01 Sep How to Grow Your Podcast Audience
Podcasting is an incredibly popular medium to communicate with large audiences. A podcast is a digital audio file that can be digitally downloaded and saved. Essentially, it’s the new kind of radio that doesn’t require a traditional radio device and is free! Podcasting is increasingly rivalling video as an engaging and powerful medium. From fashion, wellbeing and comedy to news and crime thrillers, there seems to be a podcast for each and every niche group. Podcasts can be enthralling, informative and comedic and can be smoothly incorporated into your marketing strategy to garner some serious brand awareness. Like our favourite TV shows, movies and books that we binge and enjoy, podcasts have cemented themselves as another medium for us to get emotionally invested in.
Podcasts create communities centred around interests, hobbies and industries. This makes them incredibly targeted and specific to the topic the podcast covers. As a podcast progresses, chances are, the more niche the audience will become. This is because, as time goes on, your audience will be filtered down to those who are genuinely interested in the topics you are covering. This is one of the things that make podcasts so successful because you can reach a very specific group of people and continue to engage with them long-term. Once you have a dedicated audience pool, there is more opportunity for your podcast to be shared and promoted to like-minded people within that community.
The amplification capacity of podcasts is also significantly higher than that of other mediums, as they can be easily distributed and shared. Every business should consider podcasting as a way to interact with your audience. Not only will play an essential role in building brand awareness but it’ll also enhance the authority of your business. Providing commentary and insights into your industry or related subjects will position your business as leading thinker. Podcasts add authority to your business and will strengthen any brand awareness strategy you have in place as well as optimising your social media presence, website and SEO approach.
In contrast to video, podcasting is a relatively cost-effective method. All that is needed is a good quality microphone, a quiet place and a well-planned program! Audience planning and targeting are essential in creating a podcast that hits the mark. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that audience targeting, monitoring and amplification is the basis of a podcast’s success. Connecting to an audience through a podcast means that you’re inadvertently uniting them with your business. This will influence purchase decisions in the future.
It helps to begin a podcast with a pre-planning stage where you can assess the suitability of a podcast to meet your marketing objectives. Then, start to imagine your ideal audience, what they do, what interests them, which podcasts do they listen to.
Only then can you begin to develop podcast topics, guests and interviews. Audience amplification and growth is an ongoing consideration. In order to sustain a podcast’s success, there needs to be a steady flow of new and returning listeners. Here are my top tips for growing your podcast audience:
Publish Early & Often
Consistency is the key when it comes to sustaining a successful podcast. Not only do you need to update your podcast regularly to maintain your existing audience, but it’s also integral in attracting new listeners.
Once a week is commonly agreed to be the sweet spot when it comes to regular posting. Keep in mind that many people listen to podcasts on the go. This means in the car, on the train and while they are walking from A to B. This makes peak hour a great time to post as this is most likely when your audience is ready to listen. It also helps to create a routine where the audience is used to listening to your podcast on a particular day or time.
This kind of routine and regularity will establish trust with your audience and create a sense of anticipation. Have you ever become so invested in a podcast that you eagerly look forward to every instalment?
Market Your Podcast
It’s fruitless to put so much hard work into curating a winning podcast to not share it with the world. Sharing, marketing and amplifying your podcast is integral to its success. There are a variety of ways to do this depending on your scale and overall objectives. Audience research is essential in deciding how to market your podcast. After all, you want to interact with your audience on the networks, platforms and channel they frequent.
Digital marketing tools such as PPC, SEO & social media are a great way to promote your podcast. Be sure to become active on the social platforms that are popular with your audience. This means regular posting and outreach work. My top recommendations for doing this are:
- Join relevant communities on social networks and engage with them accordingly.
- Attend niche or podcast events relevant to your industry/subject/audience.
- Collaborate with other podcasts similar to yours, guests are a great way to gain more listeners!
Make Your Podcasts Discoverable
This may sound simple but is arguably the most crucial tip for success. As the popularity of podcasts continues to grow so does the number of ways you can listen to them. Making your podcast accessible on all these different podcasts remains essential. My tip? Submit your podcast to as many directories as possible.
When it comes to generating more listeners, word of mouth is still the primary driver for podcast discovery. Chances are if someone engages with your podcast they will subsequently talk to their friends about it. This heightens the importance of podcast quality and engaging with your audience, as this is where a large proportion of your new listeners will come from.
Another really useful discovery tool is SEO. SEO will ensure your podcast is easily navigated on search engines and will help to capture the attention of your niche audience. My recommendation? Integrate keywords into your episode titles so that they rank when searched.
Another way to make your podcast discoverable to your target audience is to remain active on relevant social media platforms, communities and networks. Join groups that relate to your podcast, interact with your audience via social media and create content that relates to your industry/topic.
Collaborate With Another Podcast
Guests have become a staple of podcasting. Not only does the presence of related professionals, experts and commentators add an extra dimension to your podcast, but it also authenticates your show and increases your chances of being noticed. Podcasting presents a unique opportunity for collaboration and sharing that many other mediums don’t enjoy.
Guests are a great way to further explore or introduce topics. Guests bring with them their own specialities, areas of interest and fans and followers. If you collaborate with another podcast host or appear on their show, in all likelihood their listeners will check out your podcast too. The podcast community is one built on collaboration and sharing so having a person from a rivalling podcast on your show doesn’t mean that the listeners are forced to choose between the two. Rather, they can enjoy both.
Alternatively having a guest that has a strong social following can be a good way to grow your audience. If there is a high-profile social influencer or personality that directly relates to your podcast or topic, reach out to them! It may end up being mutually beneficial for both parties, as your podcast may expose to them a new audience.
Podcasting is a long-term commitment. It can often take many episodes before you start to resonate with your target audience and before your marketing tactics start to make you discoverable. Stick with it. Podcasting is a rewarding exercise and something that is here to stay. Patience is the key when establishing any kind of digital presence, especially in an already crowded marketplace. Keep producing quality materiel and watch your audience grow. Happy podcasting!