Advertising on podcasts has many benefits due to both the audience and the medium itself. Podcast listeners are a highly dedicated and loyal audience, with high rates of engagement across the board. Podcast advertising has also proven to be similar to television advertising in terms of effectiveness, and has a lower price point.
However, writing for a primarily audio medium can prove difficult if you’re not used to it. Crafting the perfect ad campaign can be difficult for the best of writers, and being constrained by the medium can only add further difficulty.
Here we break down some tips and tricks to creating and running a successful podcast ad campaign.
1. Know Your Ad’s Purpose
In the grand scheme of marketing, podcast advertising has its strengths and weaknesses just as any other platform does. Statistics show that it works best for audience targeting and brand awareness, so allow those stats to build the bedrock of your podcast advertising campaign.
Podcast directories also don’t actively include any buttons to press during the podcast episode. This means that your best action is to utilize short vanity URLS, or even discount/access codes that are easy for listeners to remember. This gives you a way to track clicks and leads that works with the platforms’ limitations.
Knowing your podcast ad’s goal also gives you the direction to go in with your ad copy. Storytelling is an important part of creating an effective ad (just as it’s important for creating an effective podcast). Having your goal in mind as you write lets it act as a guide post; if you find that your copy veers from the goal, you can go back and adjust it as opposed to releasing an ad that’ll prove ineffective.
2. Write For The Time Slot
When it comes to writing the ad copy and creating the advertisement, writing it for the place you’d like it to be inserted will make it more effective.
Ad insertion points are:
- Pre-roll (at the beginning of the episodes), and traditionally run 15-20 seconds
- Mid-roll (during the episodes), and traditionally ru 30-60 seconds
- Post-roll (at the end of the episodes), and traditionally run 10-20 seconds
Advertisements sometimes get written at a certain length and then get cut down for a different time slot, which hinders their effectiveness. In keeping the time constraints in mind, you can craft an ad that will fit perfectly in your selected ad slot.
It’s also important to keep in mind the flow of the podcast episode when it comes to the time slots. An ad that will play before a podcast episode is going to sound different compared to an ad that plays during the middle of a podcast.
3. Long Campaigns > Short Campaigns
Ad campaigns statistically work best in a long term format over a short, heavy burst. Since the name of the podcast ad game is brand recognition and audience awareness, a long-term campaign allows for repeated exposure of your brand. Short-burst campaigns have their benefits for time-sensitive content, but overall your best chance at a successful campaign is to focus on a long-term campaign.
4. Aim For Multiple Podcasts
Aiming to advertise on one big podcast may seem like a good idea. Big podcasts have wide audiences, and it allows for simple lead tracking. However, bigger podcasts will have higher costs for running ads, and you run the risk of being unmemorable if there are other ads running. Running ads on multiple smaller podcasts allows you to once again play into getting repeated exposure for your company, while reaching more diverse audiences at a similar price point.
This also gives you room to make adjustments to your campaign as needed. For example, if you run an ad with a single large podcast and it underperforms, you can’t do much beyond adjust the CPM or cancel the ad campaign. If you’re running an ad with multiple podcasts and the ad is underperforming, you can try to figure out which podcasts aren’t performing well and drop them from the campaign.
5. Utilize Audience Trust
Podcast advertising is as effective as it is due to the fact that podcast listeners trust their podcast hosts. Due to the medium, podcast hosts are often the subject of intense parasocial relationships, causing listeners to invest a lot of trust in their word and recommendations.
Knowing this, make a point of trying to reach out to the podcast hosts themselves and see if they’re interested in reading the ad copy themselves, or even creating the ad on their own if the ad campaign has room for it. Host-read ads tend to be more effective as having the host recommend your company personally leans into the trust that listeners have them. It also allows the ad to flow more naturally within the podcast, as the host can create an ad that uses the same cadence and diction used in the podcast.
These ads can be baked-in (recorded in the same file that the podcast content is recorded in, so that removal means editing the actual episode itself) or dynamically inserted (inserted post-recording), like any other ad. But because the podcast host is incorporating their style, the ad will begin to feel less like an ad and more like a personal recommendation.
A Final Word on Podcast Advertising
Running a podcast ad campaign has its costs and benefits, just as any other avenue. You have to be aware of platform constraints, and even one misstep can cause your campaign to suffer. However, with the benefits of podcast advertising being on par with television advertising at a fraction of the price, it’s well worth the time and effort of getting it right.
Successful ad campaigns don’t happen overnight; don’t be afraid to run a few campaigns at the same time with different parameters to see what works best for you, your company, your budget, and your audience. Ready to start your podcast ad campaign? Sign up for Podbean’s Ads Marketplace now to get your podcast ads inserted with a few simple clicks!