Keys to Success: Testing

The best way to know if your campaign is working and meeting your objectives is to do a test.

At Midroll we’re ready to support you in testing your campaign, and we won’t pressure you to make a long-term commitment before you’re ready. In general, a test should run at least several episodes, with a minimum of one spot per episode. Longer tests that run for weeks or months will provide you with more consistent data that helps you correct for unrelated dips or bursts in activity.

“Ideally, find a host/show which you feel is a good fit and commit for a year. Gather data on how your customers found you, and run the numbers at around month nine when you’re determining whether or not to renew.”
– Greg Scown, Smile Software

It’s good to test more than one show at a time. This approach gives you more information about how your messaging is working, and will also let you directly compare the performance of multiple shows against one another.

Repetition is key.

One spot, one time, on one show simply won’t generate the results you’re after. Test as many shows as your budget allows, but aim to book at least three spots per show. Give the listeners reminders; use that repetition to make sure they remember the offer, the URL, and why they should go buy!

Defining Success: Performance Indicators

To define success and best evaluate your test, it’s important to know what your performance indicators and desired outcomes are.

Are you driving traffic to your website? Are you looking to boost sales? Are you trying to increase awareness of your brand? Do you measure that awareness on social media?

Your indicators will probably be some mix of these and others, but likely will vary based upon your campaign type.

Performance Indicators: Direct Response Campaigns

If you’re selling a product or service, it’s useful to have a picture of what your sales funnel looks like. While the desired end result is more sales, it helps to know how many impressions, how many website visits, and how much contact with the prospective customer (if any) it usually requires to go from first exposure to the final sale.

Website and landing-page traffic is another important indicator, as it demonstrates interest in your company and product. An increase in social media discussion and overall brand awareness are desirable outcomes, to be sure, but they may not be your most important indicators.

Performance Indicators: Branding Campaigns

Increases in social mentions and discussions are strong indicators of branding campaign success. It may be difficult to directly attribute all mentions to your podcast campaign, since not every tweet or Facebook post will necessarily say, “I heard about it on Podcast X!” Rather, you should look for an overall increase in mentions during the time that your campaign runs, adding a few weeks after the spots end to account for listeners who don’t listen to episodes right when they’re released.

“We are seeing a good return on investment and brand recognition.”
-Candid Response to Midroll’s Advertiser Satisfaction Survey.

Website and landing-page visits are another good indicator. Again, look for increases during your campaign period, plus a few weeks. Even if you use a custom landing page you should look at overall site traffic, since listeners may only remember your main domain’s URL or use Google to find your site, neither of which is directly trackable.

Performance Indicators: Tune-In Campaigns

These campaigns can be the most challenging to test, especially for content like television shows and movies, which have no online tracking. Still, indicators like website traffic and social mentions are useful in letting you know if the spots have been heard and sparked listener interest.

→ Next: Keys to Success – Evaluating Your Test
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