Starting a podcast is intimidating. Initially, the only hurdle that you’re looking to tackle is recording, editing, and uploading that first episode. But, once you get a few weeks under your belt, it’s time to start considering your growth strategy. You’ve got this great content, but how do you get people to listen to it?

There are a lot of podcasts out there. 2.4 million podcasts, to be exact! So, you’ve really got to put some thought into how you’ll reach your listenership. If you are ready to start growing your podcast audience, follow our tips below:

How to Expand Your Podcast Audience 

Make sure you’re on every app. 

To grow your podcast audience, you need to be EVERYWHERE. You’re not Joe Rogan or Howard Stern (yet)—so people won’t download a specific app just to listen to you. They will, however, follow you on a platform they already have on their phone. So, make sure no matter what podcast app someone has, you’re on it! 

Additionally, the more apps you’re on, the more directories you’re in. That means you’re way more likely to capture organic listeners from searches on these apps as you cast a wider net. Be on as many as possible for the best chances of landing new listeners!

Here’s the big ones you need to upload to: 

Find your audience on social media.

You never want to wait around for someone to find your podcast organically. Will it happen? Sure. Will it happen quickly and in great volumes? Probably not. So, you need to find your audience another way. A great way to do this is through social media! 

Your niche already exists on social media, so you just need to target the right groups and people to bring them to your podcast. Once you find your following on social media, direct them to your podcast for the best growth results! Do some research, though, on which platforms most likely hold your audience. A tech or crypto podcast will probably find their listeners on Twitter. Whereas a parenting or celebrity entertainment podcast will find their audience on Instagram

If you already have a following on social media, don’t be afraid to cross promote! Even if your current social media profile doesn’t focus on exactly the same things, there’s a good chance a lot of your current followers are just like you! More of them than you think will probably jump over and listen to your new podcast content! 

Create video content. 

Speaking of social media, repurposing content from your podcast to go on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube is a great idea. It’s a great way for people on other platforms to hear about you and see a little of your show. If it’s a particularly funny or insightful snippet, they’ll probably check out the full podcast! 

You can either set up cameras in your recording studio and upload from that. Or, you can create graphic overlays to watch as your audio plays. Do what makes you the most comfortable, while still creating content that fits your niche the best. 

Engage in the podcast community.

“Podcast community” is maybe a strange thing to say, because podcasts have gotten massive! They’re really no longer a niche thing. Instead, almost everyone you know is streaming something online and listening to a podcast. So, when we say, “engage in the podcast community,” we mean engage in your podcast community

For example, if your target audience is in the business niche, follow other business podcasters and always be interacting in comments and on forums! Chances are, you’ll have lots of opportunities to organically bring people to your page or directly to your podcast. Remember, organic is key! No one wants people spamming comments with their latest episode link. Keep it helpful and relevant for the best experience. 

Host giveaways. 

Giveaways and contests are a great way to cast a wide net and get lots of new followers and subscribers! To grow your audience this way, you simply offer some sort of desirable prize, and require people who enter to follow your podcast and social channels. You could do other calls to action, too. Either way, your numbers will grow rapidly, and as long as you keep these new listeners engaged, you’ll keep that high follower count!

Spend time and money on email marketing.

As the internet has evolved, emails have remained relevant. With handy sort features, it’s once again easy to see the content you care about, and not pages and pages of spam. So, when you get people to subscribe to your email list, chances are they’ll actually open it and check out your new content! 

To set up email marketing, you’ll need good email marketing software. Then, you’ll need to draft great weekly newsletters, research the best time to send them, and grab your follower’s email addresses. You can do this through a simple call to action on your website or within your podcast. More on that in a bit! 

Listen to what your audience says. 

They say the customer is always right, but what about the podcast listener? Much like customers, there are definitely exceptions to the “always right” rule, but the principle remains the same. Your listeners are communicating with you constantly with what they like and what they don’t like. Listen to these comments! 

We’re not advocating you change your style every time someone leaves a negative review. However, if there’s a good number of people complaining about poor audio quality, inconsistent upload times, and low quality content, it might be time to change your strategy. You might not win their listenership back, but you may retain more in the future by listening to their words! 

Integrate a call to action into each episode. 

Don’t forget to integrate a call to action into every episode. You could ask listeners to leave a review, join your newsletter, share the episode, or follow you on socials! Add necessary links in the show notes to make it easy for your audience to follow your CTA. Doing this will help you better retain listeners and gain lifelong followers! 

Create a podcast trailer.

Podcast trailers are those pinned recordings at the top of most podcast pages. They usually introduce who’s hosting the podcast, what the podcast is about, and any other pertinent information. It’s meant to give potential listeners a little taste of what the content will be like. This will really help you gain followers, because it’s a much less intimidating way to get hooked on your content. Rather than committing to an hour long episode. 

Learn about podcast SEO.

What the heck is SEO? SEO is “search engine optimization.” Any app that has a search engine has a specific algorithm that directs users to content the app thinks they’re looking for. Your goal is to pop up if someone searches for podcasts in your niche on these apps and on Google! 

There’s a lot that goes into podcast SEO, but we’ll keep it simple for now. Here are some things you can manipulate right now to help you populate higher on the search engine results pages. 

  • Utilize keywords to optimize your description, summaries, and titles.
  • Write blog posts centered on the episode content.
  • Transcribe your podcast. 
  • Make a website. 

Host guests. / Be a guest. 

A great way to grow your following is to share it with others in your niche! Simply ask another podcaster in your sphere to join your podcast. A lot of their followers will come to listen to your episode because they’re on it. Hopefully, they’ll stay to listen to more in the future! 

Then, you do the same on their podcast. You mutually benefit from the guest spot, so it’s easy to find other creators willing to collab with you! Aim for podcast hosts that have the same or almost equal follower count to you. 

Post archives on YouTube.

There is no reason podcast content can’t exist on YouTube! In fact, it’s good for your SEO if you upload to YouTube as well. YouTube does demand some visual elements. So, if you don’t have cameras in the studio, you may need to get creative. But, at the end of the day, posting your past episodes on YouTube is great for organically reaching more listeners!

Promote past episodes. 

You should always be promoting past episodes, whether it be on your social channels, blog, or current episode. If listeners are going back to listen to old episodes, it’ll only boost their excitement for the next release, get you more shares, and get you more plays! All of which will send you higher on the charts and higher on the search engine results pages. Soon, you’ll see your numbers of weekly listeners rise and rise!

You can grow your podcast audience by expanding your reach, optimizing for search engines, and engaging on social media. 

You won’t grow your podcast audience overnight, but with some hard work and focus, you’ll see those listener numbers steadily increase! Keep creating quality podcast content, use these tips, and follow our blog for the best chance at podcast success. We’ve been in the game for a long time, and we know how to make your podcast a winner! Let’s do this together!