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Recent studies have found that 55% of the US population have listened to a podcast, and 27% of podcast listeners have a 4-year college degree. In other words, there’s a large, educated population with disposable income actively looking for podcast hosts they can relate to and rely on.
If you’re an entrepreneur or author with ideas you’re passionate about sharing, podcasting could be a major step for your brand. Here are ten ways to connect with listeners and grow a successful podcast.
Related: How to Promote Your New Postcast: 10 Effective Strategies to Try
1. Make content that matters
Apple Podcasts has over a million podcasts, so the competition for ears is very intense. While there’s a listener market for any type of content you want to create, your potential audience could be anywhere from 5 to 50 million. With that in mind, it’s vitally important to consider what content you’ll be making and who it will be relating to.
Consider questions like “Why will people listen to this show?” and “Who is my audience?” Once you dial in with two good answers, be sure your content will appeal to a large enough audience that the time and effort you’ll put into the show is worthwhile.
2. Don’t be afraid to invest in high-quality sound
You could start a podcast with $50 of gear, including a low-end mic and editing software. Before doing this, however, see the point above – with fierce competition, you need a high-quality sound to have a chance to gain traction.
Since podcasts are coming from professional studios with professional-level sound, your potential listeners could pass on your show when there’s a discernible drop in quality.
3. Create an intro and outro
“Wrapping” your audio with an intro and outro is a tried-and-true method for giving it a professional feel and some audible consistency that will run throughout the length of the life of the show. The first few seconds are critical for keeping listeners. Signal professionalism from the beginning.
Related: 5 Steps to a Successful Podcast
4. Host in places that are easy for listeners to find
The more places people can find your show, the better. Listing on a free hosting site is often not enough. Instead, you want a host that will provide great stats and easy integration with major podcasting platforms. If your show isn’t on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube and similar sites, you’ll miss significant audience potential.
Related: Why Podcasting is the Next Marketing Frontier
5. Build a backlog of episodes before launch
If you follow the steps above and have high-quality content that people want to listen to, one of the easiest mistakes to make is not having enough quality content. Listeners are often not convinced to subscribe after listening to just one episode, so I’d recommend launching with two or three episodes and having at least that many more recorded and ready to release on a consistent schedule. That gives your audience something to binge immediately and hopefully convinces them to subscribe for more content at the appointed release time.
6. Use your website and SEO
No matter how great your content is, people won’t listen to it if they can’t find it. To help them (and search engines), never skimp on writing detailed show notes and meta descriptions to accompany a new episode. It’s also not a bad idea to write a blog post for your website that links to the show, as the backlinks are very helpful in building SEO.
7. Promote your show across every platform
Any time you release a show, always share it in as many places as you can. This includes all your social media channels, newsletters/email lists and any other platform that makes sense for you and your brand.
8. Be consistent and patient
You must be both consistent and patient when starting a podcast. Even the podcasts you see on the top charts didn’t land there overnight. Instead, it took months of consistent releases and patience for them to eventually begin growing a listenership. Whether you release every Friday, on the 1st and 15th or anything else, be consistent in sticking to that schedule and don’t expect immediate success. Podcast marketing is a long game.
9. Have interesting guests
Want more listeners? Invite interesting guests from other podcasts to appear on your show. Not only does this provide content for you, but it also brings a built-in audience of your guest’s listeners. Also, go above and beyond to make social media graphics for your guest to share with their listeners when you release the episode. Something as simple as a monthly Canva subscription will give you more than enough design power.
10. Appear on other relevant shows
Finally, appearing as a guest on other shows is a great way to find listeners for yours. The same logic as above applies here, but in reverse: If you bring value to a podcast on a similar topic, there’s a good chance that show’s listeners will follow you to your show. When you’re an established podcaster, you’ll get these invitations organically. When you’re first starting, find shows you’re interested in and reach out to them to see if they need a guest.
Ready to start your podcasting career?
Podcast marketing can unlock a lot of potential for your brand, but it will only work if you’re strategic about your approach and delivery. Hopefully, this article helps take your podcast game plan to a new level.
Related: Podcast Advertising: Is Programmatic the Next Big Thing?