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What’s in a Number? Debunking Podcast ROI

When you’re figuring out what the goals of your new podcast are going to be, some goals are easier to envision than others, like maintaining a consistent cadence, covering topics your audience is interested in, and promoting brand awareness and thought leadership. But at the end of the dayor the campaign cycle the thing most leaders seem most interested in is whether the podcast will deliver ROI and when.

The last thing you or your brand want to do is keep pouring money into a strategy that isn’t working, yet with B2B podcasting, it can’t always be about contributing to the bottom line. At least not in the early stages of your show’s growth. The format does indeed deliver ROI, but if you’re only thinking about revenue attribution when you start a podcast, you might have a rough time getting your show to succeed long enough for the revenue to appear. 

As podcast expert Tina Rozul said in the previous How B2B Podcasts Grow Up episode, “So what is it that you want to achieve? What's the goal? Is it [that] you want to increase ROI? Well, you jumped a couple of steps because you have to build your listenership. You have to continue to build trust, and you have to really, at the end of the day, share some topic or conversation that is of value to your listeners.”

In this episode, we continue our tour of the first two stages of the B2B Podcast Maturity Curve that brands work through when getting a show off the ground — Stage 1: Channel Experimentation and Stage 2: Show Creation. This time we’re looking at how to prioritize the healthiest goals for launching your show, like establishing your KPIs and aligning the channel with your brand’s marketing objectives. But ROI, despite some leaders who would disagree, is not a realistic goal when you’re just getting your podcast underway. In fact, too much attention to the financial return has stopped countless B2B shows from ever launching. 

And if you don’t believe us, listen to what our guests have to say. From Salesforce, Lindsay welcomes the creators and former hosts of the Salesforce Marketing Cloudcast, Heike YoungTina Rozul, and Megan Hostetler (Collins), and from HubSpot’s podcast team, Meghan Keaney Anderson and Sam Balter join the discussion to offer sage advice about how to keep your expectations in check and how not to let instant ROI get in the way of launching your podcast. 

And if you don’t know where your podcast fits on the maturity curve, take our quick assessment and enjoy the show:

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Digging into Key Takeaways

For each episode, we like to highlight some key takeaways. Think of it as a podcast outline or live show notes. Here are just a few of the takeaways that really stood out to us in this episode.

How & Why to Choose Your KPIs Before Your Podcast Launches 👨‍💻   

A common metric used when first launching a B2B podcast is to track the number of times your audience downloads episodes, and for many years before engagement metrics started to be developed, downloads were one of the few metrics available. But as Heike Young, former host of the Salesforce Marketing Cloudcast, tells us, that metric doesn’t tell you anything about how engaging your show is, what your audience is truly interested in and craving, and ultimately whether your podcast is achieving your overall marketing goals. You have to go deeper, and you might have to do some of your own research.

Why Podcasts Help You Reach Any Marketing Goal, Including: Audience Growth, Partnerships, Customer Satisfaction, or New Business 📈  

A content marketing team is responsible for meeting a range of business goals, and the great thing about podcasts is that they can drive these goals in ways that other channels can’t do as well. A podcast gives you uninterrupted attention from your audience, a great channel for promoting your partnerships, creative ways to see how your show resonates with your existing customers, and a powerful magnet to attract new leads. As Tina Rozul, former host of the Salesforce Marketing Cloudcast, says, all of these things build human connection, and that is a major way a B2B podcast also drives ROI over time. 

The Importance of Keeping Your Expectations in Check — Not Every Sale Will Be Because of Your Podcast 💰  

Perhaps one of the hardest but most important parts of launching a podcast is to be realistic about your expectations, especially in the early stages of the B2B Podcast Maturity Curve. You’re probably not going to radically change the world a few episodes into the first season. It can take time and effort to accomplish your brand awareness goals, but once that’s done, you’ll further hone your podcast’s focus and integrate the show in a powerful way with your brand’s overall business goals.  

As Megan Hostetler (Collins), former host of the Salesforce Marketing Cloudcast, shares in the episode, you might look back later and see how you could have done some things better, but you’ll never get that opportunity to improve if you don’t just go for it and launch your show.

Want to See Where Your B2B Podcast Lies on the Maturity Curve?

If you’d like to see which stage your brand’s podcast is at, what you can do to reach the next stage, and how Casted can help you along the way, take our quick B2B Podcast Maturity Curve assessment

And for more, stay tuned to Casted’s new series How B2B Podcasts Grow Up for a stage-by-stage discussion of how a B2B brand takes a show from launch to mass marketing amplification, and all the expert strategies, tips, and insights you need to create and grow your own audio or video podcast to serve your brand and drive growth. 

Want to skim through the episode instead of listening? Read the transcript here.

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About How B2B Podcasts Grow Up

As Season 3 of The Amplified Marketing Podcast, How B2B Podcasts Grow Up will cover the five stages of the B2B Podcast Maturity Curve, where we discuss the best strategies and models for creating a new show in a new channel, for growing and engaging your audience, for expanding across all the channels your audience prefers, and for integrating your podcast program into your overall content marketing strategy. And of course, we’ll discuss all the ways you can create meaningful content and then get the most traction from that material by wringing it out and amplifying it across all channels.