So there it is – you work your butt off creating a podcast.  You get it listed on iTunes, Stitcher, Google, whatever, and you faithfully create a new episode on a regular schedule.   You didn’t even think about podcast promotion.

(RELATED: Download your copy of the Podcast Marketing Guide by clicking here)

But no one listens to your podcast.  I mean, WTF?

Do they not understand that you’re a genius and this is a masterpiece?  A magnum opus of the first degree?

Where are they?  What is Apple thinking?  Why have you not been inundated with listeners downloading to the point that it’s overwhelmed your poor shared server and it just can’t take it any more?  Why isn’t your host telling you to move that s**t somewhere else or you’ll be shut down?  You still didn’t think about podcast promotion.

That’s right.  You built it but they’re not coming.

So, now, are you ready to think about podcast promotion?  Gosh, we should think so!

(NOTE: To find out more about putting YOUR podcast updates on mobile phones, click here)

So, now, what exactly IS podcast promotion?

Unfortunately there are more than 300,000 podcast series listed in the iTunes directory.  Hah!  I know, who on earth came up with more than three hundred thousand different things to talk about on a podcast?  (Hint: The same people who have concocted millions of web pages, it’s we, the people, our self publishing selves, for the most part!)

There’s a fabulous article from Edison Research – that has some brilliant stats about podcasts, who is creating them, who is listening to them, and so on.

Powered in part by the ever-expanding proliferation of smartphones, digital audio behaviors such as listening to online radio and podcasts are achieving significant mass usage

In order to get noticed and stand out in the crowd, you’re going to have to put yourself out there.  I know, it’s beginning to sound a lot like app discovery marketing, and we all wish that would just go away…  but don’t despair, there’s still a chance for you to get your podcast out there and build a listener base.  

A lot of how you handle podcast promotion will depend on the purpose of your podcast.  Are you pushing a show that’s going to generate ad revenue?  This is your bread and butter?  In that case, the top tip we can give you is this one – 

Get onboard with a podcast network.

If you don’t know what a podcast network is, you can Google it.  What it brings to the table is the aggregated power of many shows, many listeners, and the ability to leverage those two things into more traffic for your podcast.  Two or three years ago, we’d have probably said skip this step, but if you can hook up with a reputable network, it’s a good bet today.

What’s the downside of a network?  They’re going to take some of your ad revenue in exchange for helping you get more traffic to increase your ad revenue.  I know that sounds a bit like a Catch 22, but reality is that you’ll net more with them than without them.

Well, that’s great if you’re looking to generate revenue from hosting a podcast.  What if you’re one of the (many) folks who just wants to use their podcast to market their own business?  What if you’ve been convinced by an online marketing course that it’s time to dump your webinars (or at least go evergreen), put aside your YouTube marketing, and build a podcast since that’s the critical piece of marketing collateral that you can’t live without?

Podcast promotion is NOT about subscribers.

We don’t care what anyone tells you, or how they say it.  If they’re attempting to use a subscriber model to describe the success or failure of a podcast, they do not know what they’re talking about.  

In a recent article we published about understanding your stats, we provided some very good data about how the number of subscribers isn’t relevant at all.

Download podcast marketing guide

Podcast promotion is about getting more listeners each time you release a new episode.  It’s about getting someone who listened to the last episode to listen to the next one.  And iTunes is the WORST way to go about getting that done.

As a matter of fact, we produced a podcast about this exactly topic – if you’ve got a few minutes, you should listen to it by clicking here. 

[Tweet “Personally we like mobile wallet marketing campaigns and installs, but we are pretty biased.”]

If you haven’t looked at mobile wallets and how they can effectively be used to promote and market your podcast, then you should take a look at the technology and see if you’re interested in giving it a go.  Increasing your listener numbers is the only way you will see chart movement (which creates its own set of promotions outside of your efforts) that will get you more organic listeners.

All traffic is good traffic.

Of course you should also be pushing organic (and possibly paid) SEO traffic, social media promotions and including a link to your podcast on EACH piece of collateral you create for your business.  It’s a time consuming prospect, but when you look at the amount of time you’re taking to create and produce your podcast, don’t you WANT to get the most reach possible?