Neil Garrett,VP of Marketing, uStudio
Podcasts are more popular than ever. According to Edison Research the percentage of Americans who reported having ever listened to a podcast roughly doubled in 2018, from about 25% to 50%. About a third report listening to a podcast at least once a month.
Employers are taking note, hoping to extend the power of the podcast into the workplace. If so many people enjoy listening to podcasts for news, sports, entertainment and lifestyle advice, why wouldn’t they similarly embrace the opportunity to use this consumer medium for work?
For organizations, private podcasts are a useful communication tool. They serve as a convenient way to deliver information to employees in a format they can access anywhere, anytime.
However, a crucial component of a successful private podcast strategy is measurement. It’s critical that you be able to observe how your employees are consuming and reacting to the content. Here are the keys to successful measurement of your private podcast.
Establish SMART Objectives for the Podcast
What do you seek to accomplish by implementing private podcasting in your business? Increasing employee engagement during company events? Increasing productivity during fieldwork? Growing individual sales rep performance?
Whatever you decide, the key is to set objectives that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. That means that every goal should be accompanied by a plan to evaluate progress. For instance, if your goal is to increase employee engagement with your sales training material, how will you measure the impact that the podcasts have had on engagement? Via employee survey? When?
Setting SMART objectives for your private podcast content can help define your objectives and give you the focus and motivation you need to deliver your key business messages successfully.
Segment Your Audience
You’ll struggle to evaluate the impact of your private podcasts if you’re simply sharing them with employees via email or a file-sharing service. It’s key that you use a secure platform that allows you to see who actually listened.
Ideally, your platform should allow you to segment your audience. That lets you restrict certain podcast shows to certain people, job classifications, age groups and departments.
Segmentation allows you to not only target specific segments of the workforce, but it provides important insights into who the content is best connecting with. You may notice the podcast has proven popular in the HR department but has failed to garner interest in IT. Or that the content is not gaining as much traction with women employees or workers under 35. All of these data points are useful in shaping your internal communications strategy. You can also test the best way to deliver messages via private podcast to various segments of your enterprise by comparing how different segments of the audience react to shows based on topic, format and length and many other factors.
Consistently Evaluate Key Performance Metrics
As you continue to produce podcasts, it’s important you monitor their performance, taking notes of dips or upticks in your employees’ engagement with the content. Employee trends and podcast listening behaviors may change over time and it’s important to constantly evaluate your analytics so nothing goes unseen.
However, listenership is not the only valuable metric. There are other key indicators of an effective podcast including clicks, shares, downloads and time spent listening.
Get Employee Feedback
You should gather private podcast input from employees through periodic surveys to constantly measure success. Do employees enjoy your private podcasts? What could make them more enjoyable or more useful for career growth? If you are having trouble getting feedback, asking key managers or leaders what they are hearing from their team can provide valuable insight.
Opening your private podcast to questions, and letting employees ask questions (publicly or anonymously) can be a great way to involve the audience and better-understand the type of content that employees are interested in. If you are the host of your private podcast, asking any guest speakers that participate for their feedback can open your eyes to another point of view, and help to grow a stronger relationship between you and your private podcast guests.
Remember, It’s Not the Technology, But the Content
Private podcasting can provide a better platform for businesses to conveniently deliver important information to employees. However, just as a microphone helps you project your voice to a greater audience but does not guarantee what you say will be interesting or useful, a private podcast does not ensure that your employees will appreciate the content. It’s up to you to provide them something that is worth their time.