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Growing your podcast? Being everywhere isn’t as important as you think.

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In a recent episode of Podcasting Sucks! I talk about whether or not a podcaster should be concerned with ensuring that their RSS feed has distribution to “everywhere.” Below is an embed of the episode and my key takeaways.

What “everywhere” means.

The good folks at Buzzsprout give us some insights into what “everywhere” means.

A list of popular podcast distribution channels
A continued list of popular podcast distribution channels

So, first of all, holy shit. Right? Secondly, Instagram?

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I want you to imagine that you had a monthly marketing budget of $100 and a monthly marketing labor budget of 10-hours.

You’ve got $100 and 10-hours to expend on promoting your podcast every month.

Where are you going to put that $100 and 10-hours? Everywhere? I hardly think that’s possible. Your money is precious, and your time is even more so — right? So where are you going to invest your money, and where are you going to invest your time, every week and every month?

When it’s money we’re talking about, you care about your cost per acquisition – and broad distribution might drive it up

If you spend $100 and get 10 new subscribers, your cost per acquisition is $10. If you spend $100 and get 100 new subscribers, your cost per acquisition is $1. You get it.

Acquisitions happen in the same way conversions on a CTA happen: at a relatively fixed percentage of the total number of impressions. You ask 1000 people to fill out a form, 3% (30) actually do so. You get an ad for your podcast in front of 1000 members of your suspected target audience, and perhaps 30 of them will actually subscribe. So then there are two things which directly influence your cost per acquisition:

  1. The specificity with which you can target a population
  2. The size of the population you target

These two things are not mutually exclusive. You need good targeting and you need a large population. If you’re going to run an Ad on Facebook for your podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, how many more people do you imagine you’d reach with that ad than you would if you were promoting a link to Google Podcasts? Or iVoox? or Castbox?

Maybe you’re on those platforms, but investing money in driving people there? Your cost per acquisition will increase and you will get less bang for your buck. Broad distribution might seem wise, but limited distribution is more in line with real growth strategies.

When we’re talking about your time, which you should be assigning a dollar value to, you care about your effectiveness

You’ve got 10-hours a month to invest in social media posts, Instagram Lives, blog posts, and the like… that’s only a couple hours a week. Where are you going to focus your efforts on driving people — knowing that the largest chunks of them listen via Apple Podcasts or Spotify Podcasts? Are you going to send them everywhere… or are you going to send them somewhere specific?

One tweet can’t send them everywhere. Neither can one CTA. You might create a lander where they can choose, but guess what? That’s another thing you’re asking them to do and it reduces the effectiveness of the funnel. Ask them to “click here to subscribe” and send them to another page where you ask them to “select your podcast app!” and then launch their podcast app to your podcast and ask them again to subscribe there… it’s two steps too many.

Anyone anti-establishment or preferential enough to NOT be using Apple Podcasts or Spotify, knows full well how to find you otherwise, they don’t need you to give them a link; they’ve got it figured out and they’ll look you up and listen if they want to. That 60% though? They need the link, they need the attention, and they’ll give you the greatest chance, at the cheapest cost and the lowest time investment, to gain and retain new loyal subscribers.

So, distribution everywhere?

Sure. But don’t invest your time or money driving traffic to the fringe platforms, you’ll decrease your effectiveness and you’ll burn yourself out. Be smart, be intentional, be focused.

Good luck.

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