When you set up a podcast, you want it to be one of those podcasts that get the most number of listeners and rank high on the list. Getting reviews is one proof that shows your show is good. We are going to walk you through some effective techniques on how to get your listeners write a review. We will also show you strategies on how to leverage ads and tips to send your listeners to your website for your programmed buttons and links.

We have a few things we want to share with you. One of the things I want to make sure everybody knows is that, as we grow, we’ve been adding more staff. We have a full-time customer service representative. His name is Manny. Many of you have probably received emails from him already. We want you to know that Manny is available to you. He expands our day. We’re in Pacific Time. He starts earlier. If you have a problem earlier in the day or before any of us are here, he’s available. He’s at the email address Help@BrandcastingYou.com.

If you were sending to that email and still think you’re getting Alexandra, you’re actually getting Manny. He should be letting you know that as it goes forward. We wanted to make you aware of that. If you need Alexandra directly, you can get to her.

Feel free to copy Alexandra or me. The point is we’re not always available at times you may need us. Copying Manny or Help@BrandcastingYou.com should help you be able to get attention faster and quicker response time. That’s what we’re looking for. We’re not trying not to be involved. We’re trying to make sure you get help as soon as you can.

There have been lots of issues with the listing on iTunes and other places. You should be aware of it. You should always be checking your feeds in all places. That’s on you guys. You want to make sure your listeners are out there, especially those of you who syndicated yourselves, if you are not on Podetize.com. If we didn’t start you up and you do not host with us, we don’t see it. We don’t get a bounce back. We don’t know any information like this. If you think Libsyn or Blubrry or any of those places are going to tell, they will not. You won’t get a notification. You’ll find out from a listener sometimes that’s saying, “Your show’s not even showing up anymore.” It could be a month or more. There are lots of reasons why delisting is happening. Be aware of that. You should check your show. Our people should know because the feed bounce back should happen if you’re hosted with us. Even still, you need to check.

Here’s the thing that’s been happening. To those of you that we launched your podcast, this is not an issue. If you launched your own or you had another company launch your podcast, it might be a concern. iTunes changes its requirements from time to time. iTunes tends to drive the industry, even though there are other players that are getting bigger. There are a lot of other great places you want to have your podcast listed, but iTunes still is the single largest podcast distribution channel. They do drive the industry. They change their requirements, especially with cover art, your logo for your podcast. Over the years, they’ve changed the size requirements. In terms of the number of pixels, they’ve increased it, mostly because their devices have higher quality screens. That’s not the biggest issue. They’ve also reduced the file size, the number of megabytes and the maximum size that that cover art can be. It’s one half of a megabyte, 500 KB.

If you’re doing this yourself, I want to make you aware of this. You think you saved it. Have you ever gone into place, you reduce the file size and it says, “It’s under.” When you save it, it bumps up against something because there are file information and other things. Make sure you’ve doubled checked the final file you’ve saved. I’ve seen it happen where it was 480 KB and you’re like, “I’m good.” You save it and it’s 525 KB. You’ve got to be under that number.

iTunes has reduced the maximum file size because there are so many podcasts and feeds get big with a lot of information when you have a lot of episodes. Half a megabyte is their limit. We have a customer, Marco Santarelli, who has Passive Real Estate Investing Podcast. His podcast, because I happened to be checking it, was ranked number two in the Business Investing category. It’s a highly ranked podcast. His show was gone from iTunes. It got taken down without any notice or warning to him. iTunes didn’t provide any notice or warning, which was shocking. I was very disappointed to see that he didn’t get any notification from iTunes that, “Your podcast feed is out of compliance. If you don’t fix it by such a time, it’s going to come down.” They just took it down. He called me in a panic. We troubleshot it. We found out his artwork was the original artwork he had uploaded in May 2015 when he started his podcast.

He needed to get it within compliance. We quickly fixed it for him and uploaded it. He posts on Libsyn because he started before he launched his podcast on his own. We uploaded it to Libsyn and fixed it, but began the process of emailing iTunes, making sure they know it’s been fixed to get the podcast relisted. Apple had been communicating with him. He has a ticket number. They’re working on it. The size of the artwork recommended is 3,000 pixels by 3,000 pixels square image. It’s no more than one half of a megabyte, so 500 KB. It needs to be a JPEG in what they call the RGB color space. There are different color formats if you’re working in Photoshop or a similar program that you can save an image in. It can be CMYK, which are cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Mostly, people use that when you’re going to print something. A lot of printers print in CMYK. RGB is another mode of an image.

If you’re saving design files and you save them for online use, some of the different preview and some of the different places when you’re saving them for online use, it automatically is an RGB. If you’re saving them for print use, it’s in CMYK. For most people, that’s not a problem. Every single one of our pieces of artwork is in compliance.

Reviews are social proof that your show is good. Click To Tweet

When we create it, we know this. We create it correctly. This is an important issue. It’s an example. We’ve had a couple of customers that have had issues with their podcast feed going to iTunes. It gets highly technical. I’m not going to go into it all here. Podcast feeds get big, especially the more episodes you get. There’s a maximum size the whole feed can be. There are some other things. We’ve had a few people who have some problems. Their feeds were created and generated elsewhere, not something that we did. We’re working with any of you that have issues. We help you fix and make sure your podcast stays up on iTunes or gets relisted.

Don’t even worry about it if you’ve got your file. Send it our way. Ping Manny at Help@BrandcastingYou.com. Ping Manny and say, “I don’t know if I’m in compliance. Is my artwork okay?” You can do that. We can check it for you. If you don’t have any technical capability or design capability, don’t worry. We’ll take care of you. We want you all to be successful. We want your show to be listened to every single week. Delisting is not an option here.

Here’s another update. We always register every customer that joins us at Brandcasters on all the different podcast distribution platforms they should be on. There’s going to be more and more of them. We do that regardless of whether we have a direct relationship with them or not. We’ve now forged a new direct relationship with iHeartMedia and have a direct line in at a very high level at the company and all of the shows of all our clients. Whether you’re on Podetize or not, we’re making sure you’re listed on iHeart because that’s another place you should be. That process is ongoing. It’s not complete yet. We’ve provided them all of our RSS feeds. They love having all of your shows and listing them in iHeart. If your show was not already listed on iHeart before you came to work with us, your show is in the process of being listed on iHeart. We will have that link along with with all other the other links of the different distribution platforms that your show is on. It’s on the left sidebar of our customer dashboard on Podetize.com

That’s the part where you have your logo and your description. If you scroll all the way down to the bottom, all the show listing links are listed down there.

Those are the links where you can give to people to say, “Do you want to subscribe to my podcast? Click on this link.” It takes you to your show listing on the platform.

We don’t recommend that. We recommend you go to your website. You can have the links. If you go to FeedYourBrand.co, you’ll see that we have all the links where it is. If you click on those links, you’re going to get sent to iTunes, sent to Stitcher. We’re not on Spotify. We’re still working on that one. If you clicked on it, you’d go there to be able to subscribe. You want to send them to your website first. Do not be sending out links on Facebook, LinkedIn and other places that are sending people out to iTunes. Send them to your website. You will go out to that if they choose to subscribe. You will need those links on your website in order to program buttons or the links that you want, but you must send them to your website. Otherwise, you’re not tracking who’s coming through and you’re not getting the Google power for that. You definitely want to.

We have a question, “Is it good to have a button for each platform on the website?” Yes.

Check out the way we do it on Feed Your Brand. We like it that way.

We have iHeart. We have iTunes or Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. Google Podcasts is one. TuneIn is the other one. We put everybody on TuneIn because that gets you on the Amazon Echo, the Alexa. You could say, “Alexa, play the latest episode of the Feed Your Brand Podcast.” Alexa will start playing it. That is going to become even more prominent, the smart speaker market and listening over smart speakers, whether it’s Alexa or Google Home. At Amazon, they are forming a new podcast team. I don’t know all the details because they couldn’t share all that with me. I have a high-level contact within Amazon in this department. We’re getting it on the ground floor. They are going to be listing podcasts natively within Amazon for the Alexa. We’ll be able to register the shows directly without going to TuneIn. That’s the future.

PDZ 20 | Podcast Reviews

Podcast Reviews: The number of episodes and your rating and reviews all factor into determining what the top podcasts are.


All you have to say is, “Play the Feed Your Brand Podcast.” Alexa will do it.

What do we want to cover next? Do you want to talk about ads or do you want to talk about reviews?

Let’s talk about reviews first. We started talking about the ecosystem of all these directories. Within each directory, they have their own reviews. It’s because you got Stitcher reviews, it doesn’t mean they’re going to show up on iTunes. It doesn’t work like that. You have to get reviews on each of the directories in order to show up at the top of the listings or their top ten choices. It’s only iTunes who has this New and Noteworthy that people care about or the top listings.

The New and Noteworthy isn’t even worth anything anymore. The top 200 podcasts in every category are what matters. Why would you want reviews? The more reviews you have, not only is it social proof that your show is good and others should want to listen because other people say it’s good, there’s that. When you search and find a podcast on whatever platform you want to listen to, people go and read the reviews. They look at them. “Is this show any good? Should I give it a try? Should I not?” That’s the number one reason. More importantly, the number of reviews and the number of five-star reviews that a podcast has factored into the algorithm, all the calculations that the platform that iTunes uses to decide what the top rank podcasts are, those top 200. It’s a combination of how many downloads do you have, how many episodes you have and your ratings and reviews. All of those things factor in, to them determining who the top podcasts are. Passive Real Estate Investing Podcast by Marco Santarelli, which got taken down off iTunes. It was number two in Business Investing. Marco puts out one episode a week. I want to emphasize that. You don’t have to be doing two, three or five episodes a week to climb to the highest charts on iTunes. He’s been doing it a long time. He’s got 150 plus episodes or something. That also factors in. Reviews are important for those reasons.

Keep in mind that the only time anyone ever sees whether or not you have reviews or cares about whether or not you have reviews is when they’re first finding your show. Once they’re subscribed, they will never see the place in which they could even look at the reviews. You can’t even navigate back. You have to unsubscribe and search for it again in order to get to that place. It’s only a people finding your show issue. We had six reviews for WTFFF?! and we had 25,000 downloads a month when we hit five months of the show. It’s not a factor in people finding your show. If you’re a good show and you’re doing your job and all the other areas, it’s only a factor in that listing. That’s for people who are browsing. They’re not specifically looking for a topic or browsing. If I don’t know what I want to watch or I don’t know what I want to read, I’m going to go, “Give me the top listings in Kindle listings for business books.” That’s what’s going to come up. That’s what this is. It’s on that best-seller list.

Everybody’s a Kindle bestseller. It’s the same thing on iTunes and Stitcher. I devalued this completely because smart podcast listeners are binge listeners, the ones who are valuable and the ones who share your show. The ones who are coming and looking know what they’re looking for. They’re typing in something specific. You will be served up, no matter how many reviews you have. What are your keywords? It is your description and it is your subtitle that matters more than anything else you do for those that are actively looking for something and not just browsing. The qualified listeners you want that is going to lead to your business, those are the ones that are out there searching for specific words. All of that matter more. I’ve seen shows that have a tremendous amount of listeners and they have no reviews, hardly at all.

I want to add one thing to that. Reviews matter more when you have fewer episodes.

It’s when you have fewer episodes or you have a crowded market place that’s full of scummy things, which real estate can be.

You mentioned the WTFFF?! podcast, which was our first biggest one. There were only three or six reviews and we were getting 25,000 downloads a month. I want to be clear to everyone. That was a little bit of an unusual result because we were putting out five episodes a week in our early months. The number of episodes you put out not only has a direct impact on how many downloads you have, but you can also have fewer reviews and more content and rank higher or be more popular. There’s a certain visual credibility to having more episodes on iTunes, where people are going to listen despite having fewer reviews.

A podcaster's website needs to be the hub of information for everything about the brand and the show. Click To Tweet

If you’ve got ten, twelve episodes out there, even anything less than 25 probably, reviews can help you more. That’s our experience and our opinion. Let’s talk about how to get reviews. That is very important. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new podcaster or you’ve been doing it for a while, if you haven’t been paying attention to reviews and you want to get more, how are you going to go about that? Here’s the thing. I want to talk about the process to get a review or what someone has to do to review your podcast.

It’s not easy.

I’m going to talk about how someone would do it on their laptop computer and how they would do it on their smartphone. It’s two completely different things. Here’s the thing that’s unfortunate about the entire podcast ecosystem. We didn’t invent it, iTunes did and it’s the way it is. You get a link on every platform, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, all of them. You get a link to your show on that platform. When you click it, it takes you out on the internet, on the World Wide Web over a browser to your listing on their platform. Here’s the unfortunate part. That’s the listing for your show. It’s there, but even if they click it and go to that link, they can’t put a review right there. That webpage is not designed to let them review. They will only let a person write a review who is subscribed to that podcast and logged in to their system. When somebody goes there on the web, you’re visiting a page and you’re not logged in to iTunes, iTunes doesn’t know who you are. They don’t trust you. They’re not going to let you write a review.

If you notice on iTunes, there’s a button on that page that says, “View in iTunes.” When you click that, it opens up iTunes on your computer, on your laptop on the page for that podcast in iTunes. If you are not logged into iTunes, it’ll make you log in so they know who you are. They have your Apple ID. It’s the same thing with Google. They have your Google ID, your Gmail address, whatever. You’re logged into the system. Once you logged into the system and you’re on that podcast, you can go in and there’s a button called reviews and there’s a link that says, “Write a review.” You click that. That’s where you can rate it, give it one to five stars on iTunes and write a review. It’s a multi-step, labor-intensive process to go in and write a review. That’s why not a lot of people do it.

When we’re looking at the other directories, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, other things like that, it doesn’t even work like that in those. They’re mainly set up to be apps. There’s no desktop system for them. They don’t even work like that. They can’t be accessed by your laptop like that.

Let’s talk about the next part, which is an app. Let me do iTunes first. You go on with Stitcher and Google Play. I’m an iPhone user. Tracy’s an Android user. That’s great that you have both of us here. It’s a different experience for each of us. When I’m on my iPhone, I have the Apple Podcasts app. It used to be called iTunes. It doesn’t matter what it is. It’s any Apple player on an iPhone. When you use that app, you have to be logged in. I have to be logged in to my Apple ID, my account, so they know who I am, they know what I’m listening to and they know what I’m subscribed to. When I’m in that app, I can search for any podcasts. I can go find it.

I can subscribe to it right within the app easily. Right there, without having to do anything else, you can click the button to write a review. It’s much easier for your listeners to write a review, at least in the world of iTunes and Apple, when they do it from their smartphone. I want to check this out. Tracy, tell us what it’s like on Stitcher.

They dropped it. You can’t even write a review on Stitcher. I checked Google Podcasts because it changed. You can’t do them on the app at all on Google Podcasts. You don’t even see it. They’ll punch up who’s new in new categories and things like that, but you cannot check the reviews. It doesn’t say 450 reviews or five reviews. It doesn’t even say that when you’re looking for new shows.

Are they showing you any reviews or no?

PDZ 20 | Podcast Reviews

Podcast Reviews: Creating your own tutorial for your audience, showing them how to leave a review to make it easier for them is a pretty smart idea.


They removed reviews from their shows from Stitcher and Google Podcasts on the apps.

Are there any online? They do have reviews on their website for Stitcher and Google Play. Google Podcasts is a new app. We talked about this. It’s up and coming. This will evolve. Google will change how they’re doing things. Google Play has been a platform for a few years. Alexandra says they do have reviews, but it’s online only. That one’s a little different. Stitcher also has them online but not in their app. Alexandra also did confirm that if you click your iTunes show listing link from your smartphone, either from an email or wherever, you go find that link in a web browser on your phone. You click it, it takes you to the app.

It takes you to the Apple Podcasts app. You’re listing in that app. You can immediately review it. If I were instructing someone how to write a review, I would always recommend they use the app because it’s easier. If you say, “Click on this link,” I recommend they click it on their iPhone because it’ll take them right into the app where they can do it with much fewer steps. Here’s the complication of all of this. It’s different on every platform. It’s not easy. That’s the unfortunate reality of it with so many different platforms and different places people listen.

We have a podcaster, Athena Rosette. When she first started her show, she was killing it at getting reviews, which was so fantastic. She created a little mini video, which she would send with her guest communication. They would click it and watch the video on how to leave a review. She did a screen share video of how to do it on different platforms. You would click whichever one you were going to leave the review for. You say, “I’m going to leave a Stitcher review.” You would click that and it would take you to how to do that. She put that right in her guest communication. That’s how she did it. It didn’t work well for her to get them from people in the show, but she did also push that out on social media, the little mini videos of, “Please leave my show a review. Click this link to do it. Here’s a little tutorial.”

There may be other tutorials you could find out there to link them to. It’s creating one on your own, your own screen share, to your audience or your guests where you’re personally asking them to do it, and at the same time, showing them and making it easier for them to do. That’s a smart idea.

I always loved it when she did that. I thought it was a great idea back then. This is not the most important. I wouldn’t put a ton of effort in this. There are a lot more things you need to do to grow your show that is more important than this. It’s sharing it, putting it out on social and making sure you’re doing these things. They’re more important than getting reviews.

There’s still another thing we do want to cover that’s related to this, getting reviews. It’s what are some suggestions for how to incentivize listeners to review it. I’m going to share with you something. It’s easier to do if you have something significant to offer people that’s a big deal. One of our podcasters, his name is Ken Courtright. He has a company called Income Store. He puts on big events maybe once a year called the Digital Footprint. It will have a cost to it if you want to attend the shows. It’s a $900 ticket or something. It’s a three-day event. It was a great event, well worth going to and worth the money.

If you were a client of the company, you got a free ticket. He also put out on his podcast audio advertisement that said, “If you go and review my podcast, take a screenshot of your review after you have created it and email that into us, we’ll give you a free ticket to the event.” Maybe he did a discounted ticket to the event, a very deep discount. If you have something significant to offer people that’s of great value, it might be worth it to them to go through all those steps to do it. There are some other things you can offer.

I want to contradict to the success of that though. He did it within his talk at an event. He was trying to hit a magic number of 50 people. Only three people in an audience of over 75 did it. It’s not easy. This is where the volume of how many you get. Don’t be surprised when it’s low.

We've got to take advantage of every opportunity to reach people, to get in front of them, and to promote the brand. Click To Tweet

We’ve come to know that some other people starting a new podcast, who also has an event, we’re doing a raffle thing. What they did is they created a pop-up form on their website. You would put in your name and your email, which is brilliant because it captures you their email list at the same time. You also type in your Apple ID if you’re an iTunes listener. That way, they can go onto their iTunes listing for their show. It shows you all the identities of the people that reviewed your show. It shows their username, not their password, on their platform. You can verify they did the review. They said, “Write a review, fill out this form and you’ll get entered into a raffle or a drawing for a free ticket to their event,” or a monetary cash prize where they give a certain amount of money every month to all those that enter. Kimchi asked about, “Could I give away maybe a Starbucks gift card or something?” I thought that was a good idea. That’s universally liked by people.

There are Starbucks everywhere in the US. That would work. You may have other things you could offer. If your audience is a niche audience and you have a course or a book or anything that you want to offer, you can offer to have a drawing for that. That’s a good idea. The bigger picture point is that you’ve got to offer them something of value to incentivize them to go review if reviews are important to you. Every single new podcast says, “Please go rate and review my podcast.” I don’t think that little ask has any effect of getting people to go rate and review it. You’re probably better off putting out a request to your social media followers to rate and review your podcast. They know you and like you, you don’t have to sell them on you. Whether you’re a member of a trade organization, a networking group, whatever it is, use your networks.

Ask people to please go rate and review your podcast. That might be as effective if not more effective than making a blind ask on your podcasts. People will naturally know if they’re the type of people that are inclined to go and rate and review your show. They’re probably going to go rate and review it regardless of whether you asked them to. Those that aren’t going to be inclined to go spend that time are probably not going to do it, regardless of what you ask them to. I was impressed with the offer that the Kimchi showed me from this other podcast. It was pretty clever. They’re giving you potential monetary benefit, at least a reason or incentive to go and do it. Kimchi, is there anything else regarding that subject you’d like to discuss or ask? If not, that’s okay too.

It’s regarding asking my network to review and rate. I do belong to a podcast world, a podcast group. I know that most of them don’t have a problem to rate a review my show because I see that done all the time. One of the guys, he just published his podcast. He said, “We almost reached 3,000.”

Is it 3,000 downloads maybe? Nobody gets 3,000 reviews.

It’s something like that. It’s a good number. He asked and everybody went there and did the review for him. He reached the number that he’s asking for in less than a day, a few hours. I posted on my social media. Most of them are not high tech people. They will say, “I want to help Kimchi, but I have no idea how to. What is a podcast? How do I search for your podcast? I’m interested.” When I asked, I included my link to the website. My friend who has an iPhone, she listened from the website. She said, “How do I review your show? I do want to help you.” I don’t know how to tell her because I don’t have an iPhone. That is a challenge for me. I keep seeing that, friends who want to help me out but they don’t know how to do it. I have no idea how to show them how to do it. That’s where I have a challenge.

Better than reviewing it would be to ask them to share the show.

I did that.

That would be better ask for you because the more listeners you get, the better it is. That’s what I would go for. They can do that. 

PDZ 20 | Podcast Reviews

Podcast Reviews: Establish a little bit of an audience before putting it in any promos or ads.


I also think that if they listened on your website, here’s another opportunity to do what Tracy had mentioned that Athena Rosette with her show. You may have to learn yourself, depending on the different platform. You could record a screen share video of you showing how to go and rate and review your own podcast. That video could be on your website. We can put it on the podcast page for your website, right above or below the links to go to your show on iTunes. That way, people can see exactly how to do it.

You can put a little button that says, “Leave a review.” They click it. It pops up the video as to where to go. From there, they get sent out to whichever platform they want to leave a review on.

Maybe before they click a link to leave your site to go to iTunes, it brings up the video. The video has a link to go to iTunes after they watched the video. Those are some suggestions. There is no absolute right or wrong answers. This is the most difficult thing in podcasting to get people to do.

We need to go onto the ad stuff. That’s what we promised everybody. Thanks, Kimchi.

We want to talk about ads and how to leverage ads. Even if you have a new podcast and you have a podcast that has a relatively small number of listeners, how you could leverage ads to your benefit?

I want to take the first thing to define ads because I want to be clear about it with you guys. An ad is a promotion of any kind. When you say, “Come buy my book,” or, “Write me a review,” that’s an ad in a way because you’re asking for something. It’s an ask of some kind to your audience, a call to action. I want to be clear about that because you don’t want to have too many in a show. You don’t want to do it too hard. You don’t want to do it too early. My guideline, which I recommend to people, even if you’re able to take a sponsor early on, I highly recommend waiting until you have 25 episodes before you do it. You haven’t built enough traction with your audience. If you’re immediately selling to the new people, the first people who find you and are so excited that you’re brand new, and you’re already advertising to them, they feel already a little sold too. When you already have 25, they’re like, “This podcast has been around a while.” They never check any dates. They don’t know because you fill a whole listing page. That’s why my recommendation is there. I put a podcast out and launched with 25 episodes. I still didn’t do it until I hit 50 at that point. I waited for 30 days.

You want to establish a little bit of an audience before putting ads.

It’s before you put any promos or any mixes. That doesn’t mean you’re not asking for reviews and help the show. Those are a little bit different because they’re softer asks. Those are fine. It’s before you start taking a real ad or a real sponsor. That’s the first thing I wanted to define for you. Any kind of promotion could be considered this. You can do advertisements for your events, your book launches. Anytime you offer a coupon, a discount, sending them to a page, remember to do it to your site first. The things are at your site. Try not to send them out someplace else, unless you absolutely have to. It’s like, “I’m offering you an Audible discount,” Kindle or Amazon Audible. “I’m offering you an Audible discount. It’s FYB10. You get $10 off or a free month or whatever.” You have to give them the code because they’re going to a major site. They’re never going to come through yours. If you can in any way, shape or form send them to a page, send them to your site to do it and give them the offer from there for them entering their email address to you.

I want to share something relevant to that. It’s on one of our podcasts. It is a podcast that does have sponsors from time to time. I want to be transparent about this because it’s relevant to exactly what you’re saying. We had a paid sponsor who advertised on our podcast for a 90-day period of time. I’m going to be upfront about how much they paid to it because it’s valuable for people to know that. We got $12,000 for 90 days, so $4,000 a month to advertise on that podcast. It has a lot of plays and an established audience.

The only time anyone ever sees or cares about whether or not you have reviews is when they're first finding your show. Click To Tweet

It has a lot of plays and was featured at South by Southwest.

There was a live episode recorded at South by Southwest. There were a lot of benefits for the sponsor. Even when it was a paid sponsor, the call to action in the ad sent them to a landing page on our own website. I want to be clear about that. Even in a paid sponsored ad, you have to be able to track and see how many people responded to that call to action to be able to say, “Was this a value for the sponsor or not?” Even to communicate with the sponsor that it was a value to them.

If you want to sell it to somebody else, you have to show value to it. If you’re selling it to your partners, you have to show that there’s value in that.

If you send them to a landing page on your website that even refers them out to the sponsor’s website to buy, to opt-in or take advantage of whatever this call to action is. With analytics, you can see how many people visited that webpage over the period of time. It’s very easy to see. That’s what I want them to know.

We have for that show 100,000 listeners a month or downloads a month for all the episodes on Podetize.com. For those of you who are not hosting with us, you may not understand this. You may not know this. That website lets us put the ads across the entire show library. Instead of just in a single episode, it can be on the entire library. You capture your full monthly downloads, whatever that might be. In addition to that, we have 5,000 unique visitors every single month to that website. You’re also capturing those website people who are coming in straight to the site as well. That’s why we have both. That’s why that works best. It’s a great way to do that.

We’ve always told all of you who are our customers that your website needs to be the hub of information for everything about your brand and your show. You don’t want to be sending people out to other websites directly from the audio of your show. You always want to send people to your blog post. Here’s the thing. This is a crowded multimedia world that we’re all living in. We’re all trying to compete for attention for our brands, for our business. If your podcast is your brand and your business, it’s even truer. In this crowded media world, we’ve got to take advantage of every opportunity to reach people, to get in front of them and to promote your brand. You got to take advantage of every opportunity. You have a podcast. Why on earth wouldn’t you have promotions for your own courses, consulting services, books and speaking events? Why would you not do that, at least with one ad within every episode? It doesn’t have to be the same ad over and over again. You can record three or four different versions and rotate them so no one’s hearing the same ad, even if they’re listening to three or four episodes in a row.

In our system, you can take them in and you can take them out. If it’s not working or if you didn’t like it, you want to replace it, you can.

One of our clients, Aaron Young, who many of you know, he has an event he puts on twice a year called Magnify Your Wealth in San Diego. It is a great event. He puts a different ad every six months into all of his episodes that let people know, “Magnify Your Wealth is coming up on October. Here’s where you can get your ticket.” He does promotions and things for discounts on the tickets. Why wouldn’t you? You have this podcast. You have this platform. Put promotions for your own things right within it. Maybe you don’t have anything from the start.

It’s also promotions for your partners.

PDZ 20 | Podcast Reviews

Podcast Reviews: Having that conversion rate, running a test, and knowing what you can claim on a call to action is really important.


It’s other events that you want to support. Maybe you don’t even have anything. You want to advertise for yourself. Maybe there’s a charitable organization that you care about that you may want to put out a promotion for. That also can get your audience used to the idea that you’re going to have promotions in your episodes on an ongoing basis. It’s something you think about.

I was talking to one of our other podcasters about strategy. It’s like, “How do I pre-start? How do I establish what my conversion rate is?” I’m going to define conversion rate for those of you who are newbies and don’t know what we’re talking about. Conversion rate is I’ve got this many listeners. I’ve got a thousand listeners and a 100 clicked, 100 showed up, 100 fill out the form, 100 did whatever the call to action was that you made to them. I have a 10% conversion rate, which is good in nowadays world. It’s social conversions like 1.3%. You make a call to action on an ad, a video or anything that you put out on Facebook. You’re lucky if you get 1.3% of the people to do that. Google is 13%. Anything that you do in Google conversion is around 13%.

You show up on the first page of the listing has a 13% chance of being converted, which is 10X. That’s good. That’s a lot of better choices. This is why the blog post process that we use here at Brandcasters is important. We’ve had 37% conversion on our call to actions for certain types of calls. We found that only certain ones work. Not every kind of call to action works. Some of them don’t. We started to define what those were and give ourselves a range of what we can expect on them. What happens is when you know that rate, it’s easy in the future to ask for a sponsorship, to provide value to your partners that you’re grouped with and say, “I know if I make this call to action for you, I’m going to get somewhere between 13% and 37%.” Wouldn’t that be better than anything else you’ve been spending your dollars on lately? You can know that. Why don’t you run some tests?

Here’s the best thing. We’re headed into the fourth quarter. We’re headed into the biggest gift-giving shopping time of the year. If you could think of something that might be a great item, that might be something that you could give as a discount. Give as a gift or give your best friend the gift of fitness, the gift of health, this special book, whatever it might be, you could do a two for one. You could do any those gift-giving type options, which is a great way to capture it. Do something like that over your site. One of the things that we’re looking at with this one podcaster is to be looking at putting in a specific item that she’s been testing out and trying out. She has a productivity podcast. It’s a productivity tool. She thinks it’s cool. It’s an object.

We’re going to run a test with that, even though it’s not hers. She doesn’t own it. It’s not her thing. She’s not stocking it on our shelves. She’s not doing anything. She’s just going to run a link to it on Amazon and track how many people clicked through that. She’ll get a kickback from Amazon. It’s usually cheap, low and almost not worth the effort of putting the Amazon links in. It takes time to do that, an effort to do that. In our case, she’s done for you. Our system is doing it for her. Even still, it’s setting that up and doing it. The important part is she’s going to track it because she thought of something that would be cooler. Would it be worth making my own version of it? Could I sell enough of it? Could I get a high enough conversion rate? This is a great time for you to try some of those things. It’s also a great time as we head into Thanksgiving time, as Tom mentioned nonprofits. It’s a great give back time as well. We have a question, “For the ad service, can you stop and start anytime?” Yes. You can start and stop anytime. Our hosting fluctuates $49 to $99. It goes up.

You could upgrade for three months. If you don’t want to do it, you could downgrade.

We have a question, “How do I know how much to charge them?” It’s subjective. Having that conversion rate, running a test and knowing what you can claim on a call to action is important. Getting that call to action defines part of your value. The audience niche also finds your value. If you have a broad audience and you’re general personal development, it’s broad and your price will be lower because there’s a lot of competition. When we were competing in the 3D print space, the other competition didn’t even have businesses that could provide any services. It wasn’t those type of podcasts. We were pretty much the only place you could advertise to podcast listeners interested in 3D printing. We could command a premium. The average is somewhere between $60 and $100 for general CPM. It’s per 1,000 of listeners and per 1,000 of downloads.

I don’t even like talking about that, especially when your podcast is relatively new. We see others do it. You could sell an ad for $400 or $500 for placement in your episodes. It’s four episodes over the course of the month if you’re doing it the old fashion way, only putting them in those new episodes for even a small audience. It depends though. You can charge twice or even three times that if you have a larger audience or you have a niche audience. I want to put this in a little context for Kimchi. She has a niche audience of Asian women. I won’t speak for other countries because I don’t know them very well. In the United States, that niche of a podcast for Asian women is a specific niche. Certain advertisers would love to be able to reach that focused audience.

It’s women over 50. If you got a niche like that, these are big deals.

An ad is a promotion of any kind. Click To Tweet

If there are products, companies or brands that catered to that market, you can charge more. Especially as your audience grows a little bit, you can charge more for ads for them to reach your audience. Otherwise, they’re advertising. Let’s say they’re advertising on a normal radio. They’re going to be broadcasting this ad out to everywhere. Everybody’s going to hear it, not just the people they are looking for. They get a very small conversion rate. They’re going to have a much higher conversion rate because you already know the audience is focused. If you know it’s focused, those are the people you’re trying to target. You can charge more for them to reach that audience. There’s no absolute rate how much to charge them. How do you know? It becomes a negotiation. Establish a price that is worth it to you to have someone to advertise on your show.

That’s the one last thing I want to touch on, is the value. It means to be valuable. Think of it like selling out your audience. If it’s not worth it to you to advertise for this item, if it’s not worth it to you to be doing that, it’s part of where I establish a high price. If someone’s willing to pay that, maybe it’s worth it to me. I like to err on that side. That’s how I decided if somebody’s of enough value to me. On the other side of that is if you can’t endorse that product, if you don’t believe in it and if you don’t think this is valuable.

I hear on a lot of these 100,000 plus million subscribers, 500,000 subscriber shows all the time all these supplements being advertised. It disgusts me. It makes me not like their show. You have to be thinking about that. It’s like, “This is a little too Dr. Oz-ish. It’s not good. They can’t possibly know about it.” They haven’t tried it and one month it’s this and the next month it’s that. It seems a little sleazy. Passive income from that, it’s your goal. Most of you who are with us, you’re here because you have a business.

You’re trying to serve your business.

You don’t want to muddy your business with those icky style ads. You want to have it be something of extreme value to your audience. Vet it before. Make sure it’s good. Make sure you’re willing to stand behind it. If anyone doesn’t give you access to their course, their program, their event, anything like that, I won’t advertise for them. That’s also my other rule. If you’re not even willing to gift me the item or gift me access so I could check it out, there’s no way. I’ve had people who will come and do that.

It’d be like, “If you’re not going to send us filaments for us to try on our 3D printer, I’m not going to let you advertise.” I don’t want to sell my audience out to something that is not of great value. Your audience is your friends. You wouldn’t do that. You wouldn’t go pitching your friends stuff that you didn’t believe in. You wouldn’t go sharing stuff and raving about it. Think about that. Anytime you put an ad out, it’s a rave about something. They trust you that you were right about this. You’re the expert. Treat that with care.

That covers it. Normally we take questions at the end, but we took questions in the middle. Kimchi, I hope you enjoyed that, getting your own private coaching call.

If you need to restrategy, if you’re at that point, we’ve been doing a yearly check in with some of our clients. We’ve had the longest to restrategize their show, reformat, rejuvenate them and get them reenergized again. It starts to flat line for some people after a while. It’s because you’re getting value, but you forget about it. I tell you that you will drop off. If you start to drop off and you taper off your show, you will lose value. You will realize that it’s impactful. It will be that marketing rollercoaster if you’ve ever heard me give you the talk on Brandcasting. You’ll hit that rollercoaster. It’s not until you hit that bottom. You will have been downgrading yourself for months before you realize it. We try to head you off and restrategize with you. We offer that up. If you need that, you’ll be able to find us. You’ll be able to connect with us.

You could book a call. Alexandra will be putting out an email to all of you, make sure you know where you can book a call like that if you’d like one.

Plus, we’re auditing you. Laura Hazzard, if you haven’t heard from her yet, some of you will, she’s auditing your show. She’s checking you out. She’s listening. She’s checking out your website, making sure everything’s still in place. She’s also doing a feature on you. She’s interviewing you. She’s helping you to get a little bit more promotion and other things. We’ve got lots of upgrades coming in. We’re excited about it. Our big goal and our big focus are helping you monetize your marketing here. A big portion of that is making sure that you’re monetizing your core business and not all of these extra add-ons and little tricks and hacks. That’s not what we’re about here. We want to monetize your actual program, your show, your business, everything that’s about what you are doing in your business goals there. We’re working on all ways to make that happen, make it easier for you and make it automated as always. It’s done for you.

Thank you all. I hope you enjoyed it.

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