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Want 5 quick ways to improve as a podcast host or guest?

A Comprehensive Approach to Measuring Your Podcast’s Success

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How are you doing in podcasting as a guest, host, or both?

How can you set measurable goals that align with your podcasting objectives? In this post, Megan Dougherty explains how to define success beyond downloads and explores the different types of goals that podcasts can help achieve, such as thought leadership, relationship building, and audience engagement. Megan also shares specific, measurable metrics associated with each goal type to help you track your progress. Get ready to learn how to accurately evaluate your podcast’s success!

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Read the Blog Post: Success Metrics For Different Types of Podcasts

Have you ever thought about why you started your podcast in the first place? Have you taken the time to evaluate how well your efforts are contributing to your ultimate goals?

Today we’re going to talk about how to assess your progress and achievements on your podcast based on your end goal. The definition of success can vary for every podcaster, and there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to why you’re podcasting – whether it’s for personal enjoyment, to promote your business, or to build a community. But no matter your reason, it’s crucial to ensure that the effort you’re putting in is reflected in the outcomes you’re getting.

Related: Why Being Unsuccessful in Podcasting Is Not a Bad Thing

Unless you’re podcasting purely as a hobby, it’s useful to figure out what metrics you can track to measure your progress toward your goals. 

There are various types of podcasts with different goals and objectives. Today, I’m going to discuss the seven most common types of podcast goals and how to measure their success. 

Remember that when it comes to tracking the success of your podcast, there isn’t just one metric that you need to focus on. Every show is unique, and what you’re trying to achieve with your podcast will likely be different from what someone else is trying to achieve. So, it’s up to you to decide what’s important to track.

I also understand that there are some benefits of podcasting that can’t be measured with numbers, like building relationships with your listeners or feeling a sense of fulfillment from creating something you’re proud of. However, for the purposes of this discussion, we’re focusing on the numbers – the specific signposts that let us know if we’re on the right track or not.

Audience Engagement Podcasts

Image of a podcast with a very engaged audience

When it comes to audience engagement shows, measuring the engagement you receive from your target audience is crucial. You should pay attention to the questions that are asked via inbox or social media related to your podcast. Additionally, the level of engagement on your online posts when promoting your show is a good indicator of how well it’s performing. If people are interacting with your posts, that’s a positive sign that your content resonates with them.

Furthermore, another metric to keep an eye on is your customer lifetime value. A well-executed audience engagement podcast can result in customers buying from your business more frequently and remaining loyal for a longer period of time.

When you invest the effort to create and maintain a strong relationship with your listeners, it can translate into increased customer loyalty and ultimately, more sales.

When it comes to audience engagement, it’s important to remember that your main goal should be to engage the audience you already have. This means that you’ll want to focus on creating a two-way dialogue, where you’re not just speaking to your audience, but you’re also listening to them and encouraging them to participate in your show.

One effective way to do this is by investing time and effort into creating high-quality social media content. This means creating content that’s interesting, engaging, and relevant to your audience. By doing this, you’ll be able to build a community around your show and encourage your followers to share your content with others.

Another way to encourage audience engagement is by setting up an infrastructure that makes it easy for your audience to contribute to your show. This could be something as simple as a call-in line, or it could be a more advanced tool like SpeakPipe. Whatever method you choose, the important thing is to make it easy for your audience to participate.

Related: A Secret Way To Grow Your Podcast Audience

Thought Leadership Podcasts

thought leader in their industry

When it comes to establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry, measuring your success can be a bit tricky. However, there are a few key metrics you can use to gauge how well you’re doing. For example, keeping an eye on unsolicited media mentions that reference or tag you can be a great sign that you’re gaining traction and building a reputation as an industry authority.

Another good metric to look at is how often you’re invited to participate in industry events like podcasts, conferences, and lunch and learns. Being asked to share your expertise and opinions at these events shows that people value your perspective and see you as a credible source of information.

To create a successful thought leadership podcast, there are two more key elements to focus on: your recording setup and your interviewing style. First and foremost, you need to make sure your recording quality is top-notch to establish yourself as a credible source. Technical glitches or poor audio quality can detract from the valuable insights you’re sharing with your audience.

Secondly, your interviewing style is crucial in creating an engaging podcast. Unlike traditional interviews, thought leadership podcasts often take a conversational approach.

As the host, it’s important to contribute equally to the informational output of your show and refine your skills in having balanced conversations with your expert guests. 

Related: How John Lee Dumas Built a Top-Ranking Podcast

Relationship Building Shows

So, how can you tell if your relationship-building show is working?

Firstly, you should look at the growth of your professional network. Are you meeting new people and making connections? Engaging with more people on social media? These are all signs that your podcast is helping you expand your reach and connect with new people.

Another key metric to consider is whether your podcast is generating referrals and business. Are people referring others to your business because they like and trust you? Are you getting more inquiries for your services or sales associated with your show? These are all important indicators of whether your podcast is contributing to your bottom line.

When it comes to running a relationship-building podcast, optimizing your workflow is essential. You want to make sure that your scheduling process is seamless and that it clearly communicates what will happen during the recording.

This is important to ensure that you gather all the necessary information and assets to create a great experience for your guest.

As the host of a relationship-building podcast, it’s important to make your guests feel valued and respected. You want them to have a positive experience from start to finish. This means providing them with high-quality audio and great assets, as well as following up after the recording is done.

Another critical aspect of a relationship-building podcast is keeping in touch with your guests between recording and release dates. This can be as simple as sending a quick email or message to check in, share updates, or express gratitude for their time.

Maintaining the relationship with your guests is key to building connections, and it also shows them that you value them beyond just their appearance on your show.

Related: Podcasting Legend Take on the Future for Podcast Hosts and Guests

Revenue Generation Podcasts

If you’re looking to make money from your podcast, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, revenue is obviously an important metric to track, so you’ll want to keep an eye on your download numbers and see if they’re contributing to your financial goals.

One way to increase revenue is through sponsorship deals and affiliate partnerships. But in order to attract potential sponsors, you need to invest in the quality of your episodes.

This means creating a show structure that integrates ads in an elegant way, rather than just tacking them on at the beginning or end of your show. By doing so, you’ll make sure that your audience stays engaged and that the ads flow well with the content.

Another way to generate revenue is by featuring products or services that are relevant to your audience. You can do this by reaching out to companies yourself or by using affiliate marketing platforms to find relevant products.

Make it easy for your audience to purchase these products by providing them with links or discount codes.

It’s also important to engage with your audience and get their feedback. Ask them what they’re interested in buying and what kinds of products or services they’d like to see featured on your show.

By doing so, you’ll create a more engaged audience and be better positioned to generate revenue from your podcast.

Related: How I Made $37,000 with 28 Listeners

Content Creation Podcasts

If you’re creating a podcast focused on delivering valuable content to your audience, there are a few metrics you’ll want to keep an eye on.

First and foremost, you’ll want to track your word count. How many words are you generating with your podcast? This is an important metric because it gives you a sense of how much content you’re producing and how much value you’re delivering to your listeners.

But it’s not just about the word count – you’ll also want to look at how and where you’re using that content. For example, if you’re using your podcast to drive traffic to your website, you’ll want to track your web traffic and SEO.

Are your show notes or blog posts associated with your podcast driving more traffic to your website than you were getting before? This is a good way to measure the effectiveness of your podcast in driving traffic and generating leads.

Another important metric to track is the amount of time you’re saving by repurposing content rather than creating it from scratch. Are you able to save time and resources by using your podcast content to create social media posts or other marketing materials?

This can be a valuable metric to track, especially if you have a team that’s helping you create content.

One of the best things you can do is to be proactive about indexing your content. Having a clearly searchable database that contains information about all your episodes, including their titles, release dates, guest appearances, the topics you discussed, and the keywords you used, can be incredibly helpful in repurposing your content for social media, books, courses, or any other future projects you might have in mind.

Related: How To Keep Your Podcast Content Generation Consistent

Awareness Raising Podcast

Now we’re talking about measuring the success of your podcast in terms of raising awareness and spreading knowledge about your chosen topic. And there are a few different metrics that you can look at to determine whether you’re achieving that goal.

One thing to keep an eye on is the conversation that’s happening around your podcast on social media. Are people using the hashtags and mentions that you’re promoting to talk about the topic you’re covering? Are they continuing the conversation that you’ve started on your show? This is a good indication that you’re making an impact and getting people interested in the ideas you’re discussing.

Another thing to look out for is media mentions. Are other outlets or individuals in your space recognizing you as an authority on this particular topic? This can help expand your reach and bring new listeners to your show.

Additionally, pay attention to who is approaching you to be a guest on your podcast. If you’re becoming known as the go-to place for experts to share their insights on your topic, that’s a good sign that you’re making an impact.

Of course, you’ll also want to track your downloads and unique listeners to get a sense of how many people are tuning in to your show. But it’s not just about the numbers – you also want to pay attention to how engaged your listeners are. Are they sticking around for the whole episode, or dropping off after a few minutes? Are they leaving comments or reviews? This kind of feedback can help you improve your show and better serve your audience.

It’s crucial to ensure that your audience listens to your entire episode. That means you need to pay close attention to the structure of your podcast episode. Start by considering the narrative arc of your podcast episode.

Does it engage your audience and keep them interested throughout? Is the length of your episode appropriate for the topic you’re discussing? Ideally, you want to create episodes that are the right length so that your audience wants to listen to them from beginning to end.

Another way to keep your audience engaged is to use cliffhangers. These are great for building suspense and keeping your listeners hooked, so they keep listening to the end of the episode. By making use of these storytelling techniques, you can make sure that your listeners get all of the information they need about the important topics you’re discussing.

Community Building Podcasts

If you’re running a podcast that’s focused on building a community, it’s crucial to pay attention to the different stages of the funnel surrounding your show. You need to have clear and trackable CTAs (Calls to Action) that guide your audience through the process.

The steps you want your listeners to take should be easy to follow and crystal clear. This will allow them to know exactly what the next step is if they want to become closer to you, the host, or more engaged with the community. 

You also need to have a clear understanding of how people are finding out about your podcast – whether it’s through social media, referrals, your email list, your website, or other promotional partners. Once you have an idea of how people are discovering your podcast, you need to track how well they’re converting from one stage to the next.

You want to monitor how often and how many people are moving from simply hearing about your podcast to subscribing, and then eventually becoming part of your community. This requires setting up the right infrastructure, which can take some work and time to get right, but it’s worth it to ensure your podcast has a direct impact on the community you’re building around it.

Finally, pay attention to any shared vocabulary or cultural ideas that you’re spreading through your podcast. Are there certain phrases or concepts that you use regularly? Tracking the usage of these words within your community can show that people are not only listening to your podcast, but they’re also integrating what you say and building relationships with each other around this shared language.

Related: How Pat Flynn Turns Podcast Listeners Into Brand Superfans

Final Thoughts

It’s true that there are countless metrics and ways to optimize your podcast, and the more you look into these metrics, the more you’ll discover to experiment with and track. If you’re someone who loves working with data and tracking metrics, you’ll probably find this work quite interesting and rewarding.

However, the key takeaway here is that measuring your progress and working towards specific goals is essential to achieving success. While it may require some extra effort and investment upfront to get everything set up, it’s well worth it in the long run. By setting clear goals and tracking your progress, you’ll have a roadmap to follow and signposts to guide you in the right direction.

So, whether you’re interested in tracking download numbers, engagement rates, or other metrics, the important thing is to keep track of your progress and measure your success. By doing this, you’ll be able to make informed decisions about how to optimize your podcast and achieve your goals. And, with a clear path to follow and signposts to guide you along the way, you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful and engaging podcast.


About Megan Dougherty

Megan Dougherty is a digital marketing strategist with a background in online business development and course creation. She has had the opportunity over the years to work with hundreds of business owners in a huge variety of industries. She co-founded One Stone Creative in 2017 with Audra Casino, bringing together content marketing strategy and broadcast audio experience to create high-value podcasts for business owners, marketing managers, public speakers and non-fiction authors. Podcasting is a marketing tactic that can work with multiple strategies for key business purposes, and in 2021 One Stone Creative developed the Business Podcast Blueprints to help companies and executives dial into the specific ways they can leverage a podcast for their content marketing and business development goals.


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