Why you only need three buttons to promote your podcast

A long while ago, I gave some thoughts on how to effectively link to your podcast.

In short:
1. Always link to your website, never anywhere else
2. Give visitors a “bloody big play button” so they can listen immediately
3. …and while I originally said two buttons: I’d suggest three official buttons now. One for Apple Podcasts, one for Google Podcasts, and… one for Spotify.

The reasons I gave were one of the least amount of friction between a listener and your podcast. Apple Podcasts, and the Google Podcasts player, are both pre-installed on mobile phones. Hitting the buttons will always work.

And while Spotify had a tiny amount of downloads when I wrote that original post, it’s now responsible for around 35% of downloads. It’s not, quite, as big as Apple Podcasts, but it’s getting there. For many, it’s the first experience they have of podcasts, and the most convenient place.

I’d use the official buttons

The official buttons are the ones these companies would prefer that you use. Google and Spotify built them deliberately to be the same size as Apple, too, so none is bigger (or smaller) than they need to be.

Also, the official buttons are instantly recognisable. The S̶l̶a̶c̶k̶ ̶i̶c̶o̶n Google Podcasts icon isn’t that well-known yet, though the button will work on every Android device; so just having the blue/orange/red logo won’t work as well as some text saying “Google Podcasts”.

And the official buttons also communicate that this is a podcast. As soon as people see them they understand what it is that you’re offering.

But I’d only use three

A few other people want to link to other places, like GoodPods, or Amazon, or who knows where. So, should you link to them too?

Here’s why I wouldn’t do that.

The Apple Podcasts charts might be easily manipulated, but they’re still one of the more important ways for new listeners to discover your podcast.

Every time you link to a different platform, you lessen the chance that someone will hit ‘subscribe’ in Apple Podcasts. Hitting ‘subscribe’ in Apple Podcasts is the only way to appear in those Podcasts charts.

So if you push people over to GoodPods or PocketCasts, and they subscribe there, then you will do worse in the Apple Podcast charts than you could have done. Is that what you want?

“Why not just link to Apple Podcasts?” is the obvious next step. If a reason to remove all the other apps to channel your podcast traffic towards Apple Podcasts is for the benefit of the chart, surely you should only have a link pointing to Apple Podcasts?

Well, it’s obvious, but it’s astonishing how many podcasters haven’t understood this: Apple Podcasts is not in competition with Google Podcasts.

Android users can’t use Apple Podcasts. And, while iOS users can use Google Podcasts if they really want to, it’s unlikely that they will.

These buttons are not in competition with each other.

Google Podcasts is a top five podcast app, and has its own trending charts and other recommendations. You will appear higher in those charts the more consumption you have on Google Podcasts, too. To take advantage, it’s important to channel your Android users to Google Podcasts.

“But I want listeners to be able to listen to me on all those other apps,” you say. You’re right. And they can. Power users are clever enough to have installed additional apps; and they understand how the search functions work on them by now. If they use Spotify, they’ll absolutely know how to search on it.

So, yes, make sure your podcast is on all of those podcast apps. But your strategy to ensure you appear as high in the charts as possible should be to link, consistently, to one app. For Apple, that’s Apple Podcasts. For Android, that’s Google Podcasts. They’re not in competition.

So: just three buttons: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. That’s all you need on your website**.

PS: Search for your podcast in Podnews.net, and use the tools in the “Information for Podcasters” section for the buttons you need. No image uploads needed. Here’s mine.

PPS: While you’re at Podnews.net, you should get the daily newsletter.

* Unless, it transpires, your listener is unfortunate enough to use the Samsung Internet Browser. They’ll unfortunately have to install Google Podcasts and find you themselves, like every other app. If your listeners have any sense, they’ll either install Chrome on Android, or, better still, not buy a horrid Samsung bastardised version of Android next time.

** Podnews podcast pages also show every other single podcast app in a big cluttery mess. That’s the point of those pages — they’re aimed at Podnews’s audience of podcasters. But you’ll notice that the Apple, Google and Spotify buttons are big and on the top of those pages: because those are the important ones.