Sharing Your Podcast
Today we're taking a look at different ways of sharing your podcast after it's been uploaded to your server. Just putting your show out on iTunes or on Stitcher, or having it available on the internet, definitely does not draw attention to your podcast. The next step is to get listeners to know your show is live.
Let’s look at social media techniques, ways of putting an HTML web player on your website, and a more. Let’s dive in!
Make It User Friendly
When sharing your podcast with either current or new listeners, we always want to keep in mind the easiest way for them to play it and listen to it. Asking people to go through a series of stages in order to acquire your show is often too much, especially in the day of social media, Twitter, Google+, and more.
We really wanna just click on a button and hear the episode. If they like what they hear, they will go to iTunes or Stitcher and subscribe, but in the short term we want to find some way for people to just click play, listen, and be aware of what you released.
Let's take a look at some of the web players we can put on our website to get that going.
Embed a Web Player
In previous lessons we have recommend that you use Libsyn as your hosting service. One of the big reasons is that they have a great social media sharing service. Login to my Libsyn dashboard, I can go to 'Destinations', and see some of the social media options that I have here. Clicking on 'Add New', you can see I can automatically plug in LinkedIn, YouTube, Blogger, and more.
This is a great way to automatically push out to your followers that your show has been published, but let's take a look at the web player they have available for you.
Here I can choose a series of different web players, different sizes, and then publish it to my website. This is a great way for people to go to your site, click on play, and be able to hear your episode. The default configuration provides me with everything I need to share my podcast and have my people subscribe, listen, and more.
The menu options that are provided here are fantastic. It makes it easy for people who are listening to your show to share it to some of their friends as well. All I need to do is go to my Dashboard, under content, go to previously published episodes, and you'll see here I'm provided with a series of menu items to share my show. Opening the link section you see that I have a direct download URL and at the button a preview for the embed code. You can highlight this HTML code and paste it into your website.
Now people can go to your web page and play your show.
Alternative Hosting Services
Remember that Libsyn is not the only hosting service available. Having chosen your hosting service, many of them offer very similar services. PodBean is another great service that offers you options to share your media, have mobile players and more. So look into the market and consider what's going to be the best hosting service for you and consider what's going to be the best in your work flow for sharing media.
Built-In Players - Squarespace
Another option rather than using the embed code that's provided by your hosting service, you can have this audio play directly off your web page. The downside would be that it's not collecting and arrogating your statistics. Using, for example, the Libsyn web player, you can count each and every play and download. However, some people want a little more control over their audio and how people are going to experience it. As an example, I'm in the back-end of Squarespace right now. Putting audio on Squarespace for people to play couldn't be simpler.
Clicking on 'Audio', I simply find the file to upload, put the track title and author, and it will appear on my web page.
While I'm waiting for this file to upload, I would like to remind you that you do have an option of using Squarespace for podcasts. This can create that RSS feed that is readable by iTunes and other service directories.
For more information on the service, simply go back to the podcast posting lesson and take a look at how this can be done with Squarespace. But for now, we're simply going to have a player embed on our website. Now I can save my changes and view the page.
I don't have any text or images or anything fancy at the moment. All I'm really showing you is how easy it is to get your podcast here.
Built-In Players - Wordpress
For those of us that use Wordpress, it's just as easy to put media on our site. By going to 'Media' and 'Add New', we can upload new media files to our library. We then can take that media file and embed it on the page and have it play right off our website. Again, remember the downside to this is you're not collecting statistics that you would by using an embed code that is provided by your hosting service.
Using Direct Links as Web Players
Pushing people to our website is a great way to get our statistics up and also make people more aware of our brand. However as I mentioned earlier, sometimes we want to eliminate as many stages in the process of getting a listener to play our show as possible. One great way is to take a web player and simply embed it in our social media. Let's take a look at how we can use a link within Twitter or Facebook or any social media site in order to get people to just immediately listen to our show.
Regardless of the hosting service you've chosen for your podcast, with each and every episode you will be provided with the direct download link. These download links are great because they will also play live in a web browser. Let's take a look at an example here in Libsyn.
If I go back to my 'Content' and 'Previously Published', and then click on the links tab, you'll see that I have a direct download link. I can copy this link and paste it into a new web browser and the podcast will play directly in the web player. Now the value of this is when I go back and look at that link, I can use it in my social media. Taking this link and popping it in Twitter will make a shorten bit.ly link that people can click on and play immediately in their web browser.
The same goes for social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. So when sharing your podcast, consider using this direct download link so people can instantly hear your show.
Having looked at a couple quick play options for your podcast so that people can immediately begin listening to your show, you might be wondering how do I get people now to become a subscriber or visit my website. We find at Podfly one of the best ways to do it is to immediately mention right at the top of your show where you can be found. Whether it be a web address or ask people to look for you at iTunes and Stitcher, they will hear it in that quick play within that first 30 seconds of your show. If they like what they hear, they're going to go and subscribe.
Create a Call to Action Intro
Let's open up Audacity and cut a really quick intro to direct people towards our website and our subscriptions.
“Hi, this is Corey from my new podcast, don't forget you can find us on iTunes and on Stitcher, simply go to www.myshow.net.”
Once I’m happy with my intro read, let's put a little bit of music underneath it and make this the introduction to our show.
Ask Your Guests for Help
If you have a compelling guest or interview or someone that you mentioned during your podcast, getting them involved in your social media sharing can be really effective. In a lot of cases what I recommend we do is actually send them something to tweet. We can mention them in our Twitter feed, we can mention them on Facebook and Google+, and more, but a lot of people love if they can share something original when it's easy for them to do.
After having a guest on one of my programs, I love to send them a follow up sheet. This follow up sheet has tweets, Facebook messages that they're free to share and use if they wish. Composing these after the program and sending these out to your guests and your audience is a great way to get them to share the show for you.
Start a Conversation
Using social media effectively is tricky. Simply going on Twitter or Facebook and saying your podcast is available is not nearly enough. We want to find a way to engage that social audience. Having them click on it, retweet, reply, and share is ultimately the way to get you up in the rankings in these social media sites. Engaging your audience on this level will get them involved and interested in what you have to say.
So composing tweets simply once a week with a little hashtag that says 'Podcast' is not nearly enough. Let's take a look at a couple of the social media managers that are available, so that even if I only post a weekly show, I can tweet every single day about my episode.
Social Media Managers - Hootsuite.com
There are a wide variety of social media management services available today. One such service is Hootsuite. This is a great way to plug into one hub all of your social media sites. The power of Hootsuite is that in one session, I can go ahead and create tweets, Facebook posts, and more and schedule when these are going to be released.
It's great with a podcast when you've record one to not only let people know on the day that your podcast is out, but engage people socially on the course of the week on that episode. This is a great program and for as low as $10 a month you can manage multiple social media accounts. Making this part of your social media work flow means you can minimize the amount of time and focus on targeting people that you want to reach.
Podcasting and Twitter go hand in hand. This is an amazing way to engage their audience and directly communicate with them. The days of email and contact forms are long gone. People much prefer to directly reply to people and send messages via Twitter. A great free program out there that can manage your Twitter feeds is TweetDeck. Here you can also time out when your tweets are going to go, which service you're going to use, and an image, and more.
This is a super way to engage your audience and let people know what's going with your show.
Make it Easy
The takeaway from today's lesson is to make your podcast as easy from people to listen to as possible. Even though, for example, my mother has an iPad and an iPhone, she still does not to this day know how to subscribe to my podcasts. She loves to go to my web page and just simply click the play button. And she, to her mind, thinks that's what a podcast is.
Educating the podcasting audience will take time and you will get there, but remember when sharing with social media and putting web players on your page, you're making it as easy as possible for as many people as possible to listen to your show.
Sharing your podcast has to be part of your work flow. Understanding how to book your guests, record your show, release it and more is already enough work, but we begin to understand how social media can play a big role in the success of your programing. However, don't spend too much time on social media. Content is still king. If you were to look at a ratio, I'd recommend that you spend about 80% of your time on getting your content really good and maybe 20% of your time on social media.
Ultimately good content is what's going to generate listeners. The better your content, the more people are naturally going to talk about you and share it on their own. However, getting that information out to a larger audience still needs to be done.