Top 4 Factors for Podcasts to Succeed and Stand Out in an Increasingly Digital World
Welcome to the third installment of the Bliss Blog miniseries: Premium Podcasting Practices. In this post, we offer guidance for new and existing podcasts to find their niche and key considerations on how to succeed in retaining a loyal audience in an increasingly crowded market. Check out our previous posts on “How to be a Rockstar Podcast Guest” and “Want to Start a Podcast? Ask These Questions First” to learn how to seize new opportunities and maximize success in the ever-growing world of podcasting.
As of April 2021, 2 million podcasts have generated over 48 million episodes, and their audience is only growing. According to eMarketer estimates, U.S. podcasts will reach nearly 125 billion listeners by 2022. However, their time spent listening to podcasts daily is on the decline. For both emerging and existing podcast programs, these trends make finding a niche, differentiating content amongst the crowd and retaining a loyal following more critical than ever before.
To succeed and stand out in our increasingly digital world, consider the following factors:
- Audience compatibility — The success of a podcast is often characterized by its number of listeners. But no matter if your show generates 3 million listeners a month or 3,000, you want to be sure your content and structure are compatible with your audience. To do so, first define who you’d like to listen to your show. From there, conduct research to find what other podcasts they listen to and what topics aren’t explored, how knowledgeable your target audience is about your podcast’s topic, how often they listen to podcasts and for how long, and how your audience prefers to be engaged. This information can better position the podcast to compete in the fast-growing market and create stronger connections with an audience.
- Diverse and informative content — Podcast listeners are often looking for an informed perspective that takes a deeper look at a topic. For example, instead of generating content for a vast industry like manufacturing, your podcast could target the automotive sector—specifically, electric vehicles—and more specifically, their impact on our road to a carbon-zero future. In this way, your podcast is able to deliver insights that resonate deeply with your audience. In times of disruption and uncertainty, it’s imperative that you remain agile to the everchanging flow of conversation your audience wants to hear. Being a reliable source of diverse and informative content will support audience loyalty and trust and, in turn, create a more impactful show.
- Frequency of content — Get specific on the topics that your podcast will cover and how often you’ll produce an episode—and stick to it. Not only will this help you promote your publishing cadence and plan ahead for story development, but it will also support more impactful insights delivered to your audience. But be careful. Simply publishing a new and similarly structured episode on a consistent basis can lead to podcast fatigue. But diversifying the content of your show—whether it be inviting industry experts or an audience listener for a Q&A— helps to maintain listener engagement and anticipation for the next episode.
- Podcast marketing — While the recording equipment, editing software and podcast platform are top considerations for podcast quality, it’s also imperative to prioritize your show’s branding and promotion. Having a logo or theme music that comes to your listeners’ minds when they think of your show will help with messaging resonance. Your ads, social media content, website and other collateral should help to reinforce your brand identity and listener recall of your show. Promotion can also help you get in front of your target audience and facilitate brand awareness with potential guests. Conduct research to find where your target listener can be engaged—are they predominately on Facebook or Twitter? Will they engage with email marketing campaigns? How did they find your podcast—through word of mouth or a search engine? Through your podcast promotion, you want to be concise and impactful. Keep it short, but leave viewers with something to remember—and hopefully, something that will bring them back to your show.
In the ever-changing and growing podcast market, it can be easy to get left behind. But maximizing the impact of these success factors can help your program generate an active and engaged podcast audience, while amplifying your voice amongst the crowd.