Ready to get started on your brand podcast? Here are some tips to grow an sustain your audience.
1. Have a consistent launch calendar and “always-on” communication channels.
Podcast listeners are one of the most loyal audiences, and they’ve incorporated podcasts into their routines.
So it’s no surprise that when there is a break between publishing new episodes, listenership drops and it takes time to build back momentum.
It is critical that you stay consistent with publishing and promotion schedules. And there’s no fancy way around it – create a schedule and stick to it. This plays into the “companionship” nature of podcasts and helps build reliability within your brand image.
Robinhood Snacks is a great example of a show that is all about consistency. Thanks to this, more than 165,000 people have developed a habit to tune in every weekday to get a 15-minute digest of the top three current finance stories.
Season-based podcasts also need to think about strategies of engaging with their growing audiences in intermissions. Consider creative, interactive moments to keep the conversation going: “bonus episodes” featuring highlights from the past season, hybrid events with Q&A with the audience, and creative social media campaigns.
2. Adjust accessibility for your target audience.
Because there isn’t a streamlined way for consumers to organically discover podcasts, consistently optimize distribution strategies to better suit the needs of your audience and meet your listeners at their own capabilities.
Podcast microsites can help with the discoverability problem, as many listeners start their search for a new podcast with Google.
Update blogs with transcribed audio, share highlights, and quote key takeaways – not only is this a digestible format that constitutes to SEO ranking, but a transcript can help deaf or hard-of-hearing people consume the content of your podcast.
Money Guy Show’s website offers different ways to digest information from the podcast in written, visual, and audio-only formats.
When building a microsite, we recommend following the 45-25-30 rule: where 45% of the site is promotional segment, 25% is informational content, and 30% is interactive features.
3. Be flexible and experiment within your framework to increase audience interactivity.
As you learn more about your audience – specifically, how they interact with your podcast and what they are interested in – start incorporating experimental elements to drive up engagement.
Instead of the typical studio recording, take your audience behind the scenes or help them “meet” people they otherwise wouldn’t be able to have a conversation with. The Women on the Move podcasts, for example, were recorded during global events and provide exclusive access to the World Economic Forum in Davos and JP Morgan Chase's Annual Women's Leadership Conference.
Invite listeners to submit questions on social media platforms or even ask them to send you a voice memo, as seen on Barron’s Streetwise, and answer those on air.
SaaS Breakthrough has a section that implements games and trivia, which work exceptionally well with a live show (and a co-host) as well as pre-recorded shows. It adds another layer of interactivity to the podcast that might attract listeners.
4. Stay “In The Know”
As we’ve already mentioned, podcasting is a fast-evolving medium. Therefore, it’s important to be curious about new and emerging strategies in the field. Below are some suggestions to keep you updated:
- Understand the shifting dynamics by tuning into the annual Infinite Dial report.
- Monitor trends – shameless plug of annual The State of the Story report here, as we have one of the most comprehensive trends overviews within the podcasting landscape as well as a bespoke playbook for brands that are trying to hack it.
- Get familiar with the best-of-the-best examples in various verticals and formats to get inspired and stay innovative.
As a medium, podcasts are responsive to our ever-changing lifestyles, help connect with audiences on a personal level, and efficiently deliver the content they crave. When done right, podcasts create a genuine connection with an audience, establish a brand as a thought leader, and provide business value. Our reminder: This list of strategies isn’t exhaustive, and there’s a bigger room for creativity, experimentation, and innovation. But this is a good start…
If you would like to start or partner with a strategic studio, drop us a line.