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One you post your content to iTunes, you're going to want to make sure it could be found. These days that gets a little bit more difficult because there is a lot of podcast. Your show is going to go head-to-head with stuff put up by major TV networks. But if you do things right, you'll be found and you can stand out from the crowd, here is how. It all comes down to search and there are really three things you can do. First up, you can optimize your search. This involves using the iTunes Search field so your content comes up.
Typically, results are going to be based on the popularity of your program and relevance. Now, there's not much you could do about popularity. This is the number of new subscribers in a certain time period. If you have a bunch of fans or people that work at your company or a built-in audience, you could push them to all go download your podcasts on the same day. This'll create a little spike and help get your program noticed. What you can do something about is relevance though, and this is pretty easy.
Make sure you write a detailed description for your podcast. Don't just put a bunch of keywords with Commas in it, but finding a meaningful way to discuss your program and reuse several key terms. It's going to help your podcast show up when people search by those terms. Another method you could use is attempt to get featured. Now this is like getting an end cap in a bookstore or having the prime seat at a live event. It's not that easy to do.
Of course, if you have a lot of money, you could push an attempt to get featured. But what really happens is that regularly the iTunes Store will feature normal content made by everyday folks that they think is great. The quality of the content is the strongest consideration. The iTunes staff wants to feature the best stuff. So focus on making your stuff good. Make sure it's enjoyable, short, brevity, to the point, that you keep your audience in mind throughout the whole process.
You also want to make sure that the show has attractive artwork. This is especially true for the logo graphic for your podcast and the broadcast graphics used within your package. A very big no-no is to use Apple logos or electronic devices in your podcast artwork. Don't put an iPod or an iPad on your artwork. Not only will you not get featured, it's actually listed in the terms of service as something you could do to get your program kicked out.
Apple takes it very seriously if you try to encroach on their brand and use their likeness to help yourself. Another thing they look at is content that is regularly released. This means, you want to have a consistent schedule, is it every other week or once a week, every ten days or once a month. It doesn't really matter but the iTunes staff is not to shine a spotlight on you if they don't know your content is going to consistently come out for people to enjoy.
The whole reason that they spotlight content is to improve their customer's experience using the iTunes Store, and they want folks to see lots of great content that is designed to work with their Apple electronic devices. The last thing you could do is try to make the top list, and of course everybody wants to be number one or a bestseller. There is no magic formula. What matters however, is that each category has a top list.
So you might want to closely think about the categories that iTunes offer and how they relate to your content. You could choose multiple categories, but really it's the first one you pick that matters most. Also, keep in mind that this list is based on new subscriptions. So if you have a bunch of loyal readers for your blog or you have a lot of employees in your company, mount a coordinated effort for everyone to go and download the Podcast on the same day.
This will push your new subscription numbers up dramatically and make it much easier to create a Blip. We call this getting above the fold. Another technique is to launch a show with multiple episodes. Instead of just putting one in there to start, having several means that people will click and download multiple shows when they first discover you. This will increase the total number of downloads and increase the likeliness that people will subscribe to your program.
Finally, if you make a top list it is critical that you maintain your schedule and quality. What you are going to want to do is work to stay on top, getting there is hard but falling off of that top list is even harder. Personally, I have had shows that have gone on the list and off the list when I get distracted or we go off the air for a little bit and don't release a podcast regularly. Getting back on the list is just as much work the second time as it was the first time. Many people don't click the Subscribe button.
They somehow think that by clicking Subscribe their iTunes account is going to be charged money. When you stop publishing regularly, you're going to lose people. So instead of worrying about having lots of content up there all at once, pace yourself, put some content out there over time, or if you have a long video, cut it up into several smaller pieces and release it as segments. Remember, when it comes to podcasts, portable media players, and especially mobile phones, people want content that is brief, engaging and to the point.
If you give them what they want, the likelihood that they are going to pass that on or tell a friend, is dramatically increased.
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