Promote your podcast with a press release
I learned a long, long, time ago that having a great product doesn't automatically translate into great sales or popularity.
Those of a certain age will remember the format war between VHS and Betamax home video systems. Betamax was the superior system offering better quality video than VHS – but VHS built the stronger market share with advertising and killed off the rival system.
For a while movies were being released in both formats; causing the movie industry a huge headache. I won't tell you what swung it for VHS, those films are not for family viewing.
The same is true for podcasters. You may offer great content that's delivered to broadcast standard, but if no one knows about it then you are wasting your time.
Sure, you'll be on all the podcast distribution sites – along with everyone else – but still...how do people know to look for you?
Marketing is the key. But it has to be more than a mention on social media. You are absolutely wasting your time telling other podcasters about it (unless your's is a podcast about podcasting).
Okay, let's look at shownotes. They are hopefully written up and posted on your website for search engines to index should someone be looking for what you talk about - great.
Now, let's grab those shownotes and do something more. Let's write them up as a news story with a brilliantly interesting intro; engaging quotes from your guest and make it into a really interesting press release.
Get it down to about 300 words so it really is a snappy read. Remember, we are selling the sizzle, not the sausage (mmm sausages).
With your press release checked and ready to go send it to publications and websites that report on the things your guest talks about; ideally with a photo of you or your special guest. Include a link to your site and the podcast of course. Perhaps also include the podcast player embed code. And don't forget trade bodies linked to the subject of your podcast.
Also send it to press release distribution sites. Some do charge for distribution, but there are some free ones too. Send it anywhere that might publish it (we all know the media is always crying out for content).
The truth is you need to put as much work into marketing as you do producing content; especially in the first year of podcasting while you get established. But solid and consistent promotion via press releases will pay of – particularly if you become known to editors looking for your type of content.
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