Setting realistic podcast engagement goals is imperative to measuring success and keeping sustained motivation. For the first few weeks, our engagement spiked and fell drastically from podcast to podcast and we had no baseline goal of who we were attempting to reach. In order to set realistic engagement goals, you must answer two questions: who is your audience and how many people listen to podcasts in that audience?
Who is your audience?
As podcasts are available across the globe through various platforms, the location should not affect this distinction too much. As students of The King’s College, we agreed that very few listeners would find our podcast interesting without knowing us in person. This distinction both limited our maximum growth and allowed us to create an engaged audience more quickly.
Your audience could be linked by a completely different community. Do you love bird watching? Do you love science fiction novels? Be a little more specific. What about Northeastern bird watching or Phillip K. Dick Science fiction novels? Narrowing your audience creates a deeper connection sooner than you could with a more general audience. Now that you’ve envisioned your ideal audience, it’s to measure how much engagement you should expect form each member.
How many people listen to podcasts in your audience?
To create a quick baseline, you can use the American national podcast engagement rate to approximate that of your audience. In 2019, 22% of Americans listened to podcasts on a weekly basis. Multiply this proportion times the size of your population. For the Weathermen podcast, I used the size of The King’s College– roughly 550 students– times 22% and got 110 maximum weekly listeners.
Setting your maximum goal for the audience that you have makes the little victories bigger. Stay focused. Stay consistent. Your audience will continue to grow.