It’s official: podcasting has entered the mainstream. When this medium first arose, it was very much a fringe phenomenon driven by individual podcasters and their listeners. Now, there’s big money flowing into podcast networks and studios from serious industry players.
Podcast listeners now have hundreds of thousands of options for what to listen to, and that number is growing every day. That’s great news for listeners, but it makes life a little harder for novice podcasters who want to compete in an increasingly complex landscape. Read on to find out about five key steps to take to bring any podcast out of obscurity and reach audiences of 10k people or more.
1. Take It Seriously
Gone are the days when podcast hosts could use their phones to record unscripted content in their living rooms and still expect to attract new listeners. Today’s podcasters need to focus on providing a high-quality listening experience from square one. They should use reputable Podcast Hosting Sites capable of supporting a full range of content, purchase decent microphones, and take the time to plan each episode carefully, even if the podcast has a free form and does not follow a script.
2. Fill a Niche
Successful podcasters don’t ramble on about any subject that catches their attention. They find a niche that is currently going unfilled, and they fill it. The good news is, working within a niche market makes it easier to target potential listeners. After developing and honing an excellent idea, work to fill it out by inviting relevant guests for interviews and finding new ways to get the content to target audiences who might be interested. Filling a specific niche also makes it easier to collaborate with product or service providers, including other podcast hosts, who target the same audiences.
3. Use Consistent Branding
Let’s take the analogy to business a step further. All successful modern businesses use branding to their advantage, and podcasters can do the same. Keep in mind that developing a podcast brand is not just about choosing the right subjects, format, and guests. Cover art, titles, descriptions, show notes, and marketing materials also need to be on-brand, and that branded content should be available everywhere that listeners download podcasts.
4. Leverage Listeners
There are two ways podcasters can leverage existing listeners to expand their audiences. First, engage with superlisteners. Superlisteners are people who truly love listening to podcasts and often listen to a dozen or more each week. They’re more likely to subscribe to a podcast than more casual listeners, and they’re an excellent resource for reaching out and expanding organic marketing reach. Make it easy for superlisteners to get engaged by adding information to the show notes about how to leave reviews, share content, and otherwise support the podcast.
The second way to expand reach through new and existing listeners is to leverage guests’ audiences. Again, it’s all about making it easy for people to share content. In this case, make sure to reach out to the guests themselves with links to the podcast and its social media pages so they can inform their own fans about the upcoming show.
5. Inspire Action
Having trouble getting people to leave reviews? Try setting up contests or swag giveaways to inspire loyal listeners to share a review or leave a five-star rating. Ratings and reviews make a huge difference when it comes to attracting new listeners.
The Bottom Line
Starting a podcast is like starting a business. It’s not just about having an excellent product. It’s about engaging with target audiences, building a brand reputation, and delivering consistent results. Don’t be afraid to apply other conventional digital marketing techniques to podcasting, but make sure to get these basics down first.