It’s no secret that the Getting Smart team loves a good podcast. We listen to dozens of them, record our own (shameless plug: check us out on iTunes) and, as education enthusiasts, are always looking for the best ways to use podcasts in learning.
So, as most of us do when something involves technology, we turned to a millennial to find out what the cool kids are doing. Our friend Sofia Cabrera, a senior from El Paso, Texas, shared some great ideas with us about what her generation is looking for in a good podcast, how you can make your own hip podcast and how teachers can use them in the classroom.
By Sofia Cabrera
As a senior in high school, I am the “queen” of doing two things at once.I’m sure my millennial peers will agree that you have an advantage if you are able to focus on multiple activities. So lately, while isolated in my room working long hours on homework, a nice podcast has begun to keep me company. Listening to a podcast is a great way to be entertained while learning something new.
While watching movies will always be my true love, I have grown fond of podcasts. They’re easy to access and don’t require my full attention to a device. Podcast listeners are at an all time high with 21%of Americans listening to podcasts monthly. There are podcasts for all interests and topics. A few of my favorites include Stuff You Should Know, Netflix Queue, and (of course) Getting Smart.
With the growing number of podcasts and listeners, it is important as a podcaster to remain competitive by creating a better listening experience. I encourage you to find a topic you are truly passionate about and your listeners will feel that through the headphones. A podcast can be your way of sharing ideas and fun stories! Whether you are looking to get started or improve your existing show, here are five ways you can grow your listeners and improve the quality of your podcast.
1. Promote Shows Through Social Media
Social media is a great way to reach listeners and get them intrigued in your podcast. While opening a separate social media account for your podcast is a great idea, you can also promote it through your personal account. Twitter is a great place for people to voice their opinions, and it’s also somewhere you can interact with your listeners. Listeners love when they are able to speak to you directly and feel that they’re being heard. You can also thank people for their loyalty and ask them to share your podcast with their friends and followers.
2. Write Creative Titles
Your podcasts titles should include the main topic of your show phrased in a creative way. Make the listener want to click on your podcasts. The title could include the name of guests, a posed question, or a fun anecdote. One tip is to not name your episodes by number but start with a title and in the description name the episode number. It is also important to include keywords in your titles so they can be found during a search.
3. State a Call to Action
Let the listener know what to do next. To give the listener a purpose, pose a question or do an activity at the end of each podcast. If you think the listener might still have questions, send them to your social media page or to other websites that you found helpful. Encourage people to interact with you and share your podcasts with students, teachers, etc. People’s suggestions should be valued in order to create a community around your show.
4. Include Video
If your podcast has gained momentum and you’re looking to reach a new level of views, the next step could be posting videos of your podcasts on YouTube. YouTube has turned into a search engine of its own and people of all ages are posting and watching. Some people would rather watch things than listen, but you can create both. Filming your podcast can be a fun way to give yourself a presence and gain subscribers on a new platform.
5. Be Consistent
Starting a consistent posting schedule will let listeners know exactly when they should expect a new episode. Your listeners need to establish a trustworthy relationship with you and overall that will create growth. Being consistent can also relate to having a common topic you focus on. Focus on your strengths whether it be education, entertainment, technology,etc.
Podcasts are a great way to learn something new, and from my perspective I think that they can be a useful tool in the classroom. Students can listen to a podcast before and after school (and trust me, I’d rather have a podcast assigned for homework than a thirty-page article). I believe that anyone can create a successful podcast because there will always be people who find what you are sharing interesting. I encourage you to take my tips into account and hopefully one day I’ll get to hear your podcast in my classroom. Happy podcasting!
For more, see:
- 5 teacher-Recommended Podcasts the Will Enrich, Entertain, and Inspire You
- Power of Podcasting for Student Learning
- Inspired by Serial: Behind MCDPEL’s New Podcast for EdLeaders
Sofia is a senior at Coronado High School interested in videography, social media and writing.
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