Podcasts have emerged as a cultural phenomenon in recent years, with rapid growth year on year. With listenership estimated to cross 500 million by 2024 and predicted market volume of $5.03 billion by 2027, Podcasts are a gold mine with massive marketing potential.
In this article we break down everything you need to know about Podcast Marketing, and how you can tap into this powerhouse channel and transform your marketing strategy.
What is Podcast Marketing?
Podcast marketing or Podcast Influencer Marketing involves collaborating with a podcast host to include a positive mention of your product, service, or brand in episodes of their podcast show.
While the general premise is the same as Influencer Marketing on other platforms, creating an effective Podcast Marketing strategy involves considering formats, placement, targeting, monitoring, tracking, and attribution.
So what are the Types of Ads in Podcast Marketing? Ads in Podcast marketing can be differentiated based on their placement, creative production, and lifetime. Let’s break down the various options :
- Pre-roll Ads: These are short ads that play at the beginning of a podcast episode. They typically last between 15 to 30 seconds. While good for reaching engaged listeners, these ads are more prone to being skipped.
- Mid-roll Ads: These ads are inserted in the middle of a podcast episode, usually between natural breaks or at specific timestamps. They tend to be longer, ranging from 60 to 90 seconds, allowing for more detailed messaging.These tend to be the most sought after placements because they reach listeners in highly immersed states, when they are likely already engaged in another task simultaneously. This makes it less likely that they will disrupt this other task to skip the ad, thus resulting in better ad reach and effectiveness!
- Post-roll Ads: Placed at the end of an episode, post-roll ads are brief and can serve as a call-to-action, encouraging listeners to take immediate steps after they’ve finished listening. These ads slots tend to be cheaper since there is a likelihood that listeners, having gotten the maximum value out of the main content of the show, may switch off before the ad is played.
- Host-Read Ads: Host-read ads are endorsements delivered by the podcast host themselves. Listeners often find these endorsements more trustworthy and authentic, as they come from a familiar voice they trust.
- Programmatic Ads: These ads are recorded and produced by the brand itself, typically featuring a voice actor and set script, and simply placed within the final podcast audio in post production. The same ad typically features across all shows chosen for activation in a campaign.
This allows brands more creative control over the ad and can save time in approvals processes. But these ads miss out on the opportunity that host-read ads provide in personalising creatives to specific niche audiences and enhancing trust and identification with the brand by having hosts serve as spokespersons for the brand message.
- Baked-In Ads: Integrated directly into podcast episodes during recording, baked-in ads remain unchanged over time, ensuring authenticity and lasting exposure but lack flexibility for updates or changes.
- Dynamic Ads: Inserted at the time of delivery to listeners, dynamic ads offer flexibility by allowing updates or swaps based on context, demographics, or geographical targeting, enabling better tracking and relevance.
- Programmatic Dynamic Ads: Utilising real-time auctions and automated buying, programmatic dynamic ads offer efficiency and advanced targeting, leveraging data-driven algorithms for precise audience segmentation and ad placements in podcasts.
While navigating these varying ad types can be challenging, working with a podcast marketing agency can help you analyse industry and competitor trends and establish a podcast marketing strategy that is optimised for your specific product and brand.
What are the Opportunities in Podcast Marketing?
Podcasts are no longer a niche medium. With over 450 million listeners worldwide and over 5 million titles across topics like Comedy, News, Politics, Sports, True Crime, Film and TV, Education, Business, White and Blue Collar Trades, amongst others, there is now something for everyone. This makes Podcast Marketing a fantastic, novel platform for brands across various industries to reach their audiences.
Engaged, High Value Audiences
Podcast marketing operates on the same consumer psychology principles as Influencer Marketing on any other platform. It relies on the host’s image and reputation amongst their listeners as a trustworthy, credible, and likeable source of information and recommendations.
But Podcast influencer Marketing indicates significant potential in producing positive ROI due to highly engaged podcast audiences and significant host authority. Podcast hosts are reportedly viewed as 64% more trustworthy than other influencers, while 48% of UK listeners claim to trust Podcast hosts more than hosts of other traditional media. Acast explains how the nature in which podcasts are consumed creates a stronger parasocial relationship with the podcast hosts, making Podcast influencer marketing a powerful channel to influence purchase behaviour. Listening to podcasts when wearing headphones creates an auditory bubble which amplifies the intimacy of the environment, leaving listeners highly engaged, attentive, and perceptive to podcast ads.
Listenership amongst 82.4% of dedicated podcast fans reportedly exceeds 7 hours per week, and 95% of these frequent listeners have reportedly actually taken action after hearing an ad!
41% of US podcast listeners also have a household income of over $75,000, further highlighting podcast marketing’s potential in reaching and converting the right audiences groups.
Consumers are More Accepting of Podcast Ads
Consumer cynicism and ad avoidance are at an all time high, with over 40% of US consumers alone using ad blockers. While Podcast Advertisements are not vulnerable to these ad blockers, skipping past ads is still an option.
Fortunately for marketers though, Podcast listeners actually seem to have a largely positive response to Podcast Ads! Edison Research recorded 34% listeners rarely or never skip ads, while 33% skip ads only some of the time! ‘Ad Avoiders’ also showed 22% higher engagement on podcast ads, suggesting podcasts could be a valuable tool to get through to these audiences.
ARN Neurolab also reported consumers find podcast advertising to be 30% more trustworthy than advertising across social media, with these ads also enhancing the uplift from 83% of other social media campaigns!
Niche Targeting & Impression Tracking and Attribution
Podcasts offer the creative, branding, and psychological benefits of influencer marketing campaigns to be used in tandem with the performance and tracking benefits of other digital channels.
Podcast Marketing campaigns can target specific niches based on demographics, content verticals, geographies, and other segments. Pixel and TAG based tracking and podcast-specific attribution tools allow click-free tracking solutions that verify that purchased impressions are delivered, and to the selected audience niches.
They also provide access to audience and device data alongside performance metrics like reach, engagement, conversions, brand lift, and ROI.
Advertisement slots purchased at a publisher level also allow the flexibility to optimise campaign spends in real-time. Real-time dashboards show real-time campaign performance, with hourly, daily, and monthly performance data. This allows marketers to identify best and worst performing shows and transfer spend from a lower-performing show to another higher performing show for the remainder of the campaign period.
Live Optimisation in Podcast Marketing also helps ensure ads are going live at the right frequencies, reaching the right geographies, and are accurately placed, amongst others.
How to Use Podcasts for Marketing
A Podcast Marketing Strategy, like any other channel strategy, should be informed by data. But unlike other platforms, Podcast Influencer Marketing is still in early stages of adoption. This means most internal databases and common third party influencer marketing platform tools lack sufficient information and data for this channel.
Here is where working with a Podcast Marketing Agency can be valuable. Podcast Marketing Agencies have well nurtured networks and access to advanced data analytics and tools which may otherwise be inaccessible or unaffordable for internal teams.
This allows these agencies to offer podcast marketing services that can handle the majority of the leg-work in the planning, negotiation, execution, monitoring, and analysis of podcast marketing campaigns at a fraction of the time and cost as an internal team.
From critical competitor data like spend, placement, and frequency- to show information like Renewal Rates and Direct Response rates which indicate a host’s effectiveness in delivering a call to action; Podcast Marketing Agencies are able to view, analyse and optimise Podcast Marketing strategy to the highest degree.
Like other sponsored content, the key to podcast marketing is crafting content that seamlessly integrates with the podcast’s tone and audience interests. Podcast Marketing Agencies can also streamline this avenue of creative optimisation.
Want an exclusive look at the advanced analytics tools Podcast Marketing Agencies can provide? Request our podcast marketing services deck here.