I hate to break it to you, but just because you have started and are doing a great podcast doesn’t mean people are going to find it. The space is crowded with lots of people doing podcasts of varying degrees of craftsmanship, and if you are doing one that does sound good (to listeners and not just you and your friends), it can be very frustrating to find that your audience is small and not growing. Here are some of the ways, I have seen that work to get your podcast noticed this year.
Know your audience- This is the most important thing and something that people don’t spend as much time researching. It’s not just a matter of knowing who your target demo is, but also to know what their interests are, what other podcasts they like, and what makes them click on links.
Find your audience- Now that you know your audience, it’s time to find them. One place I have had great success finding an audience is on Facebook and using Facebook analytics to find out what kinds of groups and hobbies my audience follows. It’s also smart to know what social media platform your audience uses most and focus on that.
Be active on social media- If you “are sick of social media” or take pride in not having accounts, you are going to find it hard not only to find an audience but to interact with them in a meaningful way. In radio, we always said that when you put a listener on the air, they are yours for life. The same is true for social media. When you have meaningful interactions with people, they are more likely to listen and keep listening.
Spend some money- It is pretty vital to be prepared to spend money to promote your podcast if you want to get the size of audience it takes to make any money. Smart spends on Facebook ads have been something we have had a ton of success with our shows.
Buy or swap promos- The most tried and true promotion in podcasting is the promo on a podcast with a similar audience. If you don’t already have an audience you probably won’t find any podcasts of note who will swap with you, but you may be able to get a promo run for a smaller CPM. Cross promoting with smaller audiences does work, but it will take time.
Make sure you are on every platform- Most folks know this, but having your podcast on just the major platforms will leave out a potential audience on other smaller platforms with a devoted fan base. I also suggest sharing “smart links” that will know what phone the person is using and open your links on their podcast platform of choice.
Be active in the community- Being an active member of the podcast community, attending online events, offering to be on panels, appearing on other shows, and interacting with folks doing shows like yours can go a long way into helping your podcast get noticed.
Be smart with SEO- The most common mistake I see with podcasts is that they haven’t educated themselves on how to craft show titles and descriptions that are best for SEO. Search is still the #1 way people find their podcast content. Spend as much time on it as you do your show.
Join HARO- Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a service that connects journalists with sources. Once you enroll media people will reach out to you when they have questions or need comments for podcasts, articles, TV, or radio on your particular expertise.
Guests- Great guests cannot make a podcast good, but they can bring in new audiences to your shows. Be tenacious as you reach out to people to be on your podcast.
I can’t stress how important it i `s that a podcaster try all of these approaches. Once you find a few that get you traction, concentrate on them and be consistent with your messaging and content. At the end of the day, you can bring in a large audience, but they won’t stay if your content is not stellar.
Matty is the former Director of Content at Stitcher, Radio’s first VP of Podcast Programming with iHeartRadio, and is now the President of Jam Street Media in Los Angeles where his network includes the hits “Deep Cover: The Real Donnie Brasco” “Appalachian Mysteria” and “The Big Swing” plus provides consulting for podcast startups and brands. www.JamStreetMedia.com.@MattyStaudt on socialmedia.