Branded podcast ROI – what’s success?

Understandably we get asked a lot about branded podcast ROI. Every brand wants to get the most out of allocating their resources. The marketing decisions made for a company are the ones that are going to dictate their growth, brand awareness, and their values. Branded podcasts can fit into that, but to make an impact as part of a marketing strategy, a podcast needs to be an integrated part of that master plan. Podcast production requires commitment, but before taking the plunge, these are the things you need to consider.

Measuring success 

It is completely possible to have a numbers-based approach to measuring the success of a podcast. You can easily look at the number of downloads, or listens, the number of followers gained, the average review weighting, or any other relevant field of data.

If you are specifically looking for a numbers-based approach, the minimum you need is to be hot on your podcast analytics. Anywhere with IAB2 certification is key, and almost all of the top podcast hosting platforms follow this certification, it’s the industry standard, but you can find out if your podcast hosting provider is compliant here. As we’ve discussed before though, as well as the analytics provided by your hosting platform, it pays to also keep another eye on Spotify for Podcasters and Apple Podcasts Connect (read our post about it here), or, and this is what we do for our clients, use a data aggregator such as Chartable

The value of a listener

A thing to consider is that different numbers will mean different things to individual companies. It may be natural to want as many listeners as possible, and there are ways to do that, but to get a steer on branded podcast ROI, it makes sense for you to work out how much a listener is worth to you. If you have a mass market product that you want people to be aware of, it obviously makes sense to go for volume. If you have a high-value product, however, you may not need as many listeners to convert to sales to make a return.

Unlike other media channels though, podcast ROI isn’t usually as clear cut as this.

What other channels are able to engage your audience for 20, 30, or 40 minutes at a time?

It’s important to remember that 94% of listeners consume podcasts while doing other tasks, and for that reason podcasts are an effective way to reach ad-avoiders. This means you’re not comparing the value of a customer interacting with your brand via a podcast to them seeing an ad on a bus stop, or in their social feed. It’s the value of people running, or washing the dishes, or going to the shops, who otherwise would have been completely inaccessible as an audience. What other channels are able to engage your audience for 20, 30, or 40 minutes at a time?

The ROI beyond the numbers

Podcasts can be so much more than just a listener count and star-rating. We know that podcast listeners tend to be highly engaged and loyal. They form communities and bring others to listen to your podcast, too. When someone is looking for a new product or service, having fans of your podcast advocate for you can go far beyond conventional means of advertising.

A branded podcast can engage a community, and foster a new one

Podcasts have been shown to promote good levels of trust from brands: a BBC study showed that podcasts can generate an 89% increase in brand awareness, a 57% increase in brand consideration, plus a 24% increase in brand favourability.

This means that podcasts don’t have to exist as a means of generating revenue or attracting new customers. They aren’t a billboard. A branded podcast can engage a community, and foster a new one. They’re the place to communicate brand values, to improve the public perception of your brand. A podcast that communicates novel insights in your field can establish you as a thought leader, building you as an authority in your niche. Factoring all this into your podcast ROI naturally means taking a more holistic approach.

Extending your reach

The important thing is getting the product right, and creating something that people genuinely want to listen to. A substandard podcast with bad audio or a lack of focus isn’t something that anyone’s going to want to go back to. People these days have high expectations, but a high-quality branded podcast is one that can have a life of its own. 

It can be repurposed to create further content and in that sense, podcast ROI isn’t just in the episodes themselves, but in how you use different clips from that podcast on your social channels; it’s in the video content of the podcast; in the attached blog post, it’s the SEO benefits from a well executed podcast strategy.

A branded podcast can be what sets your company apart from others in the field, and what drives people to your company. If you’d like to hear more about setting one up, contact us today.