Audience Development: Paid Promotion
Paid promo. There are lots of different ways that you can spend money to, basically try and get people to listen to your podcasts. You can do paid social posts, that's a really easy and lightweight way to start, you can do ads inside podcast apps, I mentioned Overcast earlier, that's like a couple hundred bucks for about a month's worth of promo within a specific category. You can also do paid promo inside other podcasts. So if you've ever heard an ad for a podcast inside another podcast, that is what we are talking about. Have you heard these kinds of ads, inside shows? So instead of hearing mattress in a box, or shaving kit in a box, or meal kit in a box, you hear an ad for another show? That's what we're talking about. Has anybody checked out a new show because they heard it advertised on another show, yeah? I have totally done that. And the thing that I would encourage you to remember about paid podcast promo is that almost all of it comes down to the actual creative execution of t...
he host-read, or the dynamically inserted spot. You can spend a lot of money on bad ads that are ineffective and will not get you new listeners because they're dry or not a good fit for your show, or are not placed right or not placed on the right shows. You can very easily spend lots of money on not great ads, you can also spend not a ton of money on really great ads, super creative, well executed ads, and you want your paid promo, the actual execution of your paid promo, when it comes to running audio in somebody else's show, you want that to be just as creatively brave as your show itself. Otherwise, it's all gonna fall down. So I'm gonna play you, just two examples of paid spots, podcast ads inside other podcasts, that I was involved in that I think work really well. So, we do a show with a company called McAfee, they make a show called Hackable? We launched a little more than a year ago. And we bought a mid-roll ad in a show called Reply All, which is a Gimlet show. And this was read by the Reply All host with some participation from Hackable?'s host. So I'm gonna hit play and we can all listen together.
This episode of Reply All is brought to you by Hackable?. Hackable? is a new podcast from McAfee about cyber security. And the title of the show is actually Hackable?, like, with a question mark at the end of the word. So I asked Hackable?'s host, Geoff Siskind, what the question mark was all about.
So there's tons of examples in Hollywood movies and television where things can be hacked with like a single keystroke and it's super easy, and we test that in the real world to find out, are these things actually hackable? So, hence the question mark, Hackable? And we kinda answer that question, yes or no.
So you're like hacker MythBusters, kind of.
Kind of. You know, my background is I know very little about this stuff, so I rely on all these hackers to show me the ropes.
Okay, so it's like hacker MythBusters if some rube stumbled onto the set. And (laughing) a bunch of people with a lot of experience taught him the answer to questions.
I don't know I'd use the word rube perse. (laughing) But yes, it is like that, and the hope is that the listener can actually learn a few things, and not make the same mistakes that I am, as the human guinea pig of the show.
Learn from this rube's mistakes. And find out how realistic Mr. Robot actual is. You can find Hackable? on Apple podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.
What struck you about that?
The humor, it's funny. You get a sense of the tone, of the show. Absolutely, what else struck you about it?
It's relatable, what do you mean?
It's relatable because you feel like you're actually getting to watch their conversation, and you can kind of hear the guy go, oh, I'm not a rube, so you just hear this like, personable relatable, information.
Totally, they make references to popular shows that people have actually heard of, many people have not heard of Hackable? lots of people have heard of Mythbusters. That's a useful comp right? So saying it's hacker Mythbusters? Is actually a really useful anchor in people's minds if you've never heard the show. I really like lots of things about this ad. I like the interaction, and also, Hackable? is a show about technology, Reply All is a show ostensibly about the internet, great fit, in terms of their audience, and the audience that we wanted to reach. So that really worked, for me, and I like to think that if I didn't work on the show, it might prompt me to go, at least sample the show. And I think that's really what you want these spots to do, you're not gonna drive from this type of ad, directly into a hardcore, subscriber immediately, but you can get somebody to check a show out. And if the show is good, maybe they will subscribe, and maybe they will enter into that on going relationship. Another thing that I really liked about this buy, was that it also included non-audio assets, Reply All also has a news letter. Thanks to our sponsor, Hackable?, at the very bottom. Right? So if you heard the episode, and then you are also on the Reply All newsletter, this is another touchpoint. Right? And you can tap on that, and listen, to the show. Right? So you can always think about beyond the audio itself, if I am paying somebody, to promote my show, what else can they throw into the deal. I want to play you another example, this is Command Line Heroes, a show that we do with Red Hat. And at launch, we wanted to reach a highly technical audience, so we looked around, at some adjacent shows, and we landed on, this show called Security Now, which is on Leo Laporte's Twit network, very high alignment between the audience that we wanted for Command Line Heroes, who are developers, sys admins, open source people, and the kinds of people who listen to Security Now, which is, built for a technical audience. And has a large existing technical audience. I'm gonna play you this, and the production values are very different, than the example that we just listened to. But I want you to listen to this, and I will give you a heads up, it is kind of long.
Well more to come in a second, let's talk about our sponsor for the show today. And I'm really thrilled to have Red Hat on the show, I am a long time, I have red hats, from Red Hat. I'm a long time user of Red Hat Linux, I think it was one of the first Linux's we installed on the new screens, on the old screensavers, many many years ago. And they wanted, they thought, hey what better place to come than Security Now to tell you about, the new Red Hat podcast, and I love its name, Command Line Heroes. It's a brand new original podcast for geeks by geeks, from Red Hat. Epic, I love this, epic true tales, of the developers, programmers, hackers, geeks, and open source rebels, they might as well have a Star Wars crawl for this, who are revolutionizing the technology landscape. I love the idea of memorializing, of talking about these guys, there is a two part episode up right now, called OS Wars, and it is totally out of Star Wars, It is a period of mounting tensions, the empires of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, careened toward an inevitable battle over proprietary software, only one empire, can emerge, as the purveyor, of a standard operating system for millions of users. But an unlikely hero arises from amongst the band of open source rebels, I can hear John Williams music right now, I bet you can too. You might be a Command Line Hero, if you've ever taken apart something to see how it works, maybe you'd rather make something instead of just using it, I think a lot of you are. Command Line Heroes are the makers, the builders, the dreamers, the doers, we're transforming tech, sharing our tomorrows what a great idea, you're getting on board right at the beginning, these are the first few episodes, and Red Hat I should probably, there may be some youngsters, who don't remember that Red Hat is an open source community started in an apartment, 25 years ago, the host, is Saron Yitbarek, I think that's how you say it. And she lives and breathes open source software, so she's a great, great person to host this. And I love, the subjects that, now they're doing the OS wars, back to the 80s, but they're gonna talk about Agile, the development of the Agile movement, with some of the players, the story of Dev ops, and something a little more modern those of you who are doing combat in the cloud. And that's just the start. Let's give them a big welcome, to the podcast community, I have lived and breathed Red Hat for years, and I am so glad to see they are doing a show, for Command Line Heroes. Here's how you find it, easy, Redhat.com/commandlineheroes. Redhat.com/commandlineheroes. It's of course, also on iTunes, and Spotify, and everywhere you get your podcasts. Redhat.com/commandlineheroes. And there's extras at the website so maybe you do wanna go there and get some of the extra stuff. Wow, just thrilled, to welcome Red Hat to the show. In fact, Red Hat, let's get some more stuff here. I love talking about Red Hat, Don't advertise on Windows Weekly though, I don't know if Paul would welcome you there. (laughing) Kidding, kidding.
So, enthusiastic, right? Like, this comes across as a personal endorsement, and I think that is the single biggest thing that it's going, it has going for it. It sounds, if you know Leo Laporte, and you've followed him for a long time, you listen to any of his shows, you have a relationship with Leo Laporte, hearing Leo say such lovely, wonderful things, about the show, we sent him copies of the show in advance, you get the sense that he has actually listened to it, he's not just reading copy off the thing. That effusive, personal endorsement, was a huge factor for the first couple of episodes of Command Line Heroes. So, I wouldn't necessarily recommend spots that long, but I wanted to play that for you, because that's what you can get for, not necessarily a huge amount of money, especially if you're going after a fairly, targeted, audience. Right? Did that host read work for you? It's a little long for me, but, I think I might, entertaining absolutely, and I think the trustworthiness that Leo brings to it, and his endorsement I think meant an awful lot. So effective tune in podcasts ads, at their best feel like a genuine endorsement, because they are a genuine endorsement, effective tune in style podcast ads, at best are delivered by a known host, you are piggybacking on their credibility, and their existing relationship. They focus on the show itself, not necessarily on the parent brand. So, promoting Game of Thrones, not necessarily promoting, HBO. They have to be compelling, you need to give somebody a genuine reason to sample, and then ideally subscribe. Wherever possible, if you can buy a tune in ad, and it includes non-audio placement, like that news letter example I showed you earlier, get a little extra juice out of that squeeze, and, you want to have a really strong match, or adjacency between subject, and target. I'll talk a little bit more about this later. But I think the Hackable? example, on Reply All was a great example of a really strong match between audiences, and the Security Now and Command Line Heroes example, again are really tight a match, between those audiences. There are of course other ways to do podcast promo. We've looked at the Atlanta Monster example. What do you notice about this? What strikes you about this? You can just shout it out.
Grungy, absolutely. It's cinematic, is a word that I would use. This looks like a movie poster to me. Is this preaching to the converted? There's a pretty prominent, Apple Podcasts logo, in both lower corners, but I would say, I don't need to know what Apple Podcast is, and they've used the icon, the app icon, rather than the name Apple Podcasts, I think this is probably, trying to grow the pie. Is this series level or is this episode level?
This is series level, I think out of home, makes way more sense for, something like, a series level promotion, rather than episode level promotion. I'll show you another example, this is the Amy Schumer show, on Spotify, and, these are large, out of home, marketing pieces. What do you notice about this one? Say again?
She has different pictures.
She has different pictures, absolutely. It's interesting, city by city, some of the ads include the word podcast and some of the ads don't include the word podcast. Which I think is kind of interesting. Even that word podcast, can turn some people off, or can be really appealing to other people. Is this preaching to the converted? Or is this growing the pie.
A little of both.
I think it's a little of both. Yeah. It's also a Spotify original. Lots of podcasts listeners who don't yet know they're podcast listeners, already have Spotify on their phone. Right? Is this series level? Or is this episode level?
This is series level. Another example. New York Times. The Daily. It's a different look, but similar in a lot of ways to the Atlanta Monster. I would say that this is absolutely when you look at the Apple branding, and when you look at the New York Times branding, This is definitely a grow the pie kind of thing. Here's another example, right? Have you seen these things where you live? They're coming. And more of them are coming. In the same way that you see movie posters and TV posters, you're gonna see more out of home like this. So, not everybody has budgets for this kind of thing, who in the room has a budget for a big billboard? (laughing) Okay, there were some laughs there. So. Not everybody? There are cheaper ways to do this. What is postering in your town look like? If you're legally allowed to do that. 'Cause some places you can't. What does that look like? What does it cost to print up stickers? Right? It doesn't necessarily have to be billboard level. This is slightly lower budget option than buying a gigantic billboard.