Earlier this year, we declared that 2017 is primed to be the year of audio. This is because the past few years have seen the huge rise of podcasts. In fact thus far in 2017, according to Edison Research, 112 million Americans have listened to a podcast - that’s up 11 percent from 2016.
So, as more companies and organizations explore podcasting as a way to expand their reach beyond print and online stories, there are several crucial steps that need to happen, especially after you’ve switched off that mic and edited the audio. Here are seven ways to ensure that your podcast attracts an engaged audience:1. Release more than one episode on launch day.
Testimonials claim that a multi-episode launch strategy increases traffic. Often, when someone first discovers a podcast, there’s an urge to “binge listen” and disappointment can strike if there isn’t another episode available right away. So releasing a package of podcasts all at once is a great way to help capture and engage your audience right off the bat.
2. Submit the podcast to iTunes.
iTunes has eclipsed one billion podcast subscriptions. In fact, Nieman Lab claims, “70 percent of podcast listening happens through iTunes or the native iOS Podcasts app.” People can search the iTunes podcast directory and then opt to listen to your show. Create several episodes, an RSS feed for your show, tags and album artwork and then go to FeedValidator.org to make sure it says "Your feed is valid" before submitting to iTunes.
3. Guest promotion.
Be sure to make it easy for guests on your show to share and promote their podcast episode on social media as well with links. One idea is to send them a note on the day their podcast goes live and include a package of shareable media (pull quotes, images, links, prewritten tweets/status updates). When you do so, make sure any images for social media have the right dimensions, format, etc.
4. Keep on sharing.
There are many ways to promote your podcasts on social - rich media, soundbites, video, images, teasers, etc. For starters, share an update when the episode first goes live. Some other ideas on how to keep sharing include:
It’s a good idea to reach out to media outlets to see if they will help spread the word. Publications may keep you in mind for “top podcast” lists or write a little blurb about the podcast. Examples of industry publications sharing “top list” include Curbed and The Muse.
6. Submit your podcast to podcatchers and aggregators.
Podcatchers are apps that play podcasts. The most popular one is the main podcast app in iOS (Apple). Beyond this, there are dozens of other apps that collect and play podcasts, and there are a host of websites that feature new podcasts and assist with discovery. Here are a few of the more popular ones: Overcast, Stitcher and Podcast Addict.
7. Publish new episodes consistently.
Consistency is key to ensuring audience retention so it’s best to get into a schedule for when episodes are posted. Try picking a day when new episodes will be released and that way followers will get to know when to expect a new episode.
Jen is the manager of media strategy at Inkhouse's Boston office. Prior to Inkhouse, Jen gained communication experience working as the Community Relations Coordinator at WHDH-7News and local Boston PR agencies. Jen graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2015 from Boston University, receiving a B.S. in Communication and a minor in business administration.