If you have recently started a podcast and it hasn’t taken off as you’ve expected, you may be wondering how you can grow your audience of listeners. If you have not done so, you should take some time to define your target audience.
Most of the time, when people have an idea on a particular subject that they’d like to turn into a podcast, they don’t always have a clear picture of “who” will be actively listening.
Hint - it’s not “anyone and everyone.” Most people believe casting this wide net of “anyone” to listen will help them gain an audience.
There are reasons why you cannot be this broad when understanding your audience. When it comes to your podcast, most people aim to grow with marketing, and to do so, you have to know and understand your audience so that you can service their needs directly. Your audience doesn’t grow until you can truly understand who you are working to connect to your content.
Your core demographic to reach listeners is not going to be as broad as “everyone.” No one should go about creating a podcast having “everyone” as your audience in mind.
Why doesn’t this work? For podcasts in particular, if you’re trying to make it for everybody, it will be boring and have zero personality. You may believe that it will sell if you can keep the audience broadened, but it will do nothing to help your marketing or drive up your listeners.
Start with basic demographics: age, gender, education, etc., but you need to be digging even deeper than that. Get to the level of avoiding the “wide net” cast, and cast a smaller one to hone in on that particular person. Create the unique value that your podcast offers the world to identify the exact audience it will appeal to and build upon it.
Narrowing down your core audience is vital, and you want to be as specific as you can about this group of listeners. These audience members will be avid fans of your podcast, listening and awaiting each new episode because you will be providing them with the best service.
So, how do you find out who this group of listeners are?
Your niche or topic that you are creating the podcast about is where your focus lies. Finding your topic and narrowing it down to the specifics you will cover in each episode will help you define your ideal listeners thoroughly and target them when doing marketing.
Suppose you want to cover a specific industry. To identify your audience, you would like to ask yourself some questions. Let’s take the idea of working in the beauty industry, for example:
The list can go on, but the more questions you can ask and answer, the better you will find your ideal person or target audience for your podcast.
Another aspect of setting your niche is creating the podcast itself. Branding, which requires creating a logo with specific colors that will appeal to your target audience, is essential, as well as finding music to license for your podcast that will also play into that niche. When you know your audience well, you know what colors, music, and style of the podcast will retain them and keep them listening.
Getting to know your listeners is crucial to the sustainability of the podcast. Find out who it is that is listening so that you can reach out and get to learn more about them. If you can find common ground between listeners, it will help you define your active audience more effectively. When you know your audience, you can better serve them. Set goals that you can accomplish in creating your schedule and marketing techniques to utilize, so you can easily track what works well and what doesn’t.
Look and track those who follow your podcast through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more. Following those who follow you will help you to create your ideal “avatar” or audience member. If you can get a clear picture of who is listening, you can reach out to them and find out what they are looking for and what they hope to gain from your podcast.
Utilizing podcast surveys can be a great way to assist you further in these analytics to create your demographic. You can use Survey Monkey or Google Forms to find out more about your listeners. They are quick and easy, and they will not only help you but will show your active listeners that you care about them and support them, so it’s a win-win activity.
Asking your listeners what they want is essential. Part of developing a great podcast is looking to your listeners to research and discover how you can drive more growth. Expanding your engagement is another step within marketing you should take, such as replying to comments, likes, and shares across social media.
You still need to be sure to review your data and analytics so that you can see the impact of each podcast. It will help you to identify the trends or shifts within the numbers of who downloads or listens to a particular segment - and decide why the change happened. Evaluate your episodes:
Any shifts in the wrong direction that lower numbers will have to be adjusted, and vice versa. Build your podcast for your audience to stay loyal and eager to hear more from you. You can even expand into podcast advertising to target more of your listeners and obtain more growth.
Developing and knowing your audience is key to creating a prosperous podcast. It can be a daunting and time-consuming task, utilizing all of these critical steps to identify your ideal listener, but once you can do so, the work of creating the right content will be more accessible. Your audience can tell you what they want to know more about, and you can appeal directly to them, all the while collecting more data for your podcast’s successful future.
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