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The Heart of Podcasting: What Makes Podcasts So Effective?

There’s no doubt about it, podcasting–as a business, marketing tool, and community builder–has taken off and taken over the world of content and digital media. In recent years, especially since the podcast-boom of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more podcasts have started up. In direct correlation, more listeners have tuned into podcasts and given new podcasts the audience they need.

But what is it that makes podcasts so effective? Here at Mr. Thrive Media, we’ve looked at podcasts from all sides–production, creative creation, and from the audience perspective. We’ve seen podcasts that draw in their audience, and we’ve had the chance to learn what makes podcasts as effective as possible.

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through what we’ve learned. If you’re looking to start a podcast, be sure to keep these points in mind during production. If you’re a podcast listener, keep an ear open for these, and check out how your favorite podcasts make use of these facets of effective podcasting.

3 Community Benefits of Podcasts

One overall positive effect that quality podcasts have is their building of a community, and their inclusivity. An effective podcast is one that does a good job of creating space for the audience. That’s why all the best podcasts are ones that, when you mention them to friends, people either have heard of them or are open to learning more once they hear a bit.

These three community benefits of podcasts are things that the community will experience when a podcast is made well. The ideas behind these benefits are also qualities to keep in mind when you’re creating a podcast. All of these benefits are things you can work towards to make your podcast more effective.

3. Active Engagement

Active engagement is both a benefit for the community of a podcast, and a result of a podcast made with that community in mind. When a podcast is centered on a subject that resonates with people, the engagement around the podcast is more likely to result in active conversations.

You can foster active engagement to raise your effectiveness by doing thorough market and community research on topics to talk about on your podcast. You can take polls with your social media community, leave a comments section on your podcast, or ask friends who are in your key demographic. Whatever you choose, knowing that you’re speaking to the right subjects will help you open that engagement.

2. Input on Content

The benefit of input on content comes from active engagement and takes it a step further. When listeners are drawn into an effective, engaging podcast, a foundation of trust is built between the listeners and the host. From there, listeners can feel comfortable giving the host feedback on topics and the conversation, resulting in even better podcasts.

Of course, you may find yourself receiving negative input depending on your subject matter. If someone writes in complaining, it’ll be a difficult thing to deal with. In the case that you’ve shared misinformation or accidentally done something that warrants negative input, you should engage with that to resolve it. If not, you can move along and keep sharing quality content. Don’t let the trolls get you down!

1. Intimate Tones

The spoken-word aspect of a podcast creates an intimate setting between the host and the audience. Another way of looking at this intimate setting is to say that a podcast becomes a personal experience for every listener. It’s a direct conversation between the host and every individual.

There isn’t a lot you have to specifically do to create these intimate tones when you’re hosting a podcast. One thing is, when you’re talking, you can say “us” or “we” or “you” to make the listener feel that you’re speaking directly to them. Beyond that, you’ll create an intimate setting purely by speaking in a natural way, and making your podcast as close to a real conversation as you can.

3 Key Traits of Podcasting

On the other side of key benefits of effective podcasts, there are some traits that should be built into every podcast, and that create an effective podcast. These traits will show up at every point along the podcast production timeline. From the inception of the idea to the recording of each episode to the community communication, you’ll see these factors.

These three key traits may seem, on some level, to be simple. You might be wondering, “Isn’t there something more?” Of course, there’s always more you can do. These traits, however, are vital building blocks of effective podcasting. Without them, you won’t have a podcast to do more with. From the beginning of your podcast, when you’re finding your theme, all the way through every recording, keep these traits in mind.

3. Value

Value is something that everyone who is sharing content of any sort–a blog, vlog, or podcast–should be working to provide. Value can be anything–knowledge, something new to buy, something joyful to think about–overall, it’s a reason for your podcast to have an audience.

Your value may come primarily from the business behind your podcast. If that’s the case, make sure you’re promoting your business through your podcast. If it’s not about a business, your value can come from making sure you’re sharing an intriguing story in your podcast. Heck, you should be doing that either way.

2. Originality

These days, with so much content out there, originality can be one of the more difficult traits to come by. You might look at this key to podcasting and worry that there’s nothing left to be original about. You’d be wrong about that!

No matter what subject you choose for your podcast, it will be original in some way, because you have a unique perspective on it. From there, find originality through researching and taking it a step further. Originality will make your podcast effective, because everyone will want to hear your unique point of view.

1. Storytelling Skills

Hosting a podcast is, more than marketing or content production, a form of verbal storytelling. Each episode is a chance to tell a story, and add a chapter to the overall story of your podcast. Storytelling skills, therefore, are vital to the creation of an effective podcast.

If you’re building your storytelling skills, there are two things that will help you along: listening to other podcasts, and reading fiction books. With these two practices, you’ll hear how a podcast story can be told, and you’ll read the arc of a story until it begins to affect how you tell your stories.

Frequently Asked Questions About Podcast Effectiveness

Anyone can make a podcast. It takes patience, skill, and the ability to adapt with new ideas to make a truly effective podcast. It’s a lot of work, but when you’re creating a podcast that brings in thousands of listeners and has a thriving community, you’ll see the worth of it.

Our answers to these frequently asked questions will give you more background on effective podcasting, why podcasts are effective, and the reasons that drive great podcasting. They’ll also be a jumping off point to even more questions you’ll ask as you work through the podcast creation process.

Why Are Podcasts So Powerful?

Podcasts are the powerful medium that they are because they’re a personal form of storytelling. The host is speaking directly to the audience, creating an intimate setting for the conversation. The audience can actively engage with the host. It’s the closest you can get to physically interacting with your audience in a digital setting.

Are Podcasts Effective Marketing Tools?

Yes, podcasts are effective marketing tools. For businesses looking to up their marketing plans and truly engage with their audience and potential customers, podcasts are one of the best ways to most effectively share a marketing message.

What Is The Goal of a Podcast?

The goal of a podcast is different for every podcast and industry. Overall, many of the potential podcasts goals are:

Increasing the customer base

Building an interactive community

Networking with other industry professionals

Adding to the content marketing plan

If a podcast is part of a business, it’s likely that the goal will be a mix of all those options. If it’s a singular podcast, it may be more about the community or the content.

Getting To The Heart of Podcasts

A truly effective podcast is something with the power to change the world. Well … at least the world of its listeners. Podcasts are the perfect medium, falling between written content and physical interaction. When they’re well crafted, a podcast can change a business, a mindset, and a person. A well crafted podcast can also help you, as a business owner, learn more about what you can do with your business.

Here at Mr. Thrive, we want to help you create a podcast that can be effective and make that change. Our agency of vocal talent, marketing experts, and podcast-producing pros can take your effective ideas and podcasting skills, and turn them into a podcast that will reach your ideal audience. Contact us and get started today.

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