The North Star of Every Effective Podcast Marketing Strategy

By Jeremy Enns

By Jeremy Enns

By Jeremy Enns

When taking on any new challenge, it always helps to know what exactly you’re up against.

Whether it’s a weekend hiking trip, a new job role, or marketing a podcast, understanding the terrain you’re operating in and the challenges you’re likely to face helps you prepare in advance and design plan in place to overcome them.

When it comes to podcast growth, the primary obstacle to overcome is this:

Getting a potential listener to click play for the first time.

Earning the first play is the single most challenging aspect of podcast growth regardless of your show’s quality, genre, format, or any other variable you can think of.

If you can get that first play, and have a solid show, there’s a good chance of that listener becoming a subscriber…

And if your show is well-aligned with your paid offers, there’s a good chance of each new subscriber one day becoming a customer.

Which means getting a potential listener to click play on their first episode should be the North Star of your entire podcast marketing strategy.

This might seem obvious.

And yet so few podcasters actually make it easy for potential listeners to find their way into the show.

  • Their show title doesn’t clearly communicate within 2.5 seconds what the show is about and who it’s for
  • The cover art is vague, cluttered, or unclear
  • The show description doesn’t immediately make a compelling case for what makes this show worth listening to over the dozens of similar shows
  • The episode titles lack a clear “must-listen” hook
  • They leave it up to the listener to scroll through the feed to find an episode that is relevant to them

The full list is a lot longer, but you get the idea.

The result is a virtual wall of obstacles that podcasters have unwittingly stacked between their shows and their listeners.

Which is a big reason so many shows struggle to grow.

So how do you fix it?

If you want to grow, your job is to make it as seamless and fast as possible for a potential listener to:

  • Recognize that the show is specifically designed for someone like them
  • Understand the specific, tangible benefit they’ll get by listening
  • Intuit that the show is highly likely to be worth their time, and…
  • Find the most relevant episode for them that will give them the best first experience of the show

Part of this is achieved through your visual design.

Part through your copy and messaging.

Part through your website structure.

Regardless of the tools you use, remember:

The primary goal of your marketing is to eliminate the friction between a potential listener being exposed to your show and them clicking play for the first time.

If you can achieve that, the rest of your marketing becomes a whole lot easier.

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