“If you build it, they will come.” The only person that ever worked out for was Kevin Costner. If you’re a podcaster and the only thing you’re doing to build your audience is publishing your podcast, then you may be living in your own “Field of Dreams.”
There are upwards of 180,000 podcasts currently circulating, clamoring for listeners in 2015. This means that the odds of your ideal listener finding you, without some “New and Noteworthy” push from i-Tunes can be quite slim. If you’re a faith-caster, the odds become even slimmer since the most popular podcasts tend to fall into the comedy, business, sports, or lifestyle categories.
In short, you have to work a little harder to drive your audience to your podcast. Since launching Branding for Believers, I’ve use three social media strategies that have really provided a boost in downloads and listenership.
During a recent interview, Smart Passive Income host, Pat Flynn stated, “your earnings are a byproduct of how well you serve your audience.” At the end of each episode, issue a call to action for listeners to “Tweet” their takeaways and “Aha” moments from each episode. If listeners take the time to acknowledge you on social media, acknowledge them back. On my podcast, whenever listeners share their feedback, I convert their comments into a branded graphic that highlights them and their takeaways. Not only are they grateful for the acknowledgement, but they share it with their followers, creating greater exposure for the podcast.
Periscope + YouTube = Audience Growth
The beauty of podcasting is that it can literally be done in your pajamas. However, there are some definite benefits when you get from behind the microphone, and in front of the camera. The streaming app, Periscope, allows you to broadcast live, to a global audience, every time you get on camera. Hence, you have a new opportunity to get exposed to a new audience.
Take a topic from your podcast, and share it live in a more engaging format. On Periscope, users can ask questions and get your direct feedback. When you introduce yourself, make sure to mention that you are the host of a podcast, and direct them to your show. As a faith caster, it is completely appropriate to open or close the scope with prayer. One of the most popular experiences I offer on Periscope is a live Bible study inspired by the podcast episode.
When the scope ends, it saves as a video to your phone that you can easily upload to YouTube or Katch so that viewers can replay, pause, and navigate through the episode. Using YouTube is an opportunity to add links directly to your show’s episode along with any sort of relevant links to opt-ins, books, and other resources. Periscope does not have any clickable links; as such, the YouTube combination creates greater exposure for your podcast and more interaction for the user.
Convert Show Notes into Memes
Instagram and Pinterest are great visual platforms for sharing quotes. If your show notes usually contain the top quotes from the episode, then use an app like WordSwag or Word Dream to turn those quotes into, branded, pin-worthy or post-worthy memes. If you really want to get fancy, hop on Canva and create a meme template for your show quotes. In Pinterest, clicking the meme will take the user directly to your podcast episode. In Instagram, there are no clickable links except in the profile bio. You can change the link in your bio to correspond with whatever episode you are promoting that week.
Your podcast content can easily transcend the platform that you publish it on. It can be turned into an infographic, tweet, live broadcast, or listener appreciation tribute. Faithcasters tend to have very devoted audiences, but have to work a little bit harder to get the same sort of mainstream recognition. There is no magic bullet for audience growth, but employing these strategies can help you grow your listener flock while keeping the faith.
Dr. Shante’ Bishop is the host of Branding for Believers Podcast where she encourages listeners to Believe Bigger in their dreams.