The Secrets to Building a Thriving Podcast Community

A major part of podcast growth comes from building a strong community surrounding your content. To succeed in this industry, you must foster a sense of community among your listeners to help them stay loyal and engaged. Doing so not only increases awareness for your podcast as a brand, but it also provides a space for your audience to share feedback - something incredibly helpful for continuous growth. Let’s explore how to achieve this below!

The importance of building a podcast community

A podcast community is like other communities of people who share a common hobby or niche, like gamers or car enthusiasts, except this group of like-minded people come together over their favorite shows. Surely you’ve heard of the massively dedicated following some popular podcasts receive. Some even create merch for their audience to purchase in show of their support! 

There are numerous benefits to harboring a strong podcast community but three key benefits stand above the rest: word-of-mouth marketing, listener loyalty, and valuable feedback are three of the most rewarding benefits you’ll reap from having a strong podcast community. They boost engagement and can put your show on the podcast map, increasing your brand’s online identity. Let’s dive in:

Word-of-Mouth Marketing (WOM): This is one of the most effective forms of marketing because it relies solely on a customer’s experience and their natural willingness to discuss their experience with people they know. For example, Chewy is known to have some of the best customer service around. This company is an online retailer for pet products. Recently, stories have emerged of Chewy sending their clients handwritten notes, flower bouquets, and in some cases, commissioned paintings when their client’s pets pass away. Chewy has gained popularity online because of these kind gestures, which were previously unheard of in the industry. When people hear stories about this company going above and beyond to serve their customers, it makes them want to sign up and use Chewy as their pet supply company.

According to Investopedia, WOM marketing works so well because “88% of consumers trust their friends’ recommendations over traditional media.” This is huge in the world of podcasting. The more listeners love your show and feel like they’re a part of the community, the more likely they are to talk about your podcast and have their friends tune in as well. 

Enhanced Listener Loyalty: Listener loyalty is a huge part of podcast community building. When listeners feel a sense of belonging, they’re more inclined to stay loyal to that podcast. For example, die hard listeners of the Joe Rogan podcast or the Crime Junkie podcast buy their merch and use affiliate codes from sponsorships. This boosts the podcast's sales, increases their brand visibility, and builds a larger community of listeners over time.

Businesses strive to garner customer loyalty and form lifelong relationships with their shoppers. The same goes for podcasts. We want our listeners to tune in for every episode and stick around for the long haul.

Valuable Feedback and Insights: An often overlooked benefit of community building is the kind of environment you establish among your audience. Having a podcast community is a great way to get helpful feedback and insights. This can help to shape your future content and identify areas for improvement, as well as help you gain an understanding of your audience’s needs and preferences. This kind of feedback is extremely valuable!

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How to build your podcast community

Now that you know the benefits of having a community centered around your podcast, just how do you start building one? 

First, you need to establish your brand identity, which you can find our guide for here. A major part of establishing your brand identity is to identify your niche and your target audience. Doing so enables you to curate quality content in a way that fits into these categories and is desirable to your audience.

Stay consistent with your content. Consistency is key to building a loyal podcast community. When you start to stray from the path and dip in quality, it’s highly likely your audience won’t enjoy your content because it’s not the original content that initially got them hooked on your show. 

The next step is to engage with your audience online through social media and podcast shoutouts. Social media accounts work like a landing page for your listeners where they can leave reviews, comments, or suggestions for your show and interact with other listeners. 

You can create an online community for your podcast through various social media channels. Our most used platforms for this are Instagram, LinkedIn, and Reddit. Choosing your preferred channel depends on the tone of your show and the categories it falls into. For example, a host of a business podcast should create a personal account on LinkedIn then create an account for their podcast on Instagram and cross reference each page often to garner a larger audience. 

Once you’ve established an online presence, engage with your listeners often. You can do this by including a blurb during podcast episodes that encourages them to leave reviews. Try building engagement on your social media pages by responding to comments and DMs, asking comment-provoking questions, and asking for feedback. You never know who will respond and what kind of value their feedback will bring to your show. 

Another way to build engagement through social media is to show behind the scenes footage. Not everyone has a podcast and it’s exciting to see what goes on behind the mic. 

Most importantly, remember to be authentic. People crave authenticity, especially in a world where we’re used to being fed counterfeit ideas of reality, relationships, and beauty. Authenticity is so important in establishing human connection and forging a sense of community among your audience. 

Lastly, be transparent with your listeners. Queue them in on big milestones like hitting a certain amount of downloads or new subscribers every month. Let them be a part of your success because they are the ones helping you achieve your goals. 

By implementing the tools outlined in this article, you'll be well on your way to fostering a thriving community that supports and champions your podcast. And as always, LaunchPod Media is here to help you navigate the world of podcasting and create a show that truly stands out.

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