Growing with ads?

2021.10.28 11:56 piccdk Growing with ads?

Hi,
TLDR: I want to grow my podcast, I tried advertising but it's unaffordable to get meaningful results.
I've had my podcast for about a year, and I really enjoy it. Right now it's still very small with 2.2k plays total, but I'm hoping that in the very very long term (5 years+), it would be big enough that it can supplement my income.
However, growing it has been hard. I wanted to try to speed up the process a bit by investing on it and have publicity towards it.
I first tried YouTube ads. In terms of views it was actually very good and I paid around 0.04€ per view which I find very cheap. However, those views don't seem to be meaningful. I only got a single subscriber from it, almost no likes, and no comments. So people were engaging with the content and it was mostly "dead views".
The audience custumization on YouTube is not great, so I figured that was the problem. So I figured I'd try something that was close to my audience. I thought about doing facebook ads since the customization is very good there, but then I had the idea of doing business directly with some already established pages.
There is a relatively big community around the topics I cover in my podcast on Instagram. So messaged a lot of them and decided to go with the ones that had the best price for their size/engagement. I was pretty hopefully for this because for most pages I think the audience in those pages is spot-on, and I don't think I can possibly do more direct targeting than this.
I ended up spending 330€ across 8 pages, some somewhat small (and thus cheap) and some bigger and more expensive. Some were posts + stories and some only stories. But the goal was always clicking the link in the story to be directed towards the podcast episode.
In total the stories had 64000 impressions (views), and 390 clicks.
In actual output to the episode, on YouTube it gained 211 views, 15 likes and 21 subs. I was impressed by the view/like ratio, and I was surprised that I got no dislikes, which I expected to get some. In this sense the engagement was infinitely better than YT ads. I also gained around 100 plays across podcast platforms.
The results weren't bad, but god they were expensive. To simplify all the outcomes and combining podcast+podcast plays together, I paid 1€ for 190 impressions, and around 1€ per podast view.

  1. I am being too critical of my outcome? Or is the pricing standard for this type of stuff?
  2. Is there some other way of advertising the podcast that is more cost efficient? I already read a fair bit about how to grow the podcast organically, I mean specifically with ads.
Regarding 2, I thought about advertising with podcasts directly instead of Instagram pages. In some sense that would be more direct targeting, but it has 2 problems:
a) there isn't as much space to advertise. The community on IG is a lot bigger. There aren't many podcasts and they aren't as big. Only 2 come to mind that are big but those would be crazy expensive to advertise on.
b) IG has the benefit that is very low-effort to actually to go the podcast if you're interested. It's literally a click away. While an ad on the podcast you will have to go look it up. Even if you click a link in the podcast description, you still have to stop what you're doing and go click it, since many people listen to podcasts doing something else.
Insight is very appreciated! Thank you!
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