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Podcast Advertising


Podcast advertising

Have you ever questioned what the ROI of a podcast ad is?

We spoke to a couple brands that have dabbled in podcast advertising to learn their tips and best practices.

Let’s dive in 👇

The types of podcast ads:

There are several types of podcast ads, but it depends from show-to-show which ones are available. For general awareness, here are the types you can expect

Pre-roll ads: 15-30 seconds long and run before or after the show’s intro.

Mid-roll ads: 30-90 seconds and occur about halfway through an episode.

Post-roll ads: 15-30 seconds and play just before or after the closing credits.

Live read: read by the host while recording the show, and often introduced organically when chatting about a relevant subject.

Pre-produced: There are two types of pre-produced ads:

  • Sponsor produced: Like a traditional radio ad, these feature high production value and various elements like music or sound effects.
  • Host read: Read from a script that’s written either by you or the podcast’s team that edited into the podcast after the show is recorded.

The type of ad you choose depends on your brand, the podcast, and your audience.

Selecting a podcast that’s a good fit for your brand 🚀

Elianna Goldstein, the Co-Founder of GETmr, has dabbled in a few podcasts. As a skincare line with a focus on men’s sports, she tested advertisements across three different sport-related shows.

Elianna’s advice for brands choosing a podcast to advertise with:

  1. Ask your customers what they listen to. Also suggest a few podcasts you’re considering advertising with, and see if customers have heard of them.
  2. Always ask the podcast producers for info about their demographics.
  3. Listen to a few episodes of the podcasts you’re looking to advertise with yourself first.
  4. Listen to the other advertisers on the podcast and ask yourself if they have a similar customer base.

What kind of budget do you need for podcast advertising?

It really depends on the size of the podcast’s audience. The more well-known the podcast, the pricier it gets.

“For the smallest test with a mid-sized audience, I would say setting a budget for at least $1,000-1,500. But for the larger shows you're likely familiar with, those can run up to $40-80k spend minimums,” shared Elianna.

9 tips for podcast advertising 👊

1️⃣ Is your audience the type to listen to podcasts?

Figure out if your customer base are even podcast listeners in the first place.

Ask them through surveys or on social media, but this is step number one.

2️⃣ Know where podcasts sit in the conversion funnel before setting your goals

Every channel has its own set of metrics and strategies, and podcast advertising is no different.

Since listeners may not have heard about your brand before, they’re likely not at the conversion stage yet. Keep that in mind when planning your KPIs.

“Unlike email marketing, you're not going to have someone listening who is already on their computer looking to purchase. In that way, it's a great top-of-funnel and awareness tool,” said Elianna.

3️⃣ Run and repeat tests to see where you can double down

Similar to how you run paid advertising on social media, run tests with varying copy and language with your podcast ads to learn what works best with the audience. Then, double down to drive the most ROI.

Be patient – it can take multiple tests until you figure it out.

4️⃣ Keep your podcast choices related to your niche

Some podcasts may have an attractive audience: there could be hundreds of thousands of listeners, or maybe you personally like the content. But this doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for your brand.

Rather than targeting the most popular podcasts, choose ones that are specific to your niche.

5️⃣ Get creative with copy

Elianna suggests working with the hosts of the show to find an interesting angle for your ad.

If you write the ad in a way where customers don’t feel like they’re being sold to, they’ll pay more attention to what the hosts are saying about your brand.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your approach — it’s how ya stand out.

6️⃣ Send products to the hosts beforehand

If you want the ad to feel super organic, give the hosts a sample of your product. This will help them create the material for your ad and speak to it more truthfully.

Elianna suggests treating the podcast's hosts like influencers.

“The hosts usually have social media profiles on Instagram, Linkedin and otherwise that they can promote you on as well.”

7️⃣ Leverage your friendships and connections

Fred Perrotta, the Co-Founder at Tortuga, a travel backpack brand, ran a host-read ad with a show where the host was already a customer of Tortuga:

“I provided a few talking points and the details of the discount. The host did the rest. This worked well for us because the hosts were existing customers and friends.

So the ad was really a testimonial about why they used Tortuga as their luggage and what they liked about the brand and product,”

8️⃣ Switch up your ad placement for best results

Frequent listeners of podcasts will know when the ads are. If the show has an ad in the first two minutes of every episode, a lot of common listeners will skip it.

If there’s always one at the end, listeners will likely turn off the episode before.

The solution is to switch up your ad placement between the beginning, middle, and end so they run at different times from show to show.

“Since we were advertising on travel podcasts, the ads could be included anywhere in the episode that made sense. This helped to avoid a situation where the ads are always at the start of the episode so listeners are trained to skip the first minute or two,” said Fred.

9️⃣ Commit to a longer-term spend

Since podcast advertising is very top-of-funnel, customers may need to hear about your brand a few times before they decide to convert.

AKA, paying for an ad in just one or two shows won’t drive a ton of results.

Instead, aim for the longer-term game by supporting a series of episodes across different shows for a few months, at least.

Measuring the success of your podcast ads

Podcast ads can be a bit difficult to measure the ROI of since there aren’t immediate conversions per episode.

If you use a few tracking techniques across the customer journey you can get a good idea of how they perform:

  • Add UTM codes to any links the podcast is sharing on the episode landing page.
  • Create a custom discount code, like “FRESH20,” that’s exclusive only to podcast listeners, and see how often the code gets used.
  • Add a post-purchase survey on checkout pages, and add “podcast” as an option for the period of time that you're running ads on the show.

Think about adding podcast advertising to your mix in Q1 of 2022 and if you’ve tested podcasts ads before reply to this email and let us know!

Special thanks to our friends at Pilothouse for their insights on this topic.
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