We're a short story competition > http://mashstories.com <
with a podcast. All the shortlisted stories are read by professional narrators and broadcast as individual episodes > http://mashstories.com/podcast/ < Each episode is 3-5 minutes long. There are no genre restrictions. Although our podcast audience has been growing, it's been a rather gradual growth. We wonder how we can get bigger exposure.
Thank you for your answer in advance.
P.S. We're a on-profit platform consisting of volunteers, so big advertising budgets are not for us.
The steps are simple, but podcast promotion is not easy.
1. Know who your audience is
2. Make GREAT content for THAT audience. Content that leaves them going "WOW I've go to tell my friends about this."
3. Go to where that audience is.
4. Make friends with them bringing value to every conversation.
5. Tell them about your podcast. (do not swap 4 and 5, they won't care about your podcast until they care about you).
If you're looking for the giant switch that gives you 10,000 downloads it doesn't exist. Other things that will speed things up is doing interviews and having those people promote their appearance.
Last never say the word, "only." As in "I only have 67 downloads." Those are people who chose your content over thousands of others. If this was a school 67 people would be 3 classrooms if not four.
As for tools, twitter, facebook, google+ (look for groups in Google and Facebook), meetup.com for in person meetings. You build your audience one person at a time.
I know this space really well (I've launched two #1 rated business podcasts on iTunes).
The short answer, be a guest on other shows. That's by far the easiest way. :)
We just recently launched a podcast that has been top of category in iTunes for the past 6 weeks. We've done the same thing for two clients.
I would say that I would heavily use social media to get the word out about our stories. Also, ask your authors to help promote - the more people who know about the podcast - the more people will ultimately hear the winners. You could even possibly have a people's choice part of your competition - where people listen to the various podcasts and vote on the winner - that will get you more downloads.
We just wrote a blog post on our launch process which might give you some ideas - http://paychecktopassion.com/how-to-get-your-podcast-into-new-and-noteworthy/
And of course... what the previous two experts have already said.
Most of your traffic will come from iTunes.
Here are a few hacks to get better rankings inside of iTunes:
1. Publish every single day (especially when you launch). Having 7 episodes in the bag that you can use to publish every day really helps. Have more than that? Even better.
2. Get people to review and subscribe in iTunes. This really does help.
3. To get more iTunes reviews, highlight a new iTunes review every episode. People feel like they're a part of the show when they hear their name "on air." (Use the CommentCast app to see reviews from around the world).
4. Get great show artwork. Remember it needs to attract people both as a small icon and in your larger profile.
5. Host your sound files on a fast CDN (not on your regular website host). If your files are slow to download, people won't subscribe.
Hope these are helpful!
1. Connect and engage with listeners by making them a part of your show.
2. Have a strong CTA (call to action) at the end of every episode.
3. Make sure social media is part of your marketing strategy and only master one at a time (the one where your audience hangs out).
4. Outsource and delegate as much of the post production process as possible so you can focus on making killer content.