Some speakers at the Podcast Movement in Chicago are focusing on content creation. Others are focused on monetization. Then there’s some that are just podcast enthusiasts learning how to get into the business. Regardless of what stage you’re at, it’s important to engage your listeners, no matter how few or plentiful they are.
In radio, basic concepts of how to maximize TSL are also true in podcasting. We go through ratings periods that are designed to measure listenership and trends. Podcasting also has ratings, but they’re in the form of downloads and other metrics.
The amount of a podcast that a listener actually hears before they turn it off or move onto another podcast is an important metric. Advertisers pay a premium for podcasts that can engage listeners to stick around until the end and hear their message one more time. If your goal is to get to the point where your podcasts can be monetized, you should start to practice TSL techniques in your podcasts now.
One of the more creative stories of adding TSL was by Ben Johnson. He hosts a
podcast called Codebreaker. What he’ll do is hide “Easter Eggs” in the form of codes sprinkled out throughout the podcast which listeners like to discover and decipher in order to engage the show even further. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, “Easter Eggs” are undocumented features usually hidden or masked over the course of a production but hold special meaning to those looking for them.
Listeners don’t have to find the codes to enjoy the podcast, but they enjoy the puzzle aspect his show has to offer.
The “extra engagement tool” is nothing new to radio programmers. Many promotional giveaways revolved around extending TSL through multiple dayparts using keywords or special incentives. The key is to translate that into your digital offerings so you not only have a more engaged listener, but one who will come back for more.
Ryan Wrecker programs WOWO Radio in Fort Wayne, Indiana, for Federated Media. You can reach him on Twitter @RyanWrecker and also by email at RyanWrecker@gmail.com