Podcast Marketing

8 Branded Podcast Marketing Mistakes You’re Probably Making

Last updated on: 
November 14, 2023

Uncover the top 5 branded podcast marketing pitfalls you might be falling into. Learn how to avoid common mistakes and get expert insights for a winning podcast strategy.

When we think of “marketing mistakes” we commonly think of the dark rabbit hole where Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner commercial and Burger King’s International Women’s Day tweet live. 


But most of the time marketing mistakes aren’t nearly as obvious or large-scale.

To be blunt, marketing anything well is a challenge. Success is hard-won and typically arrives after many grueling months of executing your marketing plan. After that, we then have to maintain those initiatives and the hard-earned momentum we've built.

In other words, it’s safe to say that in today’s landscape, marketers have a lot on their plate. 

Podcast marketing for branded shows 

With the rise of branded podcasts, there’s an additional channel for marketers to add to their plate: podcast marketing

Podcast marketing is a newer concept to marketers and creators, and because of this, it can be confusing to know what tactics leverage and what ones to leave at the door when it comes to growing a show. 

“For brands with podcasts, creating the content is just the first step. It’s unlikely that people are actively searching for the podcast you’re creating so you need to get it in front of them. Podcast marketing ensures your content reaches its intended audience effectively. In today’s marketing landscape, it’s the brands that know how to create quality content, strategically position that content in front of their target audience, and then keep that audience coming back for more, that win.”

Alison Osborne, VP of Marketing at Quill and CoHost

To help marketing teams out, our team at Quill Podcast Agency put together a list of 8 common branded podcast marketing mistakes we see shows making and also how to fix them.  

1. Releasing press releases without an audio player

Picture this: You've painstakingly crafted a compelling press release for your latest episode or season release. It's picked up by numerous outlets and even featured in mainstream publications.

Then, it all comes crashing down with the last line: "Find the show wherever you get your podcasts." What’s missing? An embedded audio player! 

With the average human attention span steadily decreasing to 8.25 seconds (that’s nearly one second less than a goldfish), marketers need to make their CTAs as effortless as possible. 

That means, (when given the option) allow your audience to listen to your podcast right then and there. Offer a sneak peek, ideally a trailer, on your website and in press releases to eliminate barriers to sampling your content.

Or at the very least ensure that you’ve linked out to the listening apps where readers can tune in. Don’t make them open the app themselves to search for you because they likely won’t. 

2. Relying solely on social media 

While social media is a valuable tool, relying solely on it for promotion is a common mistake. 

Here are the top three ways people find their podcasts according to the BBC and the University of York:

  1. 71% by talking to their friends and family; 
  2. 69% from listening to other podcasts; 
  3. 49% from internet searches.

With this information in mind, word of mouth continues to reign supreme, but podcast advertising and “more like this” recommendations aren’t far behind along with internet searches. 

To improve your discoverability and reach, consider diversifying your marketing mix. Here are some of our favorite strategies to leverage:

  • Contribute articles to relevant websites or publications that cater to your podcast's niche
  • Feature your podcast in your internal and external newsletters
  • If your organization has other media outlets like radio stations, newspapers, or TV shows, leverage them for cross-promotion
  • Run ads on other podcasts in your niche or those with the same target audience

Social media can be a valuable tool for enabling word-of-mouth marketing but it’s not the only tactic you should silo your podcast into. 

3. A one-size-fits-all social media approach 

Each social media platform has distinctive features, interaction styles, and audiences that you should use to your advantage.

As a general rule, most people on social media aren't looking to consume entire episodes. They're more interested in bite-sized content that captures their attention quickly. Here are some ways to achieve this:

  • Share short clips: Create engaging snippets or audiograms from your podcast episodes. These short, attention-grabbing clips are more likely to capture your audience's interest and entice them to listen to the full episode. You can easily create these short clips using tools like Headliner
  • Full episode posts: For platforms that support longer content, such as YouTube or IGTV, you can share complete episodes. However, even in these cases, consider adding engaging visuals or subtitles to keep viewers interested.
  • Image-based posts: On platforms that don't support audio or video, like Pinterest or Instagram, create image-based posts. These can be quotes, infographics, or visually appealing images related to your podcast content. Use compelling captions to engage your audience in a dialogue or share a thought-provoking question.

Additionally, depending on your target audience, the social media platforms you leverage will look a little different. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to the type of content most conducive to these platforms and their average user demographics:

  • LinkedIn: If you’re looking to reach businesses and professionals, LinkedIn is the place. Currently sitting at 950 million users, the platform is great for sharing long-form content including carousels and documents. Remember to add links to your post for easy listening.
  • Twitter / X: The key to X is short and sweet, making the importance of visuals all the more important. If you’re catering to businesses and male Millenials (X users are 71% male), tweet about your latest releases using audiograms or short video snippets.
  • Facebook: Typically favored by earlier Millennials and Gen X, Facebook is conducive to long-form content, images, videos, and audience engagement features like polls. However, Facebook is steadily decreasing in popularity with Edison and Triton reporting a 5% decrease in usage last year.
  • Instagram: Used primarily by Gen Z and Millennials, Instagram has quite a few features that lend themselves to podcast promotion including IGTV, reels, stories, and carousels. 
  • TikTok: If you’re looking to reach Gen Z, look no further than TikTok. The most popular short video platform, TikTok has 1 Billion users. Conducive to short audio, stories, and live streams, TikTok is a great platform to leverage trends and hashtags and tap into the younger generation.
  • YouTube: YouTube currently boasts 2.7 Billion users and is becoming quite the hub for podcast listeners with 43% of monthly podcast listeners enjoying podcast content on YouTube within the past year. Make sure to optimize video titles, descriptions, tags, and closed captions to improve SEO and increase visibility.

And please, please, avoid simply posting the link to your episode with a caption along the lines of “Listen to the latest episode of *insert podcast name* where we talk to *insert guest name* about *insert topic*!” 

Just don’t. 

As social media has evolved, users are looking for content that educates them, inspires them, evokes emotion, and overall, provides value. As you share your content, keep this at the forefront of your mind. 

A great example of promoting a branded podcast on social in a more value-driven way is with The Juice’s show, Modern Day Marketer

VP of Marketing at The Juice and host of Modern Day Marketer, Brett McGrath, always shares new episodes on LinkedIn but the focus of the post isn’t even on getting someone to necessarily click on the episode. It’s on educating audiences, which a lot of the time, provides enough value to make them want to listen. 

Here’s one of his posts from a few weeks back: 

The opposite of boring, right? 

4. Forgetting links, tags, and hashtags in your posts

Going back to our earlier point: Make sharing as easy as possible for your guests, fans, and employees. 

While it’s a nice thought that people will take the time out of their day to create custom social media copy, research your show links on their own time, or dig up old posts to make sure they’re including your hashtag, the hard reality is that people are busy and are probably not going to go through all the extra effort. 

Instead of assuming that your guests, employees, and listeners will actively promote your episodes, provide them with easy options for sharing. This can include things like social media copy, platform-specific assets, what hashtags to use, and details of who to tag including their @s.

Quill Tip: Is guest preparation stressing you out? Learn how to become your guest’s favorite host in our complete guide on podcast guest prep.

5. Not leveraging podcast reviews and ratings

While podcast reviews and ratings are great on their own, many podcast marketers miss out on actually putting them to use. 

It’s heavily debated as to whether podcast reviews truly impact podcast charts (we believe they do), we do know that podcast reviews and ratings can be repurposed in the following ways:

  • Social media testimonials 
  • Advertisements 
  • User-generated content
  • Trust signals that live on your podcast website or landing page

So although you hear it on pretty much every podcast, make sure you ask your audience to rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts. Being able to build a base of positive reviews will bring a myriad of benefits to your show. 

Quill Tip: Thomas McKinlay of Ariyh found that seeing one negative review, among positive reviews, is enough to make people 42% less likely to buy a product. We believe this can also be applied to podcast reviews and ratings. So ensure that when a potential listener lands on your podcast, they’re seeing positive messages about your show. 

6. Discarding paid promotion tactics 

We all know that quality branded podcasts don’t come without spend; however, many marketers are hesitant to put any additional budget out post-launch after they’ve already invested in a podcast agency to produce the show. 

While organic tactics work very well when it comes to increasing awareness, discoverability, and brand recognition, sometimes they fail to push the needle when it comes to conversions and monetization

We’re not condoning the “spray and pray approach” (actually… we kind of are), there are many strategic, targeted paid opportunities for marketers to leverage for their branded podcast.

Here are some of our favorites:

7. Not focusing on podcast SEO

It’s safe to say that you’re likely an SEO pro, but unlike traditional web content, optimizing a podcast can be a bit elusive. 

The audiosphere hasn't always been closely linked with SEO practices, primarily because search engines couldn't readily index audio content. That was until mid-2019 when Google began scanning audio files for relevance, marking an exciting new territory for podcasts and content marketing.

There are many ways to go about optimizing your podcast for SEO, but here are a few that marketers shouldn’t skip:

  • Keywords: Identifying valuable and relevant keywords for your podcast is essential since it assists in increasing visibility, traffic, and the likelihood of your show coming up as a search result for your target audience in search engines like Google. 
  • Optimize written text: This includes optimizing text like your show title, episode title, descriptions, and show notes with target keywords. 
  • Transcriptions: Transcriptions are effective for boosting SEO since they provide an opportunity for more keywords, SEO-centric formatting, more web pages on your site, and additional content pieces for promotion. They also increase your show's accessibility. 
  • PR: PR drives word-of-mouth marketing and increases awareness, credibility, and backlinks to your podcast. 
  • Podcast websites or landing pages: These pages typically provide episode descriptions, show notes, transcripts, and additional content such as blogs or videos, enhancing the listening experience, enabling easy reference, and, of course, increasing visibility through SEO. 
  • Repurposing podcast content: This is one of the simplest and best ways to expand the reach and improve the discoverability of your podcast. But don’t just take our word for it –  94% of marketers repurpose their content and it is the second most effective content marketing tactic according to the State of Content Marketing report by SEMRush.

Quill Tip: We take a deep dive into podcast SEO in our complete guide that encompasses everything you need to know for a successful branded podcast SEO strategy. From keyword research and optimizing metadata to creating transcriptions and blog posts, we’ve got you covered in becoming a podcast marketing expert. 

8. Not tracking podcast performance 

So, you’ve nailed down all these PR features, diversified your podcast marketing mix, and launched a new campaign for your show’s latest season, but what’s the use if you don’t understand the impact and ROI?

Here are some ways podcast performance tracking guides decision-making:

Understanding audience behavior:

Podcast tracking tools like CoHost allow you to analyze listener behavior, such as the number of downloads, plays, and episode completion rates. This information helps you comprehend what content resonates most with your audience, allowing you to tailor future episodes to their preferences and interests.

Measuring listener demographics:

Podcast analytics like Advanced Audience Demographics or B2B Analytics provide data on listener demographics, such as age, location, income, gender, pets, social media usage and behavior, lifestyle, hobbies, and companies that are listening. Understanding your audience helps you verify you’re reaching the right target demographic and customize podcast content to cater to your ideal listener. 

Evaluating marketing strategies:

Using Tracking Links, you can assess the effectiveness of various marketing channels by tracking your download sources. By examining the impact of social media promotions, email campaigns, or cross-promotions with other creators, you can optimize your marketing budget and concentrate on channels that yield the best results.

Monitoring listener feedback:

Monitoring reviews, comments, and listener feedback is crucial for improving your podcast. Podcast tracking enables you to gather feedback from multiple platforms and gain valuable insights into what your audience appreciates and what aspects need improvement.

Comparing performance with benchmarks:

By tracking industry benchmarks and comparing your podcast's performance against them, you can identify areas for improvement and set realistic goals for growth.

Content marketing pro turned podcast marketing pro

Remember, podcast marketing isn't just about getting the word out; it's an ongoing process that requires innovation, adaptability, and a deep understanding of your audience.

And perhaps more importantly, don’t be afraid of making the occasional misstep. 

Marketing, like any other creative pursuit, thrives on trial and error. Embrace the lessons learned from your mistakes and use them to refine your strategies. In the end, success in podcast marketing, like podcasting itself, is a journey where adaptability and experimentation can lead to impressive results. 

And although it’s a different and likely new medium, remember that you’re a seasoned marketer. Think of the podcast like you would any other product or service you’re promoting. 

If you’re looking to spruce up your podcast marketing strategies, reach out to our team

Tianna Marinucci

Content Marketing Specialist

Tianna Marinucci is a content creation and digital marketing specialist. She graduated from McGill University in 2021 and has since worked in a variety of industries from interior design to technology.

After traveling to more than 60 countries and working in three, she is inspired by diverse cultures and motivated by unique experiences.

In her spare time, Tianna loves trying new foods, going to concerts, and learning more about history and socio-economics through books and podcasts.



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