Creating engagement with your audience can drastically enhance your podcast. It will help your audience develop a stronger relationship with you. They will have more buy-in with your show and start to see it more as a community instead of just a place to get information.
There are a few different ways you can work to increase audience engagement, we mentioned a couple strategies that will help with this but in this section I’ll cover a few more.
One great way is to answer listener questions. Once you have started to receive emails or messages from people asking for your advice you can consider adding in a special segment or even entire episode to your podcast where you focus on answering listener questions. I recommend using a service like SpeakPipe to have people call in with their question. This gives people a chance to hear their voice on your show and makes the podcast feel more interactive even for those listeners who never call in.
Another great way to create engagement with current listeners is to actually do your show live. This could be a separate special live show in addition to your regular episodes, Mac Power Users does a great job of this with their live feedback show. Another option is to always record your show at a set time with a chat room or comments open to the public. Self Publishing Podcast does this each week through a Google Hangout. This allows them to interact and answer questions some of their most dedicated listeners have throughout the show.
ENGAGING WITH NEW LISTENERS
Driving traffic to your podcast is more important then ever before, especially after your magical eight week new and noteworthy period. In this section I’ll cover a few of the emerging ways to drive traffic and convert your listeners into customers which is the real goal of your show.
In won’t go into too much detail because honestly I do not feel like I’ve had enough of a chance to test them. But these are a few areas I am personally exploring with my clients and we are seeing some early results. My recommendation, test. There are a few on this list that require little time and money but can return results. Try those out right away and dip your toe in with the rest to see if they make sense and get the results you were hoping for.
Images: This was briefly touch on in the branding section of the book but having specific engaging episode art is one of the best ways to increase the number of social media shares you receive. Spend some time and even consider hiring a graphic designer to create images for you. At Your Podcast Guru we work with a team of designers to create a unique and consistent brand image for each podcast. This is one of the things that sets our shows apart from others.
Multiple Social Media Posts: Social media feeds move fast, and in platforms that curate your content, like Facebook, only a small percentage of your audience sees your post. That’s where posting about your new episode a couple of times on release day and the following day is very helpful. I recommend using different types of post, one focusing on an image with the episode title and another focusing on an important quote and a link for example.
Another important thing to think about in regards to social media is to recycle your old episodes. If your podcast is on episode #74 many of your social media follower have likely never heard episode #8. Episode 8 is still extremely valuable and useful to them, they have just never been exposed to it. One tool that has been a game changer with this is Edgar. I use it with every client, and we are seeing great results.
Video Teaser Trailers: Getting earballs on your podcast can be difficult. A way that I believe will be more popular in the future is through quality video trailers. With this think movie trailer. At the simplest level take 30-90 seconds of an interview, a segment you think would really entice your ideal audience to want to listen to the podcast. You would turn that segment into a video that pushes people to your audio podcast. The video is uploaded to YouTube and directly to Facebook. The YouTube video can also be shared across several different social media channels. Quick behind the scenes recordings for Instagram and Twitter could also give you some traffic when done right.
One Sheet Guides: If you want a great way to increase the number of people who opt-in to your email list, offer some unique resource guides or one sheets that go along with a specific episode. This should be something that is easy to consume. A one page resource guide of recommended tools, a quick outline guide to what you covered in the episode, or a checklist are all great examples. Once you create this one sheet use a service like Leadpages to have an opt-in form within your show notes for that episode.
SMS Opt-In: Podcasts are great for expanding your audience but real sales happen in your email list. The problem with turning podcast listeners into email list subscriber, the listeners are usually on the go, and the traditional URL is simply too much work to do from your phone. But sending a text message is easy. Many services are now popping up that will allow you to capture subscribers to your email list through text message. You will see more and more podcasts with this option. For even better results combine SMS opt-in with a unique one sheet.
Autoresponders: Autoresponders are like magic. They allow you to create a message once, put it within the exact right sequence, and deliver that message at the appropriate time in you clients lifespan with your business. This is a powerful tool when used correctly. I think it is just beginning to be utilized by podcasters and we will see it become much more widespread soon. Imagine someone comes along to your podcast on episode #111, and opts in to your email list. You could have an autoresponder set up to introduce them to you, give them highlights of your most popular episodes, and basically get them up to speed and engaged with your show automatically. Not to mention that after a handful of value focused emails you will have built up enough reciprocity to softly sell some of your products or services. Combine autoresponders with unique one sheets and SMS opt-ins and you have a game changing strategy.
Podcasting is going to continue to evolve. Yes, it is actually an older form on internet media having been around since 2005 but it wasn’t until the proliferation of the smartphone that allowed podcasting to begin to really grow in popularity. It’s only within the last couple years that the mass market has even been aware of podcasting. This platform and the businesses who use it will quickly find new ways to engaged and interact with their audiences.
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