Marketing with Merch: 5 Ways to Grow Your Podcast

If you’re looking to give your podcast that extra oomph, you’re in the right spot. We’re not just talking about slapping your logo on a mug; we’re diving into the nitty-gritty of using merch to ramp up your podcast’s growth. So, are you ready to get your merch game on point? Let’s roll up our sleeves and turn those goodies into a powerhouse promotion that does the heavy lifting for you.

Creating Merch to Promote Your Podcast

Merch is more than just goodies—it’s your podcast’s handshake with the world. If you don’t already know how to make merch, check out our full-length episode on creating merch for your podcast that goes through every step of the process! But, to use your merch to grow your podcast, the merch you make needs to be able to promote your show. So, here are three tips to make sure your merch promotes your podcast:

Designs that Feel Like Your Show

Before you dive into the merch pool, take a hard look at your podcast’s identity. What’s the vibe you’re putting out there? Your merch should be a tangible slice of that. It’s not just about logos and colors; it’s about creating items that embody the essence of your show and resonate with your community.

Listen to Your Listeners

Use surveys, social media interactions, or good old conversations to get a sense of your audience’s tastes. Are they the type that would appreciate a sleek, minimalist design, or are they all about that quirky, attention-grabbing look? Tailor your merch to fit into their world.

The Right Vendor Makes All the Difference

Finding a vendor is like dating, you want a reliable partner who gets you. Look for one with great feedback, a solid portfolio, and the kind of customer service that leaves you feeling secure. Sample their wares, make sure they can deliver on quality, and if they’re eco-conscious, that’s a big plus.

5 Ways to Grow Your Audience Using Your Merch

Now that you’ve got merchandise that’s as engaging as your podcast, it’s time to turn those items into tools for audience growth. Let’s go over five specific ways you can start using your merch to promote your podcast.

Wearable Advertising

Wearable merch is a classic move for a reason. It works. T-shirts, hats, and even socks with your podcast’s branding are not just products; they’re conversation starters. When your listeners wear your merch, they’re introducing your podcast to everyone they meet without saying a word.

Make sure the design stands out and represents your podcast’s ethos. Then, encourage your audience to share photos of themselves sporting your gear on social media, which can create a ripple effect and naturally attract a wider audience.

Implement Listener Rewards

People love to feel special, and your listeners are no different. Set up a rewards system where listeners can earn points towards free merchandise. This could be through listener milestones (like listening to a certain number of episodes) or engagement activities (such as sharing episodes or leaving reviews). Not only does this incentivize engagement, but it also builds a sense of community, which can result in word-of-mouth recommendations—a potent audience growth tool.

Create Cross-Promotional Merch with Guests

Start collaborating with your guests to create limited-edition merch. This not only celebrates the collaboration but also expands both of your audience bases for merch. it’s a win-win: you both get exposure and another chance to introduce your podcasts to each other’s audiences.

Offer Giftable Merch

Design some of your merchandise to be easily giftable. Whether it’s holiday-themed or simply packaged for easy gifting, items like this encourage your listeners to buy merch for friends and family. It’s an effective way to introduce new people to your podcast indirectly. Giftable merch can include anything from bundled items, merch that focuses on a cool design, or specially wrapped packages that make the unboxing an experience in itself.

Run a Giveaway or Competition

Everybody loves the thrill of potentially winning something. Organize a giveaway or a competition with your merch as the prize. This could be tied to various promotional activities, like tagging friends, sharing your podcast, or participating in a challenge you set.

Not only does this encourage listeners to engage more deeply, but it also increases the visibility of your podcast. Make sure to promote your giveaway across all your platforms and consider partnering with influencers or other podcasts to amplify the reach.

Building a Brand with Merch

Beyond using your merch for specific promotions, it can also help you build your brand. Here are a few tips for building a brand with your merch:

  • Maintain a Visual Identity: Your merchandise should always reflect your podcast branding with a uniform color palette, logo, and design approach, leading to instant brand recognition.
  • Connect Your Merch to Your Show: Let each piece of merch tell a part of your podcast’s story. Tell a narrative around each piece or collection that embodies your podcast’s values and personality to connect with your audience.
  • Prioritize Product Quality: Quality should never be compromised. Superior merchandise not only pleases customers but also elevates your brand’s perceived value and encourages loyalty.
  • Integrate Content: Seamlessly incorporate mentions of your merchandise into your podcast content, making your brand a natural part of the listener experience.
  • Use Inside Jokes: Incorporate sayings, jokes, or references from your podcast into your merchandise. This creates an exclusive feel to your merch. It lets your audience find each other easily in a crowd and connect.
  • Offer Limited Edition Products: Release special limited edition items that let your die-hard fans prove their loyalty by showing off their first edition sweater or coffee mug.


Remember, every piece of merch tells a story, and with these strategies, yours will be one that listeners can’t help but share. From wearables that walk your brand into new spaces to rewards that turn fans into ambassadors, the possibilities are endless.

So, make sure to get creative and let your merch do the talking. Keep trying different ideas while listening to your audience’s feedback to make merch they genuinely want to use. From there, it’s just about running promotions and finding ways to fully leverage the value of your audience wearing your merch.

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