More podcasters today are searching for a larger podcast audience, wanting to influence a tribe of inspired individuals to read what they say, believe with them, and share the ideas with the world. However, there is no magic bullet or one-size-fits-all advice to grow the audience over time. Indeed, it takes patience to find a following and courage to keep putting yourself out there time and again.
Growing your audience is not an overnight success, especially when you’re only starting. As podcasters say, they grew it for 18 months or up to 3 years; it really depends. Moreover, it takes nerve and honesty to garner enough trust with readers to ask something of them and build a community. That may come in the form of time, patience, sacrifice, security, energy, resources, or all of the above.
How to Hook The Audience?
A study says that the average podcast loses about a third of its audience in the first five minutes, so you may want to let the audience know where you’re taking them, or they’re going to bail. When growing an audience, you must know how to entice their audience to stick around. Although it might be a slow grind, making your intro compelling could make your audience hooked to your podcast.
Tease the best content.
When interviewing someone, you might want to start the show by playing a clip of something brilliant or funny they said—thirty seconds or less. Make sure not to give away the whole show. This is particular to the guests when they have something to say that the audience is dying to hear; make sure to tease the best part and wait for the answers.
Tell a story.
This is beneficial when you have a personal story to tell that the audience can relate to. Leading with a story is a great way to hook your audience, especially if it’s connected to a struggle they’re going through. People respond to emotional connections.
Ask a question.
Rhetorical questions are another strong way to open an episode, especially if you’re using your podcast to promote your brand and business. Just like in good sales copy, you want your listeners to feel like you totally get them. Speak to one person, and use the word ‘you’ instead of ‘all you guys’ or ‘everyone who’s listening out there to create an intimate feel.
How To Increase The Podcast Audience?
Now that you know how to hook your audience, here are possible ways to increase a podcast audience.
Create valuable partnerships.
By far, the fastest way to draw attention is to build partnerships. Before such moves, make sure to prioritize who would make the most valuable collaborators, which ideally, those with three things below:
- A decent size audience with a successful show.
- Their audience must share a common interest with your own audience.
- Those who are willing to accept guests and also do guest spots.
Once you find the target people, make a list of every podcast in your niche (and those about one step outside your place), and use the three criteria to screen potential partners. Go on and find the winners on social media and ask them to appear on your show. In addition, Anchor’s Facebook group is another option for finding collaborators since they invite group members to cross-promote on the Anchor podcast every week.
Keep in mind to set the expectation that whoever comes on your show shares the episode with their audience for you to see efforts return. Be persuasive enough as each new guest you bring on will introduce your show to a new audience.
Get listeners to act.
Getting people to listen to your show is one thing, but making them consistently listen to your podcast is another thing. Sustainably, to grow your audience, make sure that your audience does these three things:
- Of course, they have to subscribe to your show.
- Ask them to rate your show, ideally with five stars.
- Have them review your performance.
Doing at least one of these three things should already boost your growth. Subscribing means someone will see your podcast in their feed whenever you post a new episode. Ratings and reviews convince anyone considering your show to give it a try.
Market like there’s no tomorrow
Even those who produce incredible shows are doing non-stop marketing as listeners won’t appear out of thin air. With marketing, it can mean a lot of things. Below are a few specific areas to focus on so your podcast would be visible.
- Social Media. One most accessible way to market your podcast is through social media. Make sure that every podcast you listen to has an active social strategy on which it can be done in so many ways.
- Tag your guests always when you share episodes. Tagging your guests puts your podcast into their social media accounts for their audience to see.
- Make use of hashtags. Creating a hashtag introduces the podcast into another stream, reaching thousands of new people. Not only does tagging your guest can make you noticeable, but strategically using a hashtag could give a better chance of going viral, even reaching different types of listeners.
- Create audiograms. Recently, video and images have driven a lot of engagement on social media — more so than text-only posts. Audiograms are those social posts that include an image or video, a captain, and a short audio clip from your podcast. Previously reserved for visual creators, you too can enjoy the improved social engagement.
- Syndication. There are a lot of different podcasting platforms out there, and it’s in your best interest to be on as many as possible. The places to upload could be: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, Soundcloud, Acast, and Spotify
- Blogging and SEO. Transcriptions can be painful, but creating a blog helps the podcast get found in Google, which has way more search traffic than any podcast platform. When doing blogs and posting a transcription or at the very least show notes, Google finds the keywords from your posted blog, which could rank your posts for said keywords.
Keep improving your quality.
This is the most difficult recommendation, but also the most important. Quality could mean many things and could be the caliber of guests you have on the show or probably your skills as an interviewer. It might even be the microphone or background music in your performance.
The best way to find out what you need to improve is to ask your audience; they’ll tell you. If you don’t have an audience, bribe your friends into listening to your show and get their feedback. However, quality defines your performance, so keep working towards improvement.
Through a willingness to put in some time and commitment to building a podcast audience, this is the only way to gain influence and lead, whatever your art form may be. Grab the Mic Media offers creative podcasting consultation and production company that takes the guesswork out of your podcasting experience. They take your raw audio and turn it into a podcast that will amaze your audience while creating a sound, a narrative, and a product specifically for you that is engineered to your preferred audience while coaching you along the way.