According to the latest numbers, more people in the US have listened to a podcast than have not — and a full quarter of the population listens weekly. It seems like they’re everywhere…
Baby Driver (2017) x Serial pic.twitter.com/RDXoeCyF9W
— Andrew Norton (@andrewtnorton) September 18, 2020
We made the case for B2B podcasts in a post last year, and that case has only grown stronger. Podcasts are a great way to build an audience for your content, work with influencers, and produce cool stuff that earns attention.
Case in point: The Tech Unknown podcast for SAP* is exceeding benchmarks for downloads, and each new episode inspires more people to check out the entire archive.
Of course, the current podcast boom is a double-edged sword for new podcasts. There are more people listening than ever, but there are also more podcasts than ever. Apple reports at least 500,000, while the total number may be closer to a million.
For your podcast to find its intended audience, you must promote it as strategically as you would any other piece of content. Here’s what you need to know about using social media to bring in listeners.
How to Promote Your B2B Podcast on Social Media
Before we get into specific tactics, the heart of any content promotion is having content worth sharing. So make sure your podcast is relevant to your audience, includes influencers that they know and respect, and is edited to bring them the good stuff without filler.
Once you have 2-3 of these high-quality episodes ready to publish, you can start promoting. We’ll start with some general tips, then take a quick look at a few specific social media platforms.“Make sure your podcast is relevant to your audience, includes influencers that they know and respect, and is edited to bring them the good stuff without filler.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites Click To Tweet
Follow Influencers with Your Podcast Account
The first step here is to create separate social media accounts for your podcast. Make it its own entity for promotion and audience engagement purposes. Then, follow well-known folks who are relevant to your subject matter. Include industry analysts, practitioners, and anyone who is knowledgeable and trusted about your core topics.
This will help with promotion in two ways: First, following these folks will get you on their radar for potential amplification or collaboration. Second, you’ll be able to see what kind of content they share with their audience, which will help you make your podcast more relevant.
Include Influencers in Content Creation
Influencers bring credibility, a new audience, and original ideas to your content. They don’t just provide amplification; they actually make the content better.
We have found that more influencers are open to audio interviews than to other forms of co-creation. And tools like Zencastr make it easy to capture high-quality audio over the internet.
Just make sure to give your podcast guests everything they need to promote their episode:
- Custom images sized for Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter
- Audio snippets/video for Stories
- A custom URL for tracking
Set a Social Media Content Calendar
Your podcast’s dedicated social media accounts should do more than just post a link when you put up a new episode. You can consistently bring value to your audience and start conversations with posts, the same way you do on other brand channels.
Plan for at least one or two meaningful posts a day that correspond to the topics you talk about in the podcast. Share related content, post polls to spark discussion, and repost content from influencers you’re featuring (or courting). And, of course, make sure to participate in any discussions that arise — don’t leave your listeners hanging.
Create Promotional Material for Each Episode
After you record an episode, transcribe the audio (otter.ai is a good quick-and-dirty solution) and find your most quotable moments. Use these to create assets for promotion. Tools like Canva make it easy to create quote images, and even simple videos, at the optimum size and resolution for each site.
Cross Promote with Other Podcasts
People who already listen to podcasts are likely to try out new ones. Other podcasts in your industry aren’t necessarily competitors — their audience is likely to add your podcast to their rotation.
B2B brands are in a uniquely good position to cross-promote across podcasts. For example, if your CEO is influential in the industry, they would be a valuable guest on another industry podcast. And conversely, your show could feature subject matter experts from another podcast. Genuine, generous cross-promotion is a great way to help your podcast find its audience.“B2B brands are in a uniquely good position to cross-promote across podcasts.” —@NiteWrites Click To Tweet
Add Smart Paid Promotion
Your organic reach may vary across sites — it’s non-existent on Facebook, better on Instagram, and much better on LinkedIn. So some savvy paid promotion can help your podcast find its audience. Use your most compelling clips and quotes to create your assets, and target your audience by vertical.
The CTA for these ads should be to subscribe, rather than listen to a single episode. The value of a podcast for marketers is building a loyal audience over time. And it’s best to target Android and iOS users separately, with ads that feature a subscribe link to their respective podcast apps.
Promotion Tips by Platform
Here are a few specific ways you can promote your podcast on the three most relevant platforms:
While it’s important to have separate social media accounts for your podcast, your brand should be driving promotion on LinkedIn*. Share links and promo materials from your company page, and repost your podcast page’s posts there, too.
LinkedIn is the perfect platform to promote employee sharing, too. Make sure your employees are equipped with promotional materials and links to share. They can also tag prospects and relevant influencers — anyone valuable to the brand who might find your podcast interesting.
While LinkedIn is a great platform for employee activation an influencer engagement, Instagram may present the best opportunity to engage your podcast’s audience.
Use Stories to share teasers, previews and quotes from each episode. Include candid photos and videos of the recording process, too — take your listeners behind the scenes.
As you saw in the embedded tweet above, short videos are a great way to hook an audience on Twitter. Create video by adding a simple static or looping animated background to your audio highlights — even a basic video editor like iMovie will do the trick.
Make sure your video makes sense without audio, as most mobile viewers will be watching on mute, and keep them under a minute long. And, of course, add relevant hashtags and tag your guests and relevant influencers.
A (Pod)Cast of Thousands
I’ve lost count of which Podcast Renaissance we’re in at this point, but it’s fair to say the medium is stronger than ever. And there’s still plenty of untapped audience potential out there, especially for business podcasts that bring real value and industry insight to their listeners.
To learn more about B2B podcasting, check out our webinar: The 4 P’s of B2B Podcasting Success.
* SAP and LinkedIn are TopRank Marketing clients.