This post was updated on October 20, 2020 to reflect the rapid increase in both new and inactive podcasts since 2018.
Podcasting is one of the most popular forms of media available today, and while living in the age of self-production may make it easy to break into the field, staying afloat is not always as simple.
There are over 1,500,000 podcasts in existence, but given how many have suffered the dreaded ‘podfade’ (this data suggests more than half are inactive), it begs a content creator to ask the very basic, yet extremely important question:
“How do I get people to listen to my show?”
As a podcast creator, you work hard to create entertaining, valuable content. From researching topics to obtaining guests, to actually handling the technical aspects of production, putting together a podcast takes a lot of time and effort.
Given how much heart and soul goes into every minute of your show, your content deserves to be heard, so here are five tips to help you increase your listener base and get your voice out there:
1. Have a website
I know, I know. Creating a podcast is already a lot of work, so the prospect of having to spend additional time slaving away as a Webmaster may seem rather unappealing. However, having a website for your podcast helps listeners find you. You want people to discover your show not just through podcast directories, but also when they are searching for keywords related to your podcast on major search engines such as Google.
In addition to just getting your name out there, a website is a hub for your brand. Have links to everywhere listeners can find your content, or better yet, embed your content right on your site for ease of access. Recent data from Edison Research shows that of the people polled who were “familiar with the term podcasting, but had never listened”, 48% weren’t sure how to listen and 37% weren’t entirely sure what a podcast even was. At this stage of the game, everyone knows what a website is and embedding your content right on the page is definitely a smart move.
Other great items to have on your website are extras –pictures related to your content, the social media links for your show guests, time stamps for important moments in each episode, and episode transcripts. Transcripts are great additions to your site, as they are helpful for referencing specific moments in your show, they allow for those who are hearing impaired to enjoy your content, and of course, they help improve your show’s search engine optimization (SEO).
Which brings us to….
2. SEO — It’s a thing, even for podcasters
If you’re somewhat internet-savvy, you’ve probably heard of SEO before, however, it may seem like a strange, elusive concept if you have no previous experience in online marketing. The basic idea is that you want to make sure that when people search for terms that are related to your brand, product, website, or in this case, podcast, that your show will be one of the first things that they see in the search engine’s results. This is accomplished, in part, by considering the aforementioned search terms and making sure that you’re using the same terms in your page titles, links, and content.
As a podcaster, this also means that you want to make sure that each of your episodes has a descriptive title and that on your website you’re including episode recap pages where you summarize the content of the episode, including listing your guests. It’s also a good plan of action to go through your episode transcripts, pulling important terms and using them on your site. Being smart about SEO will help improve your site’s search engine ranking and can help gain visibility.
3. Be social. On the internet.
Much like in high school, being a wallflower rarely pays off. One of the best ways to gain a following is to interact with current and prospective listeners, not only through your episodes but up close and personal on social media as well.
Create a Facebook Page and/or Group for your show as well as Twitter handles for both your show and your show’s host. Use these channels to reach out, promote your brand, and share other relevant content that you believe listeners might also be interested in.
In addition, there are many groups on Facebook, as well as hashtags on Twitter (#podernfamily, #podcastmafia, etc) that are related to podcasting. Some of them will allow you to promote your content in them freely or may have weekly threads where content creators swap new episodes. Others may not allow promotion, but often have great discussions about the craft and industry, which in and of themselves can be extremely helpful when you’re just starting out.
The main idea is not to be an island, but instead, become part of the community. Come on in, the water’s fine!
4. Meet people where they are
People are creatures of habit that tend to stick to whatever platforms and applications they are most comfortable with. This means that listeners who always listen to podcasts via one platform will likely be unwilling to go to a different one to find new content.
The best way to combat this issue is to broaden your distribution. This can be done in many different ways, but a simple way to achieve it is to list your show in multiple podcast directories. Each has their own list of benefits and cater to different audiences, making sure that you’re able to attract a wide array of listeners no matter what platform they are most familiar with.
5. Get creative
This last item is fairly broad and is only limited by your imagination. Essentially, the advice is to think outside of the box.
Maybe you’re an artist and you draw a cartoon that goes with every episode on your website. Or you’re a writer who decides to start a blog where you compliment your episodes with interesting original written content.
Sure, podcasts are an audio-only medium, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make videos out of your episodes and upload them to YouTube, making a connection with new listeners via a different platform.
The sky’s the limit…take some time and discover what you have up your sleeve that can set you apart!
Did you know that there is actually a platform for podcast creators that can help you with everything mentioned in this article?
Audioburst Creators takes the heavy lifting out of promoting your podcast by providing you with the tools you need to amplify your reach. With Audioburst Creators you get the following, all for free:
- Automatic Episode Transcription — get a full transcript for each episode delivered right to your inbox moments after you hit publish.
- Automatic Episode Segmentation — using natural language processing (NLP) technology, the Audioburst platform listens to, understands, indexes, and segments your content into searchable clips, or ‘bursts’, that are easily shared.
- Edit, Share, and Embed tools — have the power to create your own bursts, share them across your social media channels, or embed them on your website for greater accessibility.
- Video Bursts — turn your audio content into video clips designed to reach an entirely new audience.
- Monetization Opportunities — discover new ways to distribute and monetize your content through promotions, sponsored playlists, and personalized offers.
- Inclusion in the Audioburst audio library — content showcased in the Audioburst library is broadcast via mobile apps, smart speakers, car infotainment systems, and through the products of our partners, including big names such as Radioline, Samsung, Bose, and Harman.
Join Audioburst Creators today and take your podcast to the next level!