Step 3: Identify your Audience

You’ve identified your goals; now it’s time to start thinking about your audience. Who do you want to listen to your podcast? Who is your target market?

One of the biggest mistakes podcasters make is targeting too broad an audience. Suppose you’re in real estate investment; it may seem sensible to target landlords. But there is a lot of variety between landlords, the needs of a landlord with ten properties will be different to the needs of a landlord with one. What about landlords for students? Their needs will be different too. Or landlords in London? They’ll probably have different needs than a landlord in the Cotswolds.

Start with a niche topic that you can be the best at. It’s better to be the big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond. For example, expanding on the previous example, if you’re a real estate agent in London, you may want to focus on real estate investing in London for landlords with multiple properties. It might seem daunting to niche down so specifically, but it enables you to make sure that your content is hyper-focused and of high value to your audience.

Another benefit of targeting a specific audience is the wealth of topics you can cover. It may sound counter-intuitive, but the smaller your audience, the more you can talk about because you are able to deep dive into the topics that other, broader podcasts can’t.

Here are several ways you can niche down your audience:

  • Industry
  • Specialism
  • Competency
  • Seniority
  • Values
  • Demographics
  • Location

Industry

The industry is the first and most obvious way to niche down. For example, is your target audience in SaaS, retail, manufacturing, or education? You can take this further by looking at the type of business. What is the size of the company? Are they a micro-business, a small business, or an enterprise? Are they B2B or B2C?

Specialism

What do they specifically do within their industry? For example, if you are going to target marketing agencies, are they full-service agencies or specialists? Are they experts in organic search and SEO or paid media and social? Do they have a specific industry that they work in?

This is usually as far as most podcasters go, but there are still many ways to niche your audience further.

Competency

Are they experts on a particular subject, or are they just starting? Let’s say you sell online courses for designers; you might want to target beginners instead of industry experts working in the industry for the past 30 years.

Another way to think about competency is to ask yourself the questions, “what do they know?”, “what do they not know?” and “what do they know they don’t know?”. There is no point in teaching SEO experts about the basics of SEO, so what do they not know? Perhaps recent updates in the industry or highly detailed experiments which require a lot of knowledge and understanding about search.

Seniority

Are they a senior in their field, at management level, or junior? A business owner faces different challenges from an entry-level employee at a company. Suppose you want to target managers within the logistics industry; you’ll want to include topics that are relevant to management, such as improving the efficiency of staff and hiring talent in logistics. Looking at the other end of the spectrum, someone new to the industry would perhaps be more interested in topics relevant to everyday tasks, how they can continue to develop within the industry and how to strive for more senior roles.

Values

Do they have a particular set of values? For example, are they a sustainable company? Are they vegan? Do they sacrifice profit for a social cause? Do they believe in minimalism? Companies and individuals with different values will have different challenges and needs, you’ll want to cater your content to help the challenges they face.

Demographic

How does your ideal audience identify? Are they Gen Zers, Millenials, or older? Do they have a large disposable income, or are they from lower economic backgrounds? Do they have any hobbies or specific character traits? Your target demographic will play a big role in identifying the topics you cover in your podcast, the tone, and how you deliver the content.

Location

Are they in a particular country, a particular state, a particular region, or even a particular city? For some niches, the location of your audience might not be relevant. But for others, it could be vital. For example, legal systems can drastically vary between countries. If you are a law firm, you’ll want to make sure your podcast content is specific for the country you operate in.

Your target audience will also help you determine where to promote your podcast.  If your target market is small business owners, you may want to submit your podcast to directories that focus on business podcasts. We’ll cover promotion and marketing strategy in Step 8.

By identifying your target audience, you can ensure that the content you create provides real value to them and addresses their challenges.