How to boost your podcast audience
After starting a podcast, many producers are surprised by how few listeners they get at the beginning and find it harder than expected to get more than a few hundreds listeners a month. So what can you do to attract new podcast listeners ? Here are a few tips to grow your podcast audience.
Produce more than 1 episode
A very high number of podcasters produce only one podcast (1). No wonder they get few listeners. Indeed, podcasting is all about perseverance. Don’t give up, don’t let yourself down by seeing how few people listened to your first episode. We all start small, it’s ok. So why not ask people around you to give some feedback about this first episode, ask them what they liked, what they wished could have been better, who or what they would like to hear about in the next episode. And then simply go for it, and make a second episode. Congrats, with 2 episodes, you are already better than one third of the podcasters!
Be consistent to stay in tune with your podcast audience
Once you found a topic for your podcast, it’s important to stick to it. Usually, even for just one topic, there are so many ways to talk about it. If you talk about books, talk about books, but maybe don’t make an episode about favorite cars. It’s important to find your podcast audience if you want it to grow, and once you found it, try to stay consistent. Of course, every episode should make them feel they listen to something new, but they should also feel they are on the same show, and that this show talks to them.
Exchange podcast invitations, you are my guest, I’m your guest
We just gave the example of going off-topic, for example, not talking about cars if your topic is books. But on the other hand, why not talk about your favorite books about cars ? And that could actually be a good opportunity to invite a podcaster specialized in cars and interview him or her about their favorite readings. Also, don’t hesitate to invite other podcasters producing shows close to your topic into your show, and try to be invited as a guest on other shows talking about your topic.
Make a favorite list episode
Search Engine Optimization won’t come without work. And probably people are not searching already for your brand or the name of your podcast on the internet. So you’ll have to find other ways to get found. One of the ways to boost your podcast visibility is to talk about the most popular people, works, publications that are related to your topic, because they are not only popular, they are also the most search for keywords for your topic.
It’s hard to get loyal listeners without regularity. When you watch TV, you know when this or that show comes every week, you are even looking forward to watching the next episode. The same goes for podcasts. We like habits, things happening at the same time interval regularly. So try to keep a rhythm, it can be once a month, once a week, some produce even more than once a week. Just don’t change the regularity, with sometimes letting too long and too irregular gaps between your episodes. Moreover, this might also help you keep a healthy routine.
Be very careful about missing a week, for example. We all know what happens when we start to not respect a routine. We miss it once, then multiple times, and the next time you think about it, you realize your podcast didn’t get a new episode, and it feels like it’s too late. It’s so common to find podcasts that haven’t been updated for many years. Podcasting is about this healthy regularity, otherwise, the risk that your listeners will forget you AND that you give are high.
Publish more episodes
Each new episode is the opportunity to compete for more keywords. The more you produce content, the higher the chance that some of this content will get noticed by search engines. It doesn’t have to be too long episodes, even 15 minutes podcasts are fine. Actually, if you are used to producing 30 minutes podcasts, 45 minutes, 60 minutes or more, you could also try to split your next episode in more bite chunk podcasts of 10, 15 or 20 minutes. This way, the same content will get significantly more visibility on podcast platforms. Quantity matters.
Moreover, there is a risk of podcasting burnout and producing shorter episodes might be a way to keep your energy and not lose too much time producing editing and publishing your podcast episodes. You may also consider recording more than one episode at once, let’s say 2 or 3 on the same day. This way, it will be easier to keep your streak and not miss a week because we all know there are weeks when podcasting is not our priority number one.
Bring some actionable tips inside your podcasts
What value did you bring to people who just listened to your podcast ? Did they learn something ? Were they entertained ? Think about the usefulness of your podcast : if your listeners got something out of it, they will want more. They will subscribe to your podcast, they will recommend your podcast to their friends, they will look forward to hearing your next episode, and this should help you grow your podcast audience.
Interview influencers in your podcast
Of course, it’s almost impossible to get somebody who has millions of followers on your show. But what about a few thousand to a few dozens of thousands of followers. Start with inviting micro-influencers to your show, they’ll have a higher chance to accept. Moreover, there is a high likelihood that they will promote the episode of your show they are in, to their own followers, giving you a free social media campaign along the way.
Finetune your episode description
For every episode, don’t underestimate its description. To see how important a good podcast description and episode description are, try using Voxalyze. This tool will show you for which keyword your podcast is well ranked, and you’ll be able to check every week if your efforts have an impact on your ranking for each keyword.
Publish show notes of the episode
Think multichannel : to promote your episode, write a text describing what’s been said during the episode and share this on your blog or website, as well as on social media. For example, write a long post on LinkedIn, and of course add a link to your podcast to this post.
Create an audiogram for your podcast
Complementary to the show notes long text, you can also transform a few seconds of your show, like an audio quote, and publish this sound as a graphically engaging video format on instagram, twitter, facebook and other social media. This is often called an audiogram and various tools are available on the market to produce these audio / video teasers of your podcast. Some podcasting platforms even propose this service directly in their tools.