Growing your podcast audience is a difficult task. It takes patience and perseverance to get your podcast to where you want it in terms of audience size. Let's face it, gaining listeners takes a lot of time and effort. It can be disheartening to create your podcast and receive few listeners, but with a positive attitude and some persistence, you can begin to grow your podcast audience. Check out some of the best ways to grow your podcast audience below.
Improve Your Podcast Quality.
Ensuring that your podcast is the best that it can possibly be should be your very first step in growing your podcast audience. If your podcast isn't of the highest quality possible, then your other efforts to grow your audience will be largely unsuccessful. Invest into a great podcast studio with some of the best equipment you can get as well as recording and editing software that gives you all of the ability that you need to achieve high quality audio. Ensuring that you have a great podcast hosting service that assists you in perfecting and growing your podcast is important as well.
Aside from equipment, consider your topic, title, organization, segmentation, your ability as a host, preparation, your upload schedule, and your mission, vision, and values. Are your podcast episodes consistent in length and frequency? Are you an engaging host that has a balance between improvisation and preparation? And, is your topic interesting and are your episodes optimally organized and segmented? Think of the areas where you need to improve and work on those before you get started on any other growth strategies.
Appeal to Your Audience.
I'm sure you've heard it before, but find your niche and identify the audience that is interested in your topic. The more specific your topic is, the easier it will be to identify and appeal to your audience. Additionally, identify the unique value that you are offering to your audience. Do the research on your audience to find out as much information about them as possible, including demographics, interests, preferences, lifestyles, and so on.
Also, it is extremely important to pinpoint where your audience tends to exist online. You may even be part of the community around your niche, so you may potentially already know all of the places that your audience would engage. Do they use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, or LinkedIn more? Are they on Reddit or Pinterest? Do they visit other social media platforms or certain niche websites? Figuring out where your audience engages helps you appeal to them as well as communicate with them.
Communicate with Your Audience.
Once you've identified your audience specifically, it's time to communicate with them. You should not only communicate with them, but interact with them as well. Utilize social media and work to build a community around your podcast. You may want to build your own Facebook group or a space on your website for your community to specifically engage. Give them the opportunity to learn more about you through question and answers and be sure to check out their profiles as well and give them some love.
Also, while there are certain social media platforms that your audience likely uses more, which are the spaces that you should direct most of your attention to, we would suggest that you utilize all social media platforms to make yourself easily discoverable. Join niche Facebook groups, tag people that you talk about on your podcast, utilize hashtags for keywords, and reply to all comments. Aside from social media, build an email list, send out emails and newsletters regularly, and create a website to direct your audience to. Finally, always ask for input from your audience. After all, you're appealing to them, so they may have the best advice for you.
As with anything, networking is crucial. Reach out to others in your niche and in the podcasting world via social media and email. Attend niche and podcast events as well. When you are networking, always remember to introduce yourself and your podcast. These are the moments where you want to ensure that you are spreading the word about your podcast. However, be sure that you are networking and don't get too caught up in selling your podcast. It's all about building those relationships. Collaborating with others is another great way to spread the word about your podcast. Invite others on to your podcast and be on other podcasts. Interview others and be open to being interviewed as well. Also, promote other people's podcasts and content and they may just return the favor.
It may sound simple, but listening is important and often overlooked. Everyone has a different perspective and may have awesome insight for you to improve your podcast and grow your audience. Be open to advice, critiques, feedback, reviews, and so on. Truly listen to each piece of feedback and let it be an opportunity for you to improve. Don't ever write someone or a piece of advice off as useless and ignore them.
Make Yourself Easily Discoverable.
Submit your podcast to as many directories as possible. Utilizing social media, other online platforms, and creating a website are also part of this. If you aren't easily discoverable, then people will never stumble upon or actively find your podcast. If finding your podcast takes too much effort, you will never gain any new listeners and you could even turn away current listeners.
Another way to make yourself easily discoverable is to work on search engine optimization (SEO). Strategically write your episode titles as well as descriptions for the episodes to include keywords that you imagine people search for online. Also, include keywords on your website as well as on your social media profiles and posts. You may also consider creating an app for your podcast, which would make your podcast discoverable in the various app stores.
Create Additional Content.
Creating additional content will also help make you easily discoverable online. Making YouTube videos and/or creating a blog are 2 great ways to get additional content out there. You can repurpose your podcast content and/or create new content. Consider video recording your podcast episodes for YouTube and posting neatly organized podcast episode transcripts or overviews on a blog. You can also utilize these spaces to be more creative with your topic and create new content with graphics, organization, and other visual aspects that you miss with podcasting.
Don't Forget Calls to Action.
If you don't communicate what you want listeners to do, then they won't do it. Do you want them to go to your website, email you, subscribe, do a survey, leave a review, like or comment on social media, share your podcast on social media, or simply come back for next week's episode? Let them know on your podcast and online. And, alongside these calls to action, you may consider doing a contest or giveaway.
Monitor Your Stats.
Most podcast hosting platforms provide you with a statistics feature. Look at your listening statistics and look for any trends. Focus on content that gains the most attention.
Another strategy for growing your audience is advertising. Advertising on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great ways to get an ad out to a specific audience. Consider creating an ad for these social media platforms. You can advertise your podcast without spending a ton of money and you can target the segment of the population that has the demographics and interests that you are looking to reach.
Now, some of these suggestions may seem very obvious and simple. Please remember, though, that growing your audience is difficult and even if you have worked through all of these strategies, it takes the perfect recipe to gain listeners. We often dream about having a "big break," but the reality is that most successes that we consider as "big breaks" are backed by tons of time and hard work. So, don't get discouraged. Actively work on growing your podcast audience and eventually you should see the results that you are looking for. Happy podcasting!
For various information on starting your podcast, preparing for your podcast, setting up your studio, hosting, sharing, and monetizing your podcast, check out our article entitled How to Start a Podcast: What You Need to Know.
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