An old but good article on Social Media Examiner was shared recently about podcasting tips that I’d contributed to in 2012, about how to understand our podcast audience. Much has changed since that article, so I thought I’d refresh the advice for the present day.
Mobile Still Matters
The percentage of your audience that uses a smartphone still matters, because podcast consumption predominantly happens on mobile devices:
71% of podcast listeners use a mobile device, according to Edison Research in early 2016.
However, beyond this number, what else should we know about our podcast audience? We should look at 3 data points about our digital audiences.
Audience 1: Our Social Audience
Determine which of our social network audiences is most beneficial to us. For me, Twitter tends to provide the most benefit, so I’ll start there. In Twitter Analytics, what is my audience interested in?
Who is my audience based on occupation?
These two reports tell us who our social media audience is and what their interests are. Since we will likely use social media to build our audience, knowing what topics and interests are relevant to our audience is a great place to start.
Audience 2: Our On-Site Audience
Our second audience to understand is on our website and/or owned digital properties. This audience is any audience we can fully track with our Google Analytics (or other equivalent) software. Let’s look at interests on-site.
What are our audiences interested in?
We see above a number of interest topics which should guide our content strategy. How many of them overlap with our social audience? Is there a content gap we should be aware of, things our social audience is interested in that our website audience is not?
More important, are there topics which our audience is interested in both locations that we’re not providing in our content? If so, remedy that!
Audience 3: Our Email Audience
Our third, and potentially most valuable, audience is our email audience. No matter what your podcast or business is, an email list is essential to your survival and growth.
Our email list contains whatever data we collect at the time from the user, plus whatever else we append it with. For my personal newsletter, I ask for a variety of fields such as name, title, and company.
What does this information tell me? It tells me much about my audience – who they are, what else they might potentially be interested in, and at what level I should be communicating at.
For example, if my audience is all mid-career, mid-level management, writing C-Suite content might be aspirational for them, but not practically helpful. Writing entry-level content might be useful for them to pass along, but it won’t help them in their day-to-day work.
What if you don’t have more than just an email address? Data cleansing and appending services like Data.com, Clearbit, NetProspex, ZoomInfo, and many others can help you clean up your data and learn more, for a fee ranging from 10 cents per email to $5 per email, depending on how much data you need.
Another important tactic in your email list is to create a segmentation in your Google Analytics just for people who respond to your emails (the orange bars below):
We want to understand how the interests of our email audience are different from our other audiences.
Three Layers of Audience
What we have above are three layers of audience, from our least committed (social) to our most committed (email). By comparing each audience, we better understand who we speak to at every level, and what topics and interests are most relevant throughout the journey of an audience member from casual contact to loyal fan. With this information, we will be able to tailor our podcast, our content, and our business towards what matters most to our audiences, giving them what they want, and growing our business in the process.
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