If there has been a winner of 2020, the podcasting industry might just be at the top of the list. The major players in the space are all looking to develop effective advertising platforms by bringing accessibility, affordability, and reach into the forefront.
The marketing opportunities presented by the podcast medium are uniquely intriguing. With that being said, many companies are still unfamiliar with how to get their podcast advertising strategy off the ground – much less begin focusing on best practices.
In this article, I’ll dive into what makes podcasts so attractive to marketers, and explain the 6 tips to keep in mind when you’re getting started.
1. Understand Why They’re Effective
Before I get into any specifics of how you can use podcast advertising to grow your business, it’s imporant to take a look at what makes them such a great vehicle for your message.
For starters, the medium itself translates well to the audience’s overall receptiveness of advertisements. When you’re listening to a podcast, the lack of a visual component means you’re only focused on what you’re hearing. You can “look away” when an advertisement comes on, but unlike a TV or video ad, you’re still going to absorb the message.
In fact, most podcasters and their producers have discovered ways to insert advertisements into content in a way that doesn’t feel, for lack of a better word, annoying. In many cases, the podcast host will find a way to make the advertisement more personal to the audience, and often times they’ll even add their own touch to make it more entertaining.
While there isn’t nearly as much data on podcast advertising as there is on TV, radio, and other forms of digitial advertising, the early numbers suggest good things in the future.
2. Identify Your Customer Profile
Some businesses have a vast and diverse customer base. Others might be in a niche market with a similarly niche audience. While podcast advertising can be beneficial to both types of companies, it lends itself especially well to niches that have been cosidered “hard to reach” in the past.
It’s important to identify which types of content you believe your customers are consuming regularly. As with any type of digital advertising, accurate placement is going to be the driving factor in increasing ROI.
3. Learn the Lingo
Just like with YouTube advertising, marketers are presented with a range of options when it comes to when your ad will play within a podcast. Here are a few important terms to know:
Again, this is similar to YouTube in both the name of the term and the application. Pre-roll ads play at the beginning of a podcast, meaning your ad will be the first thing listeners hear.
As the name suggests, a mid-roll ad will run during the podcast. Keep in mind that this option, while slightly higher in cost, does more to ensure a listener will be fully engaged when they’re hearing your advertisement.
Because users typically don’t have the option to click through to anything when listening to a podcast, attribution can be a challenge. By utilizing an offer code in your ad you can see if people are acting on the messages you’re putting out. By setting up an offer code to be used on your website, for example, you’ll know that your customers found you through your podcast spot.
These types of ads are typically spoken by the podcast host during the course of the show. They’ve become popular because they aren’t as obtrusive as traditional, recorded ads and often take on the voice of the show.
4. Identify Specific Goals
In most cases you’ll only have 15 to 30 seconds to get your message out. With this in mind, it’s critical to establish what you’re trying to accomplish during this time.
For example, some advertisers are looking to drive traffic to their website where users can explore all of the different products or services offered by that business. In other cases, the goal might be to use the podcasting platform to promote a specific event or sale taking place. In any case, the business goals should be the basis upon which the creative component is developed.
If you don’t have specific KPIs (key performance indicators), it can be challenging to evaluate the performance of your campaign. Identify these beforehand and you’ll be able to make adjustments when as needed.
5. Choose a Buying Platform
Once you’re ready to begin advertising on podcasts, you’ll need to find an ad-buying service that aligns with your goals. Since there are many networks out there, you can be selective.
If you’re operating a small business with a tight budget, there are several platforms built with you in mind. I can’t list the pros and cons of all the offerings in this article, but don’t settle for something that doesn’t feel like the right fit.
6. Consider Your Own Show!
One of the advantages podcasting has over other forms of media is that just about anyone can do it. As long as you have a microphone and a message, you can get in on the action.
By hosting your own podcast you can cultivate an audience that is clearly interested in what your company has to offer, and you’ll have an unparalleled vehicle to reach them on a regular basis.
You obviously don’t want to host a show that feels like a 30-minute commercial, but you can provide entertaining content while also promoting your brand in a way that feels organic. Building even a small following can generate huge returns in terms of future sales and brand engagement. If you have the creative itch and feel like you have something to say, take matters into your own hands and try your hand at hosting a podcast yourself.
A holistic digital marketing plan means exploring every option to reach potential customers where they’re consuming content. This has made podcasting increasingly difficult to ignore.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to get your name out there, start researching the ways to make podcast ads part of your strategy.