Reaching Your Ideal Podcast Listener

How to figure out who is your ideal podcast listener and how to reach them.

If you are a business owner, then you will be quite versed in the concept of finding your “ideal client”. For podcasters, you must consider “Who is your ideal podcast listener?” 

Marketing 101 usually begins with the question “who is your ideal client?” or “who is your ideal audience?” Before selling a product or service, a business must consider who they are selling to and why the customer needs their product. 

The same goes for podcasts.

I launched my podcast Uncomfortable, without figuring out who my ideal listener was. This isn’t the best method, as I could have saved a lot of time in the beginning if I’d done some research. Instead, I launched and published on as many podcast players and sites as possible. 1.5 years into my podcast journey and I’m starting to figure out who my listeners are and how they tune in by keeping an eye on my statistics. However, had I done some research in the beginning, I would have been able to focus promoting my episodes on the places that they listen and topics that they like the most. Only now am I starting to figure all this out. 

So here is my advice on how to find and reach your ideal podcast listener.

Tell people about your podcast idea and listen to what they say

Often when you come up with an idea for a podcast, you think it’s the best idea ever! It totally could be the best idea ever but it’s a good idea to chat to friends and family and ask what they think. 

The amazing thing about podcasts is that they can be incredibly niche! Generally there will be an audience for your podcast – but getting some input before you make the jump is advised. You might realize that the solo podcast you had planned, would be better if you had a co-host. Or that the 3 hour conversational podcast that you were thinking of, might be better received if it was just 1 hour long.

Talk to people about your idea and listen to what they say.

Send out a survey 

Use a simple tool such as Google Forms to create a quick 2-3 minute survey that you can send out to your friends, family and peers. If you have a business and you are using your podcast as a marketing tool, then send the survey out to your customers. Ask questions such as:

  • Would you listen to a podcast on this subject?
  • What podcasts do you already listen to and why?
  • What length are the podcasts that you tend to listen to?
  • Where and when do you listen to podcasts?
  • What app do you use to listen to podcasts?
Reaching Your Ideal Podcast Listener

Get feedback on your teaser or first episode

Once you have uploaded your teaser or your first episode then share it with your friends, family, peers, clients, etc. and ask for their feedback. Everyone will have an option, but pay attention to the recurring feedback that you get. If one person says that they didn’t enjoy the topic, don’t worry too much, it’s likely that they are not your ideal podcast listener. However if 10 people tell you that it wasn’t interesting, then you might want to reconsider your topic or the format that you present it. 

Check out your statistics

This might be a bit tough to do if you have just launched but it’s still worth reviewing any statistics that your teaser/first episode generates. Most podcast hosts will offer statistics on your podcast. Podbean, for example, shows how many downloads you received, what countries your listeners are from, what platform they use to listen and how many listens your podcast gets in one day. Depending on the plan that you pay for, Spreaker will show you downloads, likes, geolocation, sources and devices.

You can also sign up Chartable which is a podcast analytics and attribution website for publishers & advertisers. Chartable aggregates charts from Apple, Spotify, and Stitcher, across every genre and every country around the world. 

If you use social media to promote your podcast, check out your stats/insights on each platform. Look to see how your posts are engaging with your followers. Are those posts driving traffic to your podcast? Which hashtags generate the most likes?

If you have a website for your podcast, then you should sign up for Google Analytics so that you can collect data on how many website visitors you get. You can even see what pages got the most views and what channels those viewers came from. 

All of the data that you collect will help to see how your listeners engage with your podcast. You can use the statistics to connect and engage with your listeners. If you have listeners from a country different from your own, then give them a shout out! If you are getting a lot of traffic from Instagram, then focus on promoting on that platform.

Reaching Your Ideal Podcast Listener

Put together an “Ideal Podcast Listener” profile

Putting together an “Ideal Podcast Listener” profile can help paint a picture of your listener. It is something that you should refer to when you are creating an episode as it will help keep you on track. 

Your listener profile should outline both the demographics and psychographics of your listener. Here are some examples of what you should think about:

Demographics:

  • Age Range
  • Gender
  • Income Range
  • Education
  • Occupation
  • Location
  • Do they have kids?

Psychographics:

  • What do they like?
  • What do they dislike?
  • When would they listen to a podcast?
  • Where do they hang out online?
  • What social media channels do they use?
  • Where do they look for information?
  • What are their values?
  • What are their goals?
  • How do they make decisions?
Reaching Your Ideal Podcast Listener

You can even get as specific as giving them a name and describing an average day in their life. Once you have put all of the data together, start thinking about how your podcast can help them and answer these questions:

  • What problem does your podcast solve? 
  • Why would they listen to your podcast?
  • When would they listen to your podcast?
  • Where would they listen to your podcast?
  • How much time do they have to listen to a podcast? 

If you have an existing business and are looking to start your podcast as a marketing tool, then it’s likely that your current customer/client would be your ideal podcast listener. You can use your current ideal client profile to start with and apply it to your podcast. 

How to reach your ideal podcast listener

Once you have done your research, received some feedback and created your ideal podcast listener, the question is: how do you reach them? 

Because podcasting is an internet based medium, one of the most important questions on your ideal listener profile are: 

  • Where do they hang out online?
  • What social media channels do they use?
  • Where do they look for information?

If your ideal podcast listeners are new parents, then you might want to consider becoming active on forums for new parents. Or perhaps you could interview or do a cross-promotion episode with a midwife or doula. If your ideal podcast listeners are gamers, then consider creating a Discord channel where you interact with gamers. Share your podcast with them and ask them for episode/topic ideas. If your ideal podcast listeners are eco-friendly fashion brands, then hang out on Instagram and pay attention to what hashtags they use. Reach out to them and ask for interviews. 

The key is to use all of the feedback that you get to create episodes that will speak to your ideal listener.

How to engage and retain your ideal podcast listener

As I mentioned above, use all of the feedback that you get to create content that your ideal listener wants. Then go back onto the places they hang out and share the content. Once you get them to listen to one or a few of your episodes you can keep them hooked by doing the following:

  • Start an email newsletter so that you can continue to engage with them via their inboxes. You can set up a free account using MailChimp. Send them a newsletter each time you release an episode (though make sure not to send too many emails as no one likes to get constantly bombarded!). When looking for topics to cover or guests to interview, send out a questionnaire or a call out for guests. 
  • Consider doing live episodes so that they can engage with you and the guests that you interview. Some podcast hosts allow “live podcasting” but you can always just do this on Instagram or Facebook Live. 
  • Give your listeners a shout out on your next episode. Especially if they gave you a review on Apple Podcasts.
  • Connect with them on social media by doing fun Instagram Stories, videos or even starting a Facebook group specifically for your listeners. 
  • Make sure to keep your podcast consistent. Read more about how to do this here.
  • Most importantly! Keep creating great content that they’ll love!! As long as you do this – they won’t be able to stop listening!

Do as much research and outreach you can in the beginning so that you can start creating content for your ideal listener. As time goes on, you will be in a better position to engage with them so that you can continue to creating episode that they want. 

Feel free to sign up for my free 30-minute consultation to see how I can help you engage and retain your ideal podcast listener.

If you are thinking about launching a podcast then check out my first blog post “How to Launch a Podcast” and sign up to my mailing list to receive a free launch checklist!