September 22, 2022

One way to grow your podcast audience is to make it more interesting to a wider group of people. 

It’s a seemingly simple solution that comes with a challenge. If you broaden the topics you talk about to attract new fans, there’s a risk that your podcast will be less relevant to the loyal listeners that come for the niche content they love.

There is another option. Make your podcast accessible and interesting to people around the globe who share your passion. After all, one of the benefits of podcasts is that they’re a nearly borderless communication channel.

The trick is learning where and how to target international followers. Connecting with an audience in a different country from where you’re based will take a little work. You’ll find clues in your podcast analytics that’ll direct you to the best places and tactics—and increase the return on your efforts.

Pinpoint your target country

Step one in the journey to global podcast domination is deciding which countries hold the most promise for fast growth.

Your Anchor geo-data is the place to start. Navigate from your Dashboard > Audience > Geographic Location, and you’ll see where listeners come from.

Screenshot of Anchor Geo Location Analytics dashboard
One way Anchor Analytics breaks down your audience is by country of origin

If you notice German listeners find your podcast before you’ve put any effort into attracting them, there’s a good bet you’ll grow an audience quickly there with a little outreach.

While static results are helpful, you’ll also want to track the change over time. That means reviewing this data on a monthly or quarterly basis. That’ll help you unearth less expected sources of new listeners and pick up new trends more quickly.

Say, for example, 1% of your audience came from Germany last month. This month it’s 2%, and next month it jumps to 3%. On its own, 3% doesn’t get your attention. But the trend suggests something resonates with some people in that country.

There are a few other places to look for new audience clues outside of your Anchor dashboard.

Read reviews and social media comments for any that mention location. Then dig into your social media analytics to find out where your followers come from. And if you have a website for your podcast, check Google Analytics to see where website visitors come from. If they’re stopping by your website, they’re probably listening, too.

Finally, just ask. Use the Anchor Q&A and Polls feature to find out where your listeners hail from. Gain more intel and ask them where they heard about your podcast and what segments are their favorites. Take the same approach on Twitter; ask how people found your podcast but do it in the local language to help refine the replies. 

Be on the right platforms

Just because podcasts are a near-borderless channel doesn’t mean everyone’s listening from the same place. People from different countries and continents gravitate to certain platforms. Make sure you’re featured in the service of choice so your new international audience can find you.

Anchor analytics will show you which platforms and devices are popular with your current audience.

This will give you a good baseline of where you’re at now. With a little sleuthing, it’ll also suggest where international followers find your episodes. Say you get a big bump in German listeners. At the same time, the percentage of people tuning in from Spotify jumps up, too. That correlation is a strong indicator that your new German audience found you on that channel.

A quick Google session will help here too. A search for “most popular podcast platform in [country]” nets several current statistics for the most popular venue in each location. 

Create content that resonates with international audiences

Niche topics work well on podcasts because they’re relevant to a particular audience. That same theory applies when you try to attract fans from a new geography—your content should have some particular relevance to them.

Start with a review of the most popular episodes on your Anchor dashboard.

Screenshot of Anchor Top Episodes platform]‍
Audience by episode tells you what topics your current audience is really into. Double check to see if they’d hold up with an international audience.

Dig into your best performing episodes for things that a person from another culture may not understand.

For example, do you reference trends in a way that only makes sense where you live? If you talk for ten minutes about how hot it is during an episode released in June, your Australian listeners won’t feel it.

Also, if you use local lingo, your international fans could get lost. Whenever possible, leave the colloquialisms out or at least explain them.

To really make your new listeners feel at home, invite guests from your target geography to appear on an episode or two. That representation will help confirm that your podcast is meant for that audience. Ask the guest to share with their network of followers. As a bonus, the guest can help you understand the nuances of the culture.

As your podcast grows with a new population, it’ll be worth providing a translation in their native language. That could mean subtitles if you have a video version or transcription. And since transcribing your episodes also can help with search engine optimization, you’ll have a double win when you do it.

Finally, share experiences or news from the place you’re trying to reach. In a 2020 Edison Research study, 47% of Latino listeners polled said it’s important to hear stories from their country of origin in a podcast. Google Alerts is a good way to get those stories delivered to your inbox.

If you’re at a loss for what people in another country want to know about your topic, listen to podcasts produced there. It may even give you new episode ideas—for example, the differences in how the two cultures discuss a topic. And just like when you looked for the most popular platforms, a Google search for “most popular [topic] podcasts in [country]” will tell you what people in your niche are interested in.

Market to the most active cities

It can be expensive and time consuming to market your podcast to an entire country. Luckily, there are ways to narrow your marketing target to the cities and regions most likely to respond to your message.

Start by looking for localized hot spots in your Anchor Analytics. Go to Geographic Location and click on the country of interest. You’ll see a breakdown of city or region by clicking on the country of interest.

Screenshot of Anchor Geo-Location dashboard with city breakout included
Look for city trends in your country of interest to find the best options for localized marketing.

Let’s say you’re looking for followers in Germany for your history of fashion podcast. You see that half of your current German listeners come from Dusseldorf—the fashion capital of the country. You’ll likely get the best bang for your buck focusing there.

Now you can run localized ads on social media platforms in Dusseldorf. Those ads will perform better than they might in less fashion-forward towns. Don’t forget to post organically, too. Find meaningful hashtags for that local market, like #Dusseldorfcouture. And connect with local influencers who can share the show with their highly focused followers.

You can also look for other podcasters based in that city and collaborate with them. Find someone who talks about adjacent topics, like fashion in pop culture. Then swap show promos, social media mentions, and guest appearances.

Don’t forget to leverage the power of social proof. In our example, you’d ask your new German listeners to comment on social media posts and leave reviews. Their endorsement will go a long way with your new audience.

Grow a global audience with regular analytics reviews

Audience growth is dynamic. New listeners come from places that may not be obvious. They’ll love some episodes more than others and can be turned off by things you don’t expect.

A regular review of your podcast analytics is how you stay on top of the ever-changing mix of people who listen to and share your work. Set aside time regularly every week or month to understand your podcast insights. It’ll provide the guidance you need to create the best show for your current fans and find new ones, wherever they may live.