What makes one podcast go viral and another vanish into the virtual ‘black hole’? Creating a podcast that people are truly engaged with isn’t easy, and takes more than just brilliant content. So, before you embark on your next podcast series, have a look at our top tips and take your first step towards podcast success!
1. Know your audience
Before you begin, it’s crucial to know your audience. The interests and motivations of podcast audiences differ from those of other more established media platforms such as TV, radio and social. Put yourself in the audience’s seat. Is this something that you would be interested in listening to? Those who listen to podcasts are often avid listeners and may be subscribed to several at once. They are prepared to invest their time in a podcast that offers real value. If you’re not delivering something new and interesting, then you’re likely to lose their attention – and fast.
2. Connect via multiple channels
Podcast users are technically savvy and spend a lot of time online, so engaging them through other online platforms is essential and a great way to leverage podcast engagement. Provide additional content, promote your podcasts, facilitate online conversations and simply connect with your audience wherever they are. You can do this through website content, e-newsletters, blogs and engagement via social media, including: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, iTunes, reddit and YouTube. It may also be worth considering distributing your content through other online means such as a webinar – but remember, it is important to know which platforms are the right ones to supplement your activity with, so be sure to consider your audience’s interests and online behaviours through this process.
3. Utilise guest speakers for audience growth
If your podcast guest speakers have a strong following on their social media pages, you might consider having them play a larger role in your podcast’s promotional strategy. Ask them to post content that creates interest in your podcasts, generating conversation around relevant topics. Be sure that they provide their audiences with a link to your podcast though; because the aim of this activity is to ultimately drive subscribes to your content in the future.
4. Respond personally and quickly
Whether online or face-to-face, we always appreciate it when someone addresses us personally and makes us feel important. So it’s no surprise that responding to comments or messages on social media will build positive connections with your audience. Let them know that their message or feedback is appreciated and be sure to use their name in your response. It’s a nice touch to include your name too, and they can put a person to your reply rather than it just coming from ‘cyber-space’. Over time this build familiarity, relationship and your very own online community, where your listeners become your advocates, further contributing to audience growth.
5. Be authentic
It’s challenging to find an online voice that resonates with your audience. Don’t over-think your responses or craft them too heavily in consultation with colleagues. You’re not trying to please everyone but rather, trying to bond with your podcast’s audience. If you can, have just a single person responsible for content, but if this is not possible, be sure your team are all speaking in one voice.
Audiences want to be engaged and demand for quality podcasts is growing. It’s been said that podcasts are the second golden age of radio. To maintain momentum and relevance in an increasingly crowded digital marketplace, podcasts need to build relationships with the audience that go beyond merely listening to a show once a week. Connect with your audiences on a personal level and provide them with content that is relevant. Offer something unique that no other podcasts can. Create your niche and keep the conversations going.
To learn more about how to build engagement in your school's podcast series, download your complimentary copy of our ebook. If you would like to speak to one of our experienced consultants about optimising your podcast for better engagement, or perhaps you need help in getting a new podcast underway - book your free call today.
This blog was written by Clare Ravasini
Clare joined imageseven in 2013. Since then, no two days have ever been the same and she has loved every minute. Clare considers herself an out-of-the box thinker, which serves her well in her work with a variety of clients. She’s got a spring in her step, always has a smile on her face and has a passion for all things creative. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors and loves living the country life with her horses.