How to Measure Your Podcast’s Success

As podcasting’s popularity rises, this medium is becoming more important than ever before (in terms of driving clicks and dollars to products, services, and advertising). But having a podcast isn’t enough to guarantee results. You need to study what’s happening on the listener side to know if you’re succeeding.

3 Ways to Measure Success

When you want to track your website’s success, you simply log into your Google Analytics account for thousands of metrics that you can customize and tailor to your specific needs and goals.

When you need to study a Facebook ad’s performance, you simply log into Facebook Ads Manager, and you can analyze every detail of your ad, how it’s resonating, and which audiences you’re connecting with.

But when it comes to analyzing a podcast, it’s not as simple. As much as podcasting has increased in popularity, the analytical side of things has lagged. (At least when you look at the analytics platforms that are native to significant podcast hosts.) This ambiguity creates significant challenges when it comes to understanding how you’re doing, where you need to improve, and which aspects of your podcast are worth focus.

This is problematic. Because one of the keys to long-term success in any business endeavor is the ability to track what’s working and what’s not. In other words, you need clarity about what it means to be successful.

And while there are still some shortcomings in this area of podcasting, things are improving. If you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and use various tactics, you can gain more clarity around how your podcast is doing.

Here are a few options:

1. Basic Analytics

Let’s begin with the basics. While most podcast hosts have notoriously thin backend analytics, you do have access to some numbers. And it’s important that you track these metrics so that you have a big picture view of what’s happening. This includes metrics like:

  • Downloads and listeners. This is the metric that everyone wants to talk about. After all, having people download and listen to your podcast is required for people to consume the content you’re putting out.
  • Subscribers. There’s a difference between a listener and a subscriber. Having a listener is great, but there’s no guarantee that someone who downloads a single episode is going to listen to another episode. It’s possible, but it requires work. When you have a subscriber, they get every episode pushed to their podcasting platform of choice. Every time you publish an episode, they get notified. Thus, the number of subscribers you have is very important in the long-term growth and development of your podcast.
  • Rankings. If your podcast is published on a podcasting directory, then it’ll be ranked within a number of different categories. It’s a good idea to track rankings weekly in a spreadsheet, so that you can see the big picture trend.
  • Reviews. Reviews are useful for a couple of reasons. First off, positive reviews serve as social proof for listeners. If you have a bunch of good reviews, you’re more apt to have people download your podcast. Secondly, reviews – good or bad – help you understand what’s working and where you need improvement.

2. Advanced Analytics

In addition to basic metrics like downloads, subscribers, rankings, and reviews, you can also track more in-depth KPIs by using a platform like Backtracks. With Backtracks, you get real-time and historical data, actionable insights related to audience engagement, and artificial intelligence features that verify data and provide advanced takeaways based on how listeners are perceiving each episode.

3. Trackable CTAs

One of the best ways to know if your podcast is engaging people on a meaningful level is to create calls-to-action (CTA) that you can track on the back end.

For example, you might include a CTA in the middle of each episode that asks listeners to visit a specific landing page and input their email address to get a special PDF report. If people are visiting this page and clicking the link, it’s a clear indicator that listeners are making it at least halfway through your podcast episodes. If nobody is clicking the link, your audience doesn’t see value in the offer.

Take Your Podcast to New Heights

Very few podcasts are overnight success stories. The key to growing a podcast is to be consistent, patient, and willing to change. But the only way to be successful with changes is to know what’s working, what’s not, and what your listeners want more of. The hope is that this article has given you a few practical solutions for uncovering the necessary insights to achieve new heights.

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