You don’t need a “hack” to grow your brand’s podcast following.
You need a clear answer to a single question:
Why should someone listen to my brand’s podcast?
So many companies that we speak with struggle to answer this question.
You can start a podcast for any reason you want:
To express your brand values
To educate customers
To drive website visitors
To increase engagement, or to have some fun
But you won’t get traction until you can explain why someone should listen.
How To Answer The Question
The answer is the same for every brand…and completely unique to your company.
Let’s start with the universal answer.
People should listen to your podcast because you provide value.
Your staff (might) listen to the podcast. Your family and friends. But, no one else will ever subscribe and listen to your podcast unless they’re going to get value in return.
You will never attract subscribers unless you provide value of some sort.
With this in mind, let’s get into how you can get to the bottom of this question, and set yourself up to grow your audience.
The answer to “why should people listen to your brand’s podcast?” requires you to make two decisions:
What specific value are you going to provide?
Who is looking for that value?
If you can’t answer those questions, you can’t define why someone should listen to you, and few will.
Here’s how Expedia answered that question for Out Travel The System, their travel podcast.
Research showed that travellers were looking for trusted sources of information. Tips and tricks for navigating the travel world. And it was very specific. Researching search keywords and phrases they found travellers looking for information about:
Travelling to Disneyland with your family for under $2,000
How to visit state parks
Even cosmic travel (it’s a thing)
Expedia is one of the world’s largest travel companies with access to a lot of data, and incredible partners. The specific value they provide is information to help people travel better.
And the people who seek that value are travellers.
Their clear answer to the “Why should someone listen to us?” question guides everything they do on Out Travel The System and is the single biggest reason they’ve been able to grow their subscribers.
But figuring out your answer to the question is only half the battle — you’ve got to live up to it.
(Btw, that answer also drives the success of JAR Audio’s clients and their podcasts).
How To Start A Podcast Around Your Answer
Your podcast audience won’t grow if you don’t communicate the reason people should listen.
So the next step is to develop a concept for your podcast with your answer to the question in mind:
Does your podcast marketing material communicate why someone should listen? In Expedia’s case, we even baked it into the name of the show.
Will 100% of your episodes reflect the reason a person should listen to the podcast?
Are you communicating this in the title and description of your episodes?
The answers to these questions need to be yes to grow your audience.
If your podcast doesn’t reflect why listeners should try out then subscribe to your podcast, then you need to make a change.
Review your existing episodes. Are they holding you back?
That product promoting episode might be amazing. But are people listening to learn more about your products or services?
It’s not going to grow your audience.
That episode featuring your CEO talking about the new version of your software?
Bravo, but it’s not going to grow your audience.
Rambling commentary full of inside corporate jokes?
If that’s not providing value you might get some listeners, but they won’t subscribe and listen to more.
There’s no one way you “must” create a podcast — do whatever you want.
But if you are investing corporate dollars to engage with and grow an audience, you want it to be successful. And if you ignore the needs of your audience and don’t deliver value, you will fail.
You can grow your podcast audience…but only if you give them a specific reason to do so.