It’s been two weeks since we’ve launched the Bring Your Own Movie podcast, and we’ve gotten a great response. There have been a lot of positive reviews and comments for the show and a decent number of downloads.
With our successful launch complete, there was no time to slow down, as we needed to quickly pivot and go into major promotion mode. For our initial push, we’re focusing on free tactics, dedicating the majority of our efforts on social media marketing, since we have complete controls over those channels.
Here are a few early learnings and tips:
Start with your goals
Any marketer will tell you that before you put together your promotion plan, you need to identify what you are trying to accomplish.
For us, our top priority is, of course, getting as many downloads and listens of the podcasts as possible.
Our secondary goals include:
- Getting people to connect with your social media pages
- Encouraging people to engage with our social media posts
- Getting iTunes reviews
These goals will help guide the content of our marketing, as well as outline the metrics we should be measuring.
Identify your target audience
Of course, we hope everyone enjoys our podcast! But we think that the show will particularly resonate with people who like to have fun discussions about movies. And for our social media channels, we’re also targeting people who are likely to weigh in with their own opinions.
Knowing who we’re speaking to will not only influence the topics we post about, but also the tone of our posts. Which is a great segue to …
Find your brand’s voice
We also needed to think about what we wanted the tone of our social media posts and other written promotional materials to be. In general, we want the Bring Your Own Movie voice to be humorous and irreverent. We want to avoid sounding too serious or high-brow. We want to feel like the type of easy-going, funny people that you’d love hanging out with at a party or a bar, grabbing a few drinks with, and having a lively, but light-hearted, discussion about films with.
See things from your audience’s perspective
When it came to brainstorming the type of social media posts we wanted to make, I thought about the types of posts I tend to engage with.
I tend to comment on posts that ask me to weigh in with my own opinions. I will often ‘like’ posts that include some interesting fact, a funny meme or cool art. And I tend to share posts that feature big news that I think other people need to know about.
I also think about podcast-specific posts that I engage with or that I see get a lot of engagement. Those are things like episode discussion threads and fan art/merchandise posts.
From there we were able to brainstorm some post ideas for Bring Your Own Movie, such as:
- Special guest bios
- Movie trivia
- Episode discussion threads and/or polls
Create your calendar
Now, it’s time to get everything in place and figure out a good cadence for your marketing plan. For us, since we’re releasing new episodes every two weeks, it made sense also to have a two-week marketing cycle.
In the week leading up to each episode’s release, we’ll have posts introducing that episode’s special guest, as well as teasing the movie that will be discussed, asking people to comment with their guesses on this episode’s film. After the episode goes live, we have a week of posts promoting downloads & listens, as well as encouraging engagement with our posts through discussion threads, polls, and fun, shareable content.
Find the right tools
In order to execute a marketing plan smoothly and efficiently, it’s important to have good tools at hand. We, of course, are using a ton of tools, but here are a couple that I want to highlight:
When planning out a social media plan, it’s helpful to create a marketing calendar with information on when you’ll post, what channel(s) you’ll be using, and what will be contained in each post. Any spreadsheet tool will do the trick (Excel, Google Sheets), but we find that Airtable gives us some extra capabilities that are particularly useful.
With Airtable, it was easy for us to organize and separate out posts by social media channel. We were able to customize our column, like one can with any spreadsheet, so we could include information of the topic, the date, and the copy for each post. We were also able to include a column where we can drag in the images we’ll be using.
Anyone who’s run a robust social media plan will tell you that having a scheduling tool can save a lot of time. Instead of manually posting every day, you can queue up your posts in a scheduling tool ahead of time and then the tool will publish your posts at the scheduled date and time. This means, for example, that instead of having to take time out of your day every day, you could dedicate, say, one day a week to setting up all your posts for that week.
There are many scheduling tools out there, and a lot of people are familiar with Hootsuite. We ended up going with Buffer, partly because they have a free account option, while Hootsuite does not.
Measure your results
Next, it’s time to see what worked and what didn’t. Even though our main goal is episode downloads and listens, it’s actually difficult to attribute those metrics to our social media posts. While we’ve included links to our website and the episode page on our site in some of our posts, people will typically download, subscribe and listen to podcasts in their app of choice. We, of course, can try to correlate this. Do we see a spike in downloads on a certain day? We can look at what posts were made that day.
We also look at our secondary goals, particularly engagement. Unsurprisingly, our big podcast launch post has received the most engagement. After that, big winners were our guest announcement post, our posts about our iTunes reviews, and a post that featured a funny Rotten Tomatoes review. I think it’ll take a few months to see if there are any strong patterns in the types of posts that get the most engagement.
We’ll continue with our social media plan and track engagement. We’ll fine-tune along the way, as patterns start to surface as to what’s working best.
We’d also like to explore other free marketing avenues, such as co-promotions with other podcasts and getting featured in related email newsletters.
Have any ideas yourself? Feel free to leave a comment!