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Hot off the press

What’s all this about Podcasts?!

The podcast is HUGE. Millions of people listen to them every single day but brands are only just waking up to this massive advertising opportunity. For a relatively new platform, podcasts have steamrollered their way into our collective psyche. It feels like everyone and their Gran has a favourite podcast (and they love to tell you about them too…) 

Unlike other media, podcasts are uniquely placed to connect to your audience on a more intimate level and therefore brands who advertise on them are placed firmly front of mind. So how does podcast advertising work and is it suitable for Direct Response advertisers? Read on for a five minute masterclass on this exciting medium. 

What is podcast advertising?

Podcast advertising is simply a type of advertising that takes place within a podcast episode. Podcast ads can take the form of a pre-recorded message, a message read by the host, or even longer form sponsorship and branded content.

There are over 3 million podcasts out there covering all topics, interests, and passions. This means whoever you are looking to target there’s a relevant podcast for you.

Advertising Formats

Host read sponsorships. These are incredibly effective as they tap into the influence of successful podcast hosts, acting like personal endorsements. Advertisers will usually provide a script or talking points, and podcast hosts will record the ad in their voice and tailor the content to their audience.

Pre-recorded ads (also known as announcer-read ads, pre-produced ads).These are 30-second ads produced by the advertiser. These are usually dynamically inserted into either pre, post, or mid-roll ad slots within a podcast episode.

How are ads inserted?

When it comes to ad placement, there are two methods used to fill the ad slots in an episode. Ads can either be baked in or automatically inserted using a technology called Dynamic Ad Insertion:

Baked-in ads are added to the audio file itself, making them permanent. This means that all listeners will hear the same ad when they listen to the episode. These ads have the advantage of longevity and a longer lasting synergy with podcast, advertiser and listener. However, advertisers need to be aware these are unsuitable for seasonal or time-sensitive offers.

Dynamic ad insertion stitches ads into chosen ad spots (pre, mid, or post-roll) which can be targeted to the person listening. This allows advertisers to choose when their ads are heard and is preferred by podcasters as it keeps the advertising on their shows fresh, helping them to monetize their back catalogues.

How to measure podcast advertising effectiveness

If you’re a direct response advertiser you’ll want to see clear and measurable results from your media activity. Podcast advertising is no exception.

The most reliable ways to measure podcast advertising include:

  • Promo, discount and coupon codes: offer a unique code that can be redeemed at checkout. This accurately tracks purchases and new customers that are a direct result of your podcast ad campaign.
  • Pixel-based attribution: If you’re looking to measure cost-per-acquisition (CPA) or return on ad spend (ROAS), you can use 3rd party tracking services that leverage tracking pixels. These tell you how many people heard your ad on a podcast and then ultimately visited your website, purchased an item or requested a brochure. 
  • Vanity URLs: Tell listeners to visit a unique URL or landing page (that you are only using for podcast ads). Just make sure the URL is short, clear and memorable.
  • Surveys: Adding podcasts to your “How did you hear about us” survey

Why should you use Podcast advertising?

  • Attention grabbing – People love and value the podcasts they choose to listen to. Unlike other media like radio which can be “background noise”, the active choice to listen to a podcast means people consciously reduce distractions before hitting “play”. In addition, fewer adverts in podcasts compared to other media mean your message gets more standout.
  • Inspires action – High levels of engagement lead to higher rates of action with 95% of podcast listeners reporting to have taken action as a result of podcast advertising*. Podcast hosts are seen as experts in their field and their implied endorsement acts as a powerful call to action.
  • Builds trust – Trust is an incredibly important part of the brand-consumer relationship. After all, it’s nigh on impossible to get people to spend money with a company they don’t trust.  Podcast host endorsement, and the natural delivery of ads within podcasts, add credibility and authenticity to a brand. According to a recent survey by the Guardian, trust levels increased from 45% to 63% when podcasts were added to a brand’s media mix.
  • Widens reach – with many people not watching linear TV or reading press titles, podcasts allow talking to an audience that may not engage with the more traditional media. Adding targeted podcasts into your media mix gives you access to a new, but relevant, audience.

Get in touch to chat with our team about podcasts.

*Attest Survey