We said it. You need a marketing plan before you spend all your time on producing the show – and here’s why.

Think about it: Podcasting is one of the only media formats where you could begin production without considering a solid marketing plan for launch and beyond. In film, you have marketing working alongside production to figure out different spins on the launch and its relevance to its audiences. The same is done in book publishing – book editors often have to convince marketing teams to take on books they love in order to make sure there is a market for them. 

But podcasting is different. And we know that (and it’s also why we love it!). But we do think there is a lesson that we can all learn that can benefit the shows that we all work hard to support. 

The Problem with Launching without a Marketing Plan 

There are over three million podcasts out there – and granted, many are dead feeds – but there are still TOO many podcasts for every single one of them to grow organically. When putting out a show you have to think about how your show will likely have to replace another favourite in your listener’s feed. That means you absolutely must have a launch plan that makes your podcast stand out. Marketing is what connects well-produced podcasts with their audiences and trust us when we say that even the best produced shows can go unnoticed. 

Step 1: Your Audience 

You should begin marketing your podcast by first thinking about your audience. When planning any show, you should be keeping in mind your ideal listener – who are they? What do they like? Think about how your show solves a particular problem and then answer: how does it do it in a unique way? 

The great thing about starting here is that this marketing exercise will actually aid you in creating a show that is developed for a specific audience too. Once you have nailed down your ideal listeners, think about other shows that they might like and what kind of marketing they have around them to inspire you. Look at the language around the show, the assets, the kind of social media activity they have, and then move on to step two.

Step 2: Your Assets

Now that you have a good grasp of your audience and your ideal listeners – you can start to really think about what you need to create for your show to be a success. This includes:

  • Your artwork
  • Episodic artwork 
  • Your website
  • Any other visual assets for promotion (HERO artwork for Apple, Display ad artwork etc)
  • Social channels 
  • & anything else that you might want to include!

This list could of course be endless as you can have full-length Youtube video as part of your promotional plan for which not only will you need the video itself but also clips for Youtube Shorts and thumbnails, too – but start with the basics and go from there. You can use this to aid you in the next step which will dictate a lot of your marketing activity.

Step 3: Your Time and Budget

No money can buy you time – that is true, but your budget could indicate just how much time you need to spend putting together all of your assets. If you come up with a long list or assets, you will need a lot of resources to pull them all together and that means either: a) putting a strain on your internal team or b) more budget spent in using services that can help you. If you plan far enough ahead, you can put together a manageable schedule that would also work within your allocated budget. So start early and give yourself the time – it will be worth it. 

Your budget would also dictate the ambition of your launch. This ranges from putting loads of spend behind performance marketing, putting more into host reads, or pushing your content across social media channels in form of short videos from your show. There is room for ambition within any budget – so just make sure to start thinking about your marketing plan as you come up with the idea for the show. It will greatly help you in the long run and will help you spend your money wisely. 

What is a good show launch?

For example, Electoral Dysfunction podcast by Sky News had re-used a feed from their Beth Rigby Interviews…. podcast and then released a trailer for the show ahead of the first episode’s release and made sure everyone knew about the podcast’s launch through curated press interviews and announcements. By the time the show launched, it was already holding a number 1 position in the charts – which is in itself, an amazing discovery tool! Planning ahead and thinking of the show’s audience ahead of time pays off. 

So make sure you establish a feedback loop between production and marketing so they can work together in unison. Think of everything: from budgets to publishing schedules and your assets. And if you get stuck, ask for help. 

If you are struggling to position your show to your audience or simply don’t have any marketing support, we are also here to help. We can help you identify your marketing strategy, spend and even handle all of the execution – so make sure to reach out no matter how limited you feel in your reach right now. We will help your show get off to a great start.