Podcasting is a marketing channel in itself. When you create a new show and provide the RSS feed to iTunes, you should appear in the iTunes New and Noteworthy section. This is like the front page of the podcast world and may be the most exposure you’ll ever receive for your show.
Because the exposure is so high at this time, this is a prime opportunity to draw attention to your website and build your email list. It’s also important to get as many people to rate and review your show so that it will rank high and have a chance of staying there after 8 weeks. You may even want to offer an “ethical bribe” (“Rate and review my show and I’ll send you a 60″ flat screen TV… or a guide to the 5 best TVs to buy!” 😉 ).
Why 8 weeks?
Because that is the maximum amount of time your show will appear in New and Noteworthy. After that, you fall into the normal iTunes algorithms – subject to the same destiny as every other show.
Even horrible shows can make it to New and Noteworthy, but only stellar shows will continue to rank high after the 8-week New and Noteworthy period.
So… be stellar!
Anyway, I want to share with you the steps I took to promote my show without breaking the bank.
Truth be told, I did very little (and still do very little) to market my own show. It ranks high in both Health and Self-Help because of my consistent attention to a few best practices. The following is a breakdown of what has made my show a success and could help your’s too:
- Provide weekly, evergreen content. That means that every episode has loads of value and very little fluff. After listening to any episode of your show, the listener should be able to take the knowledge with them and apply it right away. It’s “evergreen”, meaning it is long-lasting and valuable now – and even ten years from now.
- Encourage the listeners to share the show with others. Though, if it’s good content, they’ll do it regardless.
- Build and continue to build your email list. I’m not salesy in my newsletters, but how you do it really depends on what your show is about and how you present to people.
- Connect with everyone who writes to you, if possible. Even a small Thank You is better than no reply at all. That is until you get so big you can’t handle the incoming messages. At that point, get an assistant.
- Use the free twitterfeed.com to autopost your new blog articles. You can use it to autopost other people’s articles too.
- Transcribe your episodes. Or at least, write a summary or a related blog post once a week. This helps gain traction with SEO. Or, at the very least, do a mega post a month. I’ve been consistent once a week with a new blog post article for over two years now, and it has paid off.
- Be a guest on other shows. You can connect with other podcasters in the powerful Podcasters’ Paradise, but there are other groups too like Podcasters’ World, Podcast Community and Podcast Movement. Though, do some networking before you go asking to be on people’s shows. Don’t just ask randomly, “Hey, can I be on your show?” Find out how you can help others. Ask them to be on your show. Then if they want, they may ask you to be on theirs.
- Spread yourself around in the media. Put yourself on HARO’s mailing list: http://www.helpareporter.com/. There are lots of great potential leads there to spread “you” around.
- Share your episodes in social media like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and others. Though, make your posts personal stories! Personal stories always get more traction in any social media than a simple, “Hey, check out my latest episode!” I like to write a personal, sometimes vulnerable story about something I went through while posting my latest episode to Facebook. It gets more engagement, and quite frankly, it’s just more interesting.
(PS: Libsyn, the media host I use, can autopost your episodes to Twitter and Facebook saving you a ton of time).
(PSS: If you decide to purchase a plan on Libsyn, use promo code “brain” to get the rest of this month and the entire next month free!)
- Post your podcast episodes to youtube. I put a static screenshot of a quote from the episode, then just play the audio in the background. I use an online program that does most of the work for me: http://www.tunestotube.com/ (see one of my episodes for an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdBxf_zz_OQ&index=6&list=PLFP1WZHLO3m4_RdBrbxBHJjeYVWns_QpF (about 2.5 minutes in, the screen changes to a quote from the show))
- Finally, if your show is good, you won’t have to pay for advertising. If you do decide to pay for it however, I’ve heard fantastic things about Facebook ads. Use their Power Editor to create highly targeted ads to draw people back to your stuff. I cannot guide you in this area however because I’ve never needed it, but FB ads can be quite effective if you have the budget.
I hope this helps you determine the best way to market or promote your show while having enough money left over for beer and cigarettes (yes, that is a joke – but maybe not for some!). I realize I’m just scratching the surface with these steps however.
What’s important to me is being in many places, but putting most of the focus on the content. In other words, I spend a minute on Twitter and 3 days on content. I spend 3 minutes on Facebook but 3 days on content. I spend 15 minutes writing a letter to my subscribers, but 3 days… you get where I’m going.
I give away everything I know on the air so the listeners know I’m never holding anything back from them. This builds credibility, respect, and above all, trust. All of this keeps them listening and coming back for more because they know I’m there for them.
Be there for your listeners and your show will grow – I guarantee it.
If you have anything to add to this list, feel free to do so in the comments.