You started a podcast! Congratulations! Those first weeks after a launch are exciting and you might be filled with hope.
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But things can slow down a little after that initial launch and it’s common to see your numbers slow down. That’s when you move from launching a podcast into running and learning how to grow a podcast. Part of running a podcast is promoting and marketing it so you can see that growth!
Promoting a podcast is hard work but it’s also fun, especially once you start to see those listener numbers grow.
Wondering just how to grow your podcast audience? We’ve got you covered!
How to grow your podcast audience
There’s no silver bullet for success in podcasting but there are a few tricks you can use to grow your podcast. Keeping your audience engaged via email and social media, getting positive reviews, networking with other podcasters and industry influencers, and listing your podcast in multiple directories are all great ways to get more listeners.
Here are 10 proven ways to successfully grow your podcast:
1. Dedicate 10-15 minutes every day engaging with your audience
This may sound very obvious but sometimes the solutions ARE obvious! Taking 10-15 minutes to engage with your audience on social media every day can make a big difference in whether or not that audience stays loyal to you.
Many people enjoy podcasts because it feels conversational. Listeners often feel like they’re hearing from their good friends when they listen to a podcast so keep that conversation going.
This doesn’t have to be hard either! It can be as simple as responding to Instagram comments or asking questions and starting conversations on Twitter. Allie Casazza of The Purpose Show takes the time to respond to every Instagram comment. It’s a small touch but it can strengthen the connection between you and your audience.
2. Listen to your audience
Your audience will give you feedback, whether or not you listen to them. That feedback might be tough to hear but it’s necessary for growth. You want your audience happy so listen to their concerns and be open to them. Many podcasters simply don’t do this but the ones that do can make fans for life.
3. Network with other podcasters
The podcasting community is a friendly one and if you want to get noticed, you’ve got to play nice. Don’t think of other podcasts as your competition. Think of them as your peers! Podcast listeners listen to an average of 7 different shows per week so there’s plenty of room for your podcast too!
There are many podcasting Facebook groups that are filled with engaged podcasters sharing their advice, asking for support, and trading tips. If you find a podcast you really like, share it with your audience because they might like it too. You’re creating goodwill with another podcaster and creating your network of support. Bonus tip! You can use Edgar’s RSS feed to automatically add other podcast episodes straight into your social media schedule. Check it out 👇
4. Pitch yourself as a guest
Once you start making those connections, you can pitch yourself as a guest on other relevant podcasts. You can even do a mutual trade where you are a guest on their show and they are a guest on your show.
This is a smart approach as long as you don’t make it strictly promotional. You want to provide value to someone else’s audience. That way the host provides a quality show and their audience hear your expertise, which can pique their interest in your podcast.
5. Make it easy for your guests to share
When you have guests on your show, make it really easy for them to share the episode with their audience. Tag them on your own social so they can repost and encourage them to share on their own as well. It’s helpful to create images for each social platform and swipe files so your guests can easily promote their episode.
6. List your show in multiple podcast directories
This is something else that is low hanging fruit but lots of people skip this step! You should make it easy for people to find your podcast. You’re probably on Apple Podcasts but there’s also Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio and PodChaser.
While you’re adding your podcast to these directories, do a quick audit to ensure it’s easy for your audience to find you anywhere. Do you have a landing page or a website for your podcast? Does it have full episode lists or an audio trailer? Are there links to these directories from your social sites or your website? These are simple practices that are easy to overlook but they can make the difference between someone finding your podcast and someone giving up on the search.
7. Transcribe your episodes
Want to show up in searches? You’ve got to master SEO! Ok, maybe not master it but you can do a few things that will improve your search results and one of those is transcribing your episodes and including the transcript in your show notes. When you transcribe, you are making it easy for Google to find all those important keywords that you say during your episode.
8. Cross-post your episodes
Remember when we said you should be everywhere? That goes for social media too! Cross-post your episodes to every social channel to ensure maximum promotion. And re-share your older episodes! There’s no rule claiming you can only promote your newest episode. Share your older ones too. If you use Edgar, you can create a category for past episodes so Edgar will consistently share your past episodes. No heavy lifting required!
9. Experiment with social media advertising
Sometimes you need to do a little something extra to cut through the noise and social media advertising is just the way to do it! Pick the platform where your audience hangs out for your ads or the one that is most relevant to your podcast.
The power of social media advertising lies in the targeting so get specific with how you’re targeting your audience! If you already have a business or existing website or blog, you can retarget visitors who have visited your website. You can also create Lookalike audiences based on your existing followers, email list, or website traffic. This approach is best if you’ve already built an audience but want it to keep growing.
If you’re brand new, you can target based on specific keywords or other interests related to your podcast. For example, if you have a digital marketing podcast, you could target individuals that are social media managers.
10. Mix up your social posts
When you share your episodes on social media, please just don’t say “New Episode” and the episode name. Podcasting lends itself to many creative social posts. You can cut up your audio and create an audio trailer.
You can also create quote images from quotes from your guests or if you have reviews, you can create quotes images of those reviews.
We love using Wavve to create audiograms for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These are visual ways to show off a clip of your episode.
And above all else, be patient! You’re not going to skyrocket to #1 immediately. But with high quality and consistency, you will start to see those download numbers creep up. Your growing podcast audience will become loyal listeners and start doing the promotion for you!