Metrics That Matter
Beyond downloads, subscribers and page hits.
It’s no secret, I have a podcast. Actually, we just released our very first episode not too long ago. To be completely honest, the best part of getting this up for the people to hear, means I have to spend time listening to my own voice and have those memories of high school rush back into my mind.
As is it with most podcasts, we want to see how many people our podcast has reached. We care about how many downloads we have because that’s what sponsors want. This isn’t a story of how we got 100,000 downloads in 24 hours. Or how we’ve monetized our podcast into a multi-million dollar production machine.
Cause we haven’t.
We aren’t sponsored by Squarespace, and we don’t even have an audible.com discount code. We literally make zero dollars off this podcast. To be completely honest, we’ve put in money into this podcast so technically we’ve lost money.
Everyone dreams of taking their podcasts and making it into a money making machine. But is that all there is?
I had a professor during my university career, and he hammered home the fact that all marketing objectives should be measurable (objectives should always be smart objectives, I don’t think I’ll ever forget that). So I applied that same logic to podcasting.
What are the things we can measure? Downloads per episode, that’s a nice ego boost. Facebook Likes, we hit 100 of those in a day, that’s impressive by our standards. Subscribers, we have a rough idea of how many we have.
These are nice. These are the ego boosts that we love to see and they are the stats that publishers know can make them a dollar. These are nice but are they the stats that matter?
Major Key (Performance Indicator)
I feel like there is one major performance indicator in this case. It is something we all seek to achieve throughout our podcast, and all achieve it in our own ways.
Emotion for both the audience and the creator. First, before the piece gets released, the creators sit down and make it happen. They write up show notes, they reach out to guests, they spent hours upon hours editing and perfecting their craft. And when they are ready, they release it to the world, they are proud of their work.
Emotion number one: pride. If you are not proud of the quality of your work, why push it out there? Why let others hear work that you don’t even want to listen to?
Now, for your audience, the emotional impact varies. For our first episode, where someone left a voicemail (that someone being me) for their high school vice principle, the emotion we were trying to create was nostalgia. We wanted our listener to feel like they were back in high school, hanging out with their favourite educator, and remembering that high school isn’t really a terrible place.
Emotions… so what?
I think the reason I didn’t really think of the emotional side of podcasting, is because I got caught up in the little things. The little marketing gimmicks, the networking, the stats and all the other vanity stuff. Again, those felt nice.
But nothing felt better than a message saying from a listener saying:
“Hey, listened to your show and it reminded me of my creative writing teacher in high school. Typically when I think about high school it’s never the good stuff, but your show made me nostalgic.”
That’s the shit I live for. I love to hear and collect messages that were never sent because you never know how many people are going to agree with you. You never know how people can relate and how others can listen react.
Someone said that my podcast was a ‘losers podcast’. Right, because you’ve never hung up the phone before leaving a message. And if I’m a loser, so are all the people who could relate and want to share their stories with us.
I podcast because it’s fun, and I love to please people. To be honest, everyone over at One New Message loves to please people. So we put out quality work that we are proud of and hope to make our listeners feel something too.
Isn’t that the fun part?