How to Create SMART Podcast Goals – with Lindsay Tjepkema

Now that podcasting is surging, this is a marketing medium that small business owners cannot ignore. But before you look to incorporate podcasting into your brand strategy, you need to know how to set the right podcast goals.

Lindsay Tjepkema from Casted and Marketers with Mics sat down to share her own journey with podcasting and offer insight into how FinConners can best use podcasting. Plus, she goes on to explain common mistakes and how to set yourself apart as a podcaster.

Take a listen to learn how SMART podcast goals can help with your podcast growth and other ways to use podcasting to level up your brand. 

How Lindsay Got Into Podcasting

Lindsay’s background is in marketing. So how exactly did she find herself getting into podcasting and creating Casted? She did branding and content work for a nineteen-year-old company and realized the biggest thing that company was missing was a voice.

So Lindsay gave it one, quite literally.

She decided to funnel part of her budget into launching a podcast. Lindsay quickly realized that this was an impactful way to connect with the company’s audience. As she pressed on in the podcasting world, she realized she could use the podcast as a conversation to connect with current and potential customers. As someone in business-to-business (B2B) marketing, she realized that she could carve out a podcasting niche specific to other marketers. That led her to create Casted and starting The Casted Podcast.

Why Podcasting is Growing

Podcasting is the marketing medium of choice lately. But this podcast growth can be hard to understand for some people who are reading from an old playbook.

Lindsay says that the previous marketing playbook focused on written content. Brands were advised to set up a blog and create some gated content. Then, they had to compel people to click using calls to action. Hopefully, this would direct people into a nurture track. It was very much a volume and quantity game. If audio or video content was created, it was secondary.

However, now we know that audiences want rich content. That’s why Lindsay challenges people to set up their own plays. She says to start with a conversation. Focus on creating audio and video. Then, pull that apart into the additional written content to supplement the conversation. Ultimately, this gives audiences more of what they want. As an added bonus, it is a more effective way to run a marketing team in Lindsay’s eyes.

That doesn’t mean you should scrap your blog. Keep writing, Lindsay says. But she also points out that it is important to keep asking yourself why you are doing what you are doing. If written content resonates with your audience, give them that. However, don’t find yourself putting all of your time and energy into something that is a holdover from a different time if it no longer suits your audience.

Woman Podcasting

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Using Audience & Purpose for Podcast Growth

To see podcast growth, you need to identify two key details: your audience and your purpose. When you are thinking about your audience, ask yourself who your podcast is for. Is this podcast going to be used internally or externally in your company? Are you targeting current customers? Are you trying to use the podcast to reach new customers? Knowing your audience will help grow your podcast more effectively.

Additionally, you also need to be clear on the purpose of your podcast. Are you looking to persuade, inform, or entertain? Some companies will find podcasting to be a compelling way to educate your sales force. Other people will use podcasting as a means to get people to use your product more. Knowing the purpose of your podcast can help your podcast growth move upward in the right direction.

How to Create SMART Podcast Goals

After you are clear on your audience and purpose, you should set SMART podcast goals. Lindsay encourages podcasters to set better podcast goals. Initially, many people focus on downloads. However, Lindsay is quick to pass on advice that she once heard: “You cannot pay your team in downloads.”

Define Your Success Metric

A SMART podcast goal is to define for yourself how to measure success. Lindsay points out that in order to determine if your podcast is successful, you need to remember who your podcast is for and why you’re doing it.

Of course, she says that tracking your number of downloads is helpful. It is one piece of the puzzle. However, it is not the indicator of success for your brand or your marketing strategy that you might think.

Instead, Lindsay encourages podcasters to look for indicators of engagement. She says that you want to be able to tell that people are engaged and excited about your content, not just downloading the episodes.

Own Your Audience to Understand Engagement

To really get a handle on engagement, Lindsay says it is important to own your audience. Apple, Spotify, and other podcast apps are megaphones. They serve as a means to get your content in front of a lot of people. However, that should not be your only path. Rather than rely only on third-party platforms, Lindsay says you want to send someone to your own website.

Once your audience is on your own site, it is like welcoming them into your home. You get a chance to see how they react and interact. It allows you to understand their behaviors by noticing what else they are consuming. You can take note of what they are clicking and listening to. You can also get a sense if they are making return visits and checking out other episodes.

Moreover, once your audience is on your site, they also have the opportunity to engage more deeply with your content. That might mean digging deeper into the conversation by exploring show notes or related blog posts. You might even notice them registering for events or signing up for your coaching services. By using your podcast on your own media, you can tailor your audience’s experiences to their needs. When your audience feels supported and finds value in your message, that is when you will see podcast growth.

women podcasting

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Best Ways to Promote Your Podcast

When it comes to promoting your podcast, you want to focus on storytelling and value. Avoid coming off as too “salesy”. Instead, think about what catches your attention at a party. Lindsay says that when people go to parties, they want to be with the most interesting person in the room. That’s usually someone who is interested in others.

That means that as a podcaster, you want to set up your show to focus on a great conversation that others would be compelled to listen to. Above all else, remember that podcasting is not about you, it’s about your audience.

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Practical Advice to Grow Your Podcast

There is a large drop off for podcasts. Some are inactive, some are on hiatus, and some “pod fade”–they simply stop releasing new episodes. Some of that could be because people aren’t meeting their podcast’s goals or because they don’t see the podcast growth they expect. Lindsay also believes that many people simply underestimate the time and work podcasting takes.

To find success podcasting, Lindsay says you need to be prepared to dedicate more than 15 minutes a week to it. It should not be an afterthought; rather, podcasting should be a focal point in your content strategy. To grow your podcast, be willing to put in effort and energy. Develop expertise in terms of knowing who your podcast is for and understanding your audience.

Rather than get discouraged by the time that podcasting takes, Lindsay suggests wringing more out of your podcast. Use each episode to create other content. It is a shift in how people do marketing, but it is an important shift to make. You can run video content from your podcast interviews. More so, you can share sound bites across other social media channels. Plus, podcast episodes often make great written content. Podcasters should also consider how they can use clips in their email marketing strategy as well.

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Know Podcasts Might Grow Slowly

When setting podcast goals and thinking about how to grow your podcast, be mindful of time. While many people view a podcast as an immediate lead generation tool, Lindsay emphasizes that it is not.

Don’t be discouraged if results aren’t immediate. Your podcast will generate leads over time. In the short term, focus on building your audience and raising awareness and engagement.

As you work, keep your audience at the forefront. Focus on authenticity and relationship building. By making people want to learn more, you can grow your audience and eventually see the conversions that you want.

Team collaborating on website layout

Build Community and Join One

Two other ways to grow your podcast involve community–creating one and joining one. Lindsay’s site Casted actually uses a chatbot. She says this is a gateway for audiences to knock and ask questions. Other options include setting up your site to be more responsive. For instance, your site might make recommendations based on what users are searching for.

In addition to incorporating tools and elements of your site that convey your willingness to dialogue, you want to work that into your podcast. It is standard practice now to end a podcast with a request for a review. Lindsay challenges podcasters to think beyond that. You might consider asking for advice or expertise. That way, your most engaged listeners will raise their hands, Lindsay says.

Beyond creating a community with your audience, you also want to participate in a community for podcasters. Lindsay knew that she had an audience of B2B marketing professionals who already use Slack. That is why she set up Marketers with Mics, a site that actually directs people to a Slack community. This is a place where B2B marketers and podcasters can plug into what others are doing in the community and find ways to collaborate.

While Marketers with Mics might not be the exact community you need, there are plenty of groups on social media that are worth exploring. Finding like-minded individuals to brainstorm and talk strategy is an important way to meet your podcast goals.

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Final Thoughts on SMART Podcast Goals

It’s easy to think that the podcast market is already saturated. However, according to Lindsay, you can still hit your podcast goals.

Think beyond downloads and set a more powerful metric for success–engagement. As you work on your content, focus on serving your audience and fulfilling your purpose. Doing this consistently over time will allow you to own the space, grow your audience, and achieve your podcast goals.

What are your SMART podcast goals?

Please let us know in the comments below.


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Andy Hill

Andy Hill is the award-winning podcaster and blogger behind Marriage, Kids and Money which is dedicated to helping young families build wealth and thrive. Andy's personal finance experience has been featured in major media outlets like CNBC, Business Insider, MarketWatch and NBC News. Trusted as a personal finance influencer by national financial brands, Andy’s message of family financial empowerment has resonated with listeners, readers and viewers across the US. When he's not "talking money", Andy enjoys wrestling with his two kids, singing karaoke with his wife and watching Marvel movies.