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How to Use Paid Ads to Promote your Podcast: 6 Key Steps to Succeed

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There are many ways to promote your podcast. You can tap into SEO, social media, TikTok, and more. All these strategies are very effective to grow your brand in the long run. But it may take a while to see results.

That’s why today we’ll cover how to use paid ads to promote your podcast. Paid ads are a great way to promote your podcast online, build brand awareness, and grow your audience in the short term. 

In this post, we’ll share:

  • Why PPC ads are key to short-term podcast promotion
  • The best platforms to promote your podcast with paid ads
  • How to run successful podcast ads in 6 step

Let's get started!

Why PPC Ads Are Key to Short-term Podcast Promotion

The term “PPC ads” stands for pay-per-click advertising. PPC ads are one of the most popular ways to advertise online. 

There are two reasons for that:

  • It’s cost-effective. Unlike pay-per-impression ads, with PPC you only pay when your ad gets clicked. So, you only pay when you get results.
  • It doesn’t require a large team. PPC takes far less work and time than content marketing campaigns. So the entire process can be managed by one single person. 

The Best Platforms to Promote your Podcast with Paid Ads

When it comes to choosing where to promote your podcast with paid ads, we suggest you:

  • Learn which apps and platforms your target audience is spending most of their time on
  • Get a clear sense of your audience’s journey, where do they look for the type of content you offer?
  • Research how successful podcasters in your niche are promoting their show

There are three types of platforms where you can use paid ads to promote your podcast:

  • Search Engines
  • Social Media
  • Audio streaming platforms

Each platform corresponds to a different type of user journey. Let’s take a closer look!

Advertising your Podcast on Search Engines

Search engines, such as Google, offer the possibility to showcase ads triggered by keywords in user searches. Google Ads is the most popular platform for pay-per-click ads among English and Spanish-speaking users.

In this type of platform, the lead’s interaction with your ad begins with a search. When you prepare your Google Ads campaign, you’ll have to produce a written ad for people that are looking for something that relates to your podcast.

For instance, if you have a podcast in the cooking niche, one of your main keywords could be “cooking podcast”. By targeting that keyword, you’ll make sure your ad appears in front of anyone who’s searching for cooking podcasts online. You could also promote individual episodes as well. For instance, if you had an episode sharing a “homemade ravioli recipe”, you could choose to prepare an ad for users looking for that kind of recipe.

Google Ads also allows you to display ads in a visual format across the web. These ads will be targeted to users who performed a search that matched one of your keywords. However, this ad format has become rarer in recent years.

Advertising Your Podcast on Social Media

Even though social media channels offer multiple ad formats, they're now privileging short videos. This is especially the case for:

  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • Facebook

This shift is great for podcasters because it gives you the opportunity to directly share clips from episodes. You don’t have to “sell” your podcast to a potential listener by describing it as you would on search engines. Instead, you can catch your target audience’s attention with a little teaser.

In social media platforms, ads show up whether the user is expecting them or not. This is a great way to put your podcast in front of the right people instantly.

On the flip side, it demands your ads to be:

  • Eye-catching enough for your viewers not to keep scrolling
  • Interesting enough for your viewers to be willing to click and be redirected out of the app

It’s worth noting that not all social media apps offer pay-per-click ads. Some apps only offer pay-per-impression ads. Others, such as Facebook, offer both bidding models.

Advertising on Podcast Streaming Platforms

This is an exciting and pretty novel way of advertising. Some audio and video streaming platforms, such as Spotify or Youtube, offer you the chance to display audio or video ads. This is an amazing opportunity to:

  • Connect with people that are already consuming audio content
  • Get users to your podcast’s profile without having to switch apps

In this case, the app’s algorithm will be in charge of deciding which users will get your ad. The algorithm will make this decision guided by users’ activity and preferred content.

How to Run Successful Podcast Ads in 6 Steps

The obvious goal for a PPC ad is to get the most clicks. But don’t let the number of clicks become a vanity metric. Clicks for the sake of clicks are a waste of money. Your real goal is to get the attention of the right people and keep their interest once they click. If you don’t, you’ll be setting the wrong expectations, and their click will go to waste.

Now that we’ve clarified that, let’s take a look at the 6 key steps to make your podcast PPC campaign work.

We recommend you:

  1. Define clear campaign goals
  2. Define your target audience
  3. Choose when to run your campaign strategically
  4. Define your budget
  5. Choose the right keywords
  6. Design a captivating ad

Let's dive deeper.

Define Clear Campaign Goals

To know where to start, you should ask yourself:

  • How many subscribers do you want to reach at the end of your campaign?
  • Are you trying to get more listeners to increase numbers and attract potential sponsors? If so, how many listeners should you reach by the end of the campaign?
  • Do you want to get more listeners for a particular episode? How many?
  • Do you just want a brand awareness boost? If so, how many impressions should your ad reach?
  • Do you want to take advantage of a specific season of the year? How many subscribers, listeners or impressions do you want to get?

As you can see, every question corresponds to a specific metric. This allows you set realistic expectations. 

On the other hand, most platforms anticipate an estimated result for your campaign after you’ve set up the ads’:

  • Audience
  • Time span
  • Budget

If you already have the numbers you want to reach in mind, you can adjust those parameters accordingly and make the most out of the investment.

Define Your Target Audience

Defining your target audience is a fundamental step when creating your podcast. So, at this point, you should already know who your listeners are. However, depending on your goal, your target listener may not be the same target audience for your ad.

For example, let’s say you have a podcast oriented to people from both genders between the ages of 16 and 25. You have reached people from 20 to 25 organically, but are lacking an audience under 20 years old. So, you create a TikTok ad campaign. When setting the demographic characteristics of the ad audience, you won’t set their ages from 16 to 25, you’ll only target users from 16 to 20.

It’s worth noting that social media ad platforms allow you to segment your audience beyond demographic characteristics. You can also choose your target through psychographic data, such as interests. Since you don’t have the opportunity to use keywords in Social Media ads, how you manage your audience’s interests is a fundamental step to success

Instead of letting you choose the target audience yourself, some social apps will offer you to automatically showcase the ad to users who are similar to your current audience. This can be a useful feature, unless you want to reach out to a new segment. 

Strategically Choose When to Run your Campaign 

Be careful with your calendar: you don’t want your ad to get lost in a highly competitive season.

It’s not the same to promote your podcast during the holiday season, when marketing channels are overcrowded with brand and product advertisements, as to promote it on a regular week.

You can also take advantage of some events depending on your podcast’s topic. For instance, if you have a paranormal mystery podcast, Halloween can be a great season to promote episodes. Why? Simple: People are more willing to consume that type of content during Halloween. 

Set Your Budget

No matter how big or small your budget is, you will always have two possible strategies:

  • Invest the entire budget for a short period, getting a lot of impressions in a short time.
  • Spread your available budget over a long period, getting a constant but low flow of impressions and clicks.

No option is better than the other: this decision depends on your objectives and whether you’re planning a seasonal campaign or not.

However, don’t get too wrapped up in the decision. In most platforms, if not all of them, you can choose a date to automatically start and end your campaign. And you can also activate it or pause it manually whenever you like. This is a great opportunity to start small and try different ads to see which one gets the most attention.

Pro tip: When it comes to Google ads, we recommend you get started by advertising consistently for three months. That will allow the Google algorithm to “train itself” to make the most out of your investment. 

Choose the Right Keywords

If you’ve chosen to make an ad for Google, or any other search engine, brainstorm search terms that can be related to your podcast or the particular episode you want to promote. Research whether these terms are viable keywords. 

We recommend you:

  • Define a set of basic keywords to contextualize the ad. For example: “[name of your niche] podcast” or “podcast about [name of your main topic]”
  • Think of specific keywords that include questions that you provide answers to. For example, if you have a cooking show and created an episode about merengue hacks, you can target a keyword such as “how to prevent merengue from weeping”. 

Design a Captivating Ad

How you design your ad has to be strictly related to the keywords or audience interests you’re targetting. You not only want your ad to show up in front of the right people. You also want to be engaging and set expectations that you can meet. 

We suggest you:

  • Keep it simple. Reveal just the necessary information to capture attention, but don’t spoil or overshare. 
  • Don’t try to appeal to the largest common denominator. Niche down and portray what makes your podcast unique.
  • Have a clear CTA. Your ad’s audience attention span is limited. So be transparent about what their next action should be and stick to that invitation.

Making Video Ads Has Never Been Easier

In this post, we shared how to use paid ads to promote your podcast in 6 easy steps. 

The best way to grow your podcast is through a combination of organic and paid campaigns. And in both worlds, short videos have become the most engaging format.

With Audiotease, you can turn your podcast’s best moments into engaging audiograms. No editing experience or expensive tools needed. Create stunning social media ads, directly from your browser. Make your first audiogram for free today.