There are many different ways to promote your podcast and grow your audience. A fair few of them involve spending some money though. If you've used what little cash you had on buying that mic, or paying for your hosting, then Guerrilla Marketing might be the best option for you when it comes to getting word out there.
What is Guerrilla Marketing?
Guerrilla Marketing is a fantastic and fun way to market your podcast. This a low or no-cost unconventional advertising strategy that allows you to engage with the public on a more personal and memorable level.
Instead of being locked up inside an office scheduling posts, Guerrilla Marketing takes you out onto the street. It has you actually meeting people who could become your fans. And it gives you the chance to sell your show to them, in person.
How to use Guerrilla Marketing to Grow a Podcast
Guerrilla Marketing is where you can allow your creativity to shine! The question is, how can you market your podcast in new and exciting ways?
To generate a bit of buzz and to make your promotion beneficial you’re going to need the help of the online and offline community.
You may remember one of the most successful and extreme examples of this. Felix Baumgartner set the world record for the highest skydive ever recorded as he jumped out of a balloon from Space. This was all to sell its sponsor, Red Bull.
Pardon the pun, but this event seems worlds apart from the product! However, it did get Red Bull across every news channel on the planet that day. Therefore, it was successful Guerrilla Marketing.
I realise you probably don't have the dollar to fire yourself into Space. So let’s keep it grounded and talk about something that you can do for little or no money.
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Guerrilla Marketing on the Street
This is where you can get creative with your offline marketing efforts.
Think about who you would like to target with the content of your podcast – is it a podcast about new music? Is it a podcast focusing on business? Maybe it's a drama podcast?
Once you know the subject of your content you can start developing marketing ideas towards the audience you’d like to target.
Guerrilla Marketing: A Case Study
Let me give you an example from our radio station.
To promote a string of live music shows hosted by a musician we tried a piece of Guerrilla Marketing back in 2015. The musician in question started playing on busy public transport.
Sounds like a fun time, but what was the long-term gain for us?
The key here was that the musician had signage with information including a hashtag, twitter account and live show details. Once one member of the public started filming, the rest followed. And within an hour he was selling more tickets, gaining new followers and got featured online in local newspapers…
That cost absolutely nothing, but the outcome was much better than if he had spent £50 on a promoted social media post.
Perhaps the strangest tactic I’ve seen in my experience is chalk drawings. I’ve seen artists make beautiful pieces of street art (that can wash off in the rain) in high foot-traffic areas to promote radio shows and podcasts.
Again, it will more than likely end up online if it’s a unique piece of artwork and help with promoting your show overall.
Be careful with stickers and chalk though, you don’t want to get fined for graffiti or vandalism by local councils. Make sure the chalk will wash in the rain and stickers are placed where there are others.
Be sensible and think about where you’re promoting! And whatever you do, don’t flyer vehicles…
What better way to promote your podcast to potential new listeners than pop-up events!
Why not ask a local arts space, cafe or find a suitable outside space to set up portable equipment to record your podcast or interview members of the public in relation to your content.
Running a pop-up event in conjunction with the previously mentioned places is a great way to cross-promote and target a captive audience.
The business gets free advertising via your podcast and you get access to their customer base. Win-win.
For example; if your podcast is surrounding business and start-up companies, ask Business Gateway if you can come to one of their events and interview people on a certain subject.
Collect email addresses and contact details of participants so you can let them know when the podcast is online. They’ll be more likely to share if they feel personally connected to something.
Although this may come after you have a higher budget or once your podcast has started bringing in revenue, merchandise is another great way to do guerrilla marketing.
People love free things!
And if you can be handing people stickers, pens or even wackier items like mouse mats, your podcast is almost always going to make it back into that person’s home. And then as they are emptying their bag and remember your freebie, you may have yourself a new listener.
One example of a podcast doing some Guerrilla Marketing with merch, was the audio drama horror-comedy series A Scottish Podcast. The show used beer mats, which could be used and then left in pubs. This isn't like dumping a bunch of flyers or leaflets on the table, because the beer mat is actually a handy thing people will use there and then.
One of the beer mats had a 2/5 star iTunes review on it too, to give potential new listeners a bit of a hint of what's in store, should they listen.
What podcast merch would suit the own style and tone of your show when doing some Guerrilla Marketing? Check out our guide to doing podcast merch for more on this.
Need More Help With Podcast Marketing?
If you're looking for more tailored help and support towards growing your audience, then we've a couple of options for you.
The first is The Podcast Host Academy, where you'll find courses like 30 Days of Audience Growth, as well as have access to our weekly live Q&A sessions.
Then second is The Podcast Growth Package. This is where we work with you on a one-on-one basis to optimise your show for growth. At the end of the programme, you'll have your very own Podcast Growth Plan, and a solid strategy for building a dedicated fanbase!