A Beginner’s Guide to Podcast Advertising

A Beginner’s Guide to Podcast Advertising

Podcasts are an increasingly popular form of engaging entertainment, with over 2 million podcasts on the market. With this platform growing in popularity and reach, marketing through podcasts is a great way to get your brand out there. Podcast advertising is an excellent way to connect with a wider audience since over one-third of Americans listen to podcasts regularly. Also, a majority of podcast ads, over 50%, are longer than 30 seconds which provides the opportunity to get creative and use story-telling to promote your business. But how do you get started? How do you make sure that your podcast advertising reaches your desired audience? Here’s a guide to the basics of podcast advertising.

Choose Your Audience

Podcast listeners tend to feel a connection with the hosts and trust their recommendations. A whopping 63% of people say they have purchased something a podcast host discussed on their show. In order to acquire customers with podcast advertising, one of the most important steps is choosing your audience. This involves identifying the specific listeners that you want to target with your ads and finding podcasts that appeal to those listeners. One good way to do this is by performing market research on your ideal customers. For example, if you sell a product or service aimed at young parents, you might look for podcasts that feature parenting advice or discuss issues relevant to new families. Other factors to consider when choosing an audience for podcast advertising include location, gender, age range, and income level.

Once you have identified the target market for your ads, start looking for podcasts that fit these criteria. Pay attention not only to the topics discussed in the show but also its style and tone, since these elements can also help you determine whether the listeners will be a good fit for your product or service. You may want to consider both popular and niche podcasts, as well as those that are focused on specific regions or demographics.

As you start selecting podcasts for podcast advertising, it’s important to keep in mind that the quality of the show is just as important as its audience. While you may get more exposure by advertising on a highly ranked podcast with a broad reach, this does not necessarily mean that it’s right for your brand. Instead, focus on finding shows that align with your values and resonate with your target market. Determine who you want your customer to be and design your message around them. Today’s consumer expects a personalized ad experience.

Advertising costs

The cost of podcast advertising can vary widely, depending on a number of different factors. Some of the main considerations include the type and length of ads being run, as well as the platform that is hosting the show and charging for advertising space. Typically, shorter ads will be less expensive than longer ones, but this is not always the case. For example, some platforms may charge a flat fee regardless of how long your ad runs, while others may offer tiered pricing models based on ad duration or other metrics.

The basic formula for determining the cost of one ad spot is the CPM rate (cost per 1,000 downloads) multiplied by the size of the show’s audience (how many downloads per episode). However, other variables to consider include the length of the ad and whether the ad is pre-roll, mid-roll, live, pre-recorded, etc.

When it comes to choosing where to run your podcast advertising campaign, it is important to look at more than just price alone. Other factors to consider include reach and audience engagement statistics for each platform or show you are considering. For example, a podcast with a large audience may have higher ad rates, but it may also be less likely to convert listeners into customers. On the other hand, while a smaller show may have lower ad prices and reach fewer people overall, it could be more targeted and provide better results in terms of conversions or sales. With careful planning and execution, you can find the right platform for your ads and get the most out of your investment in this exciting advertising medium.

Measure Your Results

One of the most important aspects of podcast advertising is being able to measure its results and optimize your campaigns accordingly. There are a number of different key performance indicators (KPI) that you can use to assess the effectiveness of your ads, but there are four metrics most commonly used that we will discuss.

Podcast listens and downloads

Podcast downloads are the number of downloads per episode to a desktop, phone, or tablet. This number is often used to determine the popularity of a podcast, but there are some challenges with this. Often, apps are set up to automatically download podcasts. The podcast episode could potentially be downloaded but never actually listened to because the user didn’t even know it was downloaded. On the other hand, users might download the episode with the intention of listening to it at a later time but never get around to it.

Podcast listens, in my opinion, is a better KPI because that number represents people who took the time to play and listen to a podcast episode. This is the way I prefer to consume podcasts. Streaming a podcast from an app doesn’t use up the valuable (and limited) storage available on my iPhone. A few months ago, I ran out of storage on my phone, only to find out I had unknowingly downloaded over 30 podcast episodes.

Both of these metrics are useful, just keep these matters in mind when analyzing the data.

Direct and referral traffic

By using Google Analytics or another tracking service you will be able to see any changes in your direct traffic after the podcast episode has been released. Often, people will do a search for your company after hearing about it on the podcast. Other podcast listeners might check out the podcast’s show notes to find a referral link to your website or landing page. This can also be easily tracked using Google Analytics.

Exclusive offer codes

This is one of the most simplified ways to track how successful your podcast ad is. The host of the podcast can give listeners the offer code and explain how to use it. For example, my favorite podcast is The Toast. On a recent episode, the host read an ad for a Wi-Fi picture frame called Skylight Frame which clearly stated that users should go to skylightframe.com and enter code Toast. Now the company can simply track the number of times the offer code is used to gauge the success of the ad.

User engagement       

User engagement will help determine if the podcast listener is actually your target audience. If you find that you are getting a lot of traffic to your website, yet no one is converting, that could indicate that your target audience is not being reached. Look at metrics such as the bounce rate, the number of pages viewed during each visit, how long are people staying on your website and cart abandonment rates. If those metrics aren’t where you want them to be, it is probably time to take an in-depth look at your strategy. Is your offer not good enough? Maybe your landing page isn’t optimized for conversions. Or it could just be that the podcast audience is not your audience.

Overall, measuring the results of podcast advertising requires careful planning and attention to detail, but with the right tools and processes in place, it can be an invaluable tool for optimizing your marketing campaigns and achieving your business goals.                            

Navigating podcast ads

To make the most of podcast advertising, start by identifying your target market and choosing high-quality podcasts that appeal to those listeners. Next, create compelling ad copy that highlights the benefits of your product or service, and choose a length and format that works with the podcast’s style. Finally, work with the host or producer to craft an engaging intro for the ad, so that listeners feel compelled to listen all the way through. With these tips in mind, you can successfully use podcast advertising to grow your business and reap immense benefits from leveraging this powerful medium!


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