You want your podcast to grow. And it can feel frustrating and overwhelming when no matter how great the content you make is, it still doesn’t draw in the listeners you hoped for.
And with an ever-growing pool of podcasts out there, it’s easy to feel unsure about the next steps to take to increase your listenership. Should you post more on social? Does your audio quality need improving? Do you need to be acquiring more reviews and feedback?
All of these can be useful, but there’s one part of your podcast marketing strategy that should come before all else: defining your ideal listener.
Step One of Your Podcast Marketing Strategy
So, what is an ideal listener?
Picture your ideal listener as a single member of the target audience who resonates most with your content. The person who not only listens to your podcast, but listens to every episode without fail. They take your call to actions and they recommend your podcast to their friends.
By creating a clear image of this individual, you can fine-tune your podcast to meet their needs and preferences, and attract more like them. If you can get a clear vision of who your ideal listener is, you’ll find that it benefits you as a podcaster in more ways than one –
Knowing who your ideal listener is allows you to tailor your episodes to address their specific problems. This dramatically increases the chances of building a loyal and engaged listenership that takes the next step.
Identifying your ideal listener makes your marketing efforts more efficient and effective. You can concentrate on platforms and strategies that align with your ideal listener’s preferences, reaching the right audience with precision. There’s no point in marketing in places where your ideal listener doesn’t spend any time. And there’s no point in creating marketing content that doesn’t resonate with your ideal listener.
Speaking directly to your ideal listener and others like them creates a stronger sense of connection and community around your podcast. People are more likely to engage with your content and other fans when they feel it was created specifically for them.
Identifying Your Ideal Listener Persona
So, you’re convinced that identifying your ideal listener is essential to your podcast marketing strategy (I hope). But where do you start? Let’s talk about what you need to know about your ideal listener.
If you’ve been podcasting for a while, think about a specific person who listens to your podcast faithfully, shares your show and all of that good stuff. The kind of listener that you’d love to clone into a thousand more listeners.
If you haven’t launched yet, not to worry. You may have a product or service that you’re using the podcast to promote. In that case, your ideal listener will likely be someone from your existing customer base.
If you have nothing to sell and you haven’t started your podcast yet, imagine who your ideal listener might be. Think about the goals that you want to achieve with your podcast, and who would likely resonate with your content, and bring you closer to achieving your goals.
Writing Your Ideal Listener Persona
So, start a new document/page/mindmap/however you prefer to plan things, and map out your ideal listener using the following categories and questions. You can even give them a name.
Attitudes and Values
- What are their opinions and beliefs about your topic/niche?
- What do they like about your podcast?
- What would put them off listening to your podcast?
- What is important to them about what you provide as a host?
- How do they feel about other podcasts in your niche?
- What do they believe that isn’t true?
Pain Points and Goals
- What are the main problems your ideal listener faces? This could be a big, lifelong challenge, or it could be something as simple as boredom.
- And why is it important that those problems are solved? Keep asking this question until you have filtered down to your ideal listener’s most internal of needs.
- How might your podcast help them to solve those problems?
- What would trigger your ideal listener to seek out help?
- What is the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ they might experience once your podcast has helped them through their problem? How will it make them feel?
Behaviours and Habits
- What hobbies and interests does your ideal listener have?
- How often do they listen to podcasts?
- What other podcasts do they listen to and what other media do they consume?
- How do they interact with podcasts? What platforms do they listen on?
- What social media platforms do they use?
Some of these may not be relevant. Complete the ones that you feel are and add any that would also be relevant. For example, the family status demographic would be essential for a parenting podcast.
- How old are they?
- What is their gender?
- Where in the world are they based?
- What are their religious beliefs?
- What is their occupation and income?
- What is their level of education?
- What is their family status?
Adapt and Grow
As with other aspects of your podcast, you can always change things down the line. Perhaps there are some assumptions you made that you now have a more clear picture of. Or perhaps your goals change and your ideal listener will need to change along with them.
Understanding your ideal podcast listener is a game-changer for your podcast marketing strategy. By taking the time to put together a clear persona, you’ll be able to create content that resonates deeply, leading to stronger listener relationships and more growth.