How can you measure the success of your podcast?

The audio format has become an important channel for marketers and PR pros, but the metrics can be tricky. Downloads alone don’t tell the whole story. Here’s what to examine.

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Podcast listening has exploded in recent years.

Almost a quarter of Americans over 12 said they had heard a podcast in the prior month, up from 21 percent the previous year, according to the 2016 Infinite Dial study from Edison Research. In addition, podcast listeners dialed up an average of five podcasts per week.

The medium can be a superb way of establishing authority, and PR and marketing pros have jumped on the bandwagon. Podcasting also requires fewer resources than video and is frequently more accessible to consumers.

Still, how do marketers and PR pros know whether podcasts meet their business goals?

Podcasters typically focus on the number of daily, weekly or monthly downloads of each episode. However, top podcasters and measurement experts emphasize that meaningful measurement entails more than just counting downloads.

Building an audience takes time. Downloads may be minuscule at first, says James Carbary, founder of Sweet Fish Media and co-host of the B2B Growth Show on iTunes. In addition, downloads don’t measure two major benefits of podcasts: relationships and waterfall content in other media.

More personal and strategic relationships

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