What’s the difference between a one-time listener and a fan who keeps coming back for more? Audience engagement.
As a podcaster, engaging your audience is a crucial skill to have. The world is teeming with podcasts, some of them just like yours—so how do you connect with listeners in a way that hooks them, encourages them to subscribe, and creates loyal followers? Try these five tried and tested ways to engage your audience in the long-term.
1. Be Yourself
It may sound simple, but being yourself is a great way to engage others. Letting your voice be heard organically helps, as does having a casual conversation as you would with a friend—because, after all, you want your listeners to feel like friends! Sharing your true thoughts is what helps listeners connect and become a part of your podcast journey.
2. Tell Stories
For most podcasters, stories are a given: they’re wrapped up in your scripts already, and telling stories is part of your purpose. For others, stories may not be your first focus, especially if you’re starting an informational podcast to share insights, tips, or updates.
But as humans, we thrive on stories, and telling a compelling one is a great way to compel your audience to stay tuned. Best of all, it doesn’t matter what you’re talking about: anything can become a good story, as long as you write it well.
3. Use a Catchy Title
No matter how great your episodes are, no one will listen if your title makes the content sound boring. Try using numbers (“Five easy ways to make your afternoon slump more productive”), using attention-grabbing words (“amazing,” “secret,” “transform”), asking questions, or making an unexpected statement that makes listeners think.
4. Have a Clear Call to Action (CTA)
Depending on the type of podcast you’re running, a clear call to action can be a great way to build engagement. Without disrupting the story you’re telling, a call to action can help your readers find purpose after getting the information you’re sharing. Should they head to your website or leave a review? Should they buy a product or share your news on social media? Should they go somewhere to learn more? Tell them how to explore the topic further for more engagement.
5. Ask Questions and Share Replies
A great way to engage listeners is simple: show you’re interested in them, too! Encourage audience participation by asking open-ended questions, encouraging responses, and featuring those responses in future episodes, on your website, or via social media. It gives your audience the excitement of having their stories told, and it also helps you learn about and connect with your listeners.
At the end of the day, audience engagement isn’t always as hard as it sounds—and you may be implementing some of these tactics naturally! The bottom line is this: crafting the perfect message and listening to your audience in return can go a long way toward creating the kind of connection you’re looking for. And if you’re on the hunt for more tips to set yourself up for success, check out my tips to own your mic!