Podcast Marketing

How to Create a Successful Podcast Marketing Strategy

Last updated on: 
July 26, 2022

Along with a successful podcast comes a successful podcast marketing strategy. A well thought out strategy can assist in the development, distribution and growth of a podcast. In the world of audio, these strategies have become key.

Without a well-thought-out podcast marketing strategy, it will be a challenge to watch your show rise through the ranks (unless you’re a celebrity but sadly, that’s not the case for many of us). 

Throwing tactics at the wall and seeing what sticks without a clear strategy or measurement plan in place can be a waste of time at the end of the day. Especially for brands, creating a podcast marketing strategy for your team can help to mitigate a lot of questions they may have about the podcast’s audience growth tactics.

Below, we’re outlining a six-step process to creating a podcast marketing strategy you and your team will love. 


1. Identify the goal of your podcast

First and foremost, you need to identify the goal of your podcast series. 

This should only be one to two sentences long. If you go over two sentences, you’re probably trying to achieve an unrealistic amount with your podcast and your messaging may become muddled within all the different goals you’re trying to hit. 

There are endless goals that your podcast might be trying to achieve, but some that might suit your show could include: 


  • Awareness
  • Credibility/thought leadership
  • Relationship building 
  • Partnerships
  • Lead generation 


When you write out your goal, it might look something like: 

“To generate awareness and establish credibility within the fitness and wellness industry.” 

Or maybe: 

“To build industry relationships with different fitness influencers that have over 10K followers across all social media platforms.” 

This is an example of a broader and slightly more specific goal. The route you choose will ultimately depend on your show and what you’re trying to achieve through it.


2. Establish the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for your podcast 

How will you measure the success of your podcast? This is where KPIs (key performance indicators) come into play. 

If you don’t set any KPIs for yourself, then you’ll lack the ability to effectively measure your podcast’s performance overtime and observe whether or not it’s achieving the goal(s) that you set out to achieve initially. 

We’ll be the first to admit that sometimes setting a goal for your podcast series isn’t the easiest endeavor in the world. Compared to video, blogs, and other marketing mediums, podcasts still have a long way to go when it comes to metrics. This has been a large focus for Quill, and something that we’re currently working on solving for brands and podcasters. 

But as of today, the main metrics you can use in your podcast marketing strategy are: 


  • Downloads
  • Unique listeners 
  • Average consumption rate 
  • Demographic data (i.e., location, age, gender, musical interests) 
  • Social media engagement 
  • Website engagement 
  • Any sort of sign ups such as webinars, events, newsletters
  • Any sort of downloads such as whitepapers or reports
  • Leads


Most of these metrics (1-4) can be found in either your hosting platform or through the listening app where your podcast lives (Apple, Spotify, Amazon, etc.). The remaining KPIs can be found through other tools such as Google Analytics and social media analytics.  

When setting your KPIs, try to be as realistic as possible but also set a healthy challenge for yourself. For example, hitting an average consumption rate of 60% is a great KPI to start with. 


3. Create a list of all of your marketing tactics

What tactics will you be using to achieve your goal(s) and KPIs? 

Create a list of all the tactics and channels you’ll be using to grow your podcast. These can be both paid and organic. 


Some paid platforms include

  • Castbox 
  • Podcast Addict 
  • PlayerFM 
  • Spotify Advertising 


Some organic platforms include: 

  • Social media 
  • Newsletters
  • Podcast guests 
  • Podcast directories 


4. Break down each marketing tactic within your list 

With each marketing tactic that you choose to use in your podcast marketing strategy, break it down so you as well as your team have something to refer back to. 

Include aspects such as: 


  • A description of the platform 
  • How you plan on using the tactic with your podcast 
  • Your KPIs for the tactic 


This will help to keep you and your team organized and also shed light on your strategy in case you select too many tactics and you don’t have capacity to not only execute on all of them, but to do it well. 

Try picking just two or three tactics out of both your paid and organic options and start with those for the first few months of your podcast to see how they perform. As you build a routine around them and become more knowledgeable, you can slowly add more or swap out the ones that aren’t working. 


5. Create an execution plan for each of your marketing tactics 

Create individual execution plans for each tactic. These execution plans should include the steps that you or your team need to take in order to bring the tactic to life. 

Make notes of anything like budget, approvals, access to certain accounts, payment information, or really anything that could potentially create a barrier in your podcast marketing strategy. Once you’ve done this, work on jumping through any hoops before you start executing so it can all run as smoothly as possible. 

A sample execution plan could look like: 


  1. Receive approval for $250 USD Spotify Ad budget;
  2. Obtain payment information;
  3. Create a Spotify Advertising account;
  4. Set targeting for Spotify Ad; 
  5. Add all audio and visual creative to Spotify Advertising; 
  6. Review and receive final approvals;
  7. Launch Spotify Advertising campaign. 


We can already see that there are some potential areas of friction in steps 1, 2 and 6, so it’s a good idea to think through these challenges in advance. 


6. Analyze the results of your podcast marketing strategy and adjust accordingly 

And finally, it’s time to analyze your podcast marketing strategy results. 


Some questions to ask yourself: 

  • Did you hit your KPIs? 
  • Were you under or over the KPIs you set? 
  • Did you identify any other KPIs that you should add to your strategy? 
  • Which tactics performed well? 
  • Which tactics did not perform well? 
  • Which tactics would you like to add into your strategy and why? 


Create a report to answer all of these questions and provide an argument about what should and shouldn’t change in your podcast marketing strategy. 

Depending on the cadence of your podcast, reviewing your strategy every 3-6 months will ensure that it’s up to date and that you’ve given each tactic enough time to be able to tell whether or not it’s a good fit for your podcast. 

If you’ve decided to change your strategy, create a copy of your current strategy and start a new one in a separate document. This will ensure that you always have documentation and the history of your podcast marketing strategies to reflect on and learn from. 

Alison Osborne

Director of Growth Marketing

A passionate storyteller, Ali is Quill’s Director of Growth Marketing, previously the co-founder and CMO of the branded podcast agency, Origins Media Haus (acquired by Quill). She excels in merging creativity with data in order to successfully build and grow a brand.

Platform
Price
Pro’s
Con's
Anchor

Free

  • Easy to use
  • Automatically distributes your podcast to major platforms.
  • Embed media player.
  • Great if podcasting is a
    side hobby
  • Very basic editing
  • Since it’s a free tool, you don’t have full control over the monetization of your podcast.
  • Not the right platform for people taking podcasting seriously
Buzzsprout

Free for 2 hours of content per month

$12 for 3 hours per month

$18+ for 6 hours and up

  • Very user-friendly
  • Caters to both long term and beginner podcasters
  • Advanced analytics
  • Easy distribution of your episodes
  • They measure their size requirements to hours not megabytes
  • Bonus: get a free $20 Amazon gift card when you sign up for any paid hosting plan!
  • Advanced features like dynamic ad insertion need some work
Libsyn

$5/month for Monthly Storage 50mb

  • Oldest podcast hosting site.
  • Easy distribution to major platforms and great for scaling once your podcast gets bigger.
  • Hosted over 35,000 podcasts.
  • An iTunes Podcast partner.
  • Allows you to publish your podcast to specific directories.
  • Embed media player.
  • Price is based on storage
  • 50mb storage for $5 won’t be enough if you are publishing weekly so you’ll end up with a higher price point
Podbean

Unlimited audio package: $9/month

Storage space:

Unlimited

  • Great support & customer service features
  • Unlimited audio.
  • Pages are easy to customize
  • Can schedule podcast release dates.
  • Easy to use.
  • Uploads and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions are automatic to Spotify.
  • Embed media player.
  • Simple Analytics
  • Analytics aren’t as advanced as other platforms
  • Upload and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions take a day to change on iTunes.
  • Not an iTunes podcast partner.
  • The process to send a podcast to iTunes is more tedious. But, you will still be able to get on the platform.
Blubrry

Classic

$5/month

Monthly Storage

50mb

  • Podcast Wordpress plugin and management.
  • If you want to record a new introduction or conclusion, add in a sponsored ad or upload a new version of a podcast, it doesn't count towards your storage usage per month.
  • Blubrry allows a 25% storage overage each month
  • Prices are based on storage.
  • Usability is okay.
SimpleCast

Starting: $15/month

Recommendation: $35/month

Monthly Storage: Unlimited

  • Hosts your audio files no matter what the size!
  • Dynamic insertion for podcast ads or edits.
  • Incredibly detailed analytics including number of episodes completed and listener location tracking.
  • Embed media player.
  • Easy to use.
  • Great distribution! Easy access to all major podcast platforms.
  • Customizable podcast
    website.
  • Prices are slightly higher than other platforms, but well worth it especially if you have a branded company podcast!