You're planning out your podcast, you've got guests lined up, you know what you want to talk about. You're all set. But are you? Have you considered your audience's point of view? What do they already know? What will they want to hear? It's the age-old question broadcasters have to consider before beginning any project;
What Can I Assume About My Audience?
This is an important question you have to answer before you do anything publicly, be it blogging, speaking, or podcasting. You'll want to present the best message to your audience.
Otherwise, you may not connect meaningfully – emotionally and intellectually – with your listeners, and fail in the long run to build and retain them.
What are People Asking?
Look online to see the types of things people are looking for, the questions they're asking, and the level they seem to be at themselves. A bit of research will give you an indication of where to position your podcast. You can also use Google Analytics to see the phrases people are actively searching for.
It's also good to go on related forums and get a feel for the conversations. You'll soon know the terminology that most people are comfortable with, and that'll help a lot with your presentation.
Ask Them Yourself
If you've already put at least one episode out, then engage with your audience and get feedback.
Try surveys, provide a comments form on your website – especially if you write blog posts – and you can even use voicemail software for listeners to leave you messages.
One way or another, getting feedback from your audience is vital for helping you understand your audience.
How Are They Listening?
It's worthwhile finding out how your audience tunes in. The more you know about them, the more you can tailor your content to their tastes.
- Are They Listening on Mobile Devices? They probably are, but which kind? Apple, Android or Windows Phone?
- Are they listening via your blog? iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or something else?
- When are they listening? Are they out jogging, or commuting or doing housework?
And where are they based? Your home country? Maybe not, in which case it may be wise to leave out any regional jargon or slang. Not everyone in the world knows that a pair of “baffies” in Scotland are actually slippers.
Another useful thing to know is which of your episodes had the most engagement with your audience. You might be surprised, and that alone could help you decide which direction to take your podcast in.
The Golden Rule
Lastly, I'd say it's easy to worry too much about getting the exact message correct. The fact is that everyone's different – no two of your listeners will have the same level of expertise.
As long as you do at least one of the following – Engage, Educate, Entertain – then you're halfway there.
How have you gotten to know your audience? Is it something you struggle with? Leave me a comment in the box below.