Lately, many of us have been figuring out how best to spend time in our new routines. Some are dusting off their podcast microphones for the first time and others are taking a diligent look at how to improve their show.
In this episode of Audience, we put a call out for your most pressing podcast questions across our Facebook group and newsletter. We wanted to use our voice to help you navigate common hurdles of making a successful podcast. And it may come as no surprise, there was a common theme. Tips on how to grow an audience continue to be on the forefront of everyone’s mind as COVID-19 affects listener stats.
Listen now for Craig’s in-depth answers to each of your questions and find the quick takeaways below.
Are there benefits of producing bonus episodes that don’t follow your show’s normal format?
Experimentation can be scary, especially when your podcast sees healthy engagement. But we believe trying new formats, durations, or publishing dates are worth it if you have a good reason.
Don’t produce an episode outside of your format just because you want to. Instead, ask yourself if the new elements are a more effective way to deliver the content and serve your audience better. If the answer is yes, follow these tips to give your listeners a heads up of what’s coming:
- Include a disclaimer in episodes leading up to the bonus content. Explain the new additions and give background about the change. Repeat this same disclaimer at the beginning of the bonus episode too.
- Ask your audience for feedback about the content. If they enjoyed it, this new style could become a reoccurring segment
What’s the best way to get feedback about your content?
Step one of increasing an audience size is taking a closer look at your content. Get critical feedback from current listeners by asking specific questions. Questions like, “Did you like the episode?” will only prompt responses that make it harder to take action.
Instead, ask questions like, “What did you think of my call-to-action in the last episode?” or “Was the story climax clear or heightened enough in episode 3?”.
What does COVID-19 mean for podcasters in the next few months?
Industry data tells us total listens across all podcasters are down. The normal places like the gym, commutes, travel, and vacations are all on hold for the time being. And unfortunately, those spaces are where many people consume podcasts. Across the board, all podcast genres are experiencing lower engagement so this is an industry-wide trend.
COVID-19 is also changing what podcasts are talking about. Some hosts have opportunities to pivot their content to trending news topics. Others can adjust course align the content with new problems their audience is now dealing with. This could mean covering how the pandemic is changing your community or covering mental health topics integral to maintaining normalcy in quarantine.
Podcast advertising is the other big portion of the industry we’re watching. In the short-term, with listener engagement dipping and brands tightening their marketing budgets, advertising revenue is subsequently lower. This is a natural result of current downward trends but we believe this is temporary. As we return to our typical routines, we expect advertising revenues to rebound and move towards previous levels.
Resources Mentioned In This Episode
- Jack Rhysider Talks Podcast Promotion & Darknet Diaries
- Chartable’s ongoing coverage of industry data as a result of COVID-19
- Subscribe to Audience
- Join our Facebook Group, Podcast Hackers