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  • Writer's pictureRanieri & Co.

5 Reasons Why Podcasts Should Be Part of your Media Strategy in 2021

What’s screenless, highly immersive and rapidly growing in consumption? You guessed it, podcasts! Did you know that 9.25 million Australians have listened to a podcast in the last month?1 Yet it remains an untapped media channel, with great potential to provide cut through.

Whether you’re a business owner, marketer or feel like starting your own Instagram page on teapots, here’s how a podcast can be the missing puzzle piece in your media mix for 2021.

Advertisers have a lot to think about. Options for channels, ad formats and placements are growing every month. Privacy and changes in tracking, not to mention the after-effects of 2020 and continued snap lockdowns mean we have to be more strategic and nimble than ever before. Knowing where each channel excels will help best optimize cross-channel campaign performance. How do podcasts fit into the channel mix and what unique features do they offer over other channels?

1. Utilise audio

Most advertising options (out of home, print, TV, digital) are visual. 85% of Facebook users watch video without sound. As podcasts are 100% audio, listening to a podcast is a completely different experience. This gives us an opportunity to tell a brand story in a completely different way to a visual ad, reaching customers in different spaces such as on the commute, where scrolling is not an option. Listeners in Australia are more likely to listen to online audio streaming services in the car than listeners in the U.S. Make sure you appeal to your audience via their ears as well as their eyes.

Audio permeation is expanding as technology develops - voice activation, smart speakers, high quality headphones and sophisticated car sound systems.

With many consumers complaining of screen-fatigue and seeking digital detox, a podcast can be a welcome change from doom-scrolling. This heightened engagement leads to more opportunities for targeted, host-read ads that genuinely resonate with the listeners. These ads tend to generate two to three times the engagement of traditional radio advertising.3

2. Drive online buzz

The best podcasts make you want to jump onto social media and discuss with like-minded listeners. Podcast listeners are some of the most active users of every social media channel,4 which means that podcast audiences have the power to continue the conversation online, creating added engagement. If your ad is well integrated within the podcast, this can mean bonus exposure and talkability. This also creates a two-way dialogue with the audience, driving feedback that can not only enhance your podcast content but your social media engagement also. It’s no accident that Q & A podcast episodes are some of the most popular, allowing listeners to interact with their favourite shows.

Podcast advertising should not be the only channel you advertise in. Making sure your media mix is diverse and fills all parts of your customer acquisition funnel is important to ensuring long-term growth. As we know that podcast listeners are avid social media users, there is an opportunity for complimentary content both on podcasts and social channels, hitting that audience up as they both listen and converse.

3. Reach the unreachable

Your typical podcast listener has a Netflix subscription, rather than watching linear TV. This means that they’re blind to TV ads. These Podcasts loyalists are also tech-savvy enough to use ad blockers (70% of them!), meaning digital display is off the cards too. They have a mobile-first mentality and adapt quickly to the latest technologies, smart speakers and wearables.

Ad blockers do not work on podcasts as the ads are often read by the show’s host. They are well integrated so a bot cannot remove them (unlike a radio ad). Additionally, the “unreachable” audience are passionate about the media that they self-curate. They are not passively flicking through TV channels, they instead seek out content tailored to their niche interest and consume it passionately. This means that those podcasts have earned the trust to speak to them about products and brands in an authentic way that can be highly effective.

4. Capitalise on the relationship between listener and podcast host

Think of your favourite podcast host. Chances are you’ll see them as a mate (or someone you wish you were mates with) or a mentor/leader that you look up to. Podcast listeners tend to be loyal, with 93% of listening to “all, or the majority” of each episode. This means that the listeners will be receptive to hearing the ad reads, and with the right host and product combo, it can feel like an authentic part of the podcast. The host will read the ad in the style of the podcast, so it’s less jarring and intrusive than a banner ad popping up when you are trying to read an article.

Jennifer Klenk, professor of marketing at Salt Lake College, said, “Podcasts are dialogues saturated with personality, which can be very intriguing. An engaging, consistent podcast has the potential to capture a massive loyal following.”

5. Less competition

The world of advertising and media buying is going through a lot of change and growth. 2020 bought event cancellations, budget freezes and big changes to industries such as OOH, events and tourism. Major tech players Apple and Google are implementing changes that will have more stringent privacy protections on user data, changing the way advertisers and app developers do business.This means that marketers need the flexibility and customisation that podcasts offer more than ever. However, the podcast ad space remains relatively untapped.

As podcasting is a comparably new medium, the amount of advertisers using the platform is small compared to other media channels. Chances are your competitors aren’t using it yet. This offers the chance for more cut through and ad recall.

As podcasts become a highly effective platform, just like video before it, for brands to speak directly to their most engaged consumers while offering authentic content, the opportunities for brands grow. If you'd like to explore the world of podcast advertising, get in touch with Ranieri & Co.


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