Podcast Marketing Best Practices

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Podcast MarketingPodcast listeners in the US have doubled since 2008. According to The State of the News Media, 1 out of 5 adults in the US listen to podcasts. Smartphone subscriptions have reached 2.6 billion globally, and 1 in 4 podcast consumers plug mp3 players or smartphones into their car audio system. 

Ten percent of new cars are connected to the Internet, and that is expected to grow to 75% by 2020. With these trends, there is a lot of opportunity in podcasting. It is a growing medium that is less saturated, yet it offers more opportunity for listener engagement.

It doesn’t matter if you are trying to use your podcast to market a product you sell, earn advertising revenue, or just share fantastic information, marketing will be an important part of your podcast strategy. If you are a celebrity or have a huge blog following, your podcast launch will be easier to get off the ground, but there are still some basics everyone should follow.

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Optimize for iTunes

When iTunes crawls your podcast it will start with the podcast title, subtitle and description. Take advantage of the subtitle field and throw in some key terms, big names, or whatever sets you apart. You should also have a great title, informative description, and cover art that meets iTunes requirements. You can set this information up on your media host or wherever your feed is managed.

Optimize Metadata with ID3 Tags

ID3 tags are what signify the podcast episode title, artwork, chronological order and more. Some of this information will be auto-generated by iTunes, but it is best to tag the information yourself. You can use an ID3 editor to fill out the most important fields. If iTunes changes tags, you can override them using the PowerPress plugin.

Just go to your WordPress admin, then PowerPress, then Basic Settings. Under the “Podcast Entry Box”, you can check fields like keywords, subtitle, summary and author to change them for each episode.

Episode Titles

Spend some time finding a title that will grab people’s interest. Cast a wide net, and find something catchy that will appeal to a wide group of people. You can also maximize exposure by having a separate title for your web page and your podcast feed. PowerPress SEO settings has options for doing this. Having an SEO and user friendly webpage, with links and show notes, also helps maximize exposure.

The First 8 Weeks of a New Podcast

If your podcast is new or about to be launched, you have a shot at getting listed in the iTunes “New and Noteworthy” section. Getting listed in this section can lead to organic podcast traffic, increased downloads, increased subscribers, and extra reviews and ratings. The following are criteria for getting listed in this section.

New and Noteworthy Criteria:

  • Podcast released within the last eight weeks
  • Download numbers
  • Subscriber numbers
  • Reviews and 5-star ratings.

This means you have two months to make an initial impact and get noticed enough to get listed. If you are planning on starting a new podcast, you may want to stockpile a few episodes so that you will have more episodes during your initial launch. Having more episodes can lead to more downloads.

Having a launch strategy that uses social media, email lists, contests, advertisements, cross-promotion, or other techniques can help get the word out and get those initial subscriber numbers. One of the easiest ways to get reviews is to ask for them. Having a review link in your show notes and asking your listeners to leave a review are easy options.

Submit to Other Directories

The biggest directory may be iTunes, but most podcasters submit to Stitcher as well. Other large directory options are TuneIn, Google Play Music, Miro Guide and BluBrry. You can also find countless directory choices online. Apple iTunes and Stitcher are a must, but it doesn’t take much to submit a feed to the smaller ones also.

Promoting Podcasts with Social Media

Social media can be a great way to get exposure to your podcast. Just keep in mind that not every method works for every audience. Social media can also be time consuming, so it is a good idea to identify your target audience and find a unique way to reach them.


  • Tweetables
  • Customized Tweet Button
  • Pre-crafted tweets for important guests to share
  • Engaging with new followers
  • Get Traffic by Following New Users

Having a twitter account tied to your podcast or blog can be great way to share ideas and reach new listeners. Quotes and tweetables from your podcast or show notes are popular right now.

Twitter and relationships go hand-in-hand. If you have an important guest, make it easy for them to share your information. You can create a pre-crafted tweet, so that all they have to do is send it out. You should also have a custom twitter button on all of your products.

Active Twitter users will often times check out the profile of new followers. If the new follower is prominent and has a lot of followers, the user may even check out their podcast or blog. It is actually possible to drive traffic from following and unfollowing Twitter users. There are many software products that can automate this process. Just make sure your tweets and shout outs are genuine.


Facebook can be used to market just about anything. If you don’t already have an established facebook audience, the quickest way to reach people is through ads. Facebook ads can be tricky, and if not done correctly you could overspend. Focus on narrowing down exactly who your target audience is, and then narrow it down some more. You can focus on location, age, occupation, interests or just about any information on their profile. To get the most from facebook ads, you need to test and optimize, but they can be used to jumpstart your audience.

Target Your Audience

The type of social media you use to promote your podcast will depend on your audience. Pinterest is great for cooking or DIY podcasts. If you have recipes, images, or instructions with images you can use Pinterest to promote your show or show notes.

If you are doing a weight loss challenge, Instagram may be a good social vehicle to get the word out about your show. If you are a Reddit expert, you can use Reddit to promote your podcast. If you are a Reddit novice, the learning curve is pretty steep. There is not a one size fits all social media method. Try to find what works best for your show.


Relationships are a huge part of podcasting. When trying to gain exposure, reaching out to other podcasters for cross-promotion opportunities can make all the difference in the world. Interview authors who may mention the interview on their website or social media account.

  • Interview other podcasters, authors, business owners, web developers and content marketers
  • Be Interviewed on other people’s podcasts
  • Cross promote on websites, show notes, social media accounts and mailing lists
  • Make it easy and offer an incentive

When forming business friendships and partnerships, offer something of value, don’t just be about marketing your product. Interview and be interviewed by other podcasters. Find a way that promoting the interview will benefit both of you.

Mailing Lists

Email marketing is still going strong. Building a list is still a great way to reach people. If you can find a creative way to get a podcast guest to send a link of them being interviewed on your show, then you can reach a new group of listeners.

People guard their lists closely, so try to find a mutually beneficial reason for the guest to send the mailing and help provide them with material or incentives to make it as easy as possible.

Landing A Big Guest

Getting a well-known popular guest on your podcast can be a quick way to boost subscriber counts and add legitimacy to your show. Getting busy people to agree to be interviewed on your podcast is usually a combination of persistence, finesse and luck.

Creating the best podcast possible and having a strategy for pitching to the big names doesn’t hurt, but it might take more than that to get noticed. Try to find a way to actually connect with your desired guest. You may be able to form a relationship on social media or a blog. Be patient and creative, it may take some time for the connection to form.

It is often easier to form connections face-to-face. If you attend conferences and networking events, find ways to introduce yourself to potential guests. The more you work on perfecting your pitch and the more people you meet, the greater your chances of success.

Marketing a Podcast with YouTube

Google likes YouTube, and a YouTube video will often outrank another authority, so why not harness the power of YouTube to promote your podcast? Scott from Life-Long Learner uses YouTube to host his podcast on his blog.

Instead of having his onsite audio hosted with SoundCloud or Libsyn, it is hosted on YouTube. Visitors to his site can listen to his podcast from YouTube or iTunes. This often allows him to outrank other authorities in the same space.

You can also use short segments from your podcast to create YouTube videos. You can optimize each video with its own description and keywords and use traffic from your YouTube channel to drive traffic to your podcast.

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Find What Works

These are just a few ways that you can use to creatively market your podcast. Effective marketing depends on the product and the target audience. The only way to know if your marketing is a success is to track what is and isn’t working.

You can use tools like Blubrry media stats, custom URLs in Google Analytics or bit.ly URLs to find out where your traffic is coming from and what marketing techniques are actually working. Once you find a tactic that works, use it to promote and promote again.