Don't wait for your friends, family, and people you meet to discover podcasts on their own! Here are six tips to get more people listening to podcasts.
1. Explain podcasts (not podcasting)
People can't adopt things they don't understand. Most of us were consuming podcasts before we started podcasting ourselves. We are now the best ambassadors of podcasts!
When explaining podcasts, focus on the benefits and avoid the technical jargon. At the same time, I highly recommend sticking with the industry-standard name, “podcast.” Feel free to use my own explanation:
A podcast is like an on-demand radio or TV show, but you can download every episode automatically through the Internet by subscribing for free with an app on your computer or smartphone. There are audio or video podcasts about almost any topic you like, and the engaging conversations are hosted by people like you and me. [In fact, I host my podcast talking about ____, and I have a loyal audience from around the world.]
Understanding a podcast is big enough for most people, so you should probably avoid explaining podcasting, which is the act of creating podcasts.
2. Help people find a podcast they'll like
I know your first thought may be to promote your own podcast, but I suggest doing that only when your show is truly relevant to the other person. Instead, ask them about their interests. For example:
- Favorite TV shows
Then, use your smartphone or maybe even theirs, to show how to search for, subscribe to, and consume a podcast they would like. As much as you may be a loyal user of a particular podcast app, it would probably be best to recommend the app they may have preinstalled (such as the Apple Podcasts app) or suggest a free app (such as Stitcher) if they don't already have one.
3. Promote your show with “visit website; press play”
When it's appropriate to promote your own show, the best and easiest thing to do is point someone to your website where they can press play to hear your latest episode.
If your website isn't as easy as “visit website; press play,” then you need to improve the design and podcast player.
This is far better than telling someone to search for your podcast in an app they may have never used. Plus, you don't have to rely on your own podcast search-engine optimization (SEO).
4. Teach how to subscribe on your site
Your podcast may be in a popular niche where people aren't familiar with subscribing to podcasts. First, you should go back to tip #1 and explain what a podcast is and how it benefits the visitor.
The next step is to explain how someone can subscribe to your podcast. Dave Jackson made a great tutorial for the Apple Podcasts app at LearntoSubscribe.com. You could send your audience there, or make your own written or recorded description on your site.
A “subscribe” or “how to subscribe” page on your site would also be a great place to recommend free or premium podcast apps you like, and include those extra subscription icons for the other apps. (Social Subscribe & Follow Icons is a great WordPress plugin for that.)
Remember that even though you are telling how to subscribe to your podcast, you're also giving your visitors the knowledge to subscribe to other podcasts!
5. Include the top subscription links throughout your site
Ensure your podcast website has the most popular subscription links prominently displayed. These must be on your homepage, but the would also be great to have on all your content pages.
Here are top subscription links to include, in my suggested order of priority.
- iTunes / Apple Podcasts—This represents about 70% of podcast consumption
- Google Play Music Podcasts—The easiest option for updated Android devices
- SubscribeonAndroid.com—This is the best fallback and one-click subscription option that supports many podcast apps on Android
- Stitcher—This is available on every major platform and boasts a huge catalog
- RSS—The easy fallback for all other options
- Email—Either an email newsletter (such as with MailChimp or Aweber) or using SubscribeByEmail.com
You may a dozen or more other podcast links (TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Miro, Overcast, etc.), but those are best saved for your “subscribe” page.
I created my WordPress plugin, Social Subscribe & Follow Icons, to make these simple and scalable links easy to add and customize. But you can often get official button code from each service provider.
6. Celebrate International Podcast Day™
I recommend doing all these things to promote podcasts throughout the year, with anyone interested. But we also have September 30 as International Podcast Day to celebrate podcasts and further the conversation! The International Podcast Day website offers plenty of ideas for celebrating and telling the world about podcasts. (I'm one of the founders and organizers, so you'll see me doing a lot on that day!)
Thank you for the podcast reviews!
- emckillen wrote in the iTunes Canada store, “Real, helpful, human: Launching my own podcast. Have been following similar podcasts and blogs and have read 3 books on podcasting, but this is the best source I've come across. Praise, praise, praise.”
- Subscribe to my video channel on YouTube and on iTunes for my videos from NAB Show!
- My recent appearances: Win's Women of Wisdom with Win Kelly Charles, talking about podcast marketing; and Creative Studio Academy with Joshua Rivers, talking about narrative podcasting (this is the start of a series about narrative podcasting)
I can help you launch or improve your podcast
I'm available for one-on-one consulting to help you launch or improve your podcast.
Ask your questions or share your feedback
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Please connect with me
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Find more podcasts about technology on the Tech Podcasts Network.
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- The Audacity to Podcast: "How-to" podcast about podcasting
- Beyond the To-Do List: Personal and professional productivity
- The Productive Woman: Productivity for busy women
- ONCE: Once Upon a Time podcast
- Welcome to Level Seven: Agents of SHIELD and Marvel’s cinematic universe podcast
- Are You Just Watching?: Movie reviews with Christian critical thinking
- the Ramen Noodle: Family-friendly clean comedy
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