Marketing has changed over the years. It’s a fluid construct and will continue to evolve as other aspects of our media world evolve as well. What once was the main venue of advertising has shifted, and new platforms are growing. One very effective current form is podcast marketing and it is also one of the newest. Advertising your product on relevant podcasts is a great way to grow your customer base, and it might be easier than you think.
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This post was updated in June 2021
Overview of a Podcast
While most people today understand what a podcast is, it still is a fairly new media format. Understanding a podcast itself also helps understand why it is such a strong venue for advertising.
A podcast is a spoken audio show, usually consisting of a number of themed episodes. They are essentially a series of episodes. Sometimes these episodes are consecutive, chronological shows, like the popular podcast, Serial, sometimes stand-alone, like Another Round, but they most always encompass a theme. This theme is all-important to your podcast marketing, as you’ll see. Listeners enjoy them because of the variety, the ease of listening, and the convenience they offer.
With a wide variety of topics, there is a podcast for virtually everyone. Whether your favorite topic is cooking or you need relationship advice or want to hear a supernatural encounter, there’s a podcast for you. People listen to them while driving, exercising, doing chores around the house, working, or anything else. Podcasts usually are free and can be downloaded onto any device. This all makes podcasts a dream for advertising.
How Effective is Podcast Marketing?
According to MarketingDive, podcast marketing is extremely effective. They report that there are over 550,000 shows with topics for nearly every interest, and 73 million Americans listen to podcasts. According to recent data, that audience number is expected to grow 81% by 2022.
This same article shares a big reason for podcast marketing effectiveness. Many people today have learned how to avoid ads. They block them, they skip them, they ignore them. But with the style of podcast ads, they enjoy them. One thing that makes podcast ads enjoyable is that the host is the one sharing the information about the product.
Podcast marketing enlists the host or hosts to share the product or service along with their experience with it. Basically they are telling a story about how great your product is. And remember, podcasts hosts are professional storytellers. What could be better? Because hosts have developed loyalty and trust with their listeners, these listeners are up for trying something new that their host approves. It’s a win-win situation.
Check out these statistics shared by MarketingDive:
- 78% of listeners approve of podcast advertising
- 67% of listeners remember brands and products from podcast ads
- 63% made a purchase after hearing podcast ads
These are impressive numbers.
Target Audience for Successful Podcast Marketing
The key to any successful ad campaign, including podcast marketing, is reaching the desired audience. You can have the most perfect ad, but if it doesn’t reach the people who will act on it or are interested in it, it just doesn’t work. If you are figuring out your target audience, it’s important to do it before your podcast marketing endeavors. Here are some tips from Inc.com to help you out:
- Look at your current customer base. Who is buying your product or services? Are they moms or millennials, seniors or singles? Whoever they may be, that’s who you want to reach.
- Look at your competition. If you know of a similar business, look to see who they are marketing to and who is buying from them. This is also your target audience.
- Learn the demographics. Know the age range, socioeconomic profile, gender, education level…all of these play a part in consumerism.
- Learn the psychographics. What are the values, the beliefs, the hobbies, and interests of your buyers? This will lead you to more people with similar interests who will in turn, but more likely to purchase your product or service.
Now that you know your target audience, you have to figure out how to reach them through podcast marketing.
The key here is to match up your target audience with a podcast’s target audience. Just like a product, podcasts have particular demographics and psychographics that they appeal to. Whether it’s political, geographical, education level, lifestyles – find your match. When your product or service appeals to the podcast listeners, you’ll find success.
Choosing the Details of your Podcast Marketing
When it comes to podcast marketing, you’ll have a few choices to make about the ad itself. The first one is probably determining what type of ad you want.
Two of the main types of podcast ads are live read and pre-produced.
Live reads ads are just what they sound like – the host shares an experience with your product during the live recording. You may or may not provide a basic script, but the charm of this type of marketing is that it’s organic and genuine. The host talks in conversation about your product, sharing their experience in a relevant, honest matter, just like a friend would. Listeners enjoy this ad as they feel connected because they already trust the host. Research has shown that these ads are a bit more effective and appealing to the listener.
A pre-produced ad gives you more control over the content, as the ad is prerecorded and inserted into the podcast. Though this does give you more control, it can take away from the authenticity of the ad. This type of ad seems, well, a little more like an ad. But that’s okay. After all, it is an ad. An advantage to a pre-produced ad is that its lifespan is longer. This podcast can reuse this same ad over again in different episodes, as opposed to a live ad, which when it’s done, it’s done.
So if you would like a little more control and a longer ad lifespan, an inserted ad may be for you. For more information on writing a strong script, this article offers excellent tips.
Another factor to consider in your podcast marketing is when to have your ad shared. Some share it at the beginning of the podcast when listeners are gearing up for the show. Others go for the end, but the sweet spot is that middle fit. This is when the podcast has the audience’s full attention, and listeners probably won’t skip the ad.
Another detail to consider is the promo code. What’s that, you may ask? A promo code is what the host shares so your listeners have more incentive to try your product or service. The host will share a promo code that consumers can use at purchase to get a discount off regular price. For instance, The Generation Why Podcast has promo codes for a hair coloring company and another for bras. These products appeal to their listeners. Again, it adds that little bit of connectivity and authenticity.
Is Podcast Marketing Affordable?
Because podcast marketing is still a fairly new platform, it is inexpensive compared to other marketing venues. SocialMediaToday explains that because it still is a growing format, now is the time to get involved because it’s relatively cheap to advertise.
Of course, certain factors come into play, such as the spot you choose for your ad in the podcast. The coveted middle spot will cost more, but you will get more return on your dollar. Another factor is the podcast itself. Those with more listeners will cost you more to advertise on. However, you’ll get more return on your dollar the more listeners you reach.
One option is to take that middle spot on an up-and-coming podcast rather than try to advertise on one of the biggies. This may make podcast marketing more affordable to you if you are just starting out.
You’ll have to work your promo code into your budget, too. Think about what percent off you want to offer or how else you could run your promo. Some businesses offer a buy three months, get one-month free promo. Be creative and do what meets your budget.
The good news is that with podcast marketing, there are a variety of options and just about a price point for everyone.
What Makes Successful Podcast Marketing?
A huge part of successful podcast marketing is the podcast itself, the time slot, and the format. But that isn’t all. One big thing to think about is the host or hosts. Because these are the people who will be sharing your product, you’ll want to trust them.
Many podcasters have been hosting ads for a while. If you choose an experienced host, trust him or her. Let them do their thing. As mentioned, there are two ways to let the host convey the message, naturally or contrived. Sure, contrived works, but genuine conversation works better. If the host wants to do it this, relinquish that control and let them.
Another factor is to have value from your product connected to the host. Stamps.com is a big podcast advertiser, and the hosts often mention how it saves them trips to the post office mailing their podcast merch. This is relevant. Native deodorant is another example: hosts can talk about anxiety from doing a live show and how they may sweat. Their deodorant saves them. So find that connection with your product to the host. If you can’t, then you may want to look elsewhere.
The Future of Podcast Marketing
Because podcasting is becoming more and more mainstream, the future of podcast marketing is bright. Listeners are on the rise which makes podcast ad success on the rise. According to Whatsnewinpublishing.com, advertising is expected to grow from $515 million to $659 million by 2020.
Another factor in the growth in podcast advertising in the coming years is the use of standardized ad tracking metrics, which has not been implemented before. As this begins, it is expected for this area of marketing to continue to grow at a high rate.
Yes, the future of podcast marketing is bright.
The Big Take Away
Now is the time to get your podcast marketing in place. If this is something you’ve been considering, there’s no better time. This arena should continue to grow, and if you can secure a spot now on an up and coming show or two, this could be just what you’ve been looking for to grow your business and increase your marketing endeavors.
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