Podcasting isn’t a quick win for companies wanting to connect with customers and prospects. In many ways blogging is a lot easier. Words can be ready anywhere, so a social share can create an instant response from your audience.
Audio is less easy to share through social media. Your targets need their headphones on and a bit of spare time. A quick tweet is unlikely to be rewarded with a sudden influx of listeners.
Yet, a written blog is a continual fight for mindshare. You’ll need to repeatedly promote every blog post. Whereas audio builds loyalty. Once you’ve won-over a listener, they’ll subscribe and take as much content as you can send their way. Word of mouth can kick-in too, and podcast apps algorithms will start to promote podcasts that are building their own audience.
That’s certainly the case with the daily finance podcast I produce for an Australian bank. Early on we fought to win listeners through emails, advertising and social shares.
In the first couple of weeks we had just 3,500 listens, and only 450 of those were from an RSS feed. In other words, they weren’t listening on podcast apps, most were listening to the content on the bank’s webpage.
Now, three years on, we get 10,000 listens a week and over 80 percent of those are from RSS feeds. In other words, the vast majority of the audience subscribe through their favourite podcasting app and listen at a time that suits them, many during their morning commute. They are bolted on listeners.
Any extra promotion we do helps build on this number, whereas companies often spend money just to maintain the readership for their blogs, simply because they don’t attract the same degree of loyalty.
The secret with podcasting is not to be too disheartened if you haven’t set the world alight in your first month or so. If the content is strong, and relevant, the audience will follow. It just takes time. But you’ll be rewarded with a bond can be so strong it’ll be tough for competitors to prise the audience away from you. So long as your listening figures are growing, the plan is working. It can just seem like a hard slog in the first few months.
Here are a few tips to ensuring your audience does build:
- Whether its once a day or once a week, keep at it. Once a month is too infrequent for people to make an appointment to listen.
- Make sure you are on every podcast platform going.
- It’s gotta be good. People won’t keep coming back to something which isn’t broadcast standard.
- Develop a regular format, so people know what to expect. Experiment with different styles before you publish your first episode then try and keep with it. Experimentation can lose listeners.
- With a couple of episodes under your belt, spend a bit of advertising seed money to build the audience.
Stick with it and you could become the voice for your industry sector. Given the rapid growth in podcast audiences that’s an important place to be. Grab it before your competitors do. Even if your competitors are already podcasting, are they doing it well?
But keeping at it, developing fresh ideas, committing to schedules and ensuring a consistent standard, can all be hard to achieve. That’s why it’s always worth seeking the help of a podcast professional, who can ensure your podcast series never falters.
I’m always happy to offer advice or ideas, even if we don’t end up working together on a project. Email me and let me know what your planning, and I’ll add what I can to your thinking.