Originally published at Ideas on Fire, July 19, 2021
Being interviewed on a podcast is a fantastic way to share your research with audiences beyond the academy, get the word out about a new book, or build connections across diverse fields and communities. But for your episode to have the impact you want, folks need to actually find, listen to, and share the episode. This is where podcast episode promotion comes in.
Although the show’s producers will certainly market the episode through their own channels to their loyal audience of listeners, guest sharing is a crucial part of great podcast episode promotion. This lets the episode reach new audiences and contribute to the changes you want your work to make in the world.
Below are some key ways you can get the word out about your podcast episode.
Share the episode on your website
Writing and scheduling a blog post on your own website is an easy way to share your podcast episode. In your post, you can explain what the episode is all about, what you talked about with the host, your favorite moments from the interview, and where folks can access the episode, transcript, and show notes.
You might also consider embedding the episode directly on your site via Spotify, RadioPublic, or another streaming platform. If the show producers provided you with promotional materials, feel free to post those on your site as well.
One easy way to jazz up this kind of blog post is to highlight your favorite quotes from the episode, which is a tactic that a lot of our Imagine Otherwise guests like to do. Pull quotes tend to work best when they’re short and sweet, offer a unique take on something, or signal what viewers will gain by listening to the full episode. Keep in mind that audiences will usually see such quotes before listening to the episode, so make sure the quote stands alone and makes sense without the episode’s context (if the quote is successful and it compels someone to listen to the episode, they’ll gain that context later).
If your website has a separate page or section for press, interviews/appearances, or news, consider posting the episode there as well.
Post on social media
Social media is one of the best ways to share your podcast episode with folks who want to listen. Once you know the episode’s release date, schedule out tweets, posts, and stories that help spread the word. Posting on a wide variety of platforms can help reach diverse audiences, and varying your posts can keep the content interesting.
So what should you actually say in these posts? Avoid generic posts like “Hey I was on a podcast: LINK” (which is not compelling at all, especially for people who don’t already know you). Instead share what the episode is actually about and what someone would gain by listening to it.
As with any marketing, focus on the benefits for the listener—what will they learn, better understand, know how to do, or be inspired to start by listening to your episode? You might draw out a few separate themes or pull quotes and schedule posts around those.
Make sure to tag the show’s social media accounts in your posts to aid in reciprocal sharing.
At Ideas on Fire, we create promotional materials that allow guests to easily share on social media—scheduling posts with these can help drum up interest in the episode and get folks to click through to listen to the episode.
Keep in mind that social media is super busy and a single post will go unnoticed (after all, nobody is glued to your profile any more than you are glued to other people’s profiles). That’s why we recommend scheduling out several posts, tweets, and stories across several weeks. The goal is to create enough content that some of it will end up in front of the folks who are interested in your work. There is no “right” number of posts, but consider aiming for 3–5 posts per platform spread out over several weeks (so 3–5 tweets, 3–5 Facebook posts and stories, 3–5 Instagram posts and stories, etc.). Keep in mind that these posts should be varied so you’re sharing new information, images, etc. in each one.
You can also re-share promotional posts that you are tagged in, increasing the reach of such posts and providing variety as well. For instance, we tag guests, publishers, and departments in many of our promotional posts and when those folks re-share our content, it reinforces the impact of the episode and helps it reach new audiences.
Research and include relevant hashtags to increase your posts’ reach and build community. For instance, if your episode discusses Latinx performance studies, disability justice, or Indigenous activism, include the hashtags that folks invested in those topics also use. This helps people who care about the issues your episode addresses find your interview and spread the word through their networks as well.
Work with your press publicist
Publishers LOVE it when authors give interviews about their work and are eager to help spread the word about your episode—if they know about it. To help them do so, when you book the podcast interview, get in touch with your press’s publicity manager to discuss promotion. If you are already working directly with a press publicity manager—for instance, to market a recent book—that’s the person to contact. If you don’t already have a publicity contact at your press, look through the staff directory (found on the press’s website) to identify the marketing or publicity person who is responsible for helping to promote press authors and publications.
Tell your publicist when the episode will air (not just when the interview is scheduled for) and send them a link to the show and any preliminary information you have so they can start planning. If the episode’s release will coincide with your book’s launch, your publicist will be able to use the episode to help promote the text and reach your key audiences.
Your interview doesn’t have to be about a recent book to get your press publicist on board. As a marketer for the press, the publicist promotes press authors in general, as this marketing helps sell books on the backlist as well. Many presses are happy to add a link to the podcast episode on your book’s page or to an upcoming email newsletter.
Also let your press publicist know what kinds of promotional materials they can expect to be sent from either you or the show’s producers. For instance, our Imagine Otherwise guests forward press publicists the social media images and videos we create for the episodes. Sending these to your press’s publicist enables them to share them on the press’s website as well as social media accounts.
Contact your department’s communications team
Just as your publisher wants to help spread the word about their authors, your department’s or university’s communications and marketing team is eager to brag about their awesome faculty.
If your department has its own marketing or communications director, they’re who to contact. If not, look up who your school’s or university’s communications/marketing staff is (every university has at least one person who serves in this role).
Just as you do with your press publicist, let your department/university’s marketing staff know when your episode will be airing and share promotional materials they can use to help promote the episode.
Your campus contact has access to institution-specific publicity outlets like department newsletters, email lists, and alumni association publications. These are all great options for spreading the word about your episode to your campus community.
Harness your network
You have a rich network of colleagues, friends, students, former professors, co-editors, and writing partners. Get them involved in episode promotion! As folks who support and care about you and your work, many will be happy to share the episode and promotional images/videos with their networks.
If you discuss a particular organization or person in the interview itself—for instance if you discuss editing a special issue of a journal or an article you co-authored with a colleague—tag them in your social media posts and send them a link to the episode and the promotional materials as well in case they want to pass them along. This is a great way to call attention to collaboration (something we really value in interdisciplinary scholarship) and share models for working with others within and beyond the academy.
Helping promote your podcast episode is crucial for reaching new audiences and sharing your amazing work with the world. It doesn’t need to be very time consuming and you already have the tools you need to do so. Sharing your episode with folks who are eager to cheer you on is a wonderful way to expand your reach beyond the academy and ensure your research has the impact you want.