You put a lot of effort and time into your podcast, crafting it to be the best it can be. However, sometimes you find that your engagement might not be where you want it to be, or that your audience is more stagnant than you would like. We’ve identified three common pitfalls for the modern podcaster, and what you can do to avoid them so that your podcast can flourish.
1. How Active Is Your Audience?
Challenge: While you are creating and publishing content, your audience is passive and doesn’t do much beyond just listen to the episode – no reviews, nothing on social media, etc.
Solution: Activate your community.
While your podcast exists to inform and entertain, you can also make it a conversation. Actively invite your listeners to answer questions or submit things they’d like to hear about on your podcast, and make a point of mentioning their questions or topics in your next shows. By responding to them in your podcast, they’ll see that you’re really listening, and looking to make your podcast more collaborative.
Think about the “why” behind your podcast and how this relates to building a community. Create reasons why listeners would want to engage and be part of the community as active participants. Make it easy for them to do, for example taking comments various ways and even having a podcast voice mail where they can leave messages or occasional live streams where they can chat or call.
The same thing goes for your social media channels. While having these accounts allows you to spread the word about your new episodes and content, they also allow you to connect with your listeners and fellow podcasters. Post fun pictures, jokes, questions, or other pieces of content that invite interaction. Social media feeds in which you post nothing but updates about your latest episodes create the atmosphere of an account that’s strictly for updates and nothing more. By posting content that asks questions or invites interactions from other users, you show that you are a podcaster that truly wants engagement and a good experience for the listeners.
We’ve spoken of this before in one of our articles giving tips on podcast promotion, but keep in mind that first impressions are crucial. Your social media channels make you the public face for your podcast, so how you handle interactions and conversations on these platforms will color how potential listeners think of your content.
2. Where Is Your Audience Located Online?
Challenge: You’re spending more time than you’d like on crafting posts for social media, which is detrimental to your content. You may not be spending enough time on your actual content: your podcast
Solution: Consider what your personal bandwidth is and where your listeners engage most online. This is different for different podcast audiences. There comes a point in which you need to take a step back and take into consideration what social media accounts you prefer working with, which ones can be automated, and how you might need to adjust your posting schedule to balance efforts.
Previously, we’ve published content regarding the best times to publish on the top social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) and the amount of times you should be posting per day. While keeping these things in mind, we definitely recommend post-scheduling tools like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite for Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. These tools allow you to schedule posts so you can prep your podcast’s social media for the week (or even the month) and not worry about having to go in and type out new posts every morning. Some will even automate repurposing content for you.
Podbean also has built-in social share tools that automatically push posts to various social media platforms, and other sites like WordPress offer similar automatic sharing tools. Explore your chosen platforms, and investigate the settings to see where you can automatically cross-post and push to other platforms when you post to your main ones.
In cutting down your social media channels (or converting where you can to automatic posting), do ensure that you still take the time to check interactions on your main platforms. By focusing efforts, you can actually free up more time for meaningful interactions where you get the best results.
3. How Do You Organize Your Content?
Challenge: Your audience varies; this week’s episode gets hundreds of views while last week’s only delivered a dozen or so. You try to change topics to drive more people to your content, you’re not sure what method works the best.
Solution: Consistency can be what your listeners are looking for. This doesn’t mean that you need to rehash the same episode topic for the next batch of episodes, but it does mean that you need some sort of regularity within your show. It helps listeners know what to expect and to gain a sense of familiarity with your podcast.
Figure out your main areas that you cover, and turn them into segments that your listeners can come to depend on appearing in the show. If you do a sports podcast, cover news in relation to the sports, then cover your opinions on what’s happening. If you do a book podcast, cover new releases, industry news, and reviews. Some podcasters even name these segments (clever names that almost make listeners feel like they’re “inside your circle” can be fun) and use transitions to distinguish them and build a flow.
By segmenting your podcast episodes, you’re giving your audience a roadmap by which they can navigate your content, and creating a level of dependability. Your listeners will know that you’ll have a segment on news and a segment on you and your cohosts’s opinions, for example. Some podcasters even name these segments (clever names that almost make listeners feel like they’re “inside your circle” can be fun) and use transitions to distinguish them and build a flow.
This will also help streamline your show when you record and edit it – it gives direction for you to write your shownotes, and keeps you on track if you happen to lose concentration while you’re recording. Rather than being restrictive, episode uniformity can help you stay creative within a formula that works for you and your listeners.
Podcasting is a wild and varied form of media, with room for all sorts of podcasters and podcasting content. What works for one podcaster might not work for another. However, these pitfalls are something that any and every podcaster can be on the lookout for, and the solutions are methods that can be implemented by all content creators, regardless of experience or content genre. By taking advantage of these solutions, you can ensure that your podcast takes as smooth a path as possible to your podcasting goals.