Why You Should Invest In Podcast Advertising

Sam Wormser
By Sam Wormser

Advertising continues to change daily and with the introduction of digital advertising, the market has become even more competitive. Though traditional advertising methods still work in many situations, they can no longer be relied on as a business’ sole advertising method and new channels must be looked to instead.There are numerous kinds of digital advertising methods businesses can use to increase their influence on the market. Yet, one that has been growing quickly, and gaining popularity is podcast advertising.

While podcasts are still fairly new to the digital world, taking the leap and adding them to your current advertising methods will prove to be extremely beneficial in the long run. With the amount of Americans listening to podcasts more than doubling over the past decade, the trend is not slowing down anytime soon.

Related: How to Measure the Success of Your Influencer Campaigns

Because podcast advertising is still fairly new and growing at a rapid rate, there is far less competition than other advertising avenues out there like advertising on the GDN. Investing in podcast advertising now can provide businesses with the opportunity to reach a fast growing, targeted audience at a low cost.

The CPM Scale And Podcasts

Though each podcast differs when it comes to pricing, the majority of podcasts operate on the “CPM” scale, which is determined by the cost per how many listeners/downloads they get on a cost per thousand downloads basis. This model allows a specific podcast to set a standard price per thousand listens, regardless of who is advertising. Thus meaning that for every thousand listens a podcast receives, the advertiser will pay a certain amount. There’s a range in CMPs for different podcasts and if often depends on the ad spot – pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll.

While CPM is the most common pricing structure of a podcast, there are also two other models used when advertising. Those being, cost per acquisition (CPA), and freely negotiated price.

Cost per acquisition is based on the cost to acquire a single customer. Much like a brand ambassador model, each time a consumer’s purchase is directly related to the podcast the business pays a predetermined amount to the podcast host.

Freely negotiated price, on the other hand, is a one-time overall negotiated price between the advertiser and host. This model is commonly seen when advertising with a new podcast, which is just starting out and may not have the numbers to back a model like CPM. This can also open the door for other opportunities that accompany a podcast like a blog post or newsletter inclusion. Often times you can negotiate for a larger package deal when other channels are involved.

Here’s some reasons why you should be dipping your toes into podcast advertising:

1. You can reach niche audiences 

One of the best things about podcast marketing is that you can use it to appeal to a highly-targeted market. Some of the most successful podcasts can have upwards of 100,000 listeners/downloads per episode, meaning that your advertisement will reach a large group of people in a short amount of time. Podcast advertising is one of the best forms of long tail advertising because not only are you reaching a high number of prospects at a lower cost, but you are also reaching out to a niche audience in which they all share a similar interest.

Remember, the listeners are listening to the podcast because they already share a passion for the topic and are seeking more information about it. Listening to a podcast is extremely intentional – you select one and you’re fully tuned it. Whether listening on your drive to work or having a podcast be part of your morning routine, people who listen to podcasts have a certain affinity to the specific podcast and are therefore more receptive to your ad spot.

Understanding a podcast audience is crucial when advertising to them. It’s important that the ad interest those who are listening to it, and that your product relates to the content of the podcast. Once you’ve chosen the right podcast for your market it becomes easy to mold the ad and language around the typical listener. Changing the content of each ad based on the podcast is highly recommended. When done right, customized podcast ads can prove to be extremely rewarding and grant you a high customer success rate.

A great example of a company who uses the niche audiences of a podcast to successfully market their brand is Blue Apron. When advertising on a podcast, Blue Apron targets young working professionals who care about their health and what they eat. Because the millennial generation is known for constantly being on-the-go, Blue Apron knows that they don’t always have the time to make a healthy home cooked meal. By advertising healthy, meal options for those on the go, Blue Apron appeals to the podcasts’ audience and is welcomed by viewers, as they feel they are receiving a tip or life hack rather than an ad.

2. They’re not controlled by a huge ad network

Another advantage of podcast advertisements is that they are not controlled by a huge ad network like Google or Facebook which means they have less regulation and more room for creativity. With digital advertising taking over, fewer people are paying attention to traditional ads and they’re getting much easier to avoid. Premium accounts and advantages have made it easy for consumers to skip, ignore, or block out ads altogether for a small fee. From Spotify to Hulu traditional ads are becoming a thing of the pasts and marketers must come up with new techniques to get their product out there.

Podcasts, on the other hand, are impossible to ignore. Though this may seem frustrating to the listener, most listeners actually enjoy the ads because they’re customized based on their interest, and they find the information valuable. The most effective podcast ads are those that match the tone of the podcast and fit in perfectly with the content. Plus, because viewers are already invested in the host of the podcast, ads feel more like a recommendation from a friend rather than a sales pitch.

The length of an ad also impacts its effectiveness. Most podcasts ads are relatively short in length, which keeps the listener from getting bored and ensures that they aren’t bombarded with more ads than content. In fact, the industry average of ads per podcast ranges from 2-4 per episode which doesn’t mean the listener is going to have a huge ad fatigue. For advertisers, this is ideal as it maintains an authentic relationship with the listener and offers little to no competition.

3. Listeners are highly-engaged

Podcast ads are most commonly read by the host and inserted into the content at the beginning of the show (pre-roll), middle of the show (mid-roll), and end of the show (post-roll). The method of integrating ads directly into the show during a mid-roll allows listeners to be introduced to a product naturally and often times they’re not even aware they’re being sold to.

Podcast listeners invest hours of listening time and over the course of their journey develop relationships with podcast personalities. Because podcasts hosts are able to develop such strong relationships with their listeners, they’re able to be more open with them and have candid conversations. This openness causes listeners to feel as though their receiving a product recommendation from a friend, rather than a stranger.

4. You can tell a story 

In short, podcast hosts are incredible storytellers. Individuals tune into their show each week to listen to them talk, gain advice, and hear a great story. Unlike other social channels, podcast hosts have to be extremely entertaining and keep the attention span of a listener for more than six seconds. When it comes to advertising, this is exactly who you want representing your brand.

Podcast ads allow hosts and advertisers alike to tell a story about a product and offer a fresh approach to marketing. Using a genuine story or experience when relating to a brand, and speaking in their own words resonates with the audience on a more personal level and comes across much more trustworthy than a conventional ad.

Having a story told is the most authentic way to promote a brand. Skip the facts that are boring and won’t resonate with the audience and have the host share a more candid and story about how they are either personally using the product or service or share more about the brand’s history and mission rather than pushing sales.

5. Bundling opportunities pay off

Compared to traditional forms of advertising, podcast advertising can also be more affordable for small businesses. Podcast advertising is still new and because industry standards haven’t fully been determined yet it allows much more room for negotiation than other forms of advertising. When it comes to any marketing strategy, repetition and brand awareness are key to winning your audience over.

In podcast advertising, the more a host backs your product and believes in it, the more likely their audience is to convert into a customer themselves. Once you’ve found a dedicated and passionate audience who fits your market, reach out and attempt to build a partnership and proposed to buy advertisement slots in bundles. Not only will this increase your customer value, but it can also help you lower your CPM and spend your advertising dollars more effectively.

Wrapping Up

While podcast advertising may not be the only form of advertising you choose, it offers a new way to target and reach niche customers who are really tuned in. Plus, the personalization invested into podcast advertising proves to be a much more friendly and trustworthy approach than traditional methods. We’ve seen similar success when working on PR campaigns with influencers. Portraying an ad as a recommendation rather than a sales pitch allows listeners to build a relationship with the brand and can have an incredible effect on brand image and revenue for brands and podcasts host alike.

Learn More Here

Samantha is a PR manager and account manager at Power Digital where she executes on everything from top tier media relations, to SEO outreach and social media influencer outreach. After spearheading the influencer marketing arm of the PR department, Samantha has created strategies and partnerships with social media influencers to elevate both brand awareness, engagement, and ROI for our clients. Outside of the office, she's obsessed with all things food and exploring the outdoors.