Growing a podcast audience takes planning and effort. To grow a podcast audience, you need a podcast marketing plan and a promotional strategy that continuously gets new people to find and follow your show. Podcast marketing includes your content and the actionable steps taken to promote your show. If you are struggling to grow your podcast, here are (4) essential tasks to add to your calendar to organically drive listeners to your show.
These tasks include:
- Conducting keyword research
- Pitching potential collaborators
- Writing newsletters
- Learning new skills
Growth-Focused Tasks: How To Build a Podcast Audience
Podcast growth is more than showing up and being consistent. Outside of getting featured on podcast players like Apple Podcasts, which feels like being at the right place at the right time, getting noticed often takes a multifaceted marketing approach like earned media mentions, posting on social media, listing your show on directories like Podcasts in Color, podcast recommendation newsletter features like Earbuds Podcast Collective and Discover Pods, podcast guest appearances, promo swaps, and more.
Bloggers have been using advanced marketing strategies like SEO (search engine optimization) to drive traffic to their sites for decades. And unlike YouTube, which has a comprehensive built-in search engine, there are dozens of podcast players, each having its own search capabilities. As a result, podcast discovery is fragmented and has a long way to go.
People in the podcasting industry have been discussing the podcast discovery problem for years, but sadly not much has changed over the last five years. Growing a podcast still feels fragmented and, for most of us, requires tremendous effort.
Task 1: Conducting keyword research.
Suggested Frequency: Weekly or biweekly
Studies show that most podcast listeners use their listening app’s search bar to find shows that cover the topics they are interested in.
According to Podcast Host, the top five things listeners look at when considering listening to a new-to-them podcasts include:
- Podcast description
- Podcast episode titles
- Publishing frequency (new episodes)
- Ratings and reviews
Key Takeaways: Podcast SEO is the art of getting search engines within the podcast players to send new listeners to your show when listeners type words or phrases in the search bar. This requires signal boosting by adding keywords in your podcast description and episode titles.
Coupling that with the creation of search engine-optimized show notes or blog posts, your podcast can rank in Google search queries, introducing your brand to an even larger group of people.
In 2023 and beyond, the path to discoverability is all about people finding you when they’re searching for topics you cover both within podcast players and search engines like Google.
Set time aside every week to research what popular keywords people are using and what types of episodes you can create to address those questions or topics.
Some of my favorite keyword research tools include:
- Keysearch for finding relevant keywords.
- Answer Socrates for discovering questions people are asking on Google.
By conducting keyword research and understanding search intent, create helpful content people are searching for.
You’ll want to add these keywords to your episode title and description and sprinkle variations throughout your show notes.
Millions of people use Google every day, imagine if a fraction of those people could connect with your show through Google search.
Task 2: Pitching collaborators
Suggested Frequency: Biweekly or monthly
Another important growth-oriented task to add to your calendar is pitching.
Pitching puts you in front of the people you want to work with. That includes pitching collaborations with other podcasters, pitching brands, and even applying for grants and other opportunities like speaking engagements.
Consider putting a biweekly recurring meeting on your calendar to complete pitching tasks.
Of course, you could wait for collaborators to reach out to you, but they may not know you exist. Would you rather leave it up to chance or be proactive?
Think of pitching as an introduction, a conversation starter, if you will. It’s an important skill for podcasters to master that may lead to new opportunities!
I dedicate half a day per week to pitching new opportunities, and I track all my pitch statuses via the 2023 Podcast Planner.
Grab the 2023 Podcast Planner, a digital planner with sponsorship pitch templates, a media kit checklist and Canva template, and more. Designed to help you make more money this year, these are the exact templates I’ve used to organize, streamline, and secure five figures in brand partnerships.
Task 3: Writing newsletters
Suggested Frequency: Weekly
I recommend putting time on your calendar to work on your newsletter. Newsletters are one of the long-term podcast marketing strategies I share in my audio course, Marketing Strategies For Long-Term Podcast Growth. The others are SEO (search engine optimization) and collaborations.
With a newsletter, you can drive traffic to old and new episodes, connect with listeners outside the podcast players, promote and sell your products and services, or earn a commission from affiliate referrals.
Remember, the people who signed up for your newsletter want to hear from you. Bring your listeners closer into your inner circle and have more control over how you communicate with them, when, and how often.
Task 4: Learning new skills
Suggested Frequency: Monthly
Whether taking a course, reading books, watching informative videos, or working with a podcast coach like myself, add time on your calendar to fill in those knowledge gaps.
We all have things we want to learn this year. What’s an area of focus for you? Leave your thoughts below in the comments.
While it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of podcasting, sometimes taking a step back to learn and implement what you’ve learned can accelerate your growth faster than expected.
What podcast marketing tasks have you added to your calendar that has helped grow your show?