Creating a new podcast is an exciting venture. You get to talk in-depth about subjects that are of great interest to you while growing a loyal following and garnering feedback about your content. There’s a lot of time, effort, and money that goes into creating a podcast, so it makes sense that you expect it to grow exponentially after launch. With more than 86 million podcast listeners in the U.S., it seems like it’d be fairly easy to grow an audience.

The reality, however, is that unless you have a solid promotional strategy for your podcast, it’s going to be very difficult to gain the traction, reviews, and attention you want. It takes a lot more than an awesome podcast to gain loyal listeners who come back every time you publish a new episode. You need to know how to sell it in a way that draws your target market in and encourages them to interact with your content.

If you’re trying to get your podcast promoted the easy way, here are a few tips to help you get started.

Leverage social media

Surprisingly, a lot of marketers and podcast hosts don’t know the first thing about promoting to a social following. It’s not enough to send out one tweet after you publish an episode and expect the views to come flooding in. There’s so much content available that the chances of this bringing you success are extremely slim and unrealistic.

The first step is getting your audience excited about what’s to come. Before a new episode launches, tease your social following with snippets, short clips, or graphics showing them what they can expect in the near future. Make it sound like an opportunity they can’t refuse and absolutely do not want to miss out on.

Post a direct link to your podcast episodes every time a new one gets published for easy access. In your caption, tell users why they’d benefit from your podcast or why they’d enjoy it. Create simple, free graphics in Canva so there’s more for viewers to look at than just text since 58 percent of users prefer visual-first content according to Sprout Social. Twitter lets users play snippets from SoundCloud so you can upload and listen to teasers straight from the social platform.

Use actionable CTAs

It’s common at the end of a podcast episode to hear the host urging listeners to leave a review or check out their website. This isn’t a bad place to start as some podcasts don’t even leverage calls to action (CTAs) in their content, and this is a dire mistake. You can’t expect people to automatically take action, especially if it’s their first time listening to your content. Instead, push them in the right direction with a little light encouragement at the end of every episode.

It’s okay to ask listeners to leave a review and rating, but it’s essential to ask them to take other actions as well. There’s a good chance that your target audience knows friends, family, and co-workers who are interested in the same type of content, and you can use this to grow your following. Pew Research found that 72 percent of people hear and trust news from friends and family, making it the most popular method of communication.

If you have a website for your podcast, provide a link to a landing page where you can collect their emails.

Encourage listeners to check out your podcast’s website will guide them to more valuable content and allow them to easily share it with others. There’s no wrong or right way to encourage people to engage with your podcast. Through trial and error and A/B testing different CTAs, you can find out what kind of language and encouragement works best with your listeners for more effective results.

Hold contests and giveaways

Another great way of stirring up excitement for your podcast is by hosting a giveaway or contest. Everyone likes winning something or getting something for free, and you can use this desire to spark interest in your podcast.

The PetaPixel Photography Podcast decided to use this strategy to thank their existing listeners and ramp up excitement for newcomers. To celebrate airing their 250th episode, they decided to host a giveaway where the prize winner received a camera and lens to call their own. This was the perfect gift for their target audience which consists of novice and professional photographers.

Brainstorm the different types of prizes your audience would enjoy from a contest. If it doesn’t suit their taste or style, less people will be interested. It needs to be something that will bring them value and be beneficial in some way. The more tailored the giveaway is to your audience, the better the turnout will be.

Conclusion

Creating a podcast is a lot of hard work and so is promoting it successfully. It takes time and patience to grow your following to the numbers you want, but you can get there faster if you know how to reach your audience effectively. Don’t ignore social media as a vital tool to grow your podcast and utilize CTAs where appropriate. Get your audience excited by offering giveaways and contests where they can get active and involved in your brand. How will you quickly promote your new podcast?