Overcast is one of the most popular podcast listening apps in the world today. With good reason – it's a superb app, packed with useful features.
Overcast seems to typically attract the ‘seasoned' podcast listener or “power listener.” They're looking for a more streamlined experience than you'll currently get from the likes of Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Not only that, but Overcast's general ethos and knowledge of the medium make them an industry asset.
Overcast is built for podcast listeners. But they also provide the tools for podcasters to advertise their shows in the app. Recently we tested this out ourselves, and we're going to talk about our results in this article. But before we get to that, a word about podcast ads in general.
Paying to Advertise Your Podcast
Running paid ads for podcasts has traditionally been a tricky art to master.
Many have used the social media route, advertising on platforms such as Facebook. With this, it's common to see a lot of ‘likes'. But often these fail to translate to actual listens.
Then there's audio ads. Podcasters can pay to run adverts on other shows, or more recently, on listening platforms such as Spotify.
The problem with both these approaches is that they need potential listeners to do a bit of work in order to become actual listeners of your show.
Create a Website/Blog for Your Show
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An audio ad will usually be heard by someone who's doing something whilst they've got their earbuds in. They could be driving, out running, or doing the garden. Your ad needs to grab their attention, enough that they'll remember to go and search for your show later on.
Similarly, a social media ad will point back to your website. This is still going to require a few clicks before someone is actually hitting play or subscribe. Some of the folks who see it might not even be podcast listeners.
I'm in no way saying podcasters don't or can't have success with these methods. Many have. But it's likely that, for advertising your show, Overcast is simply a much better use of your cash.
100% of the folks that you reach are podcast listeners. That's why they're looking at Overcast when they see your ad. They're likely either listening to a podcast, or about to hit play on one.
This means they're literally one click away from browsing your podcast inside their chosen listening app. And they're only two clicks away from hitting Play or Subscribe.
There's no education needed here. There's no “what is a podcast?”, no “find us at…”. It's simply down to your snippet you write when you create your ad. That, and your podcast's name, and potentially your artwork.
The ads are unobtrusive, yet clearly visible to the user. You can see an example below, at the bottom of the screenshot, for the Overachievers Gaming Podcast.
How Does Overcast Advertising Work?
You need to sign up for an Overcast account at Overcast.fm.
Overcast is an iOS-only listening app, but anyone can sign up for an account on their computer.
Once you're in, go to overcast.fm/ads where you'll see the full details. This includes info on current pricing and estimated reach.
As you'll see, ads are broken out into different categories. Naturally, the cost is higher for the more popular ones. You can see how many slots are available, and which ones are currently sold out. If it's one of the sold out ones you're after, you can ask to be notified when they become available.
Once you select a category, you'll click through to a page where you can customise your snippet. If you leave this blank, Overcast will use the start of the description in your feed. Then, you can preview your ad, before reviewing your purchase, and making the payment. It's really simple.
Our Overcast Advertising Experiment
We ran Overcast advertising for a brand new show we created called Organic Life.
At that point, an ad in the Health category cost $190.
The estimated taps were 750-1000, whilst the estimated subscriptions were 40-55.
The ad ran from 24th July to 23rd August, 2019.
As you can see, it performed better than anticipated with more than 1300 taps, and over 80 subscribes!
Why Might Overcast Advertising Not Work For Me?
One of the few situations it might not be a good option for you, is if the vast majority of your target audience don't already listen to podcasts. They wouldn't use a podcast app at all, let alone Overcast.
If you're in a traditionally “non-techy” niche, then a lot of your promotion might be more of the general “what is a podcast?” type education. In those instances, you might want to explore running ads in trade magazines.
Advertising on Overcast would be a waste of money, if none of your target audience are likely to be using the app already.
Summary: Advertising Your Podcast On Overcast
Overcast advertising can be a great way to get more listeners for your show.
There's a couple of things to consider, though.
Firstly, it's not the cheapest. You need to figure out how much each new subscriber is worth to you.
For example, if your show is a marketing tool for your business where you sell $500 products, then these ads could easily pay for themselves.
But if you're running a hobby or very low-income show, it might be a stretch too far at this moment in time.
Secondly, the onus on the success of an Overcast advertising campaign is on you, rather than the app itself. Their estimates are just that – estimates.
Your show still needs to be good enough that people will check it out and hit subscribe. Above all else, creating good content is the ultimate priority.
Need More Help?
Whether you'd like support and guidance on making great content, or with growing your audience, check out The Podcast Host Academy.
There, you'll get access to all our courses, resources, downloadable checklists, as well as our community and regular live Q&A sessions!