3…2…1…and we have liftoff! Launch is a go!
And as with the launch of actual rocket ships or interstellar spacecraft set to take us to Mars, the launch is important. Get that right, and the rest of the journey is on the right course for a successful mission.
Your podcast launch therefore sets your show up for success and can help make your entry into the industry a smooth one.
But a successful launch strategy does more than help you launch your podcast without too many hiccups or “Houston, we have a problem!” scenarios. A successful launch strategy should also help get your podcast on the radar of your potential listeners.
Since your launch is so important, you will need a sound launch strategy in place to ensure that your podcast has an audience that is ready and waiting to help rocket your podcast into orbit and give it the attention it deserves right from the first episode!
But what should your launch blueprint look like?
An effective launch includes a combination of strategies, which can be divided into three stages.
*NOTE 1: These strategies are not about how to start a podcast. (If you’re looking for those, check out this post.) What we’re focusing on in this post is what you need in place for the actual launching of your podcast.
**NOTE 2: While these strategies are typically applied to new podcasts about to be launched into cyber orbit, they can certainly be used on your already-launched podcast. If you’re rebranding, revamping, or changing your shows trajectory (i.e. You’re moving your niche or topic in a different direction), with a little tweaking, these strategies will work for you too.
Now, let’s get you ready for liftoff!
Stage 1: Pre-Launch Strategies
1. Build Your Audience Base
Your launch strategy really begins when you’re dreaming up and planning your podcast. As this is the stage where you hone in on your target audience.
Your audience will always be the lifeblood of your show. So Strategy Numero Uno is to find your target audience. And then, to actually start growing your audience, even before your podcast goes live!
Take some time to strategize about who your audience is, what would attract their attention, and how best to reach them. (This should always be part of your podcast planning, check out this post for more.)
Remember, the true magic of podcasting is that connection between host and listener. And so one of your main goals, right from your launch, should be to build a community around your show.
Tips for Growing Your Audience Base
There are many different ways you could grow your audience. And if you know who your ideal listener is, it will be that much easier to know where you can “find” them, and can double down your efforts on those platforms.
The myriad of social media platforms are a gold mine when it comes to reaching out to your target audience and building up some hype around your podcast pre launch.
Some practical ways you could do this is by offering your community sneak peeks of your first few episodes (more on this in the next strategy!) creating valuable, exciting content (audiograms are perfect for this!) that gets them hungry for more, or just sharing fun content that lets your followers get a feel for who you are and what your podcast could offer.
A great place to promote the launch of your podcast is other podcasts! While you’re busy getting your first few episodes ready, create an attention-grabbing trailer that you can use to build the anticipation around the launch of your show.
You can then approach other podcasts within your niche (as their audience will likely be your audience too!) and request an ad-spot on their show for your trailer.
Related read: How To Create An Effective Podcast Trailer
Email is still one of the top ways to reach your audience. So get that mailing list up and running before you launch, and you should have an eager audience come show time! Create a newsletter that’s engaging, informative, not only about your show (this is important!) with a good dose of fun, and you’ll have a great basis upon which to build your podcast community.
Related read: How To Successfully Grow [And Retain!] Your Mailing List
2. Launch With Multiple Episodes
Next part of your Stage 1 Launch Blueprint is to launch with a number of episodes. This strategy will obviously take some time to build up the stock, hence placing it in Stage 1.
Launching with multiple episodes is a really effective way to make a phenomenal first impression on your audience. It shows dedication to your craft and a commitment to high-quality content. But it’s also a really smart launch strategy as it allows your listeners time to get to know you and your show, which increases the chances of them getting totally hooked on your show.
Oftentimes, one episode is simply not enough of an opportunity to really make a name for yourself. So by providing your listeners with more episodes, you will create a longer-lasting impression of you and your show, meaning that your listeners would be far less likely to forget about you, and far more likely to follow your show.
Related post: How To Plan For Recording Your First Podcast Episode
Stage 2: The Launch
We now look at some strategies focused on making your actual launch a success. The launch of your podcast is a big event and something to be celebrated! Stage 2 looks at some top ways for a successful “blastoff” into the wonderful world of podcasting.
3. Promote the Launch Event
Creating a great buzz around your launch event is an important part of your launch strategy. Because what’s the point of a launch event if no one knows when and where to show up, be it virtually or in-person? And that’s exactly why promoting your launch event – whatever that may be – is an integral part of a launch strategy.
Share the date of yourvlaunch, and any activities you’ve got planned via your email newsletter, your social media platforms, heck, share it on your family group chat!
However or wherever you promote your launch – from Facebook to Instagram, to Twitter and Tiktok – let your audience know that your podcast is about to be unleashed into the world, and no one wants to miss this exciting event!
You’ll need to start your promotion tactics well before your actual launch date, not the day before, or worse, the day-of! You need time to share different types of content on a variety of platforms in order to really garner an eager audience before you release your first few episodes. So make sure you factor in this time in the build up to the actual launch event.
Related read: Social Media Marketing Options For Podcasts
4. Increase Your Podcast’s Discoverability
As the launch of your podcast creeps ever-closer, you can add to its success by maximizing the discoverability of your podcast.
Search engines can typically crawl written content much easier than audio content. And while there have been great improvements in what those bots can do, it will definitely fall in your favor to have SEO-saturated written content accompanying all that great audio content you’re putting out.
Some top ways to boost your show’s discoverability include writing top-notch show notes for every episode (We’ve got a great post for that! Check out: How To Write Amazing Show Notes For Your Podcast transcribing your episodes (this is also great for accessibility! Check out Podcast Accessibility: Why And How To Make Your Podcast More Accessible) Or even starting a blog to run along-side your podcast.
Related read: Top Ways To Boost Your Podcast Discoverability
5. Host Virtual Events
Virtual events have surged in popularity in the past two years! And you can hone this phenomenon to help make your podcast launch a rip-roaring success!
Zoom meetings, webinars, Facebook or Instagram live sessions are great ways to really connect with your newfound listeners. These are really effective ways for you to build relationships with your listeners and garner excitement for your show, particularly around your launch.
You can include teasers for your upcoming episodes or ask for questions that you will then answer when you’re “live”.
You could even host a live, virtual “launch party” to really kickstart those all-important relationships with your listeners.
Stage 3: Post-Launch Strategies
Once your show has launched, the work continues! Now you move to post-launch strategies to keep your show in the right orbit.
6. Network, Network, Network
Networking is a great way to strengthen your authority within your niche and build ties with others in the industry. Building genuine connections with fellow podcasters as well as others providing content within your niche can open up so many opportunities. From guest spots on their podcasts, sharing content to their blogs, or even guest speaker opportunities at conferences, networking can really open up so many doors.
But the key is to build real, meaningful relationships with those on the same journey as you. Find ways to connect, to reciprocate offers when they come, and even find ways where you can offer assistance or information to others without expecting anything in return. These are all proven ways to build those genuine relationships which can offer you not only great business opportunities, but also, you may even find some great friendships along the way!
Related read: Top Networking Tips – An Introvert’s Perspective
7. Maintain A Healthy Buzz Post-Launch
Once you’ve created all that great hype around your show in the build up to your launch, you need to switch gears and find ways to keep a healthy buzz around your show post-launch. This will really need to be an on-going strategy. That initial buzz needs to become a constant hum resonating from your show.
Again, there are many options to do this. The live events from Stage 2 are a great way to keep the connection between you and your audience alive. Your newsletters, fun Instagram Lives, or monthly “chats” on Twitter Spaces are all possible ways you could serve your community and keep a level of hype around your podcast. But these are just some ideas! The possibilities are really endless! You just need to give yourself some time to put that creative thinking cap on and brains storm a bit.
There’s no “one-size fits all” approach when it comes to promoting your podcast post-launch and keeping that buzz happening. So have a little fun and try all sorts of ideas. You’ll likely find that some ways will just click for you and your audience, and others will be a waste of your time as they’re not what your audience wants or how they tend to interact with content. So once you find what works, find your groove, double-down, and keep that buzz alive!
8. Keep Sharing High-Quality Content
And the last post-launch strategy is simple, but is the ultimate way to make sure your podcast is a success from launch and way beyond…consistently share high quality content!
There really is no better hack for podcasting success other than consistent, high-quality content that meets the needs of your audience and then some! Flashy images, live events, and even giveaways are great! But they will never be a substitute for solid podcast episodes.
Do all the above – have fun with all the features social media platforms offer, try social audio, attend events, and build relationships with others in your community, but whatever you do, never let up on making your podcast episodes the best that they can be.
While we’ll have to wait a little longer to find out if Elon Musk, Sir Richard Branson, or even the great Captain Kirk himself (really, nothing would surprise me anymore) really do, indeed, take us where no one has gone before. Or save up to buy our own ticket on the next voyage bound for outer space (but with the most recent price tag for a seat on a Virgin Galactic flight set at $250,000, we may have to wait a little while…) what we can make a reality is a successful podcast launch!
And with these strategies, a successful launch is easier than ever! As you prepare to launch your podcast into the podcasting ether, we wish you every success on the journey, may you podcast long and prosper!