The B2B Marketer's Guide to Podcast Promotion

January 7, 2022

Topic tags

Lisa Marinelli

Creative


We’ve talked a lot about why you should start a high-quality podcast, but creating binge-worthy audio content is only part of the podcast equation. Making sure your content reaches the right listeners is just as important — if not more so — than producing your show.

When you combine relevant, engaging content with a thoughtful and intentional promotion plan, this is where the real magic happens!

Now you might be wondering: What are the best ways to find the right people and convert them into loyal subscribers?

Well, if you’re looking for ideas to get started with your podcast promotion, we’ve got plenty! We tapped Wistia’s Growth Marketing team to learn their best tips and tricks for promoting a podcast. They’ve got tons of experience, gained from promoting Wistia’s original podcasts The Brandwagon Interviews, Talking Too Loud, and A Better Workplace.

In this handy-dandy guide, the team will share everything you need to know about getting your podcast out into the world, from the types of assets you should create to all the promotional channels you can use.

Branded promotion assets

To begin, creating a distinguishable brand for your podcast will play a big role in helping listeners remember your show when you promote it across different channels. Here are some branded promo assets your business should make before you launch your show.

The “before” part is important! Doing the work ahead of the launch makes it easier for you in the long run and ensures you don’t have to transition from your original branding to something new.

Create a show trailer

A podcast show trailer will help folks understand the overall gist of what your show is all about. Think about how you can quickly pique people’s interest.

Instead of pulling soundbites from your episodes — which most people won’t have context for yet — it might be more helpful to make an intro of what your show is about and feature the show’s host or hosts. You can also use the trailer to announce when your podcast is coming out and when they can expect new episodes.

Here’s the trailer we made for A Better Workplace, our original podcast where Wistia’s VP of People, Jane Jaxon, and Customer Support Champ, Colin Dinnie, have candid conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion. Together, they shine a light on what it takes to build a better workplace for all.

Make promotion assets specific for each channel

As we mentioned, you’ll want to create assets for each marketing channel where you plan to promote your podcast. Assets should look and feel consistent with your podcast’s brand. Once you have a look you love, create templates that are easy to customize to save design time in the future.

At Wistia, we use Asana and Google Drive to collaborate and keep things organized for each episode we release. We can attest that once you have an organized process, you’ll get into a groove, and preparing to launch a new episode will feel easier every time you do it.

We’ll show you examples of branded promotion assets for each channel throughout this guide — stay tuned!

Build a show webpage on your site

In addition to uploading your podcast to streaming services like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher, you should also create a home for your podcast right on your website. You want a page on your website where your podcast lives so you can drive traffic from social media, paid advertising, blog content, email campaigns, and more.

Hosting podcast content on your website is critical because it can help solidify your show’s brand, build a deeper connection with your audience, generate owned subscribers, and nurture your audience with lead scoring. It would be a shame to miss out on all of these potential benefits! Plus, this page will become a piece of evergreen content for your brand.

Get Inspired
See how Wistia promotes new shows in this post all about building a podcast promo kit!

Now that you know the basic branded promotional assets that’ll help you hit the ground running, let’s take a closer look at each channel you can use to promote your podcast.


Email

When it comes to growing an audience for your brand’s new podcast, tapping into your email marketing capabilities is the best place to start. Here’s how you can leverage your audiences differently and employ best practices for promoting your podcast via email.

Announce your podcast to relevant lists

If you have an existing database of people who love the content you create, you can hit those existing relevant lists while also jumpstarting a dedicated listener base for your show! Whether these marketing lists exist for product updates or blog content, folks in these audiences may very well be interested in your podcast’s unique content.

Start plugging your podcast in your marketing automation and onboarding sequences. Here’s an example of a callout we used in one of our blog content email newsletters when we wanted to promote The Brandwagon Interviews podcast.

Since this was a broader list, we kept this section short and sweet and allowed the creativity to steal the spotlight and drive traffic to our podcast page.

Build a show-specific list of subscribers

On the other hand, you can also build a new email subscriber list from scratch by using your existing marketing channels to spread the word. Your show’s subscribers will be the ones you’ll email regularly about teasers, new episode releases, exclusive content, and more. These people are highly qualified because they have expressly opted in to receive news about your show.

Tip
Your show’s subscribers are otherwise known as your owned audience. Ownership means setting up a direct communication line with your audience and not relying solely on third parties to establish connections and nurture relationships.


You’ll have a direct connection with owned audiences through data, including info like email addresses, name, company, title, etc. Learn more about why it’s so important for brands to start owning their audiences in this post.

Another way to promote your podcast through email is by creating branded email signatures.

Considering how many emails you and your team probably send in a single day, inserting a Call to Action (CTA) and linking to your podcast in your email signature can get your show in front of a sizeable untapped audience.

Of course, you don’t have to require everyone to update their email signatures .  It would make most sense for customer-facing team members to include a link to the show, as they communicate with current and potential customers.

Here’s an example of the email signature banner we created for Talking Too Loud:

Podcast email examples

So, now you’ve got a few ideas you can implement to promote your podcast via email. But what does an engaging podcast email look like? And what types of emails should you be sending for your show?

Check out two examples of emails we’ve sent to support our very own shows!

New show announcement

Build excitement and anticipation for your new podcast by sending out an announcement email. This is an opportune time to leverage your existing email lists — either by sending a dedicated email or by including the announcement in a newsletter-style send.

Alternatively, as we touched on earlier, you could get ahead of the curve by collecting emails before launch and then sending an announcement to your dedicated show list.

Here’s an example of an email we sent to announce Talking Too Loud:

Ongoing promotion for new episodes

Keep your listeners in the loop by sending out emails alerting them to new episodes. Don’t worry: These emails can be short and sweet!

It’s most important to send these consistently to your audience. The email cadence for announcements should follow your show cadence. That means if your podcast comes out every other week, you should be letting people know about those new episodes via email every other week as well.

Don’t know what to talk about in these ongoing emails? Highlight your show guests (if you have them), craft a compelling preview for the episode, and drive people to listen.

Here’s an example of what we typically send for new episodes of Talking Too Loud:

Test regularly

Finally, don’t forget to test your email strategy regularly! Over time, you might find that different creative choices lead to higher open rates (OR) or boost your click-through rates (CTR).

For example, we’ve found that including a guest’s name in our email subject lines increased OR. GIFs and video thumbnails in our emails also increased CTR. These are both good things, so now we try to personalize emails and include relevant GIFs and thumbnails whenever we can.

The main takeaway: Don’t be afraid to experiment and A/B test to learn more about what works well for promoting your podcast through email. You won’t know it all right away, so incorporate new information as you get it so you can improve your email sends every time.

Get Inspired
Get more best practices for promoting your podcast via email and learn how you can leverage your audiences differently in this post.

Social media

We’ve covered a ton about email, so let’s switch to something we know many B2B marketers struggle with — social media. Let’s talk about how you can leverage social for your podcast promotion efforts!

Know where your audience lives

As a B2B marketer, it’s possible that your LinkedIn audience might be more interested in your content than folks on Facebook, making it worth your while to invest more of your social efforts on LinkedIn.

You know your audience better than anyone, so trust your gut and lean into the channels where your audience is active and open to learning about your podcast. And, most importantly, don’t feel pressure to be everywhere. Instead, focus only on the channels that are most impactful for your audience and brand.

Customize content for each channel

Something important that you should keep in mind while creating assets for social channels is that every platform is created differently — and your content for each platform should be too. Even if it takes a little extra time, we recommend editing your content to match the media requirements and tone of each platform.

For example, a minute-long video on Instagram might not perform as well on Twitter, where the ideal video length is 15 seconds.

Grab people’s attention quickly

When crafting your social media posts, you want to pull out the most interesting tidbits of each episode. You don’t get people’s attention for very long on social media, so you want to make sure that you’re getting the most out of the time that you do have.

Evaluate every post you make about your podcast almost as you would the first sentence of a story — it’s basically a hook that should entice your fans and followers to learn more.

Get visual

Next, let’s talk through what types of assets work well for promoting podcasts on social media. Showcasing audio content might sound challenging, but it’s still possible to get visual and have fun!

Pull quotes and episode graphics

Grabbing notable pull quotes from your podcast episode is a great way to give people an idea of what your show is all about and make them want to hear more.

Here are a few graphics with pull quotes from an episode of Talking Too Loud featuring Nick Francis, the CEO of HelpScout. This conversation focused on Help Scout’s remote-friendly environment and building purpose-driven companies:

When creating these assets, it’s best to provide multiple image sizes compatible with each major social platform. For Wistia’s podcast marketing, we promote our shows on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Audiograms

Experiment with audiograms to distribute clips from your show. These attention-snagging assets are audio clips with captions that are played over an image as an MP4.

Headliner is a handy tool for creating social images out of audio clips. And the good news is, you don’t need to be a designer or audio editor to use the app. If you’re just beginning the journey of promoting your podcast on social media, this type of creation tool is a great place to start!

Here’s an example of an audiogram:

Video

Of course, video is also your friend. (It almost always is!)

Video is an ideal format for social media platforms, which tend to be highly visual. Not only will adding a video component expand your reach, but it will also make your audio content more engaging for social audiences.

Maximize your opportunity for content creation by recording videos of your podcasting sessions. You can also engage folks with video content like selfie videos from you or your guests.

Here’s an example of a selfie video we ask our guests to record:

Tip
Looking for a tool that can help you edit your video and audio content quickly and easily? Check out Descript — an app that allows you to record, transcribe, edit, mix, collaborate, and master your audio and video.

Post to YouTube

YouTube can be a great place for discoverability. Add your podcast trailer, episode recaps, and teaser content to your brand’s YouTube Channel to boost awareness and capture eager viewers.

Keep in mind that YouTube works best as a search engine. It’s full of other distractions and, at the end of day, it’s run by a third party — so you’ll want to focus on hooking viewers with teasers and driving them back to your own site for the full experience. This will allow you to build and nurture a dedicated list of subscribers over time.

Tip
Adding video to your podcast can help you reach a wider audience, elevate your social media content, build trust and connection with visuals, and make your podcast more accessible. Dig into our post about four reasons why you should add video to your podcast to learn more!

Create promo kits for guests

Lastly, if you have an interview-style show or ever feature guests, you can set them up with promotion kits to encourage them to share the love. Creating guest promo kits is a light lift that goes a long way to thank people and get them excited to hype up your show among their social networks!

Podcast promo kits have been an essential part of our show promotion strategy. Most guests are happy to share the episode, especially if we make it easy for them by providing pre-existing assets and copy.

We provide copy examples for Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, written as if they were posted from the guest’s personal account and their company’s official account. We include relevant callouts for Wistia’s social handles, the podcast hashtag, and the episode URL. As a best practice, we try to write social posts that match a guest’s (or company’s) voice and tone and put together a promo kit that truly feels personalized for each guest.

Of course, guests can always tweak the messages however they see fit. The promo kit we create just does most of the work for them, even if they do want to make slight edits.

Here’s an example of a social post for Nick Francis’s Twitter:

Packaging it all together

When we have all of the assets ready to go, we like to package it all nicely into a PDF to email to our guests. The PDF includes links to Wistia’s social handles, the podcast hashtag, the episode URL, links to Google Drive folders with all of the creative assets, and copy for social media posts for the guest and their company accounts.

Having all of these materials in one place makes it effortless for your guests to help spread the word about their interview — and in doing so, promote your podcast to new people.

Share with employees

Lastly, your employees might want to share episodes on their own platforms! To make it simple for them to do so, you can send an email announcement linking to all of the same assets mentioned above. Having all of your images and videos in one place makes it easy for everyone to access at any time and ensures everyone has the latest version of things.

At Wistia, we like to use Dropbox for our file sharing. When we announced Talking Too Loud, our marketing team provided everyone with a Quip document with links, copy for social variations, and images and videos in Dropbox. This let everyone know their options when it came to what to use when sharing.

“Podcast promo kits have been an essential part of our show promotion strategy. Guests love them and have been really willing to help spread the word, and employees appreciate that we’ve done all the work for them. It’s been amazing to see our assets being shared across social media and to watch our audience grow over time.”
Vanessa Luis
Audience Development Marketer
Get Inspired
Dig into more ways social media can help promote your brand’s podcast.

Blog content

Moving right along! We can’t talk promo without talking about good ol’ fashioned content creation. Let’s look at a couple of ways to repurpose your audio content and use your blog to further support your podcast.

Theme-based posts

After you have a decent amount of podcast episodes under your belt, go back and identify common threads or interesting themes you could write about for a blog post.

To support our podcast, Talking Too Loud, we pulled common themes that existed across several episodes — in this case, building people-first companies — and put together one post that covers the different perspectives of our guests.

Want some other ideas to get your content wheels turning? One route you can take is summing up key takeaways from the first season of your show. Or, consider doing a deep dive into what it was like producing the first season of your podcast. The opportunities are endless!

Episode recap posts

Another way to support your podcast on your blog is with episode recap posts. We leaned on this a ton for The Brandwagon Interviews podcast. Episode recaps are a great way to break down episodes even further and provide your audience with additional snippets and valuable nuggets they won’t find anywhere else.

You can also include extended guest interviews; this offers a unique value for your audience and gives them another way to engage with your content. If you have a bunch of audio that didn’t make the final cut of your podcast episode, you can embed those clips into your blog post or format the post in a question-and-answer style format.

Shopify, the e-commerce platform, is one brand that creates episode recap blog posts to support its podcast, In Conversation with Shopify Plus. It embeds episodes directly into blog posts using Wistia and adds short summaries with links throughout to give its audience more to read and listen to.

See for yourself below:

Curious to know more about how Wistia can support your podcasting and storytelling needs? Learn more about our podcasting tools for business.

Themed posts and episode recaps present an opportunity to appeal to others in your audience who would rather read than listen to your podcast. Plus, it increases the opportunity for your podcast to be found in other areas of your website besides the podcast page itself.


Partnerships

Finally, strategic partnerships can be extremely valuable in helping grow your podcast. Existing partnerships or your broader network are natural places to look for organic promotion opportunities. Let’s take a look at two common ways to leverage partnerships for podcast promotion.

Collaborate with formal partners or warm acquaintances

A soft way of growing your show without explicitly advertising is to work with existing partners on a co-marketing deal. You can also have thought leaders within your company appear as a guest on other shows and speak about your podcast in order to raise awareness.

If you’re interested in either of these possibilities, first evaluate your existing partners and determine which ones might be a good fit for collaboration. For example, Wistia’s CEO was a guest on HubSpot’s Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast, where he spoke about Talking Too Loud. HubSpot is one of our integration partners and has a similar audience profile, so the collaboration was a natural fit.

Another option is to tap individuals within your network that might not be formal partners but are friends or allies of the company. Start by leveraging the host or hosts’ networks and finding shows run by friends of the podcast. Company leaders might also be great resources to connect with, depending on the topic of your show. Existing relationships are most likely to be fruitful here, so be mindful of your outreach and networking and focus on your warmest connections first.

Do a speaking tour

We just touched on this, but if your podcast host is a thought leader in your industry or holds specific topic expertise, you can seek out opportunities for them to appear as a guest on other podcasts. As you land more guest spots on shows, you’re building your reputation as an industry expert and subject matter authority — and with enough authority, your expert can embark on a speaking tour to promote your podcast and generate even more brand awareness.

Consistency is key here. It might be helpful to loop in a public relations agency or contact to help land those guest spots. Or, you can designate an internal team member to actively solicit and manage these opportunities in a structured way.

There are a number of reasons why doing a podcast tour might be worth your time investment. Check out Huckabuy’s complete guide for how to do a podcast tour.

Measuring success

Alright — we’ve covered the promotion assets, the channels you’ll use to promote, paid media efforts, and partnerships. Now it’s time to talk about how we’re going to measure the success of all your efforts.

Before we dive in, we want to mention a caveat, which is that podcast analytics is far from a perfect science. Podcasts are still relatively new, and many platforms don’t connect in ways that make measurement easy. There are other instances in which the information that is shared is somewhat opaque, which can be frustrating.

That said, we’ll share our approach to defining success and what quantitative and qualitative metrics we look at.

Quantitative metrics

In general, there are three primary places where you can look for podcast analytics:

  • Your podcast host (which may or may not pull in analytics from other partners like streaming apps)
  • Individual streaming platforms (like Apple, Spotify, etc.)
  • Your website (if you host episodes on your own website, you can look at website data in Google Analytics or your analytics provider)
Note
Metrics are often not defined consistently across different platforms and, as we mentioned, some streaming apps are very stingy with what they share. So admittedly, it can be a challenge to get a full picture.

Here are a few quantitative metrics we collect to give us an idea of how our show is performing:

  • Average episode engagement
  • Subscriber growth
  • Channel engagement
  • CRM data
  • Downloads

Though it may seem counterintuitive, we recommend measuring engagement-based metrics like average episode engagement and subscriber growth over downloads. If you’re wondering why, check out our hot take below!

Note
Hot take: We don’t necessarily consider downloads a true success metric. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t monitor downloads over time — ideally, you’ll see consistent growth here — but downloads are almost the equivalent of impressions. This metric doesn’t tell you much, and it can be tricky to measure from platform to platform.

Now, to keep track of your success, you’ll want to get in the habit of creating UTMs.

What UTMs are: “UTM” stands for “Urchin tracking module.” Urchin Software Corporation was acquired by Google in 2005, and their software laid the groundwork for what we now know as Google Analytics.

What UTMS are used for:UTM codes help us track the performance of URL links so we can see where traffic is coming from. By tagging your URLs with UTMs, you can get a good understanding of how your visitors interact with your website.

What sources we use:

  • Campaign Source: the platform/vendor/site where the traffic originates, like Facebook or Google
  • Campaign Medium: this can be used to identify the medium like Paid Social, Display, CPC, etc.
  • Campaign Term: mainly used for tracking keywords in a paid search campaign; it can also be used in other scenarios to identify aspects of your audience
  • Campaign Content: when A/B testing ads, this is a useful metric that passes details about your ad; you can also use it to differentiate links that point to the same URL
  • Campaign Name: this is just to identify your campaign or theme
Note
Keep in mind that for some CRMs like HubSpot, UTMs are not needed. HubSpot automatically tags all CRM transactions with UTMs and tracking parameters.

Qualitative metrics

Aside from quantitative metrics, there’s also all the stuff you really can’t measure. Things like positive reviews on streaming apps, emails from excited fans, feedback from prospects and customers, and interactions on social media — these are all great signs that your content is resonating with the right folks. That means you should absolutely be paying attention and keeping track of it!

If you do get this type of feedback, don’t keep it to yourself! Share it with your team, who will appreciate hearing the positive impact the show is having.

Measuring success might not be a perfect science, but we hope our strategies for looking at quantitative and qualitative data can help you start to understand how your show is performing overall.


If you build it (the hype, that is), the listeners will come

If you’ve made it to the end of this podcast promotion guide, you should now have foundational knowledge about how to capture listeners and grow an audience for your show.

You should obviously continue using the channels that you know work for you, but if something new has come to your attention through this guide, we encourage you to try it! Don’t be afraid if you experience setbacks or less-than-desired results as you’re testing out new ways to grow your podcast. That’s normal!

No company’s experience will be exactly the same as ours, but experimentation is how you grow and become more successful. Now get out there and start promoting your podcast!

January 7, 2022

Topic tags

Lisa Marinelli

Creative

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