How to create real connections with your listeners

What does Convo do to help build connections?

Convo is a new way for creators and listeners to interact and share knowledge. A podcaster makes an episode accessible within Convo so listeners, can record audio or video messages at the exact time within the podcast convo where they want to share or comment. Then, the host can drop in to respond at any time, or other members of the thinker community can add on to the initial idea.

In developing a new experience for podcasters to build relationships with their listeners, we at Convo have unearthed a few of the challenges creators face in going from listeners to community.  We've worked to break down how podcasters can develop real relationships with listeners. Here are three things to keep in mind.

Learn who your listeners are and what they care about

How does a podcaster reach some portion of the estimated 120M podcast listeners, and that's just in the US? Many focus on telling a good story through entertaining or educating or even just thinking aloud.

The #1 step in any type of storytelling — communication, business offering or xxx is know your audience. The concept dates all the way back to Plato developing the concept of persuasion and rhetoric.

It raises the question of how do podcasters know how they are doing and what topics will resonate, if they do not really know who their listeners are.

Enable listeners to discuss what they hear in each episode

Each episode is an opportunity to connect with a listener. Just like with a music album where different fans are attracted to different songs, podcast listeners will have their favorites. The challenge is when a listener finds that topic that sparks their thinking, they don't have any clear path to share. Many times continuing the conversation leads them to another social platform like Twitter or Instagram to throw a half-thought into the ether hoping someone will grab it an respond. When they don't hear back, they tend to lose that moment of inspiration, and the podcaster never knows they made an impact.

We hear from podcasters who are already straddling a mix of platforms to develop relationships, many of the comments they receive lack the context of the specific episode topic. With the casual in-and-out vibe of many messages, not having the right context leads to confusion or miscommunication, and ultimately the back-and-forth dies out.

Podcasters are idea generators who can drive deeper discussions among their listening base. Why not capitalize on those moments when listeners are really inspired — invite them to share their thoughts and take time to thank them, all in one place where the episode details are readily available to reference.

Find the deeper value in building your community (nurturing)

Customer feedback continues to be the most valuable tool for improving a business or an idea. Whether podcasters are looking to make money through book sales and speaking engagements, providing a professional service, or just live to entertain and inspire; every one of them is a media machine creating content people care about.

Reviews are nice to have, and they help would-be listeners decide if the podcast series is a good fit for their current interest, but personal ratings aren't a good way to gain insights about what to change or what to keep doing. Creators who are looking to hone their message or add value to their business want to know who are the listeners sharing their feedback and what instigated their comments.

Getting contextualized thoughts from listeners could open up new topic ideas or identify possible guests to have on the show. It can also highlight things about a preferred format or why listeners really love a host's particular style. However the feedback comes in, it's only helpful if the podcast team knows where the idea is coming from and what triggered it.

Eric Duffy

View all posts