How to Pitch Podcasts on Your Next Media Plan
Did you know that 91% of Australians are aware of podcasts? (Infinite Dial 2022). Yet podcast ads still remain an untapped media channel, with great potential to provide cut through. Whether you’re an agency partner or in-house marketer, it’s always important to diversify your media buy with new and innovative channels. Podcast campaigns work great for both a test and learn or long term strategic play. Keen to dip your toes in the world of podcast advertising but not sure how to get it over the line? Find out how this media format is uniquely immersive, why it has a multiplier effect on other media ads, plus the latest podcasts stats, trends and case studies to fuel your strategy. Here’s how to get podcasts over the line and on the media plan this year.
Harness personal podcast love
Whether you’re pitching to your superior, team or client, it’s pretty certain that they would have heard of podcasts and highly likely that they have listened to one recently, as podcast listeners over-index in affluent, educated households. Getting a casual conversation happening about everyone’s favorite podcasts in the office or on teams is a sure fire way to start firing up passion for podcasts (likely more so than other mediums like TV and OOH) - because we’re chemically coded to love listening to audio stories.
A study published in the Harvard Business Review shows that when we hear great stories, neural activity in our brain increases, pumping out feel-good chemicals like dopamine, oxytocin and endorphins into our bodies.
That’s why when someone starts talking about their favourite podcast, they are hardly ever lukewarm about it - they have a strong personal connection. Once you put headphones on and go screenless for 45 minutes +, this media commands the highest level of attention. That’s something worth getting excited about - as both a consumer and marketer.
Hit em with stats
It’s always a great idea to back your strategy with data, so here’s some great soundbites:
Australians spend an average of 40mins a day listening to podcasts. (We Are Social Digital Report 21).
With over a decade of strong growth, the podcast industry has evolved into a significant media platform, with 62% of those age 12+ in leading markets such as the U.S. (an estimated 177 million people) having listened to podcasts (The Infinite Dial 22.)
A recent UK study, undertaken by The Guardian found 65% of listeners paid attention to podcast adverts - more than adverts on TV at 39% and adverts on the radio at 38%. (Guardian).
Angle: Effectively Trustworthy
The study also highlighted podcast advertising’s multiplier effect on other ad formats - combined with the visual cues of digital display, podcasts make campaigns more memorable and trustworthy. Trust levels increase from 45% to 63% when podcasts are added into the media mix. (Guardian).
Angle: Brand Lift
They also help dial-up the ‘brand’ part of branded content - 47% of those exposed to branded content said “it improves my opinion of the brand”. Add podcast adverts to the mix and the same metric jumps to 64%. (Guardian).
Love influencers? Think podcasts
More and more brands are utilising influencer marketing, with over 75% of brand marketers intending to dedicate a budget to pay influencers in 2022. (TRIBE). If your brands are already enjoying the ROI of influencers, it’s worth considering the next wave of influencers - podcast hosts. The intimate relationship that forms between listener and host means that hosts are in a unique position to provide trusted product/service recommendations. Host-read podcast ads achieve 72% brand recall, compared with 62% for non-host-read ads. Additionally, host-read ads on podcasts produce an average of 50% increase in purchase and recommendation intent among listeners when compared against non-host-read ads.(Neilson)
Furthermore, social media influencers are beginning to capitalise on the extra engagement that podcasts offer and are extending their offering to the audio world by launching podcasts. Examples of this locally include The Uninspired Unemployed and Abbie Chatfield. Adding podcast coverage to social media ads from influencers in the media mix enables brands to create more authenticity and depth to the partnership.
Time for a case study?
You may be wondering why a brand that transacts purely through e-commerce chooses podcast ads over clickable digital banner ads. You may also be wondering how Hello Fresh are the most recalled brand in podcasting (Edison Research, 2021.) (Note: we are using an American example as their numbers and trends tend to be indicative of how the industry will follow globally).
Ads from HelloFresh were found on nine different podcast categories. The most advertised category was Comedy and Society & Culture. Ads were mainly host read. The hosts talked about how simple the system is, gave an example of a meal they have tried and provided listeners with a code for a discount.
What made these ads so successful? The answer is, factors that podcast ads do well - scale, trust and recall. The brand was able to reach a large audience due to the efficiency of targeting capabilities that podcast ads offer. Host-read ads mean that the ads are well received as podcast audiences tend to trust and respect the hosts they listen to. The superior ad recall can translate into efficient conversions for brands. You can listen to an example here.
Sonos, Canva and Better Help have also had great success advertising on podcasts - the details of which are here.
If stats, examples and ideas were not enough to convince, it's worth pointing out that although the industry has had explosive growth, the medium remains relatively under-utilised, allowing brands to advertise in a cost-effective space with less competition. As more and more people tune into podcasts, more opportunities for brands to reach their perfect audience emerge.
If you’d like us to take you through more detail, history and insight into the podcasting world, we offer a free masterclass session for agencies and brands. Get in touch with us anytime to explore this further.