Want to increase your podcast listeners? Put them at the heart of your content plan

Written by Ben Barbersmith

My podcast is f*cking amazing, why are more people not listening…? A totally valid question you may well be asking. You do rock, and you do have an amazing podcast, and my word, building an audience is challenging. The thing is, all the advice you’ve been given on how to grow it so far is, well, wrong…

Historically, podcasters have been taught to continually bang the drum - more content, more tweeting, more blogs, more ads. External facing, outward promoting to try and find more ears to plug into your sweet sweet tones. But the answer is, in fact, already on your doorstep. It's your existing listeners, your community today - your superfans - that are the answer to growing your audience. We know, not what you expected, but we stumbled across this from our very own customers…

Podcasters of all shapes and sizes use Levellr to help create, manage & monetize communities with their listeners on Telegram and Discord. While we were initially focusing on the benefits podcasters could provide to community members, we found our customers using our product for something we hadn’t even considered: user-generated content to enrich their podcasts. Totally naturally, podcasters started using this community-generated content to put their listeners right at the heart of what they did, increasing their podcast listeners as a result.

And what does that look like in reality? Levellr works with clients from Fall Out Boy to Starbucks as well as a bunch of podcasts. Here are just a few of the cool things our podcasters are using their Levellr groups for:

Voice notes: Asking community members to record short voice notes, which can then be played on the podcast, offers a super-easy way for listeners to share their thoughts, and really feel involved in the conversation.

Take The Boro Breakdown podcast (dedicated to a football club in the UK called Middlesbrough FC). After a historic victory against Tottenham Hotspur, Jonny the podcast lead, asked the community to send 30 second voice notes on what it meant to win the game, which were then featured in the podcast the next day. Not only was this Content Gold, it made community members feel a huge degree of exclusivity, and a part of something bigger. Voice Notes now regularly feature on the podcast.

Feedback groups: Creating a specific messaging group focussing on podcast feedback can be invaluable, as well as stop these kinds of off-topic discussions taking up space in the main group.

The Anfield Wrap podcast has a buzzing feedback group. The group has influenced things like the ideal length of an episode, who should be interviewed next and what features should stay and which red carded. It’s also proved to be a great place for the hosts to drop into when they want to feel the community love!

Ask your podcast listeners for feedback
The Anfield Wrap has a feedback group, providing a space for the community to directly impact podcast content and help the podcasters gather vital insights from listeners

Listener content can fuel podcast content: So many of our podcast hosts started their pods with a passion for a subject, gathering listeners who shared that passion. This has given them the ultimate pool of knowledge from which to draw from.

Not the Top 20 (a massively popular football league podcast) regularly receives lengthy PDF match reports from community members who have deep knowledge & passion on a chosen topic, content which hosts George & Ali can then use on their show the coming week. Don’t be scared to ask your community for their knowledge & insights on a topic, you might just mine gold that can fuel your own podcast content.

Polls: In-chat polls are a quick and easy way of getting some immediate feedback, which is straight-up invaluable if you want to increase your podcast listeners. Telegram & Discord polls let people choose multiple answers, so whether you’re looking for a yes/no answer, or want listeners to pick their top three from your new podcast feature ideas, it’s easy to do.

There are two types of polls we see podcasters using most often:

1. Tell us what you want to hear on the podcast

Polling enables you to ask your community what topics they most want to hear you talk about on the podcast, an awesome way to make them feel like they are part of the inner circle and directly impacting the content

Poll your listeners
Our customers frequently use polling to let the community decide what they want to hear in upcoming episodes

2. Help us with data that we can use in our podcast and socials

Want to quickly gather data on a subject or topic that you can then use in your podcast and socials? Poll your community. Whether you want to get the consensus on which player fans think should play for the team in the upcoming game, or see who your community think is player of the season, polling gives you real-time data you can then ship and feed into your own content

Rapidly gather data on what your community thinks, a great content source for your own content

While we were initially focussed on the benefits to users, the idea of using Levellr for invaluable content and feedback actually speaks to the same aim: giving super-fans a platform to really engage with what you do. Whether it’s two football fans chatting within the group about the latest match, or getting a shout-out on the podcast for those contributions, it’s all about creating the kind of experience that sets them apart from the average listener.

Your superfans are waiting. Contact Levellr today to find out how you can build a community which works for your brand.

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