Estimated read time: 5 minutes
Growing a podcast audience can be so rewarding for a business, but how to develop a podcast is undoubtedly an ever-evolving strategy. Some strategies work today and stop working tomorrow. Nonetheless, let me give you some specific tips here on how to grow a podcast – including a high-level strategy that can be used to increase your show.
Starting to grow your podcast – the basics
There are some basic steps to keep in mind to grow your show. Some may even seem common sense, but they aren’t common practice at times.
You have to start and continue your show. Many podcasts publish a few episodes and then stop. That’s not the key to success and won’t grow an audience.
Distribute the podcast correctly to all podcast networks. Anchor helps you get started here, as do other podcast hosting providers. If nothing else, your podcast should be submitted and available on:
- Amazon Music
There are plenty of other networks to submit it to as well. You can find a comprehensive list of networks in the sidebar on my Podpage page.
Also, use descriptive headlines and text in the description of your episodes. This will give those episodes the potential to show up as related and recommended content near other similar content on podcast apps.
Be realistic in your goals. Podcast networks are new for most brands and creators that start a new show. You have to build the following there and we all start at zero.
Talk about your podcast.
Promote your podcast. Share it far and wide. “Hello, everyone. Here’s a new episode. This episode talks about xyz.” Share it on all of your existing networks – especially the ones where you already have a good following.
That’s why I’m a big fan of livestreaming my podcast recordings. Livestreaming to networks where I already have an audience. Likewise, share it via email if you already have a good-sized email list.
There are several ways that you can repurpose your podcast. You can create:
Become part of a podcast network
There are several podcast networks out there that might be worth exploring. For example, Jason Falls launched the Marketing Podcast Network, which helps marketing podcasts partner and promote each other.
Whether or not a podcast network is right for you depends on the network’s goals and your goals. As long as they are aligned, it could be an excellent way to grow your podcast.
Part of this can also include creating Apple Podcast channels – a strategy to have shows tap into other show’s audiences.
Look for new distribution channels.
How podcasts are distributed can change. Livestreaming podcasts weren’t and still aren’t that common of a strategy. Broadcasting your show on television isn’t either. Over 100 of my 500-plus episodes are also broadcasting on the DBA Television Network. That’s an added audience to grow a podcast that wasn’t an option a couple of years ago.
Paid promotions can work. For example, you can run an ad on Spotify or Pandora to promote your show. In addition, you can run ads on other channels like Google Ads or social media.
This can also include paid promotions with the right publications. For example, this Boston Children’s podcast runs a paid campaign with the New York Times and this landing page is linked to from many article pages.
Add the podcast to high-performing sections of your website
I like to think of podcasts as part of an integrated strategy. That can mean that I use podcast content for articles, email campaigns, and more. But it also can and maybe should mean that my podcast episodes are displayed on relevant high-traffic places on my website.
For example, I show new episodes in the sidebar:
This is automated, and I use the WordPress sidebar RSS widget to get this to work.
Then, I embed my podcast episodes in articles when I either write about those specific episodes or mention something in the article mentioned on the podcast episode.
However, the strategy on my website that has been most successful for podcast listens has been this one: I embedded the last episode followed by more of the recent attacks directly after all post content.
This strategy has increased immediate listenership for new episodes almost 10x on average, so it’s been a real success. That’s likely the case because the pages on the site get a ton of traffic, and users seem to listen there.
Build an email list
Build an email list and send people new podcast episodes. Placing the signup form in strategically good places on your website and even show notes can drive signups.
Using the Twitter email platform has also helped me, as a solo creator, simplify this strategy.
Partner with somebody with an audience
At times, you might see podcasts created in partnership with another company. That company will then also promote and share the podcast. This is also an excellent strategy to get your show in front of more people. Just pick the right partner and have a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Usually, this includes the podcast will be mentioned with that partner company. For example, The Business Storytelling Show with Christoph Trappe in partnership with xyz.
Feed drop exchanges
Tanner Campbell shared this idea on his “Good Morning, Podcasters” show. Partner with another podcast in your vertical and drop one of your episodes in its entirety in the other podcast’s feed. In return, you would then drop one of theirs into your feed as well.
Where to promote your podcast and what strategies to use depends on your podcast’s goals, and you’ll likely have to prioritize where to start. But at the end of the day, plans to grow our podcast shouldn’t be overlooked. Sure, it’s about creating a good show, and that’s part of it, but we also need to run additional strategies to get it in front of people.