The podcast industry is continuously growing and will remain competitive for brands and businesses that leverage the platform in their marketing strategy. With new players entering the field, you need to step up your game to make your podcast successful.
While it’s not too late to start a podcast, it’s crucial to implement strategies that will make your podcast stand out. Identifying the themes you want to discuss and pinpointing your niche are the first steps to ensuring that you create unique content for your podcast. Defining the target demographic for your podcast will also help you develop audience engagement strategies that you can incorporate into your content.
Audience engagement can take different forms, depending on the type of content you produce. For example, indicators of positive audience engagement for a social media post would be the number of likes and shares it receives, while audience engagement for a blog post would include the number of comments or reactions sent through once it’s published.
For podcasts, good indicators of engagement include:
- If your audience responds to the CTA in your episodes
- If your audience contributes to your podcast, either in the comments section or by sending you messages related to the topic you discuss
- If your audience shares your episodes and initiates discussions about them online
Most listeners gravitate towards content that makes them feel included and important, so you have to engage them to ensure that they continue tuning in. Prioritising audience engagement for your podcast can allow you to increase your listenership and brand awareness in the podcast space.
5 ways to boost audience engagement with your podcast
Audience engagement is not something your podcast develops overnight. You need to consistently build and improve your show to produce compelling content your audience will engage with.
Here are five ways you can boost audience engagement with your podcast.
1. Find the right podcast host
The audience’s perception of your show will depend on how the host relays your messages and information. It’s important to choose the right podcast host as they will serve as the official voice of your podcast and set the tone and atmosphere for each episode.
It’s much easier to build audience loyalty and trust if your host genuinely engages with both your guest speakers and listeners for each episode.
Make sure that your podcast host has these qualities when you’re screening potential candidates:
- They embody the brand’s ideas – The podcast host will represent your brand so they should be well-versed about your business as well as the industry you’re in. Choosing a host that matches your target market in terms of demographics and values will make it much easier for them to connect with your listeners.
- They’re a natural conversationalist – A great conversationalist is not just an engaging storyteller, they’re a good listener too. They should be comfortable with talking about different topics for longer periods, and they should be able to steer the conversation in the right direction when guest speakers go on a tangent.
- They’re a hard worker – Creating and maintaining a podcast requires a lot of organising and planning. Your podcast host should be willing to review the research materials and rehearse the script, and they should be able to work well with your production crew, to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
- They’re authentic – Listeners can tell if the host is being genuine or not, which is why it’s important to choose a podcast host who can speak from the heart and is passionate about the topic.
- They’re respectful – Your podcast host needs to remain professional and respectful, even if they disagree with a statement made by a guest speaker or if they receive negative criticism from listeners. They should remain calm and use the feedback to improve their skills for the next episodes.
2. Talk about the things your audience cares about
While you can utilise your podcast to promote products and services, your branded podcast will be more engaging if you produce content that establishes a deeper connection with your audience. To do this, you need to understand your target listener and the topics they’re interested in, check out copywriting services for your podcast strategy.
With so many podcasts out there that are also vying for your listener’s attention, you need to pitch your point of difference to convince and convert your listeners into a loyal podcast audience. It’s easy to throw around buzz words and catchy phrases, but these only keep your listeners tuned in for short minutes. You need to show the value your podcast can give your listeners, and it should be unique and compelling enough for them to choose your podcast over your competitors.
3. Promote your podcast on social media
Podcast promotion is just as important as making podcast episodes. Using different social media platforms to promote your podcast can allow you to create different types of promotional content and reach a wider audience. Shareable media like pull quotes, links and pre-written Tweets and status updates are primary examples of effective use of social media to promote your podcast episodes.
You can also leverage visual content by creating quote images or behind-the-scene clips to attract listeners. You can write an interesting anecdote or a short quip to support the quote image that promotes the podcast episode, which can have the potential to resonate with your social media visitors or viewers.
Podcasts are audio-based content, so you can utilise soundbites to give a sneak peek of your upcoming episodes on different social media platforms.
4. Collaborate with other podcasts
Listeners will want something different occasionally, and including collaborations with other creators and experts in your podcast can give a fresh perspective to the topics you discuss, which can renew your audience’s interest and attract new listeners.
Podcast collaborations are mutually beneficial partnerships where two like-minded individuals exchange valuable ideas that provide new knowledge or information for listeners. Podcast collaborations are also good opportunities to establish a deeper connection with industry experts while elevating your podcast’s visibility, authority and audience reach.
Collaborations aren’t necessarily about connecting with influencers or famous individuals. Potential collaborators and the content they produce should align with your podcast’s core themes and ideas so that you can create content that is valuable and relevant.
5. Respond to your listeners’ comments on new episodes
Engaging your listeners is not just about consistently producing exciting content—you should also make them feel included and important. Audience participation is a very important aspect in boosting engagement because it transforms your podcast into a two-way conversation between your host and the listeners.
Audience participation can be a source of inspiration for your show especially if you ask open-ended questions that allow your listeners to share their insights and suggestions about different areas in improving your podcast.
Open-ended questions you can ask your audience include:
- What are the topics you’d like us to cover in the future?
- How does the topic or issue we’ve discussed affect your life?
- What do you think of the episode?
You can use your audience’s answers as supplementary content to the ideas you want to discuss, just make sure you get their permission in sharing their answers in the next episode.
Podcasting can be an effective way to diversify the content you offer, but it’s important to build and nurture your audience as more players enter the podcast industry. Implementing audience engagement strategies can build trust and loyalty even as you expand your listenership.
Reach out to us if you’re ready to create a podcast that builds your authority and engages your target listeners.