How To

How to broaden your audience

We break down the steps to understand and then broaden your audience with practical tips and examples.

Whether you’re a blogger, youtuber, podcaster or (as is increasingly the case) all three, you’re always looking to broaden your audience. But the process is full of problems. From understanding who your audience is to figuring out whether what you’re doing is working, it can feel like you’re stumbling in the dark.

But there are a few simple steps you can take to broaden your audience. Even better, they’ll help you better understand your audience in the process (which is key to creating great content).

Understanding your audience

The first step to broadening your audience and really doing just about any kind of media well is understanding your audience. If you’ve ever watched someone give a presentation that everyone watching hated but they kept going and refused to change a thing, you’ve got a sense of what it feels like to encounter media that doesn’t do this. But in the digital era where you don’t have an audience you can physically see, how do you do this?

Use data available data and surveys

The first place to look for information about your audience is platform data. Youtube, some podcast providers and your website hosting platform should all give you access to some data about the demographics of your audience. This is your first and most basic step. But getting beyond age, gender, location, and interests takes some more work.

Many creators use surveys, asking their audience to participate in order to help them or by offering prizes or other incentives. For more tips about what kind of questions to ask, you can use this guide.


Once you’ve got a better sense of your audience, it’s time to use empathy. The trick is to think about your audience at every step of your creation process. Focus less on whether you like something and more on whether your audience will (because those things will often be different).

Try their media diet

One great way to build empathy with your audience is to try their media diet. Ask them what they watch, read, and listen to in a survey and then start enjoying that content yourself. You will start to notice things you like and don’t like. Then you can incorporate these lessons into your own work. Just don’t be too obvious about copying some things, because people can notice and get annoyed.

An example from my own work creating a history podcast is that I noticed with most other history shows they were so packed with information it was easy to space out for a second and lose track of what was happening. So when creating my own show, I make sure there are sufficient pauses and regular “signposts” indicating what we’re talking about. As a result, my audience has noticed that my episodes are easy to follow even when they cover a lot of information.

Experiment with who your audience might be

Even if you’ve done surveys to better understand your audience, there’s something you always need to keep in mind: your audience might be different than you think. Sometimes, shows take off with totally unexpected groups. The key is to keep your eyes open for when this might happen and to be ready to react if it does.

The importance of varying your media and platforms

No audience is a monolith, especially a growing one. That’s why the single most important technique we advocate for is putting out a variety of media on multiple platforms. If you’re posting a combination of images, charts, shot videos, long videos, audio clips, charts, etc. on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. you’ve got a much better shot of discovering something that works.

Then, you can take this strategy to the next level by repurposing content. To see what this looks like in action, GaryVee has used it to broaden his audience into a global powerhouse.

Using A/B testing and segmentation

If you’ve got some theories about your audience, you need to test them. In fact, you should always be developing theories about your audience as you put out content. Otherwise, you’re missing a steady stream of opportunities to learn more about them. Those insights are gold when it comes to creating better content that will organically grow your audience.

Leverage the audience you have

Once you’ve got a good understanding of your audience, you’ve got the basic information you need to start broadening it. Everyone knows you can use tools like paid advertising, but in most cases the most powerful tool you have to grow your audience is the one you already have.

Of course asking your audience to like and share what you’re putting out is par for the course, so what else can you be doing?

Give them reasons to share your content

One technique I’ve always found success with is personalizing your pitch for sharing. Tell a story about how your audience sharing your content will affect you or your business. Give them a narrative they can insert themselves into. Or, you can also go the more direct route and offer prizes and giveaways.

Engage with them

Imagine if you shared a post, video, etc. from your favorite creator and they commented on it (privacy settings permitting). Being proactive about interacting with the sharers in your community will help improve your image and make others feel better about sharing.

Try and create a sense of community

Community is one of the most powerful feelings we experience as humans. It’s what motivates us to pay our taxes, protect our loved ones, donate our time, etc. It’s no wonder that creators who are able to create a sense of community in their audience find it brings them a lot of success. After all, it makes your existing audience feel more in place and tells new audiences that by joining they can also join this community.

Creating that sense can start with creating spaces for it. This could be a subreddit, Facebook fan page, etc. Create a place where people who like what you do can gather. Then, you can use tools like references and humor. When you repurpose your content, try and include elements that only “insiders” will get. This reinforces a sense of being in a cohesive group.

Need help?

Repurposing content to grow your audience isn’t easy, but with the right tools you can absolutely use this technique to broaden your audience. We used artificial intelligence to create Chopcast, a tool for breaking down your video content into microcontent that you can share everywhere to grow your audience. It’s a huge time-saver and can turn even the smallest production teams into social media powerhouses. Check it out and let us know what you think!

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