Is our podcast working? Of course, the answer depends on your goal for the podcast, but no matter what the goal, it’s worth considering a strategy for podcast attribution at some point. That’s especially true when running ads on other people’s podcasts. In this article, I discuss the following:
- Podcast attribution through pixels
- Attribution through QR codes and other links
- Podcast attributing using coupon codes
- Text a specific number
- Ask people where they heard about the product
- When podcast attribution is needed
Podcast attribution can be used for advertising but also on branded podcasts to measure their results and impact once an audience has been created.
Podcast attribution through pixels
Sean Creeley, of podsights.com, joined me to discuss how to use technology to track podcast advertising conversions. Sean and his company try to automate podcast attribution through the use of a pixel. Many marketers, of course, have used pixels in other advertising projects like Facebook and others before. You add a pixel to your website, and now you’re able to remarket to visitors, for example.
Podsights uses a pixel in its automatic podcast attribution. In general, here’s how that works:
- You consume a podcast on your device, and it doesn’t matter what podcast platform it came from. At the end of the day, it’s really just serving an MP3 audio file, Sean explained.
- The pixel basically drops on the home network where the podcast impression happened.
- Then if somebody from that network visits the advertiser’s website in the near future, the podcast gets credit for the referral and, hopefully, conversion.
I could use the Podsights services to track conversions from my podcast to services or even book sales. I often promote my book on my podcast. When you have a good-sized audience for your podcast but want to prove more business results, this is one way to prove the podcast is driving results. Or you’ll find out that it’s not.
Podcast attribution through QR codes
I’m a fan of producing video versions of a podcast. That allows the opportunity to run the video podcast on Spotify and even consider getting it on television. And when there’s a video version, you can easily add QR codes that viewers can scan with their devices. Here’s how that looks using the Restream podcast-production platform.
Just ensure that the links are trackable for you, and now you can see what’s being clicked. Restream also gives you a report and even an on-screen alert when somebody scans a code.
Tracking through QR codes works for video podcasts.
You can also let people know that a link to the offer is in the show notes and then track that link. The problem with any call to action to the show notes might be that success can depend on how people listen to the podcast. If they are out on a run or at the gym, or driving to work, chances are they likely won’t stop, check the show notes, and click right then.
Read next: How to scan a QR code on iPhone
Attribution through coupon codes
This might be the original way of seeing whether or not a podcast is driving leads. The host says something like this: “Sign up for XYZ now and use CT15 to get 15 percent off.”
Tying a discount to the code encourages people to use it and gives us a way to track conversions.
Text a specific number
You might also give listeners a specific number to text for an offer, and in Restream you can even scroll the number at the bottom of the screen during the show.
A sometimes overlooked attribution strategy is to ask people where they heard about the company. The easiest way to add this into the workflow is by adding a field into a contact form: Where did you hear about us? Then let them answer in their own words or have a list of common answers as a checklist, including the podcast or podcasts that are relevant.
This strategy works especially well for branded podcasts.
When podcast attribution is needed
When running ads on an existing podcast, podcast attribution definitely needs to be part of the strategy. If advertising dollars are being invested, we should take a look at what results they are driving.
To measure the impact of a branded podcast, though, it’s important to understand where the show fits in the marketing funnel:
What are its primary goals? Awareness, relationship building with industry guests, source material for other content, for example? And if it’s supposed to drive direct leads, it’s important that it has the right size of audience.
In the case of a new branded podcast, it’s important to give it time and keep going with it. Certainly, add measurable CTAs into it from early on, but keep in mind that building that audience on a new podcast will take time.