Podcasting is about building a community. It is about taking what you know and love, and sharing it with the world. 🥰
But it is one thing to know that, and it is another thing to make it happen. How do you get a podcast audience, much less make it grow?
In this blog post, we’re going to show you how to make it happen. We’ll walk you through how to create an ever-growing audience in three steps: defining, finding, and growing your podcast audience.
Define your podcast audience
The first step to growing your podcast audience is defining your podcast audience.
Defining your podcast audience creates the foundation of your communications and marketing strategy. It helps you create clear and coherent messaging. 😁
There are two parts ✌️ to this step: First, start by creating podcast listener personas, then use them to define your podcast audience as a whole.
Create Listener Personas
If you were one of those kids who had an imaginary friend growing up, this exercise might be easy for you. But even if you weren’t, don’t worry it is still easy because we have a tool that walks you through it. We call it the Listener Persona Model.
Basically, imagine a fictitious person who you think would listen to your podcast and really enjoy it. Think through what their everyday life looks like. 🤔 Think about their traits and characteristics. Create a whole person. 👩🦱
We suggest covering seven main areas:
- Your persona’s identity: Who are they? What’s their name, their age, what city they live in? Heck, even give them a name.
- Their motivations: What moves them? What do they value and prioritize? What is their ideal lifestyle? What are their niche interests? Why would they listen to your podcast?
- Their barriers: What do they not have enough of? What do they struggle with? What would stop them from listening to your podcast?
- Other types of content they consume: Is this an Instagram kind of person or more of a Twitter kind of person? Or neither? Do they already listen to podcasts or would this be their first?
- Their typical day: Do they get up and read the news over coffee or are they rushing their kids to school in a minivan? What does a Saturday look like for them? A Monday?
- Possible points of contact: When, where, and how would they come into contact with your content or podcast? Do they check their social media all day or only after work? Do they read a daily e-newsletter that covers the same topics your podcast covers?
- The distribution of their time and attention across the various communication channels: Are they on LinkedIn frequently, but only for their job? Maybe they only get on YouTube a fews hours a month, but that’s when they are focused on their passion, which happens to be exactly what your podcast is about. In other words, how are they using the channels you might reach them on, what mindspace are they in when they do?
Ok, you’ve created a persona. 🥳
Let’s pretend you named her, “Greta.” Now make a few more. Try a Max, a Lupe, a Carson. How about a Jess? Try for about five different podcast listener personas total. You’ll need them in the next section. 👇
Define Your Audience as a Whole
You have your roster of podcast listener personas all ready to go. 🚀 Now it is time to define your podcast audience. You do this by figuring out what similarities your personas share.
- Are they all in their late 20s to early 30s? Or retirement aged?
- Are they mostly freelancers with flexible schedules or do they have a 9-5?
- Are they probably already following a certain publication in your podcast’s content area? Which publication?
Now that you have your individual personas and their shared similarities, you have given yourself a target at which to aim. 🎯 You can tailor your podcast topics and your marketing content to reach the ideal audience, while also staying authentic.
After all, you created the personas based listeners who will love your podcast. Not only does this step help you by giving you a target, it should help you feel energized and hopeful.
There are real life people out there who want to hear your podcast! 🔥
Find your podcast audience
So at this point you have your listener personas and your audience similarities. Now you need to find the real humans out there in the wild.
But how? In this section, we’ll go over the next part of the process:
1) How to create and distribute podcast episodes for folks to hear
2) How to see who interacted with your podcast episodes.
Build It and They Will Come
Let’s start with the basis: start by making high-quality episodes. 🎧
To make a great podcast episode, you need that niche passion that you are building your podcast community around, but you also need to make sure your episode is easy to interact with and nice on the ears.
That’s where our podcast hosting tools come in. We have a lot of hosting tools, but here are just two highlights for now:
- Use music: 🎵 At Ausha, we have 500+ free jingles, music, and soundbites. Sprinkle in some music breaks or other audio cues to help your listener have time to digest the content and understand the layout of the podcast episode.
- Structure your episodes into chapters: 😁 When listeners are first checking out a podcast, they may want to only try a bite-sized chunk. Or they may want to skip to the part that covers the one specific thing that brought them to the episode in the first place. Using our chapters feature makes this possible. A first-time listener will transition to becoming a follower because they’ll remember not just your content, but how organized and pleasant your podcast presentation was.
Once your podcast episode with all its great music and chapters is ready for the world, you need to distribute it EVERY. WHERE. 🌎 It is best to cast a very wide net at this point.
When you were defining your personas and audience, you made educated guesses at where your podcast content and their attention may cross, but for now we want to throw it out there and see if your guesses were correct or if you were missing a hotspot.
There are two sets of tools that are going save a ton time of here:
- Distribution tools: It literally just takes 3 clicks to distribute your podcast to 22 podcast directories. We’re talking: Apple Podcasts, Spotify. Stichter, iHeart, etc. If it exists, we distribute to it. Also, we automatically transform your audio into a video cover so you can also automatically publish to YouTube.
- Promotion tools: Put your podcast out there on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Put it in people’s inboxes with an email. Put it near the top of their internet search with a gorgeous website that has high search engine optimization.
Look at the Data to See Who Came
Now that you have put your first couple of podcast episodes out all over the world, it is time to see who listened. With our data tools and dashboard you can instantly see who is listening, when, and where.
- Are the actual listeners the audience you were targeting? 🎯
- If so, on what platform did they find you on? 🤔
- How did they interact with your podcast episodes? 🎧
- How could you make sure to reach them again and keep them engaged? 🥰
Does any of the data surprise you? Did some people listen who you didn’t expect to? Did you get more or less traffic from a certain platform than you expected? Should you expand or tweak your defined audience?
Defining and finding your podcast audience should be an ongoing cycle that builds on itself. The statistics you get about your listeners should inform who you target, but don’t let it completely dominate your process.
For example, if the listeners of your first podcast episode are predominantly your family and friends, you shouldn’t change your whole podcast to be targeted at your family and friends.
There’s a fancy marketing concept that is very applicable here: Minimum Viable Audience (MVA).
Minimum Viable Audience is a threshold you reach when you have enough people listening, reviewing, and talking about your podcast that you can start getting meaningful feedback data. For new podcasts, this is probably after about a dozen episodes. 🥳
With that feedback data, make what small tweaks would be helpful, then keep making episodes because that is how you will get in front of more people and produce more meaningful data.
So take the plunge, start recording those podcast episodes, and see what people think! 💪
Grow your podcast audience
There are two basic approaches to growing your audience once you have your podcast up and going: 1) organic and 2) paid marketing. Of course you can do both. Let’s dive into each one..
If you keep creating high-quality podcast episodes and you keep using the Ausha distribution and promotion tools, and you tweak your approach based on the Ausha data tools, your podcast will grow organically. 🚀
For example, the longer your optimized podcast website is up and going, the better chance it has of moving up towards the top of internet search results, especially if it is linked to multiple, active social media channels and podcast directories.
With Ausha, in a few clicks, you can keep your podcast marketing system firing on all cylinders while you sleep, with growth building on growth.
You do the basics of creating strong messaging and great audio for your audience, and we take care of the nuts and bolts of getting your content and podcasts where they are supposed to be.
The other option is to go beyond organic reach and pay for additional reach. And guess what? We have tools for that too. 💰 With Ausha monetization tools, your podcasting can bring in revenue for you, whether you are doing crowdfunding or selling ads/sponsorships.
Of course you can use that revenue any way you please. Maybe you buy yourself that avocado toast everyone is talking about. Maybe you save for retirement. But if you want, you can put a small percentage into paid advertising, reinvesting in your podcast. 😁
With a little cash and a ton of data from Ausha’s tools, you can do highly effective advertising to people who fit in your audience but for some reason haven’t been in contact with your content organically.
It could be a couple paid placements or ads on social media. It could be renting a plane to write the name of your podcast across the sky. As long as you are following the basics of defining, finding, and growing your audience, you can be super creative in how you spread the word about your podcast.
The bottom line is that all of this is an iterative process. It should be ongoing and inform itself. And it can be enjoyable! If you think about marketing your podcast as how to envision, meet, and build a community, you’ll be more successful and happier.
So get started today. Switching your podcast over to Ausha is super easy. Or maybe you are starting a brand new podcast. Either way, the free trial is 14 days long. We have real live staff members ready to answer your questions on our chat. They can walk you through anything you may need.
What are you waiting for? The sooner you start, the sooner your podcast will start growing!
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