Traditional media thrived on a one-way conversation with its audience. Viewers would tune in to their favorite radio or television shows, enjoy the content, and move on with their daily lives. Today, media just doesn’t work that way. It isn’t uncommon to see hashtags overlaid during traditional television shows, podcasters hosting meetups, and a constant back-and-forth taking place between the content creator and their audience through social media. This is part of a larger shift in audience expectations. Here are a few tips on how to connect with your audience.
Include the Audience in the Show
Your podcast, broadcast, or YouTube channel depends on audience loyalty to thrive. In order to achieve this, you need to give them a reason to keep coming back every day and/or week to see more. No matter how entertaining or well-written your production is, an audience will be more actively interested in what you have to present if there’s a chance their contributions will become part of the show. This is especially important for podcasters and YouTube video producers. In this social environment, the audience members need to know that they are being seen and heard by you, the host.
Asking a question that viewers can comment on, hosting a live chat during recording, and including emailed tips in your regular podcast presentation can have a direct impact on viewership and comment numbers. The more people comment on your YouTube videos, the higher ranking they may receive.
Give out an Email Address and Reply to as Many Emails as You Can
Depending on the size of your audience, keeping up with viewer questions and tips can be a time consuming activity, but the return on that investment can be substantial. Presenting yourself as someone who is not too busy to answer questions or respond to emails from your audience is a great way to establish a more personal connection with your viewers. Remember, the more genuine you come across, the more likely someone will be to take an active interest in what you’re doing.
Leverage Social Media to Establish a Solid Connection with Your Audience
Social media is one of the greatest tools presently available for any content creator to establish a real connection with their audience. One of the biggest mistakes producers make when using social media is using it simply to send out links to the latest episode or generate higher viewer numbers to a live stream through teasing out what’s ahead. Your audience follows your social media accounts to find out more about you and what you’re interested in.
By turning the tables and taking an active interest in what your audience is talking about, you’re establishing a better reputation and building rapport that will come in handy when they tell their friends about the things you’re doing on the podcast. Think about it: are you more inclined to tweet about an episode of Hell’s Kitchen and what’s coming up in the next season, or a show that you have a vested interest in and an established relationship with the host? It doesn’t take much to turn a passive viewer into an active viewer.