With roughly 700,000 podcasts out there, it takes something more than organic traffic to give your show an advantage in the market.
Paid ads could provide just the boost you need.
01:11 – The basic concept explained
01:54 – If you don’t have a podcast
02:32 – Why turn on those ads?
04:18 – Is organic no longer possible?
07:52 – It’s not about interviews anymore
10:06 – An exciting time to be in the game
12:24 – What are the channels involved?
12:59 – The question of budget
14:12 – How big a learning curve can you expect?
15:31 – An education in amplification
18:01 – Niches and platforms
20:06 – How the targeting works
21:34 – Targeting on Twitter
23:27 – Who to aim for
25:02 – A look at YouTube targeting
27:32 – What kind of creatives work?
29:18 – Achieving max leverage with video
30:14 – What do you want people to do?
32:00 – Finding out if it’s working
33:38 – Identifying a good result
34:54 – The ways that people slip up
James: James Schramko here. Welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. This is Episode 748. We’re chatting with Charley Valher today about podcast amplification, the episode title. We talk about paid podcast traffic tips. That’s exactly what we’re going to be talking about today. Maybe I’ll leave it to Charley to explain, what is podcast amplification?
Charley: Hey, James, thank you for having me on the show again. It’s so nice to be back on here. I got so many nice messages after the last episode. So huge appreciation.
The basic concept explained
Podcast amplification. It’s actually a kind of a term I took from the content marketing world. So content amplification is probably a word or term used more commonly, and we just kind of borrowed those practices into the podcast world.
So what we kind of look at here is that we’re using our podcast as a piece of content, and then we’re amplifying that predominantly through paid ads. And specifically the social media network ads has been our winner and the ones we like at the moment.
James: Right. Yeah, I’m pretty interested in this, because we do publish a few podcast episodes here and there. And I’m now delving into more paid traffic areas. And I think this is one that could work well for me. So as we go through, I want you to keep me in mind. If you want to use me as an example, you’re welcome to.
If you don’t have a podcast
So if we’ve got the basic concept that we’re just going to turn up the heat on our already existing podcast, this is going to be a useful episode for someone who has a podcast. What about if we don’t have a podcast? Is this one we’d skip?
Charley: This might convince you to do a podcast. I think if you can connect the dots on how you can mix paid traffic and podcasting, this might be the thing that tips you over the edge. But of course, I’m pretty biased. Like, I think a lot of people should have a podcast. And I’ll admit there are other avenues. You definitely can do videos or blogs, but podcasting’s still the best in my books.
James: That’s good. Well, you know, if you’ve tried to do a podcast before, but you just didn’t get the traction, this might be the recipe to fix it.
Why turn on those ads?
So let’s talk about why we might want to do it. Like, why would someone established, with a podcast, turn on their ads? You know? And is it going to be worthwhile for them? Because obviously, there’s going to be some effort or expense. And then there’s going to be our result. And I’m really interested to know how good a result that could possibly be. Is it something that would motivate someone who has an existing podcast to go down that avenue or to get help with it?
Charley: That’s such a good question. There’s kind of a layer of questions in there. I’ll kind of tackle them with, like, how I came across this, or why I started doing it and why we started doing it for clients at ValherMedia.
So we’ll go back maybe about six months ago, from when this is being recorded. We’d met a little bit of a frustration and challenge where people were coming to us and wanting to start a podcast, but not getting that initial traction. Or it was taking a really long time to create that traction, and then they would lose interest, not see the returns other people were seeing, and it became quite frustrating.
So from our point of view, we were looking at this and going, we want to help the clients more. We want to help them get traction earlier. And we need to look at avenues that aren’t just posting things organically on social media, or relying on the existing leverage they might already have.
Now, more specifically, in one of the shows, my own show, is that I started pretty much using organic social media and my email list, and I had noticed a significant decline in like, how my posts were getting out there on social media. I was getting a little bit frustrated when I was putting an hour into making a podcast, using the team and having the team spend hours editing and making videos and all these things, and then 13 people would see it, or 15 people on another post.
And I looked at it and said well, we kind of have to change here. You know, Blockbuster was a good idea once upon a time; Yellow Pages was a good idea once upon a time. Like, it’s time to evolve into a different way of doing podcasting, and amplifying. And that’s how it kind of came up.
Is organic no longer possible?
James: Do you think there’s no way you could have an organic podcast these days?
Charley: That’s a really good question. I’ll tell you what I see and the experiences I have, and I’ll offer an opinion here. If you are someone who has some existing leverage, so let’s say you’re someone who’s already got a reasonable email list and following, then I think it’s very viable for you to do a podcast organically and lean into your existing assets and do pretty well.
We’ve seen some clients come in and without a word of a lie, they’ve come in and like, they’ve been able to crack astronomical numbers in the first couple of months, just because they already had that existing audience.
But if you’re someone that’s maybe newer to content marketing in general, you haven’t either been in it for years or developed those audiences, just publishing a podcast on iTunes and social media organically, I think, will potentially take a very, very, very long time for you to build a substantial show, especially if you’re in a niche with established players. Like for example, if I was going to start a podcast and come up against your show, there is zero chance I would think that is a viable way to go about it, without using some form of amplification or extra leverage.
James: Well, that’s where it’s really interesting, because as a coach, I’m often telling people, don’t do podcast just yet. You know, there’s over 700,000 podcasts. There’s a lot of podcasts in the spaces that I work in on a frequent basis. You have to bring something to the table to have a good podcast, either have been in it for a long time, like me – so that’s my antidote to not having to be too good. I’ve just been doing it for much longer, and we have a huge body of work. And of course, you do over time learn a few tips and tricks and you get to connect with what your audience are really interested in.
Which is why you keep coming back, Charley, Because they love your episodes. And then someone trying to go and crack that straight off the bat, it’s really difficult. I usually suggest they start with short videos on social media if they’re going to go down the organic route.
And it turns out a lot of people when they’re starting out don’t have big budgets. So I definitely want to ask you, if you need a big budget, or if this is going to be something that is not an option.
But this would be something I could say to someone: Well, if you are going to do a podcast and you really think it’s the right thing for your business, and you want to make it a success, then there is a way to get a faster result than just waiting for, you know, trying to jag in new and noteworthy and doing your happy dance and then watching your podcast slide off the face of the earth, you know?
And we’ve been working pretty hard lately, certainly this year, in getting more people listening to our podcast. We haven’t really done the paid traffic thing yet, and I will be doing that after this episode, of course. And we are able to increase our downloads, but it does take work.
And we do have a little publishing army in our midst, and we get some good guests who occasionally share, which is a rare thing these days. And I’m also tuning my content for more solo episodes, which is what my audience tells me they really want – and I actually prefer to make.
No offense Charley, but I do like just flipping on the mic and recording a solo piece that speaks directly to my audience, without anyone else’s agenda, without any other product pitches. We don’t do a big sponsorship play here. There’s no 15-minute parotty intro, sales pitch or little peppered ads throughout the show. I barely even ask people to leave a review, but I will while I think of it. If you liked this episode, please leave a review. Always appreciate it.
So Charley, I’ve now got something I can come to people and say, well, if you want to do a podcast, this will help. I guess we should break down how to do it. Like, what are the steps?
Charley: Really good questions in there. I just want to go into a couple of the points you mentioned in there that I think are kind of important in what you just said.
It’s not about interviews anymore
One of the things I’m liking more and more is that I think podcasting biases to just doing interviews is kind of moving on.
“Consider doing other formats than interviews for podcasts”
James: It’s so commoditized. I mean, the interview format, it’s just done to death. And people are realizing they can’t charge for interviews so much, but now people won’t even listen to interviews unless it’s very catchy.
And I listened to the first podcast that I’ve listened to for about a year this morning. And it was an episode that was specifically for a competitor product to one that I work with. And it was on a specific technique that was very interesting to me. So it has to be extraordinarily specific for me to bother to listen to it. I don’t even listen to podcasts, which is funny in a way. I’m just creating and not consuming.
Charley: Which I still find fascinating as well, but I hope you enjoyed the podcast nonetheless.
James: Interesting. The podcast, it had a bit of aimless waffle. And it wouldn’t compel me to listen to any more episodes on that particular show. So they got me for the bit that I needed, but I’m back out. I’m a tough audience, though, probably. I’m not regular. I admit that. I’m a different creature.
Charley: I love the irony, because you have such a good podcast.
James: Oh, you’re just biased. I don’t even think my podcast is that great. I get it. But this might sound bizarre to you. But I think I’ve been serving some kind of apprenticeship, and I’m now, just now, ready to start doing my best stuff. I think I’ve done some reasonable stuff, especially my workshops and memberships, and some of the information I’ve published a long time ago was actually really good at the time.
But I feel like I’m in the zone now. I’m really excited about what’s coming out and what is happening, as I’m preparing a couple of books. And I’m making good headway on some new sites that we’ve set up for my own business. And I’m excited. I’m really excited about where business is. So I think that’s going to reflect through with the interviews I do. I’m ready to start doing some paid traffic. So the journey is really just getting started.
And I feel like at this late time, you know, after doing podcast for such a long time, I really feel like it’s fresh and new, which is good, I think, for the audience, at least.
An exciting time to be in the game
Charley: Definitely. And I also think podcasting is only just opening up to some people. A lot of people in more recent times, when you look at the overall number of people who listen to podcasts, that audience is still growing. Like, a lot of people are still making the migration from radio, or a whole bunch of ways, or listening onto their commute. So I think it’s a very exciting time to be in podcasting, and just the amount of episodes that people listen to now and just that, what’s available, it’s still very early days, in my opinion.
“It’s a very exciting time to be in podcasting.”
James: Yeah. And I suppose things like the Joe Rogan move to Spotify might be a crystallization event that causes a big shift to the investment companies are prepared to make in making sure people know about it. I noticed most cars these days have the ability to play podcasts.
And you know, the technology’s mainstream, and all of the devices that we have around our houses that we talk to are able to tap into podcasts. And that’s a big deal. I use those voice activation devices a lot now. That’s a huge change that I’ve noticed in my behavior, is how much I use voice-commanded devices. I can even turn the lights in my office on and off by voice, now. It’s like, incredible.
Charley: It’s like we’re getting close to like, Jarvis from the Iron Man movies or the Avengers movies, where it’s like, you’re going to have a virtual voice assistant soon enough.
James: Well, having the baby is how I’ve used this a lot. Especially with song selection. I play a lot of custom music. I’m not listening to podcasts. And I’m not listening to the radio. Like, when you can ask for any song in the entire world ever on your device and it plays instantly, that was a big shift for me.
And I think that’s got to be coming at the side of podcasts, because that’s, you know, people would think, what do I listen to? You know, I’m not listening to the radio. I’m not listening to podcasts. I’m listening to custom music, albums and tracks. And I’m also watching trainings and courses and reading books and Kindles, and of course consuming Netflix and Amazon Prime and all those content that you specifically select the thing that is of most interest to you.
And I’m really excited for one day in the future to be able to watch surfing and Formula One contests, because that’s the only sports I watch and they’re being a little, a little bit thin on the ground lately. But when they come back on, they’re my sort of luxury items that I earned the consumption when I build enough creation credits. And I’ve often talked about this concept, you’re either consuming or creating. And I’ve done plenty of creating. And I do like my consumption. I like to balance it out when I’ve earned it.
What are the channels involved?
But back to the topic, Charley. It sounds like I can create my podcasts and then I can have more people consuming it by getting in front of them in the right places. So there’s going to be different channels that I want to utilize.
Charley: Yeah, let’s go into that. I think it’s really important to look at here. And the first thing I’ll say is that the channels I like at the moment are a mix between Facebook ads, Twitter ads, and YouTube ads. I think they are the three that are performing the best. And like, we’ve seen results on each of them individually, as well as combining a few as well, which has been great. So they’re the channels I really like.
And earlier, you mentioned budgets about, you know, how much am I going to spend to see results, or what can someone need to think about? Because really, this is what it comes down to.
The question of budget
What a lot of people are thinking, oh, it must cost a fortune to do all this stuff. But I kind of look at it in a couple of ways. If you’re already recording and using a production service or maybe you’re editing yourself or using an outsourced team, whatever it is, you’re already investing a lot of time and resources into growing a podcast and having a podcast. What I kind of look at from there is that, if you’re not getting it in front of people, you’re actually wasting a lot of resources at the moment.
“If you’re not getting in front of people, you’re wasting a lot of resources.”
So you’ve kind of got to look at this and go, what’s the opportunity costing, and time and money as well, in not getting the content out there, first off? And that’s where many people meet frustration and give up. The second component, though, if you’re looking at, what do I realistically have to spend per day to get my podcast out there in a meaningful way?
And it’s actually a lot lower than I thought it would be. You can literally spend $10 a day, or we’ll call it $300 a month, amplifying your podcast, and you will see that you’re able to reach a substantial amount, or more people than you could originally. And I think that would be where my minimum sits.
So if you’re going to go the amplification route, they’re the three channels I think are really important right now. And then budget-wise, you’d want to be spending a minimum of $10 a day on each platform, if you’re doing more than one. But even just start with one, and you can see some really good results.
How big a learning curve can you expect?
James: The first question that comes to mind is, is it going to be a big learning curve to master several platforms and figure out the formula? And can I just pay someone to do it?
Charley: So great question. So first off, there is definitely a learning curve. I’ve gone through learning all these specifically for podcasting in the last six months, and there’s been a huge investment of hours in understanding how podcasting plays a role. And it’s very, very different, let’s say between Facebook and YouTube. They are not the same at all, and you cannot use the same things to succeed on each of these.
So I would say the easier ones are Facebook and Twitter. If you’re someone that’s looking to learn this yourself and do it yourself, start there. On the reverse of that, if you’re someone who is already pretty busy and has a business to run and has high uses of your time, which I suspect is a lot of people if not most, then there are services like what we do at Valher Media that can take care of that stuff for you.
James: Okay, what are the differences between Facebook and YouTube?
Charley: Yeah, so I recently made, I’m going to say, a thousand dollar donation to Google. Call it that.
James: Who hasn’t?
Charley: I’m worried. I’m really worried.
James: Well, I think considering last night they hit their peak stock level ever in history, I think they’ll be okay. they’ll pull through.
Charley: I’m expecting a thank you letter.
An education in amplification
But to your point. And I joke, but what I mean is that I wasted money on Google ads. So what had happened for me is that I was working with a podcast on Facebook ads specifically. And I felt like we’d really cracked it. We’d found a winning formula of like, how to make this podcast work on Facebook ads. It was performing really well, we were bringing in new listeners.
And my instinct told me, take what’s working here and put it on YouTube. And then see what happens in YouTube ads. And this is where I let my bias kick in, of going, Okay, well, we’ve got winning creative and winning things working on Facebook. I’m just going to try and work out this targeting thing.
And I had spent about a month and $1,000 trying to work out how to get this YouTube creative thing to work before I just, like, hit the wall in frustration of going okay, there’s clearly something I don’t know here. Now very fortunately, you had actually connected me to someone earlier last year called Tom Breeze. He’s a bit of a YouTube ads wizard, and I believe has been on this podcast at least once.
James: He’s a YouTube god. Like, let’s be clear. Not only that, he’s handsome. He’s a very nice person, polite. I’ve never heard him swear. He’s liked by every single person I’ve ever heard mention him. This guy is an amazing guy, and very, very good at YouTube. I believe he’s probably the best in the world. He’s just so elite with that particular platform. He’s the guy, for sure.
Charley: Definitely. And that accent. It ties it all.
James: He’s like James Bond, right?
Charley: There’s something magical there.
Anyhow, I contacted Tom and I said, I’m pulling out my hair here. I’m going bald because of YouTube ads at the moment. I am not getting the result I want here. Have you ever dealt with anything like this? Or can you point me in any directions? And Tom just straightened me out very quickly in just how different these platforms are.
“Facebook and Twitter are distraction platforms.”
So straight up, like, when you think about it at the obvious level, is that Facebook and Twitter are like distraction platforms. Like, people are going on there to scroll, to be distracted. So there’s no clear intent defined with the platform itself, but to not be doing what they’re doing, pretty much.
Where on YouTube, it’s very intent-based, where people are searching for things and covering topics. And they’re also there a lot longer time to consume content.
And when he said these things to me, I was like, Okay, I’m treating YouTube like a distraction platform, like it’s through a feed, instead of treating it like people are coming here with intent. So as soon as he explained that to me and pointed out some things with how they’re different, it changed everything. Like, it really did.
And we’ve managed to have some really good success on a couple of our shows now with YouTube ads, which has got me excited about how this platform can be used.
Niches and platforms
But then there’s another really big difference between these platforms. And that’s also what niches are probably more suited to them.
So I think when you look at this, and like, the bigger question to ask before you select a platform, or even attempt a learning curve is like, Where is my audience? Like, what is my audience doing on here? And are they, you know, searching for things on YouTube, and that’s going to be the best place to get in front of them?
Or are they more, they don’t necessarily spend their time there. Maybe they’re on LinkedIn, and I should really be focusing on the B2B stuff that is potentially better for LinkedIn there or over on Twitter, if there’s certain targeting you want to achieve there as well. So you’ve really got to think from an audience-first perspective, and then probably select the platform you want to master a little bit.
James: So how do we tell? How would someone like me tell that?
Charley: Yeah, well, the reality is, is that a lot of businesses actually have the opportunities to be on more than one. And that’s where I would see now, if I had to pick them, we’ll use you as the example, as I mentioned earlier, about carrying these through, the ones I like for you, James, is probably number one would be Twitter. I’m sorry, not Twitter. Number one would be Facebook. Number two would be Twitter. Number three would be LinkedIn. Number four would be YouTube. And number five would be Instagram, be like the order. And I probably wouldn’t consider Instagram as highly for you. But in that ranking, I would kind of consider those platforms for you.
James: Interesting. I mean, we do publish content to these platforms. And what I did get clue from you in an earlier episode is we started publishing our full episode on Facebook natively. And even though I know you’re not a fan of audiogram-type things, people do listen. We get a lot of views on Facebook, even with an image with our audio, and they must be playing in the background or in the tab.
LinkedIn is very strong for us for our videos.
Instagram’s where I’d like to spend more attention there. It’s like, as a personal use platform, it’s the only one I really enjoy.
I don’t love Facebook. I’m definitely not making YouTube-style, vlog content, that’s high-level production and effort required there. You need to have a particular type of content, I think, for YouTube.
Twitter, I have an old, I built up quite an audience when it was easier to do that, back in the day. You know, it’s like, almost 10,000 people. And I think that’s a reasonable platform for us.
How the targeting works
So you’ve given us a rundown of the channels. How do we target? I think you mentioned to me, at one point with Twitter, you can target an individual account to advertise on. That sounds interesting.
Charley: Yeah, absolutely. So let’s dig into that. I just want to preface one thing first. I actually am not against audiograms, alright? I know it’s come up a few times on different people I’ve been speaking to. I just know that video will perform better. So when it’s like, do I dislike audiograms? No. I just know from the data I’ve got and seen as you’ll do between three and five times better in video.
James: We do publish some videos. A couple of factors have held me back from making videos. One is I just had such poor internet it wasn’t possible. And I’ve only now, like, just recently got a decent connection with internet to be able to enable video, which is ironic for someone who has an online business.
And I’ve had trouble with cameras and monitors. I think even as we record this, my video’s frozen. It’s just like, common scenario. But due to your guidance, I’m getting a few bits and pieces, some equipment that is helping me set up better camera scenarios where I can capture the video and we can at least use snippets. And I think this speaks to what you were talking about just earlier, what type of content on what kind of platform. The little snippets would probably go well on the interruption platforms, and the long-form video content might go better on the intent platforms. Would that be how it works?
Charley: So let’s talk into that a little bit, because we’ll go to targeting and then we’ll go to creative, because creative kind of comes down to what platform you’re going to be using.
Targeting on Twitter
So let’s talk about targeting first. And we’ll go to Twitter because I think this is probably what had occurred for me, is someone had mentioned, which we both know this person. Matt Wolfe, big shout out, had mentioned that he was getting some really good results on Twitter and he said, Go look there. Like, have a play. If you got any skill on Facebook ads, you’ll probably do well on Twitter ads. I was like, Okay, I’ll look into this.
To my surprise, what kind of came up for me is that the targeting on Twitter, in my opinion, is actually a little bit better than Facebook. Now Facebook definitely has some unique features, and it’s better developed and it’s been around for longer and all those things. But the granularity of the targeting and who you can get your ads in front of is a lot of audiences you can’t reach on other platforms.
So for me and my podcast, what I actually do is target specific podcast hosts, and their podcast. So it’s an audience I cannot get on Facebook ads. Now for you, James, what this could mean is, if you were going to do podcast ads on Twitter, is you could actually pick some similar podcasters in your niche, who are on that platform and active, and make sure that people that are following them, you can actually get your ads in front of.
So it’s like a hyper-targeted campaign. Not as flashy with features, definitely. But it’s like, that targeting is much more accurate than I can get on Facebook ads for podcasters in itself, which I really like.
So we’ll go into that a little bit further, though, is that if you’re going to do targeting on these platforms, and you’re a podcaster, targeting other podcasters is like a little bit of a hint, because people have already shown intent that they listen to podcasts. So I think it massively increases the chance of someone jumping onto your show as well, which I really, really like.
The other thing about Twitter is, quickly here, is because it’s not as popular, it’s also a bit cheaper. So if you’re going to look at a comparison of the cost of traffic on Twitter versus Facebook ads, I’m seeing it’d be about half to a third of the price in the same markets, which is a substantial saving as well, which again, makes it very, very interesting.
Who to aim for
James: Okay. So Charley, are you bidding on my name?
Charley: Probably should, aye? I have actually targeted your show with an episode on my podcast that you were on.
James: Right. Because they’d have affinity for me, and then you want to jump them across?
Charley: Yeah, absolutely. That’s another little strategic way of thinking about it that if you’ve had a guest on your podcast, who has a following, targeting their audience is also a really powerful way that we like to go about it as well, which you can do on Twitter, specifically, really well. You can also do that on Facebook and YouTube as well.
James: Okay, so would I be advertising on my own name on Twitter?
Charley: So you can market towards, or run ads towards people that are following you, which is a great way to make sure people who are following you are actually seeing your content. Being you do have a bit of a following, James, that is an audience I would test in itself. But in general, what we see and what I want to see is it’s more about attracting new people to your show.
You can definitely run reengagement of people that are already following you. But I would primarily look at this being a way to attract people that maybe haven’t seen enough of you, would be the approach I would take,
James: Yeah, I was thinking about it in terms of, we know that’s a no-brainer for Google Ads, is to capture people who are actually looking for me and make sure that they’re getting steered to where they obviously have intent. So yeah, that would be a good recapture or reminder campaign.
I’m sure over the many years, I would have had listeners who have come and then gone and then might come back, who might be just sitting on that Twitter feed. But yes, I think it’d be great to build a list out of people who I think resonate with my audience. And I know my audience pretty well now. So that’ll be a good one to start with. What other targeting options do we have?
Charley: So let’s jump camps for a little bit. So that’s the advantage of Twitter, which I really like. I think there’s huge advantages there.
A look at YouTube targeting
Now let’s go to YouTube land briefly. What makes YouTube very, very different is the idea that you can kind of target people in three ways. And I won’t take credit for finding these three ways. This is Tom definitely educating me here, but taking advantage of his mad skills, just in all honesty. But it’s like you can target people by keywords, so people that are searching for a specific term.
So when most people jump on YouTube, I know now it’s a little bit different these days, but some people just want to see videos from people they’re following, but it’s very much still a search platform. People are searching for solutions to problems they have or things that they’re trying to overcome.
So for example for you, James, if someone was searching, well, how can I make more and work less? Like, how could that possibly be something I do, it’s like. And you’ve got a podcast episode on your book. That would be a really good alignment of search term to a podcast episode. So I like that a lot for podcasters who are solving specific problems with their episodes.
Again, another one is the guest name. So if people are searching for Tom Breeze, then I would very much want to make sure that my video is found, if I’ve got an episode with Tom Breeze, because that might be something where we can get people showing that affinity to that person there. So keywords is one.
The second one is you can actually pick placements. So if there’s videos on YouTube, and you want to make sure that you have a pre-roll ad, and would like your ad to appear before a certain video, you can actually pick the individual videos, which I think is a really awesome feature of YouTube itself.
Charley: And thirdly is the actual channel. So if there’s someone where you go, alright, people who followed this person, they’re gonna like my stuff, everything they put out is very relevant to my audience and I want to be in front of all their stuff, you can actually do that as well. So that’s where the YouTube targeting, I think, is particularly powerful for podcasters.
James: And what about remarketing?
Charley: So remarketing definitely applies to all of these. Look at these even in other ways that if you’ve got a website and you’ve got all kinds of traffic coming there, either via email or SEO or paid ads, or all these things, is that you can actually remarket onto all these platforms. Now I consider this more of a reengagement strategy.
James: But then you could create a lookalike audience, right?
Charley: You definitely can. Strangely enough, though, we haven’t had the best success with that.
Charley: The best success I’ve had with amplification is going after similar podcasts, the guests, or channels. Or, I suppose, specific businesses.
James: I like that, going after – it’s so aggressive. Well, you know, this is what paid traffic is. It’s acquiring the listener. I would be interested to know what you’re actually advertising to them. I suppose that’s the creative.
What kind of creatives work?
Charley: Yeah. So let’s go into creative, because all these words are going to kind of come together. It’s like, once you’re thinking about the channel, then it starts to become, what creative can kind of work on these channels? And it’s different for each of them.
So the main question I get at this point, and something I think is worth mentioning, is people say, Well, I have an audio podcast, but a lot of these platforms are more suited to video. Like, what’s my, I suppose options here, or ways of doing about it? So I’ll lean into that and then I’ll talk about some different options and things that kind of exist here.
So if you are someone that has an audio podcast, the first thing I would say you can try would be audiograms. And it is worth trying. However, as I mentioned earlier, I think they are probably about the baseline. You certainly will get more opportunities with video.
James: If you don’t do video, then that’s the end of the story, isn’t it?
Charley: Kind of. I’ve got one more, option that is.
The second one I’ve been doing is I’ve been encouraging some of our podcast hosts to say, well, when you finish recording a podcast episode, grab your phone and do an iPhone video, talking about the podcast episode you just recorded. And do something along the lines of you know, what were your biggest takeaways? What are the things you found the most interesting? What happened in this episode where your audience is going to be better off? Like, why would they be better off listening to this episode? And if we can capture a little video like that, that’s often what we’ve used as the creative or an ad.
James: And that’s that’s exactly what I do. Yet we’ve still mostly used that for organic, but we could turn ads on to those for sure.
Charley: Yeah. So for audio podcasters, I think that little short video or iPhone video will beat your audiograms most of the time.
And then thirdly is we’ve had a little bit of success just with some images. So image ads have beaten audiograms in a couple of cases as well. So that’s like my audio podcast is my playbook of different ads you can create between those three and then using appropriately on the platform that is just suited.
Achieving max leverage with video
For the video podcasters, though, this is where I think particularly, like, this is we get the max leverage. This is where if you are someone who’s doing video like myself, is that you get to kind of make use of that video file.
So number one is that on Facebook, you can actually just run the whole podcast episode as an ad. The whole thing. We didn’t think it would work. It does work. Go to numerous shows across our platform where it’s like just running the full episode is how they’ve been able to acquire new listeners. I thought it might just be my show. We tried it on a heap, it’s something universally that does work.
Charley: The second component is the short snippets and clips. So my team will go through our podcasts and pick some moments, cut out little clips that are designed to instill intrigue and offer value in an area to entice people to come and listen to the full thing.
And those do particularly well, also, and they’re probably my favorite for video podcasters. And the reason is, you don’t have to make anything extra. It’s just using existing stuff. And then the other side of it is, it’s very much a taste of the product. So we like the synchronization of like, it’s the perfect lead in to getting more of what someone is already experiencing.
What do you want people to do?
James: Well, what is the lead in? Like, what is the call to action?
Charley: Yeah, so if you are creating these things, the next thing we’ll use this snippet as an example here is like, what are you trying to get people to do? And I take this from direct marketing world, is the idea that, you know, there’s always one specific action we’re looking people to take.
So if someone’s listening to a snippet, the action I really want them to take is to listen to the full episode. So the link, or where I would want to drive that to, is that full episode so someone can complete that experience.
Now if I’m running, let’s say, a full episode as an ad, so I’m going to run like a full podcast episode, where do I want to take people from there? Ideally, I want to take them to a resource or something that is the next step in experiencing that podcast episode. So if I had a framework or a download, or something that could accompany that podcast episode, I would love to take traffic to that.
And to the podcasters we work with, we really recommend, like, have some resources that go with your show, have a resources page on your website where people that can come and listen to your podcast. It’s like, it’s the stuff that’s going to help them get a better result in the area you help them.
Oh, here’s an example here quickly. For my show, I have a whole bunch of templates and frameworks and guides on podcasting on our website. So if anyone ever listens to my podcast, the business of podcasting, and then they’re like, Oh, I’d love to get a copy of your interview framework, like how to make a really good interview or intro on your podcast, is they can come to our resources page, and they can pick up those things.
James: Sweet. What is your podcast, if you want to give it a shout out?
Charley: Oh, thank you. I’ll give it a little plug. So my podcast is The Business of Podcasting, and it covers how to make an awesome podcast. It’s essentially what we want to do for business owners. We want to help them make a podcast that will perfectly align with their business and help them just do everything better.
James: You’re the guy. If Tom Breeze is James Bond, then you’re more Val Kilmer. I’m sure you get that reference a lot.
Finding out if it’s working
James: Yes. So we know what we want them to do. How are you tracking this? Like, how do you actually know this is working?
Charley: That is the question. Because I suppose if you go back a couple of years ago, notoriously tracking in this industry is terrible. And I’ll give you some examples here, is that if someone listens to your podcast on an Apple device, and they have multiple devices, it would actually, every time they fire up those devices, and they sync, it would sync more downloads. Or if someone listens to a podcast on a stream, and then they come back to it another point, it can count as multiple downloads.
Apple and a lot of these platforms haven’t been very good at actually giving us accurate data on what’s happening with our shows. And it’s probably one of the biggest complaints I’ve seen, going back a few years. But that’s all changed dramatically in more recent times. I’m seeing some really, really big upgrades from the hosting providers, and then platforms like Chartable.
So the way I like to look at this is that if you’re doing amplification right, there’s three things you should be seeing with your podcast. And these are my three main metrics that I want to see in our shows as they do this stuff.
And number one is I want to see their monthly downloads growing month over month. And I say monthly, because I don’t think a week of podcasting is enough space to really kind of judge it. So we judge on monthly with downloads.
The second thing is, if you’re doing this right, your website traffic should increase. So if you are doing this right, you should see some impact and follow on from people clicking on links and getting things from there.
And then thirdly is your email list should be growing. So if you do have the resources available, you are increasing opt-ins, then this is the best way to kind of feel the impact from amplification in itself. And these are all signs of a growing show in general. They’re the markers I really like to pay attention to as a show kind of grows.
Identifying a good result
James: So of the samples that you’ve had, what sort of results would you see? Like, what’s a good result when you start doing this?
Charley: Yeah, great question. This is what I kind of like to look at from, let’s use Facebook as an example. Let’s say someone is running a Facebook account, we’re running some ads to amplify their podcast. Like, what’s a good result?
So what I like to see is that if we’re running a full episode on Facebook itself, that we can obtain someone watching a large portion of that content on Facebook for under $1. So if you’re acquiring someone viewing a substantial amount of your podcast for under $1, I think that’s a great result. Under two is okay. Anything over two, I think, is probably a little bit expensive. There’s probably a different way to do that.
The next one I really like to see here is that if you have not done amplification before, and then you come in and start doing amplification, is the episodes that you’re amplifying, you want to see it getting consistent downloads higher in the rank itself.
So I would like to see that if someone’s running ads on Facebook, and we went over to their podcast hosting, the episodes we’ve been running are getting in line with the clicks you’re generating at about $1 to $2, I think is very reasonable in that platform itself. So that’s what we’re running, is kind of a ratio for us.
James: So you’re saying you might spend $1,000 to get 1000 downloads,
Charley: You could. You very much could. And I’d be happy with that result as long as it’s a good thousand. So as long as the targeting is good there, then I’ll be very happy with that.
The ways that people slip up
James: Right. Okay, so what do people mess up when they’re trying this?
Charley: Yeah, good question. Last one I’ll go from there is that a common mistake I see with podcast amplification is the idea that they just do it for one episode, and they don’t really try any other content. They might try and go, Okay, we’ll just try this and see how it goes.
I found you really need to pick your most successful episodes from the past, and try a few of them. Because they can do very, very differently in amplification than they might have on your own. So not just running one episode that you think is going to work, trying to span it out into a few, I think is really common.
Two is the targeting. I think people don’t take the targeting as seriously as they should. They do way too general, thinking that everyone should be a listener of this show. Anyone with a pulse is my target audience.
James: It’s an expensive audience to get.
Charley: Yeah, so you start at the like, hyper-targeted level, and then work your way back. And I think that’s a really good one from there.
And then thirdly, when I consider this, is the idea of just, what’s the best way to frame this up from here? Not measuring where they’re feeling the impact. So they might just be looking at, oh, I’m getting some clicks, and oh, it’s only doing okay. But in the reality, if they were to check their hosting and check their stats from their hosting provider, it actually might be doing substantially better.
James: Yeah, I think it’s good to be guided by the data as well, right? Like, you know, I specifically find data points that pop up in my life, that I think I should definitely cover that with an episode. I want to meet the demand right there with, you know, it’s obvious to me people need to hear about this particular topic, based on their intent, based on data sets and patterns that I’m getting, whether it’s forum posts, Google searches, most downloaded past episodes, repeat guests like Charley.
Gee, I think we’re going to have to have a conversation after this podcast, I might ask you to have a look and give me some recommendations.
Now if someone’s listening to this, Charley, and they want some recommendations or some help with it, where can they get some help from you?
Charley: Yeah, So head over to the Valher Media website. Probably the best place to start if you did want to dig into this is our audit. So come through and do an audit with me. And then I can go through and make some recommendations on maybe what platform or what creative or what targeting would be suitable in that nature. So that would be the best place. And then there’s a whole bunch of goodies on the Valher Media website as well, if people did want anything to help with their podcast.
James: Right. That’s ValherMedia.com.
James: Thanks, Charley. You’re always a bundle of information. I feel like I’ve got some homework to do after this episode, but I’m also thinking I might pay someone to help me with it. I appreciate your sharing.
Maybe this podcast is going to get in front of a few more ears as a result of this particular episode. I think this is a particularly practical episode. There are things we can do immediately and improve our results if we’re already podcasting.
If we haven’t podcasted because we were concerned that we wouldn’t get the traction, well now we’ve got an answer to that too. So this is a good one. I appreciate it.
This is Episode 748. So I appreciate it very much.
Need help with your podcast? Get in touch with Charley at ValherMedia.com
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