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What Most Podcasters Overlook When it Comes to Growth

August 11, 2021
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a loud speaker pop up from a smart phone screen with a notification bell floating on the top left corner of the phoneWhen it comes to marketing a podcast, there are truly no limits to what you can create. The landscape is continually shifting and evolving with an ever-expanding list of new mediums, platforms and concepts to experiment with.

Thinking outside the box will always be rewarded, so don’t be afraid to color outside the lines here and there. Coming up with new and exciting ways to promote your podcast is all part of the fun, so roll up your sleeves, get crafty and try out some new tactics. Be careful what you wish for—they just might work!

But first, get a leg up on the competition and make sure you aren’t missing out on any key opportunities. Here are five things most podcasters overlook when it comes to growth:

1. Audience engagement

Gone are the days of one-sided monologues that don’t allow the audience to weigh in. Your podcast and all its associated marketing channels should be more of an interactive dialogue that welcomes audience feedback, suggestions and perspectives.

You could be doing everything right marketing-wise, but if you’re not taking the time to really connect with your audience, you’ll be missing out on a great chance to win over lifelong followers. The good news is that there are plenty of creative ways to interact with your audience and create a community surrounding your podcast.

a girl holding a phone listen to the podcast, and the host flying out from the phone as a speech bubbleHere are just a few ideas for engaging listeners in the fun and being more of a proactive podcaster:

Livestreaming. In addition to releasing regular pre-recorded podcast episodes, going live on Facebook or Instagram to answer questions in real time can be a great way to build trust with your followers and engage them about your specific topic or area of focus.
Audience polls. What’s the best way to find out what your audience wants content-wise? Just ask! Asking questions or conducting surveys through Instagram or your e-newsletter can be a great way to figure out what’s working well for your brand and what needs some rejigging. As long as you’re engaging with your followers in a meaningful way, they’ll gain trust in you over time and feel like their opinions are valued.
Events. Hosting an event, whether virtual or in-person (provided it’s COVID-safe), is a great way to engage with your audience, meet like-minded people in your industry and continue fostering a sense of community among your followers. Even hosting a casual weekly webinar at the same time each week can help you grow your network and add an interactive element to your brand.

2. Podcast directories

One of the best ways to turn up the volume on your podcast and make sure you’re maximizing listeners is to submit your show to as many podcast directories as possible. In addition to submitting your RSS feed to major listening apps like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts, expand your reach to other directories or “podcatchers” as they call them in the biz.

There are dozens of podcatchers out there that can expose your show to a broader listener base and ultimately help you gain subscribers. Here are some examples of podcast directories that aren’t talked about as often but are still effective:

3. Collaborations

an illustration of a male and a female hosts are on airAlthough other podcasters are technically “the competition,” the podcasting world is all one big happy family at the end of the day. Working together is more effective (and fun!) than creating alone in a silo, so don’t hesitate to reach out and make some new friends. Collaborating with other podcasts operating in a similar space to you can help both of you boost your followings and gain exposure to new potential listeners.

There are plenty of creative ways to collaborate with another podcaster, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Sharing a simple tweet or Instagram story to shout out each other’s accounts is an easy yet effective way to grow your audience in no time.

Here are some ideas for ways to collaborate with your fellow creators:

  • Guest blogs
  • Giveaways
  • Products
  • E-courses
  • Webinars

4. Online forums

While everyone knows that social media is where it’s at these days, some creators tend to overlook lesser-known platforms in favor of focusing solely on the typical Facebook, Twitter and Instagram deal. It’s definitely important to upkeep these more mainstream channels, but while you’re at it, try looking into other platforms and online forums like Quora or Reddit to continue building your community and tap into a more niche audience.

If you’re going to experiment with online forums, make sure to add value with every post and contribute to conversations authentically as you would IRL. Try to avoid sounding salesy or like you’re pushing a product, and only add to the threads you’re genuinely interested in or knowledgeable about.

Here are some more off-the-beaten-path platforms to check out if you’re looking to explore:

Clubhouse
WattPad
Twitch
Influenster
SoundCloud

5. Stay consistent

In the early stages of their journey, many podcasters overlook the importance of getting into a steady rhythm of content creation. Consistency is key in any discipline, and podcasting is no exception. Leaving too much time between episodes or releasing content in spurts could confuse your listeners, whereas releasing new episodes on the same day each week gives them something to look forward to and will ultimately contribute to your growth overtime.

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