“To social, or not to social..”? – Marketing Your New Podcast Part 2

Posted by Musanete |14 Mar 17 | 0 comments

“To social, or not to social..”? – Marketing Your New Podcast Part 2

This  week we’ll go into some of your opening gambits with being “social” with your podcast. This is all about how you’re marketing your podcast, and making sure that with whatever strategy you use (word-of-mouth, Facebook..etc), you are adding a level of “social” engagement that goes beyond simply telling people you have a new episode every week.

A friend of mine, Max Soutter of BizSetup responded to a voicenote I sent him asking about whether all of marketing is social in nature. His response was thankfully more than just yes or no. He said how marketing ISN’T really being social in the corporate world right now and how companies are not really connecting emotionally with their customers. I play the voicenote in the podcast so make sure you listen and subscribe.

I go through 3 elements of your early marketing for a new podcast. These will still work even if you have an old podcast, but just haven’t put much effort into being seen out there (I’d fall into that category). All the while I want you to keep in mind some of the things I said in the previous episode about making sure you’re consistent and relevant to those who listen to your podcast, and also remember what Max said about being social beyond “corporate speak”.

1. Friends and Family

The very first people you’re going to tell about your podcast are friends and family. This is easy because you already have a social history with them, so you can get into asking them if they are willing to listen to your episodes.

Doing this will give you a sense of accountability early on since having people listen and give feedback keeps you on your toes! However, you’ll want to sift through feedback because it could be genuine, or a result of someone not really connecting with your content. This is common because friends and family don’t represent a “targeted” audience. They may or may not care about your topic, so be thankful for any who respond, and be gracious to those who don’t respond. They are doing this more for you than anything.

2. Beginner Social Media Steps on Facebook

Now onto the big social media angle to all this. It can be quite daunting, but it’s doable, and takes an initial bit of setup depending on which route you go. There are three main ways to market your podcast on Facebook, and in the very long run, you may use all three. So never look down on any of them.

a) Your personal Facebook Page

If you are just starting out, you can post a few episodes to show everyone what you’re up to. It may get other people you aren’t always in contact with to see your content outside the friends and family you interact with normally, and some people may even enjoy and consistently respond to your content.

Another thing to do beyond this, is to post episodes that may be relevant to a broad group of people. I did this once with an episode on setting goals early in 2016. That got good response because people were all thinking about new year resolutions.

You just don’t want to overdo it with your personal page unless it’s something you’re known for by most of your friends. In that case, people may even be expecting that kind of content from you. You’ll know for yourself which boat you’re in and should post accordingly.

b) Brand Page

This is a page you create and people “like” that page. Celebrities and companies use this because it’s specifically for people who are followers of their brand, and here you’ll want to be particularly strong on your social element.

Because those who interact with this page are already there for a specific reason, you’ll want to have a variety of content on there, and not just “New episode, click here”.

You can post encouraging quotes, relevant memes and jokes, and simple questions for people to answer and engage in conversation through. That way, you are broad in what you’re offering, and you have multiple ways to engage those who visit your brand page.

A big advantage is that the content on this page’s timeline is all yours. So in terms of marketing and being seen, you’re the star of the show.

However that leads to first disadvantage in that people’s posts to your page aren’t seen in the main timeline unless they are comments in response to your own posts. There is a separate tab for posts from other people, and you need to be aware of it because someone could ask an important question there and you could very easily miss it.

The other disadvantage here is your reach. Facebook limits how many people see the posts from your brand page. The numbers are as low as 2-10% of all those who have liked your page actually seeing your content show up in their own timeline. Obviously this is very low and it means that even if you have 100 likes, only about 10 people will see your new content.

Two ways to combat this are to encourage people to visit the page often (especially if you have a good consistency of posts), and to pay for extra exposure on Facebook. The latter is really Facebook’s aim with this as they want to monetize the platform they’ve given you. You can’t escape that unfortunately.

c) Facebook Group

This final method creates a page where those who join are “members” as opposed to “likes”. Already the language should hint at what’s being promoted here: Community.

A Facebook group is good for creating a community where everybody’s voice is relevant. So the timeline include’s everybody’s posts in the group, not just yours. So the conversation doesn’t revolve around you, though you may be in charge of the group… The conversation revolves around the Topic of the group.

Your podcast can be what initiates the group, but the group wouldn’t be specifically about your podcast, it would be about the topic you cover and allowing other people who love that topic to have a space to share their own ideas, and even content, about that topic. This is a goldmine in terms of being social, because it’s all about everybody, not you.

You’ll want to start a group when you know you have lots of people that are passionate about the same topic. Groups are out there for videogames, hobbies, religious or political views…so make sure this isn’t about you  per se.
For instance, in my case, I’d start a group for people who are just about to, or have just started their journey as podcasters. The groups would be around encouraging each other to do well, advice around different issues, and an opportunity for people to ask questions in a space where they know others understand them. In that, I can link to my episodes, but only if they are relevant to the needs of the group, not because I want more traffic.

See the difference there?

Also, in terms of the dreaded reach issue of Brand Pages, a Facebook Group has the added advantage of adding any posts from members of the group in their notifications. If someone says something in the Journey to Podcast Group (which still doesn’t exist), then I’ll get a notification of it, and if you’re a member, you’ll also get a notification of it. Group posts also have a high chance of making it to members’ personal timelines as well.

Some disadvantages to this are that if you’re just trying to market yourself, especially early day, this may not be the way to do it in a consistent manner (However, if you are a respected voice within the group, that alone will do a lot of organic marketing for you because people will trust you).

Also, a group is quite involving once it gets really active, and you’ll want to be very careful with your time. The other part is that members could find it annoying to always get notifications from the group. Whilst it isn’t like that they would turn them off if they care about the group, it is a possibility if the posts feel pointless.

So always keep the group on-topic so that it’s always relevant to those who are members. I am on a group for a game called Assetto Corsa, which is a driving game. A guy on there was notorious for posting pics of his cat… He was kicked out! Another guy posted pics of his cat sitting on his steering wheel for the game, or hanging around him while he played… He was awesome!!
Why the difference, one was pointless, and the other was still relevant to what we were talking about, playing a driving game!

And those are the ways you can do the Facebook game. That was LOOOOOONG!!! Goodness!

3. All roads lead to… Your Website!

In the end, everything you’re doing should be about pointing people back to your website! Why is this important?

The truth is, you don’t own Facebook. It’s actually not your platform. You could have a page there, or even 10…you could even run a business in there. But if they decide to change something about how your page operates, you can’t do anything to stop it! They are a business, and their main concern is their profit. If they want to charge you to reach all the people who have ALREADY liked your page, there’s nothing you can do about it. If they want to make the icons on your page less prominent, you have to live with it.

But your website, is YOUR platform! You own it! So you’ll want as much traffic to end up at your doorstep. If people aren’t coming to your website, or subscribing to your podcast, you’re basically dead. All the social elements of your marketing should lead to people trusting you enough to make the trip to your website, or to search for you on iTunes.

The address bar at the top of the browser is the most unbiased place for your marketing. Once someone types your address, they will end up at your website. They won’t be barred because you didn’t pay someone else enough so they could find you. The address bar won’t limit people’s access to you. So this is why your website is, in the end, your best platform for marketing and building rapport with your audience.

I’m not just talking about comments either. On your website, all your information is there, your posts are seen in full. They aren’t limited to 140 characters of Twitter, or plagued by the TL;DR mindset of Facebook. You are free to express yourself to the full, which is why we podcast isn’t it? The ability to speak our ideas without being restricted!

Don’t try run away from the initial investment in time this will be. A functional website may not be the easiest thing to achieve, but once it’s done, you don’t have to do much else but add your posts and tweak with updates. Take the time to make sure things work on your page, that your presentation is the way you want it to be, and that people can figure out easily how to go where they want to on your page.

As much as it’s a marketing tool for you, it;s also a service to your audience, so don’t hesitate to really put effort into your website!

Ok! I’m going to stop there for fear of losing my fingers from typing!!

I hope this has helped you learn a bit more about what your options are in marketing your podcast!

Don’t just think about it…

Do it!

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