide, it’s time to hit the metaphorical pavement!

Social Media is one of the most effective ways to get the word out about your show. Most people are members of at least one social platform, so it’s a great way to reach current listeners as well as a logical place to recruit new ones.

As the two most well-known social media sites around, you’ll likely want to start with Twitter and Facebook. For Twitter, create accounts for both you (the host) and your show. On Facebook, you can begin with a show page.

Post on your show’s Twitter and FB page each time a new episode is released and on Twitter, have your host’s account retweet it. Your episode release posts should include a link to a platform where your followers can listen to the episode (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.) or if you have one, to the show notes section of your website. Even better than either of those, however, is to embed an audio player directly into your social post. Using an embedded player will allow your listeners to check out your new episode without even leaving the site. Also, consider pinning the post containing your most recent episode to the top of your feed for easy access.

The ladies from the parenting podcast One Bad Mother “are doing a great job” with their social media presence. They’re present and accounted for on both Facebook and Twitter:

One Bad Mother / Facebook
One Bad Mother / Twitter

They post on both platforms when episodes are released…

…and on Facebook, they’ve pinned the most recent show:

One Bad Mother / Facebook

Once you have Twitter and Facebook nailed down, you should think about your podcast’s intended audience before deciding where else you should have a social presence. It might be SnapchatPinterest, or in the case of One Bad Mother, Instagram:

One Bad Mother / Instagram

Instagram is an excellent platform to choose if your show is on a topic that would benefit from visuals (cooking, fashion, travel), if you’re selling merchandise, or if the listener demographic you’re attempting to attract are heavy users of the service (ex. Gen Z tends to prefer Instagram and Snapchat over other platforms).

Aside from showcasing any impressive visuals you may have, you can also post audio clips of your episodes like the OBM crew did here:

Other tips for promoting your show on social media:

  • Respond promptly and consistently

You want your followers to feel important and connected to you on a personal level, so be sure to respond to their tweets, comments, and messages right when they come in to encourage engagement.

  • Tag brands and influencers in your posts

Leverage the networks of people with more significant followings. Even one mention, share, or retweet from a big name can create a buzz and project credibility.

  • Use hashtags

Help people find you by effectively using hashtags. There are best practices for every platform, so to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your hashtags, check out this great post by Sprout Social on the topic.

  • Post in groups

There is a Facebook group for just about everything, which means that there is most certainly one for your show topic. There are even entire groups just for podcasters to promote their most recent episodes. Join relevant groups and become part of those communities. While some won’t let you post links, most will allow you to mention your show when you introduce yourself, and some have weekly threads where you can post your most recent episode in the post’s comments.

Even for groups where self-promotion is off the table, getting your name in front of other podcasters can help gain visibility.

Here are a few podcast-related groups to check out:

Have a website

One of the main challenges podcasters face is discoverability. The issue with discovery is two-pronged. On the one hand, podcasts are more in vogue than they’ve ever been. With thousands of shows in existence and new ones being created each day, competing for listeners’ time is a tough job. On the other hand, for the 7 out of 10 Americans familiar with podcasting, there are still 3 Americans who’ve never heard of it.

The best way to help both groups find your show is not just to be part of audio libraries and podcast directories but to also get your brand to surface on the one place where just about every person is: Google.

Being accessible via text-based search is critical, as it is going to get you listeners who may not know what a podcast is, but are interested in what you do.

Say you host a podcast about learning to play the clarinet. People who have a burning desire to pick up a woodwind instrument may not rush to Apple Podcasts to find out what brand of instrument to buy. They will, however, be on Google searching for ‘what brand of clarinet should I buy?’ When they do, that is when they will find the website for your podcast and the show notes for your episode covering just that.

When these prospective clarinetists land on your site, you want to have everything having to do with your podcast aggregated in one place. This will help them locate you on all of the social and podcast platforms you can be found on and let them learn more about you and your content.

An example of a well-done podcast website is the site for the podcast Serial.

Season 1 / Serial

The most successful season of any podcast ever created would probably be Season 1 of Serial. The season covered the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, a student at a Baltimore high school. While the story and its audio were captivating, there were a lot of details which were hard to keep track of while just listening to the audio.

Serial used their website to add a visual layer to their storytelling, posting copies of letters, pictures, timelines, and a ‘People Map’ online to give their listeners more information.

S1E1: The Alibi / Serial

Season 1: People Map / Serial

The show has taken different approaches to show artwork and the material posted on their site for each season, but in all cases, it gives listeners someplace to go when they want ‘more.’ They also have a nice menu that tells you where you can find them on the web, and how to listen to their show.

Navigation Menu / Serial

Still not sure what to include on your site? Here are some ideas:

Show notes for each of your episodes that include:

  • Podcast audio (preferably via an embedded player)
  • Episode summaries
  • Episode transcripts
  • Guest bios and contact info (if any)
  • Sponsor information (if any)

An ‘About’ page that includes:

  • General information about the show
  • Host bio

A ‘Contact Us’ section that includes:

  • Links to all of your social pages (FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
  • Either an email address or contact form

While building an attractive website and getting a custom domain may sound expensive and complicated, through the use of platforms like WordPressSquarespace, and Wix, you can get a website up and running quickly, for as little as $5 per month.

Encourage listener interaction

Avoid being a passive host, and instead, encourage listener interaction. Invite your listeners to email you, reach out on social, or give you a call. Ask them to let you know what they’d like to hear on your show, or to share their experiences on a topic you’re going to be covering in an upcoming episode.

The Gimlet podcast Reply All not only invites users to interact with them via email and social; they plan entire episodes around listener interaction.

In episode #139, hosts Alex Goldman and PJ Vogt opened up ‘The Reply All Hotline’ to take calls and help listeners solve their problems, “big and small.”

But call in shows aren’t the only listener-based episodes the show does.

Super Tech Support’ is another listener-based recurring segment on the show. In the segment Alex and PJ invite users to write or call in with their tech problems, then they pick an issue and dedicate an entire episode to resolving it:

In a recent airing of the segment, they tackled the issue of why the podcast 99% Invisible seems to break the stereo systems in Mazda vehicles. It’s a really good episode!

One of the things that make podcasting (and audio in general) so well-liked is the connection that the listener feels with the creator.

Welcome that bond and make an effort to bring your listeners into the fold. An engaged listener is likely to become an evangelist for your brand and recommend you to others. Many people get their podcast recommendations from friends, so get on people’s ‘must listen’ lists!

Seek social proof…ask for reviews

Whether we’re talking podcasts, restaurants, or a blender listing on Amazon, nothing spreads the word faster and encourages adoption more than a 5-star review.

There are many ways to encourage the review of your show; the easiest is to just ask.

This is Love is a podcast all about, well, love. Host Phoebe Judge (of Criminal fame) approaches asking for reviews in a very straightforward way. She inserts a call to action (CTA) seamlessly in the show credits by saying “If you like what we’re doing here with these love stories, please leave us a review on Apple podcasts.”

Simple as that. Take a listen for yourself….the CTA is at 0:42:

Listen to This is Love E12 Credits | Audioburst
Aired on This Is Love: This is love is created by Lawrence spore and me Nadya Wilson is our senior producer audio mixed…
search.audioburst.com

Another approach is to reach out to listeners via your social media channels following your episode drop and ask there. The Mad Scientist Podcast went this route and even included an incentive for leaving a review…a sweet sticker:

Along the lines of bribery, you can also try to get reviews by running contests via your social media channels where leaving a review for your show is part of the entry requirements:

No matter your approach, positive reviews are public-facing proof that you produce quality content that is worth listening to, and you can’t go wrong with that.

Leveraging your network

Once you have your content syndicated, a website up and running, and active social media channels, it’s time to start ramping up your promotional efforts. While the idea of networking may sound extremely overwhelming, the best advice is to start small and focus in on your own network.

Begin with letting your friends and family know about your new project. A great way to do that is to post on your personal social media accounts:

Aside from getting those close to you to download and listen, there’s a good chance that they’ll take the initiative and share with their networks. You can even ask them to:

Once everyone in your immediate circle is in the know, you can start to look at other connections in your life. Do you know anyone in the audio or podcast industry? Other podcasters, perhaps?

Earlier, we discussed joining podcast related social media groups as part of your social media strategy. These groups are an easy way to meet other podcasters and find people who are creating similar content. When you find someone whose audience you think has a crossover with yours, drop them a private message, introduce yourself, and ask if they might be open to plugging each other’s shows.

As for what types of cross-promotion you could do, maybe you could recommend each other’s podcasts in an episode, or on social media. Another method used by many pro-podcasters, especially those who are part of podcast networks is to put a sample episode for another show in your feed.

For example, the notable true crime podcast My Favorite Murder dropped an episode of Jensen & Holes: The Murder Squad into their feed back in April. The show was a new addition to Exactly Right Media, the podcast network created by the hosts of My Favorite Murder:

Jensen and Holes: The Murder Squad Episode 1 via the My Favorite Murder feed in Overcast

While it’s true that this is an easier feat to accomplish when part of a network because the network handles the negotiations, there’s no reason it can’t work for you too. You’ll never know until you ask, so reach out and start networking!


Thanks for reading the second post in our ‘Podcasting A-Z’ series. The third and final post in the series will be tackling next step promotion tactics…stay tuned!

Tips for planning, publishing, and branding your first podcast

 

Here at Audioburst, we feel that podcasting is a great way to share your thoughts, personal experiences, and unique point of view with the world and the American public agrees! 70% of the U.S. population is familiar with the medium and 32% have listened within the last month. (Edison Research)

Even more staggering is the news that there are now over 700,000 podcasts in the Apple Podcast directory!

With competition this steep, it can be overwhelming for a new podcaster to figure out how to set up a podcast for success… but never fear! We’ve put together a series of posts to get you from podcast novice to pro in no time.

In this first post, we’re going to talk about:

  • Planning your podcast

Before you begin

The most important place to start when thinking about how to promote your podcast comes before even recording your first second of audio. Taking a moment to sketch out why you are creating a podcast and who your target audience is will help you clarify your goals for the project.

Start by writing down the basics:

When approaching the ‘why’ and ‘what’, you might want to take a look at this post from the NPR Training series.

It advises you to be intentional and ask yourself some “deep and difficult, even existential questions” such as:

  • What is this idea? No, really. What is it?

The answers for the rest of the questions (who, where, and how) are the qualities that make up your ideal listener.

Here is a ‘burst’ from the Duct Tape Marketing podcast discussing how you can define your ideal client….or in this case, your ideal listener:

Listen to Defining your ideal client | Audioburst
Aired on Duct Tape Marketing: marketing strategy started really and on course as you have to think about how you can…
search.audioburst.com

Knowing your target audience will help you focus in on the type of podcast you’re going to make, as well as where you will ultimately choose to promote your show.

If you’re struggling on where to begin, start by looking at podcasts in the genre your show will be part of:

  • What social media channels do they have a presence on?

Examine these questions for several shows and see if there’s any crossover or patterns. You should start to see what kind of person listens to this type of podcast. From there you can sketch out how your perfect listener is similar and more importantly, how they are different.

Providing quality content is a must

Once you know who your audience is, it’s time to sit down and actually start creating content.

Many people will tell you how easy it is to create a podcast, and while they’re not wrong in the sense that the medium is highly accessible and requires minimal equipment, this accessibility can be a double-edged sword.

The market is highly saturated and if you’re not producing quality programming, all of the promotion in the world won’t convince listeners to stick with your show.

So, what makes quality content?

Excellent sound

Making a show sound good is equal parts recording and editing.

Everything from choosing the right equipment and recording environment to how you handle discourse markers (filler words like um, uh, etc) can have an effect on your finished product.

For tips on how to master the sound of your show, take a look at this post from Buzzsprout’s blog. It gives the following pointers for creating a great sounding podcast:

Source: How to Record, Edit, and Mix a Great Sounding Podcast via the Buzzsprout Blog

Planning

While it may be tempting to just hop in front of the mic and start talking, a little planning can go a long way.

Wondering what a podcast script might look like?

The Parents on Demand (POD) Network produced a video which has some great tips on script writing and delivery that will help step up your content game:

Why Your Podcast Needs a Script or Outline via YouTube

In the video, Sunny Gault walks you through one of her own scripts step by step. When it comes to advice on how to write scripts of your own, she suggests that you:

  • Think about your show in sections and block them out, including how long each section might run

Gault also advises that half of the battle of recording a semi-scripted podcast episode is the delivery.

Her recommendations for producing natural-sounding audio are:

  • Pretend you’re talking to one person

Pro tip: The linked script above is a google doc which Gault has made available for anyone to use. She suggests saving it to your own drive so that you can use it as a template for your show’s script. Check it out!

Naming your podcast

If you haven’t already picked a name, it’s time.

Podcast hosting platform Messy.fm suggests making your show name both memorable and search-friendly by thinking of the two items separately:

The Title’s job is to be memorable — something catchy, fun, a little inside-jokey, that listeners will easily remember.

      

      

The Sub-title’s job is to be search-friendly — have descriptive keywords that give more information about what exactly the show is about that are also likely terms a potential listener would type into the podcast directory when they are searching for a show like yours.

Once you’ve found a name you like, be sure to run it through a username check tool –there is nothing more disappointing than choosing a name and then finding out that every username even remotely related is already taken!

Bonus: Even if your name isn’t taken on the username check tool, just do a quick Google search to make sure your chosen name isn’t being used somewhere online. This will come in handy when you begin to think about SEO, social media marketing, and creating a website.

Select a reliable host

You have the audio, now where to put it?

As you might suspect from the name, a podcast hosting platform is the service that ‘hosts’ the audio files for your show.

Aside from providing an easy way for you to store your episodes in the cloud, a host is often who will supply you with your RSS (‘rich site summary’ or ‘really simple syndication’) feed, which allows you to easily distribute your content to podcast apps, directories, and audio search engines like Audioburst 😉

(Note: You can also create your own RSS feed, but it can be a bit more complicated. To find out more about RSS feeds and how to create your own, listen to this podcast episode of ‘The Audacity to Podcast’)

These days there are many hosting services out there and choosing one will come down to your specific needs.

The factors you will want to consider when researching are:

  • Storage: How many episodes can you store?

To get you started on your search for the perfect host, here are some widely used platforms to consider: BlubrryLibsynBuzzsproutPodBeanSpreakerAnchorMessy

Creating content for the ‘Netflix’ generation

We’re living in a world where dropping an entire season of a TV show all in one day is the norm, and while podcast listeners are used to having to wait a week to hear the next installment, should you consider queuing up two or three episodes for your launch date?

There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there on whether or not this is a good idea, however here are a couple of things to consider when making your decision:

Ease of production

How long does it take for you to research, record, and produce an episode of your podcast? Will stockpiling episodes push back your launch?

Is your content evergreen?

Podcasts tied to current events may not work as well when recorded too far in advance.

Launching with multiple episodes can give your new listeners the chance to get to know your work, create more opportunities for engagement, and help build anticipation for your next release, however, if your episodes take a long time to produce or your content is reliant on timeliness, then it might do more harm than good.

When it comes to determining success, there are plenty of shows on each side of the argument.

In the Dark, an investigative journalism podcast whose first season focused on the 1989 Jacob Wetterling kidnapping case took the approach of having two episodes queued up for their 2016 launch day:

Episode list for In the Dark via Overcast

In contrast, Gimlet Media’s Homecoming podcast, a scripted fiction program that would later be picked up for TV production on Prime Video, didn’t launch with any additional episodes:

Episode list for Homecoming via Overcast

Both podcasts have done well despite their different choices on episode count at launch. One might speculate on reasons for each approach, such as Homecoming’s star-studded cast (Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, and David Schwimmer) not requiring as much build up as the 27-year old true crime case featured in season one of In the Dark.

However, with such strong, quality content, it’s likely that both productions would have been successful regardless of how many episodes they dropped on launch day.

Probably the best advice one can follow when it comes to making this decision is from Colin Gray on an episode of The Podcast Host:

“When it comes down to it, what we’re saying is don’t procrastinate. If creating three is going to make you hold back for ages on launching then don’t bother. Just put one out and see what happens…Whatever helps you get your show out quicker is better.”

 

Think about branding

As audio people, we’re definitely all about the content, however, in the land of marketing, packaging can be just as important.

Yes, we’re talking about cover art.

We know, we know. You’re a podcaster, not Andy Warhol. Don’t worry. You don’t have to do it yourself, nor do you need tons of money to get something designed.

The first thing to do when considering artwork is to think about the personality or ‘voice’ of your podcast. Is your show more:

  • Funny or Serious?

The reason you examine your show’s voice is to ensure that whatever art you create is in-line with who you are.

Here’s an example:

Cover art for the Still Buffering podcast

Still Buffering is a podcast hosted by three sisters. Sydnee and Teylor were teenagers in the 1990s, whereas their younger sister Rileigh recently finished her freshman year of college. Each week the three ‘Smirl Girls’ compare and contrast their teenage experiences.

The show is personal, funny, and relatable. To relay this feeling, the show uses artwork that shows each sister’s individual personality. The handwritten tagline almost gives off the feeling of a diary, or school notebook, drawing back to the subject of their show.

For other examples, you might look to podcasts that have the same feel as your show.

Podcast ‘Comedy Classics’ in the iTunes store

What characteristics does their artwork focus on? A clean image of the host? The show’s title? Once you’ve eyed the competition, jot down a few ideas about what you’d like your cover art to look like. This can either be a few bullets on the copy, color scheme, and types of graphics you like, or you can sketch it out. Whatever you’re comfortable with.

Then you’re ready for design.

If you’re artistically inclined, you can take a stab at it yourself, or alternatively, you can look into getting artwork designed by a freelancer through a service like Fiverr or Upwork. While prices on the platforms vary, you should be able to find an option for just about any budget.

Search results on fiverr

Want to up the ante? While you’re at it, you may want your designer to whip up artwork for your show’s future social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc).

For info on formatting requirements for various platforms check out Sprout Social’s Always Up-to-Date Guide to Social Media Image Sizes.


We hope these tips have inspired you to take your podcast idea from paper to reality. Stay tuned for the next post in this series where we will discuss the basics of promoting your podcast and amplifying your reach.

 

Podcasting is one of the most popular forms of media available today, and while living in the age of self-production may make it easy to break into the field, staying afloat is not always as simple. There are approximately 540,000 podcasts in existence, but given how many have suffered the dreaded ‘podfade’, it begs a content creator to ask the very basic, yet extremely important question:

“How do I get people to listen to my show?”

 

As a podcast creator, you work hard to create entertaining, valuable content. From researching topics to obtaining guests, to actually handling the technical aspects of production, putting together a podcast takes a lot of time and effort.

Given how much heart and soul goes into every minute of your show, your content deserves to be heard, so here are five tips to help you increase your listener base and get your voice out there:

1. Have a website

I know, I know. Creating a podcast is already a lot of work, so the prospect of having to spend additional time slaving away as a Webmaster may seem rather unappealing. However, having a website for your podcast helps listeners find you. You want people to discover your show not just through podcast directories, but also when they are searching for keywords related to your podcast on major search engines such as Google.

In addition to just getting your name out there, a website is a hub for your brand. Have links to everywhere listeners can find your content, or better yet, embed your content right on your site for ease of access. Recent data from Edison Research shows that of the people polled who were “familiar with the term podcasting, but had never listened”, 48% weren’t sure how to listen and 37% weren’t entirely sure what a podcast even was. At this stage of the game, everyone knows what a website is and embedding your content right on the page is definitely a smart move.

Other great items to have on your website are extras –pictures related to your content, the social media links for your show guests, time stamps for important moments in each episode, and episode transcripts. Transcripts are great additions to your site, as they are helpful for referencing specific moments in your show, they allow for those who are hearing impaired to enjoy your content, and of course, they help improve your show’s search engine optimization (SEO).

Which brings us to….

2. SEO — It’s a thing, even for podcasters

If you’re somewhat internet-savvy, you’ve probably heard of SEO before, however, it may seem like a strange, elusive concept if you have no previous experience in online marketing. The basic idea is that you want to make sure that when people search for terms that are related to your brand, product, website, or in this case, podcast, that your show will be one of the first things that they see in the search engine’s results. This is accomplished, in part, by considering the aforementioned search terms and making sure that you’re using the same terms in your page titles, links, and content.

As a podcaster, this also means that you want to make sure that each of your episodes has a descriptive title and that on your website you’re including episode recap pages where you summarize the content of the episode, including listing your guests. It’s also a good plan of action to go through your episode transcripts, pulling important terms and using them on your site. Being smart about SEO will help improve your site’s search engine ranking and can help gain visibility.

3. Be social. On the internet.

Much like in high school, being a wallflower rarely pays off. One of the best ways to gain a following is to interact with current and prospective listeners, not only through your episodes but up close and personal on social media as well.

Create a Facebook Page and/or Group for your show as well as Twitter handles for both your show and your show’s host. Use these channels to reach out, promote your brand, and share other relevant content that you believe listeners might also be interested in.

In addition, there are many groups on Facebook, as well as hashtags on Twitter (#podernfamily, #podcastmafia, etc) that are related to podcasting. Some of them will allow you to promote your content in them freely or may have weekly threads where content creators swap new episodes. Others may not allow promotion, but often have great discussions about the craft and industry, which in and of themselves can be extremely helpful when you’re just starting out.

The main idea is not to be an island, but instead, become part of the community. Come on in, the water’s fine!

4. Meet people where they are

People are creatures of habit that tend to stick to whatever platforms and applications they are most comfortable with. This means that listeners who always listen to podcasts via one platform will likely be unwilling to go to a different one to find new content.

The best way to combat this issue is to broaden your distribution. This can be done in many different ways, but a simple way to achieve it is to list your show in multiple podcast directories. Each has their own list of benefits and cater to different audiences, making sure that you’re able to attract a wide array of listeners no matter what platform they are most familiar with.

5. Get creative

This last item is fairly broad and is only limited by your imagination. Essentially, the advice is to think outside of the box.

Maybe you’re an artist and you draw a cartoon that goes with every episode on your website. Or you’re a writer who decides to start a blog where you compliment your episodes with interesting original written content.

Sure, podcasts are an audio-only medium, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make videos out of your episodes and upload them to YouTube, making a connection with new listeners via a different platform.

The sky’s the limit…take some time and discover what you have up your sleeve that can set you apart!

Bonus Tip:

Did you know that there is actually a platform for podcast creators that can help you with everything mentioned in this article?

Audioburst Creators takes the heavy lifting out of promoting your podcast by providing you with the tools you need to amplify your reach. With Audioburst Creators you get the following, all for free:

  • Automatic Episode Transcription — get a full transcript for each episode delivered right to your inbox moments after you hit publish.
  • Automatic Episode Segmentation — using natural language processing (NLP) technology, the Audioburst platform listens to, understands, indexes, and segments your content into searchable clips, or ‘bursts’, that are easily shared.
  • Edit, Share, and Embed tools — have the power to create your own bursts, share them across your social media channels, or embed them on your website for greater accessibility.
  • Video Bursts — turn your audio content into video clips designed to reach an entirely new audience.
  • Monetization Opportunities — discover new ways to distribute and monetize your content through promotions, sponsored playlists, and personalized offers.
  • Inclusion in the Audioburst audio library — content showcased in the Audioburst library is broadcast via mobile apps, smart speakers, car infotainment systems, and through the products of our partners, including big names such as Radioline, Samsung, Bose, and Harman.

 

Join Audioburst Creators today and take your podcast to the next level!