Using a Podcast to Measure ROI In 3 Ways

Rachel Downey

Modern marketers are no stranger to showing a return on investment for their campaigns. As demand for ROI continues, many are retooling their content strategies to prove a return. A completely new form of content isn’t what is needed. Instead, it can be as simple as rethinking the engine behind their current strategy and utilizing existing content. 

Podcasts are a prime example. 

With 17% of marketers planning to adopt podcasting into their efforts, podcasts are a rising marketing channel for companies today. Too often, marketers are seeing their podcast as a thought leadership tool meant to increase “brand awareness.” While it is an effective medium for doing so, there is a larger opportunity to engage a core audience throughout the buyer’s journey while measuring the impact of those efforts.

Podcasts have metrics surrounded by ambiguity, causing marketers frustration. They struggle to trace the return back to the podcast investment. While analytics are important, there are other key ways to use a podcast throughout the funnel to better understand its impact. Thus answering the ROI question more effectively. 

1. Think Holistically

When it comes to podcasting, the most common mistake for marketers is not considering where else the content can live. For instance, many marketers understand the show can live as a separate resource on their website or can incorporate it into their blog. Additionally, a common practice is to use the transcript of the show for accompanying their SEO strategy. These are great ways to leverage your show for additional content. 

Don’t isolate your podcast content to designated areas. More than likely, you’ve already dedicated a blog post or two to the topics covered in your podcast. Take advantage of the traffic those posts generate by adding a relevant episode to the page. While this helps your show catch some additional downloads, it also creates an opportunity to begin A/B testing top website pages with and without an audio component. Doing so allows you to uncover new insights like whether visitors staying on the page to listen to your episode are more likely to convert. 

By taking steps to understand how your podcast content impacts various stages of the buyer’s journey on your site, you’ll put your podcast in the right place to increase conversions. In turn, giving you a new way to measure the success of your investment. Furthermore, a simple step of creating a form on the site where visitors can listen to your podcast will allow you to track conversions. 

2. Make the First Move

Never assume you’re reaching your audience by simply having a podcast or by promoting your podcast on social channels. If you’re like most marketers, your CRM is jam-packed with contacts who haven’t heard your podcast. 

Include your podcast in your lead-nurture campaigns and deliver your podcast right to your audience. Email is a great way to get your show in front of the audience who would most likely benefit by listening. Then, you can measure its impact by testing different topics, formats of delivery, and calls-to-action. Doing this will allow you to understand how your audience engages with your show when its used in different forms of content.  

Additionally, your podcast can be used as content for your sales reps. It can enable them to be successful when they onboard by understanding your brand. Specifically, they can listen to past episodes to understand the solution your service or product provides. They can then use the content from the show to start conversations with your ideal prospects. 

3. Offer Exclusivity 

While there is no standard way to track metrics, there are common practices to indicate its success. We encourage people to look beyond downloads. So, instead of being laser-focused on reaching a download goal, consider how you’re engaging with the listeners who already subscribe to your show. 

Regardless of the size, the audience who is showing up for every episode should be nurtured by offering exclusive content. For instance, an offer could be as simple as recording a special episode exclusively for regular listeners, gating it on your site and inviting access to your audience. You can take it one step further by adding trackable links within the episode descriptions and distributing links on the other channels you’re already using to promote the show, giving you a better idea of engagement. Doing this also allows you to understand which channels drive new downloads. Not only does this allow you to see which channels convert to new downloads, it also allows you to understand what content engages your audience. 

Getting to know your existing podcast audience is one of the most effective ways to achieve your marketing goals. If you do nothing else, you should encourage listeners to share feedback about your show. The goal of doing this is to uncover what they want to hear, why they listen and how you can improve. 

Your show is an invaluable avenue fueling uniquely high rates of engagement, retention, and action. As brands continue to weave their podcast content into their overall content strategy — or even leverage it as the heartbeat of their content marketing strategy — by starting with a clear business objective you will be set up to measure its impact on the bottom line.

Rachel Downe is president and co-founder of Share Your Genius, a B2B podcast agency that helps brands develop meaningful connections, create stories worth selling and build communities through podcasting.