Podcasts are bigger than ever. The number of series worldwide have shot up from an already sizeable 500,000 in 2018 to a whopping 2 million in 2021. Unsurprisingly, podcast consumption has also been rising steadily over the past 15 years. In fact, nearly 60% of all American adults report that they’ve listened to at least one episode this year.
And Videos? They're bigger still. A third of all online sessions are spent consuming videos — everything from sleep talking cats to educational/explainer videos. To sit down and watch every single one published over the past month alone would require approximately 5 million years. And the best part? Nearly all of this is available on the internet for free. As a result, audio/visual content is more accessible, and hence, more popular than ever before.
The opportunistic folk that we are, B2B marketers have taken little time to capitalize on this wave. I can’t remember the last time I scrolled through my Linkedin feed without stumbling across a post for a friend’s friend’s colleague’s boss’s brand new B2B SaaS RevOps podcast. In fact, upwards of 85% of businesses today produce audio/video content as part of their marketing efforts. They are by far the fastest growing marketing channels out there.
Just like any other marketing channel, podcasts and videos can be effective mediums to communicate a specific message to a specific set of people. They are relatively easy to ideate, produce, and distribute. They require little investment from either the supplier or the consumer. And they’re far more palatable than a 20-page white paper.
Yet, while audio/video content can be valuable assets, marketers face one glaring issue when it comes to identifying and measuring their ROI in terms of conversions — trackability. As is the case with any marketing activity, marketers are keen to understand how their content is performing. However, since anyone can listen to a podcast, or watch a YouTube video anonymously through any device, it becomes nearly impossible to accurately track how your content is contributing to pipeline and revenue.
How then must a marketer go about gauging their content's performance?
Create a unique URL for every podcast/video you produce. Drive all your marketing efforts (social media posts, emails, etc) towards that URL. And use that URL as a proxy to track detailed information on who’s landing on your page. Once this data is consolidated, it can be stitched onto the remainder of your customer journey (ads, website, CRM, etc) using Factors.AI. Ultimately, this will indirectly provide insights into your content's pipeline contribution.
Along similar lines as the previous point, it might be worth employing distinct promo codes for each piece of content you release. The logic behind this is that when a prospect enters a specific code, it provides an immediate signal as to where they’re coming from. This information can then be accounted for in your CRM for further analyses. That being said, a few issues may occur if listeners/viewers refer the promo codes to their networks. As there’s no automated method to verify the same, one may run the risk of corrupting their datasets and insights.
Speaking of recording contact data into your CRM, always ensure you do the same with your guests as well. More often than not, guests are invited to marketing podcasts for two of two reasons — one; they’re experienced professionals with vast knowledge on the topic of discussion. And two; they themselves fit the Ideal Client Profile (ICP) that the host company is going after. Inviting a guest onto a podcast is often simply a wind-about route to securing a demo call. With this in mind, it’s important to account for your guests. This way, if they do eventually close a deal with you, the podcast is present as a definite touchpoint.
Audio/Visual content attribution is a real challenge. There are only so many behind-the-scenes steps you can take to optimize for an accurate customer journey. That being said, one sure shot approach to tackling this evasive phenomenon is to simply ask your customer about their journey to purchase. Maybe a friend told them about it, maybe they read a positive review on ProductHunt, or maybe, just maybe; they loved that one demo video you released last week! Either way, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Though they’re far from perfect, we’ve covered a few simple tricks to track customers who become customers as a result of a degree of influence by your AV content. Listen/View counts and geographical metrics are decent metrics to gauge content performance. But drilling down into who is sliding down the funnel as a result of your content is pivotal. Using unique URLs and Promo codes, and making a habit of accounting for your guests are great ways to grasp a high-level understanding of your content's contribution to revenue and pipeline. And if it comes down to it, just asking your customer about their journey will also be fruitful .
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