We're a short story competition > http://mashstories.com < with a podcast. All the shortlisted stories are read by professional narrators and broadcast as individual episodes > http://mashstories.com/podcast/ < Each episode is 3-5 minutes long. There are no genre restrictions. Although our podcast audience has been growing, it's been a rather gradual growth. We wonder how we can get bigger exposure. Thank you for your answer in advance. P.S. We're a on-profit platform consisting of volunteers, so big advertising budgets are not for us.
We just recently launched a podcast that has been top of category in iTunes for the past 6 weeks. We've done the same thing for two clients.
I would say that I would heavily use social media to get the word out about our stories. Also, ask your authors to help promote - the more people who know about the podcast - the more people will ultimately hear the winners. You could even possibly have a people's choice part of your competition - where people listen to the various podcasts and vote on the winner - that will get you more downloads.
We just wrote a blog post on our launch process which might give you some ideas - http://paychecktopassion.com/how-to-get-your-podcast-into-new-and-noteworthy/
And of course... what the previous two experts have already said.