If you create consistently good podcast content that has the ears of a loyal following, you've scored a major accomplishment for your company or brand. Your audience that follows you from episode to episode is willing to receive what you're giving. Rarely does a business have the kind of relationship with customers willing to spend their precious time and offer their open minds.
With this power comes responsibility. Don't squander opportunities to advance your goals and create goodwill with your guests. With each episode you plan, ask yourself these questions and incorporate your answers into your recording.
- Where can listeners send feedback?
Want to prove your podcast is worth the listens and subscribes? During each episode, share and respond to a sample of the listener feedback you've received.
Don't have any listener feedback to share? Have you asked your listeners for their feedback? Have you encouraged their interaction?
In every episode, take a moment to ask for their feedback. Provide them an email address, social media platforms, a blog that allows for comments, a phone number, or other ways to get in touch.
Let your audience know this is not a one way street. You care about their impressions of your content and about any new ideas they may have.
If you give them this opportunity within every episode, you'll soon open doors for interaction. And you'll have new content for a short "listener feedback" segment in each episode. Plus, it makes podcasting much more interesting for you!
- Where should new listeners go to subscribe?
Do you anticipate new listeners finding your podcast via word-of-mouth referrals, social media shares, and web searches? Do you hope their listenership will be one-and-done (we hope not!) or that they'll subscribe so they'll never miss a future episode? Fundamentally, your goal as a content creator is to entice new listeners to subscribe to your podcast. Technically, your audio show isn't a "podcast" unless there are subscribers.
In every episode, make it your job to find the time to speak directly to those new listeners that are not yet subscribed. Know exactly where you'd like them to go to subscribe and describe exactly how they can do so. An easy suggestion is, "Like what you heard today? Search [podcast name] in your Apple Podcasts app, iTunes, or whatever app you use to listen to podcasts. Then subscribe so you'll never miss an episode." Or direct them to your web site that has subscription links or other ways to subscribe. Write down all those web sites, distribution platforms, and apps where you'd most want them to go, and then tell them how to get there and what to do. Do this for each episode. It only takes a moment. Your return on your investment is that every unsubscribed listener will start to become familiar with the places they can go to subscribe to your podcast. It won't even be a question. They'll just know.
- Should your guests receive extra value from appearing on your podcast?
If you were invited to appear on another podcast, what would you consider while deciding yes or no? The offer might mean you'll spend valuable time away from your family to record outside of work hours. You might ask yourself if it's worth it. But what if you knew you could promote your business services? The opportunity to speak in front of a brand new audience could put you in position to win over new followers, podcast listeners, and even customers.
Naturally, you should offer your podcast guests added incentive to appear with you. Give them a free plug or let them do it themselves - whichever they prefer.
Please read this part closely: The added value you provide them in exchange for their time is not only an example of your goodwill, but it's very likely your guest will feel enough excitement over their appearance that they'll share the episode with their followers who may in turn become your followers, subscribers, and customers. Go ahead and put a value on that organic growth opportunity.
Add even more goodwill and incentive to the guest appearance by blogging about the episode. Provide a link to the guest's social media or company and write a sentence or two about their offerings. Then show your guest what you've done. Your chance of getting a much-coveted backlink goes up exponentially when you make the first move and offer your guest this kingly gesture.
- Where should you direct listeners that want to learn more about your brand or business?
This is your podcast. You are entitled to spend a bit of time (1) promoting what you do and (2) asking your listeners to visit a web site or other destination to learn more. Use your best judgment on how long to spend on this, where in each episode to bring it up, and how often you might want to change up your "pitch."
- How exactly can your current listeners use their circles to help you grow your listenership?
Every person you connect with is potentially an ally with resources and goodwill to share. Draw on your host/listener connections and ask them to tell a friend about your podcast or share a favorite episode with their social media circles. If they decide to share on social media, ask them to tag your brand on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or another platform. Most people find joy in sharing what they like, so your ask is an easy one. Having your podcast being put in front of your listeners' circles is invaluable, so don't be afraid to ask.
- Where would you like your listeners to write podcast reviews?
Another way potential new listeners can find your podcast is via an amalgamation of glowing reviews written by any number of your current listeners.
Create great content and then ask yourself where you'd like your listeners to review your work. For example, Apple Podcasts, iTunes, and other podcast platforms allow for star ratings and reviews. Most recently, Spotify has begun rolling out their new podcast star rating system.
During each episode, give your listeners a short explanation as to why great reviews and ratings are important and helpful toward new listeners discovering the podcast. The higher a podcast rating, the more chances it will be seen in front of new eyes, the higher the chance they'll subscribe.
If 6 new segments seem like a lot to add to each episode, consider that each takes up a very small amount of time, especially after you've done it a few times. You'll learn to combine points and present them in different sequences, naturally weaving them into your main content.
As you add these short segments while continuing to produce great content, you'll likely see increased listener interaction, social media shares, new reviews, new willing guests, more subscribers, increased traffic to your web site, and hopefully even backlinks!
Please comment below and tell us what techniques work to grow your podcast.