It’s part 3 of the Podcasting 4 Cs this time – Connection.
If you have come up with great content for your audience and are communicating effectively with them, then connection is practically guaranteed.
Audio is a highly personal and even intimate medium which builds strong bonds between you and your listeners. You can strengthen this connection by following these tips:
Release your episodes on a consistent basis
– another C word! Humans love routine. There’s a reason why radio and TV originally had set schedules – to create routines for their audience so the programme became part of a dependable schedule. People used to look forward to their favourite programme airing on a Thursday night at 9pm and they built it into their life. There’s a lot of truth in the expression ‘appointment to view television’ or ‘appointment to listen’, in podcasters’ terms. Even though TV schedules have been disrupted by the appearance of on-demand services, people still tune in to see the news and other topical content at set times. You will find that your listeners build your releases into their schedule and contact you if an episode is late!
Come up with a set pattern for the content in your episodes.
This can be varied, of course, and will undoubtedly change over time but your audience will be happier to turn up consistently if they know what to expect. If your episodes are completely random, your audience’s desire for familiarity may be unfulfilled, leading to less connection.
Mention listeners by name.
I mentioned this last time in the communication tips. It’s just as important in strengthening connection as well. Think about how you can deepen connections by remembering and mentioning your listeners’ birthdays or other important aspects of their life – without being creepy and being mindful of privacy, of course! Mention their tweets and thank them for listening or contributing.
Create special activities and events for your audience.
Invite listeners to participate in competitions (being mindful of the competition laws in your country), giveaways or special online or offline events. Set up a private Facebook group, host live events, create exclusive merchandise – the list is endless. The important thing is to make your audience feel special for listening.
Put a little thought into how to strengthen connection and you’ll be amazed at your listeners’ reaction – and they will tell their friends as well!