Whether you have a new podcast or you've got a ton of episodes under your belt, you'll always be on the lookout for new listeners. But how do you find them?
One proven way to attract listeners is to collaborate with another podcaster to cross-promote each other's shows.
Done right, cross-promoting is a fast and effective way to get your show in front of new listeners. It's cheaper than marketing with paid ads, too, because cross-promotion is usually free.
Another plus is the guarantee that the people hearing your promotion are interested in podcasts. And because most people listen to several podcasts each week, you won't steal anyone's audience. If they like you, they'll simply add you to their feed.
The four methods of podcast cross-promotion
Most podcasters collaborate in one of four ways: teaser ads, interviews, episode swaps and sponsorship. So, how do each of these work and which strategy makes sense for you and your business?
Probably the easiest way to work with another podcast involves simply advertising each other's show.
You swap trailers and run them as either a pre-roll, mid-roll or post-roll ad in an agreed number of episodes. Anyone who has listened to podcasts for a while will already be familiar with advertisements for other shows.
It's a convenient way for listeners to find new podcasts without the bother of leaving their podcast app. If they like the sound of your show, it only takes a moment to search the app and hit subscribe.
There are two ways to create teaser ads.
- Record your ad in advance.
- Create "host promotion" teasers where you each speak enthusiastically about the other podcast.
Both are effective strategies, so choose the one you think your audiences would prefer.
Interviews: become a podcast guest
When it comes to cross-promoting, interviews add extra value because they give audiences a more in-depth experience.
If you spend a whole episode guesting with another podcaster then that's a great way to give their listeners an example of your style. It's a terrific promotion strategy because there's nothing like hearing someone else's voice to create familiarity and the desire to learn more about you and your podcast.
You and another blogger can agree to swap whole episodes too. That's when you include one of their episodes in your feed, and they do the same for you. It's another valuable strategy because listeners get an even better idea of your style.
But there are a few things to take care of before you embark on this sort of cross-promotion.
- Consider whether it makes sense to drop-in someone else's episode. Would it fit in a themed series? If you're a seasonal podcast, can you pop it in the off-season? Will it be instead of your usual episode or a bonus episode for your listeners?
- Let your audience know in advance. The last thing you want to do is confuse people by suddenly playing another podcaster's episode without warning. Signal this upcoming change on previous episodes and put it out on social media too. Then, record an intro in your voice, letting listeners know what to expect.
- Put everything in writing. Draw up a contract as soon as you agree to an episode swap. Make sure both podcasters agree on expectations, and make sure you both deliver. Keep the agreement safe, too. If a corporate show buys out the other podcast, they could try to sue you for having one of "their" episodes in your content feed. A contract proves you haven't done anything wrong.
The sponsorship model
Instead of just swapping trailers, you could agree to sponsor another podcast for several weeks or months. It's a more formal way of collaborating than the others, and you may each have to hand over some money if you make a sponsorship deal.
How to find shows cross-promo opportunities using Rephonic
If you've decided that you'd like to try podcast cross-promotion, the question becomes, how do you find suitable podcasts? Fortunately, Rephonic has your back with that. Our podcast database lists the details of more than 2 million shows.
First, enter your topic into our podcast search tool to find a list of podcasts in a similar niche.
Click on a podcast to see all of its metrics. Rephonic tells you how many listeners a podcast has and whether they're mainly men, women or both. You'll find the social media accounts, download numbers, reviews and the audience's level of engagement with the host.
The Related section has the names of similar podcasts. You can view them as a list or use our 3D Audience Graph tool to see them visually. Click on any icon in the graph to bring up a box with more details.
Once you've found a list of possibilities, your next step is contacting the publisher or the host. Rephonic makes that easy by supplying the associated email addresses and social media accounts. Or use our new concierge feature and request a search from our team.
Send an email pitch
Before you write to any hosts, listen to their podcast first. You want to ensure that your styles fit each other and that you'll project a genuinely warm connection during your cross-promo. Listening to a few episodes also gives you something to mention in your email.
Write a friendly email introducing yourself and suggesting that you cross-promote each other's podcasts. Mention how much you like their show and add some concrete details (like the ones you picked up from that episode you listened to).
It's a good idea to include relevant details like your audience numbers, niche, engagement etc. You could mention your preferred collaboration strategy (ad, interview etc.) Then close with a friendly "looking forward to hearing from you soon".
How to measure success?
When you've finished a cross-promo, it makes sense to measure how successful your collaboration was. There are plenty of metrics you can use for that.
- New listeners: did your downloads increase after your cross-promotion?
- Has your subscriber count increased in Apple Podcasts, Spotify or other podcast apps?
- Maybe there's an increase in podcast listeners from the other host's home country or state?
- Did you notice a spike in reviews around that time?
Check the comments on social media too. What are your listeners and theirs saying about your cross-promotion? Ask for their opinions - you could even make it fun by creating a poll or quiz.
You can make it easier to measure all these stats by not doing any other marketing during the cross-promotion.
Start cross-promoting today by registering for a free-trial with Rephonic. Find the best podcasts to partner with and get more listeners!
Photo by Kate Oseen on Unsplash.