When this podcast was just an idea, I had clear goals that probably were not on a lot of podcasters’ radar in the same sense.
I wanted to drive traffic in real, measurable numbers for the purpose of analyzing audience data. And prove I could do it.
My name is Andrew Keefe and I am the co-host of The Music Challenge Podcast. A loose, nerdy music commentary podcast (that you can find anywhere) and we’re now done with season 1. And this written series chronicles our first season.
What were my goals?
I suppose many people start a podcast because they want to have a podcast on their favorite subject. The want to present their subject in the best way possible. Some people probably want to fine tune the art of podcasting. Most effective equipment (read: value for the price, not most expensive), post-production editing software, etc.
Well, both of those were my goals But, not my first goal. You see, I recently decided on a change in career to digital marketing and content creation. I wanted to create a podcast for content, and prove I could drive traffic to it. It was that simple. I wanted to produce numbers using the skills I was learning in my digital marketing journey to make that happen.
An intriguing hook was needed for that. We decided on The Music Challenge Podcast which asks the listeners what their formative albums were from there past and we would present ours. The question would change from time to time. Music is where I and my friends live, so music commentary was an excellent choice.
Music had a built-in audience (though thoroughly saturated) and we had a ton of stories to tell about our albums and music in general. I knew the stories would prove to be the most intriguing part. In my opinion, they had to be because we had no credibility as critics.
How Did We Do?
Well, the stats are hard to read, but there are many signs of success on a relative scale. As of this writing, we have 650 downloads. After 15 episodes. That’s an average of 43 downloads an episode. We never thought we’d see it grow like that. We showed constant growth by having more downloads every month that we recorded (4 months). There was evidence of people listening all the way through the series with relatively consistent downloads per episode.
We hit the money with some episodes: Duran Duran (episode 2, highest downloads to date), Suicidal Tendencies (who knew), our Social Injustice and Protest Music episode, and the Beastie Boys episode. I noticed that the more albums the subject matter had sold- the better the episode downloaded. People wanted to share in their memories of albums they remember. Proof of the story telling concept.
Dirty Little Secret: Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads seemed to expand our listenership quite a bit, though there was no key index performer to track. Either the episode was downloaded or it wasn’t. In any case, our downloads were going up much faster than when we weren’t advertising. I would boost a post that I usually put out earlier in the week sporting a “Did You Know?” fact and a shout out to the podcast. The number of engagements gotten on some of the ads was astounding
Astounding because I only put 10 bucks a week into advertising. Does everybody hear that? 10 bucks. With that, I could expect a reach of a few hundred a day- but if engagements and shares started to happen we would get a lot more reach. My goal was to get people to react to our page, follow us, and download the podcast.
The Music Challenge Podcast Page
I mentioned early in this series that we just happened to do a few things right by mistake and it turned out big. I started a Facebook business page for the podcast to build a community- if nothing else a community of listeners. The site gave me a place to direct people who saw any of our ads, and a platform from which to post to people who “followed” our page. Like I said- we’ve built an audience of 170 followers. These folks will receive my posts directly offering free (organic) advertising. Right now, I couldn’t imagine not having the Facebook page to support the podcast. Its been a rich addition. Highly reccomended.
Did I Achieve My Goals?
Well, let’s review. I have a podcast which was a goal. I’m also honing the craft of podcasting. We tweak our show weekly trying to add structure, brand, and familiarity to the listening experience. These are common goals and I’m proud to say they have been accomplished. Did we produce quality content? I think so. Evidence shows that we have a returning fan base. Analytics tell me that we’ve suffered very few unlikes on our Facebook page.
Did I drive traffic to the podcast with a budget minded use of ads? Yes. 650 downloads is a relative number, but it far exceeded my dreams. I even raised organic (free) traffic through the use of content on the Facebook Page before I started using the ads for Eoisode 6.
Be sure to read the entire series of “My Podcast Adventures“.