August 29, 2015 / by Katie Gaab

Podcasts like “Serial” have proven how hosts can effectively engage with an audience, and communicators are starting to look at this growing medium in a new light.

Slate is investing in its own podcasting network, Panoply. Whether or not Panoply will turn into a success depends on many variables, but how can you quantify that success? Currently, brands like Acura, GE, Delta Airlines, Lexus and Prudential have shown confidence in the platform by purchasing advertising, but to keep its advertisers Slate will have to show the true performance of its podcasts.

Podcasts are a tricky medium to quantify, but that doesn’t mean your brand should avoid metrics altogether. Here’s what to look at to determine if your podcast strategy is really working:

1. Downloads & Listeners


Downloads is one of the few numbers podcasters keep tabs on, but it shouldn’t be the end-all be-all of your measurement strategy. Use downloads as a benchmarking tool, but remember that the total number of monthly downloads is dependent on how often you publish episodes and attract new subscribers. Properly tracking subscribers is similarly time-consuming, but tools like Feedburner and Feedblitz can help provide you with more information on who’s subscribing to your podcast’s RSS feed.

2. Social Media Engagement

If you use other channels to promote your podcast episodes, remember to tap your brand’s social media listening tools for resulting data. Look to see who is talking about your podcast and what they’re saying to see what’s resonating with your audience. By making your current followers aware of new content, you will likely see an increase in subscribers. Keep an eye on those tweeting or posting frequently about your episodes – they may come in handy down the line as your brand’s podcast advocate.

Want to make your podcasts a success like Serial? Click here for our free podcasting tip sheet!

3. Trackable Call to Actions

If you’ve included calls to actions towards your brand’s website, monitor your traffic with tracking URLs. Look at visitors’ interactions with your website, technology used to get there and time spent on your site. See if traffic spikes on the days you release a new episode. If you’ve included a trackable link on your social media channels, see which platform is driving the majority of visitors to your podcast to increase your promotion efforts.

4. Rankings & Review

If you’ve decided to publish your podcast on a podcasting directory, check out your ranking on a weekly basis. If you’ve used iTunes, make note that the first eight weeks are vital as you have the opportunity to rank in the New & Noteworthy section. Pay attention to how often rankings are submitted to see which episodes may have resonated most or whether calls to action to leave reviews resonated with those listening. Don’t forget to check out your reviews either. Podcasting audiences are loyal and honest, and their feedback will help you shape your strategy as you continue putting out new episodes.

Podcasting for PR - Best Practices

Images: Paul MasonSören (Creative Commons)


Tags : measurement

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About Katie Gaab

Katie Gaab is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Previously the senior editor for Help A Reporter Out (HARO), she enjoys connecting audiences to exciting, new content. She's a dancer, avid concert-goer, foreign language nerd and book worm. Find her on Twitter @kathryngaab.