How to Captivate a Target Podcast Audience.

When producing a podcast, drawing in an interested and engaged audience is a top – if not the number one! – priority. After all, what good are your great ideas and carefully curated content if they can’t reach and make an impact on people? Gaining and retaining an audience is key to the success of any podcast – no matter the format or subject matter.

So who is your audience?

After piecing together the many elements of your podcast’s foundation (based on what you are looking to convey and achieve), your audience is the coveted prize. When Ruby collaborates with a client, we prioritize identifying their voice and focus on how to amplify it. It’s crucial to understand the gap that each brand is attempting to fill to authentically speak to their intended listeners.

When Miracle Grow partnered with iHeart to reach everyday gardener wannabes, formulating relatable conversations about where to start poised Humans Growing Stuff for the major success it eventually saw. The show considered what an everyday person might be struggling with when daunted by the duties of an everyday gardener.

Understanding the needsand wants of your audience is crucial to captivating them with your content. It’s not always about how many seeds you scatter – but rather,  how many you can cultivate into healthy and happy plants. The kind that will tune in every week, if you follow my metaphor!

Why should they listen?

The next challenge? Keeping listeners on the hook. Why should they continue to care? Why might they crave the next hot take? It’s your job to show them why without saying it outright.

When formulating the big-picture hook, determining how to make your topic relatable – and ultimately entertaining – can be a great challenge. Especially when taking on a serious or heavy topic, one must be particularly considerate about approach, weaving levity and hope throughout the conversation.  

When the brand Voltaren came to iHeart to develop a podcast that speaks to caregivers who suffer from joint pain, their goals brought on this very challenge. A few uplifting moments of joy will go a long way in engaging an audience when tackling such serious topics. Equally important is the conscious decision to tell diverse and unique stories.

Most importantly, every step of your process should come from a place of authenticity, organically ushering passion from production to product. Its potent lure will resonate with affected listeners, and consumers today – more than ever – can see through false advertising. Listeners must be able to trust a host's connection with the podcast's topic and believe a producing brand and its intentions. One way to achieve this is to make thoughtful choices about the voices that are involved. Doing the right research and booking the right guests play such a big role in grasping a truly interested audience. The same goes for your host: your quarterback, whom the team is relying upon to make the right plays and keep the crowd coming back for more. If you check out this blog post you’ll find the best tips for approaching this crucial step!

Optimize that great content

So you’ve planned it out: you’ve got some thoughtful topics, knowledgeable guests, and a compelling host. But there are a few additional strategies to leverage your compelling content and really captivate those faithful listeners. Keep the following in mind when producing your podcast:

  • High-quality recordings make for clarity of conversation and a seamless listening experience
  • Adding well-produced sound design can make flat moments pop and tie themes together.
  • Being thoughtful about your online description, metadata, and show info is important to helping listeners find you and understand the podcast’s goals at a glance.
  • Listen to the people! Follow your reviews and metrics through your podcast host, and be thoughtful about what episodes take off and why. Social media can be your friend!

Production can be like dating: Every podcast is different, and taking the time to both carefully strategize and allow for organic development will go a long way. When you can put yourself in the shoes of the person on the other side of the speakers and approach them with care, you might make a lasting connection.

The results