Audience Engagement 101: 4 Clever Ways to Tune in to Your Listeners
Podcasts can help you nurture a loyal follower base and drive more traffic to your site. However, given the one-sided nature of this medium, keeping your audience engaged can be a challenging task.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can involve your listeners in your podcast. What’s more, you don’t need to spend any money to boost engagement on your channel.
In this post, we’ll look at the main reasons why podcasters should prioritize listener engagement. We’ll then show you four strategies to help you connect with your audience on a more personal level. Let’s get started!
Why You Should Engage Your Listeners
Podcasts have grown in popularity over the last few years. In 2020, 55 percent of users in the US tuned into podcasts, up from 40 percent in 2017. Meanwhile, it is estimated that the number of podcast listeners in the UK will reach 20 million by 2024.
Podcasts can help you reach your audience at any time of the day, whether they’re busy doing things around the house or stuck in traffic during rush hour. However, since there are thousands of other individuals using the same medium to grow their follower bases, you’ll need to ensure that your brand stands out from the crowd.
One effective way to do this is by engaging your audience. Giving listeners the chance to get involved in your podcast can make them feel like they’re part of a community. They may also see your episodes as a safe space where they can air their opinions on important matters.
For instance, if your episodes tackle social issues, you can provide a platform for people to share their experiences:
Interactive podcasts can also help you learn more about your audience. By encouraging listeners to send in their comments and questions, you might be able to gain insight into their needs and expectations. You can then tailor your content accordingly.
4 Clever Ways to Tune in to Your Listeners
Let’s take a look at some strategies that can help you build a stronger connection with your audience.
1. Accept User-Generated Content
Once you’ve published a decent amount of episodes, you may find yourself struggling to come up with fresh ideas for your content. If you’re unable to offer something new, your followers may eventually lose interest in your podcast.
This is where user-generated content comes in. By encouraging listeners to send in their ideas and stories, you’ll be able to keep them hooked while giving them an opportunity to make their voices heard.
There are several ways you can implement user-generated content. For instance, you can read out anecdotes sent by listeners, such as first-hand experiences with a particular service or interesting travel stories:
You can also ask listeners to contribute their advice. For example, let’s say you’re planning an episode on solo travel. Ahead of your broadcast, you can collect some tips from listeners who travel alone. You can then select the best ones and share them with your audience.
2. Hold Q&A Sessions
For many users, listening to podcasts helps them learn more about a particular topic or issue. As a blogger or professional, you can use your episodes to coach people and set them up for success in a particular field. However, if your episodes are purely instructional, you may be missing out on a great opportunity to engage your listeners.
Q&A episodes can be mutually beneficial. They enable your listeners to put forward any questions they may have, while they also give you a deeper understanding of your audience and their pain points:
For instance, if your podcast is targeted at small business owners, you can host Q&A sessions so followers can ask questions about running a company. Some might have concerns about their tax returns, while others may ask for advice about choosing the right social media platforms. These questions can give you a good indication of what your audience struggles with, and can therefore be a source of inspiration for your marketing strategy.
3. Give Homework
Another way to directly engage your audience is to give them a task. Ideally, this should help them apply what they learned from your episode. For example, if your podcast helps individuals run a profitable blog, you can conclude each episode with an actionable tip. You can ask listeners to revive an old post, set up a new social media page, or do a bit of keyword research.
To spice things up a little, you can even provide some material with each episode. This can include checklists or worksheets to help them work on a given task:
If you do decide to implement this strategy, you may also want to ensure that your listeners can reach out to you if they run into a problem while completing a task. You can enable them to submit feedback or questions through your platform, which you can then address in your next episode.
4. Go Live
Hosting live sessions may sound a bit intimidating, but it can be a powerful way to engage your audience. Live streams allow for immediate interaction with your followers, and many listeners will see this as an opportunity to get your attention. Thus, they will be inclined to send you messages or write comments because they know that you’ll be reading them during the episode.
If you’re worried about going off script or running out of ideas while you’re live, try to limit your talking time to 10 or 15 minutes. You can then dedicate the rest of the episode to addressing questions from your audience.
Hosting a podcast is an effective way to build a loyal fan base and generate interest in your brand. However, you’ll need to make sure the content you produce helps keep your audience engaged and motivated.
In this post, we looked at four clever ways to involve your audience in your podcast:
- Accept user-generated content like stories and anecdotes.
- Hold Q&A sessions so listeners can ask you questions about particular issues.
- Give your listeners homework to help them apply what they learn from your podcast.
- Go live to facilitate immediate interaction with your audience.
When hosting interactive podcasts, it’s important to ensure that your platform is easily accessible. Here at SecondLineThemes, we offer a wide selection of stunning podcast themes to help you enhance your site’s user experience!