Credit: Ron Bieber - http://www.flickr.com/photos/rbieber/155154575/

Podcasting is a wonderful way to connect with your audience. The human voice creates an immediate connection with your listeners that blog posts or articles simply can’t. Moreover, people are generally willing to listen longer than they are willing to read.

In this guide, you will discover how to promote your podcast. There are some unusual tactics within this article, so make sure to read to the end.

1. Determine Your Niche

Virtually every podcaster and marketer agrees; it’s important to niche down.

Your podcast can’t just be on a broader subject like music. ‘Music that contains suggestive lyrics’ is better. You could probably drill even deeper. For example: ‘90s industrial metal that contains the S word and other obscenities’.

Another way to create a unique or sharply defined niche is by combining two distinct ideas.

Money and Dungeons & Dragons might be two crowded topics, but if you could find a way to mix the two together (i.e. real-life D&D quests for financial excellence), you would have a very engaging and distinctive proposition on your hands.

Don’t forget; you can spend too much time planning and analyzing. Learn to take action quickly, and if something doesn’t work out, iterate and try again.

2. Set Goals

Determine what you want to achieve with your podcast, and write it all down. Put your goals in a place that you will see them every single day, like on your mirror or office wall.

Let your subconscious mind figure out how you’re going to achieve them. New thoughts will come to you in the form of ideas, and these ideas will help you move toward your objectives.

3. Define Your Target Audience

Who is your podcast for?

This point goes hand-in-hand with determining your niche, as your chosen topic will dictate to you the type of person that is going to be interested in your content.

Take some time to think about the kind of person you want to attract, and even create a fictional profile for the type of person that you think would listen to your show.

4. Use a Variety of Distribution Channels

You probably already know that you should be submitting your podcast to iTunes, Zune, Blackberry and Stitcher. This is a great starting point, but you may want to consider distributing your show to other sites as well.

SoundCloud is a popular audio sharing website that would be another good place to share your content, if you’re willing to spend some time connecting with people on that platform.

You could also target popular video sharing sites like YouTube. Using OneLoad, you can have your videos uploaded to multiple popular sites (including YouTube) simultaneously and extend your reach. If your personal bandwidth is a little low, it might prove difficult to keep a presence on all of these sites, but you never know who might enjoy your content.

Just so you know, your podcast doesn’t have to be in video format. You can simply re-purpose your audio, and create a video with a simple image (your logo) or a few notes to your listeners.

5. Write In-Depth Show Notes and Summaries

As you are likely aware, the best way to create optimized content is to develop written content, like blog post or articles.

By providing show notes and in-depth summaries alongside your podcast episodes, you can make sure that each of your episodes is SEO ready.

By generating more organic traffic, you can attract more listeners for your show. 

6. Write and Distribute a Press Release

If one of your podcast episodes is particularly newsworthy, you could create a press release and attract the interest of the media. The media is always looking for good stories to cover, and they will pick up your story if it is compelling.

Oftentimes, you will have to find an angle for your pitch. If all you do is mention that you have a new episode, you aren’t likely to engage. Moreover, your submission may not even be accepted.

If you want to appeal to the media, consider supporting charitable causes. Look into helping struggling businesses or individuals. Create some wins for your audience.

7. Create Great Content Consistently

If someone listened to your show on SoundCloud, or found one of the episodes on Google today, what would they hear?

If you are in the habit of creating great content on a regular basis, you will likely pique their interest. If they stumble upon an episode that is of inferior quality, unfortunately they may not stay for long.

This is a difficult reality to cope with. The best way to make sure that you are catching the attention of everyone that listens to your show is to develop great content consistently.

8. Build Online Communities

Do you know where your audience members hang out online?

Although the usual suspects like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are great places to market your content, you also have to think about going where your target audience is.

Find a variety of different social platforms and build a loyal following with community members. Put your focus on serving others, and they will naturally gravitate to your offerings.

9. Partner with Other Industry Experts and Podcasters

Look for ways to partner up with industry experts or other podcasters. Interview them, have them on your show, or just agree to promote each other’s content.

Make appearances on other people’s shows if you can. This is a powerful way to increase your listener base.

Leverage the knowledge of the experts, and create valuable content for your listeners as well.

10. Use Social Media

Make sure to post all of your podcast episodes to your various social pages and profiles. Again, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn are the obvious places to go, but there are other outlets you can use.

For example, you could pin a photo to Pinterest. You might use your podcast logo or a picture from when you were in the studio recording the show. Likewise, you can post a photo to Instagram and create a link to your latest episode.

You can also record an update on an app like Dubbler. Since Dubbler is all about sharing audio messages, this is mostly a no-brainer for podcast creators.

11. Create Print Materials

Because of how ubiquitous this information age is, few people are focusing on creating physical content away from digital content. While this does not guarantee that print materials will work well, you can expect to meet with less competition.

Business cards, envelopes, letterheads, pamphlets, posters… There are a variety of materials you could use to promote your show.

Don’t forget; print materials do cost money. Make sure you have a budget an audience to support this before going to the printer.

12. Grow Your Mailing List

People that opt-in to your mailing list are saying that they want to hear from you. They are voting for your content by giving you permission to communicate with them.

In other words, most people on your mailing list would love to listen to your show and share it with their friends. Regular followers will even consume the content the moment it comes out.

Although it may seem as though you would first need to build an audience to grow your mailing list, sometimes it can happen the other way. Moreover, your emails can get shared and passed around as well, which will usually lead to more subscribers.