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So, you’re thinking of trying out podcast advertising. We can’t say we’re surprise, because at this point, it seems like anyone who is anyone has a podcast. And that means you can’t navigate too far on any podcast app before bumping into a show with some sort of advertising component to it.
Podcast advertising offers some real opportunities to expand your client base and reach new people. And, unlike some traditional forms of direct response advertising, podcasts can offer some unique advantages. Imagine a television channel that only plays one show at all hours. Fans have to tune in specifically to watch that show each day or week, resulting in a self-defining audience that segments itself by the show’s topic and host.
Podcasts can offer a great advertising opportunity. But does it make sense for you and your brand? It depends. If you’ve considered it—or you’re just curious—you need to understand podcast ads. And we mean fully. You need an idea of the ad options available, how to buy a spot, types of ads, and everything else, from A to Z.
Consider this post the A to Z you need. We’re here with 3 expert tips for podcast advertising—and a few additional pieces of info you should familiarize yourself with.
Much like the honed audience that podcast ads can offer you, you have additional flexibility with the type of ads you can potentially buy to get your brand, product, or service out there. Let’s walk through a brief overview of the basic delineations.
If you’re reading this blog, you probably already know a thing or two about native advertising. In case anyone needs a refresher, however, native advertising typically matches “the form and function” of the host platform. A native ad will mesh more coherently with the rest of the content the consumer sees—or hears—around it.
As far as native advertising goes, you can’t get much closer to the definition than in podcast advertising. While you can find other types of podcast advertising throughout podcasts large (and small), podcasts might likely be defined by their native ads. In these ads, hosts will read or riff on a provided script from the advertising partner. They can share their own experiences with the brand or product, explain the difference it’s made in their life, and speak with authority. This offers an authenticity you simply can’t get from a pre-recorded ad spot. And native ads are big in podcasting.
Of course, while native ads may be the bread and butter of podcasts, they don’t represent the only option for brands looking to get into the podcast advertising game. Depending on the show, you can also produce and record your own ad—which can make good sense for some companies.
For example, if you already have a relationship (or contract) with a production company or ad firm, you might find it easier to work with them on an ad that you can tailor for the podcast space. Or if you have a pre-produced radio spot on hand, you may determine the cheapest option for your team includes testing it out on a podcast before investing more heavily.
Podcasts define their ads based on another factor: Where the ad fall during the podcast itself.
Pre-roll: Ads that fall at the beginning of the podcast, typically before any of the main content or intros start, is considered “pre-roll.” Consider this akin to the ads that roll before you start a YouTube video.
Mid-roll: Depending on the length of the show, many podcasts will throw in one or two ad breaks. These ads fall in the middle of the show, and, you’ve got it—are considered “mid-roll.”
Outro: Any ad or wrap-up promotional comments at the end of the show will fall into the “outro” bucket. These may play right before, during, or after the official farewell from the host—and even the podcast’s theme music.
No marketing campaign can truly succeed unless you set clear and defined goals beforehand. And surprise! Podcast ads are no different. Before you make an investment, you need to determine what you actually want to accomplish. After all, that will affect every single, subsequent step you take along the way.
For example, do you want to advertise on a larger podcast to get your company’s name out there? Well, that will impact the creative, how you define success, and which podcasts you reach out to. Or, perhaps you want to advertise a specific product or seminar. Perhaps you’ll define success by spending less money on your advertising (on a smaller podcast), paired with a dedicated promo code.
Do you know your ideal customer? Or your ideal 2-3 customers? Which shows interest them? Which shows don’t? When we say, Stay in Your Lane, what we really mean is the following: Don’t waste money on shows that don’t relate to your business.
You wouldn’t waste money advertising your accounting firm on Cartoon Network, would you? Of course not! Unfortunately, when connecting directly with a show—or advertiser—many new advertisers can make silly decisions that won’t benefit their bottom line. Just because a show like The Daily or Armchair Expert has millions of listeners, that doesn’t mean it will deliver the listeners who are most likely to sign up for your service or seek out your product. Make sure the niche shows you advertise with actually line up with your company and brand.
While podcast apps offer some metrics, unfortunately data still lags behind robust direct response platforms like Facebook and Google. So that means you may need to get creative and implement your own data tracking systems.
Depending on your ad, a simple offer code or URL can go a long way. Not only will the podcast’s listeners get a deal, but you’ll get the one thing you might not be able to otherwise: data.
Podcast advertising comes with its fair share of challenges and obstacles to success. But by learning the basics and remembering some expert tips tips, you can hit your podcast advertising stride before you even realize it. And there’s nothing wrong with that.