Those who read this blog or listen to the GLS Content Marketing Podcast may know me as a content guy. A writer and a marketer who does a lot of website development and branding.
But I have hobbies like any guy and so a few of my friends and I started a podcast in August about designer board games. That alone is not the story – everyone has a hobby and we honestly started the podcast as a fun project to channel our love of certain types of board games.
In the process of starting that podcast, however, I implemented a series of new marketing strategies we’ve been developing in recent months to generate quick traffic to our website, our podcast, and our social media profiles. Even with no budget, we’ve been able to go from 0 to 100 subscribers in just 3 weeks and the growth trajectory is only increasing.
How to Launch a Podcast
Podcasts are a unique form of media, but also one of the most valuable when it comes to marketing your brand. The perceived value of a radio-quality recording is extremely high and can present you as an expert in your field with only 3-4 hours of work per week.
That’s why Micah and I produce the GLS Content Marketing Podcast every week and we’ve gotten some tremendous feedback from doing so.
But the existence of a podcast alone is not necessarily enough. You want listeners and you want to see a return on your time investment.
So there are some shortcuts to getting there.
- Bank Recordings – When you start record at least 4-5 episodes before going to iTunes. Get feedback, fine tune your delivery and make sure you have a good number to promote when you finally publish.
- Create Associated Media – Create a blog, a Facebook Page, a YouTube Channel, a Twitter profile and anything else you can think of to supplement your efforts.
- Use Professional Storage – Choose a professional storage service like Libsyn.com that is affordable but offers reliable delivery and solid stats on your listeners.
- Launch in iTunes Wisely – When you submit to iTunes you are automatically added to a New and Noteworthy pool for 8 weeks. So you have 8 weeks to take advantage of that and surge in the listings. Having 5 podcasts on day one helps with this; so too does releasing more than one per week as you progress.
- Tag Your Podcasts – At the same time, give people stuff to search for. Load your podcasts up with meta data so people can find them easily. Tag with any terms you talk about, get a professional cover design, include names and topics in your description – provide everything.
- Use Images and Chapter Markers – Break up your podcast by chapters and add photos where appropriate to make it easier to listen to. People will enjoy the process and are much more likely to follow you when they do.
There are other factors too, of course. You need decent equipment. I use a Blue Yeti microphone for my recordings – it cost roughly $90 on Amazon and has been amazing for both group and solo recordings:
You can spend even more of course, or you can save some money and get a slightly simpler mic, but you should avoid using the $20 iPhone headphones you have lying next to your laptop.
Growing an Organic Audience
Podcasting is different from other web endeavors because you have to go out and network with other podcasters, build an audience on your social media profiles and interact with listeners. It certainly helps to have a few seed listeners – people you know and are friends with to bump up your download numbers the first week, along with a channel to start getting more downloads faster.
But even still, in the end, if you do everything listed above, take the process seriously and sound professional in every episode, you’re going to see a surge of listeners come in quickly and often.