So you’ve decided to create a podcast to help grow your business. Amazing! But now that you’ve started thinking about it, you may be wondering how anyone’s going to find it and listen to it (outside of your mom and BFF of course).
Podcasting is rapidly becoming a more and more crowded space, with new shows launching every day. If you don’t have a plan, it could be easy to get lost in the noise.
But there are some best practices you can follow to increase your chances of getting seen and noticed — and maybe even featured in iTunes’ New and Noteworthy section!
Plan for a popular podcast
The most important step is to do all the necessary planning to create a hit show long before you ever switch on the mic. The best way to do that is to start by grabbing my free Podcast Planning Workbook — just click here to download it now.
The Workbook will walk you through creating a vision and path for creating a profitable podcast that will help your business grow, and it’s not a step you want to skip!
“Please rate and review!”
While we don’t know exactly how iTunes and other podcast distributors choose their “new and noteworthy” or “hot” podcast lists, we do know that certain metrics seem to help. We know, for example, that shows that get a lot of high ratings and positive reviews in the first week or so after launching have a better chance of getting noticed.
That’s why it’s so important to remind people to rate and review if they’re enjoying your show. Make it part of your sign-off, at least for the first few episodes, and then don’t be afraid to ask friends, family, and super-fans to leave you a review as well!
Let people binge
Data shows that people like to binge-listen to podcasts, even (or maybe especially?) when they’re trying out a new one.
That’s why it’s a good idea to launch with at least three episodes “in the can” when you launch your podcast.
One great way to create “binge-worthy” episodes is to use the concept of open loop content. The idea is that you start an idea, a story, or a lesson in one episode, but don’t complete it until the next one. If you can master this technique, people will always be clamoring for your next episode to find out… what happens next!
Help browsers find you
When you’re crafting your podcast and episode descriptions, be sure to use plenty of keywords that people might be searching for on iTunes. Think about your ideal listener that you identified in the Podcast Planning Workbook and consider what she might be searching for when looking for a new show to listen to.
Then, be sure to use lots of descriptive copy as well. Your goal is to sell people on why they should tune in.
Promote, promote, promote
Start promoting your new podcast even before it launches! Share the launch date and some episode details on social media to build excitement for the launch. You can also share photos, videos, and audio clips from “behind the scenes” to get people excited to tune in.
You’ll also want to notify your email list when your show goes live. Remember that your email subscribers and social media followers are your biggest fans, so ask them specifically to review and rate your show so that it gains more traction.
I also recommend creating a “street crew” who will promote the podcast for you! This can be friends, relatives, business associates, and super fans who agree to share your new podcast with their friends and networks when you launch. It’s a great way to broaden your reach.
Finally, you may even want to do some PR, send out a press release, do some interviews on other podcasts, or guest post on other websites to get the word out.
Drum up excitement
Another excellent way to build excitement for your podcast is to host a contest or giveaway associated with it. You might give away a smaller prize every time you release a new episode for a few weeks, or one big prize to a listener during the launch.
You might ask people to enter by posting on social media using a particular hashtag for your new show, or you might ask for a review to enter, but whatever you choose, it’s a great way to encourage people to promote your show in exchange for a prize.
Just remember to check the rules for giveaways on whatever social platforms you’re using; some, like Facebook, have particular rules around what you can and cannot do and say.
By using some or all of these best practices — in conjunction with the careful planning you did in your Podcast Planning Workbook — you’ll be setting yourself up for success and a podcast that really does contribute to your business growth.