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Retaining your podcast audience

Lewis McDonnell

Over time, you create a personal connection with your audience. This comes from you having a genuine interest in what you are talking about, and are keen and willing to learn more. This will be enough to create a connection between yourself, as the person making the podcast, and the listener, as you are both interested in discussing and finding out more about specific topics.

This means that it’s important to enjoy what you are talking about. Podcasts are not just a one-off. They require time and effort into making them the best they can be, so if you are not passionate about the topics you are talking about, there is a large possibility that you will not have the drive to discuss topics and research on a regular basis. Once you have your niche, it becomes an area for like-minded people to come together, and engage with each other, as well as the podcast.

Using social media to maintain your audience

Once people arrive at your podcast and have found out that they are interested with what you have to say, what is your next step? It’s important to keep your listeners involved, but how do you go about this when a podcast is a one-way stream of content? Creating a social media presence is the ideal way to build a connection with your listeners. This gives you a platform to update people on anything from the time and day of release, to some of the specific topics that will be covered in the next podcast, and it is also somewhere that your listeners can actually communicate with you. Having a platform such as Facebook or Twitter gives you this opportunity to engage with them. 

You could get feedback on your content, topics and delivery of the podcast, as well as new ideas or questions to discuss in future. If people have a point of contact like this and can effectively have their say, they are more likely to feel involved, strengthening their bond between themselves and the podcast. Polls can be created every month, with a few predetermined topic areas, so guests can choose what they would like to listen to, increasing engagement even more, having over some of the control the the listeners 

Breaking up your podcast for maximum engagement

Another use for social media could be the usage of podcast snippets, but this depends if you are intending to film yourself. If so, you can split it up and upload snippets to social media, and maybe even create a YouTube page to upload your content. These could be beneficial in multiple ways. Firstly, it gives people an idea of what sort of things they can expect to be listening to, and it can also be used for people who would like to listen to small parts of your podcast that don’t necessarily have a lot of time to spare, but more importantly, it can be used as a tool to catch somebody’s attention. Not many people will just come across your podcast and instantly begin listening, especially if they have to listen for an extended period of time. If you have short-form content, more people will remain engaged, therefore bringing their attention to your project.

How long do you want your podcast to be?

Along these same lines, you need to think about how long you would like your podcasts to last. You need to make a decision, based on your audience. Will the people you’re aiming your podcast at have the desire and patience to listen to a 2 hour podcast? Or are they more likely to be attracted to a shorter time period of 20-30 minutes?

Making the most out of trends and current events

Depending on the type of podcast you’re aiming to deliver, it could be important to keep up with trends and current events. Keeping aspects of your podcast relevant to these current events is another way to gain and retain audiences. People may be searching for relevant events and would like to get other people’s opinions. By finding out what your audience is drawn to, you can somewhat customise your content to make sure you are giving them the best experience possible.

To summarise, here are some of the top tips you may need moving forward:

  • Ensure you find your topic and niche interesting to you and believe people will be interested to hear about it too.
  • Create ways for listeners to give you feedback on your content and delivery, as well as potential future podcast topics. This could be via Facebook, YouTube etc.
  • Once you’ve recorded your podcast, break up your content onto multiple channels, giving different people the chance to view your content in as many forms as possible.
  • You have to work out the ideal length of your podcast. Does your topic favour longer or shorter form content and will the listeners stay engaged?
  • Keep it up to date. Use trends and current events if possible, to remain relevant and possibly draw in more people.
  • Remain consistent. Set yourself a schedule/goals to stick to.

At the end of the day, consistency is key. You could follow all of these steps and more, but if you aren’t consistent, and you fall off your uploading schedule or stop all together, then people will lose interest and your podcast will fade away. Having that consistency creates a connection that builds trust, so make sure you’re ready to commit yourself to your podcasting project, to ensure you can get the maximum benefit from your efforts! 

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