How to grow your podcast audience

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Podcasts are an absolutely fantastic medium of audio consumption. After all, they allow you to absorb content whilst multitasking. Whether it’s cooking, driving, on the subway, or simply walking the dog, it’s a form of content that’s great for almost any occasion. But once you have a podcast out there, how do you grow it, and what actionable steps can you take to ensure that people naturally find it? That’s what we’re covering in this article.

First of all, you need to ensure that your content is absolutely phenomenal and appeals directly towards your target demographic for the podcast. If the quality is subpar, then I’m afraid that it simply won’t perform well. That’s a fact. Making a promotional plan is absolutely essential to the success of your podcast. After all, promotion attracts more listeners (which is what you want). What are the goals that you want to accomplish within 6 months? What listener count would you ideally love to reach? Those are all questions that you have to consider when writing out a promotional plan. Here are a few examples of items to include in your promo plan:

  • Email newsletter when each new episode is released
  • Blog posts
  • Social media updates on Facebook, Insta, Snapchat etc
  • Influencers on Instagram/Snapchat using a swipe up link to the podcast on their story

Collaborations are also key to ensuring that your podcast reaches new people. In an example of a music marketing podcast, you could reach out to Instagram influencers and famous producers within the EDM industry. As they already have an established following, they’d be highly likely to share the link amongst their following – thus increasing the streams on your content. Despite it being pretty old-school, search engine optimization (SEO) can seriously increase the number of people listening to a podcast. By using relevant keywords in the title and description, it’ll appear higher in search results for individual tags that you implement. For example, if you have a music industry marketing podcast, aim to include related keywords in the title.

Also, creating loads of content is an obvious (but often overlooked) method of increasing listeners. It’s a simple numbers game. If you have 1 episode a month, there are only 12 episodes that people can discover you from. However, by doing a daily podcast, people are able to discover you from a choice of 365. You do the math. Plus, a variety of content allows your audience to experience your content on a regular basis. Episodes do not have to be an hour in length. Anything upwards of 5 minutes should be worthwhile if it’s a simple rant/explanation to something.

Once you have a good strategy for your Podcast, it is highly recommended that you evaluate the success/failure of it. What went well? What didn’t go so great? What can you do to improve next time? One great method is looking at the number of monthly downloads and comparing them to previous months. If it’s a positive (increasing) trend, then you must be doing something well. Likewise, if there’s a decline in downloads, you should always try and find a reason for it. 

Finally, tapping into your own network of friends and industry contacts is a useful strategy to help spread word of mouth. This may include label managers, artist managers, and producers. But by sharing the podcast amongst your target demographic directly, you’ll have the opportunity to instantly connect with them, and therefore gain a loyal following.


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