As a podcaster, it should be a constant goal to improve your podcast listener's experience. There are many ways you can improve the experience, whether that be by investing in your podcast or working on seemingly simple aspects of podcasting that cost nothing to improve on. You can actually significantly improve your listener experience without spending a dime and the improvements will be invaluable to your podcast's growth and development. For 5 simple and inexpensive ways to improve your podcast listener's experience, keep on reading!
Remember that your listener only has audio.
It's easy to get caught up in the moment and talk about things that truly need a visual aid when you are podcasting, especially when you are seeing the things that you are talking about. Some examples of this may be a host discussing something funny their pet just did, a host and guest or co-host discussing each other's body language, or a host doing a comedic segment on something they saw online. Remember that these things may be incredibly entertaining to you as the host because you are seeing them, but your audience isn't seeing them, so the discourse might not land the way you'd like because of the lack of the visual. If you are going to discuss something based on a visual aid, give lots of detail and be extremely precise to allow your audience to visualize what you are referencing.
Go on the journey with your audience.
As a podcaster, you should go on the journey in learning as well as the journey in storytelling with your audience. Even though you know the information or the story already, you want to make it feel like you are experiencing it right along with your audience. Since listeners don’t know the information that you know as the host, it's important to tease a variety of possibilities rather than handing the audience the answer.
This is a more engaging and conversational delivery of information and stories than simply conveying the information. This delivery will also help you build the bond with your audience as you experience the journey together. Keep in mind that you don't want to ever undermine your expertise though.
Be more accessible.
Accessibility is important for the listener experience. Your listeners won't all hear or process audio in the same way. You may have listeners that are deaf or hard of hearing, English-language learners, and individuals with auditory processing issues or sensory filtering issues.
With all of these audiences, they can be given the listener experience they deserve by providing them with transcripts of your episodes. Transcripts are an important part of ensuring you are accessible to all audiences equally, and they are not very expensive or difficult to create. Transcripts are also particularly helpful for you because your podcast will then be searchable, you can repurpose your podcast into blog posts, articles, or even a book in the future, and posting transcripts will help with your SEO.
Make it effortless to keep listening.
Creating an effortless listening experience includes ensuring you are hydrated to avoid distracting mouth noises, learning basic editing skills to cut unnecessary moments, and keeping your discussion on topic and not excessively long. Whatever you can do to make the listening experience easy and enjoyable through and through should be done. Another thing that you can do to make it effortless for your audience to listen is to restate main points potentially a couple of different times in a couple of different ways. This will ensure your audience is there with you and they don't have to wonder or even rewind if they feel they have missed something crucial.
Give signposts to important details.
Signposting is an audio technique that hosts use to ensure that listeners don’t miss important details. As a host, emphasizing something before or after your detail is introduced can be incredibly helpful for your listeners. There are many ways you can give signposts to crucial details, including using pauses, using tone to hint to the importance of the detail, as well as using key words and phrases that allude to the detail and the significance. For a listener, missing a key detail can mean confusion for a portion of the episode, or worse, the entire episode. Missing important moments can derail the listening experience and signposting solves this problem.
Once you start your podcast, it is really easy to get comfortable and lose sight of improvement as a goal, especially when you are seeing positive statistics. However, there is always room for improvement, which is why you should prioritize improving your podcast listener's experience. Without improvement as a goal, you will remain stagnant, which might not be reflected in your listener statistics at first, but eventually that will catch up with you. So, do yourself a favor and remember that constant improvement is key. Happy podcasting!
For a variety of information on podcasting, see our organized list of articles here.
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Article Image: Em Taylor via Unsplash.