As a podcast host you are trying to create something which will be of interest or useful to your listeners. But how do you know what interests them? How do you know what sort of segments are most effective? What sort of guests they want to hear from? Or, in the case of successfully monetizing your podcast, the type of brand partners and sponsors you should collaborate with?
Well, one way you can learn all this and a whole lot more is by surveying them! A survey can give you loads of information about what they want from your podcast and help refine it so that it meets their needs.
If you run a survey on your audience and use the findings to inform future episodes, you’re going to be able to create something much more valuable for listeners.
For more on the “how-to’s” of running a successful survey, check out this recent post: Want To Improve Your Podcast? Create A Podcast Survey!
But in case you need a little more convincing that surveying your podcast audience is a great idea, on this post, we’re turning our attention to 12 interesting things that can be learned from surveying an audience.
Let’s dive right in!
1. Audience Demographics
Surveys can yield a better understanding of who your audience is. In other words, surveys give you concrete data about your audience’s demographics.
The more you know about your listeners, the better you can make content for them and ensure that your content meets their needs. But knowing your audience demographics does more than just tell you more about your audience. Knowing your audiences’ average age, where they come from, and even where they like to shop and spend their free time can give you invaluable insight if you’re looking to monetize through affiliate marketing. Having this data on hand can also help you improve the odds of landing great sponsorship deals.
2. Listening Habits
Audience surveys can also give you insight into your audience’s listening habits. By including questions with this focus in your survey, you can learn more about when your listeners listen to your podcast, the devices they use, or the podcast apps they prefer.
And this information, again, can be really helpful for building effective marketing strategies. But understanding your audience’s listening habits can also help you improve your show. Do your listeners tend to listen on their commute? Perhaps this means that you have a better understanding of how long your episodes should be to ensure maximum engagement.
Take a look at this example.
Say, for instance, you discover from your survey that the majority of your audience listeners to your podcast on their morning commute. And say, also from the survey, you learn that the average length of their commutes is 30 minutes. If your episodes tend to be 40 minutes, this may mean that many of your audience stop listening as soon as their commute ends, and don’t go back to finish the last few minutes of the episode. This means that the majority of your listeners may be missing the part of your podcast where you place those all-important CTAs (call-to-action)!
Now that you’re aware of this, perhaps you should consider shortening your episodes to within the 30 minute mark, so your listeners will be more likely to respond to your CTAs.
3. Listener Preferences
You can also learn so much about your listener’s preferences from your surveys! You can find out the type of podcast genres they typically enjoy, and even the specific shows they count as their favorites. You can find out how long they generally prefer their shows to be, and you could discover who their favorite hosts (besides you. obviously) are.
But you can use your surveys to discover their preferences and interests beyond the scope of podcasting. Depending on the questions you ask, you could find out the type of series or movies they enjoy, places they like to visit, restaurants they frequent, or hobbies they enjoy. While seemingly unrelated to your show, this feedback can help you make your show better. Whether it’s through new ideas for content, or compiling great prizes for your giveaways, all of this insight will come in handy!
4. Social Media Habits
Your survey results can also help you gain a better understanding of your listeners’ social media habits. You can find out which platforms they interact on most frequently, and you can even find out the type of content they’re most looking for whenever they’re on social media.
From this, you can step up your social media game. You might need to try creating TikToks, if it turns out that’s the platform of choice for your audience, or see how you can utilize Instagram features more to grow your podcast community if that’s the platform where they spend the most time.
5. Format Feedback
A survey also lets your audience give you feedback on your podcast’s format. If you design your survey to include questions about the flow of your show, your audience can let you know if they love your intro or if it needs a revamp.
You can also find out if they listen all the way to your outdo, and whether or not they hear your CTA’s. Your audience can also let you know about the ad spots you feature. Do they like them? Do they skip over them? Would they prefer less ads? Should the ads be spread out or placed all together? Armed with this info, you can tweak your format so that it always adds value and keeps your podcast at its peak.
6. Value Analysis
Remember those goals you had when you started your podcast? Are you hitting them? The results of your survey will tell you! More than likely, one of your goals was to consistently add value to your audience and give them top-notch content on your niche topic. And the results of your survey can let you know if your’e hitting the mark, or if your’e falling short.
Based on the feedback you receive from the survey, you can either give yourself a pat on the back and be even more motivated to deliver the best content. Or, maybe the answers motivate you to up your game.
7. Insight Into Where Listeners Find Your Show
A survey can be a great way to find out how your listeners discover your podcast. Word of mouth? Podcast-focused newsletters? Recommendations from Podchaser?
These answers are invaluable when you’re fine-tuning your marketing strategies and podcast promotion techniques! You can use them to create strategies that are super effective and make sure you’re not wasting time, energy, or money marketing your show where it is ineffective.
For instance, if no responses on your survey indicate that your listeners discovered your show from your Facebook ads, perhaps it’s time to call it quits on those and rather focus your time and energy into promoting your podcast on platforms that are actually working for you.
Related read: How And Where To Promote Your Podcast In 2021
8. Content Inspiration
Your listeners are a great source of content inspiration! And your survey can help you tap into that resource. Use your survey to find out what topics they’d love you to cover, which guests you should invite on, or any other ideas they may have to share with you about your podcast. These ideas could spark totally fresh ideas for you!
You created your podcast for your listeners in the first place. They are the ones who support your show, love your content, and the ones you build relationships with as members of your podcast community. They love your show as much as you do, and so could really have some great insight into the type of content that could make your show even better. As the host of your podcast, you can sometimes get tunnel vision when it comes to thinking up new ideas. Your listeners can offer different perspectives, and may be able to think of content ideas that you hadn’t thought of because they are not as “close” to the creation process as you are. A survey is one of the best ways you can tap into their insight! You may just be surprised at what ideas your listeners come up with!
Related read: 12 Quick Ways To Generate Ideas For Your Podcast
9. What Your Listeners Enjoy Most
A survey can tell you all that your listeners love about your show! And how great is this kind of positive feedback! It can be a real motivation boost to hear that what you’re sharing and how you’re sharing it is really resonating with your audience. And it’s always so rewarding to hear that all your hard work is appreciated by the people you’re making your podcast for!
Include questions in your survey that let your listeners give you this kind of positive feedback, and you can keep creating the content they’re after with every episode.
10. Places for Improvement
Okay, so it’s great to get all that positive feedback. It’s great to know that your listeners love what you’re sharing, and it truly is a motivator to keep crafting stellar content. However, do you know what other interesting things you can learn from surveys? Where you can improve. Eek.
Nobody likes to hear negatives, I get that. But, it is sometimes hearing those negatives that can lead to great breakthroughs and amazing new ideas. So don’t be afraid to ask your audience to share some of the places you may need to improve. Remember, your podcast community is almost as invested in your show as you are. They want you to succeed! So there is a very slim chance that you will get mean or hurtful responses in your surveys. You will (hopefully) find that if there are some areas where you can improve your podcast, your community will tell you kindly.
However, if they don’t, remember that this feedback is simply a tool to help you make your podcast better. Thinking about negative feedback in this light helps to take some of the sting out of it.
11. Future Planning Directions
Another really interesting thing you can learn from a survey is the direction you could aim to take your podcast in the future.
Perhaps your show has been in a solo format up until now. Your survey might show that your listeners would love you to hear you match your wit and expertise with some great guests. Perhaps interviews lie in your podcast’s future! That’s exciting! Or maybe they’d love you to expand one of your segments into a full-blown episode. You could then potentially look at sharing this as a bonus episode for your Patreon supporters. This type of feedback can be of great use when you’re planning more long term goals for your podcast.
12. Guest Feedback and Guidance
The last interesting insight your podcast survey can tell you is feedback on your guests. If you do interview guests on your podcast, guest-related questions are a must in your survey.
You can find out the time of guests that your listeners resonate best with, who they’d love to hear you interview again, and they could even have some great ideas for who you should think about lining up to interview next. This type of feedback is just another way you can ensure that your podcast is consistently dishing up valuable content that your listeners are wanting to hear. And it will help you keep positioning your podcast as one of the top picks in your niche or category.
Listener feedback is an excellent way for a podcaster to know just how their podcast is being received by their listeners. Through running surveys, podcast hosts can learn how to better connect with their audience by finding out exactly what they want from the show. You can find out what they love, what needs to change, and even the new directions you could consider exploring. Not to mention all the valuable data you’ll have to share with sponsors and even potential investors!
So, if you haven’t yet run a survey on your podcast audience, or have just been toying with the idea, let these 12 interesting insights you can learn from surveying your podcast audience be the push you need to create your podcast survey today!