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Facebook Ads for Podcasts: Good Money After Bad Math
Episode 604th November 2021 • Podcast Pontifications • Evo Terra
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Evo Terra:

It said that money can't buy happiness.

Evo Terra:

Well...

Evo Terra:

it can't buy podcast listeners either, according to the data generated from

Evo Terra:

a Facebook Ad experiment I funded for 76 days and have just terminated.

Evo Terra:

Today's episode is brought to you by Gumball, the premier marketplace to easily

Evo Terra:

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Evo Terra:

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Evo Terra:

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Evo Terra:

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Evo Terra:

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Evo Terra:

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Evo Terra:

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Evo Terra:

Best of all, Gumball takes pride in offering the most podcaster friendly

Evo Terra:

terms as a standard, meaning more money flowing directly to the podcaster.

Evo Terra:

As it should be!

Evo Terra:

If your show is pulling down more than 10,000 downloads per episode, you owe

Evo Terra:

it to yourself to talk to Gumball at Gumball.fm to see how they can help you

Evo Terra:

make even more money with your podcast.

Evo Terra:

That's Gumball.fm.

Evo Terra:

And tell 'em Evo sent you!

Evo Terra:

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

Evo Terra:

Over the last two and a half months, let's say, I spent $360 in media

Evo Terra:

to prove something I already knew.

Evo Terra:

Facebook ads are not a great choice to grow the audience of a podcast.

Evo Terra:

More specifically than that, running an ad campaign on Facebook

Evo Terra:

is prohibitively expensive.

Evo Terra:

It's a prohibitively expensive way to generate and acquire a

Evo Terra:

measurable, increased number of listeners to your podcast.

Evo Terra:

And again, I knew this to be the case, yet I still contracted with a firm,

Evo Terra:

a firm that specializes in running Facebook advertising campaigns to

Evo Terra:

grow podcast audiences dramatically.

Evo Terra:

I did that.

Evo Terra:

I have them run the experiment to take my negativity out of the mix because

Evo Terra:

hey, maybe I'm wrong about this spoiler.

Evo Terra:

I was not wrong, but a quick programming note, this is the final episode of 2020.

Evo Terra:

My long winter's nap commences right after this.

Evo Terra:

And we'll end on January the fourth, 2022.

Evo Terra:

So if you're brand new, welcome, I got 500 episodes in the can for you to

Evo Terra:

ponder while I take my little break here.

Evo Terra:

So please stay subscribed or stay followed, whatever

Evo Terra:

we're calling it these days.

Evo Terra:

Whatever cool.

Evo Terra:

Cool.

Evo Terra:

All right.

Evo Terra:

Back to the money now that $360 I spent on targeted Facebook

Evo Terra:

ads brought me to my show.

Evo Terra:

500 clicks.

Evo Terra:

But that's 500 clicks, not listeners.

Evo Terra:

It is very easy to buy clicks.

Evo Terra:

And at less than a buck, a click, they seem like they might actually be

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inexpensive, but clicks by themselves like monthly downloads by themselves.

Evo Terra:

It's kind of a worthless number.

Evo Terra:

It's useless.

Evo Terra:

The real question is did those 500 clickers become 500 lists?

Evo Terra:

Hmm.

Evo Terra:

Okay, maybe not 500.

Evo Terra:

What about 400 listeners then let's take it down a notch.

Evo Terra:

Let's go half to 50.

Evo Terra:

In a word, no.

Evo Terra:

In four words, no, of course not.

Evo Terra:

Nor would I expect them to and nor should you, and nor should the person running

Evo Terra:

your advertising campaign and here's why.

Evo Terra:

Now, remember I have spent for the better part of two decades running

Evo Terra:

a digital advertising companies.

Evo Terra:

So I know that most people who click on an ad will not actually convert.

Evo Terra:

And of course, in my case, converting means actually becoming

Evo Terra:

a listener of the program.

Evo Terra:

So what percentage of clickers will convert well historically and

Evo Terra:

across the broad range of advertise.

Evo Terra:

We typically project somewhere between 0.2% and 2% for a conversion rate.

Evo Terra:

That's it 2% at the most two out of 100.

Evo Terra:

Now 2% of those, again, that's the high end.

Evo Terra:

2% of the 500 clicks I had would be 10.

Evo Terra:

Okay, fine.

Evo Terra:

Maybe the ad campaign got me 10 new listeners.

Evo Terra:

If I look at, and I have looked at my average seven and 28 day per

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episode, download numbers then sure.

Evo Terra:

I think I can probably see it got me maybe 10 more listeners or at least

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10 more listeners are inside of that growth, but that 10 more listeners

Evo Terra:

cost me $360 in media dollars.

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To acquire that's really expensive acquisition costs, especially

Evo Terra:

considering the fact that I'm not selling a product on my podcast to you.

Evo Terra:

My listeners.

Evo Terra:

So after 76 days of spending, when there were no indications whatsoever that the

Evo Terra:

campaign would do anything more, unless I threw more money at it, I pulled the.

Evo Terra:

I was pretty confident at the time and still am that I had enough data to say

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that, no, of course it didn't work.

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As I anticipated.

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Now I could wax poetically for as long as you really want about

Evo Terra:

why this plan failed to work.

Evo Terra:

And in my considered opinion will always fail to.

Evo Terra:

I could slice and dice the numbers.

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I could analyze the efficacy of the messaging that was used.

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We could extrapolate on the disconnect between clicking to a website and

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subscribing slash following a podcast, or even remind you that of the lack of

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attribution, the lack of attribution tracking we get from podcasts, listening

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apps that makes it vastly different than other sorts of digital advertising.

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And yes, all of those issues are very variable.

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And all of them played a part contributing to why campaigns like

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this and this one specifically failed.

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But let's go back to the beginning where I said that I spent this money

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to prove something I already knew.

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That's true, but it's only part of the truth.

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I did it so that I could demonstrate to you the serious

Evo Terra:

podcaster that it would not.

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And quite frankly, given the current state of podcasting where we live today with the

Evo Terra:

technologies that work to make podcasting work, this kind of advertising campaign

Evo Terra:

can't work clicks on ad campaigns.

Evo Terra:

Do not matter if those clicks fail to convert people, to being a listener.

Evo Terra:

And that best 98% of the clicks you pay for will not convert someone to

Evo Terra:

becoming a listener of your show.

Evo Terra:

So my advice don't waste your money on this.

Evo Terra:

Now for those data in there is out there.

Evo Terra:

I am publishing and have linked in the episode, details a link to the Google

Evo Terra:

sheet that has all of these numbers on it.

Evo Terra:

Feel free to examine the results at your leisure.

Evo Terra:

Go as deep as you want to.

Evo Terra:

I've got tabs showing the seven day and 28 day per episode.

Evo Terra:

But I get from my hosting company, captivate, I've got the Facebook

Evo Terra:

campaign data and I've got a few fancy charts to show you what I'm not

Evo Terra:

seeing in these lackluster results.

Evo Terra:

Now, also with that, this is the end of this half season of Podcast

Evo Terra:

Pontifications it is now coming to a close for the next few weeks.

Evo Terra:

I'll be taking what I call my long winter.

Evo Terra:

And my plan is to emerge with all new content just after the new year.

Evo Terra:

I think on January 4th, 2022 right now.

Evo Terra:

But during that time, over these next few weeks, I will still be quite active,

Evo Terra:

mostly on Twitter sometimes also in the Advancing Podcasting community.

Evo Terra:

Are you a part of that advancingpodcasting.xyz, please chime in.

Evo Terra:

That's a Discord server that is set up just for serious podcasters.

Evo Terra:

Please join us over there.

Evo Terra:

So that's it.

Evo Terra:

I shall be back on January 4th, 2022 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.