If you've thought at all about how to grow your podcast, there are probably a few strategies you've already got on lock: posting regularly, being active in podcasting groups, using social media, and maybe even doing some cross-promotion. But what else can you do? Below are some unconventional ways to find more ears.
Go old school and get your show on terrestrial radio
Many podcasters shun traditional radio as old school audio distribution (I mean, it’s not on demand, right?). But remember that the majority of people are still listening to radio, not podcasts and radio has an incredible reach in terms of potential listening audience. And these are people ripe for converting to podcasting because they already love the audio content.
For example, at KABC in Los Angeles, on weekends and off hours, for as little as a few hundred dollars a week, you can broadcast your show live or a pre-recorded on air to a prospective audience of millions of listeners. Your show will go up on their website, they’ll promote your show on air throughout the week during other programming and they’ll even put you up on their digital billboard on the 405–one of the busiest freeways in America. If you have sponsors looking to advertise on your show, they’ll help your sponsor produce a spot for your show. As an added bonus, you can then put on your own website and in your media kit “As heard on KABC” to help bolster your personal brand and establish yourself as a thought leader. Interested? Email Cal Saul at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put your name on the big screen
Think about the last time you went to the movies–remember the ads that roll before the credits? You can advertise there! They're generally inexpensive, and millennial movie-goers align well with the podcast listening demographic. They're a fully-engaged audience with their phones right in front of them, who is ready to be entertained. This is also super powerful if your podcast is centered around movies and entertainment!
You might even consider partnering with a couple of other related podcasts to share the costs. (e.g. check out these 3 incredible comedy podcasts…)
Appoint yourself a member of the press
Start branding yourself as an expert and volunteering to speak or live podcast from various events. You’d be surprised how many speaking opportunities there are out there.
Not ready to host a live event, try streaming your show live on Facebook, especially during the most popular times people are on Facebook.
Find the content creator yin for your yang:
Cross-promotion with other shows is a best practice, but you can get great results by looking past the podcasting medium. If your show is about parenting kids with ADHD, who are the popular ADHD bloggers? Radio hosts? YouTubers? Conference speakers? Professionals in the space who could endorse your show in exchange for you promoting their services? People interested in your niche probably like to find other related content. If you have one opinion, perhaps find someone else with an opposite opinion.
Make stuff that’s newsworthy and then spread the news
Did you make some really compelling content? Did someone say something controversial on your show? Do you have an opinion about something that goes against the traditional thinking or writing on the issue? If so, perhaps consider not just promoting it to prospective listeners, but also to journalists, bloggers, etc. who may mention you in pieces, use you as a source or do a write up on the piece? Consider writing an op-ed on the topic for your local paper or industry publication - you’re creating the content anyway.
Turn the spoken word into the written word
Blog about your show! Many well-regarded thought leaders leverage platforms like Medium to promote themselves and their work. For creators just starting out, this can be a great way to gain credibility and help with discoverability. Write the blog posts yourself or utilize Fiverr or Content Cucumber. Don’t forget to put your embeddable player on your piece. Don’t forget about Quora and Reddit, too, which tend to be underutilized platforms by podcasters.