How to Nail your Podcast Ad Campaign
by Zach Kangelaris
Podcast creation and consumption are on the rise. In saying that, podcasting as an advertising medium is relatively under-utilised and clutter free. With this comes a great untapped potential for brands who know how to get the most out of the channel. So, how do you create a highly effective podcast campaign? What types of ads get the best engagement? How can we track the ROI effectively? Zach takes us through all you need to know to nail your podcast campaign.
Most brands and media buyers will have a low key favourite when it comes to channels. Social ads may be getting you a sweet CPM or OOH may have been your jam for years. So why venture into the podcast world? For a start, 9.25 million Australians have listened to a podcast in the last month.*
Not only is the reach within podcasts exploding, so is the engagement with Australians listening to an average of six episodes a week (around 258 minutes) and 63% of podcast listeners have taken an action based on a podcast ad or sponsorship.* These statistics are growing. Additionally, the typical podcast listener is affluent and well educated. It is also worth mentioning that podcast ads have features that other channels can’t offer as they are screenless and immersive.
The rise of podcasts
This trend shows no signs of slowing down. In Australia, weekly podcast listening has increased from 17% in 2020 to 26% in 2021.** With Spotify and Apple both investing in both creators and promotion of their podcast offerings, listener figures look set to rise as more and more audiences embrace the medium. Huge celebrity hosted podcasts such as The Michelle Obama Podcast and This is Paris are introducing the once niche industry to the mainstream. Far from ruining podcasts, as more and more people tune into podcasts, more opportunities for brands to reach their perfect audience emerge.
Case Study: Queen Vic Markets
The best ads feel authentic and fit with the style of the podcast. Dynamically inserted ads are a great way to ensure relevant context in terms of targeting.
For example, Queen Vic Market advertised on Wondery podcasts Imagined Life, Stories Podcast, Good Life Project and Business Wars. The ads were targeted at progressive, inner-urban professionals, geo-targeted in the market’s catchment areas. When the target audience tunes in, the ads are dynamically inserted, increasing efficiency of the campaign and reducing wastage.
What type of ad?
We also recommend host-read endorsements as they align with the podcast itself, seamlessly featuring as part of the content. If you are able to give the host of the podcast some reign and allow them to play with how they bring your brand into the show, the return will grow. With 93% of people listening to most or all of a podcast*, listeners often build a close relationship with the host, so they are more inclined to trust and be interested in their recommendations. 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.
Context is also important to consider. If we learn to respect the context of the audience’s listening behaviour, cutting through the noise and landing a relevant message is more likely. Podcasts can be listened to anywhere as they are most likely to be heard on a user’s mobile device. They also, unlike watching Netflix or scrolling social media, can be enjoyed screenless - the soundtrack to moments such as working out, cleaning, cooking and driving. There is a lot of competition out there for our eyes, but our ears have had less attention from the content economy. This means there is less chance of ad fatigue and skipping on podcasts.
For example, if you were advertising a fitness product such as weights or protein shakes, choosing a podcast that covers health and exercise, such as Ranieri & Co. partners The Mind Muscle Project would be a great way to integrate your brand message in a natural way, when the listener is in the mindset to be focussing on that part of their life. Audience’s attention is likely to be high as they opted into listening to the episode with the intention of learning something new. Neilson research has found that almost four in five (78%) consumers said that they did not mind the ads or sponsorship messages because they knew they were a means of supporting the podcast.
Tracking and pixels
Tracking your ROI effectively is crucial in ensuring that you are getting the most out of the medium and optimising your spend.
It is possible to create a pixel both within the podcast and at different contact points throughout the campaign to measure its success. The pixel enables podcast marketing to measure the effectiveness of a campaign without relying on the consumer to remember a unique URL or coupon code at checkout. The great news? Pixel attribution and tracking ROI will not be affected by the death of the cookie and the latest iOS update.
As podcasts become a more frequent part of the public’s media consumption, they should be part of your media mix to ensure true omni-channel marketing.The SMI (Standard Media Index) shows a spend of $12 million on podcasting in Australia in 2020, double that of 2019. That doesn't include sponsorship and direct spend. The
future of the industry looks bright, with more excellent shows being made on more apps and delivery channels. Based on this volume growth, a brand can reach almost any kind of audience in an authentic and compelling way.
Advertisers that explore which podcasters have the right audience fit for their brand are the ones whose ads lead to conversions. We can hold your hand on this journey and introduce you to some of the best quality podcasts out there. Contact me here and stand out in your competitor set.
*Edison Research "The Infinite Dial 2021