Branded Podcasts

10 Tips for Building a Podcast Audience

Last updated on: 
June 1, 2023

How to best build a podcast audience for your branded podcast

It’s a no-brainer that the number one question on most podcasters’ minds is: “How do I build my show’s audience?” It takes countless hours to plan, strategize and launch your podcast, and now you want people to press play. Or maybe you’ve been launched for a while and have a sizable audience. Either way, the hope is to always continue to build and scale your listener base. 

Despite its importance, we all know that word of mouth alone will only get you so far. To get your podcast in the ears of more people, you have to take the necessary and intentional steps to reach them. 

That’s why we put together these top 10 tips for building your podcast audience —because whether you’ve had a show for a while or are just starting out, everyone’s podcast deserves a shot at reaching more people.   

1. Create a podcast trailer

Whether you’re already established or launching a new podcast, create a podcast trailer episode and  pin it to the top of your feed. Your trailer should introduce you, your topic and any popular guests. 

Include quotes and snippets from the episode to entice listeners to subscribe. Keep it short – from five seconds to a minute max. Podcast trailers are a great way to capture someone’s attention and get them to listen to a full episode, helping you build a podcast audience in an organic way. 

2. Cross promote with other shows 

There are millions of podcasts, and every creator wants to grow their audience, no matter how many listeners they have. Use your fellow creators as a resource and create a network to support each other. 

Connect with like-minded creators and those with podcasts that complement your own or are in a similar space. Give them a shoutout on your social media platforms and introduce your listeners to them in episodes. There is a high likelihood that they will return the favor.

3. Encourage guests to share 

You can even take it a step further by inviting other podcast creators to be a guest on your show. Look for opportunities to go on other podcasts as a guest yourself to potentially attract a whole new audience of different listeners. 

Engage with other creators online and build a wish list of podcasts you want to land a guest spot with . Then, pitch the idea to the creators of those podcasts, including why you want to be a guest and the value you could provide for them in return.

In addition, work hard to land your dream podcast guests. However, remember that landing a popular guest on your podcast is only half the battle. The other half is getting the guest to promote their episode of your show to their fans and followers.

Make sure to ask your guest for an upfront commitment to share the episode on their social media channels. In most cases you typically will receive a yes and a commitment to sharing in some form.

When the episode goes live on your website, email the guest and or their publicity contacts with a link. By sending a link to the page on your website, they can easily listen to the episode and read the show notes which should include the guest’s social handles and website links to any relevant products they may be promoting. If the show notes showcase the guest and their offering (latest movie, product, merch, etc.), they may be more likely to share and cross promote. 

Remember, the key is to make it as easy as possible for your guests to share with their audiences so send over assets, links and draft verbiage. 

4. Leverage organic promotion

Organic promotion in the form of call(s)-to-action (CTA), social media and newsletters are an incredible way to build a podcast audience. 

A CTA at the end of every show is an effective way to encourage your podcast listeners to do something. You CTA could be to review your podcast, follow you on social media, or share your podcast with their friends and family. And you can change up what your CTAs are to keep it fresh. A quick shout-out at the end of an episode asking for a share. On another episode, ask listeners to leave a rating or review to help others discover you. 

You can also experiment with using CTAs at different points in your episodes to see what drives results

Just as a CTA is an effective strategy, remember social media is your best friend when it comes to scaling and attracting more listeners – on everything from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok to even LinkedIn (depending on the genre of your show and where your audience interacts with you). 

Highlight some powerful quotes from the episode to use as posts alongside the link to your latest episode. People love to see ‘behind the scenes’ pictures and videos – so film you and a guest in action. Then share that short video on social media. Creating audiograms is also a great way to promote your podcast and attract new listeners. 

5. Incentivize employee advocacy

If you work for a large organization, your leaders and high-performing employees are your best champions to promote your podcast. They know their co-workers and what will resonate with them. Draw on their knowledge when you create the podcast, and again when you promote it.

One thing you might want to consider is making podcast episodes available to managers before rolling them out to the entire company. This helps create a sense of exclusivity and when the podcast goes live, ask managers to encourage their teams to listen by explaining the benefits of its content.

You can also invite people from around the company to be guests on your podcast. The closer employees are to those appearing on the show, the more likely they’ll be to listen and relate to the podcast’s messages. Asking well-liked, respected employees to encourage their peers to listen can go a long way.

6. Invest in paid promotion

One of the most effective ways to build your podcast audience is using paid ads. Paid ads provide a fast and effective way to promote podcasts and increase brand awareness.. A wide range of platforms offer paid ads you can use to promote your podcast, such as:

Audio-specific platforms

Social media/search platforms: 

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Instagram
  • TikTok 
  • LinkedIn. 

How to use social media/search platforms for podcasts: 

Google ads appear when users search for your business or use business-related keywords in their Google search. This lets you reach one of the widest audiences of any platform and can be beneficial for your podcast specifically when it comes to boosting awareness. 

Facebook ads on the other hand help you promote your social media page, posts on your social media page, or your podcast website. You can target users based on their demographic, geographic location, or profile information. Facebook ads are also an ideal way to build a community around your podcast, helping it grow.

Instagram ads are ideal for those who want to promote podcasts through high-quality photos and gorgeous visuals. You can also share short clips, highlight behind-the-scenes images, or share links to podcasts. With almost a billion monthly active users, Instagram reaches a massive audience.

Tik Tok ads require users to set up an ad campaign to reach their target audience within 24 hours. The platform is somewhat newer, which means ads can be more affordable than more established platforms like Google and Facebook.

LinkedIn ads are ideal for podcasters who want to target a professional audience, such as business owners, local stores or working professionals. While it might not be the right platform for all podcasts, LinkedIn still boasts millions of members and has high engagement rates.

7. Take advantage of video 

Some people simply prefer video. They won’t listen to an audio-only show, but they still might enjoy your content. You can open yourself to a wider audience by adding video to your podcast. There  three basic ways to do this: 

  • Add a static image to your audio file to convert it into a video file
  • Film yourself recording your podcast with your guests and co-hosts
  • Create custom video content with graphics and other unique footage to compliment your show. 

Whichever you decide, post the results on YouTube or TikTok, depending on what platform you decide will better reach your target audience.

8. Leverage podcast SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is necessary for your podcasts, website and blogs to be organically found. Google now shows podcast episodes in search results, so good SEO will attract listeners searching for your niche or topics.

Include keywords in episode titles, descriptions, and show notes to help with discoverability. Think about what people would need to search to find your podcast, and do your own keyword research. 

Write detailed but concise episode descriptions using the most important words at the beginning. That’s because podcast apps only have around 120 visible characters in search listings.

9. Host a giveaway for reviews 

Giveaways are one of the oldest (and best!) tricks in the book when it comes to generating buzz. People like free stuff and they’re willing to go the distance to get it. That said, you have to be wary. Some people will engage with you only for the chance to get the prize. They won’t necessarily stick around as long-term listeners. So, you have to make sure you get something out of the deal that matters – such as reviews.

Announce a giveaway on your show. Tell your listeners that all they have to do is leave a review on your Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify page. Pick a random winner from all of the reviews. The reviewers may not listen to every episode of your show, but they’ll tune in for the winner reveal and their review will last.

If you use this technique, make sure to post your giveaway on social media. Buy ads to extend the reach of your announcement post. You need lots of non-listeners to enter the giveaway as well because that’s the best way to grow your following.

10. Invest in email marketing 

Once you have a solid website, you’ll be able to use it to collect email addresses. Add sign up boxes to the end of your posts, your social media profiles, or an overlay to your entire site, in order to capture the contact information of your listeners. Once you have this data, you can use the most effective form of communication available to brands: email marketing.

Many podcasters use email to notify their subscribers of new episodes, but you can do so much more with email marketing.

Use email marketing to nurture your audience. Give them more value than you expect to get in return from them. Don’t be afraid to go beyond the scope of your show to offer your subscribers relevant information. For instance, if your show is about health and nutrition, it’s great to introduce your subscriber to a new documentary on Netflix that you think they’ll love, even if you don’t benefit from the promotion at all.

Now, you can’t build an email list through Gmail (not without violating laws and terms of service). If your brand doesn’t already have a software you use, you need an email marketing app, such as Drip, ActiveCampaign or ConvertKit, to name a few. The good news is these are easy to use.

10 Tips for Building a Podcast Audience 

There are many ways a brand can go about growing their podcast audience, and at the end of the day, it comes down to who your audience is and where they live. But implementing even just a handful of the above tactics will be sure to set your podcast on the right path to successfully building a strong audience. 

Want to learn more or implement creative ways to scale your audience? Feel free to reach out to our team and we’d be happy to collaborate.

Quill Marketing Team

Driven storytellers

A team of experienced podcasters that are looking to equip brands with the necessary resources, knowledge, and insights to create a successful branded podcast.



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