How to Keep Your Listeners Listening

How to Keep Your Listeners Listening

Keeping your listeners interested in your content is your number one priority as a podcaster. You don’t want to lose them in the middle of your podcast episode and have them tune out or altogether skip your show. If you can’t get them to listen to your entire episode, then you’re doing it wrong. Yikes! Imagine the horror of losing your audience!

Although there is no exact science to keeping your listeners from the start until you wrap up your show, you can take certain steps to keep them interested and engaged. Take a multi-faceted approach to keep your audience listening. You want to make sure that everything’s covered.

Why is it important?

There are already tons of podcasts out there and each is competing for ear time with, somehow, the same audience. With listenership having a steady increase every month, more podcasts are being launched.

A listener who suddenly tunes out of your show can be a listener that’s gone forever. So keeping that listener tuning in through an entire show and keeping him interested to watch out for your next episodes are your main goals. This ensures that you have listeners throughout the life of your show. You don’t want your podcast to die prematurely.

With higher download and subscription rates, you can get more sponsors on your podcast as well. This is a target to strive for since, partly, monetization is a good byproduct of creating quality podcasts.

How audiences listen

You need to understand the dynamics of your audience’s listening habit. This ensures you see through their perspective and helps you create and format your content according to their interests and preferences. However, you also have to adjust your strategy depending on your niche.

A study from the Infinite Dial 2016 showed that half of Americans already listen to some sort of online radio weekly. Podcast listening also experienced sharp gains when it comes to listenership.

Podcast listeners are this special kind of audience. These consumers are mostly affluent, more educated, and younger. This is the market that many advertisers want.

Bridge Ratings recently published Podcasting Audit, a study on the podcasting market and consumption. They found out that from their 3, 000 sample of podcast listeners, 26% tuned out within the first 30 minutes of, 19% tuned out at 30-45 minutes, and 15% stopped listening to the podcast after over 60 minutes.

Reasons for abandonment may vary and are usually due to the topic, lifestyle impact, audio quality, host, and the listener’s specific interest. This data should give you a peek on how this audience listens to podcasts. Creating your shows with the right length will definitely keep people listening.

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Keeping your listeners engaged

Apart from understanding how your audience listens and consumes media, you need to ensure they stay with you from start to finish. Keep them engaged and interested with every discussion and every episode. Create a loyal following and make a tribe out of your listeners. Go make a fan-base!

Tell a story

In creating a podcast, make sure that you have a story to tell. Your episode should have a beginning, middle part, and an end. This smooth transition and flow keeps listeners going. Find ways to introduce the topic creatively. A story helps to keep your audience’s attention.

Good content

Never create episodes with subpar content. Always prioritize interesting contents in your niche. List down the prominent authorities in the field that you’re in and try to secure interviews with them. Talk about hot topics and those that your listeners care for.

Keep the conversation and tone interesting

It is easy for listeners to tune out of a dragging podcast. Ask the right questions and make sure you’ve prepared an outline so you can stay focused throughout the interview (if you’re doing one) or throughout your own discussion. You will lose your audience if you consistently jump from one thought to another. Keep your show together with an outline of the topic and key points that you should include.

Involve your listeners

Make your avid listeners part of your podcast. Don’t forget that your podcast exists because of them. So, make your audience a priority. Get to know their thoughts. Ask for recommendations. Create a poll for possible topics and guests. Knowing your audience’s preferences and interests will guide you through making a podcast that caters to them. Your podcast, after all, is all about them.

Segments

A segment is a short portion in an episode. One show can have a combination of multiple segments. Having segments will ensure that there is flow in your podcast. Your audience will know what to expect from one segment to the next. For example, a tech podcast can start with an introduction and a short welcome. Then, the host might move on to the main subject of the show, followed by a segment on a quick technology hack or tip. After that, the host might want to wrap up the episode with an outro.

Quality

A badly produced podcast will lose listeners in the first five minutes. Nobody wants to listen to a show with muffled voices and tons of background noises. Invest in good equipment and editing software. Ensure that you edit out dead air and long pauses that might turn off your listeners. Nobody has to tell you that a bad podcast will come off as unprofessional. It’s a given for your to produce quality podcasts right from the get-go.

A good podcaster knows how to keep his/her audience interested. Although there are quite a lot of factors to consider, the bottom line is to produce quality and relevant episodes to your listeners. Always ask for input and tailor it to their needs. Remember: just deliver the goods, baby!

What other tricks do you have for keeping your audience coming back? Comment down below and share your tips.

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