Podcast audience growth without a plan is like a car with no steering wheel — you just pray that it goes the right way.
That’s no way to drive and no way to grow your podcast audience. So, we built a complete B2B podcast audience growth playbook for you.
In it, you’ll find expert advice for your podcast’s…
- Social Media
- Email Campaign
- Paid Promotion
- Pillar Content Strategy
- Guest Sharing Strategy
- LinkedIn Strategy
- SEO Strategy
Prepare to see your podcast audience explode (in a good way).
Launching Your Podcast
Your podcast is launched — congrats! Even though your show is accessible on podcast apps like Spotify and Apple Podcasts, it’s probably not going to gain a ton of traction. That is unless your podcast can be found on other channels.
Your show is live, so let’s look at a few ways your target audience can easily find it.
[READ: Check out these ways to set your podcast up for success before & after launch.]
It’s likely that your listeners will subscribe to your show from several different apps and devices. That’s why it’s best to have a dedicated home for your podcast to which you can point people to.
A good homebase for your show is its own website. There are three types of sites that work the best for this purpose:
- Company Website: Create a page or section of your company’s existing site for the podcast. Oftentimes podcasters make a category of their blog dedicated to podcast episodes. (Example: https://bombbomb.com/podcast/)
- Content Website: If you have a separate site dedicated to content or would like to start one, you could make a section for the podcast’s home. (Example: https://salesengagement.com/podcast)
- Dedicated Website: Some choose to build an entire website around their podcast. (Example: https://techtablespodcast.com/)
Your Website’s Homepage
If you choose to dedicate a page of your company’s website to your podcast, this is a structure you can follow to make it discoverable.
First off, make sure to include a link to it in your site’s main navigation.
Also include a link in the footer of your website for easy navigation.
Additionally, we suggest creating a block on the homepage to display the most recent episodes from your podcast.
Your Website’s Podcast Page
Now, take a look at how an effective podcast page — living on your company’s website — looks like.
Your podcast page should include the podcast’s title, description, and cover art.
Also, include a way for users to subscribe via email to diversify the way fans can consume the content. Links to the show’s social profiles should live on this page, as well as links to all of the major podcast player apps.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to have a feed where each episode and its show notes or blog can live. Although it’s not always feasible to launch a show with this in place, the episodes can later be added to the feed page.
We also suggest having…
- A search feature
- Links to curated lists of related episodes
- Featured episodes to draw in more attention
Your Website’s Episode Pages
Each episode should have its own page where users can listen, find the show notes, and read the related blog (if applicable).
These pages perform well when they include a graphic card with the guest’s headshot, the episode title, and a photo and name of the host with a link to their bio page with all of the episodes they’ve hosted.
Make sure to embed an audio player for users to listen to the episode right on the page. It’s important to include links directly to the episode on the major podcast apps. This way, the user can listen to the episode in their preferred format.
And that, madams and sirs, is how a podcast can live on your company’s existing website.
As far as social media and your business podcast, we’ve found LinkedIn to be the most effective channel. Making this strategy as personal as possible is critical to grow your audience through LinkedIn.
We highly recommend optimizing your host’s personal profile in addition to creating a company page for the show for a few reasons:
- People would rather interact with people on social media, not a logo.
- Your host’s face is associated with the show.
- People are more likely to tag and mention the show directly rather than your company.
- LinkedIn does not favor company page posts.
In order to optimize the host’s LinkedIn profile, they should introduce themselves as a podcast host in their main job title section. This drives people to want to connect because of the potential source of exposure.
Furthermore, your host’s background image should advertise the show with a vibrant graphic.
Next, create a job position as host of the podcast (linking to the podcast’s company page) and place it at the top of the Experience section. People care more about the possibility of being on your show than the actual company you work for.
LinkedIn Podcast Page
When you create a company LinkedIn page for your show, the host can link back to it from their profile. Plus, it serves as a way for people to @mention the show so that others can find out more about it.
Although it seems like you should drive your audience to this page, remember that LinkedIn doesn’t show posts of a company page to many people.
To kick off your podcast via email, you can do one of two things.
- Send a one-time broadcast announcing the show with links to podcast player apps (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, etc.).
- Create a multistep drip campaign to introduce the show one piece at a time.
Following route #1, try out this one-time email structure:
- Subject Line: Tease why the recipient should open it.
- Graphic Header: Display your cover art in the context of where they can find the show.
- Body Copy: Describe why they should consider subscribing.
- Episode Highlights: Feature some of the first episodes.
- CTA & Links: Include links to major podcast apps for easy access to subscribe.
You could make a big announcement like this with a single email, but it’s even better if you can create a multi-part campaign. Might as well get the maximum exposure for your new podcast, right?
For option #2 (the multistep campaign), here’s an example of a launch campaign.
- The Day You Commit to a Podcast: Tease the new show on social. You don’t have to do anything other than saying that you’re starting a podcast.
- The Day You Have the Name, Description, & Cover Art: Tease on social media and email that your podcast is gearing up. Give a sneak peek of the cover art and explain why they should check out the show once it’s live. If you have some guests lined up, ask the audience to submit questions for them.
- 7 Days Until Launch: Announce the date and episodes to come on social media.
- Launch Day: Announce the launch on social and email with links to the podcast page.
- Day After Launch: Ask for ratings on Apple Podcasts from employees, customers, and friends.
- 3 Days After: Post early reviews/ratings to social media to celebrate the show.
- 7 Days After: Tease the next guests and topics on social media.
From here, move to a regular episode promotion schedule.
Once you’ve maximized your owned media, Facebook/Instagram Ads are a great way to accelerate the reach of your new podcast.
These are some audiences to consider creating the Facebook ad platform:
- Upload a list of all the emails prospect customers to run ads for.
- Upload an email list of your customers and create a lookalike audience.
- Install the Facebook pixel on your site and create a custom audience of all the traffic from the last 10 days.
Next, let’s check out how to plan a consistent episode promotion process to really skyrocket your audience growth.
Episode Promotion Process
Each episode is an opportunity to talk about your podcast, so make each post count. Here, we’re going to walk through how to make the most of every episode in order to gain traction faster.
First of all, here are a few tips to keep in mind regardless of the channel you’re using:
- Keep track of where people are clicking through to your podcast. Use a service like bitly.com or another link tracker.
- Test out different post formats, ways of sharing content, and copy as you post. Each post is a chance to learn something new about your audience.
- The more you post, the faster you learn. If you want to grow faster, post more.
Start w/ FIRE Content
Your content only goes as far as its quality allows. Because every episode of your podcast is an opportunity to grow your audience, each of them needs to be valuable. The Sweet Fish team aims to make each piece of content we create FIRE. 🔥
Fun: The content is easy to consume, it’s intriguing, and engages the heart.
Informative: Our content empowers people to do today what they couldn’t yesterday.
Relevant: It matches what people are actually searching for or are intrigued by.
Extensive: The content goes deep enough to make the complex simple and unlock insights quickly.
While every piece of content should fit the context of the platform, the more you can bake FIRE in, the father it will go.
There are dozens of podcasting platforms — your show should be discoverable on all of them. However, if you can only get on a handful of them, go with the most prominent ones.
Apple Podcasts: The word “podcast” was coined by Apple when iPods were still a thing. They still hold the largest audience base of podcast subscribers.
Google Podcasts: Google’s the new kid on the block. For the longest time you needed a third-party app to subscribe to podcasts on an Android device. Since Google controls search, their podcast platform should be a priority.
Spotify: Spotify has been spending a lot of time and money breaking into the podcast arena lately and is gaining traction with younger audiences.
Stitcher: This app used to be the best way to subscribe to podcasts on Android devices and still has a large audience.
Podcasts as Pillar Content
One episode can be broken up into small pieces of content that — when adjusted to make sense for the platform — creates powerful social media content.
To get the most bang for your buck from each of your episodes, repurpose them into…
- Blog posts
- Social media text posts
- Images, GIFs, & memes
- Short, captioned videos
- Long-form YouTube videos
A single podcast episode can generate an entire waterfall of valuable content for your audience.
Guests are other resources you can leverage to get the most from your show.
Each guest you interview on your show has a social media following of some sort. It might not be GaryVee status, but it’s something. Plus, they work for organizations that may have larger audiences.
Either way, it’s worth it to make it super easy for guests to share their episodes with their following, co-workers, and (possibly) their company’s social channels.
Use these tips to incentivize guests to share episodes:
- Make each episode shine a flattering light on the guest, positioning them as an expert.
- Send guests a personal email when the episode goes live to thank them and share the podcast player links with them.
- Write a post on LinkedIn to brag about their insights and tag them in the post.
All social networks offer value. But, for B2B marketers, LinkedIn is where the money is.
It’s where your target audience most likely hangs out and consumes industry-related content. We could go on and on about the benefits of being active on LinkedIn, but here are our top three tips for ensuring success with your posts:
- Each post needs a compelling hook to stop people from scrolling and tap the “See More” prompt.
- Each post has to deliver real, actionable value in the post itself. It can’t just tease the information in the episode.
- The link to the episode CANNOT be in the post itself. LinkedIn’s algorithm will filter it out if it is. Instead, create a CTA to check out the link in the first comment under the post.
There are multiple ways to optimize your podcast for search. By picking the right name, you’ll get discovered in the podcast player apps.
Optimize your website with your podcast page and episodes to be found when people search you on Google.
To rank for industry keywords on Google, follow these steps:
- Create a list of keywords relevant to your industry.
- Pick one of those keywords and figure out the intent behind the search. Ask, “what are they searching for?”
- Craft questions that can draw out the answer.
- Interview an expert on the topic related to the keyword.
- Turn the episode into a blog post.
Go forth & podcast!
There are more subtleties throughout the audience growth process, but hopefully this gives you a good start.
If you find that you need help implementing this playbook, don’t hesitate to reach out.