I admit it. I’m obsessed with podcasts. I know they aren’t new, but they’re enjoying a resurgence right now, and there are so many great shows out there. And it’s a great time to be a podcast consumer!
Whatever your interest, there’s probably a show out there for you. And if not, you can start one!
In fact, my obsession started in large part because I started my own podcast back in 2017, and launched January 1, 2018. I also listen to some great shows. And our CEO Remington has shared with me his technique of consuming content - podcast roulette.
My obsession has spilled over, too. I created a podcast (and am one of the producers) for a non-profit I volunteer for, and I’ve taken over one of the podcasts here at Impulse Creative.
I can see where so many businesses could take advantage of this golden age of podcasting, both as creators and as guest experts, that I find myself feeling like a broken record. It’s not for everyone, but it’s for so many that it’s hard not to suggest it.
Let’s Look at the Stats
More than an obsession, I believe podcasting is a legitimate content channel because of the current statistics and data.
One disclaimer I want to share: While the numbers may seem huge and some “experts” believe we’re at podcast overload, I believe we’re just inside the golden age of this channel right now.
First, we’re far from a saturation point. Even with around 50% of the U.S. population saying they’ve listened to a podcast, we’ll never hit 100%. After all, do 100% of the people watch TV or listen to traditional or satellite radio? No. And even if we get to 100% saturation, that’s awesome!
Also, as audiences have more control and segment themselves, it becomes very powerful to dig deep into your niche. Imagine having a show about amusement parks because you have a product (a book?) or service (planned trip packages) focused on amusement parks. This niche market may not make a dent in traditional channels, but you can believe it will find listeners devoted to the subject and more likely to buy direct! In fact, The Season Pass is just that podcast, in case you’re curious.
Okay. Now, back to the stats.
Depending on the report, you’ll find that about 750,000 podcasts currently exist. And that numbers grows all the time. Of course the debate is over whether they’re all active, but that really doesn’t matter. Why? Because even archives can get attention.
Mark Deal, founder of Podcast Guest Academy, shared his experience in a Facebook group he manages.
"I just got a lead from an interview I did back in 2014. It was on a show that ended a few years ago.
They wanted to hire me, but I moved out of that type of client work years ago. Happily refereed two friends that often work together on that stuff.
5 years later on a show that is no longer being produced (still available though). Not bad!"
- 1 in 3 Americans listen to podcasts monthly
- 1 in 4 Americans listen to podcasts weekly
- Podcast listeners are affluent - more likely to make more than $75,000 per year
- Over half of listeners are more likely to consider buying an advertised product
We Believe in Podcasts at Impulse Creative
Here at Impulse Creative, we’ve jumped into the podcasting pool with both feet. While we’re not counting on direct ROI tied to sales, we know that building an audience is critical in today’s relationship economy.
Over at Sprocket Talk, George B. Thomas creates a TON of content. Most of it starts as videos, but he publishes the audio to the Sprocket Talk podcast (both audio and video in fact). From 5-minute tips to 15 minute conversations with INBOUND speakers to long form interviews with experts, you’ll find a ton of content relevant to you if you’re a HubSpot user.
Then, the “Ladies of Impulse” spun up their own show, The Maiden Voyage. The team knew that the podcast world could use a different perspective. Women in podcasting is a growing category, but could use more voices. So they started the show “to relate, inspire, laugh, and learn all while empowering women in the workplace.”
I co-host a show with our CEO and co-founder Remington, where we have conversations with leaders, entrepreneurs, and business leaders about their growth journey every other week. In the weeks between those, we turn the mic inside as it were, focusing on the growth of Impulse Creative through Remington’s eyes. We’re also setting up conversations with other team members. It’s a great dialogue show all about growing a business and navigating those sometimes rough waters. Wayfinding Growth goes live every Tuesday morning.
Remington also has a show called the Conversational Marketing Podcast where he tackles all things Conversational. A lot of the episodes are tutorials and tips & tricks shows to help marketers better understand Drift and HubSpot Conversations, two of the biggest players in the game.
Bonus show: I host and produce my own show, The Storytellers Network.
What Do Podcasts Do for Impulse Creative?
If the numbers are to be believed, podcasts are far from TV numbers at this point. Which is okay if you’re reaching your intended, engaged, niche audience. Taking into account all 750,000 podcasts, an average show might see around 130 listens/downloads per episode in the first two months. So if you’re getting more attention than that, you’re above average.
For Impulse Creative, we’re not measuring our success with sales. We’re looking at audience size, engagement, and feedback.
Right now our numbers tell a pretty good story across all four of our podcasts. Because we publish through our video hosting platform 23, it’s measured in videos not episodes. But as you can see, we’re generating a good amount of attention. Those numbers average out to 350+ listens/views per episode.
Furthermore, just looking at Wayfinding Growth, you can see that traffic, submissions, clicks and influence all are impacted by the podcast. Social clicks happen due to the show, email clicks are there, and we’re generating contacts from a last-touch measurement.
Even better, the show has influenced revenue. And that’s not a primary goal.
Turning to Sprocket Talk, first-touch influence is also generating revenue as well as some terrific contact metrics.
All in all, our podcasts are working for brand awareness, personal branding, lead generation, creating a community, and more.
Why You Should Podcast, Too
In addition to our own shows, we’re helping clients decide whether podcasting would work for them. Starting with a strategy session to dig into the why and how we will measure success, we work through things like buyer personas, hopeful expectations of starting a podcast, a discussion on guest appearances, and more.
What You Should Measure
Not sure what you should measure? Start with some of the top-level metrics you always measure. Depending on your hosting platform, you should be able to get a good idea on plays/downloads. You should also host episode pages on your website, which means you’ll see views. Each episode might have a “Brought to you by our company” ad, which should be a link you can track on your episode page. Track that traffic.
We make each show a campaign in HubSpot, which means all calls to action (CTAs), articles, social posts, emails, etc. link to that campaign. If one of your goals is awareness, these are all points you can track.
Social media audience/community is another area to watch. You can create a group for your podcast, invite people to it, and watch the size and engagement of the group.
Finally, ask people interacting with your company (clients, partners, employees) how they heard about you. You can even have a spot in your CRM to notate when they mention your podcast, and ask them directly if they’ve listened.
What you measure depends on your goals, but these are some of the KPIs you can start with on your podcasting journey.
At the end of the day, as businesses become publishers, podcasting is one more tool in your content toolbox. You may not be the next Joe Rogan Show, but you could be the Joe Rogan Show of your industry!
BONUS: What is Podcast Roulette?
Remington explains how podcast roulette works and why he loves it.