If you're anything like us, right after you put your first episode live you'll go to the dashboard of your podcast host to see how many times your episode has been listened to. And you might even come back every hour to refresh the stats in the hope that your episode has gone totally viral. We've been there 😉
And that's often when you decide to look into how to get more followers and listeners for your podcast.
And that's exactly what we're going to talk about in this article. How do you get more followers, subscribers and listeners for your podcast?
The most important rule of all...
There are few podcasts that are an overnight success. The most successful podcasts have spent years building their brand and marketing. So the first and most important rule is that with 'podcast marketing' you are betting on the long term.
Because you know what they say... easy come, easy go.
Because what really matters is not the number of listeners, subscribers or followers, but the number of fans. And of course, you can steal the hearts of thousands with one episode, but if the second episode is mediocre, you'll lose them again by the third.
You need to start building your reputation as a quality content creator, and that takes time unless...
First of all...
Your podcast does not stand alone! Many people still see podcasting as a standalone medium, but that is one of the biggest misconceptions. A podcast is part of your brand. It can be a personal brand, a business brand or a product brand, but either way... a podcast is an extension of a brand.
This means that making a podcast successful by podcasting alone is usually a recipe for failure. Because without marketing, at best you will catch a casual passer-by as a listener.
So keep that in mind. A podcast is part of something bigger.
1. If you already have followers
If you already have followers, you are one of the lucky few. You will have a much better chance of gaining an initial group of loyal listeners, who you can then use the following tips to build up new followers, subscribers and listeners.
Launch your podcast on the different social media channels and launch your podcast via your newsletter. Let your followers know what your podcast is about, what they can expect and where they can find your podcast.
Then share each episode through the same channels. Eventually, your podcast may have so much of its own reach that you can create reach through your own socials and newsletters, but especially in the beginning, cross-pollination is recommended.
2. Smart strategies for more followers
Don't have any followers yet? No worries. There are a few clever strategies you can use to quickly generate followers for your podcast. I'll list them for you below.
a. Interview people with reach
When you interview someone in your podcast who has reach, you benefit in several ways. Firstly, you benefit from his/her authority, which increases your credibility. Secondly, your guest will also share his/her interview, so you benefit from his/her network.
b. Promote your podcast with ads
If you podcast for your hobby, then this is not an option. But if you podcast for business, then promoting your podcast can quickly bring in new listeners, subscribers and followers. Once you have a base, you may be able to continue to grow organically (unpaid marketing).
c. Try to get free publicity
If you are covering a special topic, interviewing a special guest or are active in a specific industry, you may be able to get free publicity for your podcast by sending out press releases to blogs, trade journals, interest groups, etc. This allows you to quickly build up awareness of a specific target group.
d. Expand strategic network
Another way to create awareness for your podcast is to strategically network on LinkedIn, Instagram and/or Facebook. Connect with people who belong to your target group. They will then see your social posts pass by if you share them on one of those social media channels. This will increase the chance that they will listen.
e. Shout it from the rooftops
Figuratively speaking 😉 Tell everyone you know and meet about your podcast. Tell them what the podcast is about, how they can find your podcast and what guests you might have on the podcast. It may not be the most scalable way, but if every person you tell tells two others... it can go pretty fast.
Many people will advise you to publish podcasts in a fixed pattern, such as once a week. And while that can certainly have a positive impact on the speed at which you build up new listeners, followers and subscribers, it can also lead to a kind of content rat race.
The pressure to find new guests or subjects becomes greater and greater, and at a certain point you lower the limit of the quality you want to deliver just to put a new episode live on time.
You can generate as many new followers as you like, but if they all drop out after three episodes because the quality is too low, you will never achieve that rapid growth.
Therefore, put quality first and only commit to a periodic interval if you can secure it without deadline stress.
Become the owner of your followers!
If you have been in the world of online marketing for any length of time, then you undoubtedly already know the difference between Paid, earned and owned marketing channels. But if you don't know that principle yet, don't worry. I will explain it again.
It is clear that as a marketer, entrepreneur or brand you should always strive for as much owned reach as possible, so that you have control over who you reach and when, and with what message.
It is not for nothing that email marketing has been the most profitable marketing channel for years. And recently podcasting has joined in. Not that podcasting is new, but because podcasts have become more mainstream.
But there is a "but" with podcasts...
And it does... but only when it comes to your followers and subscribers. Because when it comes to finding and discovering your podcast, directories and players like Google, Apple and Spotify have control over who comes across your podcast.
What's more, there's a good chance that they will eventually have more influence on which followers get to see your new episode. That's how it was with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in the beginning. At first, every follower gets to see your content and later you have to pay for it.
That is why it is important to start building owned reach right now. One way to do that is to build an e-mail list.
At Springcast, we have optimised our podcast website for this very reason. That's why you can equip your Springcast podcast website with an opt-in form. Also for Enterprise podcast hosting Springcast is the right place for you.
To sum up...
Getting people to listen to your podcast is one thing, but keeping them on board by creating good, quality content is just as important if you want more followers for your podcast.
It is also important that you let your current network and followers know where they can listen to your podcast and what they can expect. Also, don't be afraid to invest in advertising in the beginning to build your first followers. Especially if you have the resources to do so.
And finally... and most important of all... take ownership of your reach by converting listeners and subscribers to newsletter subscribers.