How to Do Podcast Marketing with LemonSpeak
Introduction to Podcast Marketing with LemonSpeak
This is an introduction to how to do podcast marketing and how to get the most out of LemonSpeak. It will be updated based on new features or changes in the podcast landscape.
Podcast marketing is a very broad field, but I want to demistify a few things for you. Here’s what we’re going to talk about:
- General podcast marketing
- How to use LemonSpeak
- When to use LemonSpeak
- Expectations for your Podcast
- Our Support
General Podcast Marketing
We’ve spoken to many podcasters in 2023 and we often saw that a great proportion only publish their episodes. Podcasts with great content but still in a very early stage with a small listenership. That’s something that is painful to see, because I know that podcasting is very time-consuming and you want your podcast to be heard. These days and even more in the future, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out with your podcast. Naturally, podcasts have a discoverability issue because they are only an audio file and as of writing this, an audio file is not automatically transcribed by a search engine. That means a search engine does not know what you talk about in your podcast. Transcripts and blog posts are readable by search engines. That’s one approach to podcast marketing.
However, Podcast Marketing is diverse and you can be very active on social media to build an audience there. It’s definitely worth it, according to Buzzsprout’s 2023 discovery trends. 17% of new podcast listeners use social media to find shows, and even 16% of podcast veterans who have been listening for more than 3 years still use social media for that. It may not have as much potential as SEO and the web, but it’s still a lot! You should figure out on which social media platform your followers are most likely to be and then start to build an account there. Social media is very time consuming, and you can do a million things. You can lose yourself in creating the perfect text, image or video.
Feed Drop & Promo Swaps
Another great pillar is Feed Drop and Promo Swap. The concept of feed drop is that you have a collaboration with another podcaster and you publish one of their episodes in your feed and as an exchange, they do the same for you. A promo swap is when the other podcaster mentions your podcast in their intro or outro. The idea behind both concepts is that you tap into the audience of another podcast. Generally, this can help a lot but you should make sure that you are okay with the content of the other show. That’s because you as a podcaster are the podcast to your listeners. Listeners establish a relationship with their hosts, so you don’t want to lightly do a feed drop without thinking about whether it would be interesting to your listeners. Ideally, the other podcast is topically very similar to yours because then you get the greatest benefit from it. Not only do you keep the topic of your podcast but the audience of the other show is more likely to tune into yours.
Imagine you had a podcast about entrepreneurship and you did a feed drop with a podcast about harvesting lemons. Sounds like a long stretch, doesn’t it?
Newsletters are another opportunity in podcast marketing and can give a boost to your show. Some newsletters are really happy to have a new indie podcaster to write about. I do not have a list of newsletters for you but Podnews does. Not really a newsletter, but applying for free to be featured at Apple Podcasts is also an option.
Where marketing is, there are also paid ads. That is not limited to marketing but also applies to podcast marketing. You can have paid adverts on social media platforms, Google ads or on podcast apps. I recommend avoiding paid ads on social media platforms and if you do, then on a podcast app. The reason for this is that your listeners are already there. Using Google ads can make sense if you want listeners to also navigate to your website because you want to convert them from a listener to a customer, but I won’t go into detail about this.
What would podcast marketing be without a guest exchange? I personally love this approach because of so many aspects: It can improve your show, it helps with content creation, it’s stimulating, and it’s subtle. Very similar to the idea of promo swaps, ideally the guest is a podcaster with a similar topic. Alternatively, the guest can also have a large audience online. That would still be very beneficial to you. You can of course also invite guests to your show who are not podcasters or have a large following, but are experts in their field. That is very valid because your main motivation is then to deliver great content to your listeners. Just know that the effects are smaller. What you can still do in such a scenario is to mention that person on social media and in the episode description.
The downsides of guests can be an additional overhead of planning, reaching out, and research. And what if you do not get along with the guest? At least the last point depends largely on the concept of your show and your personality.
How to use LemonSpeak
Referencing the chapter “General Podcast Marketing”, LemonSpeak positions itself as your co-pilot for social media content and SEO benefits. Let’s start with SEO.
Transcripts, Summary, and Blog Posts
According to Buzzsprout’s 2023 podcast discovery trends, a whopping 30% of new podcast listeners search the web to find new shows. And even 29% of podcast veterans who have been listening for more than 3 years still use the internet to find new shows. That’s a lot of potential for you and your podcast! As mentioned in the beginning, search engines cannot index the content of your episodes if it’s only an audio file. Instead, it needs to be transformed into text, ideally structured text. Once it’s text, it is readable by search engines. LemonSpeak creates a diarised transcript of your episode. I recommend having a simple website on which you list your episodes and the transcript alongside it. That’s where SEO starts its work. But the transcript is just the first step. Search engines love structured text. The most common form is blog posts. Additionally, you have a “blogs” section where you can upload blog posts from LemonSpeak, in addition to the transcripts.
If you don’t have a website or don’t want one, you can use blog posts in other ways. You can use them to grow a newsletter, for example, by using that blog post on Substack or Beehiiv. You can also post it on Medium or do both. Posting as a newsletter, on Medium, and on your website. The only thing you need to be aware of is that search engines do not like duplicate content. That’s why canonical links exist and platforms like Medium offer you the option to specify the canonical link of a blog post. A canonical link tells the search engines where the content originally was posted. Normally, you set this canonical link to your website.
You can read more about transcripts in “How to Get a Transcript of a Podcast: Our Podcast Transcript Generator”.
Show Notes and Episode Titles
Those two are not exactly podcast marketing but they help algorithms on podcast directories to find and rank your episode. The more specific and expressive you are with an episode title, the better an algorithm can get the idea of what your episode is about and match it to a search query of a potential listener. We often saw episode titles that have an increasing number + “Episode” or an increasing number and the name of the show. I understand the concept of keeping track of the number of episodes and this is beneficial for a user, but the rest is not very appealing to a listener. We recommend keeping the incrementing number but having a more expressive second part of the title. New listeners often decide very quickly if they want to tune in to an episode or not, and the first two things that are prominent to them are your show’s thumbnail and the title. LemonSpeak creates creative titles for you that help you attract listeners. Feel free to add the incrementing number as a prefix.
Show notes are a great means to give users the option for a more detailed look into what the episode is about and to list resources and guest information. But as with episode titles, there are two sides. Show notes also help podcast directories to rank your content and match it to searching listeners.
You can read more about show notes in “5 Unknown Show Notes Topics That Fix Your Podcast’s User Engagement Problems” and about episode titles in “How to Title Podcast Episodes: Our Podcast Title Generator”.
Tweets, Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky
We framed this as tweets, but it’s not limited to that platform. In fact, having used X for a decent amount of time, I experienced issues with the platform when it comes to growing and building your audience. If you already have an audience on X, keep doing it, but my recommendation is to explore Threads, Mastodon, or Bluesky if you are starting from scratch as it might be easier to grow your audience there. LemonSpeak generates two types of “short-message” content for you. A regular type that you can use to post daily after you have published an episode and a “throwback” style of content that should be used after some time has passed. Most podcasts are evergreen content, meaning that the content can always be listened to. Talking about it for only two or three weeks would be a shame, so you can refer back to it after a month or two to attract new listeners to the episode. When drafting short messages, it’s sometimes good to have a question in there as it increases engagement. That should be done thoughtfully, but interacting with your listeners not only has the advantage that they might share your episodes, but you can also receive feedback and improve your content.
Q&A + Polls
Originally Q&A + Polls did not fall directly under the category of podcast marketing because it is designed to make your episode interactive on Spotify. You can add questions and polls to your episode on the platform and increase engagement. This has two benefits. Firstly, engaging with questions and polls keeps your listener more active and more likely that they will listen until the end. Secondly, you can ask questions that help you further improve your content. Additionally, we have seen that podcasters also use Q&A + Polls for social media to start a poll there. Both are created for you by LemonSpeak.
When to use LemonSpeak
I briefly wrote about it in the /about section. I believe that if you are a beginner, the most important aspect for you is to work on your content, format, and audio quality.
Here are some key points for you to consider:
- You should have a persona in mind who represents your ideal listener
- Can you explain to me what I gain from listening to your podcast in one sentence?
- How do you differ from other shows in your field?
- Remember: Podcasts are judged by the first touch points, cover and title
I think the content and concept of a podcast should be seen as the foundation, and you want a solid, strong foundation on which you can build upon. Most importantly, for me, the question is what a user gains from listening to your podcast. Although a listener may not necessarily have that question in mind, I know exactly what I gain from the podcasts I listen to and that’s where you provide value to your listeners. Listeners spend time with you on your show, so it’s crucial to put yourself in their shoes. That should also include talking to your listeners and asking them about your show. Only by doing that can you learn and improve your show.
Once you’ve got a bit of experience and you’ve built a strong foundation, you can approach the next pillar: Increase discoverability and grow your audience on social media. I believe that it makes sense to have a two-step approach because podcasting is time-consuming and most people underestimate the amount of time they spend at the beginning of an episode. Doing too many things at the same time might be overwhelming, plus I want you to have strong content. Of course, we don’t hold you back from growing your audience from the very beginning of your show, and if you can juggle multiple things at the same time, then this is great. We’re happy to onboard you on LemonSpeak.
There’s this saying that “If you build it, they will come”, which is not very true. Maybe that was the case when podcasting was in its early days and there wasn’t much competition. The perfect time to leverage LemonSpeak is when you are a couple of episodes in, received feedback, improved your content and are comfortable with producing your episodes.
Expectations for Your Podcast
There is no real magic bullet in podcast marketing that lets your podcast go viral. Podcasts are a slow-growing medium and difficult to compare with other formats online. Once you realise that it’s not normal for a podcast to go viral you can think of how many listeners you expect in a certain amount of time. Is it 100, 1000, or 10,000, or something in between? I say this because I have seen podcasts who aimed to be the next Joe Rogan show, which got me thinking. If one produces a niche podcast, there is a real limit to the number of listeners. So it helps to think about the number of addressable listeners in total and how many of them you want to reach. It’s always good to imagine a room full of your listeners. If you think 100 are not enough, how would you think of it when you gave a presentation to 100 people? Nevertheless, you can reach for a higher number but I think it’s a good motivation to think of the room full of people.
We’re here to help you and we love to communicate with you. If you need help with LemonSpeak or if you want to ask something about podcasting, we are only one email away and most likely I will reply directly to you.
If you made it this far: Thank you and congratulations! Let me summarise: Podcast marketing is essential for podcasts because only publishing your episode won’t work. I explained to you that working on your content is most important and how and why each functionality of LemonSpeak benefits you in our online world. There’s no shortcut but setting the sails right helps. Happy podcasting!