CHAPTER 5 | 20TH SEPTEMBER 2020 | ANUP GOSAVI | 8 MINUTES
We are entering the golden age of Podcasting and the tools to create a podcast are reaching new levels of comfort and ease. You put in all your efforts, hard work and hustle to create a mind-blowing podcast for your listeners. Now, you just wait for it to become viral. Right? Nope. Not even close.
Here is what Eric Wu, founder of Single Grain said on the Intercom Podcast :
" I did everything by hand the first year. And after the first year, I was only getting 9 downloads a day. Those numbers are terrible. I should probably have given up, but I kept going because people kept emailing me saying, "Hey, I don’t know why you’re not getting more downloads but this has been really helpful. It’s made a difference in my life ." I worked for another year, again six hours a week, and I was only getting 30 downloads a day.
My point is nowadays Growth Everywhere has about 80,000 downloads a month. Not bad, but the Marketing School podcast gets about 640,000 downloads a month. The reason those succeeded was that I was relentless with it. "
Getting your podcast in front of a massive number of potential listeners takes much more than just great content. Great content is the bedrock but getting your podcast out there requires a proper marketing strategy and plan.
Let’s look at 10 tips to promote your podcast for maximum reach.
People discover podcasts via search and to optimize search, iTunes and other players use the metadata for indexing your podcast. While publishing, make sure to add all the metadata you can, especially:
Title - The first look for the listeners is the title of your podcast. Make sure to place relevant keywords in your title and keep it short and simple. Overly complicated titles are not a good idea. A title should be clear enough to give the readers a brief understanding of what they are about to hear. Generate 7-8 titles for your episode, get some feedback from colleagues/ friends and then finalize. If your guest is an influencer, make sure to add their name to the title. Many fans of the influencer may come for the guest, but stay for your content.
Description - Step into your listeners’ shoes. If they are reading the description, that means they are interested in the episode. Write a description that is able to spark curiosity among the listeners but does not disclose every other detail. Pick action phrases quotes from the guest or insights in the episode and write them in the description.
Search engines cannot listen to a podcast. All they understand is text. Users are always searching for “How to..” type questions in search engines and your podcast might have the answers - tips, insights and thumb rules.
Secondly, while many people prefer to listen - as podcasts allow them to multitask - many people also prefer to read as it saves them time. Interview style podcasts that have educational or informational content can in-fact reach more audience if they give their fans choice to read the interview. Tools like Spext make it easy and quick to transcribe the podcast so that the search engines can easily read them and with minimum edits, you can publish the entire interview on your website. That way you improve the discoverability.
There is one other advantages of transcription as well:
• Transcription makes content widely accessible
Podcast is a wonderful medium, but it is certainly far from being the best out there. One of its major drawbacks is that audio-based contents are not easily accessible to everyone. There are several people who could well be interested in knowing or learning from your content, but cannot listen to the podcast - People who are deaf or have difficulty hearing. People who are from a different country and have trouble understanding you/ your guest’s accent. E.g In India, you have English movies with English subtitles. The audience can quickly look at the subtitles if they don’t understand the words. This number might be small but you are still losing a potential audience. Give them another option - to read.
• Transcription makes repurposing of content easy
Most episodes see a massive drop in downloads after a week. To increase the longevity of your content, you need to repurpose it into different kinds of media - social shares, snippets, and blogs. If you repurpose it into different types of content, more people will discover it and that will lead them to your podcast.
The best part about podcasting is that it is not a zero-sum game - for your podcast to win, someone else’s podcast does not have to lose. Even a podcaster in the same niche as yours will have a different voice and a different perspective. So, instead of vying with other podcasters, why not befriend them and help each other out? Find podcasters in your niche, who have the same audience as yours and work together to promote each other. Inviting them to your show is also a great way to provide interesting content to your listeners. If there are other avenues to cross-promote, get together and organize events or meetups with other podcasters.
Expand your reach by submitting your podcast to several podcatcher/ directories. How to choose
"Find out the most popular podcasts and observe the directories where they appear. Submit in those directories."
Directories like TuneIn, iTunes, SoundCloud, Player.fm, Stitcher, iHeart, Spotify, and YT music
You should also register on podcast search engines and make sure your metadata is optimized for them.
ListenNotes is the one of the best podcast search engines out there.
Reviews have become the online social currency everywhere and that is true for podcasts as well. Good reviews act like testimonials from your listeners, increase the credibility of your podcast and signal to the potential users that the content is great.
Once or twice in your podcast, request your listeners to give their reviews on iTunes and give the users who write reviews a shoutout at the beginning of the podcast. People like hearing their names on the podcasts and this might be a great incentive to get more people to review their podcasts.
Remember, don’t be shy in asking for reviews - people love rewarding good content with reviews or at least stars.
If reviews are the online social currencies, a website is your virtual shop! Get a WordPress website for your podcast to provide an interactive platform to your listeners. It can also serve as a hangout place for your podcasting community. The most passionate listeners want to engage with the host in a more meaningful way and this website can kickstart a great community.
Once this community starts to develop, you have evangelists who start creating content for you on your website and this content can be found via Google search. This creates leads from those people who are not regular on iTunes. Look at the amazing work Sam Harris has done on his website. How amazing is this? Start early, devote some time and slowly start building a community via a website.
Share your podcasts, opinions and your journey with your listeners. Give them a “behind the scenes” look of how you create podcasts, take selfies with guests in the studio or share snippets of upcoming episodes.
Make listeners feel connected to you outside of just the audio. You can also create your own hashtags or use the already trending ones to create a buzz around your content. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram can be your prime target here. You can also share the show notes on social media platforms like Pinterest. Create an attractive pin with image and show notes in the description for reaching out more and more people.
One of the biggest challenges, however, is that social media is optimized for video and not audio. That means you have to get a little creative while creating snippets or tweets.
Spext has a cool tool that allows you to share a snippet of audio as a transcribed video. There are ready-made templates and that makes it easy to create and share snippets on social media.
Press releases are a time-tested way of getting the word about your product out there. It holds true for podcasts too. Strategize your podcast for newsworthy content such as conducting contests, free giveaways, interviewing famous personalities etc. You can take help from ready-made templates for podcast press release.
Once your press release is ready, post your press release on websites such as i-Newswire. If you do a simple Google search, you will find many.
Creating a quality podcast is challenging. The bigger challenge though is accruing a loyal audience and retaining them. Thus, using one or more ways mentioned above, you can escalate the number of listeners for your podcast. And remember, as Eric says, “Be Relentless”
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