How to Grow Your Podcast: 7 Tips to Build a Loyal Audience
By Kelly Forst August 4, 2021
Podcast consumption is on the rise.
As of April 2021, there are over two million active podcasts.
Insert jaw drop here.
On top of that, advertisers are willing to spend more on the medium, with podcast ad spending expected to hit $1.33 billion in 2021. More staggering, that number is expected to hit $2.7 billion by 2025.
So, if you want to capitalize on all this growth, then you need to grow your podcast audience.
7 tips to grow a podcast audience
Amazing content alone is not enough to make a living as a podcaster (though it is important). Monetizing your podcast is possible with sponsorships, listener support and even affiliate marketing.
But before you do anything, you need to have a loyal audience. So here are 7 ideas to help you grow your podcast audience.
Understand your current audience
The best way to grow your audience is by first understanding your current audience. Understand why they like your podcast, and what about your show makes you different from their other options.
You can get this feedback by:
- Asking your listeners questions on social media
- Including a survey in an email
- Asking for ratings and reviews
Knowing what problem you solve for them and why they turn to you again and again can help you create some amazing marketing content that grows your listenership.
Grow a podcast with email marketing
For podcasters, email marketing is an incredibly powerful tool. It’s a direct link to your fans through a channel that you own. No algorithm can take that away from you.
But the numbers speak for themselves — email marketing has the highest conversion rates of any marketing channel. In fact, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.
Plus, it is one of the best ways to make money from your podcast, through promoting a paid product (either yours or an affiliate product that you earn a commission), a service, or a sponsorship opportunity.
Here’s how to grow a podcast with email marketing:
- Share show updates
- Tease upcoming episodes
- Promote meetups and exclusive events
- Sell products and merchandise
- Request feedback from listeners
And while we’re talking about email marketing, you can…
Send a newsletter
A newsletter is a great way to share your story and build deeper connections with your listeners. Take them along on your journey with behind the scenes images and show notes.
Don’t be shy about who you are. They already like you — or they wouldn’t be continually listening to your show. A newsletter is a perfect way to build a personal connection with your subscribers and keep them coming back for more podcast episodes.
Ask your subscribers to forward the newsletter to a friend if they got value from it to encourage further engagement and growth.
Just be careful not to be too promotional before you build a relationship with your subscribers. You want your first series of emails to be incredibly valuable, so your readers continue to open and engage with you and your content.
Podcaster Sean Howard of the Fable and Folly Network shares how valuable newsletter are to marketing his shows:
“Most podcasters are focused on their feed numbers — how many downloads they have. But what they really need to consider is how many subscribers to their email list. Every show that is in the Fable and Folly Network has a newsletter. The newsletter is the mechanism that we send out to get people to take action: shop at our patron shop or become a patron of the show.“Fable and Folly Network podcaster Sean Howard.
Collaborate with other podcasters
Working with other podcasters by guesting on each others’ shows means you can tap into each others’ audiences.
Network with show hosts who cover podcast topics similar to yours. Invite them to guest on your show and give them promotional assets — like images with their headshot, audio clips and video snippets — to help them share the episode with their audience.
Create a landing page for your podcast
Good news! You don’t need to spend tons of time and money building an expensive website for your podcast.
Building an online presence with a landing page is likely all you need. A landing page is a single webpage that drives a visitor to take one, defined action. Unlike a website, which encourages visitors to navigate through different pages and learn more about you, a landing page is more focused and generally contains only the information a visitor needs to take action.
You can use a landing page to collect subscriber information so you can email them show updates, promote episodes and sell memberships or merch. Or, you can use a landing page to promote a lead magnet (we’ll get to that in a bit).
Plus, embed your show’s trailer on your landing page to give a sneak peak to new listeners who happen upon your page.
Set up a landing page — like the one below — to promote your podcast and easily collect subscriber information.
Want this template? Copy it into your AWeber account and customize it with your podcast information!
Use a lead magnet
One of the best ways to grow your podcast audience is to provide something of value — also known as a lead magnet.
A lead magnet is something your new subscriber receives in exchange for providing their email address. It can be anything your unique audience finds valuable: a tip sheet, an ebook, free recipes, or even an exclusive podcast episode.
The Fable and Folly show “Civilized” promotes a bonus podcast episode that is only available if you sign up for their newsletter.
“I don’t just tell people to listen to my podcast or sign up for my email list. I invite them to get a bonus episode of my interactive adventure series. In my thank you email, I include a link to access the bonus material.”Sean Howard, Fable and Folly Network podcaster
Engage on social media
I’m willing to bet your future listeners are on social media.
Attract new users by putting to work some of the following social media engagement tactics:
- Use relevant hashtags to attract the right audience
- Post audiograms to highlight important parts of your podcast
- Ask questions and encourage engagement
- Post educational content and encourage people to bookmark it
- Run a contest or giveaway to drive awareness
- Network with other podcast hosts and see if you can promote each others’ shows
- Create video snippets of your podcast for YouTube
- Reply to comments and engage in conversation
You can even promote your lead magnet or newsletter on social media. Include a link in your bio to drive social followers into your email list and give your followers an easy place to find all relevant links, like the page below:
Promote your podcast with email marketing
Ready to take the next step to growing your podcast with email marketing? Check out our free guide — just for podcasters — teaching the ins and outs of getting your show out there and driving quicker growth.