You’ve written a book, and you’ve secured, or had someone secure for you, several podcast interviews to help promote your work. Well done. The exposure these podcasts can bring to you and your writing is invaluable. They live on the internet forever. Properly market your own interviews and you will help drive potential readers back to your digital homebase for a long time. These simple actions will help make your podcast appearances work for you.
Gather Your Assets
Having a list of all of these social handles and tags in one place will save you time as you promote your podcast interviews. Gathering these assets in one place will also guarantee that you won’t forget any of these steps.
- Make a list of all of your social assets. For many this will include your website, your Facebook profile, your Facebook page, your Twitter account, your LinkedIn account, perhaps your Instagram and your Pinterest accounts as well. Each of these digital touchpoints will be used strategically to help share links to your podcast interviews.
- Don’t forget your host. Ask your podcast host for a list of his or her social handles. Every time you share a link to your interview on their show, you’re going to tag them so they see you are promoting your appearance, saying nice things about them as a host and encouraging your followers to visit their podcast. More often than not, they’ll retweet you, comment on your post, share what you’ve said and in that way, exponentially amplify your original post by sharing it with their followers.
- Remember your publisher and agent. Ask your publisher for all of the appropriate social handles for both the house and for the imprint and for any marketing people and/or editors who are active on social media. Do the same with your literary agency. When you create posts with links to your podcast interview, tag those important and influential publishing people who are invested in your success. Many times they’ll also retweet or share your posts, and again, amplify your appearance link.
- Create a street team. A street team is a fancy marketing term for a select group of people who are active on social media, love your work, care about your success, and are willing to share good news about you. Make sure you text or email them with the link to your podcast interview the moment it’s available and ask them to share it with their social networks. You can write a suggested post for them (which saves them time), or you can send them a link to one of your posts and ask if they might consider liking it and sharing it on their preferred network. Ask them to tag you when they share so you can thank them publicly. This gives you yet another opportunity to share the link to the interview.
The Ideal Promotional Sequence
Now that you have gathered your digital assets, it’s time to make your promotional plan. I’ve found there is a simple, effective marketing plan will allow you to promote the same interview multiple times without exhausting your audience. Not only will this technique allow you to promote your appearances, but it will also make your podcast host very happy as you drive listeners to his or her download site. You’ll gain a reputation as an excellent guest, and driving listenership can be the key to being asked back in the future. Here’s my step-by-step promotional sequence for each my favorite networks.
- Announce: One or two days before your episode goes live, create a post that entices listeners with a quote or a preview of what your interview will cover. An announcement should go on your Facebook business or fan page, and on your personal profile, but remember to develop two different messages. Your business page should maintain a consistent tone in keeping with the professional voice you use to engage with fans, while the announcement on your personal profile should be more conversational as though you’re sharing exciting news with a friend. For example, on your business page you might say, “I’m pleased to announce I’ll be a guest of X on their podcast Y on Z date. We’ll be discussing _________. I hope you can join us live at the link I’ve provided. If you have any questions, send them my way!” For your personal profile, you might say “Hi everyone, I’m really excited to let you know that X has asked me to come on their podcast Y on Z date to talk about _____. Most of you know I’ve written a new book, and I’m over the moon to finally be sharing it with the world. I hope you’ll have a chance to listen in live, and if you think this would interest your friends, please share the link below. Thank you so much.”
- Tag: Always tag the host’s business page so they know you are promoting the interview, and so they can share your announcement with their fans. In order to tag someone’s business page, you’ll need to “Like” the page from your business page account. You might also consider “Liking” the podcaster’s business page from your personal profile. The podcaster may also decide to “Like” your business page, allowing you both to tag one another on your announcement posts. This kind of sharing and cross posting will help their fans find your business page and, as a courtesy, you’ll be pointing your friends and fans back to their business page, increasing the number of people who will see both of your posts.
- Events: Create an event on your Facebook business page when you know the date the podcast will go live. This is an easy way to invite your friends to come to the “event,” and will serve as a reminder when the date arrives. To create an event via your Facebook fan page, click on the drop down menu under the plus sign at the top of your page, to the right of your avatar. Choose “Event” from the menu. Next choose “online.” Add an event video or photo (or both), and give your event a title and description. Then click “Publish.”
- Facebook Live + Link: After the podcast has been posted by the host, do a short Facebook Live from your business page as a way of introducing the podcast subject, host and link. The Facebook Live becomes the graphic for your post and is fed out to your followers. It is also archived in your Facebook videos for current and future followers to view at a later date. Let your fans know they’ll be listening to something of value if they click the link and listen to your interview. For example, you might say something like this in your Facebook Live broadcast. “Writing is such a solitary process that when you finally publish your book and get to talk to people about it, it’s thrilling and a little frightening. I recently had a wonderful conversation with Mr/Ms Host where I shared some of my personal writing strategies and a little bit about how I research my characters and settings. I hope you’ll take a listen and let me know what you think.”
- Share Your Host’s Posts: When the podcast host announces the interview on their business page, make sure you like those posts, and share them to your own business page and personal profile. Add an enthusiastic update to the share, mentioning how excited you were to have had a great conversation with them. Invite your friends and fans to listen and ask questions under the update, and promise to answer as many as you can. Be sure to time these “share” posts so that they are not back-to-back with your own announcement posts, event post, or Facebook Live + Link posts. Ideally you’ll post at least one update or share that is not podcast related between each podcast promotional post so your news feed isn’t a steady stream of “listen to my newest interview.”
- Share With Friends: Once the interview is live on the various channels and/or websites, you can share a link to it on your personal profile along with a screen capture or a photo of you doing the interview. Your friends will enjoy seeing your “behind-the-scenes” journey, and it gives you another opportunity to share the link to the interview without being too sales oriented. Share some personal detail about the interview that you haven’t shared elsewhere. For example, “I’ve always admired Mr. Podcast Host, and a year ago couldn’t have dreamed I’d be his/her guest one day. Well it was worth the wait and everything I imagined it would be.” Don’t forget to let your friends know you’d appreciate a share if they think their friends would be interested, and always, always, tag the host.
- Group Sharing: Although most Facebook Groups discourage promotional posts, you can provide value AND do a little self-promotion for interviews by recommending the podcast host to others in appropriate groups. Let them know the podcast host was a good interviewer, listened well, gave you an opportunity to promote you work etc. Then, with permission of the Group Administrator, share a link to your podcast. This subtle self-promotion also provides value to the host as you endorse his/her skills, while positioning yourself as someone who is actively being interviewed. Some in your group might be podcasters or know podcasters and may want to recommend you as a guest.
- Long Tail Promotion: After the initial podcast promotion period, continue to create promotional posts once a month to maximize the number of people who will find and listen to your interview. Choose one juicy fact or quote from the interview and share it, along with a graphic and a link directly to your interview. You might also write a short blog post on your own website about the interview, and link back there from Facebook. That way you’re driving viewers to your own homebase for more information.
Twitter is a faster moving stream than Facebook. Some experts believe that your fans are most likely to see your tweets when they are on Twitter within seven minutes of the time your tweet is published. Why leave your important promotional tweets to chance? Prepare a rollout strategy to promote your interviews multiple times on Twitter without giving your followers a sense of overload. Write your tweets in a way that give your followers a reason to click the link, and you’ll be considered a resource rather than a marketer. Your tweets should preview or tease the information they’ll get if they use their valuable time to listen to the interview.
Don’t forget to use a graphic with your tweets to capture your followers attention in a fast moving stream. According to some estimates, upward from 85% of Twitter users are accessing their accounts on mobile devices. Make sure you’re including graphics that will display properly on mobile in the Twitter universe. An ideal size is 1200 x 675 pixels when uploading an image to Twitter. Pictures with faces do well. People like to see who they’re about to hear. If possible, share an image of you on the podcast.
Because Twitter has a different feel and a different energy than Facebook, here are the strategies I recommend using to promote your podcast interviews on Twitter.
- Announce Post: Announce the date when your podcast interview will go live. You can do this one or two days before the live date and then again on the morning the show will air. Make the post short and give a preview of what they’ll learn or hear if followers tune in.
- Tweet your content, not just your link. No one will be excited to follow an update and link that just says “I was on a podcast. Listen here.” Instead add value through your tweet by saying something like “The three most effective ways to reduce back pain and you’ll be truly surprised by #1.” [insert link to interview]
- Create your Twitter distribution plan. Distribute your tweets during the peak hours when your fans are online. Have a mommy following? They’re online before the kids wake up, while the kids are in school and after the kids go to bed. Have a business following? They’re checking Twitter just before they start work, at lunch and just before they leave work. Experiment and see when your tweets get the most attention. Set up a timetable that suits your ideal audience. Phrase your tweets in a way that seem to require a response. The more likes, replies and retweets you get, the more unique users will see your content. You can tweet a similar update several different times. I’ve found that I reach a broad audience of professionals by tweeting during these times (all Eastern US Time Zone):
- 6:00 am while people are waking up, drinking coffee and surfing the web
- 12:45 pm as folks check in before lunch
- 5:30 pm as people check social before heading home
- 9:00- 11:00 pm when people are cruising social networks before heading off to bed
- Always @ the host. Compliment the show. Compliment the host. Tag them and thank them. Always include a link to the podcast. You’ll most likely get a thank you and a retweet.
- Maximize visibility through pre-scheduling. Who has time to set an alarm to post your promotional tweets on the schedule we’ve described above? You’ll save time, and be more consistent if you use a pre-scheduling tool such as Hootsuite, Buffer, TweetDeck or any number of other good social scheduling tools.
Instagram is owned by Facebook, and they integrate nicely, but Instagrams power to reach audiences is as a stand-alone social network with a passionate user base who love images. If you’re using Business Suite on your Facebook Page you can pre-schedule your post to share to both Facebook and Instagram at the same time. Unlike Twitter, Instagram is not a place to share the same content multiple times. Each post should be unique. Unless you have a business account, and are doing a paid promotion, you won’t be able to share links directly to your podcast interview, so during the time you’re promoting your podcast, you can do one of two things. You can say “link to podcast in my bio,” and temporarily change the link in your bio to the podcast link, or you can tag the podcast host who will have the link to the podcast homepage as his or her bio. I recommend a combination of both of these strategies. Once your promotional period is over, you won’t necessarily keep a link to the podcast as your primary bio link. If you’re doing a series of interviews or multiple kinds of media, you might consider adding a page to your website with “Recent appearances” and links to everything you’ve done. Then make the link in your Instagram bio lead people to that page on your website.
Some promotional posts for Instagram might include:
- Quote block posts Find a quote from the interview that captures the spirit of the conversation and is short enough to make into a graphic quote block to share on Instagram. Add an update that directs people to either the Podcast Host’s Instagram account or to your Instagram bio link and add hashtags to help more people see the post. For example, to attract other writers, you might consider #amwriting or #booksofInstagram. Keep a list of hashtags you see other authors and podcast guests using and keep them in the notes app on your phone for easy copy and paste into any Instagram post.
- Host and Guest Graphics: Create an image featuring both you and the host. You can easily create a quick and compelling graphic using Canva or PicMonkey or Adobe Photoshop. Share the image along with a quick update about one particular point you made in the interview that might interest listeners. Invite them to listen to the entire episode and direct them to your bio link. Tag your host. Many top podcasters create their own graphics to promote shows so be sure to ask your host if they have a graphic you might use in promotion.
- Response Post: If the episode gets a strong response, lots of comments and/or many questions, consider creating a post with an image of you answering questions online. In the update, talk about how pleased you are that the interview elicited so many responses and tell fans you’re working hard to answer every question. You’re subtly bragging about the quality of the podcast, inviting people once again to listen, and evoking a slight “fear of missing out,” among your fan base.
LinkedIn is an often overlooked social network for promotional content, particularly podcast content with actionable ideas people want to improve their lives, their businesses, their relationships or their health. LinkedIn’s professional user base is always interested in those ideas. Consider these opportunities to promote on LinkedIn.
- Updates: Just as on any other social network, it’s easy to create an update, similar to one you might use on Twitter and include a link directly to the podcast. Keep the tone professional. Position yourself as the expert that you are. This audience is looking for direction, inspiration, and/or advice from a pro. Traffic driving updates on LinkedIn might look like this: “When Bob Jones asked me to share my top three entrepreneurial tools on his podcast X, I jumped at the chance. Are you using all of these strategies as part of your marketing plan?”
- Articles: Highlight one or two valuable points from your podcast interview in an article. Articles on LinkedIn have the look of a WordPress blog post, complete with featured image, headlines and subheadlines. The article tool on LinkedIn used to be called Pulse, for those who’ve been using LinkedIn for awhile. Once you press publish, you’ll be able to grab a specific URL for that article and share it on other social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Here’s an example of an article on my LinkedIn profile to show you how they look and how easy they are to share. To write and article, click on the word “article” on the far right hand side of the “start a post” box on your LinkedIn feed. End your article with a phrase that invites people to view the full podcast, perhaps something like this, “If you found these tips helpful, you can access the full podcast with more actionable strategies here [insert URL to podcast].”
Blog Post: Always create a blog post about your podcast interview. Highlight one or two key points from the interview and end the post with a call to action to click the URL to view the entire podcast. This content then lives on your website and allows you periodically to re-promote the podcast by directing people to this blog post for some quick tips and a link for the full podcast.
Doing podcast interviews is an investment of your time. These interviews are valuable marketing and promotional assets in your author marketing toolkit. If you follow this promotional strategy for using your own social networks to announce, link and repurpose content from each podcast interview you do, you’ll be borrowing social proof from the podcaster, amplifying both your work and the podcaster’s work and creating evergreen content that continues to drive potential readers to your website. On your website you should always have, front and center, lists of and links to buy your books. Podcasters work hard to create their network of followers. When you promote your interview, you help promote their work. And you become a very good guest making the interview is a win-win for everyone involved, including the audience.