What I Learned About Podcasting From Radio, At A Glance:Summary
- Social media is a budget-friendly tool to attract new listeners and engage with your current audience.
- Networking in groups interested in your podcast's topic can give you perspective
- Making a demo and looking for syndication can introduce you to new audiences.
People need to listen to your content, otherwise, what’s the point, right? You may not think that radio can teach you much about podcasting. But this is a really big question for me, coming from the radio industry, since we live or die on advertising income. This article will show you how social media, and syndication can all help you grow your podcast. Let's take a look at what I learned about podcasting from radio.
There are unlimited ideas on how to market your audio, so I’m going narrow it down based on what I learned doing exactly that on a radio station. You might think it’s an unfair comparison – Radio’s big business, right? But no, you don’t need to have a massive budget, and we didn’t! There are a bucket load of ways to build up your audience completely free.
The first thing I think about when looking to promote audio, funnily enough, isn’t audio related. It’s to make sure my online presence looks good. Done right, this doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money.
Social Media has a stigma surrounding it by some, because it can seem tiring or draining. But, for any media company, it’s the first point of contact to your audience.
With platforms like Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, you are connected with your audience more than ever before. It’s a high probability that most of your audience use it, so it’s important that you’re comfortable with those platforms. Social Media feeds can seem like a non-stop wheel of fortune with a user scrolling through their feed at pace. But there’s ways you can improve your odds of a user stopping on your content.
If this is something you’d like support with, we have plenty of great articles which cover how to use social media to grow an audience. Check out our guides on how to use Facebook and how to use Twitter to grow an audience.
Case Study: DJ Robert Drake
Robert Drake produces and hosts a wide variety of radio shows on WXPN in Philadelphia. He's one of the producers of Kids' Corner, the host and producer of Land of The Lost , and he keeps many different wheels turning. Additionally, he absolutely loves weather information. On his Facebook page, he often posts weather reports, speculation, and trivia, particularly if a hazardous condition is on the horizon. His posts about weather add so much value that some people come to his page specifically for those posts.
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By using his social media posts to add value to the greater cultural conversation, not only does he draw people in to listen to his radio shows, but also his local DJ events and mixes on Mixcloud.
Word of mouth or networking, to use the buzzy industry term for it, is still an extremely important part of marketing. Even in the age of social media and technology. In radio it’s still the be all and end all of promoting your work and getting yourself a job.
It’s all fine and well promoting yourself and your podcast online, that’s where you host your content after-all, but you’ll engage audiences and potential sponsors much stronger if its a personal connection in real life.
Networking may make your brain imagine men in suits with briefcases full of cash – which is a nice thought – but networking can be grassroots too. Befriend people in local creative groups such as art hubs or business communities. These friendships come in handy when you need to source a contributor, or when somebody needs a podcaster and thinks of you!
Podcasting Conferences are handy in meeting like-minded contemporaries. This gives you a larger contact book. It also allows you to see what other people are making and how they are making it. Most importantly it also allows you to be a salesman for the day and sell people your work.
Your podcast is at the stage where it looks flashy online. You’ve ran enough networking alongside the first few episodes to grow a small following. It’s time to use your hard work to achieve a larger audience.
Radio DJs do similar – they market themselves the way we would market a show or a podcast.
With a following behind them, a DJ will attempt to get their show aired across various radio stations. This is called syndication.
Usually they’ll have a pre-made show that they can hand a radio station, to be aired at an agreed time. Their show may be aired on different stations at different times. The important thing here is that they are putting their product out to a growing, diverse group of listeners.
Podcasters should follow suit! There’s nothing stopping you approaching your local community, hospital or student radio station with your podcast and enquiring about the chance of airplay.
You may consider making a demo to send to groups or even potential sponsors or stations. Luckily, we've got you covered with our guide on how to make a podcast demo.
Obviously cater to the right audience – I doubt very much that a niche fishing podcast is going to be good bait for a student radio station – but there’s a lot of opportunity out there.
Podcasting To Radio: In Conclusion
Hard work pays off. By making friends and growing an audience, you’ll have a good foundation for putting your podcast across as many platforms as possible. There’s nothing stopping you, and as you’ll learn if you approach stations – we’re quite similar in our goals and challenges, Radio and Podcasting.
There are lots of different ways to make your podcast stand out. We're always working on new strategy at The Podcast Host Academy. You can learn from our courses, downloadable resources, live Q&A sessions and community forums. Making a podcast isn't difficult, but making a great podcast takes more expertise. Join us.