Podcast listeners have jumped 29.5% from 2018 to 2021, according to Buzzsprout. That should be no surprise to marketers and brands.

But as is the case with video in our growing spoken and visual world, the crowded podcast space where brands compete for listeners means marketers need to have a strong podcast optimization program beyond the air-it-and-forget-it approach.

Here are some considerations:

Partner With Other Podcasts

Tom Wentworth, chief marketing officer at Recorded Future, said his teams in its Click Here podcast look for partners in the podcast promotion department.

"One great way to get your podcast out there in front of a different audience is to partner with another podcast and cross-promote each other,” Wentworth said. “We're doing this at Recorded Future and have found it to be a simple way to reach a new audience without having to pay for advertising."

Other podcasters' audiences are likely to be similar to yours. Contact those creators and request a cross-promotion, said Lyle Florez, founder of Easy People Search.

“It's as simple as that: you mention them, and they remember you,” Florez added. “Begin by contacting shows with similar-sized audiences to yours. They are the ones who are most likely to respond.”

Related Article: CX Decoded Podcast: Amex CX Teams Take Customer Listening to the Next Level

Develop an SEO Strategy

With a podcast that’s simply posted to your classic platforms like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, etc., without any other avenue into the podcast, listeners won’t have a great way to discover, connect and listen.

“Create a written format for your podcast. It will not only help in SEO but also will allow you to reach diverse audiences,” said Glen Carroll, managing director at ClicksMarketing.

Create a landing page with a transcript of your podcast. It will not only increase SEO on your podcast but also supports accessibility for those hard of hearing who want to read through your recordings. Transcripts are a start, but ensure good SEO strategies like subheads, keywords, relevant links, etc.

Further, apply SEO techniques such as keywords and metadata while writing the actual description of the podcast that lands on podcast platforms, said Ronald Williams, founder of Best People Finder. “Use keywords that are relevant to your podcast's agenda,” he said. “You can find these words with online tools like Google Keyword Planner.”

Related Article: The Business Case for B2B Podcasts

Convert Your Podcast Into a YouTube Video

Great podcast marketing means making the show available in more places than just the classic podcast platforms, Florez said. “Get double the exposure from one episode by repurposing its content for YouTube."

“The easiest way to upload a podcast to YouTube is to convert the MP3 audio file into an MP4 format," he explained. "Add a branded image to appear for the duration of the video and upload. Include show notes and links to your website, subscribe links to other listening platforms and social channels in the description.”

Uploading to YouTube will increase SEO because you can include keywords in video titles and descriptions, helping search engines and listeners find the podcast online, according to Mike Perez, head of growth marketing at Spacelift.

Try not to just sync the audio over an image or background on YouTube, but try to create a video that adds more to the audio, added Brandon Hopkins, founder of DiamondLinks.

Solicit Feedback, Reviews on Your Podcast

At the beginning and end of each episode, encourage your audience to subscribe, share and leave reviews, Florez said. “The best way to position these calls to action is to be genuine rather than pushy,” he added. “Be truthful and explain that as your podcast grows, you will produce better content for your listeners to enjoy.”

Providing reasons for the audience to leave reviews, subscribe or share is part of a compelling call to action (CTA), according to Mari Hutton, marketing manager at Bobcat Rental. “Listeners’ CTAs will help the podcast reach a wider audience and create meaningful content in the future,” she added.

Related Article: Podcast Ad Personalization: Is It Going Too Far?

Repurpose Podcast Content

Don’t let your podcast content go static. Repurposing your content on social media and in other circles allows you to promote your episodes, according to Hilda Wong, founder of Content Dog.

There are several ways to repurpose your content besides audiograms:

  • Include a blog post with your podcast episodes

  • Create graphics with quotes from your episodes

  • Prepare an infographic for your episode

  • Create YouTube videos from your podcasts

“Repurpose your audio content to market it on social media,” said Adam Crossling, marketing consultant at Zenzero. “Add small audio clips of your podcast with a video to attract the audience. Before releasing the podcast, share interesting quotes from the episode on social media. Make infographics to highlight the best parts of the podcast and publish short blog posts about the episode.”

Consider Pinterest as a Podcast Landing Page

Laura Rike, who provides Pinterest consulting services, said many people misjudge Pinterest as a simple bulletin board online for recipes and inspiration, but it is so much more than that. She calls it a powerful search engine with robust ad capability.

“An example of a way to be an early adopter of new features to get more traction in the algorithm,” Rike added, “could be to create idea pins (TikTok Style video pins) of parts of your podcast as teasers to drive people to your episodes.”

The Future of the Podcast

It doesn't look like podcast growth is slowing down any time soon. Forecasts from Statista suggest that the number of podcast listeners will grow by around 20 million this year alone, with the total number of listeners surpassing 160 million by 2023.

As popularity around this medium swells, it's essential for marketers to begin optimizing their podcast strategies. By implementing the ideas above, brands can ultimately bring in a wider audience and drive engagement.