Over a third of the people in the United States listen to a podcast each month and that number has grown 16 percent since last year.
Where people go, brands will follow. So it’s no surprise that we’re seeing a large uptick in the number and quality of branded podcasts.
Podcasting is new for brands. It can be difficult to know if your company’s podcast is a success. What’s a good benchmark of downloads? What does success even look like for audio content?
Ad platforms like search and social have detailed metrics of reach, engagement, and ROI. Videos on YouTube have a public view and subscriber count so it’s easy to benchmark how your content is performing relative to other creators.
Podcasts are different. With only download data, it can be difficult for brands to determine how their shows are performing relative to other marketing channels.
A branded podcast can be evaluated by a combination of its monetary value as ad space, the lift in brand affinity measured by engagement, and its value as a long term marketing asset.
For most of podcasting history, the content has been either self-funded or funded through ad sales. To get a sense of how valuable your podcast is, consider how much revenue it could generate if you were to sell ad space.
Many branded podcast utilize their shows to promote products and services they would have otherwise paid to get in front of people via digital ads. In order to calculate the monthly ad value contribution by a branded podcast use the following two formulas:
Ad Revenue Per Episode = [(Downloads per episode over 60 days / 1,000) * CPM] * # of Ads in Episode
Monthly Advertising Contribution = Ad Revenue Per Episode * # of episodes per month
*CPM Ranges $10-$50. Generally speaking the larger your audience the higher your CPM or if you have a highly valuable listenership.
The CPM of podcasting may appear high relative to other content channels but host read podcast advertisements can be incredibly effective:
Looking at the monetary value of ad space for a branded podcast is a reasonable first step, but it drastically under-reports the podcast’s contribution. Comparing an entire podcast series versus a few ads on someone else’s show is like comparing a free sample at Costco to a 5-course dinner. Both are delicious but one is far more substantial.
To get a better sense of the value the podcast drives for a company you need to measure its impact on brand affinity.
The more time people spend with your brand the more likely they are to buy from you.
Someone who reads a blog post is more likely to buy from your company than someone who read a tweet. Someone who follows your newsletter and engages with your company’s content regularly is more likely to engage than someone who reads a single blog post.
Podcasts are one of the most powerful assets companies have in terms of engagement per listener. Podcasts are longer-form content than blogs or videos, thereby having outsized engagement in terms of time spent with the brand.
The average length of a business podcast is ~20minutes and the average listener is going to consume 85% of an episode. This means every episode is generating 17 minutes of engagement per listen.
Your average blog post only takes a few minutes to read. The average video has a high degree of engagement but that engagement drops off significantly as the length of the video increases.
Consider this graphic below from Wistia and compare the video engagement over time to the 85% engagement rate for podcasts. Even the most engaging video, thats less than 2 minutes long, has less engagement than you’re an average 20-minute podcast.
If you’re looking to measure podcast engagement use the following formula:
Minutes of Podcast Engagement = (Average Episode Length * % Engagement) * # of Episodes.
Looking at the podcast’s reach, the monetary value in terms of ad space, and uplift in brand affinity gives a strong impression of how a podcast can be valued relative to marketing other channels.
The last thing for brands to consider is the long-term value of branded podcasts.
With the advent of Inbound Marketing, marketers began to view content as a long-term asset that pays dividends in terms of attention. Search engines continually drive traffic to high performing blog posts and video content generates views months or even years after the content is created.
Looking at one of HubSpot’s podcasts: The Growth Show you can see how strong an asset podcast can be. The chart below shows that downloads accelerate when a new season is launched but it continues to grow long after new episodes are being released.
Just for context, each season had 12-13 episodes with a high level of production. The combination of consistent quality, release schedule, and engaging with the podcast audience has made The Growth Show a podcast that continues to attract and engage listeners even when it’s getting no promotion.
Growing your audio audiences does not depend on finding listeners through search engine rankings or advertising platforms, thereby creating a more diversified marketing strategy.
Many companies that have adopted podcasting have seen outsized returns on their efforts. In addition to stacking up well against every other marketing channel from both an advertising and content perspective podcast has many additional benefits for brands.
Audio can further thought-leadership, build connections with new partners, generate earned media, and be a fun form of creative expression for marketers.
As people’s attention moves toward podcasting, brands that adopt will be going where people’s attention is headed. Those that don’t, will be left behind.
Sam Balter is the host of HubSpot’s podcast, Weird Work. He can be found on Twitter @sbbalter.Reblogged 8 months ago from www.clickz.com