The Worst Podcast Advertising Advice

If you’re thinking about starting a podcast, the beginning is the easy part. Learning how to grow your podcast audience is more challenging.

The internet is an incredible place full of useful information that can be helpful, but it is also a junkyard of misinformation that can complicate many people’s success when the follow the worst podcast advertising advice. 

I want to share five pieces of terrible advice floating out there online and why you should never try them.


Use the same offer you are using on other social media ads.

This on one of the worst podcast advertising advice for direct response campaigns.

Direct response is popular in podcast advertising, where we’ve got a special offer that we’re putting out there. We’re taking a look to see how that offer is working to know whether podcast advertising is hitting the mark.

Often, advertisers use a similar or worse offer. Then they wonder why they’re not successful. 

If free shipping is your offer, but you have it plastered all over your website and social media, when listeners hear an ad that offers free shipping, they’re not going to be compelled to use the podcast code or URL because they can just get it from the website.

That’s an offer that you have placed out there, right? In lots of other places. When you put a promotion together, take a look at the podcast and its audience. Think about how they will respond to the special that you’ve put in place.

Now, the offer doesn’t always have to be a massive discount. Get creative and brainstorm what you can provide to a customer and what that customer is worth for you. Put some consideration into the promotion because you will not get the results you want if it is weak. 

I see brands that put together offers that are so complicated. It doesn’t translate well to the product. Prepare something easy to understand that blends well to your product. Something that’s really going to motivate a brand new customer.


I have seen time again that marketing people pick podcasts because they are the podcast that they enjoy.

Now obviously, if the podcasts are also a perfect fit with your target market, that’s great. But, if it doesn’t resonate with your target audience, there will be little to no sales. 

When I was in radio ad sales, many moons ago, my mentor said, “I love steak, but I don’t fish with steak because fish don’t like it.” You have to make sure that you’re fishing with the bait that your audience likes, right? 

Ensure that you’re not picking the podcasts that you like unless they hit your target market.


This is the least worst podcast advertising advice, but still terrible.

Depending on your budget, don’t just pick small shows because their CPM is lower. If it hits your target market, and the audience is engaged, the ad can produce a good return on your investment, then go for it. But don’t just look at smaller shows because they’re cheaper. 

only advertise on huge podcasts

I see advertisers picking big podcasts because they have more reach and a well-known host. This does not mean that it will pull well for you. 

I’ve talked to advertisers who have advertised on the Joe Rogan Experience, which is one of the largest podcasts out there. Right? And they’ve got a low return on their investment, and it’s not because there’s anything wrong with the Joe Rogan Experience. It reaches millions of people, which is impressive.

But if it’s not a good fit with your target market, or if your product doesn’t resonate with the host, then the podcast is not a good fit for you. 


The way you get results is to test varying sizes of podcasts. That way, when you test, you have more to go on and determine what works for your brand.

only run one ad on one podcast

This is, by far, the worst podcast advertising advice. I never recommend this.

Especially not on just one podcast, because that is giving you a sample size that is too small to achieve any results. 

Podcasts are very different from other mediums. They are slow-moving and much more intentional. Listeners don’t accidentally stumble across a podcast on their social feed.

So, the audience engagement on podcasts is much higher than it is with other mediums. Listeners are more invested and tend to be better spenders on products than other platforms. 

If you were going to run an ad on Facebook today, you could reach hundreds of thousands of people at once. You can do that with podcasts as well, but they are unique in the way that when an episode is released, A hundred percent of the audience does not listen to that episode in that one day.

By choosing to advertise on one episode from a podcast, you are reaching a tiny number of people in comparison to how you could be getting people if your campaign was set up effectively. 

I recommend that you pick multiple shows to advertise on, because if you’ve never done podcast advertising before you want to test.

See what shows are pulling for you and the ones that are not. 

Research shows that people need to hear about your product seven to ten times before purchasing decisions. 

The risk you run when you just run one ad is you are gambling that they have seen your messaging elsewhere. There are lots and lots of people today who have curbed how they are receiving advertising messages. And they may have only heard about your company on the podcast.

And if they just hear about you once they are not going to make a buying decision. So I urge you to think about purchasing one more than one ad. Don’t ever just purchase one ad on a podcast. Because really, it’s not going to be effective. 


  • Use the same offer over all social media ads.
  • Only advertise on podcast you like.
  • Advertise on small podcasts because they are cheap.
  • Only advertise on huge podcasts.
  • Only place one ad on one podcast top test if it works.

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