Written by Keith Coppersmith
Podcasts have become a very popular form of content these days. Consumers are generally not reading long articles. Video and podcasts are more attractive. Listening to podcast content is also much more convenient, especially since you go about your business and daily activities while listening to something that interests you.
However, just like with any other content, having a podcast doesn’t necessarily mean your listeners will stick around. You’ll have to make an effort to retain them. That includes making your podcast relevant, to begin with, entertaining, educational and informative.
If you don’t give your audience a good reason to stay, you can be sure they won’t. On the other hand, if you can make them engaged, you can expect your audience to grow, especially thanks to the referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations, aside from using various marketing strategies to get the word out and grow your audience. With that in mind, here are a few ways to retain your podcast listeners.
Give it your best
Podcasts usually have a theme. They are focused on certain topics that are relevant to the target audience in the same way blogs are. However, instead of writing about these topics, you have to narrate whatever it’s you want to say to your audience but it needs to be conducted in an engaging way.
Otherwise, your audience will simply get frustrated and they’ll leave. That’s why the narrative structure of your podcast needs to be well-designed. For instance, the entire podcast can have a specific theme but every session or episode is a different story.
That said, you have to focus on other elements that will retain your listeners. That includes remaining consistent, maintaining the quality and ensuring your listeners will want to come back for more. If you don’t ensure these factors are well-thought of, your listeners will get bored and they won’t be coming back week after week.
Make an extra effort
Providing your listeners with what they need and meeting their expectations is normally enough to make them stay. However, it never hurts to make an extra effort or to go that extra mile to ensure their retention. For example, surprise your listeners by sending each of them a holiday greeting card.
Companies, such as PostcardMania, for instance, can help you with the preparations for such an effort, especially if you have a larger audience. It might seem like a small thing to do but it can go a long way in engaging your listeners and encouraging them to stay.
You can think of other incentives as well, as long as it makes your audience happy. For instance, create a contest and reward the fastest answers. You don’t have to reward just the right answers but the most creative ones, as well. This will get your audience going for sure.
Create exclusive episodes
No matter how good your podcast is, eventually it will become dull and monotonous if you don’t include some creativity and innovation. The same can happen with any kind of content. That said, twist things around a bit and create exclusive episodes for your podcast.
As an example, you can bring in guest podcasters, celebrities and other key figures relevant to your niche for a special episode. You can also change the topic a bit if some relevant news comes up. Something out of the ordinary every now and then is certain to re engage the interest among your target audience and it never hurts to experiment sometimes.
Involve your audience
Another way to ensure your audience will keep listening is to get them involved in your podcast. Regular Q&A sessions work well on such occasions but not everyone will get their chance to ask their questions or get their answers.
Therefore, get a bit creative about it. For example, create a unique topic for your podcast and ask your audience to submit their experiences, if any. Then create episodes where you’ll narrate these experiences to others. Again, it’s a bit out of the ordinary, but it can surely work its magic and engage your audience further.
Repurpose your content
Now we come to the main issue that content in general faces nowadays, which is its format. Content can be of top-quality and the most engaging thing you’ve ever created but people will avoid it because it’s not the format they prefer. That said, not everyone is fond of podcasts but they’d like to consume your content nonetheless.
So how do you make them stay then? Simply put, consider repurposing your podcast. It can be turned into a video for those who prefer to watch. What’s more, you can create a series of blog posts for those who prefer to read. After all, it’s not just about having a growing audience; it’s also about retaining them and if repurposing content can ensure that, then, by all means, go for it.
Ensuring your listeners will come back can be a daunting task, especially since it doesn’t take much for today’s consumers to lose interest in almost anything. That’s why you must keep making an effort to make your podcast relevant and give a good reason for your audience to come back for more.
Keith Coppersmith is a business and marketing expert who has experienced both the rise and fall of many businesses. As a regular contributor at BizzmarkBlog, he enjoys writing and providing insight into the marketing industry based on both practice and theory.