The key to podcasting success in 2022 – Smart Passive Income

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    In this post, I’ll share some of the top podcast trends right now and highlight some ideas for growing your podcast in 2022 and beyond. And come to us tomorrow, Tuesday, January 11th live on YouTube for OPEN Podcast # 1 to learn the strategies for creating powerful podcast content!

    Table of Contents

    [Note: This post contains affiliate links. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.]

    Growth in the podcasting industry means opportunity

    According to data from Buzzsprout, the podcast industry has grown significantly – from around 60,000 shows in 2014 to more than two million today.

    But that massive growth doesn’t mean budding podcasters have missed the boat. Far from it. The podcast industry continues to grow.

    Plus, many of the people who started podcasting at the onset of COVID dropped out. That means a lot of listeners are out there looking for their next show.

    What does an opportunity mean for she, aspiring podcaster – or existing podcaster who wants to improve your game and expand your show.

    Bar chart with the title "Growth forecasts for podcasts" 2024 by Buzzsprout. Shows steady growth in podcast listeners from 2017 to 46.1 million by 2024 to 100.1 million.
    Podcasting is still very much alive, and the audience is set to grow steadily over the next few years. Image courtesy of Buzzsprout.

    For podcasters, consistency is (still) crucial

    The key to taking advantage of this podcasting opportunity is persistence.

    As an example, Pat went live on YouTube with the Income Stream show every day for a year.

    You don’t have to do the same with your podcast (and we wouldn’t recommend it!).

    But in general, the more you show up for your audience, the more you become a part of their lives and tune in to your show becomes a habit for them.

    Not to mention that all of this exercise turns you into one a lot better at creating your podcast content.

    So how Should you be consistent, at least at the beginning of your podcasting journey?

    The podcasts that Buzzsprout sees are the ones that outlast it Ten week mark.

    «As soon as you have reached that ten-week point,» says Alban Brooke, «it is a decisive factor whether you hold onto it in the long term or not.»

    So he urges people to commit to posting one episode every week for ten weeks. If you can do that, you will be added to a group of approximately 600,000 active podcasts that have produced at least ten episodes.

    Growing your podcast audience requires active marketing

    What if you’ve gotten through your first ten episodes, seen early growth, and … that growth slowed or even stagnated? Many podcasters find that an early spurt in growth leads to a frustrating plateau.

    Unfortunately, many podcasters – and content creators in general – also take the «if you build it, they’ll come» approach.

    But that is not possible today. You need to actively market your show.

    Here are some strategies that can help get your audience back on the slope.

    Strategy # 1: Awareness on high-growth video channels (Instagram, TikTok, YouTube)

    A number of successful podcast creators have expanded their shows by sharing content on high-growth channels like TikTok, Instagram Reels, and even YouTube. They use the algorithms of these channels to get attention that they can redirect to their podcast.

    The basic strategy is to create short video content taken from your podcast episode and then invite viewers to the podcast to hear the full story.

    Every now and then one of these videos can even go viral. You can find case studies of podcasters that have gained thousands of new listeners based on just one TikTok viral video or Instagram reel.

    And a number of famous podcasters have used YouTube clips to attract listeners and then direct them to their podcast feeds.

    Shirt, waist and flat cap senior man starting with old fashioned movie projector. It is placed on the left side of the frame. Smoke and rays of light emanate from the projector lens. The photo is black and white and has a horizontal composition.
    Do you want your podcast to take off? Maybe it’s time to step in front of the camera.

    The key is the video content must be related to the podcast episode you drive people to. You have to tell a story that will get people to hear the rest of the episode.

    It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many YouTubers stumble if they fail to heed this crucial point.

    How do you select a high-growth platform to implement this strategy? Alban always encourages YouTubers to find the platform they understand and be comfortable with creating content that works well on it.

    Strategy # 2: Guest on other podcasts

    It helps to remember the great principle of successfully growing your show, which is Find audiences who don’t know you yet.

    It’s okay to reuse your podcast episodes and put them on your Twitter or Facebook feed, but by and large, they’ll be seen by people who already know you exist.

    So how do you get your podcast into new ears?

    Guesting on other podcasts is a proven and still very effective option. (If you’re looking for a way to scale your podcast guest reach, we like what Podcast Hawk has to offer.)

    Woman radio presenter records podcast with microphone with headphones and interviews guests sitting across from her.
    Visiting other podcasts is a proven strategy for growing your audience.

    Another is to include your podcast episodes in blog posts on your website so that people can find your show using Google’s search algorithm.

    If you’re blogging about a topic you’ve already covered in the podcast, link to that episode in the post itself.

    Like this!

    Strategy # 3: Paid Advertising and Sponsorship

    What about paid acquisition? Is it something podcasters should think about?

    The short answer is yes, and there are two main strategies here: paid ads and sponsorship.

    Paid ads are definitely a viable strategy to grow your show. Just know that there is a right and a wrong way.

    the not correct Option is to place ads directly on Facebook or Google and hope that a cold audience will start clicking and listening.

    The experts at Buzzsprout have never seen anyone successfully create a podcast this way. There are just too many points of friction to get anyone from the ad to your show.

    As Alban says, in this way they “only saw people who have lost a lot of money”.

    So how do you reduce the friction and run podcast advertising properly? The key is to advertise in apps that already have a steady audience of listeners – apps like Overcast, Pocket Casts, and Podcast Addict.

    You might also consider sponsoring another podcast – by paying another podcaster to call you.

    Trying this out on some of the bigger shows could get pricey, but there are plenty of small, fast-growing podcasts out there that are looking to make money and that may be a better fit.

    For a deeper dive into monetizing your podcast, check out this post by True Native Media’s Heather Osgood on how to get started with podcast ads.

    In this way, you reduce the overload of podcasts and avoid burnout

    As a content creator, consistency is key. But burnout is real too.

    Because of this, you need to come up with a plan for creating and marketing your show that is sustainable.

    Lots of people hear stories from the most successful content creators – like John Lee Dumas, who started Entrepreneurs on Fire with a daily show – and they think I’ll do the same. But that just doesn’t work for most people, especially if you have a full-time gig or have kids at home.

    Portrait of young male radio host in headphones looking tired, exhausted and having coffee while preparing to broadcast in the studio. Horizontal shot
    Don’t let burnout overwhelm your podcast dream.

    So find a rhythm for creating content that fits your life and that you will look forward to. For many people, devoting one day a week to creating your episode is a good choice.

    Since “If you build it, they’ll come” doesn’t work, you also have to plan time for marketing. There is almost always more you can do to market your show, but start by setting aside only one hour each week for marketing.

    If you’re on TikTok, it might mean spending an hour filming a video promoting your latest episode and connecting with people on TikTok. If you’re on LinkedIn, write a post that ties in with the content of your episode.

    Start small and be consistent.

    Interact with your listeners and build podcast superfans

    Podcasting is a long game. The podcasters who have clung to it for years are most likely to find the hit (and download numbers) they want.

    However, the average new podcaster gets rough thirty seven games per episode. That may sound small and it is.

    But small can be powerful.

    This is because each of these thirty-seven people is a real person. And one of the super powers you have when you are little is that you can get involved with each and every one of them.

    Ask people to come up, and then honor them when they do. If someone sends you an email, mention it on the podcast. If you get a positive review, read it on the air and thank the listener. If a fan posts about your podcast on social media, like them and thank them for sharing.

    Raise your superfans. Connect with them and learn more about them so that you can serve them better and learn more about how to attract them.

    Learn more about what makes a podcast successful in 2022

    Join us Live on YouTube on Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 12 p.m. PT / 3 p.m. ET for OPEN Podcast # 1where to learn strategies for creating high performing podcast content in 2022. Pat Flynn and guests will share what’s working now to keep your podcast listeners coming back again and again.

    Neon sign saying OPEN Podcast Presented by SPI

    By the way, much of the insight in this post comes from Pat Flynn’s conversation with Alban Brooke, Marketing Director at Buzzsprout, during SPI’s first Audience Driven Summit in October 2021, our two-day deep dive into the most effective, relevant ways to build an audience today.

    Click here to watch the tapping of Pat’s full conversation with Alban.

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