12 Ways Podcasters Can Diversify and Reach New Demographics
Written by #HeliumRadio on July 19, 2021
12 Ways Podcasters Can Diversify and Reach New Demographics
1. Analyze Your Listener Demographics
Before you can target new audiences, you need to understand the one you already have. The age of the majority of podcast consumers ranges from pre-teens to adults in their mid-thirties. Consider what age range your message resonates with and analyze your genre for clues about new developments in the industry. What topics are trending, what minorities are you appealing to, and what unique angles and hot takes does your podcast offer?
2. Understand the Mindset of Those You’re Trying to Reach
Perhaps your podcast caters to an older demographic and you’re looking to attract millennials or Gen Z to your audience. How do your values, ethics, and business practices translate to that generation?
3. Host Interviews With New Guests
Live-hosted interviews are a goldmine of potential for podcasters. They’re simply more engaging than a single presenter, as they allow the listener to experience and relate to the connections you make with your guests, giving them a feeling of inclusion. Inclusivity and investment generate a returning audience, and new guests will offer you insight into the new areas you’re making headway in.
It’s entirely acceptable to broach relatively new topics with your guests as the catalyst and you, the podcaster, the curious inquisitive. Crucially, your interview subjects can bridge your knowledge gaps when approaching a new subject, which helps you to come across as genuine and interested.
4. Follow-Up With Past Guests
Your guests are the stars of your show. Don’t be afraid to follow up with those you’ve worked with previously. It doesn’t hurt to keep a monthly or bi-weekly mailing list and stay in touch with them. They may be able to introduce you to a wider network or new interviewees. What’s more, bringing beloved or recurring guests back for a follow-up interview is a great way of maintaining listener interest.
5. Leverage Sponsorship Revenue
If you’re not getting any sponsorship revenue, you should explore that as a source of reliable income. Unlike most ads, podcast promotion tends to come across as natural, with listeners more receptive to it. Your listeners already trust your voice and return to hear more of it.
If your podcast is already generating revenue from sponsors, then you should be reinvesting most of it to promote your podcast. The cost of paid promotion ranges from a handful of dollars to thousands and more, but it’s undoubtedly one of the best ways to grow your podcast quickly.
6. Pitch to Local Radio
Local radio stations tend to be run by small teams of individuals. Some are even staffed by lone wolves. What they all have in common is that they’re down-to-earth and hungry for content. You may be able to secure a regular slot for your podcast on local radio or collaborate with the hosts. And even if that’s not in the cards, it never hurts to network in your local sphere. You might gain insight or feedback that develops and improves the quality of your podcasts.
7. Build a Mailing List
Podcasts connect with people on a very personal level as they’re out and about. You can extend this relationship by building a subscriber list, turning your passive audience into an engaged one. A mailing list will allow you to promote upcoming podcasts and share a release timetable with your fans.
8. Gather as Much Feedback as You Can Get
Feedback from listeners is what allows you to improve over time, honing your skillset as a presenter, interviewer, and entertainer. While negative feedback might be painful to receive, and harder to accept, it’s nonetheless vital to your growth. Any sort of engagement is good because it means people are listening actively.
Make use of your mailing list to reach out to your audience and ask for their personal input, on a listener-by-listener basis. If somebody doesn’t like your structure or pace, pay attention. Should a fan disapprove of your interview style, listen well. Accepting criticism and learning from your flaws will help you to evolve.
9. Deliver Q&A Sessions
Another great use for your mailing list is to ask questions to your listeners directly. Pitch them ideas, queries – anything – and then pick apart their replies as part of your podcast. Your audience will feel valued, heard, and part of a larger community, and in turn, they’ll keep coming back for more.
10. Collaborate With Other Podcasters
You needn’t see your competitors as people to beat. Before anything else, you should be thinking critically about what you can learn from your competition. To take it a step further, reach out to larger and smaller podcasts alike who cater to the demographics you are breaking into. Collaborate with them, invite them onto your shows, or offer your services as a show of friendship. Networking will get you a long way. And if they say no, there’s no harm done.
11. Do Your Research
If you’re vying for new and larger audiences, then you’re probably approaching new and unfamiliar topics. As we mentioned above, this is a great place for new guests to help fill you in, but always do your research and never go into a podcast blind. You want your audience to perceive you as a well-read, informed presenter, even if you feel out of your depth. There’s no shame in drafting a pre-written script if you’re feeling uncertain – what matters is the result.
12. Use Other Outlets
Who said you have to stick to one medium? Consumers all use different channels for different purposes, and if you’re not promoting your content in as many places as you can find, you’re missing out on a huge piece of the pie. Publish your content to YouTube, promote upcoming podcasts on Instagram, and interact with your fan base on Twitter.
Consider performing live at local events, get on board with an independent artist to create visual content to support you, or band together with others in your field and go on tour. There are always more possibilities available to you if you’re willing to put in the extra legwork.
Whether you’re new to the podcasting scene or you’re a veteran looking to expand your audience further, don’t despair. Take some time to brainstorm, envision a plan and try some (or all!) of the suggestions we’ve outlined here. Find what works for you, no matter what your budget is. The best approach you can take is to stay positive, keep pumping out quality content and trying as many times as it takes. You’ve already gotten this far. Now the only way is up.
Visit Helium Radio for more blog posts, articles, podcasts, and the opportunity to submit your own podcast for consideration in our lineup.