Podcast competitive benchmark report: The first step in developing a podcast strategy

A major component of developing a solid podcast strategy is understanding your customers’ wants and needs.

What are your customers looking for in a podcast? What podcasts are already available? What topics are your customers interested in? How often do they want new episodes?

But how does your team get this data? How can you ensure your podcast strategy aligns with what your customers want and need?

The answer: A competitive benchmark report.

Podcast Competitive Benchmark Report

At Motion, we’ve launched over 50 podcasts for technology companies. And analyzing B2B podcasts is what we do nearly every single day.

Want us to conduct a competitive analysis before you start your own podcast? Purchase the Podcast Competitive Benchmark Report and we’ll deliver it in 5 business days.

What's the purpose of analyzing the competition before creating a podcast?

Some marketers don’t worry about the competition. They start a podcast without analyzing what’s out there.

And this process can work.

But when you research what options your customers have available, you build a better understanding of how your company’s podcast can help your audience. And you gather more inputs for creating an effective podcast strategy.

Here’s a list of the primary benefits of researching the competition:

  • Understand how your direct competitors use podcasts, videos, blog posts, etc. to help your ideal customers
  • Identify the performance, format & style of competitors’ podcasts (if applicable)
  • Review alternative sources of information available to your target audience (top social accounts, websites, podcasts, Youtube channels)
  • Identify the performance, format & style of podcasts in your niche
  • Gather intel around the podcast marketing strategies of other shows
  • Determine how other shows use their podcast content on social media, websites, and in paid ads

“What’s interesting about a podcast is that you have complete creative control. You don’t have to stick with one format.”

Tristan Pelligrino



Where do you get the quantitative data for a competitive analysis?

To develop a successful podcast for your company, you should analyze qualitative and quantitative data.

At Motion, we often create a competitive benchmark report before starting a podcast for a tech company. We start by collecting quantitative data from these three reputable sources:

Using SEMRush to gather data for your company’s podcast

SEMRush is a popular marketing research tool. It’s useful for developing a podcast strategy because it provides data on your competitors’ organic and paid search traffic, social media mentions, and backlinks.

This data can give you insights into which keywords your competitors are targeting, how much content they’re producing, and what type of content is popular with their audience.

To use SEMRush for developing a podcast strategy, start by entering your competitor’s domain into the Domain Overview tool. Then, select the Traffic Analytics and Organic Research tabs to start the analysis process.

Here, you’ll see data on how many blog posts your competitor has published, the average word count of those posts, and the number of social interactions they’ve received. You can also see which blog posts are performing the best.

SEMRush is a great starting point because it helps us identify keywords to use as inputs in other areas of the analysis.

Understanding your company’s podcast audience with SparkToro

SparkToro is a tool used by marketers to understand their audience. It helps develop a podcast strategy because it allows you to research the interests and demographics of your target audience.

To use SparkToro for your company’s show, start by entering a seed keyword into the Audience Research tool. Then, select the Podcasts tab to get a list of shows.

SparkToro will show you a list of podcasts that are popular with people who are interested in your primary keyword. You can also see data on the percentage of your audience that listens to the podcasts, the last episode release date, and the number of episodes released.

After you try researching one keyword, you can rotate through several other primary keywords identified with SEMRush.

Overall, this data can give you insights into which topics are popular with your target audience, pinpoint a few different formats, and indicate how often they like to consume new content.

You can also use SparkToro to research the most popular social media accounts and publications in your niche. This data can help you understand where your target audience is spending their time online.

To do this, enter a keyword into the Audience Research tool and select the Social tab. Then, scroll down to the results section and sort/filter to analyze the data.

SparkToro will show you a list of the most popular social media accounts for people who are interested in your seed keyword. You can also see data on each account’s average engagement rate, post frequency, and follower count.

Dive deeper into industry podcast episodes by researching in Listen Notes

Once you get a broader view of keywords and the interests of your podcast audience, it’s important to take a closer look at podcast episodes.

Listen Notes is a podcast search engine that helps you find both popular and niche podcasts. It’s useful for developing a podcast strategy because it allows you to research the content of specific episodes, rather than just the show as a whole.

To use Listen Notes for developing a podcast strategy, start by searching for a keyword related to your industry. Then, select the Episodes tab and scroll down to the results.

Listen Notes will show you a list of episodes that mention your keyword. You can also see data on each episode’s length, release date, and a Listen Score.

According to Listen Notes, the Listen Score (LS) is a metric that shows the estimated popularity of a podcast compared to other RSS-based public podcasts worldwide. The score is based on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher the score, the more popular the podcast. The score is calculated using a combination of 1st and 3rd party data.

Listen Notes also provides a Global Rank metric that indicates whether or not the podcast is one of the top podcasts in the world. The Global Rank metric uses the Listen Score as the basis to compare with other podcasts.

This data can give you insights into which topics are being talked about in your industry, how long people might be spending on each episode, and when a new podcast episode is being released.

How do you capture qualitative podcast data for a competitive analysis?

After you have a solid foundation of quantitative data, I believe it’s important to take it a step further and get qualitative information.

But how does a marketer get qualitative data and get insights that’ll help craft a company’s podcast strategy?

I believe this is where you take a subset of the data gathered and analyze the content yourself. In this phase of a competitive analysis, you become one of the podcast listeners and become a member of your own target audience.

To get a sense of how your ideal customers are consuming information, you have to go beyond the podcast directories.

This process takes work. You can’t press a button. You have to put your headphones on and listen. And then you have to go down a few rabbit holes to see how podcasts are connected to other content marketing initiatives.

Here are the primary steps we take:

  • Analyze how your company’s competitors help your audience
  • In scenarios where a competitor produces a podcast, take a deeper dive and dissect the show
  • Select a subset of industry-related shows to review

Manually review how your competitors help your target audience

As a marketer, you probably take a peek at what your competitors share with the world. When you look to launch a podcast strategy, it’s a good time to take a closer look at the ways your competitors help your audience.

Here are some of the questions we ask when analyzing a competitor:

  • Are they producing a podcast? If so, what’s involved and how do they use it on social media platforms, etc.? What’s the quality level of podcast production?
  • Do they have a Youtube channel? If so, what types of videos are they creating?
  • How’s their blog performing? What are the featured posts? How frequently is content updated? What elements gathered from SEMRush can add more context?
  • Do they share a newsletter? What other calls to action do they feature on their website and on social media?

After you do a manual review, figure out a way to consolidate your notes and share with your team. This information can help spark new ideas when crafting a podcast plan or assist with finding the right podcast agency.

Want to see how other B2B marketers get the most from their podcasts?

Recorded Content is a show for small, scrappy marketing teams who are looking to launch & grow a successful B2B podcast. In each episode, we provide stories on how to overcome the challenges of launching, running and growing a show. We tackle issues with technology, content marketing, distribution and more. We help you become a B2B podcasting hero with an amazing show.

Analyze any of your competitors who produce a podcast

It’s important to have a unique point of view as a company. When you present an alternative to the status quo, you demonstrate how your company helps overcome existing challenges.

So when you gather qualitative data for a competitive benchmark, check out how your competitors position themselves with their existing podcasts. Take a very close look at how they explore topics on their show.

This process can help you develop different angles for your own podcast or explore perspectives in a different way.

In addition to reviewing the types of content shared on your competitors’ shows, take a close look at the following:

  • Identify the common podcast format(s)
  • Critique the podcast host talent and understand how they connect with the audience
  • Review the supporting creative elements (video clips, audio clips, blog posts, and show notes)

When you listen, read, and watch elements stemming from your competitors’ podcasts, you can create some ways to differentiate your own podcast.

Select a subset of relevant podcasts to analyze

It’s important to get out of the echo chamber and branch out a bit with your research. When gathering data for your show, go beyond the competition and put other industry podcasts under a microscope.

In many of the same ways you analyzed your competitors, consume other industry podcasts (recent and old podcast episodes) and take notes.

Here are some questions you can consider with an existing podcast:

  • What podcast format do you like?
  • What does the podcast creative look and feel like?
  • How do other shows structure their podcast episodes?
  • How detailed are the episodes? Are podcast hosts getting into the details with each guest interview?
  • How long is each podcast episode?
  • What’s in the show notes? Is it just an episode summary or are companies getting more specific?
  • How are companies treating the podcast audio vs. the video content?
  • What information are companies sharing on each social media platform?

Use a combination of quantitative and qualitative data to help spark your podcast launch strategy

A competitive analysis is a great input source when creating your company’s podcast strategy. We use the process outlined in this article to help launch the podcasts of tech companies…nearly every single day.

Hopefully, the steps we went through will help you understand how your audience uses podcasts to find new information and solve their problems.

If you need some help with your own competitive analysis (and want us to do this process for you), purchase a Podcast Competitive Benchmark Report and we’ll get started right away.

Written by Tristan Pelligrino

Tristan Pelligrino is the Co-Founder of Motion. He’s a serial entrepreneur who started his career as a consultant with large IT companies such as PwC, IBM and Oracle. After getting his MBA, he started and grew one of the fastest video production companies in the country – which was listed on the Inc. 5000. Tristan now enjoys leading the content marketing strategies of some of the most innovative B2B technology companies in the country. You can find him on LinkedIn and Facebook.