Understanding your podcast audience is not just beneficial—it’s a cornerstone of success. Modern communication strategies go beyond the traditional approach of guiding audiences in a predetermined direction. Instead, they focus on a more nuanced and empathetic method: meeting listeners where they are. To do this you need to understand your audience, encompass personal preferences, behaviors, and expectations.
What do they enjoy? What drives their preferences? What are their daily challenges? And what role does your podcast have in all that? Your followers have already decided you have a role in that and those who will soon be following will become convinced of that too. You need to think beyond the ideas of gender, age, and location demographics and embrace the idea of psychographics (which is hardly a new concept but it’s difficult to execute so gets little attention).
How Can Your Podcast Analytics Help?
Perfect audience data doesn’t exist, but approximate metrics can guide you. Here are some strategies:
1. Device Data Analysis
Analyze device usage data. Are they using laptops or smartphones to listen? This can reveal age groups and economic status. For example, older listeners might prefer laptops, while younger ones lean towards smartphones. High iOS device usage could indicate a wealthier listener base as statistically Android users tend not to have the same level of spending income.
2. App Usage Insights
Understanding which podcast apps are favored by your audience can offer clues about their age and economic background. For instance, studies and surveys show Spotify attracts a younger, budget-conscious crowd, while Apple Podcasts users are more middle-aged.
3. Consumption Rate Analysis
Use Apple Podcasts Connect and Spotify for Podcasters to look at these statistics. How long are people listening to each episode? You’re going to have some people who, well intentioned, download your podcast episode to listen but then they get distracted by a text and only listen to a few minutes of an episode. Others might decide quickly this episode isn’t quite what they were looking for so hoping for near 100% completion on average just isn’t realistic. If you see consumption rates down below 60% that’s usually a signal listeners either weren’t that interested as the episode continued or that your episodes might be too long. The might listen on their 30-minute morning commute but your episodes are 40 minutes. If you see consumption rates over 80% consistently – bravo. That’s a good stuff and perhaps a signal you can go a little longer with each episode.
4. Ask Your Audience
Engage… what a concept! There are a few ways to do this. When you hear from a listener via email or social media (and if it hasn’t happened yet, don’t worry, it will) engage with them. Ask them what they thought of a particular episode or what stood out them that they remember. Within Spotify for Podcasters you can set questions for each episode so you’re asking your audience what they thought or for their own experiencing with the issue highlighted in the episode. You can even conduct polls. And as your podcast grows, consider developing an online community (we use Facebook Community Groups) so you’re hearing from people regularly.
Most people are following between five and eight podcasts they listen to regularly. You need to get into that list. Blending analytical insights with creative thinking will help you gain a spot in that coveted list.