Calculating your podcast marketing costs in advance can sometimes being a tricky bit of math.

Podcast marketing costs can vary, sometimes wildly, even within the same type of campaigns.   What type of podcast you produce – advertiser supported vs. marketing your business – also has a lot of bearing on what, where,  and how you’ll spend your dollars to promote the series.

We are only going to focus on podcast marketing costs in this article, so we won’t be talking about other costs you’ll need to cover, like podcast hosting, equipment, editing programs or outsourced editing, and so forth; that’s something we would not allocate into our marketing budget, but rather something in capital expenditures or ongoing operating expense, depending again on what our podcast purpose actually might be.

[LISTEN: How Much Does It Cost to Successfully Market Your Podcast? – PODCAST EPISODE]

There are two kinds of podcasts in this world that should have podcast marketing costs; let’s talk briefly about the third type of podcast and get it out of the way: the vanity podcast.

Now that we’ve sorted that bit of kit out, back to our two primary podcasts – advertiser supported and business marketing product.

The first one – advertiser supported – involves actual advertisers who have airtime spots during the podcast and possibly graphic spots on the webpage or app page of the podcast.  NPR, This American Life, WBUR, WNYC Studios – these are all examples of shows (with a TON of listeners by the way) that sell advertising on their podcasts in order to generate a profit.

Other podcasts, like our very own Mobile Wallet Marketing Made Easy, are not ad supported – they have no advertisers, not on the air and not on the web site.  We produce the podcast in order to help our client base, and our potential client base, to see the benefits of mobile wallet advertising and to offer suggestions and ideas to help maximize revenue while using our product (mobile wallet advertising if you haven’t figured that part out by now) to sell their own goods, services, and brands.

Back on topic…  if you do a Google search for “podcast marketing cost”, the results are fairly scattershot and all over the map.

Podcast Marketing Costs

The reason for this (or at least the only one we can think of) is that it’s not very clear to people with podcasts (other than the big studios) that they’re going to have to market them and it’s going to cost money.  It seems that the idea of “build it and they will come” is alive and well in podcast production, so there are an awful lot of absolutely aghast people when they find out that podcast marketing costs are about real money.

[WATCH: Why You Want the Podcast Marketing Guide – VIDEO]

Our latest podcast episode talks all about how to market your podcast, what kind of costs you are looking at for podcast promotion and so on.  You can listen to it by clicking here.  It’s a fairly short episode, 20 minutes or so, and it’s got a bit more info in it than we’re going to cover in this article, in case you’re wondering.

Um, we just marketed our podcast to you, did you notice?

Actually we’ve marketed it to you three times on this page.

  • #1 – directly in the paragraph above
  • #2 – the LISTEN link a bit further up
  • #3 – the sidebar link to the podcast

So we’re always marketing our podcast, from almost every piece of content that we produce.  Since we advertise on places like Facebook, the posts that we feature give us extra love to our podcast because it’s in the sidebar and people are curious.  We have a hard time allocating the percentage of the FB buys that should be charged against the podcast marketing costs but we see a distinct rise in our numbers when promote a page with the sidebar, in case you were wondering.

What’s the most cost effective podcast marketing that we do?

At the risk of sounding like we’re tooting our own horn (because we are), it would have to be the mobile wallet advertising.    What other advertising do we do (so you know what we’re comparing it with)?  Facebook, Twitter, Adwords, purchased space on some websites directly from websites, and promoting the darn thing all over the place.

Why do we think it’s the most cost effective?

Well, to begin with, it’s a $49/month product for four updates a month to the lock screen.  We can’t get two days of FB ads to 600 people for that money when we target our audience at that level.  We also don’t get to re-target those people without giving Facebook more money, and they haven’t subscribed to anything that we control.  It’s the same with Adwords, LinkedIn, and so on.

[READ: Mobile Wallet Strategy: 5 Tips to Maximize Response Rates]

If you look at iTunes or Stitcher/Spreaker/Soundcloud etc for subscribers, again, you don’t get to market to them directly, and you don’t even get lock screen update notifications from most services today.  Google Play does a great job of it, but very few people listen via Google Play anyway.

With the mobile wallet advertising, it’s simple to send out a notification for each new show (and if your show only updates twice a month like we do, use the alternate weeks to send out marketing blasts for something else you’ve got going on).

You’re also able to drive traffic to all of your content directly from the back of the pass, using nearly any link that the phone will recognize as a link.  Pretty nifty, huh?

Right now, our best suggestion is to scroll back up, hit the podcast link, and listen to the episode.

If you’re not already marketing your podcasts with mobile wallet updates (like Modern Love and Tommy Chong!) then it’s probably time to take a serious look at the opportunity and do a little cost benefit analysis.