Today, we’re diving into a topic that’s a bit controversial. At The Podcast Haven, we have a hard stance on it. This is drawn from our experience in the industry over the last seven years. We’re discussing why social media doesn’t help you grow your podcast.
It’s not the golden ticket you think it is.
Social media is great for sparking conversations and discussing content related to the things you talk about on your podcast. Still, it doesn’t move the needle regarding directly increasing podcast downloads.
Social Media and Podcasts Are Misaligned
The effectiveness of social media as a podcaster starts to dwindle over time. Social media platforms and podcasters cater to two different types of audiences and two different types of consumers.
Social media is typically for quick dopamine hits and short-form content people want to consume quickly. They scroll through their feeds, check out a video, and then move on to the next. Podcasts, on the other hand, are long-form and more immersive.
Some shows pump out short episodes, but even these require some engagement. Also, in the case of podcasting, short episodes may still be six or seven minutes long.
Thus, Social media content and podcasts are completely different types of content! They cater to consumers with different behavior consumptions.
Switching social media followers to podcast listeners is more complex than a click. There’s a path to tread, more like a digital obstacle course, that might appeal to something other than the usual social media consumer.
Firstly, they need to know the name of your podcast.
Then, it’s about leaving the comfort zone of their current platform to embark on the adventure of finding a podcast listening app.
Next up, it’s typing the podcast name into the search bar, hitting follow or subscribe, and then sifting through the episode feed to hit play.
Do they start with your most current episode or scroll to your first episode?
It sounds straightforward, but this process can feel like a marathon in a digital world where we’re all craving those quick dopamine hits.
These barriers, this digital detour away from social media ease, can discourage some from tuning into your podcast.
Essentially, we’re asking them to swap a quick scroll for a more significant journey. It’s about understanding this digital switch and making it seamless.
The Role of Social Media in Podcasting
Social media is good for brand awareness. While it might not effectively drive podcast downloads, it can still play a role in building brand awareness and sparking conversations about content related to your podcast.
When we say “sparking conversations about content related to your podcast,” this is what we mean:
If your podcast is about cooking, post cooking-related content. You can post recipes, share some of your favorite restaurants, provide grilling or baking tips, or whatever your little heart desires.
The goal here is to create awareness and build trust and authority in your niche.
Over time, you can convert some of these people to podcast listeners after you’ve developed all those touch points, and they’re really aware of who you are and get value from all the kick-ass content you’re creating.
What Works for Growing a Podcast?
Now that we’ve established what doesn’t work, it’s time to shift our focus to what DOES work for growing a podcast.
The strategies we will delve into have proven effective in increasing podcast downloads and building a loyal audience. You can start implementing these actionable strategies today to see real growth in your podcast.
Guesting On Podcasts
When you take the opportunity to be a guest on another person’s podcast, it’s like being given a backstage pass to a whole new audience.
Podcast enthusiasts are explorers by nature, always on the hunt for fresh, engaging content.
By guesting, you present yourself as a new trail for them to venture down, building trust in your name and your brand in the process.
Consider it a type of endorsement – when a host introduces you to their listeners, it comes with an implicit seal of approval. The audience trusts their chosen podcast host, and in turn, they trust their judgment regarding guest selections.
If you’re on their favorite show, it means you’ve got something valuable to offer.
This is why guesting is an effective growth strategy for your podcast. You’re not only sharing your insights with a new group of listeners, but you’re also gaining credibility thanks to the host’s endorsement.
And once that trust is established, those listeners are more likely to hop on over and become regulars of your podcast.
Promo swaps represent an ingenious strategy that can be implemented quickly and effectively. They’re a great way to grow a podcast.
The premise of promo swaps is simple yet extraordinarily effective: you partner with another podcast that shares similar content, themes, or audience interests, and you both agree to promote each other’s content.
This synergy-based strategy allows you to reach out to a brand new group of listeners, borrowing the audience of your partner podcast for a moment or two.
During this short encounter, you provide these potential new listeners with a preview of what your podcast brings to the table.
It’s like introducing yourself at a party, offering an appealing hint of your conversation skills, and inviting interested people to engage with you more.
In return, you offer the same opportunity to your partner podcast. Your audience will be treated to a captivating snippet from their content, which could prompt them to extend their podcast listening repertoire.
This is a win-win scenario where you and your partner stand to gain increased visibility and potential audience growth.
How To Create Promo Swap
All you gotta do is whip up a 30-second audio ad for your show. Or, you can just pen down a snappy 30-second script that your podcasting partner can read.
They whip up something similar for you, and bada bing bada boom, you’ve got yourself a promo swap.
Feed drops represent another effective strategy for growing a podcast. These involve showcasing a trailer or a sample segment from another podcast on your feed.
This gives your audience a peek into a show they may not be familiar with but could potentially grow to love. Sometimes, you can drop an entire episode from a partner podcast into your feed.
Feed drops are not just a great way to diversify your content and keep your listeners intrigued. Still, they also foster a sense of camaraderie and support among podcasters.
By highlighting another show, you’re extending a hand of support to fellow podcasters, helping them to gain exposure to your audience.
This way, you not only grow your own show but also contribute to the broader podcast culture meaningfully.
By embracing strategies such as promo swaps and feed drops, podcasters can grow their audiences, diversify their content, and nurture a thriving community of podcast enthusiasts.
Quality and Consistency
Uhhh, this is obvious, right? Quality and consistency are crucial to growing a podcast. Your audience must have a great experience listening to your podcast.
Everything in your podcast needs to be on point, organized, and actionable. You want to constantly work on improving your content, providing high-quality audio, and releasing consistently.
Need we say more? We didn’t think so.
The Power of Paid Advertising
Now, we’re shifting gears to talk about one of our favorite ways to grow a show: paid podcast advertising. Paid advertising, when done right and in the correct places, can be a game-changer for podcast growth.
It allows you to reach a wider audience, many of whom are already interested in the kind of content you’re producing. Let’s delve into some of the best platforms for podcast advertising.
Overcast.fm allows you to pay for display ads in the Overcast Listening app when someone is listening to a targeted show similar to yours.
It’s a great way to get in front of potential listeners already engaged in podcast content.
Buzzsprout Ads lets you record audio ads that they will drop into targeted shows.
It’s a unique approach to podcast advertising that lets you speak directly to your potential audience.
Podnews allows you to buy classified ads within their daily newsletter, reaching tens of thousands of people hungry to consume new podcast content.
It’s a great way to get your podcast in front of a large, engaged audience.
How To Grow a Podcast Wrap Up
In wrapping up, it’s crucial to realize that growing a podcast isn’t about looking for quick fixes or chasing the false glitter of social media influence.
It’s about comprehending the unique ecosystem of podcasting, the listening habits of the audience, and leveraging the power of community through methods like guesting, promo swaps, and feed drops.
Let’s shift our mindset away from the hustle and bustle of social media and instead begin focusing on the real, actionable strategies that truly foster podcast growth.
This is your invitation to dive deeper into the world of podcasting and to explore ways to grow organically and sustainably, always keeping the listener at the heart of every decision.
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