At some point in your podcasting career, you’re going to approach the same point as we have: where do we go from here? You’ve built up a solid listener base from friends, colleagues, word of mouth and random visitors – but growth has slowed. Now what?
What can you do to promote your podcast and take it to the next level? Or perhaps you’re just starting a podcast and want to jump in headfirst with as many listeners as possible. Never fear – here are 7 ways to promote your podcast!
Be Introspective, First
It’s all very well coming here and trying to figure out how to get more listeners, but before you do that, take an honest look at your podcast and ask yourself – is it good enough? Perhaps the reason you’ve hit a plateau is because you’re just not compelling. Is there anything you can do to improve first?
Get a Website
If you’ve been running your podcast on one of those “do it all for you” podcast packages that just provide a feed, then stop it. Get a proper website for your blog, something that can be indexed by search engines, contains good quality show notes, and will drive traffic from appropriate keywords. I’d suggest using WordPress myself, and that’s what we use – here’s our free beginners guide to Blogging with WordPress – just install Podpress for a complete podcast publishing platform.
Get Listed on iTunes
Setup up a feed containing an mp3 file is easy, but if you’re not listed on the iTunes podcast directory then you’re literally throwing away listeners; almost half of Technophilia Technology Podcast fans listen through iTunes and many have found it through iTunes. For the best results, produce a high quality AAC encoded feed with embedded chapter artwork (you can easily do this in Garageband), and be sure to specify a 1400 x 1400 pixel image for your feed artwork if you ever want to be featured (according to the latest Apple guidelines).
Do the Social Thing
At the very least, a Facebook page – ask existing fans to like it, then that like will appear on their social stream, bringing in new listeners. A Facebook presence also serves as an effective water-cooler for actually communicating with your fans – I don’t think we would have half as much success as we have had without our listener feedback – getting ideas for the show from them, and then just chatting away. Say what you like about branded pages on Facebook – they’re a powerful medium for communicating with fans, and you need one. Be sure to read our complete free Guide to Social Marketing. If you would like to offer exclusive content to fans, such as after-show videos and little bonus clips – I wrote up an easy tutorial a few days ago on how to set up a fan gate without expensive SSL certificates and hosting. Twitter is also a thing, apparently.
The internet used to be full of podcast directories, but most of them are now dead and buried, with new submissions disabled or non-functional websites. It’s not a pretty state. Luckily, some major sites have emerged in addition to iTunes, and you can find out all about them at the Audacity Podcast. Here’s another fairly recent list of Podcasting directories.
Cross Promotion or Advertising Exchange
As a podcaster, one of your greatest assets is your listeners, so introducing them to other podcasts they may potentially enjoy is a great way to cross-promote. Record a minute long promotional piece explaining who you are and what your podcast is about, then approach other podcasts that you personally enjoy to see if they’re interested in cross promotion; smaller podcasters will be happy to get the extra exposure you’re offering.
Many podcasts are thankful to have guests on to inject a little fresh content – our own Justin Pot recently appeared on Podcast Squared talking about podcasting (quite meta indeed); and some of our own best episodes have been with guests, such as this week’s with Twitch.TV livestreaming extraordinaire Robert Wiesehan.
I say that tentatively of course, because the episode hasn’t happened at the time of writing, so it may end up really sucking. Sorry.
— Technophilia Podcast (@TheTechnophilia) March 8, 2013
Get Out of the House
Apparently, people do stuff in the real world sometimes too! I know, right? There are conferences, expos, meet-ups and all manners of meatspaces in which to “mingle”, or whatever those social types do. Just make sure you have some nicely designed and properly printed promo cards, and hand them out to anyone you talk to. Again, Daniel at Audacity has some things to say about this particular topic.
Do you have any more tips how to get more listeners for your podcast? Then please, post them in the comments, because I for one would welcome the advice. And if you’re interested in a little cross-promotion with us – well, you can use the comments too. Go on, we won’t bite.