Want to build a strong connection with your podcast audience to encourage engagement and retain listeners? Here are 14 tips for boosting your podcast’s listener engagement!
Find Out Who Your Listeners Are
Knowing who your podcast audience is can help you increase listener engagement. To find out who listens to your podcast, look at your podcast metrics. Most hosting platforms and podcast directories offer podcast metric services, allowing you easy access to this information. Paying attention to listener drop-off times can help you determine the best podcast length for show episodes, while your audience demographics—including age and geographic area—can give you an idea of language, cultural references, and more to include in your show. Additionally, take the time to survey your podcast listeners so they can tell you what they want from your podcast. This can help you pick the best episode topics for your audience.
Schedule Your Podcast Content
Whether you release podcast episodes daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, or seasonally, it’s important to establish a consistent release schedule. Though frequent releases are often ideal, posting a new episode every day or every week may not be a realistic goal for every podcaster—and that’s okay! As long as your audience knows when when they can expect a new episode, they’re less likely to forget about your show. Scheduling your episodes—and even your podcast’s social media content—can encourage podcast listeners to come back for more while keeping engagement strong.
Create Attention-Grabbing Episode Titles
Using great podcast episode titles to catch listeners’ attention helps you consistently generate interest for each and every episode of your show. How can you write engaging episode titles? Keep them short and sweet while incorporating compelling and relevant keywords. Make each title unique, interesting, and specific to the topic being discussed during the episode. This can help listeners differentiate between episodes and let them know what each episode is about. Not to mention, good titles can even help your episodes pop up in search engine results.
Make a Podcast Trailer
Whether you’re new to podcasting or already have an established podcast with a strong following, keep your listeners engaged and wanting more by creating podcast trailers! Tease your audience with a “coming soon” trailer by sharing snippets of what’s to come and getting them pumped for a new podcast season. Share sound bites, quotes, and highlights from the latest season or episode in a show trailer that can be shared on social media. Or promote your show’s next episode with a teaser trailer, which is played at the end of an episode and gives your listeners a reason to stick around for new content.
Invite Podcast Guests
Give your podcast topics new energy by inviting guests to be on your show! Podcast guests can provide different insights, life experiences, and perspectives on your show that can keep listeners engaged. When booking podcast guests, be selective about who you ask to come on. You want someone who fits the vibe of your show and adds value to the information you share so that you don’t turn off your audience. Check podcaster matching sites or consider podcast swapping.
Feature Listeners on Your Show
No matter how small or large of an audience you have, it’s important to develop a personal connection with your listeners—and one of the best ways to do this is to let them be part of the show. Create opportunities to interact with listeners on air with tools like Spotify Greenroom, where live Q&As can be hosted in a virtual space. Or feature podcast listeners on your show by asking them to send in written or recorded messages that can be played during an episode. You can also give listener shoutouts to audience members who leave podcast reviews or participate in contests and giveaways!
Be Active on Social Media
Promoting your podcast on social media is an easy way to boost audience engagement since it allows you to interact more directly with your listeners. Posting a variety of shareable pieces of content like photos, videos, and audiograms can encourage listeners to reshare your show’s content on their own personal social media accounts. And creating hashtags or social media challenges for listeners to participate in can lead to podcast engagement in the form of user generated content. Plus, unique social media platform features like Instagram Stories, Facebook Groups, Discord Servers, and more are perfect for hosting Q&A sessions, contests, giveaways, or sharing behind-the-scenes activities for your podcast audience to engage with.
Create a Podcast Website
While most of your listener engagement comes from the hosting platform and directories you use, having a podcast website can also boost engagement. A website dedicated to your podcast can help build your podcast brand and educate new, current, and future podcast listeners about your show. To encourage audience engagement, make sure your website has call-to-action buttons for listeners to automatically subscribe to your podcast and your social media profiles. Your website can also be a great place to add show notes, episode-specific blog content, and more to give your audience additional resources—and it can help with SEO rank, too!
Use Email Marketing
To establish a loyal group of listeners and keep audience engagement strong, consider upping your podcast email marketing strategy. This includes sending out a regular email newsletter—whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Use your podcast newsletter to give sneak peeks at what’s coming, share news, announce guests, and more, all while creating a deeper connection with casual and active listeners. To help grow your newsletter subscriptions, be sure to have a subscribe button on your podcast website, and consider asking listeners to subscribe at the beginning or end of each podcast episode.
Encourage Listeners to Leave Reviews
Asking your audience to leave podcast reviews is a great way to increase listener engagement because it gives your audience a way to interact with your show. Reviews also help current and future listeners know what to expect from your podcast. Consider hosting a giveaway or offer freebies to incentivize listeners into leaving a review. You can also thank podcast listeners for leaving a review by giving them shoutouts in your episodes, helping them feel connected to your show while also providing motivation for others to engage with your podcast through reviews.
Don’t Forget the CTA
At the end of your podcast, always include a call-to-action (CTA) for your audience. A CTA tells listeners what you want them to do and how they can achieve it when the episode is over. Do you want them to subscribe? Leave a review? Follow your podcast on social media? Be sure to include a clear CTA as part of every episode. In addition to audio CTAs, you can also use written CTAs in social media posts, your show notes, or your podcast description.
Create a Space for Listener Interaction
One way you can get listeners to engage with your podcast is to create a community where they can relate to and interact with other listeners. Whether it’s a private group on Facebook, Discord channel, or thread on a message board, this should be a space with open communication where listeners can share their thoughts, ask questions, and talk to each other. In addition to creating a virtual community, consider hosting virtual and live events, where listeners can interact with each other and meet you!
Make Subscriber-Only Content
Increase audience engagement by offering subscriber-only content to an audience of paying subscribers! Producing subscriber-only content can encourage already invested podcast listeners to engage with your show on a higher level. Plus, exclusive content can be created at different affordability levels, giving your audience a variety of ways to engage with your content. Premium content options for podcast subscriptions can range from subscriber-only shows and exclusive merch to podcast courses and more.
Consider Podcast Accessibility
Focusing on podcast accessibility improves the podcast listening experience for everyone by allowing your entire audience to appreciate and immerse themselves in your show and additional offerings. How can you make sure your podcast is accessible? Include a podcast transcript or show notes in your episode’s description. And for those who would like to watch while listening, consider investing in video podcasting with closed captioning.