Artwork for podcast Podcast Pontifications
The Ugly Math Of Podcast Cross-Promotion
Episode 26th April 2022 • Podcast Pontifications • Evo Terra
00:00:00 00:12:05

Share Episode

Transcripts

Evo Terra:

Fishing where the fish are is a solid strategy, and so using

Evo Terra:

similar podcasts to promote your podcast is obviously a good idea, right?

Evo Terra:

You bet!

Evo Terra:

But like any marketing effort, what you put in, determines what you get out.

Evo Terra:

Hello, and welcome to another Podcast Pontifications with me, Evo Terra.

Evo Terra:

Cross-promotion has been a part of podcasting since there were two podcasts.

Evo Terra:

From promo swaps to heartfelt recommendations to episode drops,

Evo Terra:

there are myriad ways podcasters can grow their show by getting exposure

Evo Terra:

to the audience of another podcast.

Evo Terra:

There's little question as to the efficacy of these efforts, efforts that

Evo Terra:

make up the backbone of growth plans for large podcast networks like Wondery and

Evo Terra:

iHeart and promotional campaigns some of the biggest podcasters drop tens of

Evo Terra:

thousands of dollars on each month to increase the size of their audience.

Evo Terra:

So, quite naturally, the assumption has been that what works for the bigger

Evo Terra:

networks and the bigger podcasts can work for smaller networks and much

Evo Terra:

smaller shows, just scaled down a bit.

Evo Terra:

And sure, I'd say that's very true.

Evo Terra:

But humans are really, really bad at understanding scale, and scale is reality.

Evo Terra:

So let's do some very easy math.

Evo Terra:

Now, don't worry, there's not going to be a test at the end.

Evo Terra:

For example, let's say that a successful podcaster has the means to spend $10,000

Evo Terra:

a month on a paid cross-promotional campaign - a successful cross-promotional

Evo Terra:

campaign as well, mind you.

Evo Terra:

"How many new listeners is that?"

Evo Terra:

you might be asking.

Evo Terra:

And that's a very good question, but we actually really don't need to know

Evo Terra:

the hard number for this exercise.

Evo Terra:

All we need to understand is that a $10,000 investment - and honestly, I

Evo Terra:

know podcasters spend way more than that every month - that investment

Evo Terra:

gets them enough new listeners to make the investment worthwhile.

Evo Terra:

But you may not have $10,000 per month to spend on a promotional campaign.

Evo Terra:

You may not even have a thousand dollars.

Evo Terra:

Maybe a hundred dollars a month is more your style.

Evo Terra:

How successful will you be at spending $100 a month on a cross-promotional

Evo Terra:

campaign, a campaign where your podcast is mentioned or read or something

Evo Terra:

else inside of another podcast?

Evo Terra:

How well will that work?

Evo Terra:

Well, mathematically, it will work 100 times less successful than the

Evo Terra:

person who dropped $10,000 per month.

Evo Terra:

Or 1% as successful, if that helps.

Evo Terra:

Now, still, that might mean successful enough for you, I suppose.

Evo Terra:

Or even better, you might not need to use your wallet to fund the campaign.

Evo Terra:

Plenty of podcasters engage in cross-promotional campaigns by

Evo Terra:

setting up promo swaps or other quid pro quo relationships in

Evo Terra:

several creative, fun ways.

Evo Terra:

It's not the money that make cross-promotional campaigns successful,

Evo Terra:

it's being on the right show with the right message delivered in the right way.

Evo Terra:

And if you can achieve that by leveraging your personal relationships

Evo Terra:

and creativity, well, that sounds like time well spent, right?

Evo Terra:

Well, about that.

Evo Terra:

Dave Zorhob, co-founder and CEO of Chartable - recently acquired by

Evo Terra:

Spotify - shared some numbers at Podcast Movement Evolutions 2022

Evo Terra:

recently that help answer the question, "How well do cross-promotional

Evo Terra:

campaigns work for podcasters?"

Evo Terra:

They have a product called SmartPromos that measures podcast to podcast

Evo Terra:

attribution, meaning they can track how many listeners came to your podcast after

Evo Terra:

hearing the promo on another podcast.

Evo Terra:

Now, they've had this service for years and many podcasters

Evo Terra:

and podcast networks use it.

Evo Terra:

That means Chartable has a lot of data that shows the efficacy of this,

Evo Terra:

data that Dave shared at Podcast Movement Evolutions just recently.

Evo Terra:

And I gotta say, the data didn't surprise me, which means

Evo Terra:

it'll probably disappoint you.

Evo Terra:

Sorry.

Evo Terra:

You see, what Dave showed was that the new listener acquisition rate

Evo Terra:

for cross-promotions was 0.75%.

Evo Terra:

Not 75%.

Evo Terra:

Point-seven-five.

Evo Terra:

Less than one percent.

Evo Terra:

That means, if your cross-promotional campaign runs on a show that gets 1,000

Evo Terra:

downloads, math says you'll get seven to eight new listeners to your show.

Evo Terra:

Now, if you can get on a show that has maybe 10,000 downloads an

Evo Terra:

episode, then that becomes 70 or 80.

Evo Terra:

But if you get stuck on smaller shows that have maybe a hundred downloads per

Evo Terra:

episode, that your cross-promotional efforts went into, well, you'll be

Evo Terra:

lucky to get a single new listener.

Evo Terra:

So why do people do this if it sucks so bad?

Evo Terra:

Well look, at scale it doesn't suck so bad.

Evo Terra:

Those 70 to 80 listeners can add up to about 1,500 downloads a month for a show

Evo Terra:

that releases multiple times a week.

Evo Terra:

That's 18,000 downloads per year.

Evo Terra:

And that's more impressions that that podcaster can then turn around and

Evo Terra:

sell to advertisers - impressions that were generated by listeners

Evo Terra:

acquired for about three bucks each.

Evo Terra:

Impressions that have a value of more like $7.50 per download over the course

Evo Terra:

of the year, which more than doubles the investment over the course of that year.

Evo Terra:

That is why the big shows and the networks spend big bucks on effective

Evo Terra:

cross-promotional campaigns to increase their available inventory so they can make

Evo Terra:

more money running ads for advertisers.

Evo Terra:

So now, if that is you, then go for it!

Evo Terra:

The math is in and it clearly works.

Evo Terra:

Yeah, you'll still need to put in the time and effort to finding the

Evo Terra:

right shows, ensuring that they do a great promotion for you and all

Evo Terra:

the other headaches that come with managing effective, creative ad spends,

Evo Terra:

but you already know that probably.

Evo Terra:

And if that's not you, well, and you're on the smaller scale, look, I think you

Evo Terra:

should still seek out cross-promotional opportunities when you can.

Evo Terra:

There's no harm in that.

Evo Terra:

Just understand the realities and don't expect your listener numbers to skyrocket.

Evo Terra:

With that, I shall be back next week with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

Evo Terra:

Cheers!

Evo Terra:

Podcast Pontifications is written and narrated by Evo Terra.

Evo Terra:

He's on a mission to make podcasting better.

Evo Terra:

Links to everything mentioned in today's episode are in the notes

Evo Terra:

section of your podcast listening app.

Evo Terra:

A written-to-be-read article based on today's episode is available at

Evo Terra:

podcastpontifications.com where you'll also find a video version and a corrected

Evo Terra:

transcript, both created by Allie Press.

Evo Terra:

Podcast Pontifications is a production of Simpler Media.