The Three Musketeers: Usage, Adoption and Engagement
Zoe Bell | Podcasting
Here at uStudio, we want your workforce podcast to be as successful as it can be. Usage, Adoption and Engagement are essential terms we commonly use that are related to your private podcast program. While these labels are different, many confuse them as the same thing. Although improvement tactics might be connected between the three, it is important to understand the term differences so you can assess the true success of your podcast program.
Take a look at what these terms mean and how you can improve them within your business podcast:
uStudio podcast adoption is the process in which your audience becomes acclaimed to their new communication medium - they take the initiative to download the uStudio Enterprise Podcast App and create an account. Just because you invited a large number of users to the app doesn’t necessarily mean they will log in and become registered team members. Adoption is important to the success of your program - you can’t get your employees to listen to your new content if they aren’t interested in being involved in the first place!
There are many strategies you can use to increase your podcast adoption. Launching your podcast program is a very key step. This includes communicating your new initiative - don’t fret, we have email templates to help you out. You should give your audience clear instructions on how to download the app as well as share what benefits the medium will bring them.
Many of our customers also take into consideration their launch date. PegaSystems launched their private podcast during their sales kick-off and held a dedicated kiosk at the event just for employees to receive podcast information. They also gave away a pair of Apple AirPods to one lucky employee who downloaded the uStudio application. During the kick-off, Pega leaders clearly communicated with employees why they were switching to private podcasting and what they would gain from this new medium.
Make adoption a team effort! We also suggest that our clients have pre-launch communications to leadership teams to get them onboard, explain the benefits podcasting will bring their teams, and ask for their partnership to encourage their teams to use the uStudio app. If there are respected internal champions within the organizations, rely on them to help promote on a peer level.
Podcast usage refers to your registered users actually going into the uStudio podcast app and hitting play on your content. Even if you have a high number of employees who have adopted the new medium, they may not actually be taking advantage of your content as much as you’d like.
Not only are total plays a good metric to monitor for usage, the average amount of plays per user is an interesting number to consider as well. You can observe this by comparing your active users to total plays. Even more valuable would be to track repeat users and listeners within your podcast program. Building a recurring audience that comes back for content week after week is important to the long-term success and community surrounding your private podcast.
Your employees need to be inspired to push play. If episodes aren’t being played to begin with, take a look at the episode and show names. Are they click-bait enough for someone to want to listen? Is the material you describe being covered something they already are knowledgeable or have other resources on?
For companies who are authenticating podcast listeners through single sign-in (SSO), comparing the SSO attributes to the named-user metrics available in your dashboard, your organization can better understand login activity and track users who should be leveraging the tool. If there are members who should be utilizing the uStudio app post-launch but are not, it would be worthwhile to look into why, and contact their manager for feedback.
Promotional embeds and share links are a unique feature to uStudio that allow podcast administrators to promote their podcast episodes with a visually appealing preview of the episode. Clicking anywhere on the promotional embed will direct the user to the podcast mobile app or podcast web app, depending on what device they are using. Include promotional embeds in your internal email blasts and other intranet systems to get more eyes on the podcast episodes you have available.
Everyone loves some friendly competition. You could also create an office leaderboard with prizes to track employees who are signing in and listening to your podcast episodes. Offer a guest spot on an upcoming podcast episode for those who have the highest amount of usage and listenership - people love to talk about themselves and employees will feel as if they are part of your company’s story.
Podcast engagement refers to listeners being focused and engaged with your content while listening. Our engagement data here at uStudio focuses on whether a listener dropped out of a podcast episode at some point.
Information on engagement of your program as a whole can be found on the homepage of your dashboard. uStudio also offers engagement data for individual podcast shows and episodes. Once you are logged in to the PMC, select “Episodes” from the panel on the left-hand side. Then, select the last icon on the right that looks like a graph above the episode list.
In this view, the engagement surfaces where within the content users are engaged. Data will be tracked based on what part of the content the user consumes. For example, data for a user will be collected at the 0% mark and 20% mark onward if a user seeks (fast forwards) to the 20% mark of the episode and listens to the content from that point on. Note that all users who play the content will be tracked at the 0% mark since the content auto-plays when navigating to the player.
If you find users are rewinding to certain parts in the episode, it would be worthwhile to dig into why. Does it cover a certain topic that is extra important and should be considered dedicating its own episode to? Does it include knowledge from a particular thought leader that should be brought on to speak in future episodes? Taking this data into consideration and applying it to future episodes can help to improve engagement.
There are many ways to improve podcast engagement. It is important to continuously monitor your podcast analytics and make sure your audience is responding well to your content. From there, you can make slight changes and experiment with the format of your show, your podcast hosts and guest speakers, topics of your episodes, and more to make sure the content itself is something that your employees are enjoying. The more users are engaged, the more likely they are to share good comments with their peers.
Podcast hosts can also ask for feedback and comments on your podcast and read the responses on-air. Employees will be excited to tune in and hear their opinions out loud, therefore engagement will improve. Dell decided to start a shared inbox where employees could submit feedback, questions or content suggestions.
Host new and interesting episode guests to keep your employees excited about the new content. This could be a thought leader in the space, a community member or a large customer.
Foster a community around your podcast. The more employees talk about the podcast in their free time, or on company Slack channels or Facebook groups, the more they are likely to be engaged in the content.
Take your engagement data one step further. Divide your total plays time vs the amount of total plays to get the average amount of time spent per play. This again, can help to verify the engagement success of your podcast. If the average amount of time spent is only a minute or two, obviously your users are not getting much use out of your podcasts.
Fun fact: For most of our clients, the play time per active user has almost always been 20 minutes. How does your play time compare?
The graph above includes engagement for all uStudio registered users as a whole. As you can see, podcast listeners currently prefer to listen to podcasts that are 30 minutes or less in length.
Although adoption, usage and engagement are intertwined in many ways, it is important to note their differences, especially when communicating success with other stakeholders in your organization. As a reminder, your podcast’s success might look different than another company’s podcast. It is all dependent on the objectives you originally place, your business goals, and what you seek to accomplish by implementing a private podcast for your business. For more common private podcast questions, best practices and resources, we encourage you to visit our blog and Knowledge Base.
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