Nearly 20 years since their inception, podcasts continue to increase in popularity, with record numbers put up in 2021.
Last year topped all others for hours spent listening to podcasts, with 15 billion hours compared to 12 billion just two years ago, according to a SEMrush report.
The audio-driven format (some shows offer video components) is surpassing audience totals of traditional media outlets, in some cases, and is a proven avenue for the targeted marketing of services and goods. If you’ve yet to consider podcast advertising for your business, 2022 may be the year to take a second look.
By 2024, it’s estimated there will be 100 million podcast listeners in the U.S., according to Podcast Insights, with the average podcast listener consuming seven shows per week. That’s a lot of potential customers tuning in to hear about the products and services you offer.
UNDERSTAND YOUR DEMOGRAPHIC
Unlike television viewers, podcast listeners are considered a more accurate reflection of American demographics, according to Edison Research, which notes a near-even split between male and female listeners and describes the average listener as an educated millennial with expendable income.
To best stretch your marketing dollar, determine the your target audience and choose a program that aligns with your company’s service or product and values. If a program is part of a larger podcast network, advertising across multiple shows may be most efficient; chances are listeners who check out one of the network’s programs will listen to others and be exposed to advertising messages across the podcast network without being inundated by ads during a single episode.
Podcast advertising is relatively inexpensive and you’ll get more bang for your buck compared to other forms of media, such as television or newspaper ads. Programs typically run between 30 minutes to an hour and podcast ad reads usually take up a maximum of two minutes, often less than that.
To get a ballpark idea of ad cost, determine the CPM (cost per mille or cost per thousand) of a program, which is the cost advertisers pay per 1,000 impressions/views/listens.
If a show’s CPM is $25, that means you would pay $25 for every thousand (unique) downloads of the podcast in which you place your ad. If a podcast has 10,000 listens per episode, divide by 1,000 and multiply that number by the CPM; in this case, advertising would cost $250.
CONSIDER AD PLACEMENT (IF POSSIBLE)
Podcast listeners are considered loyal and open to long-form programs — 58% of people say they listen to between 76% and 100% of the podcasts they download, and 52% of listeners will finish listening to the entire podcast.
Ad placement options will vary depending on the podcast, with three positions: pre-roll ad (at the beginning), mid-roll ad (near the middle) and post-roll ad (at the end). Tiered pricing may also apply, and advertisers may have a say in placement, depending on the program.
Consider the program’s pace when choosing ad placement. Is there typically a payoff for listener’s at the end of a true crime episode? Perhaps aim for post-roll placement.
WRITE FOR THE HOST’S DELIVERY
Podcast hosts will often read the ads themselves, so it’s important they have a clear understanding of your product or service and can communicate its benefits in a compelling way.
When drafting ad copy, keep in mind the host’s mannerisms and delivery. For example, comedian Bill Burr’s “Monday Morning Podcast” regularly features ads in which Burr reads exactly what’s provided, including directions (and parenthetical suggestions) from advertisers. Top podcaster Joe Rogan, known for his conversational approach to interviews, may go off script and offer additional commentary, ad libbing his own personal endorsements of products and services in addition to the ads provided by companies. This type of read can be a bonus for your business as it serves as an organic plug akin to a friend’s recommendation.
BE RELEVANT AND TIMELY
Podcasts are a great way to promote that new product or service your business is offering. Advertisers will often target podcast episodes based on the show’s content, timing their ad spot around an episode about a related topic.
Additionally, most podcasts will have a back catalog in which ads can be inserted dynamically into existing audio. If there’s a particular past episode which is popular or a good pairing for your business, dynamic insertion can be a great way to capitalize on that.