One of the biggest goals most podcasters have is to actually get more people to listen to their show. But how do you do this in a sea of podcasts, especially when you’re just starting out or your podcast just hasn’t taken off like you had expected it to?
Often times it’s a combination of a few different strategies rather than one single thing that’s holding your podcast back from reaching its potential. It can be anything from low discoverability to a lack of personalization. Whatever it might be, it is time for you to review your podcast and see what changes you can make to expand your audience reach.
Keep in mind, that getting more people to listen to your show isn’t something you have complete control over. However, there are a few things you can do to help persuade more people to take the time and listen. So let’s take a look at a few key things to consider.
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Adjust Your Target Audience
The first thing you should look at when trying to gain more listeners is to re-evaluate who you’re targeting. Sometimes the reason why you aren’t reaching a lot of listeners is that perhaps you are aiming for the wrong target audience. If you dig down to which niche you are truly speaking to, this can be a simple adjustment for you to make to find the right audience for your podcast.
Do a little research by asking your existing listeners what they learn from your podcast and why they are drawn to it. This will help you to identify your unique audience avatar to help you better target your focus to the right audience. From this, you can establish your own niche of people who can relate to your podcast on a more personal level. Your podcast is unique and special in some way; so find those listeners who are looking for that exact something special.
Related read: How to Capture Your Podcast Audience + a TED Talk by Julian Treasure
Get Your Podcast Noticed
A popularity contest might not have been something you signed up for when you originally started your podcast. However, being listed on the top charts can be a great way to get more eyes and ears on your show. Making sure your podcast gets noticed by as many people as possible won’t necessarily give you a 100% return rate but it is a proven way to get more people to listen in.
The key is to get your podcast noticed by those curious podcast listeners who are just browsing through their apps, looking for their next favorite show. Of course, you can always reach out to popular blogs or podcast chart curators and ask them to consider including your show on their next list that fits your podcast category. You should also find out where most of your new listeners are coming from and focus on those platforms for future marketing. If your podcast isn’t easy to find then you won’t get many listeners, so make sure your podcast gets noticed by increasing its discoverability.
Related read: How to Promote Your Podcast if Marketing is Not Your Strength
Build a Strong Podcast Community
Having your own podcast community is like having your own marketing team. The better your relationships are with your listeners the better reviews they will give and the more recommendations they will give you. Your audience should be your top priority since they are the community that is forming around you. Find ways to get them engaged, with you and each other, to further strengthen those relationships and sense of community.
Keep in mind that your focus should always be the value that you are providing your listeners, and not how you can convince them to share your podcast. If they find value in tuning in, that will automatically encourage them to share the podcast. Put your energy into the conversation and the relationship that you form with your community, and the returns will be incredible! Your listeners will start promoting your business without even realizing it, simply because they want to share it with everyone they know.
Related read: Top 8 Ways to Create Buzz Around Your Podcast
Encourage Audience Engagement
Encouraging engagement goes hand-in-hand with building your podcast community. Without that personal interaction, beyond the podcast, you are missing out on the chance to connect with your audience. So make sure to give your listeners plenty of opportunities to communicate with you, even if they’re not a follower. Create group chats on all social media platforms, do a listener Q&A segment on your podcast, or even set up meetups with those listeners in your area.
Of course, always let them know that you value their input. Make it easy for them to get in touch to ask you questions or give suggestions for future show ideas. This gives your listeners (including the new ones) a place that draws them in and where they can connect with like-minded people; a place to below. The more engaged they are in conversation and the community, the more likely it is for them to become loyal listeners.
Related read: Why You Should Care About Your Podcast Launch
Make the Necessary Changes
When you’ve done a podcast review and identified those areas that need improvement, now is the chance for you to make the necessary changes. Now, this does not mean you need to change your entire podcast. These are just subtle changes that you can make to get your podcast on the right track to gaining new listeners. As we’ve discussed, this can mean shifting your focus to the correct target audience, increasing your discoverability, and building up your podcast community.
Some other changes to consider include the length of your podcast or your overall energy levels. Podcasts are mostly listened to when people are busy with other things or on their way to work, which unfortunately means that you won’t always have their full attention. So do a few surveys to understand what works best for your audience and then make those changes accordingly.
Again, when it comes to getting people to actually listen to your podcast, the most important thing truly is to ensure that whatever you say during your podcast has value to your audience. Keep things exciting by creating unique and interesting content, and always bring it back to your listeners.
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