5 Ways to Grow Your Podcasts

July 22, 2019 - 4 minutes read

5 Ways to Grow Your Podcasts

As more radio stations dive into podcasting, they’re eager to build up both their audience and ad dollars. Fortunately, with some smart use of your existing assets, radio broadcasters can up exposure for podcasts and increase your success rates. After all, radio is masterful at promotion and the original form of audio programming, so why not apply some of the medium’s best lessons to the new digital on-demand audio space.

Here are five ways radio stations can use on-air, digital and social channels to raise your podcasts’ profile and boost listening:

Talk podcasts up on air

Radio listeners are looking to their favorite stations to help them navigate this brave new world of podcasting. In fact, one quarter of Americans say they hear about new podcasts from their AM/FM stations, according to a new report by Westwood One and Audience Insights. Among newer podcast listeners, one-third said they discover new podcasts through radio. These people are taking your suggestions and, hopefully, sampling your shows. For example, iHeart Media regularly runs spots on its stations previewing new episodes of its original podcasts that run on its iHeartRadio streaming service. Stations can run promos for their podcasts, as well as cross-promote sister stations’ programs.

Be social

Your popular DJs and hosts have huge followings on social media, so why not use those to communicate about podcasting? On Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, show hosts can tease upcoming podcast episodes, as well as their favorite podcasts. Likewise, your station’s social media pages should promote your original podcasts with links to listen on your mobile app and website. 

Stage an event

Take a page from NPR’s podcast playbook and host a live podcast taping at a bar, restaurant or theater. Loyal listeners want to meet podcast hosts and see how shows get made, and this is a great way to showcase your programs. To get more bang for your buck, partner with local businesses to sponsor the event. To raise awareness, give tickets away on-air and on social media, adding an extra promotional boost for both your podcast and the event.

Leverage your existing podcasts

If you already have a successful podcast, that’s one of your best assets to launch a new show. Listeners routinely say they discover new podcasts based on recommendations from their favorite podcasters, so have your hosts mention any new projects your stations will be launching. To up the cross-promotion, you could even have the hosts of a new podcast make guest appearances on an existing show.

 

Keep trying new things

Just because your station is programmed for a particular format doesn’t mean you can’t go outside your comfort zone and try a new genre for podcasting. Poll your staff and see who has an interest or expertise in an area, and wants to launch a podcast. Perhaps you’re a sports station and your afternoon drive host loves to try new restaurants, or you’re a music station and your AM drive co-host is a local history buff. These out-of-the-box ideas could lead to great podcasts. If you don’t have good ideas in-house, look into your community and see what local celebrities or personalities could make good hosts and partner with them.

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By continuing to grow and experiment with podcasting, you station is planting a flag in the next frontier of audio. Podcast ad spending is growing at double digit rates and local businesses are intrigued. With a robust slate of podcasts, you’re on-air and digital businesses can continue to thrive.