Where podcasting is concerned, you can find a ton of resources out there all about how to start a podcast, including what equipment to use and how to get your podcast recorded and edited. But what about pulling off a successful launch? To reach the goals you want and make the biggest splash possible on your launch week you have to take the time to create a detailed podcast launch strategy. The execution of your launch strategy can be the difference between whether your podcast is a massive success or simply falls flat on its face.
In this article, we are going to go through seven key steps that will help you have the most successful podcast launch possible. A successful launch strategy entails everything from bringing your podcast to life before it is launched, to continuing to promote even after the big launch day. You have to get down to the basics, building a solid foundation to springboard off of, creating a buzz that will carry on long after the initial episodes are released. Ready to create your launch plan? Let’s dive right in!
1. Build Your Podcast Platform
As we’ve mentioned time and again, your audience is the number one thing that keeps your podcast going. That is why there is no time like the present to start growing your audience, even before your podcast goes live! There is nothing better than building up the anticipation for the big event, roping in new listeners and getting them excited about the content that is to come. Take the time to grow your audience on social media and create a community that eagerly awaits your podcast launch. Whether this is surrounding your existing business, product, or service, draw on your followers to build your podcast platform and prepare for launch. Offer your community sneak peeks of podcast episodes and create consistently valuable non-audio content to keep them excited. Make sure your website is updated with news on the launch date and that your podcast platform is ready for the big day. Create awareness across all your social media channels, really building out your podcast brand so that when launch day finally arrives there will already be an audience waiting to listen!
Related post: 6 Strategies for Building Your Podcast Brand
2. Create an Email List
An email list is still gold in the online space. Before your podcast gets recorded or uploaded anywhere, you should be building a list of people you can reach out to on the first day your podcast goes live (and during the pre-launch promotion period). Start gathering emails as soon as you possibly can, so that when you are ready to launch your podcast you have a long list of contacts that you can contact with the exciting news. Identify your ideal listeners and get your podcast into their inbox prior to launch by offering them a valuable resource, specifically targeted to their niche-needs. Once you have them on your list, reach out and get their feedback on topics they’d like to hear discussed and which guests they’d like to see featured on your show. More than that, include them in the launch journey, keeping them updated on the progress and asking them for their help to execute your launch plan and make the podcast a success.
Related post: How to Use Your Email Newsletter to Grow Your Podcast
3. Promote Your Podcast Launch Event
There is nothing more important in your launch plan than creating a buzz around the big event! Use your email list to build awareness around launch date, getting others (besides yourself) excited about the podcast and all of the incredible content that is yet to come. Have a little pre-launch party get together with other podcasters, share your excitement about feature guests, and really build up the anticipation for the launch. Consider running a contest or giveaway for your launch to really maximize on your audience engagement. Make sure that the prize is specific to your listeners, really ensuring that the gift appeals to your audience. Ultimately, your goal is to gather people who will actually gain value from your podcast. Get in touch with media outlets and PR agencies to spread the word about your launch the old-fashioned way. Partner with other podcasters in your industry to be featured on their show. Draw on their established listener base, offering them a chance to join the contest and participate in all the fun of your podcast launch.
4. Launch With More Than One Episodes
One key metric of a successful podcast launch is to gain a spot in the iTunes New & Noteworthy section. When it comes to new podcasts, iTunes seems to value the time spent listening to your podcast episodes. Nothing increases that listening time on your launch day more than having a few episodes ready and available for your audience to listen to! Launching with more than one episode allows new listeners to have a greater range of episodes to listen to, and ultimately they spend more time on iTunes listening to your podcast the first time they encounter it. This step isn’t mandatory at all, but it certainly seems to help your podcast get noticed by iTunes. Make sure to also get early access to iTunes (even before you launch date) to make sure that it is available on your launch date. Your podcast can take a few days to be approved, so plan ahead and make sure all the boxes are ticked!
Related post: The 9 Major Benefits of Batching Your Podcast Episodes
5. Keep The Buzz Going Post-Launch
Most podcasters seem to forget about the post-launch promotion, which is often times the reason their launch is not as successful as it could have been. Continue with promotion, even if the launch date has passed. Use the momentum from the initial launch to springboard your podcast onto top charts – don’t stop the buzz! Let your email list know how it’s going, keeping them updated via a weekly newsletter. Remind them of upcoming guests and whenever new episodes are released. Keep your “podcast tour” going by continuing to be featured on other podcasts, telling them all about how the launch went and what they have to look forward to in future episodes. Run ads on social media to get really targeted new listeners. Finally, make sure to ask listeners for those 5-star reviews. Most people would be delighted to give you a glowing review, but often times they just need a little call to action or perhaps an incentive to take the time out of their busy day to actually do it!
Related post: 7 Tips to Market Your Podcast on Instagram
6. Build a Podcast Community
The top podcasters don’t simply stop at their audio content. Good podcasters keep the experience going somewhere else and build a loyal base of fans, friends, followers that eventually turns into an incredible community. Create a place for listeners to go to discuss the podcast, extending the podcast experience outside of the podcast itself. Provide this community with exclusive content and one-on-one engagement. Use this community as your base support when doing your next launch. Whether it’s for a product or service, or even a new podcast, this community will be the foundation to having successful launches in the future.
Related post: 7 Strategies for Building a Strong Podcast Community
7. Turn Your Experience Into a Resource
Nothing describes a successful launch better than the rewards your reap afterward. Blog or podcast about your launch experience, using your success to help others do the same. Create new content focused on a podcast launch, again drawing in new listeners to the podcast itself. Continue to build your podcast audience and expand your reach by opening up a new revenue source. This can include e-Books or even offering coaching sessions to new podcasters. Extend it even further by starting a mastermind group to help new podcasters develop their own launching strategies, all the while continuing to draw them back to your podcast, to grow and evolve with your show.