How does Podcast Advertising Actually work?

How does Podcast Advertising Actually work?
Written by Micah Phillips

Brands that sponsor podcast gain good amount of brand recognition. Audible, Blue Apron, SquareSpace are some of the brands that have expanded their market segments in the growing space of podcast advertising. Listeners are likely to purchase products they’ve heard advertised on a podcast and this is encouraging more brands to invest in podcast advertising.

Why should you choose podcast advertising?

Word-of-mouth marketing

Listeners develop connect with the host of the podcast as they invest a lot of time in it. Listeners begin trusting and valuing opinion of the host, including the advertising. The ad on a podcast is read by the host and purposely infused with their personality, makes it feel a genuine word-of-mouth rather than a product promotion. It is up to the brands to communicate the message of their brand to the host and nurture a good relationship with them. This puts the host at ease and helps them promote the brand as their own and not look like an endorsement on television.

Audience is smart and can sense the genuineness when they hear an ad. When the host and brands is a perfect match, the ad feels natural. The first step to do this is to make sure that the audience of the podcast is relevant to your product or service. The second step is to find a host or develop a relationship with the host who will convey your message in a relatable tone to the audience.

More than 67 million people listen to podcast every month

The number of podcast listeners has been on a steady rise year-on-year. In 2016, estimates of 35 million people were listening to podcast on a weekly basis. In 2017, it increased around 18% and jumped up to 42 million people. As the number of listeners increases, the number of podcasts has also increased. There are podcasts for almost any topic you can think of – NPR personalities, nerd culture kings, or past Bachelor contestants. Top ranked podcasts are diverse, varied, and addictive and have a host that engages audience throughout the podcast.

Over 80% of listeners can recall the brand advertised on a podcast. A study conducted by Midroll Media found that 51% of listeners were likely to purchase from the target brand. The study also found that longer ad campaigns performed better than shorter ones. Podcasts are the perfect medium for companies who have a great product but need some help selling the idea of it. You can drive awareness for your product, service or brand.

People listen to the podcast and the ads included

Listeners who are engrossed in the podcast don’t miss out on the ads because they want to make sure they can continue to listen right after the ad is complete. With the right host and product combination, ads can feel a natural part of the episode. Listeners are less likely to skip an ad read on a podcast because they don’t want to miss part of the show.

People who use ad blockers to get away from ads do not do so while listening to a podcast episode. According to a study conducted by Market Enginuity, 70% of podcast fans use ad blockers online. They pay for ad-free subscription services so they do not see or hear any traditional advertisement. But these same people listen to podcast ads.

You can target audience based on demographics

Podcast listeners take part in regular surveys. It includes information such as their interest, income, kinds of things they purchase and much more. This gives media companies and podcast production actual data that are actionable to offer relevant brand ads. You can precisely target college educated women between the ages of 25-44 who purchase gluten-free products every month that get delivered to their home.

Paying for podcast ads and measuring ROI is easy

Podcast ads are purchased through podcast advertising networks on a cost-per-thousand basis. The “thousand” is measured by user downloads. It is based on the number of subscribers a podcast has. ROI is measured in three ways – through vanity URLs offered in the ads, unique checkout codes or by the question ‘how did you hear about us?’ prompt at checkout. Such coupon codes are spread on sites like RetailMeNot and they offer easy ways to measure how a podcast ad is performing for specific show.

How to find it podcast advertising will benefit your company?

The largest age group for podcast is 25-54 overall. This age group does vary by the topic of podcast. If your target audience falls within this group, you can find the topics/titles podcast performing for it. in case there is potential for your new audience, the next thing to consider is if podcast advertising will be a game changer for your company. Once all your checkboxes are ticked, the last thing would be budget. $10k is the recommended amount of ad spends a month for podcast. If it lines up with customer acquisition costs, lifetime value and other important metrics considered for your company, it will benefit your company.

Strategy for podcast advertisement

If podcast advertisement is a good fit for your company and the audience reach is not too broad, there are three things to consider. Start by running a few ads on several relevant podcasts. Test your ad messaging with different shows. Test the number of spots you run on each show. Continue to test and utilize the result of each to tweak and refine the immediate next set of ads that you run until you find what works best for you.

In case your company is running radio ads, test them against your podcast ads and see how they perform. Depending on the result, you can slowly replace your radio ads. This will reduce the ad spend for your company and you can use different set of ads on various podcast episodes.

Podcast advertising is farfetched for companies who are small and are more focused on local audience. Since the money spent on podcast ads is high and recurring it does not suit their marketing model. Also companies whose products/services are for niche audience or, those whose audience are too broad on the podcast ads do not consider podcast advertising. With the growth of voice search and increase in usage of hands-free devices, podcasts are bound to grow in the future.