How to Use Facebook Ads to Grow Your Podcast

How to Grow Your Podcast with Facebook Ads

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.

My Flagship Facebook Ads Training Program: The FB ADvantage is Now Open for Enrollment

Until Friday, September 4th at 11:59p PST, enrollment is open for The FB ADvantage!

If you’re ready to get off the entrepreneurial roller coaster and create security and consistency in your business or you’re looking to scale and grow, Facebook ads are the easiest and most effective paid traffic platform around today.

They flat out work to automate leads and sales in your business.

To learn more about and enroll in The FB ADvantage before Friday, September 4th, click here


3 Responses to How to Use Facebook Ads to Grow Your Podcast

  1. Thanks Rick! I’ve been experimenting with FB Ads to send traffic to a free (no optin) tool for podcasters that helps them get more iTunes reviews.

    It gives you a special URL that sends listeners directly to your iTunes Reviews page on iOS devices, regardless of whether they are subscribed or not.

    I’m launching a podcast in August and never thought to use FB Ads to promote that, especially early on.

    thanks for the great information!


  2. Hey Rick! Yup. John and Mark have a great product called Podcast Websites. They are using my Simple Podcast Press podcast player as the bundled player on all sites which is sweet! We’ve been working with John, Mark and his team to make integrate nicely.

    You should definitely check our Simple Podcast Press player too. With one click you can instantly replace all your existing PowerPress players with our player designed to grow your email list and build your audience.

    Plus it comes with he option to showcase your world-wide iTunes reviews, add clickable timestamps to your show notes page, one click tweetables, and many many more podcasting tools.

    You can check out the demo site here to see the player and all the features in actions:


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