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 staggering 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 when you use iTunes as opposed to other podcasting platforms like SoundCloud, Podbean, and Libsyn.
Second, Apple has now made improvements in 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 relevant information and data about your podcast.
Third, the interface of iTunes makes it easy for people listening to your podcast to subscribe. Let’s face it: people don’t want to have to go through too many steps just to subscribe. When you make subscribing easier, more listeners will be 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 exists out there. Some will allow you to include your podcast for free while others will require a minimal fee.
What’s good about getting listed in these directories is it can snag you a few points so you will 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 use it as part of your credentials. You can also include it in your podcast description.
Marketing your podcast on Reddit takes a bit more creativity and thought. You can't just add a link to your podcast in iTunes and be done with it. That's going to get you a lot of haters. Instead, make it enticing by including everything people need to know--the kind of file you are sharing, the useful highlights, and where they can listen to the audio. It is also helpful to indicate the time of the podcast so they'll know when they can catch it.
One thing you need to remember however is Reddit does not provide any analytics that will let you know if someone clicked on the links you have provided. The best way to get around this is by converting your link in bit.ly so you can track the number of clicks.
There are several kinds of partnerships you can suggest. For starters, you can offer to promote their services and site in your podcast in exchange for a feature about your podcast in their respective channels. This approach has a lot of benefits--the companies you approach will get free advertising, you can increase the number of quality backlinks, and you can grow your subscribers' list.
Another strategy you can look into is running a contest where you give away prizes sponsored by the company you are partnering with.
This is what Scott Britton of the Competitive Edge podcast did. He ran a contest where listeners can join just by leaving a review about his podcast on iTunes. This tactic is a win-win for both Scott and the partner company. Scott found a way to increase the number of podcast reviews (one of the key factors that iTunes looks into when determining ranking) and the company benefited because they were able to get qualified leads.
Guest hosting is the counterpart of guest blogging and works in the same manner. The only difference is you're offering a guesting stint on the show rather than submitting a blog post.
By guest hosting in another podcast within your niche, you can share your expertise and establish yourself as an authority. You will also get access to a broader audience that you can also invite to listen to your podcast. At the same time, you will be able to develop a relationship with the host(s) so you can also invite them to appear on your show when needed.
Repurposing your podcast episode by converting it into a Youtube video gives you additional benefits on top of getting more traction on iTunes.
This tactic provides a lot 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 there.
Second, Youtube has features that allows you to generate transcripts automatically, making it easier for you to create show notes for your listeners. It also has closed captioning capabilities, which allows you to reach an audience of people with hearing problems.
Traditional podcast marketing strategies can help you rank in iTunes. However, when you throw unconventional tactics with the unconventional tactics in the mix, you will not only speed up the process, you will also increase your probability of snagging the top spot.
What creative podcast marketing strategies do by? Share it with us in the comments section below.
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