First, you need to define success. Is it the amount of listeners you have or is it the amount of success your podcast brings to your business?
Our advice is to define the latter. For many it’s brand authority, establishing you as a thought leader within your industry. For others it’s networking where inviting guests onto a podcast are a great way to connect with high value potential clients. Perhaps the purpose of your podcast is to bring new business, new leads or deepen your connection with existing clients.
For us, the amount of listeners you have does not equate to success. My favourite example is a podcast about going to Mars. If it had one listener you might consider if a failure. But if that listener was Elon Musk, it would be a very successful podcast!
Another example is if you had 100 people in a hotel room for your company seminar, you would call that a success. Would you look at 100 people listening to your podcast as a success?
The fact remains that one of the markers for measuring a podcast is downloads,
BuzzSprout and Libsyn are two of the biggest podcasting hosts in the world and both have revealed download numbers for podcasts they host.
BuzzSprout say that if your podcast has 72 downloads within seven days of release, you’re in the Top 25% of podcasts. If you have 539 downloads within seven days, you’re in the Top 5%. Libsyn measure podcasts a little differently, counting downloads over thirty days, so the numbers are bigger. They say 1,000 downloads will put you in the Top 20% while 2,900 makes you Top 10%.
Downloads are just one way of measuring a podcast. At DustPod we also measure how engaged people are with a podcast and define success against the original goals of the podcast such as brand authority or engaging with hard to reach audiences.
In finance they say turnover is vanity, profit is sanity. The same applies with podcasts. Downloads are vanity, engagement is sanity. It’s those measurements, which really tell you if your podcast is a hit or not.