Podcasts have gone from ‘niche media’ to ‘mainstream’ in the last few years. Especially with Spotify’s 2019 acquisitions of podcast companies who specialize in original content production, which has increased the demand for original podcast material.
Furthermore, we’ve seen similar moves by Google, Amazon and Apple as well, showing that the podcast industry is getting even bigger. [Ed. note: be sure to check out #MusicMadeMe the TuneCore Podcast as an example!]
With the crossover between streaming services and podcasting, it seems that the personalization algorithms of these streaming services will also take the experience to a new level. Currently, we mostly rely on news, blogs or word of mouth to find new podcasts that we might like. I regularly see people on Facebook feed asking each other ‘What are some of your recent podcast recommendations?’. With this in mind, Spotify could begin using its music suggestion algorithms to suggest fans the potential podcasts they might like.
For independent artists like us, this could be a new way of reaching and acquiring new fans as well!
With that being said, podcasting is no longer just a marketing tool, but it can also be an extra source of revenue for the independent artist with the new model that emerges with the likes of Spotify.
So in this blog post, I’d like to offer five ways independent artists can use podcasts to promote themselves.
1. POSITION YOURSELF AS AN EXPERT IN YOUR AREA
A great way to start a podcast is to provide tips and tools about different areas of music. This can be about songwriting, music production or about performance – it depends on your strengths.
For instance, you can provide tips about music business or marketing. Sharing tips is not only a great way to obtain engaged audiences, but also a wonderful way to position yourself as an expert in your area.
2. BUILD BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES & PARTNERSHIPS WITH BRANDS
As an expert in a given area, if you can make your listener’s life better with the information you offer, it is very likely that they can pay you. If you develop an audience for yourself in a specific niche, there might be a company or brand that also wants to tap in to this group.
As an example, if you’re doing a show about music production plugins, a music production plugin company might be willing to pay you as you for reaching these kinds of audiences. This is one way you can find sponsors and advertisers for your new show.
If you develop a large following, you can start charging sponsors to be mentioned on the show. Additionally, you can also use your show to promote your own products or services, (books, educational courses, or consulting services, for example). The strategies and possibilities are really endless on this one!
3. COLLABORATE WITH OTHER CONTENT CREATORS / MUSICIANS
One of the best parts about a podcast is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be about you or what you think all the time. You can host expert/celebrity names in your area by interviewing them, allowing you to also build excellent connections. Moreover, by hosting different people in the industry, you can also draw their audiences to listen to your podcast, increasing the visibility of your show.
As a side note, it is very likely that you will use some form of music in your podcast series. If you’re going to use music that was created by someone else in your podcast, it is likely that you will have to pay for it. Even better, you can collaborate with musicians to have them create the music for you, and perhaps in exchange you can feature them in your content.
4. USE INTERVIEWING IN AN INTERACTIVE SETTING TO BUILD AN AUDIENCE
Podcasts are definitely a great way to tell stories and connect with people, and it could be because the human voice adds an extra layer of sincerity.
Taking questions and getting your audience involved in the future direction of the content such as themes, areas and topics is one idea. You can acquire very loyal fans from people who started out as your podcast listeners, and if you have decent content, it’s likely that your listeners will come back for your opinion and expertise. Another bonus is that people can listen to you from anywhere in the world.
5. RE-PURPOSE CONTENT
Have a blog post that didn’t turn out so well? Or a YouTube video that didn’t get enough attention as you wanted? It is likely that if your content is very niche that it got lost somewhere in translation. The good news is that you can repurpose this content into podcasts and with a new audience they might fit just perfectly.
These are five ways you can use podcasts to reach your fans and acquire new fans! Keep in mind that these are five bullet points to get you started, but you can absolutely diversify and expand upon these. So get started with your podcast series and make sure to publish it regularly, on a consistent schedule so you can get a nice following. Also, make sure to promote your podcast on social media to create engagement and participation!