You've been nurturing your podcast for two years or so, and now you're ready to take it to the next level. But the common advice of engaging in social media gimmicks feels like a betrayal of your authentic self. Caught between the desire for growth and the dread of inauthenticity, you're standing at a crossroads. Navigating this dilemma can feel like a tightrope walk, but fear not.
Here's what we'll cover:
Read on and discover how to transform your dread of inauthenticity into a powerful tool for genuine growth.
Ever felt a chill down your spine at the thought of 'selling out'? You're not alone.
It's this fear of losing your listener’s trust and support. But it’s time for a reality check - it's often a self-imposed blockade.
You've been told time and again to engage in online conversations, start polls, ask open-ended questions, and be generally online. But it feels inauthentic, like you're just trying to bait people into listening to your podcast. You're not alone in this.
Many podcasters dread this approach because it feels like a departure from genuine communication. It's as if you're putting on a show, rather than having a real conversation. And this can feel draining and counterproductive.
However, 33% of listeners actually don’t mind ads or sponsorships, according to a DISQO survey.
Why? Because they know that it funds the content they value and enjoy. This shows that listeners appreciate authenticity. They are willing to support content creators who provide value.
Now that we've set the stage, let's dive into the heart of the matter. Here are some authentic, value-driven strategies to grow your podcast without compromising your principles.
Ready to break away from the pack and chart your own course? Let's explore five alternative strategies that veer away from the beaten path of typical social media tactics.
These strategies are not about quick fixes or superficial engagements such as likes for likes. They are about building a genuine connection with your audience and delivering real value.
Instead of resorting to gimmicks, focus on creating content that adds value to your listeners' lives. This approach not only increases listener engagement but also builds trust and loyalty.
According to a study by Edison Research, podcasts that provide value to their listeners tend to have higher engagement rates.
Listeners are more likely to invest their time in content that is meaningful and beneficial to them.
Follow these tips to create value-driven content:
Collaborations with other podcasters can be a powerful way to grow your audience. By appearing as a guest on other podcasts, or inviting other podcasters to appear on your show, you can expose your podcast to a new audience.
Three Australian podcasters launched motivational career-based shows that consistently rank on iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher. They have done this by collaborating with each other and sharing their knowledge and expertise.
According to a report by The Podcast Host, podcast collaborations are one of the most effective ways to grow your audience. This is because listeners are more likely to check out a podcast if it's recommended by a podcaster they already listen to and trust.
Try collaborating with other podcasters by following these tips:
Search engine optimization (SEO) isn't just for websites. They are a powerful tool that can help your podcast reach a larger audience. By optimizing your podcast for search engines, you can increase your podcast's visibility and reach a larger audience.
Podcasts that are optimized for SEO are 3 times more likely to rank on the first page of Google search results.
This means that when someone searches for a topic related to your podcast, they're more likely to find your podcast if it's optimized for SEO.
Push your podcast’s SEO ranking by doing these:
Live events can be a powerful way to engage your audience and build a stronger connection.
According to a survey by Pew Research Center, 67% of podcast listeners said they would be interested in attending a live podcast event.
Start interacting with your audience live by following these steps:
As you implement these strategies to grow your podcast audience, remember that your existing listeners are an integral part of this growth. They are your first line of promotion, your most loyal fans, and the building blocks of your podcast community. Now, let's explore how to leverage this existing network to amplify your growth efforts.
Now that we've explored alternative strategies for growth, let's shift our focus to a resource you already have at your disposal - your existing network. Your current listeners are not just passive consumers; they're your advocates, your community, and your most valuable asset.
Here are three ways to leverage this network to fuel your podcast's growth.
Encouraging your listeners to engage with your podcast can increase word-of-mouth promotion. This could be leaving a review or participating in a listener survey.
According to a study by Hubspot, word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family are still the most influential.
To do this, follow these tips:
According to Mailchimp, creating a community for your listeners can foster a sense of belonging and loyalty.
By providing a platform for your listeners to interact with each other, share their experiences, and ask questions about your brand, you can create a space where people feel connected and valued. This can lead to a stronger emotional connection with your podcast and a greater sense of loyalty.
The Pharmacy Leaders Podcast used podcasting to cultivate a community of practice among pharmacy leaders. The podcast created a space for listeners to share their experiences and ask questions. It successfully built a community and created a platform for pharmacy leaders to connect and learn from each other.
Here are the steps to help you build your own podcast community:
Recognizing your listeners on your podcast can make them feel valued and appreciated. This could be reading a listener review, giving a shout-out to a listener, or featuring a listener question on your podcast.
PwC's accounting podcast is a great example of a podcast that recognizes its listeners by discussing today's most compelling accounting issues, regulatory updates, and financial reporting hot topics.
Here’s how you can do it:
Growing your podcast doesn't have to involve inauthentic social media gimmicks.
There are alternative ways to grow your audience and leverage your existing network. Remember, authenticity is key in podcast promotion. So, forget the gimmicks and start building real connections with your audience.
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