Listener Personas in Podcasting

Implement Personas in Podcasting to get 80% more Business

When starting a podcast, especially one meant to support your business through generating sales or business leads, your number one goal will usually be to get a broad audience, have as many subscribers as possible. 

Let me tell you a secret: that’s not always the best mentality if you want to be successful in your business. For that, you need to understand who your ideal clients are and work with them. 

Collecting a large number of subscribers can make sense if you want to monetize your show with ads or sponsorships.

But selling your products through a podcast requires reaching the right people.

It won’t matter if you have thousands of subscribers if not even 10% are your ideal customers. Why? Because only 10% will even consider buying something from you. An even smaller percentage will go to your site. Then again, a smaller chunk will view your offer. And finally, just a fraction of the percentage of your total subscribers will purchase. You have to obey the rules of going down the sales funnel.

And this is where a listener avatar comes into play.

Podcast User Engagement - personalized experience

Buyer personas give you enough data to create a unique and personalized experience tailored to people who will eventually become paying clients. This is crucial because personalization has a massive impact on people’s purchase decisions.

80% of consumers claim they’d be more likely to give a brand their business if the brand used their customer data to provide them with personalized customer experience.

There are already over 800,000 podcasts, so competition for people’s attention is growing each year. Be prepared to address your clients’ needs more adequately.


Number of podcast listeners - monthly listenership

What is a listener’s avatar?

Also called marketing or buyer personas, listener avatars are fictional characters that represent your ideal clients. Depending on your business, you can create one or more such personas.

In short, a persona represents a client you have, you want to have, or you want to avoid.

To create the perfect persona, you need to be as detailed as possible and especially, ask the right questions: where are they from, how old are they, what’s their job, their hobbies, their income? 

Be specific, even if that means you have to create more than one persona for a podcast.

You can’t create a high performing marketing message without understanding your clients.

Surprisingly, only 44% of marketers actually use personas! 

So by creating personas for your podcast, you are already ahead of the game.


Engagement storytelling

Why should you create a listener’s avatar?

Now that we’ve established the “what,” let’s talk about the “why.” Why are personas in podcasting important?

Creating a persona allows you to talk to them directly. Of course, you are addressing your entire audience, not just this one representative character. 

But the more you know about the person you are trying to attract, the more personal the conversation will feel as you are consciously creating personalized customer experiences for your listeners.

Each listener loves to feel you are talking directly to them. They like to feel like it’s their trusted advisor talking to them, or a friend who knows them well and understands them. From here, you can engage listeners. 

And everyone knows an engaged audience is one who stays with you for a long time and who will purchase your products.

Customers who are engaged by a brand make purchases 90% more often and spend 60% more per transaction than those customers who aren’t engaged.

Creating personas for your podcasting business will also help you focus, create a better show, and better products. If you know exactly who your ideal client is, then you know what they need to hear, what their questions are, and what products will make your life easier.

Here’s another tip: big brands choose their clients. I’m not talking about choosing in the literal sense of the world. And they do it very successfully.

71% of companies that do use buyer personas exceed their revenue and lead targets.

But creating and using personas in podcasting for crafting a communication message doesn’t mean alienating the remaining part of your audience. They will also get your core marketing message, but the offer will simply be more appealing to the people who are more likely to buy.


Words per minute - podcast effectiveness

What is a negative persona?

In short, it is the complete opposite of your ideal client. It’s the person that will most likely never buy from you. That’s because nothing you can offer is appealing to them, their lifestyle, or their particular situation.

Isn’t a persona of the ideal client enough? Why do I need a negative persona model?

Creating an avatar for your least ideal client will help you avoid this person completely. 

Focusing on your ideal customer is the first step, but there are also reasons you may want to avoid specific clients:

  • If you are running paid ads having a negative persona will allow you to spend more money on core clients and avoid people who won’t buy. It will save you money, avoid quickly burning through marketing budgets, and improve your marketing ROI.
  • When your campaign is optimized for maximizing sales, you want to avoid people who do not have a disposable income to spend.
  • Finally, this can allow you to avoid people who constantly leave bad reviews. This way, you will protect your reputation and maintain high positive reviews.

Words per minute - speed impact

How to create buyer personas for your podcast?

The first rule when creating your podcast persona is to be specific! Focus on those key areas:

  • Demographic information – Where were they born? Where do they live? How old are they? Are they married? Do they have kids?
  • Emotional vs. Rational characteristics – What are their values? How do they make decisions?
  • Life aspirations and Preferences – What are their goals in life? What challenges are they facing when working towards their goals?
  • Behavioral patterns – How much time do they spend online? How do they listen to your podcast? What are their hobbies, their interests? How do they spend their free time?
  • Product Demand – What problem they have that you can solve? How much would they be willing to spend on a solution? How urgent is the solution to their problem?

When you have the answer to all these questions, you can finally get to the big one: how can your podcast address their needs / solve their problem?

But let’s talk a bit more about some of the things you should be asking and why they matter when creating a persona for a podcast.

Demographic information

This is important for so many reasons, many of which you’re probably already aware of. Where a person is from, their age, their income level, are crucial in determining whether the products you offer are fit for them. They will also help you address them in a more familiar way.

What are they like? What’s their personality?

I think this is one of the things that’s easy to overlook when creating a marketing persona. We tend to get very focused on who the clients are, what they like, do, need, that we don’t worry about their personality. 

Maybe in some businesses, you can get away with creating a persona without a specific personality. But in podcasting, this is more important. Remember, you want to be their trusted advisor. You need to know the type of people they are before you can become their advisor.

So are they introverted or extroverted? Are they optimistic, pessimistic, or maybe cynical? This will determine how they approach many topics. If you don’t do it in the same way, they’ll probably walk away, which might make them your negative persona.

Do they tend to joke about everything? Do they need things to lighten their mood? Or are they the serious type that just wants to hear the information, good or bad, without any side jokes? You can imagine that if your ideal client is the serious type, but you create an episode where you laugh at everything, you’re not going to get the best results.

What do they like?

Hobbies, passions, favorite music, favorite movies, are all essential things and can help you personalize your listener’s experience. You can use this information in various ways, depending on your podcast and your business. Maybe you can tailor the products themselves, or perhaps customize the music you use in your podcast to appeal to your avatar. 

Even knowing the movie and book genre they like can be helpful. How? Well, for instance, someone who loves a good procedural drama might enjoy things presented in a clear, almost investigative manner. Or someone who likes sci-fi might like it if you add an element of mystery to your episodes. 

What do they do every day? (it’s about more than just the job)

We are slowly getting closer to the questions that will help us refine and offer better products to our ideal clients. At this point, you know who your persona is, all their demographic information, their personality, and their hobbies. It is time to think about day-to-day activities. The most important here is their job.

But don’t just limit yourself to asking what their job is. Do they like their job? Are they where they want to be with it? Do they like the profession, but hope for a better workplace? Are they in a profession they hate? If so, why? 

Do they dream of a change, or are they risk-averse and very cautious about making significant changes?

Here you could already be defining problems they have. Maybe you aren’t focused per se on their job and how they can improve it. But this is a central element in most people’s lives, so you need to know everything about it if you want to create real solutions.

Start also asking about aspirations. The answer might come naturally when inquiring about their job. If they are not yet where they want to be, the next logical question is, “what are their challenges?” And “what do they aspire to be?” How do they see their lives unfolding? Soon, you’ll be starting to see how you can help them turn those aspirations into reality.

How does your persona listen to your podcast?

Do they listen on the go? Or while they work? Maybe they listen during their lunch break? Or while working out? 

I think these are questions not many podcasters ask themselves. And they are so important! Why? 

Well, picture this. Maybe your show is one people will listen in the evening, at home, while relaxing after work. They are probably tired. So you might want to consider that creating a loud show with upbeat music is not the best idea. On the contrary, such a show might be appropriate for someone who listens while they’re at the gym because they’ll need that extra boost of energy.

Now that you know how your persona listens to your podcast, try to listen to the episode before publishing it in a similar context. How is it making you feel? Is it ok? Then hit publish. Does something feel off? You know you gotta change something then!


Ideas for up to date podcast

How to get data to create a persona for a podcast?

Survey people online. Offer simple incentives.

To begin, you could start by creating an idealized persona of who you wish your ideal podcast listener and client were. Funny enough, in many cases, you’ll see this person is very similar to you, or to someone you know. And even if this is not the case, go based on assumptions. Who do you want to attract?

As a new business, the next step should be analyzing your competition. Know who they are, what segment they are targeting, and what issues they address. Maybe you can compete directly with them. Perhaps you can go via a more indirect route – talk to the same people, but offer a different solution.

Next, just talk to people. They can be people you know in real life, people in Facebook groups, for instance. In short, places where your ideal client, the one defined based on assumptions, would be. See if your assumptions can be adjusted, or maybe simply create a second persona.

Finally, as your business starts to grow organically, check your analytics via Google, or Facebook, or other platforms you use. They will usually help you narrow down your audience’s demographics, the topics they are more interested in, and more. 

For businesses that already have a client base – collect data about them, either through interviews, surveys, and more. Analyze data and see what your best selling products are when they sell best and who buys them.

Verify your data once your business grows

After creating your podcasting personas and tailoring your content for their needs, you should start to see your business grow. You’ll get more and more subscribers each week. 

This alone should tell you the listener avatar you’ve created is effective. But just to make sure you are attracting the right people and not the negative persona, verify your data! How? It’s easy: ask questions, run surveys, ask for reviews. You might not get everyone to take the time and answer. But if about half of them do, it will be enough to check the information.

Now that you have your marketing persona, it’s time to talk about how to use it in podcasting to maximize your results.


Educational Podcast - Improve quality

How to use a buyer persona effectively in podcasting

First of all, the simple fact that you created these personas will help you segment your audience. It will also help in creating personalized messages. Like I said in the beginning, the aim is to become their trusted advisor, not to be some stranger delivering a message they may or may not care for.

Afterward, use your data to create relevant content. You can increase your chances of getting more clients by creating a targeted landing page. You can also offer incentives, freebies to help you grow your email list. The better the persona you created, the better the incentive you will offer. This, in turn, will bring more subscribers with the potential of becoming buying customers.

The biggest advocate and user or personalized customer experience in the world is Amazon. They make 35% of its sales using its AI recommended search engine. It shows how important it is to match offer individually.

Adjust the language you use to match what your audience expects. This goes both for the podcast itself, but also for any podcasting websites you may have or for the emails you might be sending to your subscribers.

All this will help you convince your audience to listen to your show regularly. If they know you offer valuable information, they are more likely to return each time, with curiosity and interest.


Conclusions

Listener avatars are one of the most important things if you want your podcast to reach the right audience. 

They allow you to create a personalized experience for your audience, they help you create a customized marketing plan and minimize the costs that would arise from targeting the wrong audience. 

Define your persona and start addressing their needs, and you will get amazing results in your podcast and business. Personas in podcasting are one of the most underutilized tools creators, and marketers use. Build them for your show and business and start seeing the benefits.

About the Author
Chris Land

Chris Land

I'm the owner and creator of ImprovePodcast.com, the site dedicated to providing actionable solutions for podcast creators. My goal is helping people to develop their podcasts into effective marketing and sales tools.

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