Podcasts are unique in many ways. They’re audio-first, hold listeners’ attention for upwards of thirty minutes, live on audio-specific distribution platforms – the list goes on. 

Because of this, marketing a podcast can be challenging. Putting together and promoting your latest podcast episode isn’t as easy as whipping up a quick email or posting a tweet.

On top of knowing what kind of content to post and which channels to leverage, tracking the performance of your podcast marketing isn’t the most straightforward endeavor either. 

How do you tell where your downloads are coming from? How do you know who is listening to your podcast?

Asking yourself these questions becomes critical because what’s the point of putting in all the effort of producing a series if you’re not getting in front of the right people? 

That’s why in this blog, we break down how to set up your podcast marketing strategy for success and verify these tactics are meeting your unique goals.

Set yourself up for success

Before we get into the different ways you can measure the effectiveness of your podcast marketing, let’s touch on what you can do prior to releasing content.

While some podcasts make it look easy, there’s a lot of thought and planning that goes into successful podcast marketing

With that in mind, here are a few things to outline before you hit “post.”

Define your podcast KPIs (and stick to them!)

From the get-go, you likely have some goals for your podcast, like brand awareness, thought leadership, or lead generation. These are all great (and necessary), but we’re going to take it one step further and quantify the goal you want to achieve.

Ask yourself the following: 

  1. What metrics are important to you?
  2. What metrics would let you know that you’re achieving your goals?

If you don’t set any KPIs for yourself, then you cannot effectively measure your podcast and podcast marketing performance since you don’t know what you’re measuring for. And data without any meaning behind it isn’t useful to you. 

We’ll be the first to admit that sometimes quantifying your podcast’s performance isn’t the easiest task. Compared to video, blogs, and other marketing mediums, podcasts still have a long way to go when it comes to metrics. 

But as of today, the main metrics you can use in your podcast marketing strategy are: 

  • Downloads
  • Unique listeners 
  • Average consumption rate 
  • Demographic data (i.e., location, age, gender, musical interests) 
  • Social media engagement 
  • Website engagement 
  • Sign Ups (e.g. webinars and event sign-ups or newsletter subscriptions)
  • Any sort of downloads such as whitepapers or reports
  • Leads/Conversions

Examples of KPIs

Increase downloads and unique listeners by 15% this quarter

Your goal likely has to do with brand awareness and reach. 

Increase my podcast’s average consumption rate to 80% this season 

Your goal likely has to do with engagement and community.

Generate 10 leads from my podcast this quarter 

Your goal likely has to do with lead generation and revenue.

Identify your ideal listener persona 

Before investing time and money into your marketing efforts, it’s important to nail down exactly who you’re trying to reach. 

Put simply, the “spray and pray” approach is outdated. Defining who you’re speaking to from the get-go increases your chances of bringing in high-quality leads. This is where your ideal listener persona comes in. 

When defining your ideal listener, the more specific the better. Here are some parameters to consider: 

  • Age
  • Fears
  • Habits
  • Budget
  • Gender
  • Lifestyle
  • Interests
  • Education
  • Preferences
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Social media consumption and preferences 

The goal here is to paint a detailed snapshot of who your listeners are in their everyday lives so you can relate to them on a personal level. That way, they will have a positive association with your podcast and are more likely to engage with your marketing and become loyal listeners.

Create a list of marketing tactics and define your KPIs for each

Now that you’ve outlined your podcast KPIs and target listeners, it’s time to outline what channels you’ll use to achieve your goals and reach the right people. 

These tactics can be both paid and organic, for example:



  • Social media 
  • Newsletters
  • Podcast guests 
  • Podcast directories 
  • Blogs
  • Reports and whitepapers
  • YouTube

When selecting your platforms, take into account your ideal listener persona and where they live online. 

For example, when it comes to social media, generally, Gen Z’ers flock to TikTok, Millennials hang out the most on Instagram, while Gen X and Boomers gravitate towards Facebook. If your podcast is B2B or for working professionals, you’ll want to boost your LinkedIn presence. 

Within each platform/channel, break down exactly how you’ll use it (i.e. what type of content you’ll post) and the associated KPIs (i.e. 1000 impressions on LinkedIn, 50 downloads from our newsletter, etc;). This will help you visualize the why behind your podcast marketing strategy and track your progress over time. 

Now, how can you verify your podcast marketing is doing its job?

Once the planning stages are completed and you’ve started to push out a consistent flow of content, how can you verify that these strategies are actually paying off?

As we said, podcast marketing is a relatively new arena; however, there are still ways to validate how well your content is performing.

1. Verify you’re reaching your target listeners

Remember those ideal listener personas we crafted?

Now it’s time to make sure you’re reaching and engaging them. 

You can do this in a few different ways, like through social media analytics dashboards or email software, but one of those most in-depth ways to verify that you’re not only reaching but also resonating with your target audience is through audience demographics.

Most hosting software will have basic demographic capacities, like age and location, however, we suggest opting for a solution that will provide a more granular look into your listeners’ lifestyles, social media preferences, and consumption habits.

CoHost Advanced Audience Demographics snapshot

By providing this information, CoHost’s Advanced Audience Demographics helps podcasters:

  • Verify if their shows are reaching their desired target audience
  • Tailor their content to audience preferences for increased engagement
  • Enhance sponsorship sales with comprehensive listener profiles. 

Ultimately, by knowing who your podcast aligns with, you can create audience growth strategies to tap into the same type of listeners. 

 2. Track top-performing channels 

By using tracking links tools or unique UTM parameters, you can see you which marketing channels are driving podcast downloads, so you can easily optimize marketing campaigns. 

For example, you may find that although you have high engagement on Twitter, you’re not converting those engagements to listens. On the flipside, maybe you have a smaller audience on LinkedIn but you learn that’s where you convert the most listeners.

By examining the impact of social media promotions, email campaigns, or cross-promotions with other creators, you can optimize your marketing budget and concentrate on channels that yield the best results.

CoHost Tracking Links snapshot 

Here are a few main features of CoHost Tracking Links

  • Track where your downloads are coming from 
  • Explore analytics at a show and episode level 
  • Only create one link for all your marketing channels 
  • Consolidate all of your listening apps in one link – think Linktree made especially for podcasters

3. Identify potential partners, sponsors, and guests

Unlike other forms of marketing, identifying potential partners, sponsors, and guests was nearly impossible unless they filled out an inquiry on your website, making proving podcast ROI extremely difficult. 

CoHost B2B Analytics snapshot 

New metrics like B2B Analytics help you identify potential sponsors, guests, and partners by providing podcasters with information about what companies are listening including size, industry, and revenue. 

From there, you can start optimizing your marketing materials and get in front of those high-value audiences. For example, if you have been eyeing partners in the banking space, create a downloadable template tailored to their pain points, challenges, and solutions. You’re now nurturing the relationship and providing value beyond your podcast without blatantly making a sales pitch.

4. Dive into your social media analytics

Social media platforms offer a variety of revealing metrics to help you determine your audience engagement. 

Track your engagement rate on posts that are promoting a new episode launch or tap into a larger audience by spotlighting a recent podcast guest. 

For example, let’s say you use Headliner to create an audiogram out of your podcast content to promote a new episode. You can then go back and look at your previous episode launch posts to see how they performed in comparison. 

Ask yourself questions like:

  • How does video length impact engagement? 
  • Which types of content does your audience engage with most?
  • Did audiences engage more with short-form video than they did with a plain text post? 

You can use that information to your advantage to inform your podcast content in the future and gain a clearer picture of who your audience is and what they value.

On top of that, monitor what audiences are consistently engaging with your social media posts or sharing your podcast on their personal accounts. From here, you can uncover a loyal fanbase and measure their engagement or even reach out to connect further. 

The major social media platforms have analytics pages built in to gather this information (and more); however, there are third-party tools, like Buffer and Hootsuite, that make custom monthly reports to speed up the process. 

 5. Analyze your website data

Similar to social media, your podcast’s website reveals a lot about the kind of content that’s resonating with listeners. You can use this information to shape content, prioritize marketing channels, and enhance lead-generation efforts. 

Here are a couple of ways to do this:

Monitor top content and traffic sources 

With your website set up on analytics software such as Google Analytics, access detailed traffic information, such as the number of visits, average time spent on a page, and other useful data. Aside from analytics software, implementing a contact form and including an email registration form for a newsletter are effective ways to collect listener data.

Streamline your marketing efforts 

A podcast website acts as a centralized hub, consolidating your show’s marketing channels into a single location.

By integrating social media links, contact information, newsletter sign-up forms, blogs, behind-the-scenes footage, videos, and other podcast-related content, your website offers a comprehensive experience for your audience to discover and engage with.

This not only helps your users better navigate your content and channels, but it also helps you visualize what platforms and what kind of content your listener base engages with most.

Look into your backlinks 

We also suggest looking at backlinks (other sites that are linking back to your content) to determine where your podcast fits into the online landscape, what people are saying about your content, and the overall sentiment surrounding your show.

On top of that, you can always reach out to listicles in your niche and request for your show to be added. This might look like an article covering “The Top Business Podcasts for Marketers” or “15 B2C Podcasts You Need to Be Listening To”. These are common article styles companies will release. 

Bonus: Refine, rework, repeat

Being able to tell the story behind the data is critical to creating a successful podcast marketing strategy.

Every quarter or so, take a look at your marketing mix and channel-specific strategy and track your performance. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself: 

  • Did you hit your KPIs? 
  • Were you under or over the KPIs you set? 
  • Did you identify any other KPIs that you should add to your strategy? 
  • Which tactics/channels performed well? 
  • Which tactics/channels missed the mark (in terms of engagement, conversions, etc;)?
  • Which tactics would you like to add to your strategy and why? 

Create a report to answer all of these questions and provide an argument about what should and shouldn’t change in your podcast marketing strategy. 

If you’ve decided to change your strategy, create a copy of your current strategy and start a new one in a separate document. This will ensure that you always have documentation and the history of your podcast marketing strategies to reflect on and learn from. 

On top of that, we suggest tracking industry benchmarks and comparing your podcast’s performance against them, you can identify areas for improvement and set realistic goals for growth.

Invest in podcast marketing that makes an impact

Remember, podcast marketing isn’t just about getting the word out; it’s an ongoing process that requires innovation, adaptability, and a deep understanding of your audience.

Thankfully, podcast analytics and audience insights are improving every day with new ways to track download sources, attribute leads, and learn about who your audience is.

By leveraging this data and being able to tell the stories behind it, you’ll be able to fine-tune your podcast marketing strategy for success.