This article is about how to grow your podcast audience. We provide 8 methods to help increase your listenership.
Every podcaster would like to grow their show, even Joe Rogan wants more listeners. For many podcasters, all their passion and creative energy goes into writing, researching, editing, and hosting their shows, but it’s equally important to promote your podcast.
To help you get started, here are 8 methods to grow your podcast audience.
Before promoting your podcast, it’s essential to upload your podcast to every podcatcher. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for people to find your show.
There are dozens of podcatchers to upload to. We’ve written a whole article explaining how to add your podcast to every podcatcher. I know that sounds like a lot, but don’t fret. The process generally only involves uploading your RSS feed.
If you’re in a time crunch, there are two main places you need to register. Many podcatchers take their directories from Apple Podcasts, so if you submit your show to Apple Podcasts, it will upload to several other podcatchers at the same time.
The second is Podchaser. It’s likely that we already have your podcast in the database, but if not, you can add your podcast to Podchaser here. Once your podcast is on Podchaser, promote it even further by claiming your podcast (more on that later).
Many podcasters will tell you that the best marketing tool is word of mouth. Authentic testimonials between like-minded friends and family are a time-tested method to build a dedicated audience
So how do you get people to tell their friends about your show? Simply ask them too. For many years, My Brother My Brother and Me hosts the McElroy brothers asked their listeners to share the show, specifically stating that they relied entirely on word of mouth to grow their podcast. Now the McElroy’s have a few books, a series of graphic novels, a TV show, and several successful podcasts.
Another aspect of word of mouth is ratings and reviews. Ask your audience (or just friends and family) to review your show on Podchaser and on any other platform they use. Asking for reviews costs nothing and provides social validation for the quality of your podcast.
The promotional benefits of being or having a guest on a podcast are numerous. Podcasting is an incredibly personal medium. Oftentimes, you’re not selling your podcast; you’re selling yourself as a likable entertainer. Then, if people like you, they’ll want to listen to your podcast.
Being booked as a guest also gives you an aura of expertise, adding credibility to your sales pitch. Be sure to leverage this effect by plugging your show everytime you guest on other podcasts.
Having guests on your show can be great for audience growth because your guest brings their audience with them. Make sure to add their credit to your Podchaser podcast page to get an SEO boost, and ask your guest to promote the episode to their audiences via social media after their appearance.
If you’d like to know more about how to get booked on other creator’s podcasts, here’s our article explaining how to be a guest on a podcast.
To promote your podcast, social media is essential for two things: engaging with fans and exposing your podcasts to new audiences.
Engaging with fans might not seem like podcast promotion because your social media followers probably already listen to your show – but you’re wrong! At a basic level, you can use social media to alert your followers of new episodes, but your social media feed shouldn’t be purely announcements.
You should engage with your fans by posting questions or enticing pictures related to your content. By supporting your fanbase, you’re creating evangelists for your show. The more they like what you post and create, the more likely they will share your podcast via word of mouth.
To expose your podcast to a new audience on social media, you’ll have to participate in others’ posts. You should involve yourself in conversations about topics you cover, but be authentic and don’t over promote your show.
The key to increasing your social footprint is to create posts with the intent of receiving likes, shares, and retweets. Some practical tips are to ask questions, share insightful articles, and promote other podcasts and platforms. Here’s the social media’s open secret: every company wants to promote posts that make them look good.
So if you want a platform to post about you, tag them in a tweet that links to their platform only. If you link to their platform and their competitor in the same post, neither one will want to share for fear of promoting their competition.
Podchaser is really active on Twitter, and we love shouting out podcasts who reply to our posts. If we interact on Twitter, your account will be exposed to new audiences, so follow us on Twitter and reply to our Tweets!
The number #1 way that listeners discover new shows is through the Google search bar. They search for a topic they’re interested in, like “baseball podcasts” and then peruse a listicle for a show that catches their eye.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a series of steps you can take to make your podcast rank higher on Google’s search results. The goal with SEO is get your podcast on the first page, as 98% of Google users never check the second page.
Podchaser is built to help podcasters with SEO. The first SEO tool is lists. As we said, listicles are the most common discovery tool, and Podchaser’s lists are similar but without all the fluff. If your podcast is about wine, make a “Best Wine Podcasts” list and include your own.
You can then link your lists and any reviews you’ve received on Podchaser to your official website. Google recognizes us as an authoritative source for podcasting information, and you can borrow that authority by having links to Podchaser on your website.
Podcasters benefit from adding credits for every creator involved in their show, because more links means more SEO credibility for both you and your collaborators. Google’s algorithm will associate your collaborators with your show and vice versa. Meaning that people will find your show when they search for your collaborators and they’ll find your collaborators when searching for your show.
For example, if you have Tom Hanks credited as a guest on your podcast (yeah, he appears on podcasts), your podcast will appear when people search for Tom Hanks’ podcast appearances, as well as on his creator profile.
For more tips about increasing your podcast with Podchaser, check out our article about, “7 Ways to Grow Your Podcast with Podchaser”.
Metadata includes background info about your podcast, like your genre, copyright, and description.
For SEO purposes, you need to focus on the category and the description.
The category is simple, but easily overlooked. All you need to do is right your correct category on your RSS feed metadata. When various podcatchers load your show into their ecosystem, they will automatically scour your podcast metadata to organize your podcast in their podcast library.
For your description, be sure to clearly communicate what your show is about. Avoid the temptation to describe your show in alluringly mysterious ways. A human will understand your style choice, but the SEO algorithm will have difficulty categorizing you, preventing most humans from ever even seeing your clever description.
But it’s also ineffective to over-optimize for the algorithm. If you’re writing the description for your wine podcast, only say the words “wine” or “alcohol” a few times. Google recognizes when people are trying to game their system with keyword stuffing and actually punishes them with poor SEO rankings. Note: Also, avoid keyword stuffing in your podcast and episode titles.
Networking simply means building interpersonal relationships with others in your field. Building a community opens up more possibilities for you and your network to promote each other’s shows, find advertisers, or even join a podcasting network.
As you might imagine, there are several ways to network. Here’s a few ways to start.
The most straightforward networking method should not be discounted for its simplicity: ask people you already know to connect you to those you don’t. By leveraging your authentic pre-existing network, you’ll be able to quickly expand your network and ultimately grow your podcast.
You can also leverage your network to help seed ratings and reviews on Podchaser. Ask your friends, family, and colleagues to review your show on Podchaser and to share the show via social media. By doing this, you can spread the word about your show without any introductions.
The second networking strategy is to attend conferences & public events. There are podcast conventions around the world and throughout the year. These are often designed to help podcasters network with each other. Depending on which convention you attend, you’ll also be able to attend workshops and seminars designed to help you grow your podcast.
The last networking strategy is to explore internet podcasting communities. The main two are Reddit’s /r/podcasts subreddit, and the CastJunkie Discord Channel. Networking online allows you to meet people all over the world for free, without traveling to some far off podcast convention.
There are so many places you can buy ads online, and there’s no foolproof plan for success, so you’ll need to experiment with these options yourself to see what works to grow your podcast.
Buying ads on podcasts is a great way to promote your podcast because you already know that the audience enjoys the medium. This effect is doubled when purchasing an ad on a podcast similar to yours.
Buying advertisements on podcasts can be tricky as it’s difficult to find a podcast’s contact information and to estimate how much the advertisement will cost. Luckily, we’ve written in-depth articles to help with both of these problems.
If you’d prefer to pay a company to do all the dirty work for you, Midroll is a popular choice.
Companies like Toyota, HBO, and FedEx have hired Midroll, so consider Midroll to create your advertisements and to find podcasts that are the best fit to grow your show.
The advantage of Facebook ads is their ability to target a specific audience. If your podcast has a niche topic, like collectible sports cards, Facebook does a great job at targeting your ads to their users that might be interested. Facebook ads generally cost somewhere between $0.50 to $2.00 per click.
Overcast is one of the most popular podcatchers on iOS, and is known for its simple design and powerful functionality.
They also host in-app advertisements for podcasts shown as banners across the bottom of the screen. Overcast advertisements range in price from $210 to $1,675, depending on which category you’d like to advertise.
Podcast Addict is another popular podcast directory available on Google Play. They provide two placement options if you’d like to advertise your podcast on Podcast Addict.
One is as a banner ad on the app’s main screen, and the other is more targeted, where your ad would be placed on each category page when a listener is browsing by category. If you’d like to see their advertising rates, simply paste your podcast’s RSS Feed into their advertisements page.
They say to never judge a book by its cover, but we all do it anyway. The human brain is just wired to respond to visual stimuli, so your cover art needs to stand out amongst the crowd.
That doesn’t mean you should just use the brightest colors. Your podcast branding needs to be clear, so listeners can easily read it and immediately understand what your podcast is about.
A great example of clear and enticing cover art is”My Favorite Murder.” If the title doesn’t tell you enough their cover art cleverly spells the title out with magazine clippings, like some criminals have done to keep themselves anonymous.
If you’re looking to rebrand your podcast’s name to grow your show, we’ve written an article to help you come up with a name for your show.
Claiming your podcast on Podchaser allows you to promote your show in a variety of ways. Once your podcast is claimed, you unlock exclusive categories, the ability to customize your page, sell merch, and more.
These customizations allow you to grow your podcast by making it more discoverable on Podchaser and on Google. Adding credits for every contributor increases your podcast’s Google authority. In addition, the more credits on your Podchaser podcast page, the more opportunities for listeners to discover your podcast on our site.
After you’ve added the credits of every producer, editor, guest, and voice actor, the next step is to add categories to your Podchaser podcast page. This gives Podchaser users even more opportunities to find your show when they are browsing by category on our site.
Lastly, once you claim your podcast, you can respond to their reviews to build up a rapport with your community. The screenshot above came from our public Popular Feed, so by responding to one review the “Who is Cam Candor” podcast has boosted their street-cred with the entire Podchaser community.
Click here to claim your podcast, and then read our full article on how to promote your claimed podcast.
In a world with millions of podcasts, standing out and growing a podcast can be a slow process, so don’t be discouraged. You have to be patient, trust the process, and follow these 8 tips to promote your podcast.
Claim your podcast on Podchaser to unlock unique promotion tools