Audience demographics are not only incredibly valuable information in general, but they are especially important for you to know as a podcaster. In order to improve your podcast branding and content to better reach and connect with your audience, you need to know and utilize your audience demographics. It can be difficult to figure out who your audience is and what they are about though since that information isn't always easily accessible. So, we've compiled some of the best ways for you to gather information about your audience below to help you get to know your audience.
Now, keep in mind that when you are just starting your podcast you will have to identify your target audience (the audience you believe is interested in the content on your podcast), do some research on them, as well as make some educated guesses about them. The tools listed below are only available to you once you start to have an audience. So, when you are just starting out, you will likely have more of an outline of who you believe your audience will be based on who is usually interested in the topic(s) on your podcast. The tools below will help you pin down your audience as you gain listeners and adjust that outline of your audience so that you can better tailor your podcast to your audience.
Podcast Hosting Service Statistics
Just about every podcast hosting service has statistics features. In some cases, statistics features may only be available on certain plans, but often times, even the most basic plans have some kind of statistics feature. While statistics features vary from hosting service to hosting service and even plan to plan, some that you could expect to see are geographic location of your listeners and listening preferences, including devices, platforms, and browsers.
Interacting with your listeners on social media is a great way to get to know them better. You can check out their profiles, have conversations with specific listeners, and even ask questions to your followers in hopes of them leaving their replies under your post. Aside from learning more about your audience by interacting with them on social media, you can also utilize the analytics features that are available on all of the social media platforms. Twitter Analytics, Instagram Insights, and Facebook Insights are all free, but most of them also have paid full suites if you end up needing a more powerful analytics tool. Twitter Analytics, Instagram Insights, and Facebook Insights all provide you with metrics about your profile and individual posts as well as audience information like interests, age range, gender, online times, country, and region. Just note that Twitter Analytics is available on every account whereas you have to have a business account on Instagram and a business page on Facebook.
Creating a mailing list can be a great way to gather some information about your audience. You can create a form on your website where visitors can "Sign up" to receive news, special offers, updates, newsletters, etc. via email. On this form, you obviously would have them fill out their name and email, but you can also ask for gender, age, and profession to get a quick demographic snapshot.
You could also consider creating a survey for your audience to fill out. You can clearly market this survey as gathering your audience's interests and preferences so that you can create content that they want. You can have this survey live on your website and use social media and your podcast to direct listeners to the survey to gather responses. You may also consider sending the survey out to your mailing list. A survey could include name, age, race, gender, interests, employment, profession, education, marital status, household income, and so on. It is up to you what you feel comfortable with collecting as well as what you feel your audience is comfortable with letting you know. Perhaps you have a close relationship with your audience or a specific area you're interested in, then you can potentially ask more personalized or tailored questions to receive more specific information about them that is useful for you.
If you have a website for your podcast, then you can get a Google Analytics account that provides an array of information about the listeners that visit your site. Google Analytics is free as long as you do not exceed 5 million impressions per month. The information on Google Analytics includes the cities where your traffic is coming from, the devices, browsers, and networks they are using, their language, age, gender, interests, how your traffic came to your page (referral, direct, organic search, and social), and whether they are new or returning visitors. Google Analytics also gives you a ton of data and different measures about how your audience interacts with your website, how different content on your website performs, and what people search for on your site. Google Analytics has a lot of information to offer about your audience's demographics, interests, and preferences, but Google Analytics also gives you tons of data describing your audience's behavior. So, clearly you can learn a lot about your audience and how to better reach them by diving into Google Analytics.
Clearly, there are a lot of tools out there that will give you a full picture of your audience. Especially when used together, you will have a really great understanding of your listeners that can direct what you do with your podcast. Of course, it is important to always work on learning more about your audience because your audience is an ever changing part of your podcast, so you've got to change with them. So, keep up with your audience to better understand them and you can ensure that you are always putting out the best content that you know will resonate with them. Happy podcasting!
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