Who would have thought podcasts would make such a comeback? Once almost resigned to history, having a podcast is now de rigueur in the present day.
That’s incredibly encouraging as it’s cool and fashionable to have a podcast meaning there are audiences out there who are hungry for more and more, but with that comes intense competition and a crowded marketplace. If you want to stand out and gain an audience comfortably and quickly, here are eight tips to help you achieve it.
1. Consistency is key
One episode in January. Nothing in February or March. Three uploads in April. A further four months go by with not a single episode – have you come across those kinds of podcasts? They may have great promise and engaging, ultra listenable content but when the uploads are scatty and hard to follow, it’s difficult to build up loyalty when consistency is seemingly an afterthought.
The best approach is to be clear and outline when and where the uploads will be. If you can only commit to once a month, make it (for example) the last Friday of every month, or the first Monday of every new month. If you’re weekly - and bear in mind that’s a lot of work - then specify when your audience, however small at the start, can expect new episodes each week. Is it a Saturday? Is it mid-week like a Wednesday? Let your audience know your timescale, and it will hold you accountable and keep them
2. Ask for feedback
Ask your listeners for feedback by, firstly, subscribing but then leaving a review and rating your work. Likewise, encourage them to share your episodes on their own channels for extra exposure to like-minded potential listeners.
3. Expand your platforms
Being on Apple Podcasts (iTunes) is essential, but don’t disregard the other means of listening that your potential audience could be using. Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify, Soundcloud, Deezer, TuneIn – make sure you’re making your podcast as visible and available as possible by uploading and sharing on as many locations as you can.
4. Share on social media, then share again
Just because a podcast has been launched and new episodes are trickling out doesn’t mean you constantly have to be working on the next one, and then the next one. Allow them to breathe a little and keep re-sharing episodes. On go-live day, once an episode is published, grab the link and formulate 2/3 updates to schedule on each individual social media platform you have throughout the day to get the maximum impact on launch and the most amount of ears.
Because podcasts are not (usually) live, they have a life beyond the day they’re first broadcast and downloaded. Especially when the content of your podcasts is kept evergreen, you can share and re-share to keep finding a wider and larger audience. Keep your social media content different though, play around with wording and how you publicise episodes so that people already engaged in what you’re doing aren’t going to get bored or annoyed.
5. Consider joining a network
If you’re feeling lost and astray in the podcast world, consider joining a network of other podcasters for support and shout-outs. You can all work together to grow your individual brands under a wider umbrella brand and can really help with the early days and the exposure needed to grow and make a mark. This might also help get you featured in other shows, whether as a guest or as a free advertisement push in another more established podcast.
Networks are not for everyone, though, so choose wisely and know what you’re getting in to.
6. Harness the power of SEO
Publishing your podcast on your website is a great idea for international exposure. Search Engine Optimisation means that with the right keywords and traffic, your podcast could effectively grow itself as people search Google for interesting things to listen to.
7. Repurpose for YouTube
Some listeners would really prefer to be viewers. YouTube is the world’s most popular video streaming site, so why not take the audio from your podcast and repurpose it for a YouTube video? That way, you’re getting comments, likes, subscribers on there and more and more eyes and ears on your content. Plus, you’ll reach a greater audience than with just the regular podcast channels alone.
8. Be niche
The other tips to share are ones around your content, and it goes without saying that content is king and having interesting, engaging, well-thought-out content is crucial to your podcast’s success. Furthermore, just having a great name helps – something catchy and memorable. As does timing – not many people have time for a 90 minute podcast every week, try scale it back to the sweet spot of 30-45 minutes and you’ll hopefully see your audience grow as it’s more of a bite-size listen rather than a full meal. Being niche doesn’t mean being safe, either, if you harness the power of a niche you can quite quickly get a name for yourself. So find what aspect or area of the podcast world you fit in to and be the best content maker in that niche that you can be. Plus, don’t be afraid to throw the rule book out of the window every so often…