How to Create an Engaging Podcast: Tips and Tricks

How to Create an Engaging Podcast

Podcasting can feel like a one-way conversation, especially if you primarily create solo episodes. It’s natural to wonder if your content is actually resonating with your audience. Today we’re going to learn how to create an engaging podcast that encourages your audience to share with their friends. 

One of the four podcast goals we typically see is that podcasters want more engagement. They want their audience to interact with their content. The reason could be that they wish to get feedback on the content or they want to get more people to see their content. 

Let’s dive into how to determine if your podcast is engaging and explore powerful strategies to boost podcast listener interaction.

How to Create an Engaging Podcast: Tips and Tricks

What is Engagement?

It doesn’t mean more listeners, though, that can be a really excellent side product of engaging audiences. It doesn’t always mean that you’ll have an increase in download numbers or that you’ll rank in Apple Podcast charts

What it actually means is that your audience is engaging and interacting with your content. It means your audience is doing some or all of the following:

Actively responding

They’re taking the actions you suggest, whether sharing episodes, visiting your website, or subscribing to your newsletter. Maybe they are leaving podcast reviews because you’ve asked them to.

Inspired to think differently

Your content sparks new perspectives, challenges assumptions, and leaves listeners pondering your topic long after the episode ends. This can look like someone saying “I heard your voice telling me to do it this way!” We’ve actually had clients experience this and there’s no better feeling.

Sticking around for more

Listeners consume your episodes in their entirety, indicating that even elements like ads or mid-episode calls to action aren’t turning them away. You can look through your podcast stats to help you make better decisions about what should and shouldn’t be in your podcast. 

Signs of Engaging Content

But how do you know that you are creating engaging podcast content? What signs point to success? Here are some additional indicators that your podcast is hitting the mark:

Social media buzz: Are listeners tagging you in posts, sharing quotes from your episodes, or sparking discussions inspired by your content?

Direct feedback: Are you receiving thoughtful DMs, emails, or voice notes from listeners offering their insights or asking follow-up questions?

Community growth: Is your podcast-related Facebook group, subreddit, or other online community seeing increased activity and meaningful conversations?

Setting Engagement Goals

If building a more interactive and loyal audience is your priority, shift your focus away from growth for growth’s sake and towards creating goals that are directly tied to engagement. Here are three examples of audience engagement goals.

Increased listen-through rate

Are you looking to boost listener engagement and completion rates over the next six months? While a 60-75% completion rate might seem average, pushing for an 80% mark can make a big difference. Here’s how to get there:

  • Streamline your intro: Hook your listeners from the start. Trim unnecessary elements in your episode setup or introductions that might be dragging and causing drop-off.
  • Content is king: Ensure all content is relevant and engaging. Get rid of anything distracting or off-topic that might make listeners lose interest.
  • Strategic ad placement: Avoid placing ads within the first five minutes, especially for shorter podcasts. This prime real estate needs to grab attention, not push listeners away. By addressing these areas, you can create a more captivating podcast experience and keep your audience engaged throughout the entire episode.

More reviews and ratings

Don’t just passively ask for reviews. Offer incentives like exclusive content, giveaways of relevant products/services, or even personalized shout-outs on your show. 

Here’s how to double your review, rating, and follower numbers:

  • Call to action: Directly ask your audience to leave ratings and reviews during your episodes. Make it clear how helpful these are for the podcast’s visibility.
  • Incentivize engagement: Hold giveaways or contests where the entry requires a review or follow. Offer prizes that align with your audience’s interests (e.g., books, strategy sessions, product bundles).
  • Highlight your reviewers: Like your client, publicly celebrate new reviews and randomly select winners for special rewards like free memberships. This creates community excitement and encourages further participation.

Increased DMs

If your goal is to increase the number of DMs your listeners are sending you then you’ll want to encourage your audience throughout the episode to do so. Don’t just leave it for your outro. 

Want to get 10% of your listeners to actively engage with you? Here’s how:

  • Make strong calls to action: Encourage listeners to send you DMs throughout your episodes. Emphasize the value they’ll receive in return.
  • Sweeten the deal: Offer an exclusive perk to those who DM you. A free checklist, answering a question, or something related to your podcast’s niche works perfectly.
  • Promote the benefits: Explain how this interaction helps you understand your audience better and highlights the strong community you’re building around your show.

This strategy builds a two-way connection with your listeners, showing them that you care about their thoughts and feedback!

Pro Tip: Measuring your progress is crucial! Whether it’s a simple spreadsheet or more sophisticated analytics tools, track changes in your engagement metrics to see what strategies work for you.

Additional Tips for Boosting Engagement

  • Tell captivating stories: Humans are hardwired for storytelling. Use vivid anecdotes, relatable examples, and a touch of suspense to make your content irresistible.
  • Invite listener participation: Ask for questions in advance, host Q&A episodes, or feature listener-submitted voice notes for a sense of community.
  • Create behind-the-scenes content: Share outtakes, planning sessions, or glimpses into your recording process on social media to make listeners feel like insiders.
  • Be consistently excellent: Engaging content isn’t a one-time thing. Prioritize audio quality, thoughtful preparation, and a genuine passion for your topic in every single episode.

As you can see, there are many ways to gauge the engagement of your podcast – and they might not be what you initially expect! If you’re wrestling with your own podcasting questions, I’d love to hear from you. Send me a DM on Instagram at @successful.podcasting.unlocked, or submit your question directly at Successful Podcasting Unlocked

Feeling overwhelmed? We’ve got resources for you.

Read the blog: 10 Simple Tips to Increase Podcast Downloads

Download the Freebie: Podcast Workflow Checklist

Access the Free Workshop: Podcast Marketing Workshop

Book a Strategy Session 

Don't Hesitate to Contact Us!​

Book a call today to discuss how our team can support you in bringing your voice into the ears of potential clients.