To evaluate the success of a podcast, most people only look at the number of downloads per month. That is a good metric, but not your only one.
The other item to consider is your Conversion rate, the percentage of listeners who actually take action (purchase, join your email list, etc). Asking them to take this action is called a Call to Action (CTA). Let’s say on average 100 people download your show, but you only get 1 person to sign up for your email list. You only have a 1% conversion rate of turning listeners into subscribers. I’ll tell you why this is important in a bit. There is no sure-fire average for this, but I use 15% as a good base conversion rate. From this example, for every 100 downloads, at least 15 people would need to take action on something.
Why Conversions Are Important to Sponsors
This metric is important because as you begin to connect with advertisers, being able to show them that your audience is engaged, responsive and that you could estimate 15 new sales or prospects per 100 downloads, is a great reference point.
If you only have 1000 downloads a month, at a 15% conversion rate, you would be able to tell your potential sponsors that you average a 150 conversions per thousand. If you charged your sponsor $600 per month, your advertiser’s cost per conversion is only $4. [$4 x 150 new customers= $600; Cash/customers = cost per customer ($600/150)= $4 per customer ]
These numbers are all estimates, but having this provable metric will validate your podcast’s audience engagement and impact, for your potential advertiser.
Why Conversions Are Important To You
Why is your conversion rate important to you? Besides the fact that an attractive conversion rate makes you look like a sure bet to potential sponsors, it is also good for your show!
Let’s say your 15% metric holds true. If you have 300 downloads per show, you should add 45 new subbies or customers in a single podcast! Amazing right?
How You Get Conversions
Having an ebook, facebook group or just letting them know to sign up to get first dibs on your next episode, are great CTAs. Having those call to actions will foster engagement on your show, and helps you build your email list, which grows your community.
The more people you have on your list, the better engagement you have with your community. You are able to let them know about podcast releases, tell them about your own products for sale, and share with them tools and info that make them more loyal to you and your show. That is why we focus so hard on conversions are so important.
In broadcasting, advertisers buy time for spots (commercials) based on their core demographics (the people they are focused on selling to). The better the advertiser is at targeting what a “ 65 year old, female, widow, who lives alone” watches/listens to, the more likely their “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercial is to have high conversions.
Did you know that your favorite radio station, TV show and magazine are simply wrappers designed to attract you, so that you watch the commercials? I know this is a startling truth, but your favorite show didn’t get cancelled because they were tired of making it. It wasn’t getting enough viewers, thus advertising revenue to sustain it. Remember, soap operas were created to sell “soap” to housewives. You should think of your content the same way. Your podcasts should be designed to attract your ideal listener/customer/client.
So what does this mean for you? No matter how great your content is, or how amazing your CTA is for the free ebook Learning to Play Guitar Like A Rockstar, you have to understand your ideal customer and attract them to your content. In radio/TV I advise my clients to give a name and face to our sweet spot demo, and target that person. Let’s say I have a country station whose focus is 25-54 year old females. I would then develop a profile/avatar on my ideal customer. A 35 year old mom with 2 kids, hubby and a household income of $100K. Her name is Melanie.
Now, let’s make this real for my podcast client. My next goal is to write out what Melanie would like or need that my podcast provides, and why it would interest her.
For example, for my product Networking that Works – I could see Melanie being interested in networking to:
• Get a new job*
• Find more like minded friends
• Get Play dates for kids
• Launch her own biz
• Get more community focused
• Overcome Introvert Event Anxiety (I just made that up)
• Get out of the house and socialize
So, I would create live broadcasts with those titles in mind. Now my broadcast becomes the wrapper for my amazing product/service. You should also research potential sponsors that match each of the things that Melanie would like
*Don’t miss this opportunity to create a potential sponsor/guest list. For the Get a New Job idea; resume writers, job boards, universities and other job related companies would be great sponsors and interviews.
If you find that your show doesn’t have many anchors to your “Melanie” you may need to rethink your approach.
In all honesty, this should be one of your early activities in the content development stage. When you know your ideal customer before you create your product, you are much more able to create something that will knock it out of the park.
Once you know what Melanie likes, and your content connects her to your show, your CTA’s will draw her to your email list – creating high conversions (awesome engagement). This awesome matrix will give advertisers good reason to have their ads on your show. Think about your list of things Melanie likes. You should convert each action into
Your turn. Spend some time developing your Metrics Matrix. Share your answers to these questions:
- What is your target demo?
- What is your sweet spot and what is your ideal customer’s name/description (your avatar)?
- What kinds of things would they like from you?
- What can you do this week to better reach that target?
- List 5 CTA’s that would potential grow your subscribers
- Any other amazing things you would like to share!
I hope this helps! – Michelle
P.S. I wrote this just for you. Let me know what other things you like to have covered or how I can better simplify this for your success.