The podcasting universe is a crowded one and it can be almost impossible for new podcasts to break through. And when they do, people quickly abandon them because they’re attracted to hotter and trendier options.
Here are some proven strategies that could help your podcast attract new listeners, turn them into fans, keep them listening over time, and encourage them to engage with other types of content.
Host It on Your Own Website
It’s a smart move to publish your podcast on a service like Apple, Spotify, or Stitcher. If it has an original concept and point of view, it could find an audience on one of those platforms.
It’s also a good idea to host your podcasts on your website. All you need to do is embed the audio into blog posts or other pages of content. This gives you the opportunity to create a more complete podcast, messaging, and overall experience for listeners. Sure, it’s more challenging to get people to listen on your site, but once they arrive, you can encourage them to check out additional podcast episodes, blog content, white papers, videos, and more. This will provide them with an opportunity to explore and get to know your brand better.
Use Video to Promote Your Podcast
Make it a habit to capture video as you record your podcast. It can be valuable when promoting it on social media. While podcasts are awesome, social media is a visual medium. When you promote your podcast on Facebook and other platforms, you’ll get higher engagement with your posts if you include a brief video clip.
Put as Much Effort into Your Blog as You Do Your Podcast
Your blog can contribute to your podcast experience, drive traffic to it, and because Google can scan the content, help improve your SEO. Write an article or two (or more) for each podcast. This gives your audience the opportunity to:
Read blog articles if they’re readers.
Listen to the podcast if they’re listeners.
Read blog articles and listen to podcasts if they like to do both things.
You can also build links from one type of content to other types on your site. It will increase engagement and the immersive experience will make it more likely visitors will sign up for your newsletter, follow you on social media, and check out your site more often.
While you’re at it, make sure you post a transcript of each podcast on its webpage so Google can register it. If you do this, you may want to feature each podcast on its own page, with an overview page linking to each podcast page.
Many podcasters select guests and topics based on what they’re interested in. A better approach is to monitor engagement with your content, including podcasts, blog posts, and more. Figure out what people responded favorably to in the past and come up with related topics and guests. If something was popular, it’s likely people will want to return for more.
Never Get Comfortable
One of the key reasons people stop listening to podcasts is because they can become repetitive. Even if yours is successful, it’s always worth shaking things up and trying something new. It could help prevent losing listeners, and it may help you find a new way to make your podcast even more successful.
Publish an E-book
When you come to the end of a popular series or season, consider writing an e-book. People who engaged with the podcasts most likely would appreciate being able to extend the experience through long-form content. It could include highlights, go deeper into the topic, or extend the story. It’s always good to give fans what they want, and you may be able to get their contact information in return for a download.
Add a Bonus Episode
This is another option for extending a popular series or season. Add a recap episode that pulls all the threads together. Or moderate a discussion with a panel of super fans or experts. This can be a good way to leverage success and introduce your next series or season and generate excitement for it.
Launch a Forum
It can take a significant amount of work to moderate a forum, but it’s a great way to connect with fans and for fans to connect with each other. It’s also a good way to get a read on how people are responding to your content. It gives you a chance to course correct if people don’t like it. Forums can also be a great way to tease — and build excitement — about new episodes, series, and seasons.
Add a Pod Class
This could take the form of an online seminar or webinar that gives you a chance to extend your podcast content and give listeners an opportunity to ask questions and get clarification about things that aren’t clear. It’s a great way to interact with fans and learn about what they’d like to listen to next from you.
In the end, the most successful podcasts are part of a broader multimedia experience that immerses listeners in your brand. Think big to attract new listeners and keep them listening to your podcast.