• Verbu

All podlicity is good podlicity

Earlier today, I put out a social media post asking whether anyone had any questions they wanted covered in Verbu's podcast/blog. And Tracy posted a comment, asking about publicity.

So here goes...

Firstly, if you're considering putting together a podcast, really build up your social media following, on the channel/s of your choice. There are many pages out there with advice on building your Facebook, Linked-In, Insta presence etc. so I'm not going to head into great depth on this. However, I am going to remind you to populate your social media with the kind of people you believe will be attracted to your podcast/product/service. If you're shouting about your wares to the wrong crowd, you're not going to get the success you deserve.

You've built your social media presence up? Great stuff. Here are some incomplete strategies for you to try:

- Create a pre-launch publicity campaign. Tell them something is coming. Talk about the benefits for the listener. If you have a mailing list (worth growing that, too!), offer to tell them about it first. You might even consider encouraging people to comment and subscribe on the launch day and if they send you a screen grab of them doing that, they could win a prize. In fact, this doesn't have to be a 'launch day' thing, it could be any point that you want to grow numbers.

- Once you're live... post, post, post. If you're putting a couple of links to your podcast a week in a couple of lines of text, hardly any of your followers will see it. Ensure you have a mix of short video clips, text, photos, reviews etc. Use Canva for free to smarten things up. Use an online subtitle provider if you can't do it using your own video kit. Try different times of day for your posts and see where your 'sweet spot' timing is (for what it's worth, I find my posts do their best around 7-8am as people check their phones for the first point of the day).

- When you're recording your podcast (once you're confident and a few episodes in), why not stream it on Facebook Live - especially if it's simply a monologue from you? A "behind the scenes treat" for your followers.

- Use the right hashtags (where relevant, depending on the social media you're using). The Apple podcasts 'search' seems to be a little less reliable than a good old Google search. So by posting with the right keywords and hashtags to bring the right kind of audience to your podcast, you'll be in a better position to appear in more places. Make sure you replicate those keywords and hashtags in your podcast text to further enhance your results.

- Reflect the subject of your podcast in all your other communications. For example, here at Verbu, the blogs match the podcasts. You could also give just some of the story on your blog and then direct listeners to your podcast for the rest. Equally, your non-podcast social media posts could be covering the same broad subject with an opportunity to hook in a link for the podcast (again!).

- When you're posting details of your latest episode, don't be afraid to tag people in who you think will be interested, benefit or be potential collaborators. This is particularly the case with Linked-In.

- Advertise. You can create organic reach for your series by getting into radio (or TV!) talkshows as an expert on your subject. Or online on a business news page. Or on a relevant forum where your content is of value (and where you won't be breaking the forum's rules). Perhaps there would be value in speaking to a local newspaper or a specialist publication that matches your podcast?

- You could pay to advertise as well. Social media outfits want to make their money so unless your content is absolute dynamite, it will only go so far organically. Once again, choose the social media platform that suits your target audience best - and the promotion should be in the format that suits them best (video, audio, text, picture etc.).

One word of warning; whether you're looking to increase your social media followers or boost the 'listens' (or number of reviews) to your podcast, tread very carefully with third parties who promise to achieve that for you. Often, those social media numbers can comprise of unengaged, non-target, perhaps-not-real people. Ditto with any paid-for podcast 'listeners' and reviewers - they won't be avid, engaged listeners - and badly handled, the podcast companies look very poorly on this kind of paid-for behaviour so it could work against you in the long term.

- And consider teaming up with other podcasters. Are there podcasts out there that you could appear on? Could they appear on yours in return? Once again, there are free and paid resources to make this happen - and some chatter these days about having to pay to have someone on your podcast as a guest. Again, the advice is to tread carefully in these cases and make sure the decision is truly going to benefit you and your podcast. The reason? Let's say you bag yourself a major-name podcaster to appear on your podcast and lets say they promote their appearance to a reasonable extent on their social media (many don't or won't - so it will be good to have a clear agreement sorted up front!). You sit and wait for all the listeners to arrive at your episode with your 'megastar' on. And they don't come. Why? Well - and I don't definitively have the answer to this - it may be that their fans already get everything they want from the podcast that 'big name' produces under their own steam. Why would they listen to your unproven podcast interview when it will likely be a rehash of content that they have already heard. Plus, if they do come to that one episode and depart back to the podcast that sent them in the first place, then you'll have only seen a spike for the one week - with little to show for all your efforts in the long term.

Ultimately, it's all about the long game - and I've said this before. Keep consistent (the undocumented 7th 'c' of my 6 C's Of Podcasting!), keep the podcasts coming out weekly, keep the faith, keep the existing subscribers happy and in time, the audience will grow. Chinese bamboo takes five years to grow. And doesn't break the surface until the five years are up! Keep watering. Keep tending to your podcast. Even when you can't see the growth. Once it breaks through the surface, it will head towards the sky fast!

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