Our latest podcast episode is out! Have a listen here, or in your favorite podcasting app.

For a transcript of this episode, read below:

“Hey, and welcome to The Headliner Podcast! We’re dedicated to helping podcasters promote themselves and increase their listenership through audiograms and social video.” 

“On this week’s episode, we’re going to be exploring the concept of paid promotion when it comes to promoting your podcast. It’s an idea that has probably crossed every podcasters mind at one point or another in their time producing a show, ‘what if I paid for an ad on social media to get my show in front of some new listeners?’ Well today, we’re going to find out where you might want to do that, what you can do to get the most out of paying to promote your show, and if paid promotion is the best way to invest in your podcast.”

“But first, let’s talk a bit about Headliner itself. If you’re a podcaster that’s looking for a quick and easy way to share clips from your podcast on social media, we’ve got the tool for you. Our site, Headliner.app, features an audiogram generator that allows you to quickly upload some audio, pick a moment from your file, and add some art and a waveform to it in order to export a video that you can share on your Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook page. On top of that, you can even add an automatically generated transcript to your clip, which can significantly boost the reach of your video. If you think you’re ready to start promoting your podcast with video, you can sign up for a free Headliner account at Headliner.app!”

“So let’s dive into things. When it comes to paid ad platforms, there are three places you can promote your podcast that we’ll be looking into today. These platforms are: Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), actual Podcast apps, and through Google Adwords. Each of these platforms have their strengths and weaknesses that could benefit different shows in different ways.”

“For example, using paid ads on Twitter or Instagram has the potential to reach a wide variety of people, and through the settings available to you while you’re setting up your ad, you’ll be able to somewhat specify the audience that will see it. But, you won’t necessarily be able to filter your ads’ audience to be sure that they’re interested in podcasts to begin with, which can affect conversions into listeners. Instead of simply trying to convince someone to check out your show, you’d have to sell them on the idea of podcasts as a form of content and then sell them on listening to your show.

Another factor that could impact how effective your ad is at pulling in new listeners is whether or not the social media app you chose to promote on fits your show itself. For example, if you have a podcast that’s tailored toward business and entrepreneurship, you may find that your paid promotions will fare a bit better on a site LinkedIn, as opposed to on Instagram. That’s not to say that Instagram is worse than LinkedIn though, it just means that your show’s audience is a bit more prominent or active on another platform. When it comes to promoting on Social Media, trial and error may be necessary to find out which app will give you the best return on investment for your ad.”

Alternatively, you could try promoting your podcast directly to podcast listeners on a podcasting platform that allows for paid advertising. By promoting on a site like Listen Notes or on a podcast app like Overcast, you’ll be showing your show to a guaranteed audience of podcast listeners. This solves the problem mentioned earlier of advertising to people who may not be interested in podcasting as a medium. And, because you’ll be promoting on apps tailored to podcasting specifically,  you’ll also be able to specify the genre of your podcast, which can help with targeting a new audience. As for drawbacks to promoting through podcast apps/sites directly, you’re somewhat limited in who you’re promoting to due to be locked onto that specific app. Promoting on something like Overcast is great and could lead to a lot of exposure and growth for your show, but you’d also only be growing your audience on that app. While this isn’t a reason to avoid promoting your show in this way, it is worth noting that you wouldn’t be promoting your content on larger podcast apps like Apple Podcasts or Spotify, which would also mean that you aren’t raising your exposure on either of those apps and improving your chances of charting/being featured on those platforms. 

And that brings us to the third platform you could pay to promote your podcast — Google. Through Google Adwords, you’ll be able to advertise your podcast directly on Google Search results, giving you access to anyone looking for information that your podcast could provide to them. Adwords are also extremely customizable and can be used for very targeted and specific advertising. One of the biggest draws to Google Adwords is the fact that, unlike a post on social media, your ad won’t be viewed as something that’s intrusive to what that potential listener was doing before they saw your post. Because this ad is appearing directly on Google, you’ll be positioning yourself to someone that was looking for a site related to your podcast. 

Once you’ve chosen the place you’d like to run your paid promotion, the next decision you’ll have to make is how you’d like to present your ad, and how you can make sure to get the most out of that ad. 

Before we even get into ad itself, the first thing you can do to optimize things is decide where you would want to send a potential listener. In order to get the highest reach, you’re going to want to send people seeing your ad over to a site that has listening options for users coming in from an iPhone, Android, or a computer. This helps ensure that everyone interested in listening to your show can do so in the easiest, most convenient way possible. As for how you can do this, there are several ways to do this and they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. 

The first way is to create a custom landing page for your site and to make sure it has exit links for a number of podcast players. This would allow someone to visit your site, maybe read a bit more about your podcast, and then head over to one of the provided podcast players you’ve provided a link to. Which brings me to the drawback of doing things this way, if that listener wanted to listen to your podcast on an app that you didn’t provide a link to, they’ll need to either use one of the links you did provide, or remember to manually search for your show on their app of choice. 

Alternatively, you could use a site like pod.link, which aggregates all of the places your podcast is available and allows visitors to share the podcast on social media, create a video for a clip from it using Headliner, or to even just listen to the podcast itself from their site. Given the fact that pod.link can accomplish a lot of the same things that a landing page can, it’s a great option for people looking for a quick link to use to promote their podcast on social posts of any kind. The only drawback here is that, because it was automatically generated, you can’t edit it to include additional info about your show in the same way that you could through a landing page. 

And finally  if you’re marketing your podcast on a platform that supports it, like Facebook for example, you could actually direct people to different sites based on what type of device they’re using. This means that you could effectively funnel potential iPhone users to Apple Podcasts, while making sure that Android users get sent over to Google Podcasts.

And with that out of the way, let’s talk about your post itself. The best thing that you can do for your ad is to keep things short and sweet. You want to be able to hook your potential listener with  something engaging and give them a sense of the value that they might get from listening to your podcast. You can either do this with a well designed image or, if you really want to go the extra mile, through a video. And what better way to do this than with a Headliner video? You can attach an audiogram to your paid post that could be a clip with a high profile guest, a custom recorded trailer for your podcast, or could be as simple as a video of you pitching your podcast that has been transcribed on our video transcript wizard. The main idea here is to be as creative as possible so that your post will stand out and engage as many people as possible. And adding transcription could be a huge part of engaging the widest possible audience because it would allow people who have the sound off on their phone to follow along to your ad and potentially convert into a listener. 

So with all of this in mind, it’s time to answer the question of whether or not paid promotion for a podcast really works. Paid Promotion is a great way to get your podcast in front of a lot of people who may not have heard about your podcast otherwise. With the right ad at the right place and with the right exit link, you’ll be able to tap into your potential new audience and see some massive gains in your listenership. And the easier you make it for people to find your show from an ad, as well as the clearer and more legible you make that ad, the better it’ll perform. 

But paid promotions aren’t the only way to promote a podcast, nor is it a one size fits all solution. While it can definitely help get your show out there, you’re still going to have to rely on podcastings old standbys for promoting your audio; networking with other podcasters, maintaining a healthy and content-rich social media presence, and continually tailoring your content to be as relevant as it could possibly be. Paid promotions are, if anything, a great supplement to promoting your podcast ‘the old fashioned way,’ assuming you can afford to, and are comfortable with spending money on finding an audience. Personally, I think that podcasts that are just starting out would be better suited investing in some decent microphones, a pop filter and some sound proofing. Alternatively, newer podcasters could invest in something like Headliner’s Pro tier or a more powerful audio editor to help on the promotion and production side. Ultimately, whatever helps make your show better is going to help improve the performance of the show down the line — so paying to promote your show should be viewed as more of a cherry on top of things, as opposed to the entirety of your strategy.

And with that said, that brings us to the end of this episode of the Headliner Podcast. Before we end things completely though, I just wanted to share a huge thank you to the Headliner newsletter subscribers who shared tips and info about using Twitter to promote their shows, and encourage any/everyone that’s interested in submitting responses for future episodes to do so. All you have to do to respond to our prompts for future episodes of the podcast is to signup for our newsletter, which you can do by visiting Headliner.app/newsletter. 

Additionally, if you’re at all curious for more ways to help improve your podcast, we’ve been sure to include links to our sources used in this week’s episode in our show notes, as well as in this episode’s supplementary blog post, which can be read at Headliner.app/blog. 

I hope you guys got some value out of this episode of The Headliner Podcast, and I hope you have a great day!