More thoughts on growing podcasts

We’ve aggregated many of the world’s best growth marketers into one community. Twice a month, we ask them to share their most effective growth tactics, and we compile them into this Growth Report.

This is how you stay up-to-date on growth marketing tactics — with advice that’s hard to find elsewhere.

Our community consists of startup founders and heads of growth. You can participate by joining Demand Curve’s marketing training program or its Slack group.

Without further ado, on to our community’s advice.

More thoughts on growing podcasts

Insights from Harry Morton of Lower Street.

Podcast growth is all about relationships. To increase your listenership, consider partnering with:

  1. Other podcasters. Do an episode swap where you play an episode of your show on theirs, and vice versa. Make sure the two podcasts share similarly minded audiences.
  2. Curators. Every podcast aggregator has someone responsible for curating their featured content. Look them up on LinkedIn. Reach out via email. Be their friend. Send them only your best stuff.
  3. Subscribers. You rise in Apple’s podcast charts (which account for 60% of podcast listenership) by having a subscriber growth spurt in a concentrated period of time (24-48 hours). So, when you release an episode, immediately run your audience promotions aggressively and all at once.

Increasing referral incentives might not increase referrals

Insights from Kristen Berman of Irrational Labs.

Research into charitable donations found that offering to match someone’s donation increases total contributions. Public radio campaigns are known for matching donations. But, surprisingly, giving people a bigger match (2:1 or 3:1 ratio) does not drive more donations. More is not better.

Here’s how this translates to referral programs for startups. One large employer told Irrational Labs that doubling their employee referral bonus (the money given to an employee when they recommend a candidate who is ultimately hired) by thousands of dollars did not increase employee referrals.

The takeaway is that incentives serve as a nudge to do something. They’re an excuse for people to take action, but they don’t necessarily act rationally on the math. So, before increasing your referral amount, test if it’s really needed or if you’re just throwing money at the wall.

Mobile app ads to a landing page increases conversion

Insights from Demand Curve.

Most mobile app ads send their traffic directly to the App Store or Google Play store. Counterintuitively, we’ve found that introducing friction by sending visitors to a landing page before they hit the app store results in a higher in-app conversion rate.

The listing pages in app stores do a poor job of holistically and convincingly pitching your product. The space for creatives is minimal and the copy is glossed over because it’s a wall of text. And too much emphasis is placed on the reviews, which often are riddled with technical complaints.

Meaning, when someone goes from an ad to your app store page, the visitor’s context is limited and they won’t be properly educated on why they need your app. So even if they install, they’re unlikely to take it seriously and purchase.

Instead, send mobile ad traffic to explainer landing pages where you can hit them with your full pitch. Use videos and interactive walkthroughs. Highlight your best reviews and social proof. Ultimately, install rates will drop a bit from the added friction, but we’ve seen net purchase rates meaningfully increase.

How to monitor and fix Facebook/Instagram ad fatigue

Insights from Paul Benigeri of H.V.M.N.

If you repeatedly show the same ads to the same people, they’ll start glossing over your ads.

Here’s how to tell when people have become tired of them:

  1. Compare your ads’ return on ad spend (ROAS) to their click-through rate over the past 1-3 weeks.
  2. If the two metrics decline in tandem, ad fatigue has likely kicked in.

So, what to do?

  1. Take your best-performing audiences and run new ad creatives against them.
  2. Take your best-performing ad creatives and test them against new audiences.

Note: If you’ve reached a point where your ads have run for a while (over $100,000 in spend and an ad frequency), you may need to do both of the above steps at once.