Podcasting has become a great way to build awareness.
Awareness for you. Awareness for your company or organization. That leads to sales in a variety of ways. Sometimes a listener will buy directly. More often they will tell others about you when it comes up in conversation. More than that they’ll listen and remember you. Then when they’re in buying mode for your industry, they’ll choose you over the competition.
When it comes to marketing we like to overanalyze things. Big data. It’s great when you know how to use it, but for most of us (small to medium businesses) it’s best to keep it simple.
Traffic, views and listens. That’s really all you need.
If you’re looking to increase listeners and listens for your podcast then here are a few ideas…
1. Publish More
Most content creators are creating content all the time. They don’t necessarily publish it all, but they are driven by something, usually internal, to create content all the time. Especially when they are early in their efforts.
Songwriters usually write songs everyday. Many songs per day in the early days. They may temper their numbers as they get along in their careers, but you can’t really skip the quantity required in the early days and jump ahead to the later numbers.
Steven Spielberg doesn’t create movies all the time these days, but in his early career he did it all the time. And those are full-length feature films. You’re creating podcasts.
If you want to get more listeners, create more content. Not only will you give people more to discover, but you’ll get consistently better at your craft. That will lead to better content to attract more listeners.
It’s not a secret. It’s not a tactic. To get more, create more.
2. Publish For The Long-Term
Many podcast creators and content creators get caught up in the short-term. Instead of thinking about each of your episodes as life or death, focus on the body of work that you can create over the long-term. We’re talking decades.
Thinking like that will scare off the pretenders in the content game. Spielberg probably thought about his career in terms of decades and not in individual films. The same with George Lucas or anybody that really wanted to have success with creating content.
One or two failures probably bothered them, but they likely never seriously considered stopping.
Force yourself to think long-term with your content. It will give you the right mindset for creating and building your skills and you won’t be so hard on yourself early on or when you have the occasional flop episode.
Getting more listeners means getting more people to know that you exist. Focus on creating your own podcast content for at least a year. Then begin looking for guesting opportunities. Chances to go on other podcasts where there are listeners. Share stories. Share tips. Share whatever the podcast host and listeners want. Focus on the outreach. Sending 5-10 emails every month to get maybe one opportunity each month or every other month.
You could even do this before you get serious about your own podcast. You can use guesting to figure out if you even like working in the podcasting world.
4. Experiment With New Types Of Content
If your current formula isn’t working you could try to experiment. Look at what others are doing and try it. Give yourself permission to try something and fail miserably. It’s okay. Nobody is paying attention anyway so you might as well try a few things.
If something works then expand on that while still experimenting with new forms. Businesses, especially content businesses, do this all the time. Think of the music industry. The best record labels are always doing about 80/20 with their efforts. They find something that clicks and they go in with about 80% of their efforts. They leave the other 20% for continued experimentation so they’re able to find the next big thing, trend or formula. Then they go all in on that.
5. Use Guest Ladders
Interviewing is a main theme with podcasting. One strategy for building an audience is to work your way up the guest ladder. Start with people you know that trust you to interview them well and make them look good. Then use their clout to find someone on their same level or perhaps one level up. That’s difficult to define, but you probably get the idea. Interview a local business owner. Then find a regional business owner. Then a bigger region, etc. That kind of thing.
You can use previous interviews as “proof” to validate the work you’re doing. Most people pass on things until they see proof that it’s worth their time. It’s an easy filter for them to use and it’s very common in the podcasting world.
If you have a perfect guest in mind take several steps back and figure out how you can work your way up the ladder with guests to get to them.
There is no secret formula for getting more listeners for a podcast. It’s just the basics of marketing. Create more. Learn from the quantity you’re creating. You’ll improve. You’ll figure out what works and expand on it. You’ll create more clout and that will build upon itself. Focus on the long-term and have patience and over time you’ll be surprised at how far you can go.