Most Effective Strategies for Organic Podcast Growth
Growing a podcast organically can be challenging, but with the right strategies, it is possible to grow your audience of engaged listeners.
The first step is to make sure the right foundations are in place to allow you to attract and retain listenership. This will also allow you to increase your thought leadership and set up your show to be as attractive as possible to sponsors and advertisers (should you choose to go that route).
Here are five effective strategies to grow your podcast audience organically:
1. Optimize your podcast for search:
Optimizing your podcast for search engines and podcast directories can help potential listeners find your podcast easily. In fact, search is the most popular way people find new podcasts – even ahead of social media according to Rephonic Data from 2022.
- Choose a relevant and descriptive podcast title: Your podcast title should be descriptive and include relevant keywords. This can help people find your show when searching for specific topics. Using a tool such as Hub Spots Title Generator can help you pick a popular title.
- Write a targeted podcast description: Your podcast description should provide a brief summary of what your show is about. Hook your listeners and provide them with at least 3 key things they will learn or gain from listening to your podcast. Be sure to and include relevant keywords to help your podcast show up in search results.
- Use relevant tags: When uploading your podcast to directories like Apple Podcasts or Spotify, be sure to use relevant tags. Tags can be thought of as tools that provide additional information about the episode beyond the title and description. They are used to help listeners find episodes on specific topics or themes. For example, if a podcast episode is about finance, it might be tagged with keywords such as “savings,” “investing,” “personal finance,” and so on. These tags help your show appear in search results when people are looking for specific topics or keywords which is why it’s important to pick tags related to your shows content.
- Create show notes for every episode: Creating detailed show notes can help improve your podcast’s search visibility. Include a summary of the episode, links to relevant resources, and relevant keywords. Don’t forget to tag your guests and their own podcasts to help your own searchability!
Consider appearing as a guest on other podcasts in your niche or inviting guests on your show.
- Exposure to a new audience: By guesting on someone else’s podcast, you have the opportunity to reach a new audience that may not have heard of you or your podcast before. This can help you grow your audience and increase your visibility in your niche.
- Networking opportunities: Guesting on other podcasts can help you build relationships with other podcasters and influencers. This can lead to future collaboration opportunities and help you establish yourself as an authority in your field.
- Increased credibility: Sharing your knowledge and insights on other podcasts related to your own show will help position you as a thought leader with a whole new audience and show your own audience that you are knowledgeable and passionate about your topic.
3.Encourage listener engagement:
Engaging with your listeners is important for building a sense of community around your podcast. Ask for feedback, answer questions, and feature listener submissions on your show. This can help you build a loyal following and encourage listeners to share your show with others.
Podcast recommendations from friends & family is also a top way people find new shows (Rephonic data, 2022) – also ahead of social media, surprisingly.
We often hear from hosts, “I do ask my listeners to share!” but upon closer inspection, that call-to-action happens one time, in one episode. You do not need to pause your episode content every few minutes to ask listeners to share, but it can be included in your outro as a friendly reminder. There’s a saying, “it takes 16 touches to drive an action” when it comes to sales and marketing… This is because people do not remember to take action the first time they hear something.
Other ways to engage your audience includes feedback and surveys, taking listener question submissions for episodes or specific guests, doing a recorded Q&A or coaching session as an episode for a lucky listener (if that aligns with your type of business), inviting audience-generated content through contests and giveaways, and more.
4.Leverage social media:
Social media is a powerful tool, and today it really is a “must have” for brands and businesses. Some of our favorite content assets to engage users on social media and bring them to your podcast include:
- Episode snippets – video or audio
- Powerful quotes
- Behind-the-scenes footage
- Inviting listeners to submit questions for a particular guest
Also worth noting: LinkedIn is unveiling a number of new features that are very podcast-friendly. LinkedIn newsletters, live video, and articles are all powerful tools right now that are getting traction in the feed. If your audience is on LinkedIn, but you haven’t tapped into using this platform, now is the perfect time.
If you interview guests on your podcast, doing some cross-engagement with your guest(s) can be a great way to expand your visibility and get more of your content in front of their audience, too. Post episode graphics, audiograms, etc. and tag your guest so they are able to share the assets with their network, too.
5.Consistently produce high-quality content:
And last but not least, the one we are often surprised gets missed – focus on creating high quality content. Podcasting is new compared to other marketing strategies, but it’s no longer new enough that audiences will tolerate things like bad audio, lack of research, word fillers (“um” “like”).
Attracting new listeners is certainly a priority, but if you can’t retain them you will continue to struggle with growing your show.
We recommend reviewing your production setup, making sure your audio feels clear, isn’t echo-ing, sound levels are even, etc. as one step.
And a best practice ongoing: always ask yourself, “did i provide a clear takeaway or transformation for my listener? What’s in it for THEM in this episode?”
Produce Your Podcast is a premier podcast consulting, production & marketing agency. Our team of experts provides comprehensive, full service high quality solutions for B2B and B2C clients to incorporate podcasting into their overall marketing strategy. If you’re looking for a reliable partner to help launch or grow your business branded podcast and boost your sales and marketing goals, we’re here to help.
Click here to schedule a conversation with our team today. Let’s work together to create a high quality podcast that takes your business to new heights!