Podcast Marketing

How to Build a Podcast Audience for Your Brand From Scratch

Last updated on: 
July 27, 2022

Learn the top tips on how to grow your podcast audience from the start

The Top 6 Tips to Grow Your Audience  

1. Know Your Audience

Before you commit to a growth strategy, it’s important to be crystal clear on who your intended audience is. Your podcast cannot be for everyone – so the key to building an audience is finding your niche. 

Figure out what unique value your podcast brings to the table and consider the audience that is most likely to listen to your show. Maybe your unique value is through your format, hosts, guests, or topic-focus. Whatever it is, sit down with your team to create an ideal listener profile for who your target audience is. For example, How I Built This by Guy Raz is going to appeal to entrepreneurs whereas Super Soul Sunday by Oprah Winfrey is for spiritual seekers. 

Research is key when getting to know your audience because it will help you determine where they exist online. Are there media outlets they gravitate to? What social media platforms do they use? Are there specific subreddits or hashtags they follow? Figuring out where your audience already engages will help you learn where and how to reach them.

2. Create a Podcast Trailer

Creating a podcast trailer is important whether you’re already established or launching a brand-new podcast. A trailer allows you to start building an audience before your podcast officially launches its first episode. 

Use the trailer as a promotional tool within your organization and across existing marketing channels such as social media, newsletters, communities, or your website. This way you can build excitement around the launch of the podcast, possibly even running a contest to increase early engagement. 

 

When you publish your trailer on your hosting platform, pin it to the top of your feed and label it as your trailer. Some best practices include: 

  • Introducing yourself and your company
  • Provide a short overview of the topics that’ll be covered in your podcast 
  • Let listeners know what values they’ll be getting from the podcast
  • Include snippets from future episodes if you have them produced
  • End with a call-to-action that encourages users to follow your podcast 
  • Remember to keep it short – a few seconds to a minute is more than sufficient

 

3. Use Calls to Action

A call-to-action (CTA) at the end of every episode is an effective way to encourage your podcast listeners to complete a task that helps to achieve your desired goals. Typically to grow your audience within listening platforms, you need people to do four things:

 

  1. Subscribe/follow your show
  2. Rate your show — ideally with five stars
  3. Review your show
  4. Share your podcast with family and friends 

 

Whenever someone does one of these four things, it helps to boost discoverability and increase your chances of ranking on popular podcast charts. Subscribing means someone will see your podcast in their feed whenever you post a new episode which increases the likelihood of them tuning in. Ratings and reviews give anyone who’s considering your show that extra push to try it. And sharing it with friends and family is paramount because word of mouth referrals are powerful. 

The key, however, is to only use one CTA at the end of each episode to prevent listeners getting confused on what action to take. 

All together, these four actions play a huge role in how popular listening apps such as Apple, ranks podcasts in their New & Noteworthy section. Making an appearance there is a guaranteed way to grab new listeners if you’re just launching.

4. Promote Your Podcast on Social Media

This might seem obvious, but social media is one of the most accessible ways to market your podcast – which is why you need to think about an active social media strategy.

Your brand has two options, either starting dedicated social media accounts just for your podcast or promoting it on your company’s existing accounts. Both options are effective, typically the decision comes down to the resources you have, such as time and budget. Maintaining a presence on social media platforms makes it easy for people to discover your show and provides a consistent outlet to promote your content. 

Make sure to post about every new episode, use relevant (and strategic!) hashtags, tag your guests and remember to reply to comments and posts. Also – get creative! People love to see ‘behind the scenes’ pictures and videos. So, ask someone to film you and a guest in action and share on social. 

A fun tip is to consider creating audiograms. These are social posts that include an image or video, a caption, and a short audio clip from your podcast. 

5. Leverage SEO to Boost Visibility

Google now shows podcast episodes in search results, so good SEO will attract listeners searching for your niche or topics. When it comes to podcast SEO you want to focus on keywords, formatting, and meta tags (for web pages).

Write detailed but concise episode descriptions using your most important keywords at the beginning. Being succinct is key because podcast apps only have around 120 visible characters in search listings. 

Show notes are another avenue for boosting your podcast’s SEO. Create valuable, easily skimmable, and correctly formatted podcast show notes for every episode you release. Your show notes should provide the listener with the resources you mentioned throughout your podcast episode and any links for your CTAs (like we mentioned above). 

If you have any questions about SEO, get in touch with our team

6. Measure your Success 

Without knowing how your podcast is performing, how will you be able to improve and grow? 

 

Take some time to consider and ask yourself: 

  1. What does podcast success look like to you? 
  2. What metrics are important to you? 

 

They could be quantitative, like the number of total episodes played or your subscriber count. Or maybe they’re qualitative, like an engaged listenership or the number of 5-star ratings on podcast platforms. 

Figure out what baseline success looks like for you and grow your audience with that intention in mind and make sure you’re aware of the key podcast metrics brands should focus on. 

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.

Platform
Price
Pro’s
Con's
Anchor

Free

  • Easy to use
  • Automatically distributes your podcast to major platforms.
  • Embed media player.
  • Great if podcasting is a
    side hobby
  • Very basic editing
  • Since it’s a free tool, you don’t have full control over the monetization of your podcast.
  • Not the right platform for people taking podcasting seriously
Buzzsprout

Free for 2 hours of content per month

$12 for 3 hours per month

$18+ for 6 hours and up

  • Very user-friendly
  • Caters to both long term and beginner podcasters
  • Advanced analytics
  • Easy distribution of your episodes
  • They measure their size requirements to hours not megabytes
  • Bonus: get a free $20 Amazon gift card when you sign up for any paid hosting plan!
  • Advanced features like dynamic ad insertion need some work
Libsyn

$5/month for Monthly Storage 50mb

  • Oldest podcast hosting site.
  • Easy distribution to major platforms and great for scaling once your podcast gets bigger.
  • Hosted over 35,000 podcasts.
  • An iTunes Podcast partner.
  • Allows you to publish your podcast to specific directories.
  • Embed media player.
  • Price is based on storage
  • 50mb storage for $5 won’t be enough if you are publishing weekly so you’ll end up with a higher price point
Podbean

Unlimited audio package: $9/month

Storage space:

Unlimited

  • Great support & customer service features
  • Unlimited audio.
  • Pages are easy to customize
  • Can schedule podcast release dates.
  • Easy to use.
  • Uploads and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions are automatic to Spotify.
  • Embed media player.
  • Simple Analytics
  • Analytics aren’t as advanced as other platforms
  • Upload and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions take a day to change on iTunes.
  • Not an iTunes podcast partner.
  • The process to send a podcast to iTunes is more tedious. But, you will still be able to get on the platform.
Blubrry

Classic

$5/month

Monthly Storage

50mb

  • Podcast Wordpress plugin and management.
  • If you want to record a new introduction or conclusion, add in a sponsored ad or upload a new version of a podcast, it doesn't count towards your storage usage per month.
  • Blubrry allows a 25% storage overage each month
  • Prices are based on storage.
  • Usability is okay.
SimpleCast

Starting: $15/month

Recommendation: $35/month

Monthly Storage: Unlimited

  • Hosts your audio files no matter what the size!
  • Dynamic insertion for podcast ads or edits.
  • Incredibly detailed analytics including number of episodes completed and listener location tracking.
  • Embed media player.
  • Easy to use.
  • Great distribution! Easy access to all major podcast platforms.
  • Customizable podcast
    website.
  • Prices are slightly higher than other platforms, but well worth it especially if you have a branded company podcast!