Podcast Blog

Want to Grow Your Audience? We’ve Got a Powerful Podcast Marketing Strategy

If you want to grow your podcast audience, we've got a list of proven strategies to increase your listener base fast.


In an era where more and more people are starting a podcast, standing out from the crowd can be tricky. Ask any podcaster, and they'll agree that rising above the noise is one of their biggest challenges.

You might think that means doubling down on your content creation efforts, but it actually goes beyond that. To grow your audience, you need to focus on connection.

Understanding and reaching your listeners, segmenting your audience, and creating content that resonates with them are all vital parts of a winning podcast marketing strategy. But how do you achieve this?

Our post dives into the strategies and tools you need to expand your listenership effectively. From the often-underestimated power of listener surveys to the untapped potential of offline promotion, PR and media outreach, and more. Let's explore how to turn your podcast into a crowd magnet.

Does Your Podcast Connect With Your Listeners?

Podcast audience growth goes beyond numbers; it's about fostering meaningful connections and engagement with listeners in the hopes that they’ll become loyal fans and advocates. 

This involves understanding who they are, their wants and needs, and how your podcast can serve them better. A properly segmented audience can help tailor your content to feel personal and relevant.

Key to this is encouraging listener participation through calls-to-action, Q&As, subscribing to a newsletter, or social media engagement. These not only increase audience retention but also provide valuable feedback for your podcast.

But understanding your audience goes a step further than just connection; it's about predicting their behaviors and meeting their expectations so that they look forward to every episode.

We’ll get into more detail on that further down. However, if you only have a few minutes to spare, take a look at these tips from our in-house specialists. They’re the exact strategies with our clients, so we know they work. 

5 Expert Tips to Grow Your Audience (From Our Podcast Marketing Specialists)

Venturing beyond traditional promotional channels (e.g. making it easy to share your podcast on social media) can open up new avenues for growing your podcast audience. Although a little less conventional, these tips have proven to be remarkably effective. 

1. Podcast Networks

Joining a podcast network can help you effectively reach a wider audience, as it groups together similar podcasts under one banner, leading to potential cross-promotion and shared listenership. Here's how you can approach this:

  • Research Relevant Networks: Focus on networks that align with your podcast's genre or niche. Check the type of shows they house and see if your podcast would be a good fit.

  • Understand the Terms: Different networks offer different terms. Some may require exclusivity, while others might take a share of your sponsorship earnings. Make sure you understand and are comfortable with the terms before joining.

  • Prepare a Pitch: Most networks will want to know why they should include you. It could be your unique perspective, the quality of your content, or your existing audience base. Having a persuasive pitch can increase your chances of acceptance. 

  • Leverage the Network: Once you're part of a network, make sure you go all in and utilize it fully. Cross-promote with other shows, engage with their audience and make the most of any shared resources or opportunities.

Remember, while being in a network can amplify your reach, it's essential to ensure that the network's ethos and audience align with your podcast's goals and content.

2. Offline Promotion

Promoting your podcast at relevant events, conferences, or meetups can help you reach a broader audience, generate buzz, and establish personal connections with listeners who are passionate about your podcast's topic. Here are some tips to make that happen:

  • Design Eye-Catching Collateral: Create physical flyers or business cards that feature your podcast details and branding. Make sure to include a QR code for direct access to make it easy for people to find and listen to your show.

  • Choose Relevant Events: Attend events, conferences, or meetups that align with your podcast's niche or target audience. Look for opportunities where you can engage with potential listeners who might be interested in your content.

  • Engage in Conversations: Be proactive in striking up conversations with attendees. Share your podcast's unique value proposition (USP) and why it would resonate with them. Exchange business cards or direct them to your QR code for immediate access.

  • Collaborate with Other Attendees: Explore collaboration opportunities with other podcasters or industry professionals at these events. Suggest guest appearances, joint promotions, or cross-promotion to tap into each other's existing audiences.

  • Capture Contact Information: Offer incentives like exclusive content or giveaways to encourage attendees to provide their contact information. This allows you to follow up with them later and nurture potential listeners into loyal subscribers.

3. PR and Media Coverage

Pitching stories about your podcast to newspapers, online media outlets, influencers, and even other podcasts, can be a game changer if you’re looking to grow your audience. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Identify Target Outlets: Research is key. Whoever you’re pitching must align with your podcast's target audience. Look for outlets that cover topics similar to your podcast's theme or have some other synergy with your content.

  • Craft a Compelling Pitch: Develop a compelling story angle for your podcast that would resonate with the outlet's readers, viewers, or listeners. Highlight what makes your show unique, and why it's relevant to their audience.

  • Reach Out to the Right Person: Make direct contact with the journalist or producer responsible for covering the type of content your podcast offers. Personalize your pitch to explain why your show would be of interest to their audience.

  • Provide Supporting Materials: Include links to episodes, your podcast website, and any relevant statistics or interesting facts about your show. Make it easy for journalists to gather information and learn more about your podcast.

  • Follow Up Professionally: If you haven’t heard back after a day or two, follow up politely to see if they are interested in covering your podcast. Be persistent but respectful. Remember, yours isn’t the only email in their inbox!

Securing PR and media coverage can bring attention to your podcast from various corners, reaching new audiences and adding diversity to your promotional strategy. It's an effective way to boost your listener base and establish yourself as an authority in your podcast's niche.

4. Harness the Prestige of Podcast Awards

Submitting your show for a podcast award offers numerous benefits. Winning an award can garner recognition in the industry, making it easier to get prominent guests on the show. Even being nominated can have a direct impact on your podcast audience growth.

  • Research Appropriate Awards: Identify prominent podcast awards that align with your podcast's theme and audience. Some of the more well-known ones include The People’s Choice Podcast Awards, The Ambies, and The Audio Production Awards.

  • Read the Guidelines: Each award has its own criteria and submission guidelines. Make you understand these before entering your show.

  • Highlight Unique Aspects: Emphasize what sets your show apart from others, such as unique content, innovative format, or first-class production quality. Give them a reason to choose you!

  • Leverage the Win: If you win or get nominated, promote the achievement far and wide. It can act as a stamp of approval for potential listeners (provided you do it in a non-braggy way).

5. Guest Appearances

Appearing as a guest on other podcasts similar to yours can expose your podcast to a relevant audience that’s likely to be interested in your content. By providing value and insight during your guest spot, you can attract new listeners back to your own podcast.

Of course, this should always be approached from a “What can I offer?” perspective. In other words, keep in mind that it’s not just about you. 

Why Understanding Your Audience is Key to Podcast Growth

Understanding your audience is more than just data collection; it's the foundation of your podcast's growth strategy. Here's why:

  • Personalization: The more you know about your audience, the more you can tailor your content to their interests, making your podcast a must-listen for them.

  • Retention: If your podcast consistently meets your listeners' needs, they will likely stick around. Higher retention rates can make your podcast more appealing to advertisers.

  • Recommendation: When you deliver content that truly resonates, people become more likely to recommend your podcast to others, organically growing your audience.

In essence, understanding your audience influences every aspect of your podcast, from content creation to marketing strategies, leading to consistent and sustainable growth.

The Power of Audience Segmentation in Podcasting

Audience segmentation is a powerful tool in podcasting. By dividing your listeners into distinct groups based on shared characteristics, you can create more targeted and engaging content. Here's how:

  • Identifying Listener Groups: Determine commonalities among your listeners. This could be demographics, podcast consumption habits, or shared interests. For example, our client Trane Technologies has a huge following among engineers in the clean air space.

  • Tailored Content: Once you've identified different groups, create content that acknowledges and caters to their distinct needs and interests. In our example, this might mean episodes that delve into chemical analysis, pollution-control equipment, and environmental consulting.

  • Improved Engagement: Segmentation allows for more personalized interaction, making listeners feel valued and understood. This can lead to increased engagement and loyalty, especially if they feel your content speaks directly to their interests.

Utilizing audience segmentation allows you to better understand, engage with, and ultimately grow, your listener base.

Podcast Listener Personas: A Tool for Growth

Creating listener personas is a key strategy to grow your. A listener persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal listener based on real data you've gathered.

Understanding your audience through these personalized profiles allows you to:

  • Create Tailored Content: By knowing your personas’ interests, habits, and preferences, you can create episodes that are directly relevant and appealing to them.

  • Improve Marketing: Knowing your listener persona can help you determine where to promote your podcast most effectively, as you'll have a good sense of where they are likely to get their information.

  • Attract Sponsors: Sponsors want to know who they're reaching. Having a well-defined listener persona can make your podcast more attractive to them.

People often shy away from creating listener personas, mainly because it’s a time-consuming process. But the effort is worth it. By mapping out your listeners' traits, you can provide a more personalized experience that resonates with them.

Crafting Podcast Content That Resonates: A Strategic Approach

Crafting podcast content that resonates with your audience involves understanding their needs, preferences, and interests. This can be accomplished by using tools like listener surveys to gain insights into who your listeners are and what they enjoy most. 

Once you have a clear profile of your listener, plan topics and themes that align with their interests. Be open to listener feedback and use it to shape your content and experiment with different podcast formats to keep your content interesting. 

Lastly, monitor the resonance of your podcast with your listeners using analytics tools to track performance and engagement. Remember, this is an ongoing process. Continuously evaluate your audience's needs and wants, adapt your strategy accordingly, and always strive to provide value and relevance to your listeners.

Read more: How to Easily Repurpose Podcast Content and Why

Listener Feedback: Why You Need It and Where to Get It

Listener feedback plays a crucial role in expanding your podcast audience. It offers a direct line to what your listeners think, providing invaluable insights that can help refine your show.

Feedback takes multiple forms, from reviews and ratings to direct messages or comments on social media. This feedback can help you understand what your listeners love about your podcast, what they think could improve, and what they'd like to hear more of in future episodes.

By actively seeking and incorporating audience feedback, you can not only create content that deeply resonates with your listeners but also turn them into loyal, engaged members of your podcast community.

This listener loyalty often translates into growth, as satisfied listeners are more likely to recommend your podcast to others.

The Underutilized Art of Listener Surveys

Listener surveys are an underutilized but powerful tool for gauging what your audience truly wants from your podcast. Conducting these surveys gives you the opportunity to directly ask listeners about their content preferences, as well as for feedback and suggestions.

Here's how to use them effectively:

  • Choose a Platform: Opt for a reliable survey platform like Google Forms, SurveyMonkey, or TypeForm. These platforms offer a variety of question types and user-friendly interfaces.

  • Craft Meaningful Questions: Tailor your questions to gain specific insights into listener preferences, such as their favorite episode topics or features they'd like to see in the future.

  • Keep it Brief: Respect your listener's time by keeping surveys short and sweet. Long surveys can put people off.

  • Incentivize Participation: Consider offering a reward, such as a shoutout on the podcast or entry into a giveaway, to encourage responses.

  • Promote the Survey: Share the survey across your podcast, website, email newsletter, and social media platforms to reach your entire listener base.

By using listener surveys, you can develop a deeper understanding of your audience and tailor your podcast to meet their needs better.

Engage the Power of SEO With a Podcast Website

Harnessing the power of SEO is fundamental to your podcast's web visibility. A well-optimized podcast website (or even featuring your podcast on your brand's existing website) can attract more organic traffic, inviting potential listeners to your show. Here are some actionable steps:

  • Keyword Optimization: Identify relevant keywords that your target listeners might use to find a podcast like yours. Incorporate them naturally into your page titles, descriptions, and podcast content.

  • Content is King: Regularly publish high-quality, unique content related to your show’s theme. This can be episode transcripts, show notes, or blog posts. Search engines reward fresh and valuable content.

  • Mobile Friendliness: Ensure your website is responsive for all devices, especially mobile, as Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites in search results.

  • Page Speed: Fast-loading websites contribute to a better user experience, which search engines favor. Optimize images, use a good hosting provider, and consider utilizing a content delivery network (CDN).

Create a Newsletter for Your Show

Sending out a regular newsletter for your podcast can significantly drive listener engagement, retention, and critical revenue potential. Having a list of dedicated subscribers is invaluable in maintaining a direct line of communication with your audience. 

Remember, a strong subscriber list directly translates into an engaged, loyal audience base, which can often lead to potential sponsorships and monetization opportunities. (There’s a reason why they say the money's in the list!)

Here's how to go about it:

  • Use a Reliable Email Marketing Service: Tools like Mailchimp or ConvertKit are excellent for crafting engaging newsletters and managing your email list effectively.

  • Provide Valuable Content: Make your newsletter more than a podcast summary. Offer exclusive content, behind-the-scenes information, and new insights. This additional value turns casual listeners into dedicated subscribers.

  • Include Call-to-Actions (CTAs): CTAs prompt readers to listen to recent episodes, leave a review, or share the newsletter, all of which help spread the word about your show.

  • Stay Consistent: Maintain a regular newsletter schedule. Choose a frequency—weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly—that caters to your time availability and your audience's needs.

Podcast Contests: An Untapped Opportunity

Expanding your promotional strategies to include podcast contests could potentially reap greater benefits than other options. While giveaways are a common tactic, contests can achieve deeper audience engagement.

Rather than simply rewarding passive listeners, contests invite active audience participation. If you’re feeling daunted, don’t be. Hosting a podcast contest isn't as difficult as it sounds. 

Here's a simple approach:

  • Decide on the Contest Type: Choose a contest idea that aligns with your podcast theme and encourages listener participation. For example, a 'Best Listener Story' submission or a 'Podcast Theme Song' creation contest.

  • Set Clear Guidelines: Ensure participants understand how to enter, what the criteria for winning are, and when winners will be announced.

  • Promote Your Contest: Announce your contest in your podcast episodes and across all your marketing channels—your podcast website, newsletter, and social media.

  • Manage Submissions: Decide on a process for collecting and reviewing entries. You could use a dedicated email address or a form on your website for submissions.

  • Select Winners: Consider involving your audience in voting for winners to further increase engagement. Alternatively, you could form a judging panel or make the decision yourself based on the criteria set out at the start.

  • Announce Winners and Prizes: Make the winner announcement an event. This could be a special episode of your podcast where you share winning entries and discuss them.

  • Follow Up: Don't forget to thank the winners. If possible, ask them to share their prizes on social media and tag your podcast.

Exploiting the Potential of Podcast Merchandising

Podcast merchandising is an effective strategy to deepen the connection with your listeners while also serving as a promotional tool. Branded merchandise like t-shirts, mugs, or stickers gives your listeners a way to show their loyalty and share their love for your podcast.

Merchandising not only provides an additional revenue stream but also turns your listeners into walking advertisements for your show, helping to attract new audience members.

Here are some tips to do it successfully:

  • Choose Relevant Merchandise: Think about what products your listeners might genuinely find useful or enjoyable.

  • Incorporate Unique Designs: Use creative designs that reflect the essence of your podcast. The more unique and attractive, the better.

  • Promote Your Merchandise: Mention your merchandise during episodes, and consider offering promotional discount codes to your listeners.

Podcast Ambassadors: Leverage Your Fans

Your most devoted listeners are a precious resource. They're engaged and passionate about your content, and most importantly, they’re likely to recommend your podcast to others.

Identifying these superfans isn't always straightforward, but it's worth the effort. They might be the ones regularly engaging with you on social media, emailing you with feedback, or consistently marketing your podcast in their circles.

Once identified, you can leverage these ambassadors to help grow your audience in a few ways:

  • Encourage Recommendations: Motivate them to spread the word in their networks.

  • Ask for Reviews: Ask them to leave positive reviews and ratings on platforms like Apple Podcasts and Spotify to help improve your podcast's ranking and visibility.

  • Involve Them: Consider featuring them on your show or let them co-host. They'll most likely share this with their network, drawing in new listeners.

  • Reward Loyalty: Offering your ambassadors exclusive content, merchandise, or other perks can encourage them to continue promoting your show.

Podcast ambassadors can be a potent tool for organic growth, forging stronger connections with your listener community, and expanding your reach. (In other words, it’s worth wooing them.)

Charting the Future of Your Podcast Audience Growth

Growing your audience isn't just about creating amazing content. You’ve got to do a bit of everything, from running fun contests to creating must-have merchandise and even giving your most devoted fans the VIP treatment. 

Remember, this is an ongoing effort, but don't get too hung up on the numbers. Focus on making real connections, delivering great content, and offering value to your listeners. As you roll out new episodes, stay in sync with their needs and make this podcast journey a shared adventure.

Every listener, every comment, and every review brings you closer to a bigger, and more interactive audience. You've got the strategy down. Now, let's turn up the volume and get this show on the road!

Oh, and if you’re too busy to focus on getting the word out, remember that help is just a click away. We offer everything from PR outreach and arranging feed swaps to liaising with platforms like Amazon Music, Spotify, and Podbean to get your podcasts featured.

At Lower Street, we understand the unique elements of podcast marketing and do all this stuff and more to grow our clients' podcast audience effectively. Take a look at our promotional services page to find out what we can do for you. If you like what you see, let’s chat!

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    Steven Bonnard


    Steven Bonnard

    Hi, I'm Steven. I'm a globe-trotter who loves running long distances and listening to podcasts, especially from the politics and fantasy categories.