10 Key Takeaways From our SEO & Social Media for Podcasters Panel

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SEO and Social Media for Podcasters

We recently had the pleasure of hosting a panel discussion about SEO and Social media for Podcasters. Featuring an expert on Social Media / SEO, a podcaster who has dedicated their program to exploring the world of social media and marketing, and a podcaster who regularly faces challenges with the algorithm. 

The conversation traversed a wide range of topics, from social media opportunities and challenges to tangible tips and knowledge that every podcaster can utilize in their outreach and growth efforts. Each panelist offered inspiring and insightful words and practical advice for everybody who watched the panel discussion.

Below are our ten favorite takeaways.

1. Focus on the brand of the podcast

The #1 thing I tell people is to focus on the brand of the podcast. Write a single sentence synopsis of what your show is about—when somebody is recommending a podcast to a friend, they need to have a crystal clear vision of what this podcast is about for them to ever recommend it.

– Alban Brooke – Head of Marketing at Buzzsprout.

2. Create text first content to rank podcast

A podcast’s problem is that its audio first content, not text first content, right? It’s very hard, if not impossible, to rank a podcast episode page from your website in Google search. Because that’s what people want. Right? So the way to think about leveraging Google search to get exposure to your podcast is to create some text first content that then leads people to your website and your podcast.

– Dan Shure – SEO Consultant and host of Experts On The Wire.

3. Word of mouth advertising is the one that I always go back to

What we get when [listeners] come from a personal recommendation from a friend is that people stick around. They listen so much longer, and they engage with the content so much more deeply. On YouTube, I’m lucky if people watch a video for two and a half minutes. I can be confident that people are listening to an episode for 30 to 40 minutes on a podcast—it’s just a totally different beast. Word of mouth advertising is the one that I always go back to because it’s just so powerful, and it doesn’t rely on anybody else’s algorithm or platform to succeed.

– Alban Brooke – Head of Marketing at Buzzsprout.

4. Setup iTunes Connect to make your show better

Make sure you set up iTunes Connect, where you can look at the trail off of listeners, which can be heartbreaking. I went to iTunes connect and was like, ‘Oh my goodness, I lost 30% of my people after five minutes.’ That’s what finally got me to sort of swallow my pride a little bit and incorporate a little bit of editing, even in an interview format. That’s where I’m taking out, like if in the first five minutes of that interview, there are dead spots or like some extraneous ‘Ums’ and ‘Ahs’ and stuff like that. Obviously, your goal is to get people who listen all the way through, but yeah, it can be a complex metric to look at, but also really, really helpful just to make your show better.

– Dan Shure – SEO Consultant and host of Experts On The Wire.

5. If you don’t see big numbers, it may not even mean you’re doing something wrong

In some podcasts, people listen to three hours every episode. So we are optimizing for depth with our audience rather than just for these large numbers. So if you don’t see big numbers, it may not even mean you’re doing something wrong. It’s probably the medium itself that is geared towards a much more intimate relationship with a smaller group.

– Alban Brooke – Head of Marketing at Buzzsprout.

6. Human connection triumphs an algorithm

Word of mouth is still the most powerful way to attract the audience, and I guess I would like that to be the world that I live in as well, where human connection triumphs an algorithm.

– Sen Zhan – host of Beyond Asian: Stories of the Third Culture.

7. Convert an audience into a podcast audience

We’re leveraging an algorithm to get people in front of our podcast. And then we are trying to convert that audience into a podcast audience that comes back episode after episode without the goodness of the Google algorithm, or the Twitter algorithm, or the YouTube algorithm shining on us that day and saying, ‘Oh, you get more views.’ Instead, people are actually subscribed to our shows coming back week after week.

– Alban Brooke – Head of Marketing at Buzzsprout.

8. On TikTok, you can get a lot of exposure for not much effort at all

I think you’re very smart to experiment with TikTok because TikTok is the platform where you can get a lot of exposure for not as much effort at all, compared to Twitter or Facebook. The challenge with those, though, is that getting somebody from one platform to another is tricky and takes a long time. So, you know, I’ve gotten into some very popular TikTok accounts, and you see, they have like a million followers, and then you go to their Instagram, and they have like 7,000. So it’s like the people aren’t jumping from platform to platform per se. But I think there’s still a lot of value in getting that free exposure in a platform like TikTok.

– Dan Shure – SEO Consultant and host of Experts On The Wire.

9. If you can convince somebody to play an entire episode on their feed, that’s an amazing way to get extra exposure

One other thing that comes to mind as far as promotion is – depending upon your podcast – getting on other podcasts as well. That’s how I pick up extra listeners. The key is to find other topically related podcasts where there’s a slight audience crossover or something like that. The other thing that I remember, I saw a presentation that Roman Mars gave from 99% Invisible. He said their moment was when Radiolab just straight up played an entire episode of 99% invisible on the Radiolab feed. So if you can somehow convince somebody to play a segment of your actual show or a whole episode on their feed, or like as a part of one of their episodes, that’s an amazing way to get extra exposure.

– Dan Shure – SEO Consultant and host of Experts On The Wire.

10. This panel  provides a backpack full of tools to investigate

I need to watch the panel recording about SEO and Social media for Podcasters again because there are so many ideas I need to follow up on. I feel like now I’ve got a backpack full of tools to investigate.

– Sen Zhan – host of Beyond Asian: Stories of the Third Culture.

Watch the full Panel Discussion about SEO and Social media for Podcasters:

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