Podcast Advertising 101

So You Think You Want to Start Buying Podcast Ads?

April 01, 2019

Podcast advertising can be very effective for increasing brand awareness and customer acquisition, but before launching any podcast campaigns tomorrow, Podsights has a checklist to gauge if podcast advertising is right for your brand, right now. To make the most of your campaigns, there are three key factors that will signify your podcast advertising readiness.

Episode Ads

Key factor #1: You know your Audience, Well.

You understand your target audience beyond basic demographics.

While some data exists around traditional age and gender demographics for podcasts, it doesn’t tell the whole story and it won’t do much to narrow down which show is the right fit for your brand advertising. A 70 year old man can have the same general interests as a 30 year old woman on paper (politics, health and wellness, books), but it’s unlikely they will listen to the same podcasts and use similar products.

The best podcast ad campaigns will target their audience’s interests, and deep consumer habits. Does your target customer prefer comedy or more serious content? What are their values? Knowing the answer to these questions and more, will help you find the right shows for your brand—much better than “Female / 24-32 / LA and/or NY”.

You understand the value of advertising on podcasts.

Podcasts are unlike any other type of medium and you’re likely to see a much higher engagement rate per dollar you spend than what you are used to with social or digital ads. There are a few reasons why podcast ads are valuable in this way:

Audiences are engaged and loyal—listeners are seeking out specific shows and therefore listening to the content they want to hear, no matter what the ads are. Lack of ad clutter—compared to other mediums, the ratio of ads to content is smaller. Ads are authentic and relevant—most ad copy is loosely scripted and delivered by the show’s host or producer, this gives the message a meaningful and genuine quality.

Key factor #2: You have a generous budget with room to experiment.

You are comfortable with risk.

Buying podcast ads is inherently risky, mainly because the only path to success is trial and error, and campaigns tend to require longer run-time (therefore more budget) than other ad channels. We recommend starting with a smaller, short-term buys with two or three shows to test your results. It’s common to place ads with a few shows before finding one that works.

You have the resources for trial and error.

To see significant results from podcast campaigns more repetition is required than on other ad channels, which leads to longer campaigns times and potentially more budget. It can take listeners two to three ads before they act on your call to action.

We recommend starting with a budget of ~$10K. Podcast ads are sold in volume of CPMs—cost per mille (thousand) listeners—and an ad can range from ~$25-$50 CPMs. If you don’t have the time or budget to test multiple ads running on a few new shows at once, you might not be ready for podcast advertising.

Key factor #3: Proven success on other ad channels.

You are have successful ads already generating good traffic.

Podcast advertising should not be where you start your advertising campaigns. If social ads or search marketing are not improving your marketing outreach, podcast ads won’t fix that problem. Podcast advertising requires much deeper research, more trial and error, and often a bigger budget than social or search ads.

If you have successful messaging that works on other ad channels, it will be an easier transition to apply that to podcast ads, quite possibly in the form of a host endorsement.

Part 2: Step-by-step outline for planning a podcast campaign.