Podcasts have never been more popular. If you are considering launching a podcast to promote your mortgage business, this is a great thing. As we discussed in our “How to Start a Mortgage Podcast in 2020” article, roughly 90 million Americans are listening to Podcasts this year. That number was only 56 million a year prior. With more listeners comes more podcasts to choose from. It’s natural to ask yourself if it’s possible to break through all “the noise” and get noticed. The good news is that it is. Here are best practices you can follow to increase the listenership of your podcast and turn listeners into loyal subscribers.
You can check out our full article on how to start a mortgage podcast in 2020 here.
Partner With Others
As you get your podcast going, you are an unknown entity. This makes getting listeners difficult. One great way to get attention is to partner with another influencer or brand. Companies have been doing this for years. Even well-established ones. Nationwide Insurance has partnered with Peyton Manning, Pepsi with Kendal Jenner, and recently Facebook launched their Portal commercials with Jim Henson’s Muppets.
The fastest way to draw attention to a new venture is to build a partnership. This applies to basically every type of industry on the planet, including The Mortgage Industry. A partnership will help you grow. In this instance, the partnership you want to seek out is collaborating with another prominent podcast with a related topic, who’s listeners would be interested in what you have to say and are likely to cruise over to your podcast to check it out.
Find Successful Partnerships
Before you start making moves, prioritize who would make the most valuable partners you could work with. Specifically, you want somebody that:
- Has a successful show with a decent size audience
- Has an audience that shares a common interest with your listeners
- Is willing to have guests on their show (and do guest spots on your show)
Start by making a list of every podcast in the mortgage industry that you like and may meet these criteria. Next, expand that list to podcasts that are in related industries and run them through the same list of criteria. Once you’ve completed that exercise, it’s time to jump on social media and reach out to these people, asking them if you can be on their podcast.
For instance, maybe you are interested in Brad Inman’s Unlisted Podcast. He has a very successful show. His audience is similar to one that would be interested in topics you discuss. He also as evidenced by prior blogs is very accustomed to having guests on this show. He would be a fantastic person to reach out to in the hopes of appearing on one of his episodes about the mortgage market.
Now, while you should always try to get slots to appear on other’s podcasts, it is most likely going to be easier to invite someone to your show. That is okay too. Plus, if you do a podcaster the favor of promoting them on your show, they are that much more likely to reciprocate.
If you start reaching out to your ideal partners and it’s not working so well, there are other options. Try joining Anchor’s Facebook group. Every week they invite members of the group to cross-promote on the Anchor podcast.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly is expectation setting. You need to make sure everyone is clear that when they come on your show, they MUST share a link to the podcast with their audience. If you don’t do this, it’s going to be hard for your podcast to grow. Most people will do this either way as they want to promote an episode that they’re in.
Follow this process, get enough guests to come on to talk with you, and you’ll see your listener and subscriber numbers start to climb.
Get Listeners Involved
You cannot grow your audience if you don’t get your listeners to actively participate. If they passively listen and then leave, you won’t grow as quickly. To grow your audience over the long haul, you need to leave calls to action, both in the podcast itself and also in the description of each episode. In the call to action, you want to accomplish 3 things:
- Ask them to subscribe to your podcast
- To give you a 5 star rating
- To leave a comment in the comment section
When someone subscribes to your podcast, they’ll start getting alerts in their podcasting app every time you post a new episode, which helps bring them back to your podcast more often. When people leave you a 5 star rating, or they leave a comment, this is social proof for others that stumble upon your podcast. They will look at all the 5 star ratings as evidence that people like what they are hearing and if they read through lots of comments from engaged users, they’ll think of your podcast listeners as a community of fans. Both these elements in turn are catalysts that will get people stumbling upon your podcast to subscribe and get involved in the conversation.
Pick strategic spots in your show to ask people to subscribe, rate, and review your podcast. If people appreciate what you’re doing, they’ll more than likely take a minute or two to rate and review you.
Market Your Podcast (A Lot)
Just because you are producing great, informative mortgage content in your podcast, you have to remember there are tons of podcasts out there. So great content alone does not mean that people will find your show. Because of this, you must market your podcast.
Here are some specific ways you can market your Mortgage podcast:
Promote Your Podcasts On Social Media
Social media is one of the most accessible ways to market your podcast. That’s why every big podcast you listen to has an active social strategy. There are a couple of best practices you can use to maximize your results.
Always tag your guests when you share episodes.
This puts your podcast into their Twitter or Instagram feed, which places you in plain view of your guest’s social media followers. For instance, if you just published a podcast where you had a conversation with Barbara Corcoran about the state of Real Estate, you might post something like:
In the newest episode of (PODCAST NAME), we sat down with @barbaracorcoran to get her thoughts on the housing market and what’s coming in the next six months. Interesting stuff, check it out! (LINK TO EPISODE HERE)
Every hashtag you use introduces your podcast into another stream. Depending on the popularity of a particular hashtag, your post could reach tens of thousands of people. Much like Podcasts, there are lots of hashtags out there. When you use podcasts, you want to search how popular they are. For instance, if you are promoting your podcast on Instagram, use a tool like Tailwind to analyze hashtag popularity.
The best practice is to find hashtags related to your post that are a mixture of very popular, midway popular and not super popular. Doing this will hedge your bet and ensure you are noticed on as many streams as possible.
Using the example above for your episode with Barbara Corcoran, you may use a couple high traffic hashtags such as #sharktank and #realestate, some midway popular hashtags such as #mortgagepodcast and #realestatemarkettips and perhaps some low volume ones such as #NAMEOFYOURPODCAST.
Instagram, in particular, is a great platform for hashtags and you can put as many as 25 related hashtags in a single post.
Audiograms are social posts that include an image or video, a caption, and a short audio clip from your podcast. These types of posts are much more popular than plain still image posts with text.
You can make this post very simple, by using the image that is the episode artwork and then 15-30 seconds of a really compelling audio clip from your episode.
Syndicate Your Podcast
Lastly, there are a lot of different podcasting platforms out there. The best practice here is to be on as many as possible. So you’ll want to set up accounts on as many platforms as you can.
The more places you upload your show, the more potential listeners you’ll reach. It’s really just that simple. Here is a list of our favorite places to upload podcasts:
Keep Honing Your Craft
This is a suggestion that is hard to accomplish, but if you keep at your podcasts and keep making more and more episodes, the more you do, if you focus your efforts, the better they will get.
As you get more episodes produced and attract more listeners, the quality of the guests you get will get better. When you get more used to interviewing guests, your interviewing style will improve. As you get more comfortable with editing tools and podcasting equipment you can even increase the sound quality and add things such as background music, pre-roll commercials and post-roll commercials (Commercials you run before and after your podcast content).
If you want to improve your podcasts but don’t know where to start, ask your listeners. Ask them for feedback. Perhaps they’ll tell you about guests they’d love you to invite, or they might even give you feedback on audio quality, or potential content for upcoming episodes. Your audience listens to you because they like you and are rooting for you. They will be honest with you.
The key takeaway here is the higher you raise the bar when it comes to the quality of your mortgage podcast, the more listeners you will attract.
Use These Tips And Build Your Listening Audience
The strategies mentioned in this article will help increase your podcast listeners, but they do require consistent effort. If you follow these steps though, over time you will see your mortgage podcast grow consistently and you will attract more business, helping you improve your bottom line.