5 KPIs to Track Your B2B Podcast’s Success

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Whether you’re brand new to podcasting or a seasoned podcast veteran, it is never too late to start tracking your podcast success the right way. While there is an extensive list of important metrics that can help you understand your audience and focus your methods, we’ve narrowed our list down to the top five key performance indicators (KPIs) for tracking your podcast success.

1. Unique Listeners

Unique listeners are the number of individual people or devices that have played one of your episodes. This number paints an accurate picture of how many different people are listening to your podcast—no interpretation, just one number. This metric, while similar, is different from “total listens.” Total listens indicates how many times the play button is pressed, including multiple plays on one device. While both are important, unique listeners are going to better express the reach of your podcast, and most podcast streaming platforms will be able to show you this metric. 

2. Subscribers and Downloads

Viewing your subscribers is essential to help you understand how well your podcast is enticing your listeners to subscribe. This metric can also be an indicator of some important behaviors in your listener base. For example, of your unique listeners, what percentage is subscribed and not subscribed? This might give you a sense of how many new listeners you’re reaching from marketing your podcast and how many are loyal fans that have been around since episode one.

Downloads are an important metric to examine alongside your other data. Listeners can press play without ever subscribing, and subscribers can be subscribed without ever listening to or downloading an episode. By placing downloads side-by-side with your other KPIs, you can further enhance your understanding of podcast success. Most podcast streaming platforms will provide subscriber and download data, though high-profile ones like Apple Podcasts will offer more complex analytics like subscriber percentages and downloads-by-platform.

3. Rankings and Reviews

In the same way that word-of-mouth is still considered an essential marketing tool for any business, think of rankings and reviews as digital word-of-mouth for your podcast. When a listener leaves a ranking or review of your podcast, that means they reacted strongly enough, either positively or negatively, that they felt inclined to inform the entire streaming platform of their reaction. It boosts your credibility to other potential listeners and increases your exposure on your podcast platforms.

4. Social Sharing

Each podcast episode you produce has the potential to be shared directly to social media from the streaming platform. Social sharing metrics are an invaluable KPI because they measure the effectiveness of your show and your listeners’ willingness to engage with it, expanding your reach to new listeners. It also gives you the opportunity to connect with your listener base where they are, outside of the podcast itself. Social sharing is harder to measure because most podcast streaming platforms don’t provide these numbers, but there are a number of third-party podcast analytics services that can track social insights for your podcast. 

5. Episode-by-Episode Metrics

While KPIs one through four applies more to your podcast as a whole, you should also examine episode-by-episode to get the entire picture. Analyzing your numbers from one episode to the next helps you better understand the value of your podcast over time. By taking a look at your top-performing topics and titles, average listen times per episode, and even listener geography by episode, you can gain a real sense of how your podcast has improved over time and the extent of your audience base. Some of the more popular podcast streaming platforms like Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts Manager will show you important episode numbers like unique devices per episode and “meaningful” plays per episode. 

We’ve broken down the top five KPIs to track your podcast success, but there is a wide range of important analytics to help understand your listeners and improve your podcast success. If you’re ready to produce a podcast with a team that knows the numbers, reach out to us today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I effectively integrate podcast metrics into my overall marketing dashboard?

Integrating podcast metrics into your overall marketing dashboard involves selecting key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your broader marketing objectives. For instance, if brand awareness is a primary goal, focusing on download numbers and subscriber growth within your dashboard can provide direct insights. Utilize analytics platforms that aggregate data from your podcast hosting service, website traffic, and social media engagement to give a holistic view of how your podcast contributes to your marketing strategy. This integrated approach ensures your podcast's performance is not viewed in isolation but as a part of your comprehensive marketing efforts.

What are some advanced techniques to analyze listener engagement beyond the basic metrics?

Beyond basic metrics like downloads and listens, advanced techniques to analyze listener engagement include segmenting your audience based on listening behavior, such as identifying those who listen to entire episodes versus those who drop off early. Utilizing tools that offer detailed analytics, like heat maps of episode engagement, can reveal the moments when listeners are most engaged or likely to stop listening. Additionally, social media sentiment analysis and surveying listeners for feedback can provide qualitative insights into what your audience values in your content. These advanced methods enable a deeper understanding of listener preferences and behaviors.

Can podcast advertising effectiveness be measured in a way that correlates directly with ROI?

Measuring podcast advertising effectiveness with a direct correlation to ROI can be challenging but achievable. Track specific metrics such as listener growth, engagement rates, and conversion rates from calls to action within the podcast. Employ unique promo codes or dedicated landing pages for your podcast ads to directly track conversions and sales attributed to your podcast listeners. Analyzing these metrics over time provides a clearer picture of the podcast's contribution to your overall ROI, allowing for data-driven adjustments to your advertising strategy.

How can small businesses with limited resources best utilize podcasting as part of their marketing mix?

Small businesses with limited resources can smartly utilize podcasting by focusing on niche topics that align closely with their brand and audience interests. Leveraging in-house expertise to create content reduces production costs, while collaboration with other small businesses or influencers in similar niches can extend reach without significant investment. Prioritize quality over quantity, ensuring that each episode provides value to your audience. Utilize social media and your existing customer base to promote your podcast, maximizing the impact of your marketing efforts within a limited budget.

What future trends in podcasting should marketers keep an eye on to stay ahead?

Marketers should watch several emerging trends in podcasting, including the rise of interactive podcasts that allow for real-time listener engagement through polls and Q&As, enhancing the listener experience and providing immediate feedback. The integration of podcasts with smart home devices is making podcast content more accessible, suggesting a focus on creating content that fits into the daily routines of listeners. Additionally, the growth of podcast networks and the increasing importance of niche content highlight the need for marketers to find unique angles and specialized content to stand out in a crowded market. Keeping abreast of these trends will enable marketers to adapt their strategies and continue to engage their audiences effectively.

Posted In: B2B, Podcast
Lily Johnson

Lily Johnson

Lily oversees a team of Producers and Studio professionals who create strategy centric and emotionally resonating audio and video content with high style and unparalleled production savvy. With 10+ years of experience as an Integrated Producer prior to Beacon, Lily’s background includes award-winning commercial, print, television, film, and cutting-edge experiential productions for clients Samsung, GE, Sony Playstation, Adidas, HBO and more.