Contributed by Madelene Skinner, VP of Digital Media
In this session, Arik Hanson, a 10-year podcast producer, shared his best tips and best practices for optimizing and promoting active podcasts to increase your subscriber count. His experience in podcasting includes 179 episodes and 560 downloads per show in 2023, and he is part of the Marketing Podcasting Network. This session covered the current landscape of podcasting, ways to optimize your pod, marketing and promoting podcasts, and case studies.
What does a successful podcast look like in 2023?
Podcasting is continuing to grow in listenership – 64 million listeners in 2023 compared to 57 million in 2022. U.S weekly podcast listeners average nine podcasts, nine hours a week. There’s even a Netflix show on podcasts.
The top podcast apps for listeners are Apple Podcasts and Spotify with web browser and Google podcasts following way behind. Podcast durations vary between 20 to 60 minutes for 54 percent of pods with an average time at 36 minutes. If you are trying to determine your frequency, 71 percent of pods are published every other week, and that seems to be the best frequency to publish.
Use Listen Notes to analyze your podcast rankings and view metrics, such as listen score and global rank. Other top metrics for measuring your podcast’s success are:
- Number of listens/downloads
- Number of subscribers
- Social engagement
- Number of leads generated through podcast-driven content
- Total traffic from podcast pages
- Number of reviews
As you review your strategy, think about your target audience. The car is increasing as a preferred location for listening. People find new podcasts using Google, word of mouth and social media.
Brand awareness is the number one reason companies produce podcasts for lead generation. And how you are found on search engines also matters. Take into consideration how you title and describe your podcast, because that is how you will be found.
What are the best practices to make our pods even better?
Optimize your titles with keywords. Get ideas from your Google analytics data by looking up organic search and use listener surveys to get smarter. Additional best practices include:
- Feature a media kit on your podcast website – Make your contact info easily available so media and other podcasters can contact you
- Actively engage listeners – They can help promote your show and build community
- Feature a “questions-on-air” segment
- Hold Ask Me Anything (AMA) segments
- Have roving reporters on certain topics
- Offer a hotline where listeners can leave questions
Another way to optimize your podcast is through social media. Build an active Facebook group. Are you hosting your pods on video? The best place is on YouTube – people are looking for podcasts on YouTube. At this time, individuals are leading the charge, not necessarily brands. Think of YouTube as a way to repurpose your pod.
How can we promote our pods even better?
If you are ready to take on a new marketing approach to promote your pod:
- Use quotes, audiograms to promote
- Make guests the center of attention in promotions
- Create trailers for each episode or season
- Partner with other podcasts to target people and build community
- Amplify with paid advertising
- Pitch your host as a guest on other shows
- Use a podcast guest matching service
- Record live episodes at industry events
- Create a “best of” pod lists posted on your website
- Use short form video to promote audio trailers
Who can we learn from?
Luckily, there are many successful podcasts to learn from to elevate your podcast listenership. The following brands have amazing podcast campaigns:
- Traders Joe
- KLM’s the journey
- Glassdoors in pursuit
- Simple focus on guests
- Hospitality podcasts
- Visit California
- Social Pros podcast – posts best reviewing right on web site
- National Public Radio – uses stories to promote series of pods
In conclusion, take out your communications plan and begin to revamp your approach with these strategies provided to optimize and promote your podcast. Your leadership and listenership will be thankful.