You’re not just a podcaster. You are a content creator. To grow your audience, focus on delivering value and getting your subscribers involved in the podcast.

Based on a study by Clammr, interest in podcasts has increased. Between 2014 and 2015, the volume of Google searches for “podcasts” increased by 32 percent and downloads by 37 percent.

However, Clammr suggests that this “underlying growth will be driven more by increased listening to existing users than by growth in the underlying user base”.

Source: Nieman Lab

Audience growth and monetization are two issues that worry podcasters today. Focus on how to engage your current podcast members to counter stagnant growth. They are the key to getting the word out about your amazing podcast content.

Experiment with new strategies. Here are four ways to increase engagement with your podcast audience:

  1. Invite listeners to broadcast

Encourage your listeners to express their thoughts. Invite your viewers to discuss relevant topics. If your listeners are too shy or short on time, ask them to email their comments so you can read them online.

Harvard University researchers “conducted a series of experiments to determine how much people liked to talk about themselves and why.” The researchers found that “people get biochemical excitement through self-disclosure”. That’s why we love to talk about ourselves and share our experiences with the world.

Make use of human chemistry. The radio industry lives from the call-in concept. Here is an example from the lovely folks at National Public Radio:

Source: NPR

Start with a clear call to action. At the end of each episode, tell listeners exactly what to do next: email comments, leave comments on the show page, or complete a listener poll. Translation: You need to know what to do. Then tell your audience how to do it.

If you want to take on a challenge, put on an entire show dedicated to your listeners. The episode can focus on responding to your audience’s recommendations and criticism. You can also highlight relevant promotional content created by your listeners.

Audience growth starts at home. Give your subscribers the opportunity to be heard. Gather the Troops!

Things to do

  • Create a show segment for your subscribers – a “Listener’s Spotlight”.
  • Provide explicit instructions on how listeners can participate.
  • Diversify the types of callers. Strive for different perspectives.
  1. Interview thought leaders

Listeners are more likely to engage when they can get valuable knowledge from respected people. Booking President Barack Obama, like podcaster Marc Maron, may not be within your reach. Still, set up guest interviews with industry leaders in your network.

Find the right guests for specific show themes. Think like a “Researcher, Detective, and Salesman”. Find out more about the topic, find the experts and convince them to take part in an episode.

Be strategic in finding potential industry leaders. Tyler Basu, host of Chatting with Champions, suggests these seven methods for booking high-profile guests:

  1. Your existing network
  2. Conferences and networking events
  3. Cold emailing
  4. Direct messages on social media
  5. Masterminds & Facebook groups
  6. Other podcasts
  7. Recommendations from guests

After booking your guest, don’t forget to advertise like crazy. It’s always helpful to create a visual announcement for your guest. Take a hint from the 3 questions with Tad the Diet Coach and Jessica Perales Podcast:


Source: @Tadthedietcoach

To get your listeners involved, ask questions using a simple survey form. Subscribers will love having their questions answered by a thought leader. It will also make your job interview a little easier.

Things to do

  1. Create shareable content

Studies by Google found that 90% of people switch between multiple devices – tablets, computers, and smartphones – to do a single task. To successfully engage your audience, you need to grab their attention with easy-to-use and understandable material. So give your audience the tools to help them share your content far and wide.

Provide listeners with well-written show notes or two-minute show clips of the best moments. Encourage your viewers to share by providing pre-made social media messages. Here is an example from Social Pros, a popular marketing podcast:


Source: Social Professionals

Podcast Guru host Nick Palkowski recommends creating single-sheet instructions. Provide clear instructions with links to resources, topic outlines, and checklists of examples. In addition, this content can be linked to a subscription form to improve your email list.

Visual elements are critical to the credibility of your podcast. Remember to include high quality, custom infographics in curated video content to increase engagement. Strive for an experience that will catch your eye.

Things to do

  1. Use professional partnerships

You’re not alone. Work with professionals, companies, and other podcasters to harness the power of partnerships.

Brainstorm with companies to host exciting competitions. Introduce a monthly challenge to get your audience’s daily routines going.

Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC’s newly renamed Note to Self (formerly called New Tech City), launched “Bored and Brilliant” and mobilized more than 20,000 active participants. The project announced “a week of challenges to help listeners break away from their phones and spend more time thinking creatively.”

Podcast listeners enjoy engaging with their favorite shows. “Audiences feel the connection and invest time, energy and maybe even money,” said Zomorodi.

Spreaker recently hosted a competition that gave two lucky winners free tickets to this year’s Podcast Movement conference.


Source: Spreaker

External resources will instill new ways of thinking and engagement in your audience. Plus, you won’t feel exhausted from the fatigue involved in creating content.

Things to do

  • Contact another podcaster for future collaborations.
  • Host a giveaway with the help of a small business.
  • Ask your viewers to come up with ideas.

It’s time to get involved

Building trust is important to increase audience engagement. Listeners want to make it comfortable to share their thoughts in a safe place.

If you want audience growth, you can involve your current listeners with original solutions, engaging conversations, and great giveaways. Build a podcast community that is all about creativity and mutual respect.

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