There’s no doubt that podcasting takes a lot of time and effort. You spend hours creating, editing, and promoting your content. Passion alone can’t make your efforts feel worthwhile. Podcast downloads are a commonly talked about metric to gauge the success of a podcast. However knowing how to increase podcast downloads isn’t common knowledge yet.
Podcast downloads may not be the best metric to measure the success of a podcast. Knowing how to increase podcast downloads can help you for a few reasons:
- They help you measure your success
- They keep your audience interested and engaged
- They can make you more attractive to sponsors
- They can help you reach even more listeners
However, boosting downloads isn’t an easy task. You’ll have to work hard to keep your content quality and distribution strategies as professional as possible. But with these top 10 tips, you’ll be well on your way to growing your show.
1. Do your research
Before you press record, do your research!
Some podcasters simply make episodes as a hobby. But, many are trying to reach big audiences or generate new business. To accomplish growth, you’ll need to learn what makes a great podcast to listeners:
- Start by determining your audience. Who are you trying to reach? What kind of content are they interested in? What action do you want them to take after listening to your episodes?
- You should also research material for your episodes. Knowing what’s trending will help you be prepared and showcase your unique perspective.
- Don’t forget to see what similar podcasts are up to. What are they doing that’s bringing them success?
2. Upload consistently and frequently
We only have an audience’s attention for so long. Even if they love your content, people don’t want to be left wondering when your next upload will be.
Your audience expects consistency. You can deliver by creating a consistent upload schedule!
Decide to upload on the same day/time every week. That way, listeners will look forward to your episodes and anticipate downloading them.
Aside from uploading consistently, you’ll want to upload as frequently as you can. Let’s say you have 400 listeners that regularly download your podcasts. If you were to upload one episode per week, you’d have 400 downloads. If you were to upload two episodes per week, you’d be up to 800 downloads.
This is a bit of an oversimplification, but the math checks out! The more episodes you have, the more opportunities for downloads you create.
Churning out more episodes can help improve your numbers. But, be careful not to sacrifice quality as your listeners will definitely notice.
3. Don’t neglect the cover art
Podcasts are audio-based, but this doesn’t mean you should neglect their cover art.
Cover art is a chance for you to catch your audience’s attention. The design should be professional while reflecting your unique brand. It should give insight as to what the episode is about and what listeners can expect when tuning in.
You don’t necessarily need to be a graphic artist to design your cover art. Use beginner-friendly programs like Canva or Snappa to help you get started.
4. Solicit feedback
Your listeners are the ones that download your episodes. However to increase podcast downloads you can even ask feedback from those who you believe would be a great audience member if you have a relationship with them. Here are a few ways to get feedback and discover how to increase podcast downloads:
- Make it easy for your audience to contact you.
- Ask your audience what they want to hear you talk about.
- Ask for responses at the end of your podcast.
- See how receptive they are to your already-published episodes.
- Use online reviews and social media conversations to see how you can improve.
- Start conversations on your podcast (or with audience members) with a specific question
- Let your audience know you’re listening
Another good way to learn how to increase podcast downloads is to ask for reviews and ratings.
Consider prompting your listeners during the podcast episode to rate and review your podcast. Remind them in every episode that they can support your show by rating you (awarding one to five stars) and leaving a review.
5. Make episodes available everywhere
Let’s say a listener hears about your new episode on social media. They go to their favorite streaming platform only to find the episode isn’t there.
Even if the listener wants to hear your podcast, they might be frustrated that they can’t hear it on their favorite platform. They might prefer to listen to a podcast that streams on their platform of choice.
Don’t miss out on downloads because you aren’t covering your bases. Make sure you make your episodes available everywhere.
While it’s important to have your episodes on all major streaming platforms, you should also have a podcast website. This gives your fans a place to go to and allows you to archive episodes. Most importantly, a podcast website increases your discoverability.
Part of learning how to increase podcast downloads requires you to optimize your pages to help new audiences find your content. And, through optimization practices, you’ll be able to increase downloads, leads, and other conversions.
6. Choose the right keywords
Choosing the right keywords is one way you can optimize your episodes for search engines:
- Ideally, you want to focus each episode around one major keyword. Include the keyword in the title, while being sure to craft a catchy, clickable headline.
- You should also include the keyword naturally throughout your podcast. Google automatically transcribes podcasts, but you can also submit your own transcriptions and show notes to boost SEO.
7. Promote new episodes
Take advantage of the audience you already have by promoting new episodes!
Don’t just share links to social media. Tell your audience WHY they should tune in and what they might gain from it. Consider sharing a snippet to intrigue listeners (more on this later).
The good thing about social media is that, if people like your content, they’ll also share it with their friends. You can’t beat free advertising!
Regular email updates is another opportunity to learn how to increase podcast downloads. Email open rates and click-through rates can provide feedback on how well your episodes resonate with your audience. You can then do more of the things that work to increase downloads.
- Encourage your listeners to subscribe to your email list.
- Use an opt-in landing page which explains the benefits of subscribing along with a form to collect their email addresses.
- Then send an email to that list whenever you publish a new episode.
- Keep your emails simple like you would when you email a friend.
- End the email with a call to action links to listen to the episode on your website, iTunes, Spotify, or wherever they’ll subscribe and listen.
8. Develop your hosting skills
Some might think hosting a podcast is the easiest job in the world. But, the truth is, it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Hosting requires you to stay on topic and facilitate conversation while keeping your audience interested.
So, to create engaging episodes, you should develop your hosting skills. Important tips for hosting include:
- Speaking to your audience as if they were in the same room as you
- Preparing material while not appearing too scripted
- Making your guests feel comfortable
9. Focus on audio quality
Great hosting skills will take you far. But, they won’t do much good if your audience can’t hear you.
Good audio is crucial to your podcast’s success. Listeners want to be able to clearly hear what you have to say. If they can’t, then they’ll move on to another podcast.
Even if you are new to podcasting, you can still make your audio sound great. You don’t need the funniest or most expensive equipment.
Start with the bare essentials (such as a high-quality mic and editing software). You can improve sound quality by:
- Recording in a quiet room
- Using high-res files
- Adopting a minimalistic editing style
10. Be professional
So, listeners are finding your podcast, and it has great-sounding audio. What more could they want?
It might sound straightforward, but your listeners want great content. Part of what makes great content is being professional. You want to only post your best work and come across as experts with polished episodes.
If you’ve been podcasting for a while, you might start to feel lazy when it comes to keeping up with quality.
If you start to feel uninspired:
- Stay on top of what’s trending and what your audience is interested in
- Consider trying a new episode format
- Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box to keep things stress
- Talk about new topics, feature interesting guests—do whatever it takes to keep your audience’s attention
11. Give them a taste of key moments
Another way to increase your podcast downloads is to give your fans a little taste of key moments of the podcast. By sharing these soundbites or video clips you could pique their interest. These soundbites could consist of insights, interesting questions, an example you or your guest shares etc. You might share a profound quote or an interesting question.
You could also post these to your social media profiles and or email your subscribers.
12. Have your guests promote the episode
If you have guest featured on your show, ask them to promote the episode to their followers. They might do this anyway, but don’t leave it to chance and remind them in your communication with them.
Better still, make it easy for them by supplying them with copy, images, audio, and or videos for them to share. You can even give instructions on how to post or how to email their list if they aren’t sure how.
You might even consider having a discussion on how to increase podcast downloads for the episode at the end of your recording to outline a plan of action.
13. Add show notes and transcriptions
To increase the SEO, backlink potential and searchability of your podcasts consider doing the following:
- Create post on your podcast website for each episode.
- Embed a podcast media player on the page.
- Add a short introduction and show notes below the audio player to help readers decide whether it would be worth their while to listen to the show.
- Include a complete transcription of each episode or a blog post.
What are your tips on how to increase podcast downloads?
While podcast downloads aren’t the only metric you should care about, they’re definitely important. Use these ten tips to improve your numbers and take your podcast to new heights and share your tips on how to increase podcast downloads in the comments below.