So, you’ve decided to give this podcasting thing a try. After settling on a topic, purchasing the proper equipment, planned out your recording and even edited your podcast, it’s now time to share it with the world. But, where do you begin?
Publishing Your Podcast
Your podcast isn’t going anywhere until it gets published, which means you first need to find a host. While you can use the same host that you currently have for your server, it’s not recommended. After all, you don’t want to have any issues with the server crashing because they can’t handle the amount of downloads.
Thankfully, there are a number of hosts out that there that handle larger media files. Blubrry, Libsyn and S3Amazon are all popular and reliable hosts for your podcast.
Once you’ve settled on a host, you’ll want to create a RSS feed. This is basically a separate URL on your blog specifically for your podcast. Appendipity of Times gives this example as a quick example:
To get your podcast feed url simply add “/category/podcast/feed” at the end of your url.
The reason that you’re doing this is because this will become the “middleman between your blog and your iTunes.” From there you’re going to install the plugin of your choice, such as The Blubrry PowerPress Podcasting Plugin or Feedburner, and fill-out the information regarding your podcast. Because this can get a bit complicated, you should probably use How to Set Up a Podcast – The Complete Guide and The Definitive Guide to Setting Up and Marketing a Podcast to Help Grow Your Blog to help direct you during this process.
Now that you’ve found a host and have published your podcast you can now proceed to the actual marketing of your podcast.
Submit Your Podcast to Directories
The first place to start marketing your podcast is by submitting it to podcasting directories. Before you get carried away, you want to make sure that you have fulfilled the submission requirements. Podcaster Richard Farrar notes that this will usually include the following:
- Your podcast RSS feed URL
- The title of your show
- A short description of your show
- Your website’s URL
- Your e-mail address
- The genre / category of your show
- Your show’s cover artwork
- Your twitter handle
Once you have that information ready, you can begin to start submitting your podcast to directories like iTunes, Blubrry and Libsyn. The thing is, there are a lot of other directories out there. And, it’s not uncommon for directories to come and go. That’s why you should review sites like Podcast411 and Podcast Directory to see which directories are still accepting submissions.
Remember, you also want to optimize your podcast by also including relevant keywords in your title and description. Furthermore, the Audacity to Podcast suggests that you also include the names of the talent/host, category, language and already have several podcasts recorded prior to submission.
Advertise on Your Blog
Chances are that you already have a blog. So why not advertise your podcast somewhere that already has a built-in following?
If you use WordPress, then this should be a pretty simple process. All you really have to do is create a new category for podcasts, drop the audio link and publish the post – and you’ve done most of the work when you created your RSS feed.
Besides promoting your podcast, you can share the WordPress link of the podcast on social media or even name-call at the end of an podcast when asking people to rate or subscribe to your blog. However, one the most important benefits is that of doing this is that directories like iTunes discovers podcasts through RSS. And, if you recall you’ll need a RSS to submit your podcast, so why no kill two birds with one stone?
Tell Everyone You Know
Whether it’s friends, family members or colleagues, don’t be shy in telling your online contacts about your podcast – you can even do this offline by including the name of your podcast on items like business cards. While this may seem obvious, and sometimes a bit spammy, studies have found that word of mouth has serious implications for brands. Some of these statistics include:
- 50% of purchase decisions are influenced by word-of-mouth.
- 1,000 customers can generate 500,000 conversations about a brand.
- 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other form of advertising and just 10% trust brands today.
Hopefully that was enough to convince you to get on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram and inform your network that you have just released a podcast.
Stay in Your Niche
While word of mouth is extremely beneficial, there’s also the possibility that you still aren’t reaching your audience. That’s why you need to discover and engage with individuals in your niche. For example, if your podcast revolves around comics, then you would want to visit communities that frequently discuss comic books and comic-based movies such as blogs, forums and even other podcasts. From there, you would engage and interact with this particular community. Remember, you don’t want to just announce your podcast and split. Become a member of the community.
Other ways to stay within your niche would be by connecting with influencers – Lee Odden suggests on TopRank that you use tools like Klout, Traackr, Buzzsumo and Kred to discover influencers – and send out press releases to popular blogs and websites that are relevant to your industry.
Conduct Interviews and Cross-Promote
These pretty much go hand-in-hand. Why? Because often times someone who just released an eBook, report, new product/service would be more than willing to come onto to your podcast and plug themselves. Not only does this give your podcast a little more credibility or entertainment, it can also expose it to a new audience – your guest is definitely going to promote their appearance to their audience. You can also appear on other podcasts in order to reach another audience.
Here’s a couple things to remember before booking a guest or conducting interviews. Start-off with friends or people you actually know. You want to practice your interview skills before sitting down with a more high-profile guest – you can find guests at RadioGuestList.com. Also, try to stay within your niche. If your podcast discusses food, then you probably wouldn’t want to interview a mechanic. Finally, make sure that you do your research and practice your questions before recording the podcast (Yaro Starak from Entrepreneurs-Journey has some helpful tips on conducting a quality podcast interview).
Make a YouTube Video
Whether it’s just a normal audio-only podcast or a video podcast, it’s worth the time to create a channel on YouTube and Vimeo. It gives your audience the chance to discover your podcast on different mediums. Besides, why wouldn’t you want to try and grab the attention of some of the 1 billion unique monthly users who watch more than 6 billion hours of video every month?
Just keep in mind that this is preferable if you have shorter podcasts – like around 15 minutes. If you want to share an awesome hour-long podcast, then you may want to break-it up into parts so that viewers won’t turn off the video – the average attention span of a YouTube viewer is around 5 minutes.
Host Contests and Giveaways
Just like any other other campaign online you can interest people in your podcast by offering some sort of incentive. The best way to do this is by announcing the contest or giveaway on your blog and social media channels but only offering specific details on the contest/giveaway on the podcast itself.
As Jeffrey Powers notes on HowtoPodcasts.com, don’t expect to gain a million new followers overnight. But, you can grow a loyal fanbase over time. He also suggests that you should work with sponsors for prizes or third parties like Rafflecopter. Finally, Powers recommends that you have rules and regulations to prevent yourself legally.
Email Your Subscribers
In case you weren’t aware, bloggers and marketers can benefit from collecting email addresses. And, with the increase of mobile devices, email isn’t going anywhere. So, why not take advantage of the power of email in regards to podcasting?
Whenever you publish a new podcast, send out an email to your subscribers – just in case they aren’t signed-up for your RSS feed. You can use services like GetResponse to inform your email subscribers about your awesome new podcast, and WiseStamp an innovative and dynamic email signature to spice up your emails with your latest tweets or blogposts to boost engagement and interaction with your subscribers.
Have an App For Your Podcast
Want to really stand out when promoting your podcast? How about creating an app for Android or iPhone users? If you use a service like Libsyn to host your podcast you can actually do this. Just be aware that you’ll have to be eligible for this feature, but it’s another great way to share your podcast onto another platform.
Marketing your podcast isn’t all that different from plugging any other kind of content – like articles, infographics, etc. The major difference is that you may have to take some additional time to create this form of content and a couple of extra steps to promote your podcast. However, podcasting is a great form of content for your audience to digest anywhere and anytime they want.
Featured Image: Slavoljub Pantelic via Shutterstock