During the sales cycle, people often ask me what specific podcast metrics a company should consider.
Here are a few questions that come up during an initial call:
- “How many downloads can my company expect from its first few episodes?”
- “What podcast metrics are most important?”
- “How can I measure the ROI of my company’s podcast?”
I used to try and answer these questions directly. I’d ask questions about the company’s current content distribution strategy. And I’d then reference podcast statistics or outline ballpark numbers from other shows.
But I don’t do that anymore. It’s a losing battle.
Because someone can capture, edit & post a TikTok video that gets 4,500 views…this afternoon.
So no matter what I say for downloads, I’m dead in the water. Because it’s hard for a branded podcast to release a single episode and get 4,500 downloads…this afternoon.
Instead, I use these questions to share my point of view on podcasting and its impact on an organization’s overall content strategy.
From my perspective, there are two major ways to view the ROI of a podcast.
One involves specific podcast metrics (or KPIs) and the other doesn’t.
In this blog post, I’ll dive into the key metrics you should be tracking to measure the ROI of your podcast, as well as the factors that contribute to its overall impact on your company’s content strategy.
Whether you’re just starting with podcasting or looking to improve your existing strategy, this post will provide the information you need to share your company podcast performance with management (and your CEO).
“The ROI of my podcast comes from getting educated, getting a pulse on the industry, and building relationships.”
VP Sales and Marketing
From downloads to mentions: How to measure your podcast's ROI
When measuring your company’s podcast ROI, several key metrics must be considered. I believe it’s important to segment these metrics into quantitative and qualitative data points.
By tracking and analyzing these metrics, you can gain valuable insights into your podcast’s effectiveness and identify improvement areas.
Use quantitative metrics to get specific data points
The first set of metrics to consider is quantitative data points, which are generally easier to measure and analyze.
Some of the key quantitative metrics include:
- Subscribers/Followers: The number of people who have subscribed to or followed your podcast on a particular platform. This metric can give you a sense of your podcast’s overall popularity and help you track growth over time. Just note that not all podcast directories provide an official subscriber count. So you may have to infer this number from your podcast analytics data (accessible from your hosting platform).
- Downloads: The number of times your podcast episodes have been downloaded or streamed. This metric can give you a sense of how many people engage with your content and can indicate the level of audience growth.
- Website Traffic: The amount of traffic that your website receives on your show page or individual show notes pages. Website analytics can help you understand how your podcast is driving traffic to your website and can be an important factor in determining the effectiveness of your podcast’s marketing strategy.
- Video Views: A podcast is more than an audio channel. Your show has listeners AND viewers. And when you produce a video podcast, you get an additional opportunity to connect with your podcast audience. Track video views on Youtube or your own website (when you embed the video on an episode page or another page on your company’s site).
- Email Opens: Does your company publish a newsletter? Does your sales team conduct outreach? Do you use email to communicate with prospects and customers? The content from your company’s podcast can play a significant role in email marketing. When you include podcast content in email, you can help your audience and provide a way to grow your total number of podcast listeners.
- Social Media Engagement: The number of views, likes, comments, and shares your podcast content receives on social media platforms. These metrics are useful to gather from not only your brand page/accounts, but also with individual employees within your organization. This can give you a sense of how engaged your audience is and help you identify areas where you can improve engagement.
- Traffic from Paid Ads: Many podcasts can be used as the foundation for ads. At Motion, we have customers who use video clips of guest interviews or even stand-alone images as the creative for an ad. These ads provide social proof for your company and can drive more website visits from your target audience.
- Revenue: The amount of revenue generated by your podcast. This could include revenue from referrals (podcast guests or other collaborators) or direct attribution (a customer states they listened to or watched the podcast).
“Not everyone is going to listen to that 45-minute podcast episode. And that is perfectly ok.”
Use qualitative data to get more context
In addition to quantitative metrics, there are also several qualitative data points that can help you understand the effectiveness of your branded podcast.
Many podcasters focus on the download metric because it’s a very tangible number. And these qualitative metrics are generally more subjective and difficult to measure. But they can provide important insights into your podcast’s success.
Some of the key qualitative metrics include:
- Reviews: The number of reviews and ratings your podcast receives on various platforms. This can help you understand how your audience responds to your content and can be a good indicator of overall satisfaction.
- Mentions: The number of times your podcast is mentioned on other platforms, such LinkedIn or other channels. This can give you a sense of how much your podcast is being talked about and can indicate overall brand awareness. Mentions are sometimes hard to detect, especially if your audience doesn’t tag your company or podcast.
- Direct Feedback: The feedback you receive from unique listeners through communication channels like email, comments, and social media messages. This can give you a sense of your listeners’ engagement and capture what they like or dislike about your content.
- Internal Feedback: Don’t underestimate the power of feedback from your internal team. Did sales reference a podcast episode to a prospect? Did sales get feedback from a potential customer? What about customer success — are they using podcast episodes to help existing customers?
By tracking and analyzing these metrics, you can get an idea of what’s working and identify areas for improvement.
To truly understand the ROI of branded podcasts, you need to take a holistic approach that considers both quantitative and qualitative data points.
In the next section, we’ll get beyond data points and uncover how podcasts can improve your entire content marketing engine.
Beyond the metrics: How podcasting can transform your marketing strategy
While quantitative and qualitative metrics are important for measuring the success of your podcast, other factors can contribute to its overall effectiveness.
This section will explore ways a podcast can provide ROI beyond other metrics like downloads or video views.
The efficiency of content creation
One of the primary benefits of podcasting is the efficiency of creating high-quality content.
With a well-planned-out conversation, your show has a lot of positive effects on other content areas. You can create multiple forms of content, including:
- Blog Posts: A single podcast episode can provide the basis for a detailed blog post featuring insights and experiences from your internal subject matter experts.
- Videos: Short video clips can be created by editing your podcast episode and used for social media distribution or ads.
- Social Media Posts: Struggle to identify great content for social? When you have a well-structured conversation on your podcast, it’s easy to select segments for social posts. Use quotes or “big ideas” discussed in a new episode and share from your company’s social media accounts. You can also encourage employees to reference the podcast as a primary way to spark further discussion on social.
- Show Notes: Create individual podcast posts for each one of your episodes. On a podcast show notes page, it helps to include a summary, key highlights, major themes, guest information, and more. This page serves as a “home” for each episode and allows your company to use specific URLs to track website traffic.
- Ads: Images and video clips from your podcast can be used to run ads across all major platforms. Attract new leads or focus on the audience growth of your show.
- Full-Length Audio: The most obvious and direct use of a podcast episode is posting full-length audio on platforms such as Spotify, Apple, etc. This provides a direct connection with your audience in all major podcast apps.
- Follow-Up Episodes: Once you build momentum and release new episodes consistently, you’ll get more ideas for episodes. Each conversation will inspire you to search for more answers, more stories, and more connection with your audience.
The ability to create various forms of content from a single conversation means that your team can focus on one primary input (a conversation / podcast episode) and get several authentic pieces of content.
Since podcasts capture genuine conversations, the content is already in your company’s “voice” and the ideas are your own.
This streamlines the content creation process and reduces the time and resources needed to create multiple forms of content from scratch.
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.
Impact on your company’s content marketing strategy
Beyond the efficiency of content creation, a podcast can also significantly impact a company’s content marketing strategy.
Most marketing teams work in silos. But a podcast enables your marketing team to naturally collaborate with other departments in the organization.
Here are six key ways a podcast can have a positive impact on your entire content marketing strategy:
- Capture customer insights: People often say, “talk to your customers.” But it’s hard to do if you don’t have a vehicle to make it happen. A podcast opens the door for you.
- Meet other industry players and influencers: You know the people who get featured at conferences, give keynotes, and appear on the industry’s best podcasts. But do they know you? Your company’s show gets you one step closer.
- Build relationships with partners: When working on a small marketing team, it’s important to get a sense of your company’s entire ecosystem. And partners are a big piece of the puzzle. A podcast helps establish these connections.
- Build rapport with the leadership team at your company: B2B marketers understand the importance of involving leadership when creating content. But, building relationships with the people in charge can be tough. When you run your company’s show, you get a chance to interact with leaders and loop them into the content creation process.
- Build relationships with other people in your organization (not on your team): You need to build relationships with those in charge and those on other teams. A podcast helps break down silos and solicit feedback from all areas of your organization.
- Demonstrate your ability to deliver quality content, consistently: It can be hard to prove yourself to others outside of marketing. In a lot of cases, other teams aren’t aware of the content strategy at all. A podcast allows your team to deliver great work time & time again.
A podcast can act as the centerpiece of your content marketing flywheel by providing regular, high-quality content. The podcast can help you create and distribute other forms of content, which can help drive website traffic, social engagement, and brand awareness.
In addition, a podcast can also help you build relationships with other thought leaders in your industry. Inviting guests to your podcast allows you to tap into their audiences and create valuable networking opportunities to help your business grow.
Ultimately, the ROI of your podcast goes beyond traditional metrics and extends to the efficiency and quality of the content you create, as well as the impact on your overall content marketing strategy. By focusing on these factors, you can create a podcast that engages your audience and helps drive your business forward.
In the next section, we’ll dive into some best practices for measuring the ROI of your podcast and using these insights to improve your ongoing content strategy.
Get your metrics to work for you: Measuring and improving the ROI of podcasts
Measuring the ROI of podcasts requires a strategic approach (from the very beginning) and an understanding of the metrics that matter most to your business.
In this section, we’ll explore ways to measure the ROI of podcasts, communicate results to management, and use these insights to improve your show.
Set SMART goals
To effectively measure the ROI of your podcast, you need to start by setting clear and specific goals — before you ever hit the record button.
Using the SMART framework can help ensure that your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For example, a SMART goal for your podcast might be to increase website traffic by 20% within the next 6 months. Or, you might want to improve the conversion on specific PPC landing pages. Or, you might want to increase the total views your company gets on LinkedIn.
Track key metrics
Once you’ve set your goals, you need to track the key metrics that will help you measure your progress. Depending on your goals, these metrics may include downloads, website traffic, social engagement, reviews, or revenue.
By regularly tracking these metrics, you can identify areas for improvement and adjust your strategy as needed.
Adjust your strategy based on insights
Regularly analyzing your podcast metrics can help you identify areas for improvement and adjust your strategy as needed.
For example, if your social engagement is low, you might consider experimenting with different types of content or posting at different times of the day. You might try different video podcast formats or adjust episode titles, descriptions, etc.
Continuously improve your show
Finally, it’s important to continuously improve your podcast by learning from your successes and failures. Regularly analyzing your metrics, experimenting with new strategies, and soliciting feedback from your audience can help you improve the quality and impact of your podcast over time.
Try not to change too much at once; however. Pick your spots, make one or two key changes, and then analyze data again. Your audience evolves over time. And so should your podcast.
Unlock the true ROI of your company's podcast
The impact of your company’s podcast can’t be measured on metrics alone. Instead, you need to consider specific data points, qualitative feedback and the impact your show has on your company’s entire content marketing strategy.
A podcast lets your team focus on one primary input (a conversation / podcast episode) to get several authentic pieces of content.
If you continuously improve your show and track your progress with data, your podcast can help drive your company’s entire content marketing strategy. It gets the flywheel going.
So when you think about the overall ROI of your company’s show, try to look at it from a few different angles…not just downloads.
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.