You are starting to get your first downloads, so it’s time to do some podcast analysis! Take a closer look at your audience with these tools and techniques.
When you start podcasting, it’s not always easy to know what to monitor or analyze. 🤔 While the number of listeners is, of course, a very interesting indicator that must be followed carefully, there are many others that allow you to know your audience well. And by knowing your audience inside and out, you will gain listeners. 🚀
It’s a virtuous circle and we will explain why in this article! 🤓
Why analyze your podcast ?
It’s a motivation boost 🥳
Let’s be honest, creating a podcast and keeping it on the long term, that stuff is hard. First of all because it requires a lot of time and energy and also because sometimes we don’t see the expected results right away. 😫
At least, that’s what we think! And yes, if your goal is to reach 5000 downloads in the first month, you will be disappointed. So you will probably lose your motivation along the way.
However, through podcast analysis, you will be able to see the evolution of your work and you will be able to measure your success day after day. 💪 And when you realize that hard work pays off, your motivation will skyrocket! This I can assure you.
It’s a good way to know your audience in detail 🥰
Thanks to the statistics of your host and the demographic and qualitative data you can collect, you will gradually get to know your audience by heart. You will know the themes they like, the format they prefer, the channels they use to contact you, etc.
All this data is a real gold mine for you as a podcaster. Thanks to this data, you will be able to adapt your content and offer your listeners higher quality episodes that will have a real added value. 🚀
The more your content is enjoyed by your audience, the more they will talk about it and the more you will gain listeners!
How to analyze the audience of your podcast?
We are going to walk you through each of these steps of podcast analysis:
- Define a listener persona
- Compare your episodes to each other
- Analyze their completion rate
- Monitor your Apple Podcasts ranking
- Study the origin of your downloads
- Track your average downloads
First step: Define your listener persona
Rather than simply looking at the numbers and going headlong into analyzing your statistics, take the time to define WHO your audience is. 🥸 You will learn much more by having a clear picture of your audience than by monitoring a graph with numbers that are sometimes abstract. 🤔
Remember that the most important thing in business communication, regardless of product you want to sell or advertise, is to know your target. Who will buy your latest all electric car? Who will buy your 100% organic detox juice? So, back to your podcast, who is it addressed to? 😀
Focusing on your core target audience does not mean abandoning everyone else.
Focusing on your core target audience doesn’t mean abandoning everyone else. And it doesn’t mean that you’ll get less downloads either. On the contrary, it means that you will know your most loyal listeners so well that it will be easier for you to produce content that they like and for which they can recommend you. 👄👂
At Ausha, we call this step of podcast analysis: the definition of a listener persona, i.e. a typical listener who gathers all the common features of your audience.
To build your listener persona, you need to ask yourself 7 questions:
First Question: Who is the listener I want to address?
Is your ideal listener a parent to middle school students? Middle-aged history buffs? Local consumers of the performing arts?
As you can see, there a ton of different types of listeners out there. Try to be as specific as possible as you think through them.
Second Question: What motivates them to listen to your podcast?
Do they tune into you podcast for education about the topic you cover? Are they looking to improve their business skills? Do they want to get updates on the most recent studies in their field? Are they just looking to laugh and enjoy your content?
Third Question: What are their barriers to listening to your podcast?
Do they lack technical skills and do not understand the phrase “available wherever you get your podcasts”?
Is there a language barrier? Is English not their native language? Or do they have auditory issues and need a transcript to follow along?
Fourth Question: What other content does my listener consume?
Does your listener mostly turn to music for their audio content or does their listening diet consist mostly of other great weekly podcasts?
Fifth Question: What is your persona’s typical day?
Starting from the top, go through a listeners typical day. For example, do they wake up and commute to work or do they stay home?
Also, think about if their typical day depends on the season– for example, teachers might have different typical days in the summer than when school is in session.
Sixth Question What is their use of communication channels?
Are they on group texts with friends where they chat about things like podcasts?
Do they read emails or mostly ignore them?
Do they have a physical location where they often meet up with friends to chat? A digital location?
Seventh Question: What are the possible contact points?
Are they on social media a lot? If so, which platforms? How do they learn about new podcasts, if they typically learn about them at all. Are they already on podcast listening platforms? Do they pay attention to certain local news outlets or just Google when they want to know something? Do they have a trusted person or professional in their life that recommends things to them?
As you see, there are a ton of different ways to think through your listener persona!
The Ausha tip: Visually represent your listener persona in a card, this will help you to imagine your communication plan. I have prepared a template that you can download for free and adapt to your program.
Second step: Compare your episodes to each other
During the first moments of your podcast’s life, it’s very tempting to compare yourself to other podcasts. “Are my listeners good enough?”, “Do I have more listeners than so-and-so?”, “Is my podcast growing as fast as others?”, etc.
Comparing yourself to other podcasts is not the way to go. It’s even counterproductive.
It is 1000x more interesting and helpful to compare your own data and measure your evolution. 📈
To do this kind of podcast analysis, you can for example study the start of each of your episodes and notice an evolution. Ausha allows you to compare between 3 and 7 episodes at once and to follow their evolution at D+7, D+15, D+30 and D+90.
For our podcast Tips 🎺, for example, we gradually see that the start curve of each new episode we publish is higher and higher. That means more and more listeners are tuning in to our show. (And that makes our 💜 warm).
Step three: Analyze your completion rate
Completion rate is the average percentage of people who listen to an episode. This podcast analysis statistic is super interesting because it allows you to know at a glance if your listeners are listening to your podcast until the end. And therefore, if they appreciate the format. 😄
Keep in mind that a listening is counted from the first second of play (according to the ACPM institute) or from the first minute of play (according to the IAB institute). ⏰ Unless your episodes are only a few seconds long, it’s likely that your audience will continue to listen beyond the time their listening is counted. Good, but how far do they go?
In collaboration with the French listening platform Deezer 🇫🇷, Ausha allows you to find your completion rate directly in your manager space and to analyze it for downloads that come from Deezer only. You can also find the statistics on the analytics platforms for each app. (Spotify for Podcaster or PodcastsConnect.apple)
Regarding our podcast Tips 🎺, when analyzing the completion rate of our episodes, we realize that those that exceed 6 minutes are less listened to until the end than those that last less than 6 minutes. This is something we will take into account for our next episodes by making episodes shorter.
Step four: Monitor your Apple Podcasts rating and score
A good way to analyze your podcast is to pay attention to the engagement your podcast gets on the Apple platform. 🍏 Because the more subscribers you get, the more likely you are to see your show climb in the rankings. And therefore, inevitably, the more your downloads will be high. 🚀
Depending on the category you’ve chosen for your podcast, your frequency of publication and the speed at which you release your episodes, your show can be more or less promoted in the Apple Podcasts rankings. You can follow your evolution from your Ausha manager, in the “Statistics” tab.
This is also where you can track the ratings and reviews that your audience leaves on the Apple Podcasts platform.
This more qualitative than quantitative data is very valuable to podcasters as it is one of the few channels where listeners can express themselves, give some love to the hosts of the podcasts they enjoy and suggest themes for future episodes. 🥰
In our podcast Tips 🎺 we always read a review from the Apple platform at the end of each episode. It’s a way to thank our engaged listeners, to value them, and to encourage others to leave reviews as well.
Step five: Study the origin of your downloads
Part of podcast analysis is investigating where your listeners are coming from!
Your podcast host (like Ausha for example) also gives you a lot of quantitative data that you can analyze to know your target even better. 🎧
Among these data, there is:
- The sources of your listening by podcast directories: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Deezer, Soundcloud, TuneIn, Podcastaddict, etc. You will know on which platform your podcast is most listened to.
- The sources of your downloads by device: computer, mobile, tablet, connected watch, etc.. This data gives you information about the device used to listen to your podcast.
- The sources of your downloads by operating system: iOS, Android, Windows etc.
Step six: Track you average downloads
I know… but still, I couldn’t not avoid talking about it. 🤭 After all that we have just said, your number of downloads remains an extremely important metric since it is the direct result of all your efforts. 💪
Obviously, the total number of downloads of a podcast is a bit like the North Star Metric ⭐ of all podcasters. But I really encourage you to keep track of your average monthly listen count. For example, you should know that from 5000 monthly downloads, you can activate the automatic monetization and start earning money with your podcast! 💰
This is the number that your potential sponsors will look at to see if they can invest in your podcast or not. Keep a close eye on its evolution.
We have thrown a lot of information at you in this blog post, so let’s recap a little.
Podcast analysis is not just one thing. It is a combination of all kinds of information with your interpretation, all in the context of achieving your goals. ✨
Start with developing a listener persona. This will help you establish a clear vision of your audience and help you create a growth strategy based on that. 🤠
Compare your episodes to each other. This is much more valuable than comparing your episodes to other podcasts. You know the variables involved in your own episode creation. You do not know the details of what other podcast’s are hoping to achieve or what resources they have. ➡️⬅️
In particular, look at these four things:
Analyze at your episode completion rate. This gives you a peak inside how people are perceiving the episode while they are in the middle of it. This data can help you see what content keeps people tuned and what may cause them to tune out. It can also help you figure out how long each episode should be. ⏱️
Keep tabs on your Apple ranking, ratings, and reviews. If you have Ausha, this is easy to do on our dashboard. Apple Podcasts is so dominant in the podcast listening platform industry, it can be a great microcosm for your podcast analysis. 🍏
Look at where your downloads are coming from. Yes, Apple is a key platform, but others can be just as important, if not more important to your specific podcast. If there is one or two listening platforms that aren’t showing many downloads for your show, click into them and see if you make a key modification just for that platform. 🧑🏭
And finally, track your average downloads. As important as other data points are to growing your podcast audience, this is the one that advertisers and other industry players automatically want to know. 🤘
As always, we are here if you need us! You can reach out to us at [email protected] or chat with us by clicking the chat icon down on the bottom right of our website. 🧑🚀
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