Podcasts are valuable assets to use in any marketing strategy. Teams can reach new audiences, grow their brands’ following, and boost credibility. Plus, podcasts enable you to connect with your audience on a personal level through the power of conversation. And with the growing number of podcast listeners around the globe, hosting podcasts makes an excellent way of distributing content to even more people. But how do you get started? Today, we’re covering everything you need to know about podcast hosting providers, including:
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Podcast hosting providers store your audio files and allow you to publish and manage your episodes through a single platform. Think of it as the place where your podcast actually lives, and you can link to it through different directories using the provider’s URL. Most providers also give you an RSS feed for submitting to podcast directories, which makes distributing your podcast easy to do across multiple platforms simultaneously. Here are some more features that most podcast hosting providers offer:
Hosting features are key, and these allow you to store your podcast files on the provider servers so people can download and listen. Most hosting companies offer bandwidth and storage space for a monthly fee. Some also provide tools like website builders, social media integrations, and email marketing campaigns. The main difference between free and paid hosting is the amount of control you have. With most free hosting options, you can’t customize your website or RSS feed. But with paid hosting, you usually have more control over how your podcast appears when audiences arrive at the feed.
Broadcast networks offer hosting services, but they can be expensive. Commercial podcast hosts can offer free and affordable plans and features to make managing your podcast easier. Finally, you could also choose to host your podcast on your own website. This option gives you the most flexibility but also requires the most work. Hosting provides you not only a place for your podcast to live but also an RSS feed, which is a critical thing you need to share your podcast with the world.
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It’s a format for content distribution, such as articles, videos, and podcasts. When you start a podcast, you need to include specific information in the RSS feed so people can find and subscribe to it. This information includes the podcast title, host, speakers, and a summary of the episode.
You must have your RSS feed to distribute your podcast to directories like Apple Podcasts and Spotify. It updates the episode list so your audience can listen to your episodes as you release them. The RSS web feed allows your listeners to subscribe to your podcast. It also pushes new episodes automatically to your subscribers’ smartphones or computers.
You can create your own RSS feed using a tool like Google’s FeedBurner, but we suggest using one from your podcast host to make things easier. Great podcast hosting providers also take the work out of submitting your podcast to many of the major directories.
If you want to submit your podcast to multiple directories at once, many podcast host providers will do it for you. Not only will these platforms host your podcast, but they can also submit your show to various directories on your behalf. These platforms also boast built-in features that help podcasters promote their shows. They offer analytics so you can track how many people are listening to your podcast.
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There are countless podcast hosting providers available to manage and distribute your podcast. Most provide hosting for your files and give you an RSS feed to distribute to directories. Many also offer analytics for tracking the performance and engagement of your podcast episodes. Look at some of the popular podcast hosting providers out there to find one that suits your team’s and brand’s needs:
Anchor is Spotify’s podcast platform, and it’s a great option for beginners. One of the main benefits of using Anchor is that it’s completely free. It also offers unlimited hosting. Anchor also provides powerful tools to help you grow your audience and interact with listeners. For example, you create simple videos showcasing segments from your podcast, complete with transcribed text. You can record your episodes directly on the Anchor app. The editing interface is also easy to visualize and use.
Buzzsprout is a great hosting provider for beginners. It has earned a reputation for its free learning resources and good customer support. You can use the Buzzsprout tools to create transcripts of your episode and add chapter markers. You can also generate shareable images with quotes from your episodes. The platform will also optimize your episodes automatically.
Many podcasters like the intuitive feel of Spreaker. It integrates with Skype, which is very useful when bringing on guests. Spreaker also offers some unique features that can help you grow your audience. For example, you can use Spreaker’s “Live” feature to broadcast your podcast live or the ” schedule” feature to release new episodes regularly. If you’re looking to monetize your podcast, Spreaker offers a partner program that allows you to make money from your show.
Podbean offers reliable streaming and unlimited storage, so you never have to worry about losing an episode. Its social media component automatically posts on social media when new episodes are available. The MailChimp integration feature is handy if you’re already using this service to send emails to your customers. On Podbean, you can sell advertising space or set up a subscription service so that listeners can access exclusive content. Plus, Podbean will handle all the billing and payments for you.
Libsyn (Liberated Syndication) began in 2002 and is one of the longest-lived hosting providers. It’s a paid service with different membership tiers offering varying storage and distribution features. Libsyn allows you to add bonus content to your podcasts, such as PDFs and images, to give your listeners even more value. All plan levels include complimentary custom-branded players for audio and video. This provider also offers an easy-to-use monetization system that allows you to sell ads and set up subscription options for generating leads and conversions.
These are certainly not the only podcast hosting providers out there, but they’re some of the most popular for marketing with podcasts.
Read more about it: Repurposing Content for Podcasts: Why and How To Do It
With so many podcast hosting providers on the market, it’s tough to know which is right for you and your podcast. Here are some hints on what to look for when comparing podcast hosting providers.
One of the first things you’ll want to consider when choosing a podcast hosting provider is whether they offer free or paid tiers. If you’re just starting your podcast, you may want a free tier to test the water. But keep in mind that free tiers rarely give access to the full range of features that paid accounts include. That said, many paid tiers often start between $5 and $10 per month, making a lot of these affordable options for a marketing team. With paid options, you’ll get more storage space, better distribution features, and more promotional tools.
When comparing podcast hosting providers, look over providers that offer similar features. Once you’ve done that, you can narrow down your choices based on price. Make sure you’re getting a good value for the features that your team needs to manage each project. Beyond that, take a look at user reviews to see what others are saying about quality for cost for each provider.
You’ll also want to evaluate how user-friendly the podcast hosting provider is. This is especially important if teams don’t have the time to devote to learning more complex editing and distribution tools. So, look for a provider with an easy-to-use interface and helpful resources—such as tutorials, directory options, and customer support.
Another thing to assess is how easy it is to distribute your podcast using the hosting provider. Look for a provider that automatically distributes your podcast to multiple directories. This will save you time and hassle in the long run, especially as your team develops and publishes multiple episodes frequently.
Consider the promotional tools and social integrations the podcast hosting provider offers. These can be extremely helpful in promoting your podcast and reaching a larger audience. Look for a provider that offers tools like social media sharing, subscription sign-ups, or email capture forms.
By taking the time to consider these factors, you’ll find the best distribution channels for your podcast. No matter which one you choose, make sure it suits your team’s and brand’s needs and supports your marketing goals.
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Most podcast hosting providers give you a place to upload your podcast episodes and RSS feed right in a dashboard. Once you set up your brand’s account with a provider, you can get started with uploading, editing, and releasing your podcast.
In most cases, you’ll have a specific section in your hosting platform for uploading new episodes. Typically, you’ll upload audio files for the different podcast styles directly or use a link to an existing file—especially if your business website is where you usually publish podcast episodes. As you get started, you’ll also have options to edit each file. For example, teams can add the title, author, summary, and a link for listening to or downloading the episode to a device. You can also add keywords to help people find your podcast when searching for topics online, further boosting the reach of your content through SEO.
Are you looking for expert insights into content marketing strategy, planning, and success? Tune into the CopyPress Content Marketing Podcast, where our CEO, Dave Snyder, speaks on topics across content marketing. Get insights into using content gap analysis, scaling processes, planning content types, and boosting lead generation for your business or agency. And if you want the latest episodes Dave has appeared on, be sure to listen to these recent podcasts:
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