A new year is the perfect time to take a look at your marketing strategy and identify areas for improvement. If you've dipped your toe in the world of online marketing, you’ve probably got the basics covered, but there are some less traditional opportunities for advertising that many companies don’t take advantage of: one such opportunity being podcasts.
Podcasts continue to grow in popularity, and since all you really need to start up is a microphone, the barrier to entry for creators is super low. Most podcasts are available to the listener free of charge, maintained through corporate sponsors - one of which could be you!
We’ve compiled a quick guide on advertising with podcasts and how you can take advantage of this unique opportunity for business growth.
Before we get into the details of how to effectively take advantage of this medium, we should probably answer the pressing question on your mind: why advertise on podcasts? When there are so many ways to spend a digital marketing budget, is this type of format the best choice for your business? We certainly think so, and here are a few reasons why.
One of the aspects that makes advertising with podcasts a valuable solution for nearly any consumer-facing brand is the sheer variety of shows that have sprung up in recent years. Podcasts are no longer niche and have become a part of many peoples’ daily routine. It’s also one of the easiest ways for creators to make content, which means you’ll find hosts both big in small in almost every niche. By taking the time to seek out the perfect podcast, you’ll be serving your ads to an audience that is very likely to take advantage of the products you bring to the table.
Because of how commonplace podcasts as a format have become, there are options out there suitable for every company from the largest corporation to a small business. In addition to the large number of available niches, you’re bound to find an option that will match your budget allowances.
The obvious reason most consumers listen to podcasts is because they are interested in the content, and the creator behind that content is responsible for the success of that particular show. With a huge number of podcasts in a wide variety of niches, you’ll be able to zero in on a host that meshes well with the vibe of your brand and can integrate your advertisement seamlessly into the flow of their regular show.
Over time, these hosts have built a significant amount of trust with their followers, and an endorsement of your company from the appropriate podcast personality lends your brand clout with a user base that might not have converted on their own. In this way, podcast endorsements have benefits that are much the same as influencer marketing - another critical part of any comprehensive advertising campaign.
While the amazing variety of show topics available gives you a whole host of options for promoting your brand, that flexibility can be a double-edged sword. The benefits of podcasts only really apply if you take the time beforehand to locate the right host and show that meets the needs of your company.
A skilled podcast advertising agency can be a valuable partner when it comes to locating the right fit, but the guidelines below can put you on the right path if you’d prefer to go it alone.
Before reaching out to a podcast to inquire about an advertising spot, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the terminology in the industry and the different values and costs that each option provides.
There are two main options that are generally available for the format of the advertisement itself. A live read is when the host of the podcast integrates the advertisement naturally into the flow of the podcast. A recorded read is a pre-recorded ad that will play without input from the host. The most valuable option is definitely a live read as it allows you to take advantage of the clout that the host has with their audience in a more natural manner.
You’ll also have to consider the placement of your ad. A pre-roll ad is generally placed 15-30 seconds after the start of the show, mid-roll around the midpoint of the program, and post-roll roughly 15-30 seconds before the end.
The most valuable option for placement is generally mid-roll, as it reduces the likelihood that listeners will skip past your ad since they will already be engaged in the podcast content.
You’ll see the best results with a mid-roll live read, but keep in mind that podcast hosts are well aware of the value this spot and format provide and may price the spots accordingly.
Arriving on the best format for your podcast ad will generally require some tweaking and testing over time, but the structure below should give you a solid starting point.
The Talking Points
The Call To Action
The above format combined with collaboration and input of the podcast host should give you some pretty impressive results if you’ve done your research and settled on a specific niche that is optimized for your brand.
While there are podcasts available at many different price ranges, the fact of the matter is that there’s a decent investment required to see results with traditional podcast advertisement. If your company doesn’t have room in the budget to pay for a podcast ad, it may be worth looking into the possibility of a “podcast tour” - essentially coming onto relevant podcasts yourself as a guest speaker.
The investment for this type of advertising is often much lower and is a great way to share your expertise with your target audience and plug a product at the same time. The main tradeoff of this idea is that coordination with podcast scheduling and communication with hosts can take a non-negligible amount of time. If you decide to go this route, you may want to reach out to a marketing agency to help iron out the details and help you gain a foothold for your business in an industry that shows no sign of slowing down.
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