Ad Copy: Best Practices on Effective Copywriting in 2021
8 min readWriting
Ever wondered why marketers call it an “ad copy”? There’s just something so uninspiring and unoriginal in the term for...
Podcasts. They’ve brutally cast out frequency radios and immersed minds in a pod of gripping content. With them reaching 75% of Americans above the age of 12, it’s no wonder why businesses are scrambling to get onboard the podcast advertising bandwagon. Undoubtedly, the holy grail recipe to reeling in leads involves crafting a compelling hook, line, and sinker Podcast ad copy. Thankfully, we can help!
In case you don’t already know, podcasts were tackily termed “audio-blogging.” back in the eighties. Unlike reading a book or a magazine, they’re easier to consume because no eyes are needed. That essentially allows listeners to multitask, enabling them to do away with boredom as they soak in new content from anywhere. All they need is a device with an internet connection. This unbridled access to ears explains the trending surge of podcast advertising. If you’re one that’s green to the market share, we’re dishing out tips and tricks on how to write the ultimate podcast ad copy that will drive ROI conversions!
The recent pandemic has led to an overwhelming increase in media consumption by consumers. 55% of Americans tuned in to podcasts for the first time ever in 2020. Rationality is simple. With everyone taking to digital to fulfill their entertainment, education, and even shopping needs, brands have turned to streaming platforms. Research shows that podcast advertising revenues in the US alone reached nearly $1 billion in 2020.
As of December 2020, there have been 990,000 active podcasts on Apple iTunes. These are podcasts that have released new content in the past 90 days. Logically, it’s a case of supply and demand. Statistics show that 82.4% of podcast listeners listen to podcasts for more than 7 hours a week, and 93% finish listening to most of each episode. Most digital marketing channels provide real-time insights on consumer activity, including podcast streaming platforms. Understanding listener behavior is valuable for advertisers to reach the right ears at the right time. Only so can leads effectively translate into conversions.
We’ve determined that people are listening in. But do podcast ads investment really yield revenue for brands? Recent consumer research finds that more than half of podcast listeners are likely to consider purchasing after hearing an ad on the program. This enthusiasm clearly has not been dampened by the pandemic as 76% report that they have discovered new products based on promotional deals brands make, albeit 36% being impulse buys. But like all effective marketing strategies, reaping good ROIs involves demographic segmentation and delivering the right message at the right time. That’s why tailoring your podcast ad copy appropriately to your target audience is crucial. Brands that have effectively done so see a 14% average increase of purchase intent when they advertise on podcasts.
Statistics show that 85% of podcast listeners have attended college, and 45% of them have a household income of at least $75,000. They are also social media lovers and are avid learners of new knowledge and experiences. In fact, research shows that 3 out of 4 podcast listeners tune in for the reason of learning. This makes podcast ads a gold mine for many brands seeking to increase brand awareness, build leads, or generate revenue. That said, picking the right podcasts to advertise in is paramount to reach your brand’s target demographic. For instance, if your target demographic revolves around male millennials, investing in spots within podcasts about relationships and beauty tips might not be most rewarding. The great thing is that podcasts are available in more than 100 languages worldwide. Hence, the possibilities are endless. You just need to frame your podcast ad copy in the right language and use the right channels.
Whether you’re on a shoestring or have a big advertising allowance, one should never be penny wise and pound foolish. Chances are, that you’ll have to submit humdrum campaign reports to your bosses to prove that your podcast ads have been a worthy investment. So if you’re new to the endeavor, we want to stress that strategy is key just like every marketing initiative. To demonstrate some factors you should consider and point you in the right direction; we’ve provided a blueprint below to answer your questions on how to write the most compelling and resonating podcast ad copy.
If you’re not new to audio advertising, you know that they are all pretty much the same. You write a script, a voice actor acts it out or narrates it while recording it, and you play it on your allotted audio spots. Content specifics aside, it’s pretty much a straightforward process. Now let’s consider the type of podcast ad copy you can choose from, and here’s where it gets interesting.
Baked-in ad copies can either be read by the podcast host during the program or recorded and played during the program. Hosts read a large percentage of podcast ads as it gives the brand more of a personal touch. In addition, the effectiveness of baked-in host-read ads also plays on the listener’s trust in the program. His or her familiarity and affinity to the host’s voice and content results in a lesser perception of hard-sell, making the product more attractive and appealing.
Because as ad personalization advances, so have the technology in delivering them. Dynamic ads are a whole new category of audio ads. Although writing a dynamically inserted podcast ad script is a lot more time-consuming, the pre-recorded format allows multifold permutations of creative content. Essentially, different parameters such as the listener’s location, time of day, or device get detected. The ad then plays out a combination of content that dynamically inserts all of that information to make the ad more personalized. If well-written and recorded, the insertion should not be detectable by the listener, and the ad should play out smoothly. That said, the first time writing a dynamic ad copy can be overwhelmingly technical and complicated. If you’re intrigued by this new format but don’t know where to start, consider outsourcing your dynamic ad copy to an experienced professional. Platforms like AudioGO also simplify audio advertising by delivering tailored content that caters to the brand of all sizes. It combines ad creation and management on one platform making audio fuss-free and affordable.
Unlike television ads or ones that play during breaks of a radio program, choosing when your ad plays during a podcast is important. There are basically three timings you can choose from and do so wisely, depending on your objectives.
Pre-roll ads are either pre-recorded and played or read by the host at the beginning of the show. In podcasts, programs usually start with announcements or an introduction to the episode. Your ad will be embedded in this segment. For obvious reasons, host-read podcast ad copies are a lot more well-received than pre-recorded ones. Podcast ad copy scripts usually start with mentioning the brand. For example, “This episode of blank is brought to you by brand,” where “blank” denotes the program name and “brand”, the name of your brand. Because it’s the start of the content, writing brand introductory scripts tends to be easier in this segment. This is because there’s no need to embed the ad to make the content sound natural. Be aware, though, that some podcast apps allow listeners to skip the first 15-seconds of ads before the program starts. So make sure your ad doesn’t fall on deaf ears.
Writing mid-roll scripts can be a little more challenging but are usually a lot more rewarding. This because mid-roll is usually when listeners are drawn into the content and will hardly skip over your ad. However, writing a mid-script podcast ad copy requires some knowledge of the show to help the ad become more effective. Writing a script that embeds the ad content and ties it into the show seamlessly tends to result in better conversions as hard-selling is not a well-received strategy by today’s consumers. For example, you can say that your product will make a great apology gift if the program is about helping listeners sort relationship problems.
Your ad plays at the end of the program for post-roll podcast ads. Depending on the program you choose to advertise in, this can be a very valuable spot for advertisers. This is because some shows may drop hints on what the next gripping episode will bring, and audiences tend to listen to the end. Post-rolls can have a lower CPM (cost per thousand impressions) and are definitely more effective than pre-roll ads.
Not your first audio ad rodeo? Then you know that keeping to a word count is important. You don’t want your audio ad narrator to rap like the fastest world-record rapper, Twista. Neither do you want to put your audience in too much of a lulling trance. The trick is to capture and deliver your message succinctly through words or added sound effects. However, to do this, you must first determine the point of your audio ad. And the answer can’t just simply be to make more money!
Essentially, the marketing funnels consumers through different stages, and you should only pick one and make your point sharp.
Remember that your podcast ad copy should focus on delivering only one of the above messages. After all, too many cooks can spoil the broth! Do remember to include an effective call-to-action to direct your listener within your podcast ad copy. This may be a phone number, a website, or a social media platform where listeners can find out more.
Engagement is key in generating conversions. Of course, the rules of engagement in the marketing world rely heavily on knowing your audience. If you’ve already picked a podcast program to advertise in, the chances are that the content they air appeals or resonates with your target audience. Now, all you need to do is write a compelling script that matches the program’s tone. For example, if the podcasters are sassy and preppy, using a formal tone of language for your podcast ad copy will most likely not cut it. To make your ad a soft-sell embedment in the program, you’ll need to match up the podcasters’ command of language by using an upbeat voice.
Another thing you can consider is crafting scripts that incorporate dialogues. Some podcast programs are engaging because they are discussions with two or more speakers. If you’ve chosen one of those, do leverage on what you’ve bought. Writing a podcast ad copy that encompasses an honest discussion can be a lot more exciting and stimulating than just a one-person narration. This is especially so if you manage to tie the ad copy content in with the program’s topic.
Creating a compelling podcast ad copy is not difficult as long as you know your audience and pick the right channels. Although, don’t fret if you need a little help along the way. Not every business possesses the in-house capabilities to write, produce, and publish audio ads independently. If you find yourself at a roadblock of technicality, hire a reliable post-production team to develop a high-quality ad. It’s always better to be safe than sorry! After all, brand reputation is something that should never be overlooked, nor should it need to be remedied.