Listening to podcasts is growing as an American pastime. According to 2018 data from Edison Research 44% of Americans say they’ve listened to a podcast.
But, what is the difference between podcasts like Smart Passive Income or So Money with the staying power to earn millions of downloads and the majority of podcasts that die out after just a few episodes?
Two words: Good promotion. Without it, podcasts simply disappear into obscurity.
You could help thousands of listeners make better financial decisions with your podcast, but it will take thoughtful planning, marketing, and promotion to make it happen.
Find Your “Why”
There is a crucial first step in podcasting: Finding the “why” of your podcast. Yes, podcasting is very popular right now, but that doesn’t mean everyone has to do it. You need to be able to confidently follow a solid reason why you are willing to put the time and energy into producing your own podcast.
Becoming a thought leader, building brand exposure, or just giving good financial advice to as many people as possible are all viable reasons. Whatever your reason, having a clearly stated objective will help define the goal of your podcast and many podcasts will include this as a tagline or in their show’s introduction. A podcast title reflective of your mission, reason and specialty is also key.
Now that you’ve defined your “why”, you will need to set goals to measure your “why”.
Having a measurable goal will allow you to know if you are on the right track with your podcast. Learn more about developing concrete SMART goals for your podcast here.
Your goal could be to earn a certain number of reviews or get a certain number of subscribers over the first month, gain an increasing number of downloads in the first 6 months, or earn 2-3 paying advertisers, 300 business leads, or 50 new clients within the first year.
Define Your Financial Niche
Now you have to answer the “why” of your listeners. Why would someone go through the effort of dedicating 30 or more minutes of their busy day to listen to your podcast? You must give them a good enough reason, especially when there are lots of competing financial podcasts online vying for their attention.
Well, the best way to give them a reason is by offering something that nobody else does. And this means covering a specific niche. Having a niche will attract an audience that needs solutions to very specific problems, and you will give them those solutions.
To figure out what your niche should be, think about your financial firm’s unique selling points and your areas of expertise. Combine them with a segment that is underserved by financial podcasts and you´ve got your niche.
For example, if your firm specializes in managed futures and alternative investments with the bulk of your clients being retired, your podcast could cater to this specific niche. Or, perhaps your firm offers unique insight into the world of trading exotic futures, such as Snow/Rainfall Futures? In a world where climate issues are gaining more attention, the intersection of climate and trading is a podcast-worthy niche.
No matter what your financial niche is, make sure you solve your listener´s issues with real actionable solutions. Keep the information valuable and avoid explicitly marketing your products or services, you can do that once the listeners subscribe or sign up to your email list.
Invite Industry Influencers as Guests
Even if you are a big brand, building a genuine following can take a long time. There is a smarter way to do this: Leverage. Financial experts have experience using leverage to their advantage, right? Inviting guests who are financial industry influencers with a major following and getting them to share the podcast episode with their interview is key to rapid podcast growth.
When inviting a guest, make sure s/he understands your niche and the benefits of showing up on your podcast.
Develop a well-crafted podcast invitation defining who you are, your audience, your key listener or download stats, what you’d like to cover on the interview, what benefits it will yield for the guest, and how long you’re proposing the interview to be. Once the guest has been slated, follow-up to provide the list of questions you’ll be asking, technical details on the software to use, coordination specifics for a pre-call, and contact information for you or your podcast coordinator.
Once the guest’s episode is released, let them know and ask them to promote it.
Make it easy for them to share the episode by sending them a note on the day their episode goes live and include a series of shareable media such as quotes, images, links, and written social media posts. The easier you make it for them to share the episode, the more likely they will be to do it.
Make Your Podcast Visible Everywhere
The golden rule of real estate is location, location, location. The golden rule of content is to share, share, share. That´s exactly what you must do. Share your podcast in all the relevant channels.
You most likely have one already so make sure to include all new episodes in your newsletter. You can also add a signature on your regular email for additional exposure.
Create unique social media channels for the podcast. Share an automatic update when an episode goes live and keep sharing it in different formats. Tease your audience with rich media, video sound bites, and images. You can get very creative with social media sharing! Facebook, YouTube, and SoundCloud are great channels where you can post episode sound bite promos.
Submit to Podcast Aggregators and Directories
Submitting your podcast to directories can put it in front of thousands or millions of potential listeners. Stitcher, iTunes, Spreaker, Blubrry are some of the most popular ones.
Build Your Reviews
iTunes is responsible for as much as 70% of a podcast’s listens and downloads. Good reviews on iTunes can give your podcast a better reach. So, make sure to get as many reviews on iTunes as possible. A great way to get reviews? Simply ask your listeners to leave a review. If they need to have an incentive, perhaps ask them to leave a review in exchange for entering your free monthly giveaway of a financial eBook or trading resource.
Use Facebook Ads to Reach Your Narrow Audience
With Facebook ads, you can show your episodes to the exact audience you want to reach. Ads can help you gain initial traction and instant feedback that can be pivotal in the long-term success of your podcast.
The Facebook Ads Manager has the most complete targeting capabilities and no matter how specific or obscure your niche is, you can reach it with Facebook. You can target by city, country, interests, demographics, and other relevant categories.
Facebook ads are also relatively inexpensive and can get your podcast in front of listeners in a matter of hours.
Transcribe Podcast Audio Into Text
Adding a text version of your podcast will allow search engines to crawl and index your content. Better indexing will lead to more search traffic and visitors. Good SEO will promote your podcast while you sleep.
Having a text transcript of your podcast episodes will give a sneak peek for listeners before they jump into listening to your show. Repurposing your transcript into a blog post is also a great idea to support SEO and link to download your podcast. This is especially effective when done in conjunction with the other forms of content marketing.
There are multiple transcribing services available such as Sonic or GoTranscript. You can also hire someone to help you transcribe episodes from the freelance site Fiverr.
Optimize Your Podcast Landing Page
Quality audio and relevant content is the #1 rule of good podcasting. But optimizing your podcast´s landing page is also pivotal for promotion.
Upload your podcast to a website or dedicated page with episode show notes, audio transcripts, eye-catching visuals, and a summary of why they should listen. Set up lead capture forms to build a listener list and notify them of new episodes. A user visiting this page can also be retargeted with podcast ads. Learn more about retargeting ads here.
Be Consistent. Period.
With podcasting, as with any other type of content marketing, consistency is incredibly important. Create an episode release calendar and stick with it. Once a week works for many podcasts, but others such as Entrepreneurs On Fire publish every day. Choose what is most suitable for you and stick with it.
If you publish quality niche financial content consistently and promote it through the relevant channels your podcast will begin to grow and make an impact in the lives of your audience.