Marketing

Once you create your podcast (or ideally, before you finish creating it), you’ve got to start thinking about how to get the word out about it. The categories covered on this page are:

  • Your podcast website and what it should have
  • Cover art design
  • Press kit resources & templates
  • Social media (including content creation tools, management tools, and non-douchey ways to automate some of it)
  • PR & media outreach
  • Podcast-specific marketing resources

Creating a website for your podcast

At its most basic level, your podcast site can be a landing page (or the page that comes with your podcast hosting), as long as it does these three things:

  • Tells would-be listeners what your show is about and whether they’re the right listener for the show (i.e. doesn’t leave someone looking for rom-com wondering if your urban-fantasy horror is up their alley)
  • Gives potential promoters (reviewers, journalists, fans who want to share) the information they need to share about your show
  • Tells people where and how they can both listen to your show (what podcatchers you’re in), and support it (links to your Patreon, ko-fi, or other donation buttons)

That’s it. If it does those things, you’re golden. So, with the goal of getting to that point…you’ll need to choose a way to build your website. The most popular choices are WordPress (self-hosted or hosted at wordpress.com) or Squarespace. I’m biased in favor of WordPress because I’ve been using it since 2008, so I know my way around it really well. Other people who haven’t been using it for ten years might find it less intuitive, and find the Squarespace interface more intuitive. Personally, I find the Squarespace interface less intuitive and find that it’s not worth the extra cost to me (especially since only certain plans allow embedding HTML, which is a hindrance for analytics and customization), but your mileage may vary.

I also want to shout out Strikingly, which is cheaper than both of them at $16/month (billed monthly, less if billed annually) for up to five sites. If you want to create super-simple landing page sites and you have a lot of projects, it might be a good option for you. (The Unplaced site uses Strikingly, for example.)

Whichever way you go, here’s some resources to help along the way:

Cover art design

Press kits

Social media

  • Coming at some point: an overview of the 101 on what all of these social sites actually are and the etiquette differences on each of them. In general, a good rule of thumb on social media is to spend 80-90% of the time being conversational and helping others, and 10-20% of the time promoting your work.
  • Twitter is pretty popular in the fiction podcasting community; the #AudioDramaSunday hashtag is popular on – you guessed it! – Sundays. Make sure to interact with others and shout out other shows, instead of just posting a link to yours with the hashtag, though. (Here’s a list of tips on Twitter, tips 17-19 are relevant to the AudioDramaSunday tag and how it works, which is more like a tweetchat than a promotional hashtag.)
  • Facebook pages aren’t as popular for fiction podcasts, but it’s a good idea to sign up for one for your podcast anyways, just so that it’s there and sends people to your website.
  • Instagram is becoming more popular: How to Promote Your Podcast on Instagram

Social media content creation tools:

  • Once again, Canva is great for creating images for social media, whether it’s for the cover image for your Twitter profile or an image to go with a tweet
  • Headliner lets you create videos with cover art, which you can use on Twitter, Instagram, or elsewhere to post clips of your podcast
  • Unsplash has creative-commons licensed photos
  • In case you need more: 23 Tools and Resources to Create Images for Social Media

Social media management tools:

  • Buffer (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram)
  • Hootsuite (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram)
  • Tweetdeck (Twitter, lets you view multiple account timelines, hashtags, search results, etc. at the same time – great for managing multiple podcast accounts)

Automating social media — without going overboard

I mentioned the 80/20 rule above, and the good news is, at least some of that 20% of promotion can be automated. Zapier and IFTTT both have automation rules that you can set up to work with Buffer (or other tools) so that, for example, new episodes automatically get posted to Twitter. Here are a few more resources to give you some ideas:

PR & media outreach

Reviewers Wil Williams and Elena Fernández-Collins have written about press releases and how to use them to reach out to journalists here:

An important thing to keep in mind: before you pitch a critic or reviewer on covering your podcast, make sure to read their guidelines. Examples:

Do not be a butt and go out of your way to pitch someone in a way that goes against their directly stated policies. Pretty much everyone covering indie fiction podcasts at this point is doing it as a labor of love, and you may think you’re being clever or showing extra hustle by DMing them on Twitter instead of using their specifically stated guidelines. But you’re actually throwing off their workflow and making it less efficient, which in turn means they have to spend more time doing this free work that they’re already doing out of the desire to uplift the community. Just don’t do it!

Podcast-specific marketing resources