So you’ve decided to dive right in and start a podcast! Congratulations! Whether it’s a move that’s been on the cards for a while or its a new challenge to tackle quarantine boredom, the decision to start a podcast should be closely followed by the creation of a podcast launch strategy. A successful launch sets your show up for success and should get you 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 will help rocket your podcast into orbit and give it the attention it deserves right from the first episode! An effective launch includes a combination of strategies designed to build an effective base to launch from as well as strategies that keep the buzz alive long after Episode One airs. But whether you’re brand new to the industry or have been podcasting for a while, these strategies can be applied across the board to help you and your show make a splash on the scene or breathe new life and reignite the buzz around your great show.
1. Build Your Audience Base
Your audience will always be the lifeblood of your show. So Strategy Numero Uno is to 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. Remember, your goal is to build a community around your show and that community should consist of listeners who will gain value from your podcast. Look for different ways you could grow your audience via the many social platforms available in order to create a community that is just as excited about your podcast launch as you are! Some practical ways you could do this is by offering your community sneak peeks of podcast episodes or by creating valuable, exciting content that gets them hungry for more. You should also make sure your website (more on that later!) is up-to-date with launch-related news, and, of course, you should ensure that your podcast platform is ready for the big day.
Related read: How to Start a Podcast 2020 Edition
2. Promote Your Podcast Launch Event
Now that you have begun to build your podcast platform, you should start to focus on promoting your launch event. Creating a great buzz around your launch event is arguably the most important part of your launch strategy, and there are a whole host of effective ways you can do this. Firstly, if you’ve built up a mailing list from your website and blog, that’s a great way to start promoting your new show, as the recipients are already invested and interested in your content. But one of the most successful ways to promote your show will be via social media platforms. Now more than ever, social media plays a huge role in building your brand’s image and authority, and there are some winning options available. From Facebook to Instagram, to Twitter and Tiktok, there are so many effective and fun ways to really connect with your listeners and build a loyal community around your show. Pick the platforms that your listeners use most regularly and get those creative juices flowing to create content that will whet their appetite for your show. You could create eye-catching audiograms to give sneak peeks of your upcoming episodes, or you could give some great behind-the-scenes footage or share some fun quotes – there is really no limit to all the ways you can utilize social media to promote your show; you simply have to have a little creative fun and experiment with all the tools available to you.
3. Launch With Multiple Episodes
Another great way to ensure, that not only your launch is successful but that your show finds success well beyond that is to launch with more than one episode. What could create a better first impression than having a whole lot of valuable content available for your audience to listen to? Launching with more than one episode allows your listeners time to get to know you and your show, which increases the chances of them totally loving what you’re putting out, and getting them hooked on your content. If they “binge listen” to the first few amazing episodes, it can create a greater hunger for more of your content, which will see them hitting “subscribe” and tuning in as soon as your next episode becomes available. 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.
Related post: How To Plan For Recording Your First Podcast Episode
4. Increase Your Podcast’s Discoverability
It is a well-documented fact that search engines can comb written content much easier than audio content. And while the tech gurus among us have made leaps and bounds in improving this, in order for your great show to be discoverable, you should definitely have written content to accompany your episodes in order to improve your SEO. The fact remains that written content marketing will always be an effective way to promote your podcast, which is why it is important that your show has its own website and why running a blog alongside your podcast should be part of your launch strategy. It may sound like a whole of extra work, but in reality, a lot of your blog content can be created by repurposing your podcast content. You could easily create posts by writing episode summaries which include key points, any resources that were mentioned in the episode, as well as any sharable links. You could also have the audio content of your episode transcribed, and with a little tweaking and tinkering, a brand new blog post could be ready to roll. With a little practice, you’ll find what works best for you, and you’ll have paved the way, not only to a successful launch but to long-term podcasting success.
Related read: How to Improve the Discoverability of Your Podcast
5.Network, Network, Network
The old adage “It’s not about what you know but who you know” definitely applies to planning a successful podcast launch! To help create a buzz within the industry around the launch of your show, you will need to network with other influencers within the podcasting community. How you do this will be specific to your show, but it could be anything from asking leaders within your podcast niche to guest host an episode with you, or it could even mean sending requests for you to be a guest on other well-established podcasts. These strategies can really help create anticipation and excitement for your own show, as well as helping you to build a larger audience for when your first episode drops. You will need to do a little research to find ways to connect with these influencers both within the podcast community and with those within your niche, or an aligned niche. The key is to build real, meaningful relationships with those on the same journey as you and you’ll find that you will have natural channels to promote your show, and you’ll be able to reciprocate the gesture by promoting other shows via your episodes.
6.Host Virtual Events
If this crazy time of quarantining and lockdowns have shown us anything, it’s that we can really get creative with how we virtually connect with people. From celebs putting on “at home” concerts to hosting virtual “meet-and-greets”, we’ve truly seen how the Internet can make us feel connected, even when we’re far apart. And you can utilize this tool to help make your podcast launch a rip-roaring success! Once you’ve created an online community around you and your show, why not host a Facebook or Instagram live session to really connect with your newfound listeners? These are great ways for you to build relationships with your listeners and garner excitement for your show. You can include teasers for your upcoming episodes or ask for questions that you will then answer when you’re “live”. If your show is created around “something” you and your listeners have in common (like your mutual devotion to Friends, for example) you could host a virtual “quiz night” where you and your listeners pit your knowledge against each other, or you could even host a virtual “launch party” complete with costumes! The possibilities really are endless, and even when we’re able to meet in public again, the virtual world is a great, budget-friendly way to “meet” and engage with your listeners on a continual basis.
7. Keep The Buzz Going Post-Launch
Lastly, it is important for the long-term success of your show that you include post-launch promotion as part of your launch strategy. The most effective way to do this is simply to carry on with all the strategies we’ve mentioned on this list tailored to your now-launched show. This means that you should continually provide valuable content to your mailing list or via your blog, consistently use your social media platforms to engage with your community, as well as regularly putting out top-notch episodes. Other ways to keep your audience engaged and the hype around your show hot and happening could be through calls to action such as periodically asking your listeners to review your show or using your social media platform to ask and answer listener questions. This strategy is made even more effective if you occasionally read out reviews or refer to social media engagement during your episodes! The bottom line is that the success of your podcast means that you need to keep the buzz around your show consistently buzzing through continual promotion, active listener engagement, and, most importantly, by continually providing your listeners with valuable content.
There you have it, our top strategies for a successful podcast launch. So go ahead, and make that great podcast idea you have a reality! There really is no time like the present to make dreams become reality, particularly if you’re finding yourself with some additional free time due to the current lockdowns or stay-at-home orders the world’s population is currently under. Whether people are looking for alternative entertainment while they are staying at home or they are looking something to keep them company while they apply the Marie Kondo method to their home, the fact remains that there are ready ears just waiting for your show. You now just need to apply these strategies and make your launch a success.
Related read: Top 8 Ways To Create Buzz Around Your Podcast