Podcast advertising is a smart way to get your brand noticed. With the rise of podcast popularity and listeners forming bonds with their hosts, podcast ads are a successful format for advertising your brand. The podcast host speaks for your product and shares personal experience. This is an effective way to use the proverbial word of mouth advertising and entice listeners to try your product.
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What is a podcast and who is listening?
A podcast is a series of spoken, audio episodes that you can listen to on-demand. They almost always have a theme, and those run the gamut, from relationship break ups to game shows to true crime to the paranormal, and pretty much everything in between. Most of the time people listen to a podcast through an app on their phone or other devices where they have subscribed to the podcast.
The Podcast Host gives a great description of the podcast and its format. “Any particular Podcast will be themed around a particular topic, about which they talk every week – e.g. triathlon racing or dog training. Then, each episode of that podcast will talk about something specific within that topic – nutrition tips for taking part in a triathlon, or how to stop your dog fighting with other dogs.”
A host can have a big impact on the podcast. Hosts stay consistent, usually, there is one or two, and sometimes they invite guests or guest hosts. This is appealing because listeners feel they get to know their hosts, rather than having different people each podcast. For this reason, podcast ads are very effective forms of advertising.
So who is listening to these podcasts? According to Podcast Insights, 51% of the population has listened to a podcast. Maybe they aren’t regular listeners, but they’re at least familiar with the format. Here are some other interesting statistics from 2019 from the same source:
- The numbers have risen from about 12% of the US population listening monthly in 2013 to about 32% listening monthly in 2019.
- 49% of podcast listening takes place at home, 22% in the car.
- 80% of listeners listen to all or most of an episode
- Listeners are affluent, loyal, and educated.
And the combination of affluence, loyalty, and education is the perfect recipe for who to advertise to with podcast ads.
What is a podcast ad?
A podcast ad is when a brand is advertised on a podcast. Usually, the podcast host will share his or her experience with your product and endorse it. The host can share the ad and information anytime during the show, the beginning before the podcast begins, during the show for a break, or at the end. Podcast ads can contain up to about 60 seconds worth of information relating to the product or service. This information could be a personal experience from the host, how the product will benefit the listeners, and how to order it. Usually, a coupon code is offered. Also, this coupon code almost always relates to the podcast.
The host/hosts usually get to experience the product or service for free or at a discounted rate. This allows them to genuinely share their experience in the podcast ads. Products advertised on podcasts vary widely, from deodorant to security systems to web design to socks.
In addition, according to advertisecast, podcast advertising is fast growing with some of the highest ROI in the digital advertising world. However, this is only one of the many reasons to begin podcast advertising.
Here are some great tips on audio ads and marketing them.
How to choose your audience, find sponsorship opportunities, and reach out to hosts for podcast ads
Choosing your audience for your podcast ad is just like choosing your audience for any ad. Think about your demographics. Then find a podcast that shares the same demographics. If your audience is older families, you probably don’t want to advertise on a show geared to 20-somethings. If you’re reaching out to those with an organic, vegan lifestyle, you probably want to stay away podcasts relating to barbecuing and cooking meats.
So think about your audience: age, socioeconomic level, gender, lifestyle…the more you can cover, the farther your podcast ads will reach.
Some questions ConvertKit suggests asking yourself before reaching out to a podcast are:
- How do they address their audience?
- What level of expertise do they seem to be at with the podcast topics?
- Do their audience demographics look like yours?
- Does your podcaster have experience with advertising?
The nice thing about working with a podcast host who has experience with podcast ads is they will probably know what works best for their audience. You may have a 60-second ad in mind, but they may know that their listeners will fast forward after 30 seconds. If they can share some legitimate advice and experience, go with that.
Often a 30 second is ideal as it is long enough to get detail, but not too long for your listener to lose interest. With a 10 second ad, the host may not really have time to tell his or her story. The story and the connection are what sells the product. A long ad may take too much time away from the podcast, especially if the podcast is on the shorter side.
Again, listen to your podcast hosts – they may know best when it comes to podcast ads.
Another advantage is they will be telling the story and experience. This means you don’t have to write all the content for your podcast ad.
Reaching out to the host
Some more great tips from ConvertKit when contacting your host are:
- Listen to the host’s recommendations and advice
- Offer them your product or service to experience
- Be respectful while sharing goals and expectations
- Treat this as a partnership
This can be a great relationship you are building. Make sure to build it the right way.
The rise of podcast advertising
ClickZ compares podcast advertising to the golden age of radio. It’s personal. You feel connected to your host and the ad is like a conversation. They share that around 144 million consumers listened to podcasts in 2019. That number is a big one.
Another convincing statistic from that same article is that a study found that podcasts earned 4.4 times better recall than display ads, such as scroll ads, static ads and pop-up ads, on other digital media platforms. Recall is huge. This means that listeners are listening to and absorbing the ads they hear. It’s the first step in connecting with products or services.
The bottom line is this is an up and coming media platform for advertisers. It’s smart to consider it now.
Costs and Discount Codes
The tricky thing about podcast ads is that cost can vary hugely. Depending on the popularity of the show, your cost will go up or down. Sure, you want to hit the one with a lot of listeners, but can you afford it?
Unfortunately, there’s no real set rate for podcast ad costs, just know that there is something affordable. According to GrowthMarketingPro, costs are usually determined by CPM or cost per thousand (listeners). So the more listeners, the more costly the advertising. The range is pretty wide, from about $200 to $25,000 per spot. However, don’t let this scare you. You can find something.
What about discount codes? What are these?
Discount codes are the code the host will share for you to put in your order. For instance, the podcasters, Kat and Jethro from The Box of Oddities talk about Native deodorant in a podcast ad and offer a promo code for 20% off if you mention it. Usually, the code will have something to do with the podcast. These are nice little perks for learning about the product through the podcast and taking action. The listener/customer simply enters the promo code at checkout to get a specified discount on the product or service.
Examples of some effective podcast ads
Here are some good examples of successful and effective podcast ads:
- Bombas Socks
- Harrys Razors
- Native Deodorant
- Quip Toothbrush
These products have all seen high turnout from their podcast advertising. These companies use the hosts to talk up their product in a friendly, conversational tone and offer a discount to listeners. The listeners feel connected to the product as if they’ve been invited in. Essentially, they have. This is a great way to not only find new customers willing to try something a trusted source recommends, but it’s also a way to keep these customers.
Big takeaways and a few secrets
The key to podcast ads is finding the right home. Listener demographics need to match up to your own. Once you find a good spot, check to see that it’s in an affordable range. It may take some searching because hitting up the big ones may be too expensive, but by finding a smaller podcast with a smaller listener pool, you can be on the right track to grow. Also, you can advertise with a variety of podcasts. You don’t have to stick with one. This way you can find more customers and see what works best.
Another important aspect is to trust your host. You’ve got to let go of some control and let the hosts tell their story in podcast ads. That’s what they do and that’s why podcast ads are successful. Be willing to offer your product to them to try, and make sure you have a discount code. This will bring listeners in and turn them into your customers.
This is the perfect up and coming way to advertise in the audio advertising realm. With a little research, a little matching up, and a bit of conversation, you’ll be on the way to gaining a new pool of longterm, loyal customers. And you may find a new podcast addiction in the meantime.