There are two best practices to increase audience engagement. One approach is to focus on individual relationships with your podcast listeners. The other approach is to focus on your audience as a whole and ask for their thoughts and opinions. There are particular techniques with each of these approaches that every podcaster can use to improve audience engagement.
Deepen Existing Relationships: The listeners that have already reached out to you have proved they are more engaged than your general audience. You should do everything you can to continue your conversations with them. Below are three techniques to deepen your existing relationships with listeners.
- Respond to every correspondence sent to the show. Moreover, end each of your replies with open-ended questions to elicit further discussion. “What makes this your favorite episode?” or “What do you think it is that makes podcasts so popular?” or “How do you think I could improve the podcast?” are examples of questions that will continue the conversation and deepen their engagement with you and your show.
- Acknowledge your interactions with your listeners on your podcast. After gaining permission from the listener, either quote them as listener feedback or just weave your conversation with them into the show in other ways. This will prompt others to reach out to you as well as endear yourself to your engaged listeners.
- Once a listener has emailed, commented or messaged you, feel free to initiate contact with them as your time allows. A kind word or wishing them well from out of the blue deepens a listener’s connection to the podcast like little else.
Ask All Your Audience For Their Thoughts and Opinions: If you wonder how often you should seek input from your audience, you may want to abide by the words of 12th Century Philosopher Peter Abelard. He said, “The key to wisdom is this – constant and frequent questioning, for by doubting we are led to question, by questioning we arrive at the truth.” If you want to know your audience, ask them questions constantly and frequently. There are many online survey tools you can use for this purpose, but podcasters hosting with Blubrry have a built in survey tool that you can use. All you need to do is log into your Blubrry Podcaster Dashboard and in the Make Money section of the Dashboard click on the link for Audience Surveys.
The Audience Survey has 12 standard questions that ask demographic and background questions of your audience. Also there is an opportunity for your listeners to leave you comments. You should fully use that comments field! Prompt your audience consistently to leave you specific comments that will help you understand them better. Frequently use prompts such as “Fill out the survey and use the comments field to tell me about your worst job,” or “Fill out the survey and use the comments field to tell me why I should make my podcast longer.” or “Use the comments field on the survey to enter the month and date of your birthday so can give you a birthday shout on the show.” And as people respond, use the skills described in the section above to continue the conversation.
Do you have any tips to strengthen audience engagement? Please use the comments below to share your wisdom.