By Jan Zimmerman, Deborah Ng

When you’re conducting a marketing campaign via social media, you need to keep track of a lot of information. Like with blogs, you need to watch several primary statistics on your podcasts:

  • The number of people listening to your live podcast: This tells you how effective your marketing efforts are. When you have a lot of visitors, you’ve created informative media that’s in demand.

  • The number of unique page views for your podcast: You can figure out which posts are being received well. Use this information for planning future episodes of your podcast.

  • The number of people who subscribe to follow your podcast. This measure of engagement indicates whether your content is helping you develop a loyal following of listeners.

  • The number of people who rate your podcast highly and/or refer it to others. High ratings and referrals indicate that others are helping share your message.

Include a social media share button whenever possible to encourage your readers, viewers, and listeners to post the link to your material on their own social media pages.

When you make your podcast available from the iTunes store (whether for free or for a fee), you’re out there with the heavy hitters — and have access to additional analytical information. You have no way, at least for now, to find out how many iTunes users subscribe to your podcast, but you can find out the popularity of your podcast by following these steps:

  1. Go to the iTunes store.

  2. Click the More button (which looks like an ellipsis) in the top-left navigation, and then select Podcasts from the pop-up menu that appears.

    New & Noteworthy podcasts, as well as Editor’s Choices, appear in the center of the screen. In the right column are lists of Top Episodes and Top Podcasts. If your podcast appears on this screen, congratulations — no need to go any further in this list. If it doesn’t appear on this page, continue to Step 3.

  3. At the top of the right column, click the down arrow next to the words All Categories.

    From the drop‐down list that appears, select the category for your podcast. The screen with generic results covering all categories is replaced by a screen showing a revised set of New & Noteworthy podcasts and other subcategories relevant to each topic area. A list of Top Episodes and Top Podcasts within your chosen category appears in the right column. If your podcast still doesn’t appear, continue to Step 4.

  4. Enter a keyword that’s associated with your podcast in the Search Store text box in the top-right corner of your iTunes window, and then click Search (which looks like a magnifying glass).

    Because this function searches the entire iTunes Store, add the word podcast to your keyword. For example, if you’ve created a photography podcast, photography might be the keyword, and the complete search term would be photography podcast.

    The most popular podcasts appear in a table, which includes a Popularity column. The small, individual bar graphs in this column show the relative popularity for each podcast.

  5. Analyze the resulting list to see where your podcast appears.

    If your podcast doesn’t appear in the list, click the See All button at the top right of the table. When you find your podcast on the resulting screen, click on it.

    You can also sort podcast episodes by podcast name, episode name, time duration, popularity, or price by clicking on the desired column title to re‐sort the table. You’re looking for popularity: When you see bars extending all the way across the Popularity column, you know that the episode is quite a popular one.

Take advantage of iTunes to rank the relative popularity of multiple podcast episodes. This information is useful in planning future episodes. To rank podcasts by popularity, follow these steps after you enter the iTunes Store and select Podcasts from the More pop‐up menu:

  1. Enter the name of your podcast in the Search Store text box in the top-right corner of the iTunes window.

    Your podcast thumbnail appears.

  2. Click your podcast thumbnail.

    A new page appears, displaying information about your show. The Details tab displays a table listing all your episodes.

    Podcast statistics from iTunes display the ratings and reviews for podcast episodes.  [Credit: Repr

    Credit: Reproduced with permission of Jim Harmer — ImprovePhotography.com
    Podcast statistics from iTunes display the ratings and reviews for podcast episodes.
  3. Click the tab for Ratings and Reviews in the top navigation.

    You can see your star rating and read reviews left by listeners for individual episodes. You can also see your overall star rating in the left pane of your podcast page.