Sometimes, it feels as though all we talk about is, “How can we get more people to pay attention to our shows?” Wouldn’t it be great if there were a big worldwide celebration to raise awareness of podcasts?
Behold, International Podcast Day! This takes place on the 30th of September this year. Not only is IPD a day for you to feel good about the work you do, but it’s a great day to try something new with your podcast that you haven’t done before. Let’s take a look at some ways you could celebrate IPD this year.
What is International Podcast Day?
International Podcast Day is a day to raise awareness of podcasting, celebrate the medium, learn more, gain momentum, and get inspired.
Studies show that “day”-themed promotional events are great at getting public attention. People tend to associate “day” campaigns with purchase discounts, like a Labor Day sale. If a special day can increase click-through and purchase rates for consumers, imagine what they can do for the podcast you’re giving away for free.
How do podcasters normally celebrate International Podcast Day? On September 30, you’ll see podcasters promoting shows and events on social media with images and the #InternationalPodcastDay hashtag.
In the past, International Podcast Day’s organizers have hosted informative online discussion sessions. Some podcasting organizations also use the day to preview or launch new projects. For example, Sound Sorceresses (a newsletter for women in the podcast industry) will host a pre-launch live introduction to their newsletter on LinkedIn on IPD this year.
So, in a nutshell, IPD is a great day to:
- promote your own show and your peers’ shows, too
- promote podcasting in general, particularly to the uninitiated
- try something new with your podcast.
Reach New Audiences by Converting Non-Listeners
What better way to celebrate IPD than encouraging more people to start listening to podcasts? Converting non-listeners is essential to growing the industry, as well as our own shows. Some obstacles that keep people from listening to your podcast are the same hurdles for all podcasters. If you help non-listeners get over those walls, it helps eliminate barriers for everyone. Let’s look at some obstacles that get in the way of people listening to podcasts. Then, I’ll show you how you can use International Podcast Day celebrations to erase those excuses.
Some common listening obstacles are:
- “I don’t know how to listen.”
- “I can’t find a podcast that interests me.”
- “I don’t understand the benefits.”
- “It’s one more thing to pay for.”
These are some pretty sad obstacles, but they’re not hard to overcome. So, let’s help these non-listeners out.
Tink Media has come up with a promotion strategy to celebrate International Podcast Day, which is a great example of how to circumvent these barriers. Take some inspiration from Tink’s #PodBreak campaign. Focus on how podcast consumption is like an energy bar: it’s a short, restorative reprieve from the everyday.
(Okay, yes, the picture looks like a chocolate bar. Let’s save the argument about how energy bars and candy bars are largely interchangeable for another time).
“I don’t know how to listen to podcasts.”
Some folks say they don’t know how to listen to podcasts, but they can take a picture of their dog and share it with you. Listening to a podcast is not more difficult than that.
These folks probably use smartphones, YouTube, Alexa, and smart TVs, so there are plenty of ways they can access podcasts. Share our guide to how to listen to podcasts and watch excuses disappear in a cloud of pixie dust.
Voice-enabled assistants can help, too. If you’ve submitted your podcast RSS to TuneIn or Amazon Music, you can show anyone how to ask Alexa to play it. For iOS, if the phone has Apple Podcasts, you can even ask Siri to play podcasts you haven’t subscribed to yet.
“I can’t find a podcast I like.”
I get it. The array of podcast choices can be overwhelming. When someone opens a podcast-listening app, they get distracted by the content the directory wants to promote instead of the podcast or topic they were looking for in the first place. So, podcasters have to make it easy for folks to find theirs.
Focus on promoting individual episodes, not an entire series. Remember how Tink showed us that podcast listening could be like a snack, not a feast?
Start with the audience’s interest, and add a podcast episode. For example, if you have a fishing podcast, you already know that brook trout turns beautiful colors in the fall. Follow the social media channels where #fallcolors and #brooktrout are making a big splash, and ask people to let you share their trout pictures and colorful fish-catching stories for International Podcast Day. This way, you directly promote people who are interested in your podcast’s topic and make podcasting look good.
“I don’t understand the benefits.”
An obvious progress meter for the benefits of podcast listening is the activities one can accomplish while listening to podcasts. If you consume a season of Hostile Worlds and end up with an organized kitchen or more miles logged on your bicycle, I’d call that a good result.
The less obvious benefits are harder to quantify, but they still exist. For example, podcasts can make us less lonely. They can educate, inform, and entertain. And comedy podcasts can activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which is a fancy way to say “laughter relieves stress.”
Lead your promotion with statements describing what podcast listening does for you, and it’ll resonate. Again, it’s just like that tasty snack in the middle of the day or a quick walk around the block. Show how consuming a podcast episode helps you do something, and people can latch onto that idea.
Mac Rogers of Gideon Media once tweeted that my podcast helped him stay on the treadmill, and it was probably the best endorsement I ever got.
“It’s one more thing to pay for.”
Sure, podcasts cost money for the podcaster to produce them. And some directories (like Audible or Spotify Premium) charge a subscription fee. But that doesn’t mean yours charges a ticket price to listen.
When I first started podcasting, more than one relative asked, ‘Is it free?” Say yes. Skip the monetization campaigns for International Podcast Day. Let them decide if they want to support your show after they’re hooked.
Celebrate International Podcast Day on Social Media
There are all kinds of International Podcast Day social media artwork and videos that you can share to show you’re part of the movement. How you share it is up to you.
I’d recommend incorporating it into your podcast episode artwork and social media channels for a day or a week. Besides the usual social media hashtag posts, this is a great time to try something different by promoting your podcast on a platform you don’t usually use.
You can probably guess which social media platforms studies show are used most frequently nowadays: YouTube and Facebook. But there’s no avoiding the fact that platforms like TikTok and Instagram are huge amongst the under-30s. Are you doing anything to tap into listeners who spend time online there? Here’s a guide on how to promote your podcast on TikTok that will help you do that.
But, a surprising amount of people use one that you may not pay much attention to, and that’s Pinterest.
First, you need an online thing to attract people to: an Emerald City at the end of the Yellow Brick Road you’re going to pave.
Make a Special Asset for International Podcast Day
Take your podcast’s unique selling point and make a related asset to give people. Maybe it’s a printable recipe, a pattern, or a checklist. Offer it to people in exchange for joining your mailing list. It’s as simple as emailing your show, with #internationalpodcastday in the subject header, saying, “Yes, I want to sign up for your podcast’s mailing list and get the (free thing).”
If you’re strapped for time, use one of the social media images from the International Podcast Day site, and tag it with #InternationalPodcastDay. Customize it with your own celebratory message, and copy and paste one of these links into your promotions.
- How to Listen to Podcasts Easily on any Device, for Free!
- How to Listen To Podcasts On Alexa: Hands-Free Podcast Listening
- Best Podcast Apps for Listening on iOS, Android, + Smart Devices
Or, share the podcasts you love and want to promote, by recording a quick episode and/or posting a link roundup. Build some good karma with other podcasts.
Now that you’ve got your party, it’s time to send out the invitations. Of course, you can post in your usual social media haunts and send out a special issue of your newsletter. Don’t waste this opportunity, though. Try something different, too.
Persuade with Pinterest
Pinterest has over 433 million users, and 83% of them have purchased something via a Pinterest link. It’s a search engine, it’s a vision board, and it’s more powerful than most people realize. This visually striking platform has something for everyone.
In our IndiePod Community, we have a great presentation about how to use Pinterest to market your podcast. Plus, we have resources from our 5-Day Pinterest Challenge that can walk you through promoting your podcast’s website and the special assets you created for International Podcast Day.
Persuade with YouTube Shorts
You may already use YouTube to promote your podcast. But adding an extra video never hurts.
You can repurpose highlights from your podcast as YouTube Shorts. These are often the first things users see when they open the YouTube app. They’re a nice appetizer to show your greatest hits. Take extra time to write a clear description of your video. This way, when someone searches for your topic and content, they’ll find your show, even if they don’t know the title of your podcast.
Use International Podcast Day as a Marketing Tool
There are a whole load of other more traditional marketing techniques that will help you piggyback on IPD to promote your show.
Never underestimate the power of the postcard. Jean-Michel Basquiat ignited one of the brightest collaborations in 20th-century art when he interrupted Andy Warhol’s lunch to sell him two handmade art cards for a dollar each. A card with a QR code that links to your website is a great way to link people directly to your podcast.
You could also sell or give away merchandise to promote your show. Companies that make print-on-demand t-shirts, mugs, and tote bags are everywhere, but what about items closer to your podcast’s unique selling point? Any merchandise that can be mass-produced can be branded with your show’s logo. Consider something different that will help you stand out, like first aid kits for a wellness show or magnifiers for a true crime podcast.
Since podcasts are digital content, their promotion and consumption tend to remain in the digital world. If you’re going to bring it out into the physical world for a day, International Podcast Day is a good day to do it.
International Podcast Day: Celebrate Unique Voices and Stories
90% of all US media is owned by only six companies. Ultimately, six corporations decide what stories are worth sharing and whose voices matter. To stay profitable, they have a very narrow margin.
It’s no surprise, then, that people choose to pay attention to dog videos on Instagram instead of the latest police procedural or superhero show on TV. Now, I like to crash out on the couch in front of Andor as much as anybody else. But I also know that if I want to know how real people think, feel, and live, I can only get that from a podcast.
Celebrate International Podcast Day with us in the Indiepod Community. Please tell us how you’re celebrating so we can share the excitement.