Step 5: Audience Research

Audience research is a step that many podcasts overlook. Through Step 3, you will have already identified your target audience and you may even think that you know what they are interested in, but do you really know? You want to produce a podcast your target audience loves and looks forward to listening to weekly. The best way to be able to do this consistently is by conducting audience research and talking to your target audience to find out what they want to listen to.

You could use surveys, social media polls, and emails to do this research, which are all effective methods of research, but nothing is better than speaking with your target audience directly. Ask them about their pain points, what they are struggling with, what they want to learn more about, and how they want to consume the content. The more people you speak to in your target audience, the more trends and similarities will become apparent.

You can also ask your target audience who they want to hear from and what stories they want to listen to. They may provide you with specific names or describe the type of person they want to hear from. For example, suppose you are in the digital marketing industry. In that case, your target audience may say they want to hear from the SEO lead at a digital marketing agency that helped their clients rank number 1 on Google or from the MD talking about how niching down into PPC resulted in exponential growth in their business.

Once you’ve gathered this information, you can use it as inspiration and a guide to help structure your episodes around key themes, topics, and guests. Feedback from your audience is the most valuable asset we have as podcasters.

Ideally, you’ll want to speak to at least ten people within your target audience, but the more, the better. Here are five questions to get you started:

  1. What challenges are you facing in your business?
  2. What topics do you want to learn more about?
  3. What is something no-one else is talking about online or on podcasts?
  4. Who do you want to hear from?
  5. What are you NOT interested in hearing about?

You want to ensure that your podcast is the podcast in your niche that listeners love listening to. The podcast that they share with their friends and colleagues. The podcast that gets people talking and excited for the next episode. Through appropriate audience research and exploration of your target market, you vastly improve your chances of appropriately catering to listeners, ensuring that they consistently come to you and your podcast for insight.