Listener’s Journey: 4 steps to make your podcast take off

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Listener’s Journey: 4 steps to make your podcast take off

Listeners power podcasts. Every metric of podcast success is based on listeners: Downloads, brand recognition, ranking and ratings, etc.

June 7, 2021 • About 7 min. read

The Listener's Journey

That is why it is critical to develop and implement a strategy that maximizes your listeners’ potential to help grow your show. In other words, it is critical to actively guide them on their Listener Journey.

This Blog Post will walk you through just that. Use this Listener Journey handbook no matter where you are in your podcast production. It can help you whether you are just launching your podcast or if you have a well-established show.

The Listener’s Journey: what is it?

The Listener’s Journey is a process comprised of 4 steps you lead your listeners through with the goal of winning their loyalty.

Once these 4 steps are completed, your listeners naturally start to spread the word which will make your podcast take off!

The four main steps of the Listener’s Journey are the following:

For our Listener Journey, there are 4 levels of the funnel:

  1. Discovery 👀: The potential listener is exposed to your podcast
  2. Activation 🚀: The potential listener interacts with your podcast
  3. Play 📈: The person becomes a listener by pressing play 
  4. Love 💜: The listener spreads the word about your podcast

We will cover each level as its own chapter, focusing on what you need to do to ensure maximum success for each one. 

The goal is to measure the efficiency of each step, to analyze and optimize them to the highest extent possible in order to limit the number of abandonments and to reach your overall objectives.

4 steps to make your podcast take off

#1 Discovery

Goal: To find and reach your target audience. The key to succeed in this level is to be visible everywhere your target audience may be. That includes both promotion and distribution..

Distribution

To succeed at this first level, you need to distribute your podcast widely. That is how you can get the most exposure to potential listeners.

Concretely, here are 3 hacks:

  • First, distribute your podcast to all possible listening platforms (example: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.). There are about 22 listening platforms around the world. Make sure your podcast is on every single one of them. 
  • Second, distribute to non-traditional listening platforms like YouTube. Being on YouTube greatly expands how many potential listeners you can reach. You can use something as simple as an audiogram as the necessary video file.
  • Third, expand your reach outside of listening platforms altogether. Make a quality website for your podcast so people can easily find you through a Google search. Increase search engine optimization for the keywords that relate to your podcast. 

Promotion

If you do not promote your podcast, or market it, you will never get many more than five downloads.

You have to promote your podcast to potential listeners, particularly your target audience. Figure out where they are and go to them. Social media is usually the best place for this. 

Build up your presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn with lots of great content. Join groups that may have an interest in the topics your podcast covers. Tag your podcast guests to reach their network as well.

By promotion and distributing your show widely, you will increase your chances of people then moving on to the second level of the funnel: Activation.

#2 Activation

Goal: To get a potential listener to interact with your podcast in some simple way. This is important because it is the first step in them choosing your podcast.

Out of all the things they could interact with on the internet, they are choosing to give their attention to your podcast at that moment.

The key to success at this level is to produce content that is super easy for potential listeners to interact with and creates a good impression.

Here are two Ausha tools to use:

Smartlink

Potential listeners want to sample your podcast quickly and easily. If they have to take a lot of steps or make multiple decisions, they are not going to engage. You need to provide them with a way to instantly listen.

This is where Smartlink comes in.

Smartlink_Ausha

When people click on a Smartlink they are immediately given the option to listen to your podcast right there, or they can choose which listening platform they want to listen to it on. Minimal clicks, maximum interaction directly with your content.

Video Clips

Social media algorithms and humans both give preference to short video clips. By creating ‘snackable’ video clips of your podcast, you are serving up an effective appetizer. 

Do not worry if you do not film your podcast episodes. You can simply make an audiogram with the Video Clips tool on Ausha. All you need to do is select a juicy piece of a recent episode and Ausha will automatically create a video file with sound waves, your podcast cover art, and even subtitles.

By getting potential listeners to interact with your podcast in short, easy ways, you are leading them on the Listener Journey to the next level: Actually pressing play on one of your podcast episodes.

#3 Play

You have now reached the Listener Journey level where a potential listener becomes a listener. Well done!

Goal: To make sure they come back and press ‘play’ again in the future.

Here are two tips:

Optimize Your Metadata

Your metadata is everything in a podcast file besides the actual audio content. 

Metadata includes: Show Title, Show Description, Episode Title, Episode Description, Tags, Category, Language, and Website Permalink.

Make sure to fill in all these categories. Use keywords for optimizing your PSO Strategy (or SEO for Podcast), but also make sure to write engaging copy for human ears. PSO means Podcast Search Optimization, and as for SEO for websites, it can help you boost your podcast visibility directly on listening apps.

Get Played on Other Websites

You want your podcast to be shared by other people and websites so that everywhere your listener turns, there is an opportunity for them to press play.

For example, ask your podcast guests to share their episode on their own website or social media pages. 

Another way to go about this is to pitch your show to podcast news or fan websites so they will feature it too.

By doing these two things, you are starting to cultivate a whole culture and community around your show. This is critical to reach the next level, converting listeners into fans and ambassadors.

#4 Love

Goal: To get your listeners become part of your outreach, helping you grow your audience even more. In order to do this, they need to feel included. They need to feel part of the podcast itself.

Here are 3 hacks to make that happen:

Invite Listeners Backstage

Let listeners in, behind the scenes of the show. Create ‘snackable’ content about your recording session, about yourself, about the podcast guests, etc.

Analyze what ‘snackable’ content they love the most and continue in that direction. But also be creative! Build a whole experience that extends beyond just the audio content of the podcast.

Send Them Love Letters

Everyone appreciates knowing that they are on your mind. Send out emails and newsletters to your listeners that they will be thrilled to open.

For example, use Ausha’s feature where every time you publish a new episode, it automatically sends out a note to your audience that the episode is up and ready to listen to.

Offer Private Content

Exclusivity can really make listeners feel special. Produce private content that only your biggest fans can access, like bonus episodes, extended interviews, etc.

When listeners feel a special connection with your show, they are likely to recommend it to their own network of friends, colleagues, and even strangers they have just met! In other words, they contribute to more success at level one of the Listener Journey: Exposing potential listeners to your podcast.

Now that you know the 4 steps to make your podcast take off, you can follow them to grow and boost your podcast! 😀

By following this step-by-step Listener’s Journey, you’ll increase your chances of spreading the word about your podcast and increase your audience. 🚀

This framework also helps you build an effective communication and marketing strategy to get your podcast off the ground. Now it’s your turn!

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Avatar of Emma
by Emma
June 7, 2021

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