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Proven Podcast Growth Strategies: Insights from the Brand Podcast Summit

There’s a million and one tips and tricks on how to grow your podcast out there. But what methods actually work?


Proven podcast growth strategies for 2024 from the brand podcast summit

The only way we thought to discover the proven podcast growth strategies of 2024 was to invite some of the best podcast growth masterminds to the April Brand Podcast Summit and ask them.

Hannah Southern, Head of Audience Development at Lower Street, chaired a thoughtful session featuring industry experts who discussed everything from common myths to effective strategies and measurements for podcast growth.

We welcomed Beth Watson who manages content discovery at BBC Sounds, focusing on leveraging audience insights to boost listenership; Jonas Woost, the co-founder of Bumper, a data-driven podcast agency, with a background in podcast strategy; and Fiona Fraser the founder of POW PR, the UK's first PR agency dedicated to podcasts, specializing in growth through media exposure and more.

Here’s what they had to teach us about podcast growth in 2024.

Where to Focus Your Growth Strategy

When it comes to setting priorities for podcast growth, understanding the specific goals, audience, and resources available to your podcast is essential. 

Growth strategies should be tailor-made to align with the podcast’s mission, competitive edge, and the current cultural environment. Don’t just go off what everyone else is doing, but evaluate your show, and understand what will work for you. 

A minor example could be back to social media: If your audience is most definitely not on TikTok, don’t follow growth strategies that push getting every clip on TikTok, you won’t see the results. Knowing your audience’s preferences and behaviors is key to choosing the right growth strategies.

What Works in Podcast Growth?

Don’t make podcasting a one-way street: Creating an interactive environment for listeners can significantly boost engagement and loyalty. Beth Watson shared the tip for using platforms like WhatsApp to engage with listeners directly. This has been particularly successful with younger audiences. You can create an account or number only for your show, and open a direct communication channel.

A tool that is readily available to all podcasters on Spotify is also the Q&A. You can set up a poll or an open-ended question to receive feedback from listeners and get them involved.

If it fits with your content, you can always include listener clips into your podcast, or create listener episodes sharing their stories. Gather clips through a tool like SpeakPipe or directly via email and share them in your future content.

Invest in a Dedicated Website, or Dedicated Page: To fully own your audience it’s important to have a dedicated spot for your show. As Jonas pointed out, if you don’t, you’re essentially promoting Apple and Spotify, rather than your own channels. 

If you are a creator, absolutely invest in a dedicated website to enhance discoverability. But if you are a brand, you can integrate your podcast content into your existing sites to keep audiences within your circles. 

Consider an about page, a blog with posts dedicated to each episode to use the power of SEO, and include contact information. 

Leverage PR for Sustainable Growth:  Effectively taking advantage of PR can transform a podcast from a mere extension of your brand into standalone content that captivates a wider audience. 

Fiona Fraser shared that a successful PR strategy doesn’t just start at the pitch. It involves making the podcast relevant and appealing beyond the established brand identity. Her advice to do this includes focusing on engaging hosts and independent credibility.

When considering PR, don’t only think about larger media channels, you can start by connecting with other podcasts. Joining other shows as a guest can help you reach and get your show in front of new audiences.

Maintain Listener Interest: The only way to succeed in podcasting is to keep your audience engaged. If you’re doing this for a long time, you’ve got to keep churning high-quality content. But more than that, you’ve got to listen to your audience.

Be ready to adapt your content based on listener feedback to retain your audience.

Track your Podcast Growth 

Whether you are a creator or a brand, you’ll want to keep an eye on key metrics to track your success. Here’s what you’ll want to keep an eye on to better understand your growth.

Average listen time: If you want to gauge listener engagement, and how many listeners are actually taking in your content. Take note of the average listen time. This can also give you insight into if you should shorten your episodes, or if you need to adjust the flow of content within episodes. 

Pay attention to retention:  See who keeps coming back for more of your show. Are your listeners sticking around for more episodes, are they following and listeners? How do they interact after discovering you?

Beyond the Podcast, Feedback, and Lift: Downloads can tell you who clicked, but if you want to know how your content is resonating, look for the feedback and listener actions. This may be through email, social messages, shares (practice your social listening), or through following on to your website. See the impact of your show on brand lift.

Podcast Growth Myths 

With all the opinions and strategies out there, there are bound to be some bad ones. Our panelists discussed what are the biggest podcast growth myths.  

The Launch Phase MUST be perfect: This is often pushed as the make-it-or-break-it of your podcast’s success. The truth is that a podcast’s launch phase determines its overall success. Beth Watson shared that even more than a launch, sustained effort is crucial, especially for series with multiple seasons.

However, as Jonas Woost pointed out, the launch can have a great impact, especially on series-based podcasts.

Chart Positions are the goal: As Fiona Fraser pointed out, there’s a huge overemphasis on chart positions. It may feel great to rank high on the Apple or Spotify charts, and it is important, but you shouldn’t make it a top priority.

TikTok & social media are the key to being discovered: Many tend to emphasize that if you don’t put your podcast on Social Media, no one will find your podcast. While social media is excellent for building brand awareness and community, it may not always convert followers into podcast listeners. As Hannah pointed out, clips can land in our feeds and pique our interest, but we are unlikely to close out of TikTok or Instagram and immediately go listen to and follow a podcast.

Beth shared that social media should be used to foster community and connection, rather than expecting any conversion. 

Final Thoughts on Podcast Growth in 2024

The Brand Podcast Summit provided a wealth of wisdom for brands and podcasters looking to grow their audience and show impact. Whether you’re starting your podcasting journey or looking to scale an existing show, the insights from these experts are invaluable for anyone serious about podcasting.

If you’d like to watch the full replays of this and other sessions from the Brand Podcast Summit, they can be purchased here.

We’ll be back next year for even more conversation about brand podcast growth. If you’d like to be the first to know about future events sign up here.

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.