Podcast Launch Expectations vs. Realities (and what to really strive for)

by | Nov 3, 2020 | Podcast

You’ve done the hard work, you’ve recorded your episodes, cut together a trailer, figured out how to submit your RSS feed to all of the main distribution platforms like Apple Podcasts and Spotify… so what happens after you publish episode one? In this episode we’re going to talk about what to expect when you launch your podcast, and how you can set goals that push you without feeling totally overwhelming!

Before I get into the content, I wanted to share an amazing listener review from svcopy (credited “Green Moms Co.” in the episode), who said “Emily shares what’s possible with podcasts. Love listening to these inspiring stories combined with Emily’s marketing tips for using a podcast to grow your business.”

And, related to this lovely review, I’m doing a contest this week! If you leave a star rating and written review for Ultimate Podcast Marketing on Apple Podcasts before November 6 at midnight EST, you could win an Amazon gift card! All you need to do is take a screenshot of your review, post it in your Insta stories then tag me at @the_ultimatecreative or email it to me at [email protected] The contest closes on November 6 at midnight EST so if you want a chance to win, this is the time to leave a review!

And finally I just want to give you a quick heads up about a topic I’m covering at the end of this month that focuses on audience engagement strategies, so make sure you’ve subscribed to this podcast wherever you get your episodes!

Preparing to launch

We’re going to get a little logistical here. I have a whole episode on what you need in order to launch your podcast so I won’t get into that too deeply, but if you need to get more in-depth info for these elements, check out episode 8 of Ultimate Podcast Marketing, The Podcast Launch Checklist.

Estimate around 4-5 weeks to get everything set up, that includes at least 4 episodes recorded, a short trailer using clips from your first few episodes, podcast artwork, a title, description and show notes for each episode. Make sure you have a podcast host (I like BuzzSprout and this link will get you a $20 Amazon gift card!) and then all you need to do is submit your RSS feed to the directories. That’s a very short summary for something that will take a few weeks, so if you want more details on those assets definitely check out episode 8 of this podcast.

Once you have these elements ready to go, it’s time to think about your launch goals!

Setting realistic goals

It’s important to set goals for any marketing campaign, no matter what. Otherwise you’re just creating content for the sake of creating content, and it likely won’t deliver the outcome you were expecting if there’s no strategy behind it.

When you’re setting goals for number of downloads and reviews as you kick off, look at the number of people on your email list, the number of engaged followers you have on social media, and anyone in your community or on your client list that you know would be interested in listening to the podcast, or supporting it.

Once you have these numbers, you can estimate approximately how many people will actually listen, and how many will actually share or rate and review. This is important because you want to stretch this goal a little bit further so that you have a bit more fire under your ass to achieve more. We’re not in it to stay the course – you’re already putting yourself out there with your podcast, so you need to challenge yourself to reach for bigger goals.

Just don’t be me and make your goals so big they’re totally impossible and you feel like crap when you don’t meet them 😀

The podcast launch campaign

One of the most important steps in launching your podcast is how you do it. Put it this way – if a movie came out that had absolutely no marketing, the stars didn’t do a press tour, no one had a clue that it was happening, how successful would it be compared to if it did? And sure, there are examples of content dropping without warning, but you really do need to be Beyoncé for that to work.

We’re setting realistic expectations for your launch here! So you’re going to have to create a plan to get the word out.

I have an episode called How I Plan My Content which covers some of the strategies behind content planning, and this can really help you to organize your campaign.

Overall your campaign should include:

  • Social media posts & emails leading up to launch day
  • Posts & emails that ask listeners for ratings and reviews
  • Posts & emails for each episode that will be coming out (unless you’re dropping 3 or 4 on launch day, then one email will suffice)
  • Lives on IG or Facebook talking about the podcast
  • A link to a page on your website that holds all of the episodes
  • Follow up posts that share out user generated content, screen shots of reviews you’ve received as well as any other emails or DMs from people that love your content
  • Outreach messages – DMs and emails that you can send to people directly asking them to listen, rate, review and subscribe. It’s a bit more legwork but it does pay off because people tend to respond better to personalized messages – and take action!

I cover a lot more of this in my course Podcast Rocket which will be opening up again on April 1, so mark your calendars if you want to get in on that!

Your existing audience

Who is already in your audience that is excited about your content? Who can you reach out to to help amplify? A great example of this is Christy Cegelski’s podcast Captivate + Convert. She created a launch club which supported her podcast launch through reviews, shares and downloads. She’s the expert on this amazing strategy, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it!

Guests & shareable assets

If your first few episodes include guests, make sure they’re armed with all the assets they need to promote the episodes they’re on. Send them audiograms, quote graphics, and prepare these in different aspect ratios, square for feed, vertical for stories. Don’t forget to ask your guests to leave a review as well!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Episode 8: The Podcast Launch Checklist: https://theultimatecreative.com/podcast-launch-checklist/

Captivate + Convert: https://christycegelski.com/podcast/

Podcast Rocket: https://theultimatecreative.com/podcast-rocket

How to make audiograms: https://theultimatecreative.com/how-to-make-an-audiogram-with-headliner/

How I plan my content: https://theultimatecreative.com/how-to-plan-content/

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