There are so many different platforms where you can upload your podcast. So why should you make it a goal to land in one of the top spots in iTunes?
Well, one reason is the number of people using iTunes to listen to podcasts. According to Nieman Lab, 70% of people listen to podcasts using iTunes or native iOS podcast apps. So, your ability to reach your target listeners is higher compared to focusing on other podcasting platforms like SoundCloud, Podbean, and Libsyn.
Second, Apple has now made improvements on iTunes analytics. Last June, Apple announced at the WWDC that they are now providing in-episode analytics for podcasts in iTunes. That means you now have access to more information than just the number of downloads your podcast is receiving.
Third, the interface of iTunes makes it easy for your people listening to your podcast to subscribe. Let’s face it: people don’t want to have to go through too many steps to subscribe to something. By making things easier for them to subscribe, they’ll be more encouraged to do so.
iTunes is still the largest podcast depot today. That means if you want to reach the top in iTunes, you need to think outside the box and come up with creative tactics to market and promote your podcast. Here are 5 alternative podcast marketing strategies that you can use to rank higher in iTunes.
Finding podcast directories can be quite tricky because there aren’t too many that exist out there. Some allow you to include your podcast for free while others require a minimal fee to do so.
What’s good about getting listed in these directories can still cause you to earn some points that can help you rank higher in iTunes. For example, PodcastLand has a Podcast of the Month where they feature the podcast with the most votes from listeners. When your podcast gets featured, you can then use this as part of your credentials, which you can then include in your podcast description.
Marketing your podcast in Reddit takes a bit more creativity and thought. You can't just add a link to your podcast in iTunes. That's going to get you a lot of haters. Instead, be thoughtful in explaining that it's an audio file, some of the highlights that are useful, and include exactly where to listen about this. This includes not just the link to your podcast on iTunes, but also the time in the audio where they can hear about it.
Another thing to remember is that Reddit doesn’t provide any analytics that let you know if someone clicked on the links you’ve provided so they can listen to your podcast in iTunes. The best way to get around this is by converting your link in bit.ly so that you can track the number of clicks you’re getting.
There are several kinds of partnerships you can suggest. One is that you can offer to promote their services and site in your podcast in exchange for them featuring your podcast in their respective channels. That way, the companies you approach are able to get free advertising, and you can build the number of quality backlinks and grow your subscribers' list.
Another way that you can do this strategy is run a contest where you give away prizes that have been sponsored by the company that you offered the partnership.
This is what Scott Britton of the Competitive Edge podcast did. He ran a contest that his listeners can join by leaving a review about his podcast in iTunes. This tactic is a win-win situation for both Scott and the partner company. Scott found a way to increase the number of reviews about his podcasts, which is one of the key factors that iTunes look at when it comes to ranking. The company benefited by getting someone to try out their product or service for free, transforming them into a qualified lead.
Guest hosting is the counterpart of guest blogging and works in the same manner. The only difference is that you're offering to come on board on their podcast as a guest rather than submitting an article or blog post.
By guest hosting in another podcast within your niche, you can share your expertise in your niche and establish yourself as an expert and gain access to a broader audience that you can invite to listen to your podcast. At the same time, you're able to develop a relationship with them and get them to guest host as well in your podcast to do the same.
Repurposing your podcast episode by converting it into a Youtube video gives you additional benefits on top of being able to gain more traction on iTunes.
First, it helps you get a ton of SEO value mainly because Google prefers video 53 times more than text. And because Google owns Youtube, it tends to skew their favor even more for videos uploaded here.
Second, Youtube has features that allow you to generate transcripts automatically, making it easier for you to create show notes for your listeners. It’s also got closed captioning capabilities, which allows you to reach an audience of people with hearing problems.
Traditional podcast marketing strategies can provide you with results and help you rank in iTunes. Combining some unconventional podcast marketing tactics can help speed things up and rank higher.
What creative podcast marketing strategy have you used that helped you rank in iTunes? Share it with us in the comments section below.
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