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How to Grow Your Podcast with Facebook Ads

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Every podcast host wants the same thing: more listeners.

I think that’s a given. 

Who wants to spend time and effort creating a great episode only for nobody to listen to it? 

The sad reality is, most of us spend far more time creating the content than we do distributing it. Meaning, oftentimes we publish and… tumbleweed.

How do we ensure we get more people listening? There are many different ways to promote a podcast. But in this article, I want to share a simple, yet powerful way to get the RIGHT people listening to your podcast at scale using Facebook ads.

Why Facebook Ads?

Getting straight to the point… there’s no better way to distribute content than by using Facebook ads. A bold statement, I know. But here’s why…

When you use Facebook ads, you’re able to pinpoint your podcast to the EXACT person you want to listen to it.

For example, if you have a podcast that is targeting women interested in Scottish football, but who live in the USA, you could create an ad that goes to only that demographic. When creating your ad, you can simply choose to target women, who live in the United States and are interested in Scottish Football.

Not just that though, we can go even further… we can choose to only target our ads to people who are on an iOS device (if we want to promote our show on Apple Podcasts). Similarly, we could target people on an Android device.

We can also look at doing things such as targeting people with an interest in podcasts, which might indicate they’re a podcast listener. Or, we might want to only target people connected to WiFi, indicating they’re in a place where they’re more likely to be able to download a show. 

All of these things, which I walk you through below, make Facebook one of the best ways to promote your show.

Measuring Results

Unfortunately when running Facebook ads to promote your podcast, it’s difficult to truly measure the results. It’s almost impossible to know how much you’re spending to get a new subscriber, for example.

When running Facebook ads to promote sales of a product or the registration of a webinar, for example, it’s very easy to track results. We can accurately see how much we’re spending on Facebook to acquire a sale/sign up. 

This is because we can control our website and place the Facebook Pixel on it. This is a piece of code that allows us to track the effectiveness of our advertising.

When we send people to Apple Podcasts, Spotify or elsewhere, we aren’t able to track because we can’t add the pixel to those platforms. 

This means we have to rely on looking at Facebook’s click data, such as the number of link clicks, click-through rate (CTR) and video engagement metrics. You can also use the stats inside your podcast host to see whether you get an uplift in listens whilst running ads.

Not 100% accurate, but the best we can do!

And with that, let’s dive into the actual strategy we want to use when promoting your episodes using Facebook ads.

Step One: Create Micro-Content From Your Episode

The first step of this strategy has nothing to do with Facebook, but instead how we repurpose our episode for promotion once it’s created. 

Getting someone to consume an entire podcast episode on Facebook is going to be near enough impossible – so we need to cut the podcast up and create micro-content from it. If you film your podcast, this step is going to be much easier (and powerful) for you. 

In fact, I highly recommend you film your episodes from now on. Even if you don’t promote the full show, that recording gives you more to play with when it comes to distributing it. 

For my show, the Funnily Enough Show, I have my podcast editor take the full episode and find a 1-2 minute segment within that’s particularly interesting or entertaining. I then ask them to edit it to include captions, so that video becomes a piece of content on its own. 

Video screenshot - raising your prices

We edit this to be in square format and like to add a title to the top of the video to capture people’s attention.

I suggest creating 2-3 pieces of micro content from each one of your podcast episodes. You can use these across all the different social media platforms. The result is a much more engaging post, rather than a boring “listen to my latest episode…. Boringtweet.com” type post.

If you don’t have any video recordings, then you can use tools like Headliner to create nice audiograms of your podcast. This strategy will still work with audiograms, but it’s likely to be less effective, as audiograms aren’t quite as engaging.

A final alternative, one that’s a lot of fun and very shareable, is to have a clip from your show animated and turned into a cartoon!

Step Two: Publish Micro-Content To Facebook & Promote Using Facebook Ads

Next up, it’s time to take that micro-content and publish it to Facebook. We want to, first of all, publish this as an organic post on our Facebook feed. This allows us to gather some engagement before we put any advertising spend behind it. 

When publishing your micro-content, again, try and make the post valuable on its own, as well as then promoting the episode. The purpose of the text in your post is to hook people into watching the video. The purpose of the video is to hook people into clicking the link and listen to the full show.

See how I’ve done that in this post. 

Facebook ads example

I know business owners, who are my target audience, often struggle with pricing. So I hook them in with that using the text in this post. The video then has the title of “raising your prices” to further draw them in. And in the video, there 80 seconds of super valuable advice on pricing… 

The hope is that people get value from that and go “Ah! I need to listen to the full thing!”

You want to give them the option to do so in the text as well. Now, where you send people to here is your choice. I personally send people to the show notes of that episode, because it gives them the choice to listen on the platform they want. 

Once you’ve posted the video, give it around 24 hours to distribute itself out into the world. Once it’s done that, we add fuel to the fire by running ads…

Running Facebook Ads To Promote Podcast Episodes

1. Create campaign

Now we’ve posted the video with a link to our podcast on our Facebook page, it’s time to promote that out to a wider audience using Facebook ads. To do this, head into your ads manager and click on ‘create’. 

Facebook ads: Account overview

2. Choose the traffic objective

Once you’ve done that, it’s going to take you to a page asking you what advertising objective you want to use. What we’re doing here is essentially telling Facebook what we want to achieve. Because we’re going trying to drive traffic to our podcast page, we want to select the ‘traffic’ objective.

Facebook ads: What's your marketing objective?

3. Configure your ad set

Once you’ve chosen your objective, you’re going to be taken to the ad set level. This is arguably the most important part of all of this. As this is where we choose who we want to target and how we want our campaign to run.

Who you choose here in your targeting is entirely down to you and who your target audience is. But with Facebook you can get super specific. Choose from a host of demographics, interests and behaviours. 

In this example, I’d be targeting people who live in Canada and are interested in the guitar. Perfect if I had a show about learning to play the guitar.

Selecting a location for your ads

Once you’ve chosen your targeting, you want to choose your placements. Facebook will have this set to ‘automatic’ by default, but you want to click on ‘edit placements’. 

Then, scroll to the bottom of the placements section where you’ll see “specific mobile devices and operating systems”. In that drop-down, you can choose to run your ad to people on Android or iOS devices. This is important if you’re trying to promote a specific platforms, or only host your podcast on specific platforms. 

Facebook ads: Devices

Here you can also tick ‘Only when connected to WiFi’ if that’s something you think may benefit you.

4. Choose your ad

Once you’ve configured your ad set, click Continue and you’ll be taken to the ad level, where you create your advert. Luckily for us, the work has already been done here as we’re going to use the post we posted to our wall.

Facebook ads: Use existing post

Click on ‘Use Existing Post’, then ‘Select Post’ and then click on the post you want to use. You won’t be able to edit this, as it’s already on the feed, so go ahead and scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on ‘confirm’. 

And there you go! Your post will start to be distributed to the audience you selected and it will start driving traffic to your podcasting page.

Step Three: Retarget People Who Watched Videos

That’s all well and good, but not everyone who consumes the video we shared will go on to listen to the podcast there and then. They might be busy, caught up in something or maybe it’s just the wrong time…

Which means, we want a strategy in place to bring them back.

To do this, we’re going to create a retargeting ad targeting anyone who watches the video but doesn’t click the link. If they’ve watched the video, it suggests they’re interested, so we want to give them another opportunity to listen to the full thing. 

Here’s how we create this…

1. Create our retargeting audiences

In order to retarget people who have watched our videos, we need to first of all create what’s called a Facebook custom audience. This is where we tell Facebook who it is we want to retarget with ads. In this case, we’re going to create a custom audience based on people who have watched our podcast video.

To do this, head into your business manager. Then, make your way to audiences. 

Facebook Ads Manager
Facebook Ads: Create a custom audience

Then, click on ‘choose a content type’ and it’ll ask you for the length of time someone watched your video for. You can target people who watched 3s all the way to 95%. This is up to you.

Facebook Ads: Video engagement custom audience

Once you’ve chosen your time, click on ‘choose videos…’ and tick the video you want to use, like I’ve done here.

Facebook ads: Select Videos

Then, click confirm.

2. Create another campaign targeting the same 

Now that we’ve created our custom audience, we need to create another ad retargeting the people that watched that video. 

The process of creating the campaign will be exactly the same as step one, so I won’t go over it again. The only difference being, when you’re at the ad set level and you’re choosing your targeting, rather than targeting people based on interests, we’re going to select our custom audience.

create new audience

You’re going to want to keep your budget super low here. £/$1 will be sufficient for most people here, as the audience you’re targeting will likely be small. This can always be increased if you start to get thousands of views on your video.

And there we have it! A sure-fire way to promoting your podcast using Facebook ads. There are lots of fun and unique way to promote a podcast but this is my favourite because of how specific we can get with the targeting & messaging.

If you’re exploring your marketing options too, then be sure to check out this guide on where to advertise your podcast.

If you have any questions, drop them below and I’ll get back ASAP!

This post was contributed by Gavin Bell from The Funnily Enough Show. Gavin helps entrepreneurs implement a proven system to acquire new leads & customers online.

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