Blubrry spent last week at Podcast Movement 2016 in Chicago, where CEO Todd Cochrane gave a talk on overall metrics and what our recent study of where and how listeners are tuning in to podcasts tells us about our listeners, the platforms they use, and how to engage audiences in 2016 and beyond. In Part 1 of this two-part series, Todd Cochrane shares how to increase engagement to turn casual listeners into fans and keep fans coming back for more.
Most podcasters believe they are doing all they can to engage their audiences, but in most cases they simply aren’t doing enough to compel listeners to engage back, Cochrane argued in his talk at Podcast Movement. For example, via his ongoing research Cochrane has found that:
- Only 21% of podcasters regularly shared an email address on their show.
- Just 32% talked about social media.
- 79% had no RSS options on their podcast’s website. Remember that without an RSS address, many of the 120 total devices that could potentially play your podcast won’t be able to!
- And only 61% shared the web address where the podcast and associated show notes can be found.
That’s leaving a lot of potential engagement on the table! Time and time again, experienced podcasters at Blubrry and beyond have found that making an “ask” of your listeners – and making it easy for them to find you, connect with you, and talk back to you – are key to getting those ratings, reviews, comments and emails that increase traffic and let us know we’re doing a good job.
Here are some of Cochrane’s tips for increasing engagement:
- Tell listeners how to contact you. Make it easy, and give them options. Share your web address and an email address in the show itself, tell them where to find you on social networks, and make sure that contact information, RSS feed information, and social sharing information is in an easy-to-find place on your site. (Cochrane refers to the first page, above-the-fold spot as the most valuable real estate on your podcast site. Use it wisely!)
- Remind listeners what to do (and make it easy.) Near the end of your show, tell your audience to subscribe, leave ratings and reviews, share on social, and/or send email, and – here’s the key – make it easy for them to do any of those things by following tip #1! Subscribe buttons, social share buttons, and your email contact are essential components of an engagement-friendly podcast website.
- Thank your audience. One of the best ways to keep your audience coming back for more is to routinely thank them – something not nearly enough podcasters do regularly, Cochrane argues. While a simple verbal “thank you” is a great start, consider getting creative and taking it a step further. Special giveaways, answering listener questions, or calling out loyal readers on-air are all great ways to raise the bar and create a stronger relationship between you and your listeners.
What are your favorite ways to engage your listeners? What do you find works best?
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If you’re one of the some 1,500 people who will be attending the third annual Podcast Movement event next week, we at Blubrry would love a chance to connect with you! CEO Todd Cochrane and CIO Angelo Mandato will both be presenting at the conference, and Blubrry is giving a workshop on Wednesday morning, July 6, with in-depth insider information about how to grow and improve your podcast by taking advantage of Blubrry’s great suite of services.
Podcasters will get exclusive tips and tricks to maximize their podcasts using Blubrry, PowerPress, WordPress and the brand-new PowerPress Sites.
Some of the topics we’ll be discussing during the workshop include:
- How to set up & optimize PowerPress
- Imports, migrations, and other tricky tech topics
- Advanced functions: playlist, player placement, tags
- How to get more listeners to subscribe to your podcast
- Maximizing SEO
- Find out more about PowerPress Sites, a free all-in-one product that makes podcasting push-button easy
- How Blubrry/PowerPress’s “podcasters first” philosophy makes it easier for our customers to grow an audience and improve their podcasts
- Making the most of your PowerPress stats
And more! There will also be a Q&A and a prize giveaway. This three-to-four-hour workshop will be a great way to kick off Podcast Movement 2016, so you’ll definitely want to make room in your schedule to join us! Attendance is VERY limited, so sign up now.
And good news – if you haven’t registered for the event yet, there’s still time. Use the code “Blubrry” at checkout for a $40 discount on your registration.
This event is sure to be an amazing opportunity to learn, network, and get the tools and tips you need to elevate your podcast and grow your audience! Plus, it’s a lot of fun. If you’ll be there, be sure to come say ‘hello’ to us during a workshop or at our sponsor booth. We look forward to meeting you!
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With the increase in podcasting popularity comes an ever-growing and enthusiastic audience, eager to acknowledge and honor their favorite podcasters. Whether you’re a podcast creator or loyal listener, here are several of the awards programs and events celebrating podcasters this year:
General Podcasting Awards:
- Academy of Podcasters Awards: This event awards winners in 15 categories, with nominations based on a combination of iTunes rankings and input from industry leaders. 2016 finalists will be announced on May 10, and winners will be announced in Chicago on July 6 as part of the Podcast Movement event. (psst…interested in attending Podcast Movement? Enter “blubrry” at checkout for a $40 discount on your registration fee!) The Academy of Podcasters also honors Hall of Fame inductees every year – this year, inductees will include Mignon Fogarty, featured in our recent feature on women podcasters!
- Podcast Awards: Back for its 11th year with brand-new rules and judging criteria, nominations for the Podcast Awards will be open April 15 – April 30. Finalists are chosen in 20 categories, with winners based on a combination of criteria including total number of nominations, quality of art, website, and show notes, consistency, longevity, and more. The awards ceremony takes place via a live online event that draws around 25,000 viewers.
- The Webby Awards: The Webby Awards, now coming into its 20th year, offers a radio/podcast sites category that has honored, among others, the websites hosting the podcasts HowStuffWorks and Slate’s GabFest. Nominees for the People’s Voice awards have been announced, and voting is happening now.
- Star Wars Podcast Awards: Proving that no niche is too specific to grow into a thriving podcast community, the Star Wars Podcast Awards “celebrates the Force” while celebrating podcasters.
- The Iris Awards: The Iris Awards are a yearly event honoring content creators in the parenting niche. While previously the conference has mainly recognized parenting bloggers, vloggers and social influencers, this year a “best parenting podcast” category was added, suggesting that podcasting is rapidly expanding its reach into a variety of lifestyle niches.
- RPG Podcast Awards: With the purpose of recognizing “artistic achievement, technical proficiency, and overall excellence in both gaming podcasts and in the games that inspire such podcasts,” the RPG Podcast Awards announces three nominees in each category in early summer, and announces winners at the the yearly Gen Con event.
- Parsec Awards: The Parsec Awards honors podcasters in the speculative fiction niche. Nominations are open in 15 categories from now through May 31 for the 11th annual event.
Know of a podcasting awards program that we didn’t mention? Tweet us @blubrry and let us know about it!
Considering joining Blubrry at the Podcast Movement in Chicago this July?
Use the code “Blubrry” at checkout for a $40 discount!
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