For businesses that advertise online, the more opportunities for brand exposure, the better. Online advertising is a wide-reaching opportunity, but turning that extended reach into a potential customer or conversion is much more difficult. Content and multimedia fill the internet, and making yourself stand out is a tall order.

One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is a podcast. A podcast can be as elaborate as you like, and can be on any subject. Businesses can make weekly shows about current events in their industry, developments at their company, or anything related to their products. A podcast can make your business stand out from the competition, if it’s produced consistently and engages a specifically targeted audience.

Today I’m going to show you the best practices for publishing a podcast and measuring its success. Podcast traffic can tell you exactly how many people listen and subscribe, and will not only show you whether or not your podcast is worth keeping, but also how valuable it is to your lead generation.

The Basics

Just like any other webpage, a podcast has to be published at a specific location on your site, and that location’s traffic can be monitored. Google Analytics or any other analytics measurement software can monitor site traffic to and from your podcast page, and can tell you where traffic is coming from, and where they go from your podcast page.

In Google Analytics, go to the Content tab on the far left, then to Site Content, and then All Pages. From the Explorer tab at the top of your Pages dashboard, you can navigate to and select your podcast publishing address and see detailed traffic statistics for this specific page. The Navigation Summary tab will show you where traffic is coming from, and where they go from that page.

You can also create a Custom Report that takes you directly to this traffic—see our blog on how to set this up.

The Details: Measuring Subscriptions and Downloads

Traffic statistics can only tell you so much—to really understand how visitors take advantage of your podcast, you’ll need to see specific download and subscriber metrics. First and foremost, you’ll need to be sure that you publish your podcast through a feed system like FeedBurner or FeedBlitz that is capable of tracking subscribers. Your podcast metrics on these sites will give you a more detailed look at downloaders and subscribers that regularly receive your every update.

With a feed system in place, you can cross-reference your number of downloads and subscribers to your weekly page traffic and determine the conversion rate for new subscriptions. Google Analytics can also be set up to track traffic from your site to your podcast feed as a site goal—more on that here.

To measure your downloads—and to potentially monetize your podcast in the future—you’ll want to join a media download service. Podcasters highly recommend Blubrry Statistics or RawVoice Media Statistics for media download metrics.

Blubrry also specializes in advertisement distribution, meaning you can pick up sponsors as your subscription and download rates increase.

The Key to Podcast Success

Successful podcasts—successful as in their podcast is their job—put a ton of hard work and genuine effort into their productions, and provide their subscribers with consistent, high-quality content that is engaging and entertaining to watch. Podcasts are a unique content marketing opportunity anyone can take advantage of, but the more you’re willing to put into it, the more benefits you’ll see from your efforts.

Besides the effort, measuring your successes and turning a hobby into a profitable venture for your business is easy with these simple tracking and networking solutions. If you’re just now beginning to build your content marketing plans, or you’re looking to add something new to your mix like a podcast, our content development services can fuel your business with fresh, affordable material with absolutely zero hassle.