9 Things We Learned from Ofcom’s 2021 Podcast Survey

8. The Best Way to Promote Your Podcast is Free

Social media and word of mouth remain the most common ways to hear about new podcasts, with 31% and 26% of respondents agreeing respectively. Luckily for independent podcasters, this means the best way to tell people about your show is free, you just need to put some time and effort into building those relationships with your followers.

However, 26% of respondents said they do not hear about new podcasts, suggesting there is still work to be done to optimise the promotion of podcasts.

You could probably guess that younger audiences responded more overwhelmingly for social media, reaching 49% of 16-34 year olds but only 15% of over 55s. Additionally, non-white listeners are 21% more likely to find new podcasts via social media, and this will surely only increase.

Following the success of apps such as Clubhouse and Stereo, social media platforms including Twitter (who have already rolled out Spaces) and Facebook are introducing social audio features in 2021. With Facebook & Instagram already a viable website substitute for many small business and content creators, and with them also announcing improved podcast feed integrations on podcast pages, we could see Facebook become the go-to destination for engaging with audio content.

This means the potential for social media as a key driver of traffic to your podcast will not only remain at the top, but strengthen over the next year.

This is not to say that word of mouth, albeit an overlap with social media, will not remain very important, particularly for niche podcasts which build smaller circles of loyal followers within particular areas or industries.

Older listeners do hear about podcasts from radio more than most other sources, which aligns perfectly with the above data – more likely to consume BBC, therefore be recommended podcasts via the radio stations, and therefore go to BBC Sounds.

Television and other websites/apps is still low down in this list but, as above, the advertising of podcasts is still in its infancy. As the industry grows, we could start to see more aggressive marketing on these more expensive platforms.

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