Whether you're a guest on someone else's podcast, you're promoting your latest episode on social networks, or you're making marketing materials for your podcast, you might be wondering which link you should use to share your podcast.
- Website homepage?
- Apple Podcasts link?
- Spotify link?
- Tell them to find your podcast?
- An episode webpage?
- Your RSS feed?
- A YouTube video?
- A third-party landing page (like FollowthePodcast.com or LinkTree)?
To address this properly, you need to first decide whether to share your whole podcast, or only a specific episode.
Share your podcast link for general promotion to new audiences
“General promotion” is when you're telling someone to follow your podcast and you're not promoting a specific episode. For example, when you get to mention your podcast on another podcast (if you're not talking about the same thing as one of your episodes), in your digital or print marketing materials (business cards, banners, ads, swag, and such), or when you're making any other kind of general promotion for your show as a whole.
I suggest the following guidelines for the scenarios you'll typically face.
1. Promote your website when you need simplicity
Your podcast needs its own domain! Make sure it's branded to your podcast and points to a page that has multiple follow options: most importantly, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, something popular for Android (Google Podcasts or SubscribeOnAndroid.com), and your RSS feed URL.
It would be best for the page to detect the person's type of device and automatically show or hide links appropriately. For example, hiding Apple Podcasts from Android devices (since there's no Apple Podcasts app for Android—at least not yet) but showing Google Podcasts or SubscribeOnAndroid.com. And then doing the converse for Apple devices: showing Apple Podcasts but hiding the Android-only options. This requires some complicated backend code. So the easiest solution I recommend for you is the FollowthePodcast.com page you get when your track your podcast with the My Podcast Reviews service I created for you.
If possible, don't actually link to your RSS feed if you display a plain RSS option. Instead, display the feed URL or—even better—make the link automatically copy the URL to their clipboard when they tap or click the link. (Try it on my own FollowthePodcast.com/audacity page!)
Whether you create this multi-option page yourself or let another service create it for you, this is the single page you share when you need a simple call-to-action: like when you're a guest on another podcast, on your marketing materials (a typed domain or QR Code), in conversations, and such.
It's essentially “Go here to listen.” Then you're delegating the details and options to the next step.
2. Promote multiple links when the person has the mental and visual space to choose
When people visit your podcast landing page (like I described in the previous point), they have the margin to consider their options and tap or click on what's best for them. You don't want to overwhelm them with options, which is why it's important to show only the options that work on their devices (like you get with the FollowthePodcast.com feature from My Podcast Reviews).
And there are contexts where you can promote these multiple options instead of only a single page.
- On your website homepage
- On your episode webpages
- In your email newsletter
- On social-network posts
Each of these places might give you enough space to include multiple links with their appropriate labels. For example:
Learn how to start and grow your own podcast by following my podcast, The Audacity to Podcast!
Apple Podcasts: https://theaudacitytopodcast.com/applepodcasts
Google Podcasts: https://theaudacitytopodcast.com/googlepodcasts
More options: https://theaudacitytopodcast.com/follow
This message is still short enough to fit in a tweet. Just remember that some platforms (like Facebook) might embed a widget or “card” for only the first URL. That's great for single-URL posts, but it could be confusing for multi-URL posts like this. If that happens, you can usually “remove the preview” from the post.
3. Rotate links in short-lived contexts
If you post often on a social network with short-lived messages, such as Twitter, then you could consider promoting each major platform separately.
This also increases your chances that the platform will reshare your promotion because they like promoting things that promote themselves, not their competitors.
Here's a sample template:
[Benefit] by following my podcast,
Podcast: Play in new window | Download, on
Podcast: Play in new window | Downloadwith your [device]! [app link]
Here's an example:
Learn how to start and grow your own podcast by following my podcast, The Audacity to Podcast, on @ApplePodcasts with your iPhone! https://theaudacitytopodcast.com/applepodcasts
Note that I lead with the benefit!
Even if someone without an Apple device sees that message, they can still see the benefit your podcast provides and copy the title to search their own podcast app. Or they might simply reply asking for a link for their preferred app.
I suggest you post no more than 1 or 2 messages like this per day, but even less if you're not already posting multiple other, non-linking messages every day.
You could use a publishing tool (like MeetEdgar) to schedule and repost these messages at random times so you don't end up always promoting the same thing at the same time on the same day of the week.
You even can mix this in with your messages from #2 that promote your top platforms.
Share your episode web page to promote specific episodes
When you want to encourage listening to or watching a specific episode, then promote that episode's link.
Generally, the best link to promote is your episode's webpage with its own embedded episode player. That will work on anyone's device! And if you have high-quality show notes or an article, the visitor can potentially even get the information they want from you more quickly, or be further convinced on the value of your episode.
In most Internet contexts, the length and branding of the URL don't matter anymore because it's usually automatically shortened or hidden. But in spoken contexts, like if you're a guest on another podcast to talk about the same topic you covered in an episode, I recommend having a keyword-based redirect on your own domain.
For example, if you had me on your podcast to talk about this very subject, and my episode provides additional, relevant value beyond our conversation, then I might say, “I covered this in a lot more detail in my episode about it at TheAudacitytoPodcast.com/bestlink.”
Podcasting 2.0 will, of course, provide a better method
Within the Podcasting 2.0 project, we're working on a new style of follow links, called “Fast Follow.” This would allow a Podcasting 2.0 podcast app to use your camera to scan a QR Code or even a URL and jump straight to that podcast inside the same app and without leaving the app!
You might have experienced this same kind of thing at conferences, like Podcast Movement, where people have QR Codes on their badges. If you scan the QR Code with your normal camera app, it opens your browser to a page about that person. But if you scan the same QR Code with the conference app, it either takes you directly to his or her profile inside the app, or it might instantly connect you with each other and share your contact information with each other. Brilliant! And that's the kind of fast simplicity we're bringing to podcast-follow links.
Fast Follow is still under development, and I'm advocating for some ways to make it so easy that you wouldn't have to regenerate any QR Codes or update any web pages.
If you're overwhelmed, simply do this
I understand that this can be daunting. That's why I made this simple for you with the FollowthePodcast.com feature you get included when you track your podcast's social proof through My Podcast Reviews. You get a clean and simple page that smartly shows and hides options depending on your visitor's device. Plus, you can customize the URL so it's easily speakable. For example, I can say, “Follow the podcast to get every episode automatically through FollowthePodcast.com/audacity!”
And it will even support Fast Follow when that Podcasting 2.0 standard is finalized!
I'm available to help you podcast!
If you need one-on-one help or you haven't launched your podcast, yet, click here to request a personal coaching and consulting session with me and I'd love the opportunity to help you podcast better!
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This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship. I may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.