#45: How to Grow Your Podcast With Facebook Ads

On today’s episode I share tips and strategies for how to grow your podcast with Facebook ads.

I get lots of questions from podcasters like:

  • Would you use Facebook ads to direct people to a specific episode, or to your podcast in general?
  • How might Facebook ads help me launch my podcast with a bang?
  • Do you direct people to your podcast show notes page for a specific episode using Facebook ads? 
  • How often should you run ads for your podcast?
  • Should you do an ad that leads people to an opt in to help build your list?

I answer these questions and more on today’s episode.

One of the best things I did for my business was start a podcast in 2013 called Inside Social Media.

I loved podcasting so much that when my business later shifted to focus on Facebook ads and paid traffic, I started my second show aptly named The Art of Paid Traffic

It’s a blast. I love teaching and being able to connect with people through their ear buds.

But you know what? It not always easy.

You gotta come up with topics, get guests, outline episodes, editing, show notes, etc…

And then there’s promotion.

We’re always looking for ways to get more listeners, more downloads and higher rankings in iTunes, right?

One way that’s really effective in promoting and growing your podcast is through Facebook ads.

The ability to advertise your show to your exact target audience on Facebook is SICK.

So if you’ve currently got a podcast, the following tips and strategies can help you crank up your listens and downloads.

Or, if you’re tossing around the idea of launching a new show, this can also help you launch with a bang and better position your show for that coveted New & Noteworthy on iTunes.

Start With Your “Why”

Whenever you’re considering running Facebook ads, you gotta start with your “why”.

Why do you want to use Facebook ads to promote your podcast?

What’s your end goal?

Since you’re paying some money for the ads, you need to have a stronger reason than just wanting to get more people to listen to your show…

  • Maybe it’s sales of your product or service. Since you promote them during your show, more listeners might mean more sales.
  • Maybe it’s lead generation. You might offer a free download of some kind during your episodes and more listeners could mean growing your email list more quickly.
  • Maybe you have sponsors or your goal is to get a sponsor. Either way, more listeners and downloads is going to be huge for you.
  • Or maybe your goal is to simply get in the iTunes New & Noteworthy section. More exposure for your show will help with that.

Don’t just run Facebook ads for the heck of it, have a clear, measurable objective in mind first. (Click to Tweet This)

Speaking of “measurable”…

How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Podcast Ads

Unfortunately, when we’re using Facebook ads to promote a podcast, measuring the effectiveness of our ads isn’t super straight-forward.

If your goal is webinar registrations or email opt-ins, for example, you can see the results of your ads right in Facebook.

Not so when you’re promoting a podcast.

Of course, you can measure things like click-through-rate, but if you’re sending traffic from your ad to iTunes or Stitcher or Soundcloud, which we’ll talk more about in a minute, you’re not able to track the number of downloads with Facebook’s conversion tracking pixel.

To measure the effectiveness of your ads, then, I recommend doing the following:

  • Log-in to your Libsyn account or wherever you’re hosting your podcast
  • Go to your stats and look at what your average daily downloads are prior to running your ads
  • Then while your ads are running, track your daily downloads
  • Once you’ve stopped your ads see what your daily average is

By looking at before, during and after stats, you can make some pretty accurate assumptions about the success of your ads.

Now on the flip side, if you are sending people from your ad directly to your Show Notes page where you have a free download, you COULD measure the number of leads you get by using Facebook’s conversion tracking pixel.

But you’re again left not knowing how many episode downloads/listens you got from that ad spend.

Choosing An Objective & Landing Page

First off, I recommend using Power Editor for reasons I’ll share in a minute.

Choose the Objective “Clicks to Website”.

This way, you’re “telling Facebook” that your goal is to send traffic from your ad to a landing page.

Your landing page is going to depend on the goal of your campaign.

Do you want to promote your overall podcast? Specific episodes?

Here’s how to find your podcast URLs depending on your goal:

Where to find your full podcast feed URL (iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud)

Where to find an individual podcast episode URL: iTunes

Where to find an individual podcast episode URL: Stitcher

Where to find an individual podcast episode URL: Soundcloud

Choosing Your Placement

When choosing where on Facebook to run your ads, go ahead and test the Desktop News Feed but I really recommend focusing on the Mobile News Feed.

Close to a billion users are on Facebook EVERY day and many of them are using their mobile devices to access it.

And most podcast listeners are listening on their phones while they’re working out, out walking, on the bus/train, in the car, etc…

So, reach them where they’re listening.

Now, this is where get to why I want you setting your ads up in Power Editor…

When you choose the Mobile News Feed you can specifically target people by the device they’re using.

Meaning, if you want to promote your podcast on iTunes, you can place your ads only on iOS devices.

Or if you want to promote your show on Stitcher, you can place your ads only on Android devices.

Cool, right?

(I’ll show you exactly what I’m talking about in the “how-to” video below)

Who Do You Target?

When it comes to targeting your ads, not to state the obvious, but you want to focus on getting in front of your exact target listener.

I recommend starting with your warmest traffic first:

  • Retargeting your website visitors (especially if you have built audiences for people coming to your podcast pages)
  • Your email list
  • Your Facebook fans
  • Lookalike audiences of each of the above
  • Then, if you’d like to target cold traffic, you can test some Interests targeting (other Facebook pages). Interests targeting would be cool to test when you’re promoting individual episodes because you might be able to target based on your guest and/or topic.

You could also test out Behaviors targeting, even though I’m normally not a fan of it, to target specific mobile phone user types.

Check it out:


Image or Video Ads?

Regardless of whether you’re promoting your overall podcast or individual episodes, I suggest testing both image and video ads.

For image ads, try pictures of you and maybe your podcast logo.

If you’re promoting an episode that’s an interview with a guest, try an image of you and your guest along with the topic of the episode. Just make sure you have your guest’s permission to use their image in an ad.

Video ads are hot on Facebook right now.

Shoot a simple video with your smartphone of you talking about your podcast or episode. Focus on what people will learn from your show and BE FUN and ENTERTAINING.

Screenflow for Mac users and Camtasia for PC users make it simple to edit video.

If you’ve got a guest, try editing into your video an image or two of your guest. Again, make sure you’ve got their permission.

If your podcast is a video podcast, cool! You can create some cool promo videos from your episodes.

How to Set Up a Facebook Ads Campaign to Grow Your Podcast

There’s No Right or Wrong

When it comes down to it, most of the Facebook ads questions I get from podcasters center around “should I do this” or “where should I send people to?”

There’s no right or wrong on this.

It ALL depends on what your goal is and testing different ads/targeting/placement to find what accomplishes your goal the best (and cheapest).

Spend a few bucks, stay within your budget when starting out, and have fun testing.

Now, I want to hear from you…

Have you promoted your podcast with Facebook ads before? If so, how’d it go? What was your biggest challenge?

If you haven’t yet tested Facebook ads to promote your show, what’s holding you back?

Share your feedback in the comments below.

Subscribe to The Art of Paid Traffic on iTunes and/or Stitcher

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Links & Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Right click here to download this episode

The Art of Paid Traffic

iTunes, Stitcher and Soudcloud

Reserve a free spot for Rick’s Facebook Ads for Beginners: How to Create Killer Facebook Ads On Less Than $10 A Day webinar: fbadsfornewbies.com/webinar

Rick’s Facebook Ads flagship training: The FB ADvantage: Automated Facebook Ads Made Simple

Got A Question You Want Answered On the Podcast?

Every month I’m doing a Q&A episode where I answer your questions about Facebook ads and paid traffic.  If you ask something I can’t answer or I feel will be better answered by a specific expert, I’ll find that person to get an answer for you.

To ask a question to be answered on the podcast, click below and leave me a voicemail.  All you need is a microphone and Internet connection.

Other Episodes You’ll Like

#44: Is There a Best Way To Target Facebook Ads? and Other Q&A

#43: How to Get the Most Out of LinkedIn Ads with Josh Turner

#42: Anatomy of Killer Landing Pages with Unbounce’s Oli Gardner

#41: How to Dominate Pinterest Ads with Cynthia Sanchez

5 Responses to #45: How to Grow Your Podcast With Facebook Ads

  1. Good one Rick! Thanks for the deep dive into FB ads for podcast promotion -this is a great topic I don’t see anyone else trying on.

  2. Shane says:

    Thanks Rick and here goes.

    2 ads just gone live promoting one of our strongest episodes yet. Interested to see the results. I am a graduate of FBAdvantage, absolutely amazing course, I feel lot more confident in Power Editor and love that I can go back to modules to refresh my knowledge.

    Keep up the good work Rick!


  3. Hi Rick – Thanks for all the great content. However, I’m going to have to disagree with you on sending people to iTunes/Stitcher/Soundcloud. Wouldn’t it make more sense to send them to your website to play the episode so you can cookie them and hopefully also capture their email too? Simple links underneath the player could say: “Click here to get this on your mobile phone…” for those who are podcast savvy. Would be interested in your feedback on this.

    • Hi Mark, good question. For sure, both strategies would be effective. And I always prefer to capture email addresses but it comes down to a matter of testing both to see how each performs for you.

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