As radio and podcasting blend more, and a growing number of radio shows now have additional or accompanying podcasts, there are things that we can take from both mediums to make each one better. I was lucky to have gone into radio as a podcaster and, just between us, my heart will always be more in the podcasting side. I was also fortunate to have worked with a co-host who was also a podcaster. So many of the techniques we used below helped us connect with our audience more and, I felt, gave us a slight competitive edge over other shows that were still in the traditional radio format. As I flowed away from radio and back into podcasting, here are some things I took away with me that may help make your podcasting journey easier and more effective.
Segments can be fun!
For radio, we had a few daily segments that the listeners could tune in and catch at the same time every day including trivia and a yacht-rock feature. They loved it as part of their driving or getting-ready-for-the-day routine; it created a regularity that in turn led to consistent loyalty and brand recognition. Chances are that yours will be more of a weekly or bi-weekly segment since most podcasts aren’t daily but having something that you can do during your show puts a nice little bow atop your regular programming. Segments are fun to do with guests, and a great way to break the ice. It can be a segment with its own theme song, or it can just be an ongoing question you ask each guest or answer yourself every episode.
Involve your audience in every way you can
It was easier to connect with our radio listeners rather than podcast audience, mainly due to a lesser barrier to entry with a hotline number and actual studio that people could call or come hang out at. You may not have a phone line and producer at the other end of recording every episode, but there are many ways to connect with your listeners including IG stories, listener-based segments, giving out your email and hosting sporadic meetups.
People love prizes!
On the radio, I saw just how much people love a good prize, and even once had two listeners fight over an old Seinfeld DVD. This displayed that people will go out of their way to win something. You can bring that into your podcasting by holding contests for your show merch, the chance to “win” a call from the hosts, or you can work with other brands to get some prize donations for contesting.
The show goes on, no matter what you ‘feel’ like
We won’t talk about a few of the 5 a.m. call times that I accidentally slept through. But you can learn the discipline of radio that – whether you are ready or not – the show begins and ends at a certain time. It might not need to be so rigid in your show schedule, but you can take this practice and funnel it into making sure your recording and episode release schedule is as close to being on the mark as you can make them.
Listeners want authenticity
The calls on the radio where we got personal about our relationships, love and loss did way better than more celebrity drama or Oscars recap. I was lucky that I had a co-host and program manager who supported this and let us be people instead of radio robots, but you can utilize this by remembering that your audience should be your best friend, not a crowd you keep life details from. They are humans also having their own experiences, and the more they can relate to you the more it can possibly help them with something in their life.
Hit your post
In radio, you have to brief to not run over the song or commercial about to come next. Podcasting can feel like we have all the time in the world, but it’s good to edit your show and make sure you are being courteous of your audience’s time and listening ability.
Utilize services that can help you
We had a news service that helped give us topical content, and you can still use that to think of topics or start your engine of ideas. You can be your own news service and peruse things like Reddit, Nextdoor, TikTok trending, or even the National Day Calendar sites to drum up more information to kickstart your content.
As a podcaster, you also have access to all things Blubrry to help, and a network of other podcasters who can keep you accountable.
Follow Blubrry to stay up to date with all podcast news while you are enjoying that break. Be sure to follow @Blubrry or @Blubrry_podcasting on all social media places. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.