Growing your podcast listenership doesn’t require an elaborate plan. You can start implementing these tips today! Here are five easy ways to get more listeners for your podcast.
If you only do one thing to increase your listens, it should be collaborating with others. By leveraging their audience, you increase your own. It’s a pretty obvious tactic to go after creators in the same niche, but it can also be great to experiment with different or related content. For instance, someone who listens to a home brewing podcast may also be interested in a podcast about bread baking, so it could make sense for those two shows to collaborate in some way.
Don’t feel limited to just doing podcasts, either! You can guest on someone’s vlog, do an Instagram takeover, or guest-edit their newsletter! You’re going to see an increase in numbers in everything you do–whether it’s your listens, your social media footprint, or your leads–when you leverage someone else’s audience in this way.
To find people to collaborate with, start with your own network–who do you know? Think about their show and yours, and whether they might have the time to collaborate.
Otherwise, look to Facebook and Twitter communities. The real tip here is to collaborate with the organizers of a given community, whether it’s a Meetup, a hashtag, or a Facebook group. By collaborating with the organizer, you know they’ll share with their community because it benefits them, too.
How you set up your podcast RSS feed is low-hanging fruit, and the first part of podcast marketing. Your podcast description shows up in all podcast directories, so it’s pretty important to get right. While Apple is generous and gives you a full paragraph, most other platforms will give you 2–3 lines for a description, so it’s better to keep it short.
As far as the content of your description: Get creative. Put some thought into it. Treat it as a pitch for your show. It should be clean, precise, and easy to understand. Think about the minimum that you need to do to convert a reader into a listener.
There’s one big part of setting up their show that many podcast creators don’t utilize: categories. Don’t just pick one category for your show, pick the category and its root. For instance, if you have a podcast about hiking, you’d want to pick Sports & Recreation: Outdoor. This will give you a wider net than just selecting Sports & Recreation, because you’ll be listed in the category and the subcategory.
That’s all it takes to make your podcast way more discoverable. It’s right there in your dashboard, where you can pick three categories and three subcategories!
And you don’t have to be married to whatever you select! Test out what works to find your audience. When you’re first starting, try shuffling your categories every three to four months to hone in on where your listeners are.
Meet people where they are (and where you are)
The most sustainable way to get more listeners is to make it really easy for someone to find you–are they scrolling through social media? Are they on your website? Are they reading your newsletter? Make sure your links are available so your reader can convert to any channel you are available on.
Don’t forget: you might be the first podcast many of your potential listeners ever hear. Whether it’s by including a quick rundown of how to subscribe and listen (you can find great examples of these from legacy publications with podcasts), or by including more than just two “listen here” badges, you’re helping grow both your audience and the pool of podcast listeners. Don’t ignore the little stuff you can do to promote your show.
Ignore the hacks
In a lot of content marketing, people spend so long trying to chase down what the hacks are that they forget that the thing that always works is still the same: great content, and making sure your i’s are dotted. And that’s the same for podcasting and podcast promotion. Don’t go chasing the scammy tactics. For instance, game the Apple Podcasting charts, it’s not worth it. Do the many, many small things that you already know how to do, and make really great content.
Focusing on these five ways to get more listeners for your podcast will set you on the path of attracting attention from the right audience. Shortly after, the domino effect of listeners and engagement will start to take off.
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