During the week of March 20, we were lucky enough to be able to attend the 2017 Radiodays Europe conference at the Rai Convention Centre in Amsterdam. This conference gave us the opportunity to meet with radio broadcasters from across the pond and gain some valuable insights. In the coming days, we’ll be sharing our key takeaways from the conference in a three part blog post.
Today’s blog post will focus on measuring and optimizing your podcasts, a prominent topic of discussion at this year’s conference.
As we called out in a recent blog post, podcasting/audio-on-demand is a rapidly growing medium that provides a significant digital revenue opportunity for radio. However, in order to optimize this revenue source, you must increase engagement with your podcasts.
Analyzing your podcast data
In order to properly analyze your podcast episodes, rank them by downloads and likes/shares, in that order. What do your most popular episodes have in common? What do the least popular have in common? How can you optimize each element of your podcasts - format, subjects, content, etc. Find out what works best for each aspect of your podcast and use this information when creating future podcast episodes to increase your engagement. Test new concepts, find out what is most effective and reiterate your podcast moving forward.
We were also able to collect some data at the conference to help you do benchmarks. Follow these guidelines to determine how your content is being received by your audience, in terms of the percentage of listeners liking or sharing a particular podcast episode.
- Less than 1% - your content is seriously underperforming
- About 3% - your content is performing adequately
- Greater than 5% - your content is performing fantastically
The average expected listening percentage (percentage of a podcast episode that a person listens to) is just under 75% for a 20 minute podcast. Use this as a benchmark for your listener engagement. Keep in mind that, in general, as podcast episodes get longer, the expected listening percentage goes down.
Improving your numbers
How can you improve upon your numbers? With podcasts, it is important to have strong content in the beginning to get people hooked. Get right into it. Don’t waste the audience’s time at the beginning with introductions. Also, re-engage your audience every 2-5 minutes. You can do this by switching gears into a new topic. People will change the channel if you simply drone on about one thing for too long.
Using podcasts to pilot new concepts
Another usage for podcasts that we learned about at RDE 2017 was as a method to pilot new shows. This is actually quite a clever way to go about it, as podcasting is a low risk and low cost way to test your content. Pilot your new concept through a podcast episode and measure the number of downloads and likes/shares. Once you have validation of a new concept through your podcast, you can roll it out through other mediums.
To summarize, here is what you should be doing with your podcasts:
- Analyze your data, use this knowledge to find what works best and create better podcast episodes moving forward
- Have strong content in the beginning and re-engage your audience every 2-5 minutes to keep them hooked
- Use podcasts to test concepts for new shows
So there you have it, part 1 of our key takeaways from Radiodays Europe. A lot of great learnings on podcasts and how to improve in this medium. Stay tuned for part 2…
Digital brings growing opportunities for your brand to engage with its audience and find new channels to increase revenue. By aligning with the right technology partner, you will be able to maximize these new opportunities in digital. SoCast provides your stations with the tools that you need to create a strong digital presence and monetize your digital assets. Talk to a SoCast Specialist today to see how you can increase your station’s presence in digital and achieve greater engagement with your audience.