Podcasting is Growing at Alarming Rates!
iTunes recently announced that the platform has reached over 1 billion podcast subscriptions. This is a huge accomplishment considering that there are only around 250,000 active podcasts currently listed in the world’s most well known podcast directory. This explosion in growth, often referred to as the podcasting renaissance, is typically attributed to the increased use of iPhones and Android phones which make listening to podcasts more accessible to users across the globe. If you haven’t started podcasting yet, now is the time to get your show up and running on iTunes so you can reach a whole new audience of listeners and grow your audience. But if you started a podcast already, you might be looking for some advice on how to get a bigger piece of the podcasting traffic pie.
How To Promote Your Podcast: There’s More To It Than iTunes
*for more information about hosting your podcast with Libsyn go here.
In the image above you’ll see the podcasts that were being promoted in the iTunes directory at the time I grabbed the screenshot. When you’re inside the actual iTunes interface you can scroll to the left and see more featured shows. But regardless of what page you’re on in the iTunes directory, there is always a finite number of shows that are featured on the front page.
Put it this way, even if there are 150 shows that can be featured on iTunes at any given moment in time – well, you do the math and tell me what percentage of 8 million 150 is – then you’ll have an idea of what the chances are for you getting featured in iTunes. I’m willing to bet that you have a better chance of ranking on the first page of Google for your highly searched keyword phrases then you do of being featured on the front page of iTunes.
Of course that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to make the front page of iTunes.
Look at popular shows hosted by internet celebrities like John Lee Dumas, Joey Kissimmee, Amy Porterfield or even Pat Flynn. All I’m saying is that you need to think outside the box and take advantage of some unique strategies that might not come to mind right away.
Don’t give up hope if you’re show isn’t featured under New and Noteworthy on iTunes. Put a strategy in place that will help you get noticed and grow an audience of loyal listeners as time goes by. Try these simple tips and keep an eye on your stats as they start to climb the charts.
Get Featured On Your Favorite Show
This is my number one tip and it’s one that I’m sure you can take action on right away. The reason this I know you can do this is because I have done it several times myself and it’s all thanks to one simple tool – SpeakPipe.
If you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about, let me explain what SpeakPipe is.
It’s an online service that you can sign up for that will allow people to use the mic on their computer, laptop or mobile phone to leave you a voice mail. The people from SpeakPipe will give you a snippet of code that you can place on your blog and anyone who has a microphone can ask you a question or leave a comment via voice mail. The blog owner (or in this case the podcaster) will get an email with the mp3 file of your voice recording. I even utilize SpeakPipe on my contact page here on Basic Blog Tips and in the sidebar of my other blogs.
SpeakPipe has become extremely popular among podcasters and even if your favorite podcaster doesn’t use it, you can leave a message or ask a question for someone who does. I’ve left messages for Dave Jackson at School of Podcasting, Jon Overall at WordPress Plugins A to Z, Daniel J. Lewis from The (award winning) Audacity to Podcast and many more!
The key here is to be sure to say your name, your show name and your url at the beginning of the message. Then try not to ramble on – state your message clearly and concisely. Don’t make it too complicated or you might not make the cut.
Be creative here, by that I mean, don’t go out and ask a bunch of different podcasters the same question. And you don’t have to leave a bunch of messages in the same day. Spread them out a bit, but pretty soon, you’ll find that your name is popping up on shows all the time and after awhile people will get curious and they’ll end up listening to your show. Here is a presentation I put together to give you a little encouragement. I also included instructions for using your Android phone since SpeakPipe only has an iPhone app right now.
Of course the ultimate way to be featured is to get interviewed or be invited to a round table discussion on your favorite podcast, so just be ready when the time comes.
In the meantime here are some bonus tips for promoting your show. You might be familiar with some of them, others might be new to you.
Get Your iPhone and Android and Windows Phone Apps Through Libsyn
If you are using Libsyn to host your podcast, find out if you are eligible for creating a SmartPhone or iPhone app for your podcast. I got approved for my app recently and now people can find my show on their Windows 8 phone. Here’s another screenshot for you.
It can’t hurt to make your show available on as many platforms as possible but now more than ever, Smartphone access is critical to the success of your podcast.
Start a YouTube Channel to Promote Your Podcast
I know this sounds like a far-fetched idea, but remember we are thinking outside the box here. YouTube is the number two search engine on the planet so why miss out on the chance of being discovered there!
The folks at Spreaker make it extremely simple to upload your audio file directly to YouTube from your Spreaker account. Take a look at this episode of Jack Podcast that got nearly 2,000 views (listens) over the course of the last 3 months.
NOTE: The Spreaker blog is another great place to be interviewed and grow your audience.
Promote Your Show on Social Networks
You know this one already right? No but you don’t understand what I mean.
I’m not just talking about Facebook or Twitter.
I’m talking about those “other” social networks like Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – come on people – think out side the box! Google+ has a couple of fantastic communities over there, and I’m a moderator on one of them so you know it’s got to be good! The Podcasting Technology Resources Community on Google + is an awesome resource for any podcaster. You can spend a day or two, just looking around and making friends and I’m sure it will be one of your favorite places to hang out and rub elbows with other podcasters. And you know what – from day one when you join the community you get to tell everybody about your show. How cool is that. You get one shot on blatant self promotion so make it a good one. It’s not one of those group where people are posting links all of the time but once you get to know folks they will check out your show.
Instagram and Pinterest are fun platforms you can use to quickly get the word out about your show and keep the momentum going. Cynthia Sanchez can get you up to speed with the latest and greatest on using Pinterest to get traffic in this episode of her podcast Oh So Pinteresting, and check out this episode of The Social Hour for some Instagram tips.
BONUS TIP: This tip came from a comment made by Ron M from Adwisely.
Use Your Business Card to Promote Your Podcast
I couldn’t agree more with Ron’s comment where he mentioned that business cards are an underrated promotion tip. I actually use this strategy every chance I get. Whenever I go to Meet Ups, or when I attend any offline events I always bring along my business cards. Here’s a look at the one’s I’m using now that I got from Moo Cards.
Using a business card is great for branding and it lets people know you mean business! The other benefit is more on a personal level. For example, let’s say you are at a networking event or a conference and someone hands you a business card. If you don’t have one to hand them back, deep down inside you’ll feel just a little embarrassed.
You’ll feel a little empty inside because you know that no matter how good your podcast is, this person just made a bigger impression on you, than you did on them. Trust me that is not a good feeling.
So get yourself some business cards and keep one or two in your wallet, just in case you meet someone while you’re out and about doing chore or running errands. It’s a great feeling when you are the one handing out the business card and you can watch someone’s eyes light up when they see it. So head on over to Moo and get yourself some business cards.
How Do You Promote Your Show?
Don’t forget that you need to get your show listed on Stitcher, Audioboo, Blackberry, Blubrry, Zune, SoundCloud (Ian Anderson Gray is getting fantastic results for his show over there), TunedIn, MixCloud and any other network you can submit your show’s RSS feed to. And I’m sure there’s even more unique strategies for podcast promotion that I’ve yet to discover, so let’s keep the ball rolling.
What are YOU doing to promote your podcast?
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