Podcasters tend to focus on content marketing and search engine optimization to grow their audience, and rightly so. But they shouldn’t ignore paid ads as viable options to help find listeners and get in front of them. 🚀
In this blog post, we’re going to walk you through what paid advertisement is, some venues of paid advertisement to consider, and what to think about as you put together your ad campaign. 💰
Benefits of Paid Ads
There are two ✌️ main advantages paid advertisement has as a promotional tool: It is quick and it is targeted.
Building up your content marketing and SEO takes time- it could take months, if not years, to get your episodes in front of thousands of potential listeners. 😅 Paid advertising can get your brand and product in front of that many people in a day.
Likewise, you can work to tailor your content towards a certain kind of audience, but really in the end, your podcast is kind of appearing to anyone in general.
With paid advertisement, you can get pretty specific in terms of who sees your promotional content: their location, their demographic information, and even their likes and dislikes.
Let’s be clear: Non-paid marketing is still awesome and 100% necessary. It is critical to establishing your brand and your presence. Paid marketing just puts a ton more muscle to your marketing plan. 💪
Avenues for Advertising Your Podcast with Paid Ads
There are a lot of places to buy a promotional ad in this world: your local newspaper 🗞️, a sign at a ballpark 🪧, mugs at work ☕, some folks will even let you tattoo it on them 😂. We can’t cover them all in this blog post.
Instead we’re going to focus on the best places where it is common to advertise for podcasts.
Google is THE digital advertising behemoth. It offers a whole host of different types of advertising products and it is constantly updating its options. In order to teach you the general idea of advertising on Google, we’ll just stick to Google Search PPC ads. 🤖
PPC stands for “pay per click.” That means you only pay when someone actually clicks on the link in your ad. In other words, you only pay if it works. You don’t pay if they don’t read it and scroll on by.
The ad has to be pretty short and nothing fancy. 💁♀️
- Set the keywords where you want your ad to pop up when someone searches those keywords.
- Choose your keywords carefully because the more popular they are, the more Google charges you for each click.
Again, there is a ton more information to read up on if you want to get into the Google advertising weeds. Google itself provides a lot of free training on how to best use the feature. But in general, as a podcaster, know that the foundation is good keywords and only paying when someone actually clicks on your ad.
Social Media Ads
This is another huge behemoth that whole books are dedicated to as well: Paid advertising on social media. 📱 But here we’ll go over the basics, which is really all you need to start promoting and getting more listeners!
Unlike Google, social media apps don’t usually offer advertising products following the ‘pay per click’ model. You have to pay no matter if someone clicks your ad content or not.
What social media ads offer is better targeting. 🎯 Social media sites have a ton of information about their users: their age, gender, location, likes, etc. You can get more specific about who you want to reach with your ad.
Of course before you even create the parameters for your target audience within a social media site, you want to first choose which social media site you want to use. You want to not only think about the kind of person you want to advertise to, but also the mindset you want them to be in when they come across your ad. 🥰
If your podcast is business oriented, you may want to advertise on LinkedIn. If it is more focused on health and wellness, Instagram might be a good fit for it. Be sure to consider Facebook, Twitter, and even Snapchat and TikTok.
Anywhere there are people, there are potential listeners!
Another advantage of advertising on this medium is that people don’t need to be searching for something related to your podcast in order to see your ad. Your advertisement will just appear to them as they are on the social media site. This makes it a great way to reach people who may not even realize that they would enjoy your podcast, or even podcasts in general! 🎧
Finally, another advantage to advertising on social media is that you are free to do a lot more visual content. Usually you have to have at least one image, and sometimes you can even have a video as your ad. 🎬 This is a great way to really convey how cool and compelling your podcast is.
Advertising on Other Podcasts
You know where you can find a group of people who might listen to your podcast? Other podcasts! 💪
You may not get the same level of targeting an audience as you can when advertising on social media, but in a lot of ways you don’t really need to– you know that they are podcast listeners and sometimes that characteristic alone is worth more than all the others combined. 🚀 These are great people to promote your podcast to!
When you are picking which one to go with, there are some questions to work through 🤔:
- What kind of ad product do you want? Do you want an ad on the homepage of a podcast library? A banner ad on specific episodes? An audio ad to put in the episodes? Or video ad that plays between episodes, pre-roll or post-roll? An ad that the podcast host reads during an episode?
- What podcast directory do you want to target? A lot of advertising platforms are specific to certain podcast directories. Maybe you have a lot of listeners on Spotify and think you should be able to pick up more on Apple Podcasts– go with an advertising platform that runs on Apple (Castbox, for example).
- What kind of podcasts would you want your ad to run on? You want ones that are somewhat similar to your own brand and product. For example, if your podcast is about the history of South American revolutions, it might not make sense to advertise during an episode of a business-to-business marketing podcast.
Depending on what advertising platform you use, you will have more or less control over what podcasts your ad is placed in. Usually these advertising platforms help you in making these decisions for free so don’t be afraid to reach out to them and start asking questions!
Advertising on YouTube
Technically we could have put YouTube promotions under the Google Ads (YouTube is owned by Google 😁), Social Media Ads, or Other Podcasts Ads section. It kind of is all three of them. And that’s exactly why you should consider using it to grow your podcast’s reach!
YouTube offers different kinds of advertising products, but we’ll just talk about two general categories: Video and non-video.
With YouTube’s video ads, you can select to have your video promotion play as pre-roll or as a break in the main video. 🎬 You can also select whether you want people to be able to skip it after a few seconds or make them watch the whole thing.
For YouTube’s non-video ads, you can either have an ad that appears on the side of the YouTube page or a banner at the bottom of the video screen.
Whichever option you choose, Youtube offers pretty good targeting to make sure you reach the target audience you want. 🎯
On the other hand, Youtube advertising does cost a lot 😬 especially if you add the cost of making the content of the video advertisement.
How to Plan Your Paid Ads Campaign
Throughout this post, we’ve touched on important things to keep in mind when you are planning your paid advertising campaign: Who is your audience, what is your content niche, what kind of ad format do you want?
Of course you’ll also want to create an advertising budget and make advertising decisions based on what you can afford. When budgeting, don’t just think of the ad placement cost. Also consider any costs to create the ad:
- Do you want to hire professionals to help with the copywriting, graphic design, or video content used in the ad?
- Are you just creating one ad or several?
- Do you want to hire a consultant or subscribe to a service to help you with your Google ad strategy?
No matter what initial decisions you make, the key to doing paid advertising well is to take the time to analyze the data from your ads and then adjust as needed. The exact data that you’ll have access to will depend on the advertising platform you use.
But in general you should be able to see who, when, and how people are coming across your ads and what they are doing when they see them. Getting a lot of eyes 👀 (or ears 👂) on your promotion is important, but it is even more important to get clicks, follows, and episode downloads.
Be sure to experiment and see what works best.
A Final Word on Podcast Paid ads
There are more than 4 million podcasts in the world and more than 75 million episodes. 🤯 Podcast listeners are spread across YouTube, traditional podcast apps, and countless websites.
Some people who would fit perfectly in a target audience for your product have probably never even thought about listening to a podcast.
This can either be daunting or exciting– We vote exciting! There are tons of potential listeners out there who will think your podcast is the best! You just need to reach them and help them find you. And Paid Ads will definelty help you!
We always tell the podcasters we host: If a podcast is worth the work, time, and cost to create it, it is worth the work, time, and cost to promote it.
Paid advertising can be intimidating at first, but once you get the dopamine hit of seeing brand new listeners roll in, you’ll fall in love in no time. Your podcast is the best so get out there and promote it! 🚀