As podcasters, it’s easy to spend your time promoting your most recent release. Your latest episode. Your freshest season.
But don’t forget about your back catalog, especially if your episodes are evergreen. At Pacific Content, we often recommend that brands produce creatively brave shows that also have a long shelf life, and will continue to be relevant and useful to audiences long after their initial release.
Let’s look at an example: McAfee makes a show called Hackable?. Its first 10-episode season debuted in August 2017. When we look at cumulative all-time downloads for Season 1, you can clearly see 10 “stair steps” that correspond to the new episode releases:
But look at how many downloads happened between the “end” of Season 1 and today.
Total cumulative downloads have nearly doubled.
Why? Because McAfee continued to market Hackable? through a mix of paid, earned, owned, and internal channels. They were smart about producing a show with a long shelf life, so the episodes didn’t go stale. Listeners continued to find value in the episode, and new listeners continued to discover the show.
Don’t forget about your back catalog. There’s still juice there.
Here’s another example: Choiceology from Charles Schwab. It’s a show about making choices, and the hidden biases that can keep us from making good ones.
Choicology launched in February 2018 with 7 episodes. Again, we see the initial stair steps, followed by a near doubling of downloads in the post-season:
The insights and ideas in Choiceology are pretty timeless, and Schwab continues to market these episodes. Why wouldn’t they?
What’s the hook?
When promoting your back catalog, ask yourself, “Why is this episode relevant now?”
Is there a story in the news that your episode can provide context for? An anniversary? Is there a seasonal hook or holiday that makes your episode particularly relevant (tax time, back-to-school, the beginning of a new year, etc.)?
For every episode in your back catalog, list the guest, themes, and topics, then brainstorm current or upcoming topical hooks. Find a timely angle, then use your paid, earned, owned, and internal channels to help people discover your episodes.
- High-quality, creatively brave programming is an investment that continues to pay download dividends over time
- Podcast success is a long game. The most successful shows tend to have deep back catalogs.
- Brands that care about long-term, ongoing relationships with their audiences should look beyond the initial spike of downloads, and consider the lifetime value of their shows
- Every day, somebody’s born who’s never seen The Flintstones
What’s the lifetime value of your episodes? How do you market your podcast’s back catalog?