How to grow your podcast listenership in six simple steps


One of the biggest mistakes that brands, businesses and individuals make when they launch a great podcast, is not doing enough to promote it. Without promotion, your podcast, however brilliant, is not going to get heard.


Here, Steve Austins, founder of podcast consultancy Bengo Media, has pulled together six steps to follow to promote your podcast and in turn, grow your listenership.


  1. Launch with more than one episode


Let’s imagine that your dream listener / customer finds the first episode of your podcast, loves it, and immediately wants to listen to more. But you only launched with one – you haven’t even started on episode two!

Podcasts sometimes receive low ratings on the Apple Podcasts app simply because there aren’t enough episodes available for people to listen to.

But it’s not all about reviews. Your very first episode may also be a bit of a warm up; it’s likely that by your second and third, you’ll have found more of a groove. Lots of people ‘binge-listen’ to podcasts, so give them a few to try, and you’ve a better chance of getting them hooked.


  1. Try to get an initial flurry of feedback for each episode


Positive reviews and a flurry of listeners clicking ‘subscribe’ can send you shooting up the rankings in some of the iTunes (Apple) podcast charts.

The ‘new and noteworthy’ spot in the Apple podcasts app is the most coveted, and you have eight weeks from publishing to get there. The first two weeks of these are crucial, so ask explicitly at the end of every episode for listeners to rate, subscribe and share your content with all and sundry.


  1. Get busy on social media


Chances are that your business or brand has a presence on social media. Maybe you have an email newsletter database, too.

Wherever you already have a captive audience, let them know about your podcast. Make sure you share links to make it easy for people to find and start listening. Prioritise the most common apps – Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify – in your links.

Don’t be afraid to keep talking about your podcast on social media – the average lifetime of a tweet is just 24 minutes!


  1. Don’t forget the text


Be sure to create podcast notes to summarise the content of your episode. These would normally sit on your website as a blog post or news article, although they could (if they are pithy enough) be included in your podcast episode description.

Search engines don’t have ears, but they can see – and index – the text which you include in your notes.


  1. Stick to a schedule


It’s important that your audience knows when to expect new episodes; so decide how often you’re going to publish your podcast episodes and stick to it.

Be realistic about how often you can plan, record, edit and publish your episodes to avoid “podfade” – when a podcast begins putting out episodes more and more sporadically and at greater intervals. Podfade often leads to podcast death.


6. Consider PR opportunities


Is your podcast newsworthy? Are you covering a topic that hasn’t been touched on before? Or speaking with people that the media is interested in, e.g. politicians or celebrities?

If so, it may be worth speaking to any media contacts you have, or a PR consultant who can give you some ideas on how to get your podcast mentioned in the press.

It’s also worth searching for related forums where your target audience is gathered. For example, if you run a gaming podcast, find the forums and online communities where gamers talk, and join their conversations. As always, remember to share your knowledge and build trust, rather than simply selling them your wares.


By Steve Austins


Bengo Media make – and show others how to make – powerful, compelling audio content that gives voice to your vision.


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