How I Grew the HubSpot Podcast Skill Up Audience by 271% in Two Months

April 19, 2021

By Alanah Joseph

This post is a part of Made @ HubSpot, an internal thought leadership series through which we extract lessons from experiments conducted by our very own HubSpotters.

There are 72,000 new podcast episodes each day — which means there are five new podcasts made every six seconds.

And, as of March 2020, there are a reported 1.9 million total podcasts, and 47 million total episodes. Depending on when you read this article, these numbers could be drastically different.

Which is all to say: The podcast industry is rapidly growing.

In a world of fast-growing competition, how do we — as podcast marketers — compete for listeners’ attention, while also expanding reach and growing our audiences?

I wish that I could tell you that I have it all figured out. However, not having it figured out is what ultimately led to a 271% increase in downloads for season six of HubSpot’s podcast, Skill Up.

Here, I’ll share my lessons for how I achieved that growth.

Lesson 1: There are a lot of podcast listening platforms.

When you think of podcast platforms, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts are probably top of mind, right?

Well, there are many, many more listening platforms beyond those three.

I downloaded every podcast platform available through the App Store on my iPhone. This included Podcast Addict, Overcast, Castro, PlayerFM, Pandora, Pocket Casts, and about ten others.

I then cross-referenced the players I downloaded with the audience application report from Megaphone. If there was a small or nonexistent audience on a platform, I highlighted it.

The first recommendation I can make is to look at where people are listening to your podcasts using the reporting provided by your podcast host. Are the majority of your downloads coming from Apple or Spotify? If your answer is yes, then that’s good news. You have untapped audiences on other platforms, including PlayerFM and Podcast Addict.

Which brings me to my next recommendation …

Lesson 2: Paid ad placements on podcast platforms pay off.

After I had a list of podcast platforms that would allow me to expand the reach of my podcast, I opened each platform and took note of their ad placements. I looked for anything that said “Sponsored” or something along those lines. If I liked the ad placement, I included it in my list.

Next, I focused on gathering data on ad cost, estimated CPM, and estimated downloads for the placements I was interested in. This is relatively easy, since many of the platforms share both the ad placements available and estimated campaign results on their websites.

If they don’t have the information available on their website, you can email the podcast platforms’ advertising team, who will provide you with that information.

After gathering this data, I assessed the best ads forSkill Up. Fortunately, before I joined HubSpot, my manager had already run ads on podcast listening platforms — which meant I had data to reference to make more …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog