How to build your podcast listener base

If you like shouting into the wind then making a podcast could be for you.

After all the technical aspects of recording and getting your podcast listed on the key platforms is done, the hard work begins – building an audience.

However, remember that 70% of podcasts are accessed via iTunes, so if you aren’t already listed there, stop listening now and get that step completed.

If you do little more than list your podcast without any promotion or marketing then you could be in for a lot of disappointment when it comes to show subscribers and listeners.

While you may have a website and a social media presence for your podcast, you will need to get your podcast in front of your potential audience.

This could involve you sharing your podcast with relevant groups on social media sites, and searching out specialist websites that cover subjects your podcast might touch on. For example, you could link to your podcast in a comments section of a trade forum page.

When you post links to your show on social media remember to use the correct hashtags to help people find it.

If you have interviewed someone then obviously ask them to share the interview with their network. This route to marketing your podcast can’t be understated and you need to strike while the iron is hot. 

In other words, while you and the guest are in contact, while the podcast is fresh, you shoul encourage them to share it far and wide, because they may have a huge database of potential listeners who might choose to subscribe to your show.

Edit key clips of the conversation to produce a teaser or cliff-hanger that will pique the interest of the listener so they click through to the full podcast.

Show notes are a must-have (example here 🙂 ) to help your show to be found. Not only should the show notes be posted on your website but you could add them to the MP3 meta data area too. Or go the whole hog and transcribe the whole show using any one of a number of AI transcribing sites such as Otter.

Use the transcription to write up a press release of around 300 words and send it to press release distribution firms, and relevant publishers.

If you’re really keen, run a contest with a prize of something tangible such as a branded cap or T-shirt, maybe a signed book written by your guest, or a gift voucher to be used in your online store if you have one.

If you mention a brand or company in your show then let the company know, contact their PR people and they may re-share your podcast with their followers. It could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

And if you are about to launch your first podcast, do yourself a favour and list 2 or 3 episodes on day one. It may mean delaying the launch of your podcast, but listeners like to see more than the launch episode when they see your show for the first time.

And it might help you become a New and Noteworthy podcast at iTunes.