There are all kinds of headlines about the amount spent on podcast advertising. Should you consider hosting ads on your podcast? How about flipping the idea: you should spend money on podcast ads? If so, where can you get the most value for your investment?
If marketing leaders are pouring money into podcast advertising, then it should work for you, right? We should shine some light on this idea.
This article will look at seven aspects of purchasing ads for your podcast:
- What example do the successful podcasts provide?
- Can ads help you sell a product or service?
- Is brand awareness part of this conversation?
- Traffic increase may make you money
- What value are email subscribers?
- Kinds of podcast ads
- Strategic concerns
1. Do the big dogs place podcast ads?
Let us look at two successful podcasters to see what they have to say: Jordan Harbinger and Jack Rhysider.
According to Podcast News, Jordan spends $40,000 a month on podcast advertising. Some insiders think it is much more than that. It must work because he is ranked on the top 60 iTunes podcasts for over 12 years.
Jack Rhysider runs the popular Darknet Diaries. He also has a top-rated podcast. (#6). He suggests any effort at promotion will be futile unless you really focus on improving the quality of your podcast.
However, he has evaluated apps ads and shared his results with a YouTube video. The title is “I Spent $4500 to Promote My Podcast in Podcast Players. Was it Worth It?” Initially, he did not find ads worth the effort. Recently, has moderated that message and is more open to paying for ads.
Jack’s gift to you is his methodology. It is perfect for anyone considering advertising for podcasts. Here is a sample spreadsheet evaluating podcast spending from one of his YouTube videos.
It is simple, easy to replicate, and can give you the data needed to make a decision. Thanks, Jack Rhysider.
Both podcast leaders have evaluated podcast advertising in terms of Return on Investment (ROI). It is obvious that Jordan gets ROI on his advertising; Jack Rhysider’s position has changed. What about you?
Before we start evaluating podcast advertising, everyone has a different way to measure success for a podcast. Ad strategy may vary depending on what you want to get out of your podcast.
2. You Sell Something
You sell a product or a service on the podcast. Pat Flynn has sold hardware, events, and even courses on his podcast. People listen, they buy, commonly called a transaction. You may be selling a physical product or a digital product like a course.
More sophisticated vendors have an exact handle on the exact value of a customer, frequently called a Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). If you are this kind of a business model, then advertising is merely a matter of cash flow and arithmetic.
Measure: dollar sales
3. You Improve Awareness of Your Brand
An increase in traffic can also bolster your podcast presence. For example, there are specific strategies to land on the top one hundred list of Apple or Chartable. Luiz Diaz is one of the best known in getting people on the charts. His company, Podcast Domination, makes some bold claims guaranteeing getting your podcast on the top 100.
If you play the long game with your business, then you will know that improving the brand awareness of your company through a podcast will yield enormous long term financial benefits.
Well-know companies, like Apple, do not have to play any kind of comparison game. Brand loyalty means increased prices over the long haul.
Measure: surveys, focus groups, Apple rank, Chartable rank
4. You Increase Traffic
You may have a business model where you sell ads on your podcast. The higher traffic, the higher the revenue you can get for hosting an ad.
For example, Advertisecast estimates a podcast can get $25 per 1,000 listeners. The arithmetic is not that tough: At 5,000 listeners you may get $125 per show; at 10,000 listeners you may get $250 per show.
If you are looking for advertisers, having a top one hundred podcast can sweeten the pitch. Also, if you are trying to reach an impossible-to-get guest, being in the top one hundred my move the person to respond to your request.
Finally, if you think there is a book in your future, book publishers love to see someone with an active following, exemplified by being on a top one hundred list.
Measure: thousands of downloads in the first 30 days
5.You Increase Email Subscribers
Years ago, marketers proclaimed claimed, “it’s all in the list.”
The idea is that once you had a list, then you were not reliant on Facebook or Google ads. You could crank out an offer and sell it to the list. As a result, there have been thousands of ways used to increase the list.
Everyone has seen “subscribe to the newsletter.” It is an offer that has played out. However, we now see many kinds of creative surveys, questionnaires, videos, and even spinning wheels to obtain a person’s email.
Measure: size of email list
6. What Kinds of Ads are Available?
THE USUAL SUSPECTS: Google, Facebook, Twitter
Google, Facebook, and Twitter represent the traditional ways people advertise in the digital world. An argument can be made this is Web 2.0 – an experience where a massive vendor treats you like a cash machine. No human intervention where you submit your money and cross your fingers.
Years ago, there was an adage in the technology community that you will never get fired for buying IBM. Rings true with ads for today’s Google, Facebook, and Twitter. However, you will be doing what every other podcaster will be doing, with no differentiator. Even if the ads work, they will be constantly changing the algorithm and jacking up charges.
The exception to the rule may be to test Podnews. $29 a day is an interesting option you may want to see if it works for you.
THE UNUSUAL SUSPECTS: Spotify, PocketCasts, Gimlet, Podcast Addict, and others
If you want to approach your marketing budget with outcomes in mind you should consider efforts that have nothing to do with Alphabets or Metas. There is a universe out there you can consider.
The strategy is summed up in five words: go where the ears are.
Fifty percent of Americans have listened to a podcast in the last 30 days. The regular podcast listeners subscribe to five other podcasts. Let’s make your podcast to be in consideration. An argument can be made that the best way to hit them is when they are listening.
If they see an advertisement on a social media platform, do you expect them to write down the name of the podcast? Then, go to Google and search for it. They may find your show notes page, then hit Apple Podcasts and subscribe? Make it easy to find your podcast and equally easy to listen to it.
TYPES OF PAID ADS FOR YOUR PODCAST
- Prerecorded and dynamic insertion: If you look at Apple Podcast Connect you can see where people lose interest in a podcast. No surprise — bland, prerecorded ads.
- Host read ad: Much better, but the host has to be committed. In software development circles they talk about ham and eggs. The chicken made a contribution; the pig made a commitment.
- Native Ad: At least the advertiser tries to match the “fit and feel” of the podcast.
- Sponsored content: Thoroughly transparent, but a good host can pull this off.
- Paid interview: The audience will know this from the second sentence of the introduction.
- Product placement: Movie watchers know exactly what these are. Slightly more difficult in an audio medium, same long term brand awareness.
- Direct Response: Good way to lose listeners. “Buy this or the world will end,” is no way to go through life; neither is fat, drunk, and stupid.
HOW YOU CAN PLACE THE ADS
Cowboy: Place the ads yourself on individual podcasts you find. Joe Rogan may not be the best podcast to appear if you have a specific product for golfers.
You may get more value from a smaller, more engaged podcast. The Golfer’s Journal may produce more sales for your golfing product that an podcast with a much larger audience.
Platforms: Spotify, Google, Gimlet, and PodcastOne are dedicated platforms that host many podcasts. There is a possibility you can disperse your ads over the range of podcasts offered.
Apps: Do your research to see if your audience uses Apps. There are a wide range, including Overcast, Pocket Casts, Podcast Addict, Podbay, Player FM, many more.
Ad Agencies: Advertsecast, Medroll, Authentic, Megaphone, to name a few.
Let’s put some of these options in perspective. On episode 223 of The Feed, Rob Walch from Libsyn gave an update on percentages for downloads for June of 2022.
- 68.7% Apple
- 11.0% Spotify
- 1.54% Overcast
- 1% Everybody else
7. Strategic Concerns
You should drive listeners to your show notes page, not Apple Podcasts. If you spend money on an ad and you drive them to your Apple Podcast page, you will be spinning your wheels.
Make sure you know your competition inside and out, then you will know the popular topics as well as the gaps in coverage our competition provides you.
You will be surprised to learn that, with a great podcast, listeners will binge-listen to all the episodes.
This is a fantastic opportunity for you to take advantage of reduced cost for advertising on those old episodes, called the back catalog. A savvy podcaster may offer discounted rated for back catalog ads.
If they do a dedicated episode to space debris, you may be able to select a specific episode for those who have interest in space debris clean up technology.
Most podcasts fail.
Rob Walch from Libsyn claims only 300,000 podcasts have more than ten episodes. You are at a maturation point where you are considering buying ads for your podcast. Arbitrarily tossing money at Google or Facebook is a waste of time.
There are four basic options for gaining value from your podcast: selling something, improving brand awareness, increasing traffic to your site, or bolstering your email list. Some companies specialize in podcast promotion; Podcast Domination helps you chart in the top one hundred.