Now this is why we podcast, mostly. There will be those of us who produce a show simply for the inner joy the process brings us. That’s all good too. There is no one reason for podcasting. Most of us though are producing shows for our audiences.
What, therefore, is audience engagement? And why does it matter?
Broadly, audience engagement is when our audience members interact with us. This can be anything from emails to reviews or most basically, subscribing. Subscribing is a great first contact. It means we’ve connected sufficiently for someone to want more from us. As mentioned in the last post subscribers are how Apple ranks podcasts. The more the merrier, so to speak.
Subscription is just the first step. It may be the only step if that’s your goal. If you want to build a tribe for a purpose, then subscription is usually insufficient. If you’re using your podcast to drive your business then much more is required. Calls to review and rate can also move people along the getting to know like and trust continuum. They mean very little as discussed in the linked post above other than as evidence that a call to action is creating actions.
More importantly is a call to check a website or more likely a landing page. If a call to check out a freebie that relates to your show results in listeners heading to that page, you have audience engagement. I could go on but you understand the principle.
The greater the number of subscribers, a figure Apple does not provide, means you have a greater pool of individuals listening to, or at least downloading your show who can then be persuaded to interact.
The thing with audience engagement in podcasting is it takes time. While there are about 80,000 active podcasts and it can seem we are easily lost in the background noise, there are over 4,000,000 blogs roaming free. Podcasting builds the critical “know, like and trust” we need to build a tribe. It does so one show at a time. Remember this, it points to the other side of podcasting, it takes time.
As we move more deeply into our craft, our production skills improve and we are able to focus on our message. This seems, from what I’ve seen from students, peers and friends, to correlate with a growing audience. A combination of skills, content and consistency brings us an audience and then they can engage with us.
- Subscribers are the basis of audience engagement
- Consistency of production shows commitment to listeners
- Calls to action tell you about either your audience or your offer.