It is always a great time to buckle down and set or reassess goals. In fact, regular goal revisiting is critical for long-term vision and success. This is especially true for professional goals. Yet month after month, podcasts of all types fail due to poor planning and a lack of tangible goals.
But hold on — strategy and intentionality are B2B fortes though, right? If we know how to develop and measure content marketing performance with benchmarks along the way, we should be able to set and maintain goals for our branded podcast too. So why aren’t we doing a better job of measuring the success of our podcasts?
For one, goals for B2B podcasting differ from brand to brand. While you’re probably not trying to reach celebrity status with your show, you are trying to build awareness, recognition, and engagement for your brand. And that can be tricky when you’re competing with hundreds of thousands of other shows out there.
Also, let’s face it, goal-setting, tracking, and adjusting often feel like just one more thing on our already massive to-do lists. And often we end up focusing on the immediate needs and next deliverables. Goal work can be put on the back burner in a heartbeat. Let’s look at how marketers can keep performance metrics high on the priority list.
Are Podcast Goals 100% Necessary?
You know the answer: Yes. You have to have goals — in life, in your career, in your podcast — if you want to make progress. Grabbing a microphone and setting off into unchartered territory may feel exciting, but it’s not sustainable. And podcasting “just for fun” will only last a while, especially if you’re not being intentional. Podcast goal-setting opens the doors to so many other facets of your show, including monitoring better analytics tracking, garnering greater internal support, and turning listeners into paying customers and brand loyalists.
If you truly want to just try something and see if it sticks, do it within the confines of a sandbox environment — before it’s been launched to the world. This “experimental marketing” is a goal in and of itself. The folks at Twitter do this every quarter with a project that has no ties to other business metrics but exists simply for experimentation. In fact, that’s how Twitter’s podcast “Character Count” came to be.
“We got to come up with this idea authentically and organically behind closed doors,” says Joe Wadlington, the show’s creator/host and Global Creative Lead at Twitter. “If we had waited until someone else was doing it, the show that we would’ve created would’ve been a reaction to the other shows that were out there.”
"If I were a company right now, I would be adding at least one small experiment every quarter," Devin Bramhall advises. As CEO of Animalz, she experimented and doubled down on their value prop — and won more market share during a recession! "Take a deep breath,” Devin says. “Think about things opportunistically. I think you can find more creative solutions."
Whether you’re committing to pioneering more creative ideas, engaging closer ties with your brand audience, or sharing deep industry knowledge with the world, have a purpose for your show that you can look back at and measure your progress against.
Let’s take a look at the key pieces of podcast goal-setting: why you should be tracking more than just downloads, which content marketing metrics to track, and how to better achieve your objectives.
Going Deeper Than Downloads
Think back to when you learned to set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound). Seems like a good idea, right? But what’s missing here is that not all goals are created equal, and an “X% increase” is not the only way to demonstrate progress.
But because podcasting is a fairly new category (compared to other traditional marketing channels), there hasn’t been a lot of innovation around how to measure and monetize, leading hosts and producers to settle for the default of simply measuring downloads.
It’s time to dig deeper for real, actionable insights and data you can actually use.
“You can’t pay your employees with downloads,” says podcaster and marketing extraordinaire Jay Baer. “Look at your spike in SEO; look at your spike in people mentioning the show to your customer success team. There are all these other signals that indicate that the show is doing something for your brand beyond just how many people downloaded the show.”
And he’s right. Try these categories for measuring your podcasting success:
- # of social media mentions
- # of verbal mentions to team members (tracked via CRM, customer service portal, or internal spreadsheet)
- # of podcast merchandise purchases
- Podcast rating
- Average length of listen
- Episodes completed
- Top audio clips
- # of episode comments or reviews
- Responses to questions, quizzes, or contests
- Sponsor ad clicks or promo codes used
- # of surveys taken (via email or provided URL)
- # of subscribers
- # of show or episode shares from hosting platform
- # of shares of related content (podcast transcripts, blogs, clips, etc.)
Stick with It (and Here’s How)
A goal without a strategy is just a dream. So once you’ve established which podcasting marketing metrics to track, take action to achieve them.
Break Down Large Goals into Smaller Ones
You don’t need another daunting project or milestone to add to the overwhelming amount of work you already have. But chipping away at a larger goal bit by bit can be much more palatable. For instance, if your goal is to experiment and try more creative ideas, set up recurring brainstorms or work sessions. Or, if you’re trying to increase your listenership by 1,000 new people, break down how many newcomers you’ll need per week or episode, based on your production schedule.
Make Time to Achieve Your Goals
Corporate podcasting is rarely someone’s full-time job — but that doesn’t mean it isn’t in competition for full-time attention. Set aside time (daily or weekly) to not only work on your brand’s podcast but specifically attack the goals you’ve outlined. (Hint: Put this time on your schedule or it’ll never happen.)
Review Progress and Adjust Goals as Needed
Don’t let your goals get lost in the shuffle. If you’ve done all the work to put them in place, keep at it, and don’t forget to reap the rewards. Identify checkpoints (monthly or quarterly) when you’ll measure progress and reassess each goal. And once you’ve achieved a goal, don’t forget to celebrate.
You Don’t Have to Go It Alone
Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of having a power player in your corner. At Casted, we help B2B podcasters take action on the content they produce to squeeze the most value out of every episode. You can use the Casted platform to share episodes, create clips, uncover deep analytics, and even assign an engagement score to every listener.
You better believe we’re just as passionate about tracking your podcast goals as you are. Get in touch with us to see for yourself.