Effective podcast: what should we measure?

Jotta tuloksia voidaan ylipäänsä saada, täytyy podcastin levityksen olla kunnossa. Monesti pelkkä jakson lataaminen ei vie pitkälle, vaan tarvitaan markkinoinnillisia toimenpiteitä.‍

" Discoverability " in podcasts is often very low, except on YouTube, where it is reasonably good, provided the titling is done right

Well, what do we measure right off the bat? 

1. Findability

Right off the bat, it's important to be clear about how many people could potentially even become listeners of your podcast. In other words, measure how discoverable your podcast is to new audiences. Discoverability can be measured by Spotify impressions and YouTube impressions, for example. This data can be used to see how many potential listeners have seen your production on a platform in the first place.

Good to remember: 

  • Keywords are important for findability in copy and headlines. What are the popular keywords for your target audience? 
  • YouTube thumbnail & Spotify cover images, will these catch the attention of your target audience?
  •  40% of listeners find a podcast directly on the listening platform, 58% use the platform's search tool to find new podcasts (The podcast Host, 2023). 
  • Podcast marketing reach, how many pairs of eyes have seen the podcast ad?

And when the audience starts to come, what do we measure? 

2. Striimit: 

Different platforms have different ways of defining a stream; Spotify has 60 seconds and YouTube 30 seconds. Measuring streams is the most typical way to measure the success of a podcast. Stretch targets must always be proportionate to the size of the audience and the amount of marketing, and should not be calculated on the basis of the number of viral hits you want. 

3. Listeners per episode

The number of listeners to a podcast is an important indicator of content performance. Track the trend in total listens per episode and look for explanations as to why some of your episodes are performing better than others. 

4. Average listening time

How long have you listened to a single episode? What about the average for the whole series? A good rule of thumb for audio podcasts is to aim for 70% of listeners to make it to the last few minutes of each episode.

5. Subscribers

Subscribers refers to the number of listeners who subscribe to your RSS feeds or YouTube channel. It is worth measuring the trend in subscribers, as subscribers are the most likely to be your most loyal listeners. Remind your listeners to subscribe to your channel in the episodes! 

6. Geographical location of listeners

By tracking the location of your listeners, you can optimise your content to exactly where your series is most popular. It's a good idea to target new areas with marketing campaigns. 

7. Demographics of the public

Spotify and YouTube provide good demographic information about your listeners. Review the age, gender and other metrics of your audience on a regular basis and optimise your content accordingly. 

8. Listening by source

See which platforms your podcast is getting the most listens on. If you also produce episodes for YouTube, it's also essential to look at the devices on which your episodes are viewed. If a large proportion of your viewers are desktop/TV viewers, you should pay particular attention to the quality of your videos.

9. Social media breakdown 

Follow the conversation around your podcast and ask people to tag you in posts about your podcast. You can also track analytics on Spotify and YouTube to see how many of your episodes are being shared on WhatsApp, for example, and which channels your audience has used to find your episodes. This allows you to optimise your marketing on the most profitable channels.

10. Reviews and rankings

Always ask for reviews of your episodes. Reviews help other listeners find your content. Be sure to include key search terms in episode titles and descriptions so that your episodes appear in topical listings on different platforms. For example, Spotify Finland top 200 rankings will also help new listeners find your episodes. 

11. Website traffic

It is recommended that you also set up a dedicated website for your podcast. Either on one of your existing sites, or a completely new one. You can put together all the podcast-related releases, materials, episode catalogs and contact details for e.g. speaker gigs & podcast visits. Also measure traffic to this website. A pod embedded as a video is likely to blow up the average "time spent" on your website. If this is a key metric for you, then a pod is a great way to drive it up on any website. 

12. Number of impressions of clips on social media 

Measure the total number of views of your clips and track comments & likes. Tip for businesses: compare the performance of these clips against your other content

13. Ad impressions and other advertising analytics

For example, look at the price of a YouTube stream or the click price of a LinkedIn ad. As a rule of thumb, these figures decrease as the quality of the content improves. 

14. Sales conversations and conversions generated
(e.g. as measured by Alerts, or based on word of mouth alone)

Measure the direct impact of your podcast on the rest of your business and assess the return on investment. Remember that conversions can be slow and time-consuming content creation adds interest over time.

It is important to identify and monitor key metrics in order to assess the success of the podi investment. Underpinning all of this is a realistic understanding of one's own potential target group, which cannot be "everyone". Once a target audience has been identified and the right content has been created for it, paid advertising to that audience is often highly effective. For example, key decision-makers in your own sector talking about key issues in your own sector.

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