Case Study

True-Crime Series “Deep Cover” Experiences Record-Breaking Podcast Marketing Results

Overview

“Deep Cover: The Real Donnie Brasco” is a true-crime podcast produced by Jam Street Media. Joe Pistone – retired undercover FBI agent who infiltrated the NY Mafia in the late 1970s – shares front-line stories of his time with the mob. Actor and host, Leo Rossi joins him, asking hard-hitting questions aboutPistone’s deep cover work as Donnie Brasco.

Our job was to test the market viability for the podcast, and the results were phenomenal. We discovered a niche audience, and the campaign we ran broke paid ad records for podcasting. Throughtrial and error, we created a successful model for podcast marketing.

Here are the steps we took and what we discovered.

STEP 1: MARKET RESEARCH

We used Facebook’s Audience Insights to search for people interested in content related to law enforcement or the mafia. We created filters for mob-related movies, basing our selection specifically on 90s mafia movies.

Audience

Likes: Donnie Brasco (film), Goodfellas, Blow (film) or Casino (film)

And Must Also Match: Interests: Podcast

Detailed Targeting Expansion: Off

STEP 2: CHOOSING THE ASSETS

Choosing the right assets in this campaign was tricky. Recently, Facebook has denied a lot of “sensational” content. Our IP had drugs, gambling, and murders, so we had to be careful. We identified the most provocative clips we could find that Facebook would approve.

Clips We Used

STEP 3: TESTING AND REFINING AD SETS

We used a 3 stage testing system.

First Stage: We tested our audience, “Mob Movies,” using one asset: “Donnie the Jewel Thief,” a 53-second clip where Joe explains how he infiltrated the mafia. In this test, we netted a $0.02 cost per click, which was almost unbelievable. We’d identified the perfect audience.

Second Stage: We tested additional assets to see if we could replicate the performance of the first. Fortunately, all five of our assets performed well. Our best hung around $0.03 per click, while the worst rose to $0.09 per click (still good).

Third Stage: It was time to allocate a larger budget to see how our top-performing assets would scale. “Donnie the Jewel Thief” and “Mafia Guy’s Wife or Daughter” never exceeded $0.08.

STEP 4: MEASURING KPIs

Our primary metric was cost per listen.

FINAL RESULTS

In our 12 years in digital marketing, we haven’t seen results like these – not to mention at this speed.

  • We found a target audience for “Deep Cover” and can create lookalike audiences after maxing it out.
  • We found several powerful assets that scaled sustainably.
  • Our cost per listen was only $0.08.

READY TO SCALE YOUR PODCAST MARKETING?

If you want phenomenal results like these, we’d love to work with you! Papi Digital can help you scale from thousands to hundreds of thousands of podcast listeners.

Reach out to us today.

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