Defining the target audience of your podcast is one of the first (and most essential) steps towards success for any podcast, especially if you're just getting started.
Before we get into how to do that, let's first define...
What is a target audience?
Your target audience consists of the people your podcast is directed toward.
The point here is to target a group of people with something (or many things) in common, such as goals, interests, problems they have, profession, etc.
The better you understand who you're talking to, the more likely they are to want to listen. After all, people dropping by once, and then never coming back, won't help you much.
Why choosing your target audience is so important
If I'm running a podcast like That Marketing Podcast, which talks about digital marketing, but I don't have a clearly defined target audience, I'm sure I could talk about anything marketing and attract a variety of random people interested in marketing from many different perspectives, but that wouldn't serve me very well.
You see, not everyone who wants to know more about digital marketing is a good fit for my marketing company.
They could just want to learn about digital marketing so that they can start their own agency, or create their next marketing course, but that doesn't help me generate more income.
It just so happens that there are more people looking to start a marketing agency these days than there are people who want to understand the subject matter of what they are hiring out.
These people are what we might call "relevant traffic", and marketing to them is really just a waste of my time and money.
So that's why it's so important that I know who I'm talking to when I sit down to record each episode of That Marketing Podcast. I'm talking to business owners that want to understand marketing a little better so they can properly hire a marketing company.
So now let's figure out your podcasts target audience.
How to define your podcasts target audience
Like most anything else, this isn't as complicated as you think. It just comes down to answering a few simple questions. Once you do, you'll know exactly who you're talking to.
1. Who are they?
The first place to look would be at people who already mesh with you. If someone is constantly engaging with you, chances are they are in your target audience.
Look at who follows, likes, comments, and shares on your social media account across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp, etc.
Then look a step further.
From the people who've bought from you in the past, to your repeat customers, to the people subscribed to your newsletters.
(Tip: A podcast is a great way to "keep up" with your previous customers and clients.)
2. What are their wants and needs, and what's getting in their way?
At the end of the day, your podcast must be there to serve your listeners. The moment you forget that is the moment your podcast begins to die.
Therefore, you must put yourself in your listeners shoes and think about what they want and/or need in their business or their life.
Couple that with problems they might have, or things that could get in the way of them attaining or achieving what they want.
Now you're beginning to understand your listeners and how you can help them with your show.
The more you help them, the more they fall in love with your show.
3. How do they consume information?
Everyone is constantly consuming information.
We're surrounded by a constant influx of information; TV channels, radio stations, social media, websites, billboards, magazine, conversations... But when you need specific information on demand, where do you go to find that information?
If you can identify the way your listeners generally consume their information, you can feed them your podcast the way they like to be fed their information.
4. How does your podcast benefit the listener?
One of the ultimate human desires is to simplify life and make our lives easier. Your target audience has this desire, same as the rest of us do.
Think about your podcast and the problems your target audience might have. What benefit does listening to your podcast give them? How can it solve those problems?
With 1.8 million podcasts in the world (and counting), you must find a competitive advantage in whatever category your podcast fits into, build on it, and always use it to your advantage.
5. Who does your listener trust?
Trust is everything! Just as nobody buys a product from somebody they don't know or trust, nobody really listens to a podcast by somebody who's an unknown.
Think of who your target audience trusts, and see how you can align yourself with them.
Over time, your reviews (especially reviews on Apple Podcasts) will give your show a trust factor of its own, generate a great reputation, and will give you a base to draw in new listeners.
6. What's is an absolute turn-off to them?
Last but not least, for once, looking at the negative can actually help you. That's why, while this is the last thing on the list, it is actually one of the most important.
Consider for a moment what your target audience doesn't like. What it considers negative and will absolutely avoid even going near.
Avoiding what your listeners consider negative is one of the greatest things you can do to get their approval. Only then can you do everything needed to garner their continued support.
Now let's get creating
Now that you know how to find and understand your target audience, let's get to the fun part.
Let's create some great content for them!
If you need help starting your podcast, you may also want to check out my Intro To Podcasting course. It'll really simplify the whole process of starting a podcast for you.
So have you figured out your podcasts target audience yet?