Podcast Marketing that Works, Part I

Make it all about the listener

Sean Howard
4 min readMay 25, 2020


One of the joys in starting the Fable and Folly Network is that I can now be a fractional member of the marketing team on so many of the shows I adore in the audio fiction space.

One of those shows, The Carlötta Beautox Chronicles, is written, directed, produced, sound designed and marketed by the amazing Ann Sloan. Working with Ann is a joy. Like many creators in the Audio Fiction space, she is driven, smart and gets more done in a day than the average person does in a week.

In one session, we penciled together a high level marketing plan, laid out some immediate tactics and discussed some tools to explore.

A marketing plan doesn’t have to be a laborious, seven page document. If you want or need such a thing, great, but I recommend most podcasters start with a simple one-page plan. You can use The Podcast Marketing Canvas I created as a starting point. Hack and change it to meet your needs. The instructions on how to make a copy and start using it are on slide 2.

Most of the Podcast Marketing Canvas is pretty straight forward and based on marketing 101 basics. Who is our listener? Where do they hang out (online and offline)? And what are the tactics and channels by which we can reach them?

The key with any type of business innovation canvas is to be as specific and descriptive as possible. Strive to go from “42% work full-time” to “42% work full-time and 90% hate their commute to work.”

Ann and I had no trouble working through the first two boxes. She has a firm grasp on who listens to her show and we quickly fell into discussing the shows, magazines and online media that her audience consumes. So when we got to the Channels/Partners section, we could be super specific and identify actual YouTube channels and influencers our audience already follow. This led to the idea of testing out a small YouTube pre-roll spot on these channels.

As we get to the second row in the canvas, things may be a bit less familiar. I won’t be going through Jobs to be Done in any real detail, but for anyone interested, read anything by Clayton Christensen. You won’t regret it.

Or check out this article on HBR.org.

The short of it is that we want to identify the jobs in people’s lives that they are looking to hire our podcast to satisfy. And this allows us to also identify the product or service that our audience would be firing from their lives in order to start listening to our podcast on a regular basis. A lot of this depends on our podcast and our audience.

  • How long is the podcast?
  • How much focus or attention does it require from the listener?
  • Who is the primary audience?
  • What do we know about when they listen to our podcast?

There is some controversy in strategy circles over how tactical to get with the Jobs to be Done framework, so I recommend following Christensen’s counsel closely by answering the following questions: What progress is our potential listener trying to make in choosing to listen to our podcast? What do they hope to accomplish?

Carlötta Beautox is light, fun and all about celebrity culture and the dangers of our fascination with the same. Every episode is about 15 minutes long and the show is a great companion when doing chores or light housework. And we have signs that this is exactly when it is listened to.

We also suspect that our potential audience currently watches TV while they do a number of chores, but this is a lackluster experience at best, as they can’t really focus on what is happening while they are distracted visually with a task. These same people also watch certain channels on YouTube.

So we connect the dots and I ask Ann to put together a pre-roll video we can use for a test campaign to target specific demographics on a short list of YouTube channels.

This is why I adore working with Ann — less than 24 hours later, I am looking at the following:

She’s created the video and already launched it on her Twitter account with a Chartable Smartlink so we can see how many new listeners this generates as it gets shared.

And she dusted off an older infographic that seemed like it might fit with some of the tactics we had discussed.

A marketing plan is about gaining clarity. And from clarity comes action.

We all struggle with getting our podcast “discovered” and growing our audience. The Podcast Marketing Canvas is one way to get the clarity we need to find and connect with our listeners.

Read part two here:


Sean is the co-founder of the Fable and Folly Network and a co-creator of Alba Salix, Royal Physician and Civilized. He can be reached via Twitter or email.



Sean Howard

Sean is a brand marketer, podcaster and co-founder of Fable and Folly. https://fableandfolly.com/