As newsrooms keep looking for innovative ways to tell stories and push their work out to a news-consuming public, podcasts are experiencing a resurgence.
Let’s say you’ve created a consistent podcast — and, by the way, consistency is one of the keys to success when it comes to the medium — and you’re looking to get the word out. How can you do so? Here are a few tips we recently discussed during an installment of the GateHouse Professional Development Series:
1. USE YOUR PAPER AND WEBSITE!
Sorry about the exclamation mark on this one, but it’s that important. If you are not placing ads in your own newspaper, and creating promotional pieces to be played on your website, how serious are you about podcasting? A former publisher used to say to me, “I can’t give you much of a promotional budget, but here’s what I’ll do — give you access to the biggest newspaper in town.”
He had a point.
It’s the easiest thing we can do, yet we often forget about it. One editor who had been consistently podcasting recently told me, “we didn’t do much in-paper promotion of our podcasts at their height … beyond main fact box-style refers to the appropriate URLs.”
Why not? Have a promotions team, a graphics person, or any layout person piece together a small ad that tells when it’s coming and what the next episode is about.
2. USE SOCIAL MEDIA — OVER AND OVER
Here’s an interesting fact — according to this interesting study released by Edison Research, 60 percent of podcast consumers use social media “multiple times per day.” Only 43 percent of the general population make that claim.
What does that mean? Potential listeners are more likely to see something you post on social media if you do it enough.
And don’t just do it once, as many podcasts have a longer shelf life than stories. ICYMI posts make sense with podcasts, too. Let’s say you have a prep football podcast you release on Tuesdays. After the initial social media blast, make sure to follow up with other posts, especially on Friday morning before the next batch of games.
Also, make sure to push your podcast out through the multiple platforms. A cooking or wine/beer podcast? That might make more sense and reach more potential listeners on Pinterest, while a gaming podcast could be better served on Snapchat. A business-related podcast would more natural for LinkedIn.
3. SEND IT TO ITUNES AND STITCHER
This is where many people still get their podcasts, and it’s the easiest way for people to search for yours. After you have three (or so) episodes, create an RSS feed and add some album artwork. Then use a validator (Apple suggests http://validator.w3.org/feed/) before submitting it to iTunes.
4. INVITE OTHER PODCASTERS
This one initially gets a raised eyebrow from many digital editors, but look around your area. You’ll be stunned to find numerous podcasts, many on subjects you didn’t consider. Invite one of those podcasters to be on your podcast.
They will, invariably, spread the word about yours, and they’re likely to get you more in touch with the podcasting community. Makes sense, right? Podcasters listen to podcasts. That’s how they got into this to begin with!
5. HAVE FUN WITH FACEBOOK LIVE
It might not be practical on a consistent basis, put why not put the whole production on Facebook Live, especially if you have a prominent guest.
This changes the production value, but will increase the podcast’s visibility. The nonprofit Texas Tribune does this, with impressive results. Note this edition of their popular TribCast got over 4,000 views. Not bad for branding, right?