With the new iOS8, Podcasts are now a standard feature on the new Apple operating system. While there have been a handful of articles showcasing the benefits of podcasting as part of a larger digital marketing strategy, there hasn’t been a lot of focus on the how to use analytics and data to increase audience. Many marketers still don’t know how podcasts extend their reach and grow their brand.
That being said, podcasters enthusiastically rave about their results and their audiences. Naresh Vissa, author of Podcastnomics: The Book of Podcasting… to Make You Millions, believes marketers are on the edge of the inflection point:
“By the end of the year, there will be over half a billion people with the Podcasts app on their iOS device. This number will grow to be close to one billion people by the end of 2015, and that is just on the iOS side. Podcasting is now entering into its true golden age of mass adoption.”
So how do you measure success?
A/B Testing = Better Reach
James Hahn II, Founder of Tribe Rocket, recently shared how he used A/B testing and analytics on the best time to podcast. Having done some research on successful podcasts, he was podcasting on Friday mornings because two other companies that he admired broadcast on that same day. Later, he realized that his broadcast day should be something he should be testing. Over several weeks, James experimented with Monday mornings, Tuesday mornings, Wednesday early morning, and Thursday afternoons.
“My downloads more than doubled every other day when I posted Wednesdays at 6 AM.”
For James, this is directly tied to revenue.
“The most interesting thing about podcasting for me is the vertical I target. Oil and gas is a legacy industry that is filled with laggards. Knowing that, you might think podcasting is not an optimal lead generation channel… but nearly all of my clients come from podcast guests and listeners.”
Using Google Analytics for podcasting
Roger LaPointe at Atomic Athletic, a strength training company, has been shifting his strategy on podcasting using some of the techniques around polling / public opinion analysis from his former career in Political Management. They use event tagging functionality in Google Analytics to track downloads, as well as other standard Google Analytics metrics around page views, time on page, and referrals from email newsletters.
To use Google Analytics for podcast tracking, there are two methods that are most popular:
1.) For Beginners:
Set a goal tracker for page views specific to your podcast landing page. To do this, go to “Admin” and then Goals. Click on the red “New Goal” button. Name the goal and select goal type: destination.
2.) For Advanced:
You can create a tracking tag for any link / button that starts the download process. Use the Google URI builder. Fill in the form and create the unique tracking URL. Now your podcast clicks will be tracked as Campaigns in the Acquisitions reports.
Social engagement = Reach
“The prime metrics we look for are our Feed Hits, but we also look for other indicators, such as interaction on Twitter from people that have listened to the show,”reports Brian from Arlington Capital Management.
One simple way to do this is to create a unique hashtag for your company podcasts such as #AnalyticsPodcast. Then you can use a free tool like TweetReach to see how many users your podcast hashtag has reached, as well as the most influential users that mentioned you. This can be really helpful at identifying and nurturing really influential Twitter users as part of a larger content marketing strategy.
As Always, Your Objectives Should Set Your Metrics
Every podcaster has a different plan around how their podcast works in an overall content marketing strategy and yours should be no different. The metrics and tools you use to measure success should be tied directly to what your goals are for the medium or channel. In this article, every person interviewed had a slightly different take on how they measured success. Your strategy could be different still.