If you’re a podcaster, then chances are you’ve asked yourself: “What’s the difference between a good podcast, and a great one?”
Having a high number of downloads is certainly one way to tell if your podcast is a hit. But what about the content itself? Is each episode imaginative, captivating, and entertaining? Is your audience eager to play the next episode, or is your podcast merely background noise while they focus their primary attention elsewhere?
We’ve compiled our top tips, tricks, and principles below on how to craft a memorable podcast episode for your audiences.
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1) Don’t underestimate the power of story
Fans of comedy know that the best stand-ups begin with an anecdote. Why? Because storytelling is effective. Stories are proven to grab the attention and resonate with listeners.
You’ll find stories rooted in most sermons, speeches, and lectures because they touch the minds and hearts of humans in an impactful and memorable way. We use stories in TV, movies, radio and books.
Why wouldn’t we utilize them in podcasts, too? If you work a brief story into each episode, you’re bound to see an improvement in listeners.
2) Your opening is everything
We’ve all been there. You’re binging a Netflix show, and the next episode begins automatically. Even though you may have sworn that you’d stop at the end of the last one, you just can’t bring yourself to turn off the TV. Why? Because the opening immediately hooked you.
The difference between a good podcast and a great one is that the opening instantly grabs your audience’s attention to where they cannot help but keep listening.
One way to do this is by spilling the major plot points of the episode at the beginning, without revealing the specifics and details. This will keep the curiosity and intrigue going in your listeners until the final reveal at the end of the episode.
Of course, the opening depends greatly upon the kind of podcast you’re creating. But when you find a way to craft an opening that is immediately captivating, you’ll have a winner.
3) Keep your content and concept unique
In order to keep your show different from the competition, both the content and the concept itself should be unique and impressive. It’s the alluring concept combined with memorable content that will attract first-time listeners and keep old listeners coming back for more.
Your content should be thoroughly researched and engaging, providing value to your audience that they can’t find anywhere else.
The way you deliver this content is just as important as the content itself. Be creative in your approach, whether that means utilizing sound effects, music, or simply having a great voice for radio.
4) Connect with your audience on a personal level
This relates back to storytelling but involves much more than comical or emotive anecdotes. Your audience should see another layer of the show that is personal and relatable.
When listeners connect with the host on a deeper level, they form a loyal fanbase. There’s a significant difference from being enjoyable and interesting to being loved and admired. Having a personal connection with your audience can make all the difference.
A way to do this is by showing emotion in each episode. Explain to your audience why you feel the way that you do on certain subjects, your reasons for celebration and your causes for contempt.
When you show emotion, your show starts to feel personal to them, and gradually becomes their favorite podcast. Podcasts that are topically relevant are good; the ones that resonate with audiences on a personal level are great.
5) Make it interactive
Make your podcast more than a one-way street. If you want to keep listeners engaged, make the show interactive.
You can do this in a number of ways: by taking questions from social media, having a call-in segment, or even incorporating live recordings where anything could happen.
The key is to not only be entertaining but also to be participatory. If you can get your audience involved, they’ll be more likely to keep coming back for more.
6) Keep it short and sweet
In today’s fast-paced world, people don’t have the attention span for hour-long podcasts (unless, of course, it’s a serialized show).
The sweet spot for most podcasts is around 20-30 minutes, although this number will differ depending on the subject matter. If you can deliver quality content in a short amount of time, you’ll have no problem keeping listeners engaged.
7) Promote, promote, promote
Last but not least, you need to promote your podcast if you want people to listen to it. Just because you create a great show doesn’t mean that people will automatically find it.
There are a number of ways to market your podcast, such as through social media, online forums, and even word-of-mouth. The key is to be creative and get the word out there any way you can.
8) Don’t give up
The most important thing is to not give up. It takes time and effort to build a following, but if you keep at it, eventually you’ll find the success you’re looking for.
Creating a great podcast is no easy feat, but it’s definitely worth it. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to making a show that people will love.
Need help creating & producing your own podcast?
Sorrentino Media is a full-service video production company in NYC specializing in producing top quality content that is unique and creative. We work with many different brands and budgets, and always put our clients first to meet their needs, expectations, and deadlines.
Mike Sorrentino is an expert storyteller whose passion and unmatched enthusiasm have resulted in long-term client relationships and a strong referral base.
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