First up, identify what’s working. The best of your brand is your biggest asset; it’s what has kept your fans head–over-heels in love with your brand for all these years. This is your soul — the thing you can’t afford to lose. Focus groups or surveys may be required to drill down the specifics of why your customers have stayed loyal to you. Maybe they are a habitual buyer because they see your brand as being of reliable quality. Or perhaps they associate you with family and happy times. These are the traits that should be maintained in how you present and speak about your brand.
Next, it’s time to drag the skeletons out of the closet. No one likes confronting their baggage, but this is the ideal time to address what’s not working, what’s getting in the way of progress, and what’s making you irrelevant. These can come in the form of misaligned strategies, ineffective tactics, growing pain points, bad habits, or plain old outdated thinking. New brands, disrupters, and start-ups have everything to lose; they’ll pivot from an ineffective strategy in a heartbeat. Don’t let them beat you to the punch.
Modernizing a brand is more than just discarding elements that might no longer be relevant to today’s consumers. In the Golden Age of Advertising, a brand could call attention to a customer’s pain point(s) and then position their product or service as the solution. Today’s consumer sees countless ads in a day; with more ads, comes higher consumer literacy. New, fresh messaging that consistently demonstrates how your brand fits into your customers’ day-to-day lives is the key to authentically connecting with today’s buyers.
Like a fine wine, the older a brand gets, the richer and more robust it should become. In a perfect world it develops into a part of everyday life, with fingers on as many demographics as possible. Your goal should be to have a brand so influential that, if it disappeared tomorrow, it would truly be missed.
This is a critical moment for your podcast. So what comes next? How can you keep these new listeners engaged?
What many people don’t mention is this: as hard as it is to get a soundbite to go viral, it’s even harder to maintain the momentum of your viral content after the fact. With a little strategy you can keep the momentum going, and maybe end up with another, more viral episode under your belt.
1. Repurpose content.
There are countless ways to repurpose your show’s episodes. For example, you can share video snippets with subtitles on social media to attract new listeners. Alternately, you can reshare previous episodes that you feel are relevant to your industry’s landscape. This is also a great time to leverage your email marketing lists; repurpose previous episodes into downloadable content, like infographics and checklists. Anything that offers good value, helps people to solve problems, or enables them to take action, is an effective way to recycle your content.
2. Target a *very* specific audience.
While your podcast could be relevant to many listeners, choosing your niche is the key to growing a loyal audience. Rather than casting a wide net, pinpoint the unique value you bring to the world and consider the audience who is most likely to listen to (and benefit from) your show. The more specific your topic is, the easier it will be to identify and appeal to your audience. Maintaining a consistent focus will help you attract consistent and passionate listeners.
3. Leverage your team’s email signature.
This one’s so easy you’ll be mad you didn’t think of it already! You (and your team) are emailing people all day long… why not use that to your podcast’s advantage? Depending on your email platform, there are several ways to create professional email signature graphics for your entire team to promote and share your show.
So maintain that momentum, and never let a good opportunity go to waste. Especially the simple ones!
After the launch phase comes the growth phase. Promoting and marketing your podcast takes work, but the ROI is (at least) threefold:
First and foremost, it’s content at your fingertips. Do you struggle with producing social content — problem solved!
Second, it’s a clear way to see if you’re resonating with your target audience or not — this means more listening and less talking.
Third, watching those numbers grow is ultra-gratifying 😜
While there’s no silver bullet, there are some tactics that — when executed consistently — can reliably grow a real audience. Check out these 6 strategies and consider how you could make them work for your show:
1. Engage with your audience for 10-15 minutes a day
This may sound very obvious but there’s no need to reinvent the wheel!! The best podcasts feel conversational — so keep that conversation going on your social channels. Taking 10-15 minutes to engage with your audience on social media every day can make a big difference in whether or not that audience feels heard and stays loyal to you.
And keep it simple too! Respond to Instagram comments, ask questions, or use different polling and quiz features are a great way to start conversations with your listeners. It’s tedious, but it will strengthen the connection between you and your audience.
2. Create a podcast trailer
This applies to both established shows or new podcasts with just a handful of episodes. A podcast trailer pinned to the top of your feed is a great way to introduce you, your topic and any guests. Include snippets from the episode to entice listeners to subscribe. People are far more willing to listen to a trailer before investing time into a whole episode, but you can’t just give them a clip of a previous episode with zero context. You have to create something that sells the overall value of that episode AND your show. But keep it short — a few seconds to a minute tops.
3. Be strategic in your show’s name
Your show’s name should be one of your biggest priorities. Some might say it’s the most important part of your launch. Have you already started your show to only experience a little name-regret — don’t fret! If you have to change your show’s name, do it sooner rather than later, and only do it once. Here are some criteria we’d recommend:
- Name it after what your ideal listener cares about, which might not necessarily be your company name. Think about industry keywords here.
- Pick something that makes it easier to find you on podcast players. You will better reach your ideal listeners if your name revolves around what they are searching for.
- Ultimately your name should show our dedication to the listeners. If it sounds like you’re only going to talk about yourself, that first impression might be a turn off.
1. Teach your employees to see themselves as innovators
Chances probably are, your next handful of innovative ideas are already within your four walls. However, if you don’t have a system in place to properly foster innovation, ideas that come down the pipeline might seem half-baked or straight-up batty. This might require you to revisit your organization’s competencies and assets (you don’t sell a product, you sell a solution), remind your team that customers are people (not numbers), and encourage a culture that challenges invisible industry “rules.” Disruption frequently metamorphosizes into innovation.
2. Invite retroactive process feedback
Sometimes the most powerful innovations are just small tweaks to current systems and procedures. A regular retroactive process feedback meeting is a way to keep your team feeling involved, heard, and trusted in bringing new ideas forward. Collectively, your team is a knowledge and experience powerhouse — so use it!
3. Make learning the new normal
Innovation comes from employees who are constantly learning. A great way to inspire learning is for employees to take turns sharing a piece of industry news at weekly meetings (we do this!). It gives your team the leeway to learn on the job, the space to reflect on their own, and finally, ownership of the collaborative dynamics that come from bringing something new to the table.
4. Start with you
At the very least, innovation is overwhelming. That’s why it’s imperative to start small with simpler initiatives before moving on. This not only helps you build inclusion, trust, and openness with your team, but also gives you a chance to get your feet wet first. Think about how you may need to change personally to create an open, participatory culture that unleashes innovation.
You may have to shift your identity from “powerful leader” to “leader that innovates through shared power,” and that’s ok!