The Value of Spending on Marketing Your Podcast

LightbulbIt’s so exciting when your podcast starts making some money! Suddenly you can justify buying better recording equipment, or maybe you choose to decorate your “studio”. Perhaps it goes into your pocket and helps with your personal bills – no matter what it’s doing for you and your podcast, it’s pretty cool that you can finally see some tangible results.

Sure, money isn’t everything, but boy, does it help keep the lights on. Eventually, you will have the thought, “Yea, some money is nice, but more would be better!”

What Are Your Goals?

Before we get into the thick of it, let’s take a moment to consider your goals. 

Has anything been bugging you about the quality of your podcast? 

  • Maybe the audio quality is lacking, and a new mic or mixer would help?
  • Maybe you run an interview style show, and a subscription to a service like IMDB Pro would help you to nail down interviews?
  • Perhaps your audience has been chomping at the bit for some merch, and you would like to invest in that side of your podcast?

Prioritize what’s important to you and get those items budgeted first. But if the main problem you want to solve is, “How do I turn this money into more money?” then please read on.

How to Turn Your Monthly Revenue into More Monthly Revenue

The reason you have some monthly revenue is because of your audience. Either you have advertisers who want to reach your audience and pay you for the opportunity, and/or your audience supports you directly. So, it stands to reason that the larger your audience, the more revenue.

Is this sound logic? Sure.

Does a dollar spent on advertising necessarily translate into a substantial increase in your listener base? Kind of…

The layperson tends to have pretty lofty ideas about how advertising works. But as podcasters, we need to have a much better understanding of what realistic expectations should be when spending money on marketing – both for our marketing knowledge and to educate those who want to market on our shows. 

Where Should You Spend Money to Market Your Podcast?

Well, it depends.

Consider this question before committing to spending money on advertising, “What do I want people to do when they see this advertisement?

The answer will give you an idea of who or what you should do your advertising on.

If the answer is “I want more people to listen to my podcast.” Then consider advertising on a podcast application. If you want people to listen to your podcast and see your advertisement on a podcast player, they are only one click away from listening to your podcast. Conversely, if they see your advertisement on social media, they have to jump through a bunch of hoops just to listen to your show, which is usually a bridge too far.

But, if you want to grow your social media following, advertising on that social media platform is probably the best place to spend that marketing money.

What Are Realistic Expectations When it Comes to Advertising and Marketing Spend?

Depending on where you advertise and the desired outcome, you can pay anywhere from $1-10 per new subscriber. Most of the podcast platforms that our podcast has used have averaged somewhere between $2-5 per new subscriber.

Is a new listener worth that cost? Some of them probably aren’t, to be honest. They will listen once or twice and then forget you even exist.

Some of the listeners you gain will definitely be worth it. Some will tell all their friends about your show, subscribe to your Patreon account, and give you a five-star rating everywhere they can.

And then there’s the new casual listener, who becomes a fan and listens regularly, but rarely if ever, acts on any of your calls to action.

Marketing Yourself Is Important

Just as it’s essential to reach out to other shows and do outreach, it’s important to advertise. If you aren’t doing it, you are missing out on listeners who can and will become longtime, value-producing fans of your show.

Some people will find you if you advertise, and your monthly revenue will grow because of it. Your community will too.

Try not to leave anything on the table, but certainly be smart about what you spend your money on, and when you notice something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to cut the cord and try another approach.


David DayDavid Day is the co-founder and co-host of Horror Movie Talk Podcast. When he isn’t watching horror movies he is focused on growing the podcast. Listen to his show Horror Movie Talk here.