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With the rise of remote work in the past year due to the worldwide pandemic, podcasts have taken a front seat in the digital media world. In 2020, over 150 million people listened to podcasts every week. The question is, why are podcasts so popular?

For starters, podcasts can be listened to literally anywhere. People listen to audio blogs at home, in a car, while at work, while working out, or just doing everyday tasks. Now that podcasts are on the rise, marketers and brands are recognizing the importance of advertising to those who are tuned in to these podcasts, making podcast advertising one of the fastest-growing categories within programmatic audio.

This leads to one of two major questions: How do you start featuring your brand on podcasts, or, how you go about advertising your podcast? Let’s dive in below.

Podcast Advertising for Your Brand

While determining how to market your brand specifically in the podcast space, there are a few tips to consider.

1. Determine how much you are willing to spend on podcast advertising costs. 

According to AdvertiseCast, the industry average rates for podcast advertising are:

  • $15 for a 10-second ad CPM (Cost Per Mille, or Cost Per Thousands)
  • $18 for a 30-second ad CPM (Cost Per Mille, or Cost Per Thousands)
  • $25 for a 60-second ad CPM (Cost Per Mille, or Cost Per Thousands)

Since cost is based on audience, you advertising costs will go up depending on how many listeners the podcast has each episode. For example, if you run a 60-second ad on a podcast with 50,000 listeners, that will cost you roughly ~$1,450. However, the cost will be less if you’re targeting a smaller audience and/or you select a shorter ad (no surprises there, right?). Unlike other forms of advertising, podcast advertising is fairly simple to evaluate in terms of price once you know these cost standards, making the next several points key.

2. Choose a podcast that is relevant to your brand and audience (it doesn’t have to be exact!).

According to a recent study, more than half of podcast listeners say they’re more likely to buy a product advertised on a podcast they trust. Let’s say your brand is clean beauty products (makeup, skincare, etc.). The key is connecting to your audience, so chances are your ads will fare better on a podcast with a majority female audience vs. male audience. Or, say your brand is pet food. Choosing a podcast to advertise your pet food should be animal-related – it doesn’t have to be a podcast about pet food, it just needs to be geared toward the right audience.

3. Include the podcaster! Take full advantage of the host.

Another unique form of podcast advertising is to have the podcaster, who has thousands of listeners, talk about your brand in an honest and open forum. The listeners trust the podcaster. Before moving forward with choosing a podcast to place your ads, reach out to a few podcasters that are willing to try your brand/product. If there’s a positive review, move forward with first placing your ads on the podcast, but then work hard to create a relationship and have the podcaster mention your brand. Ads that are represented by the podcaster not only perform better, but they create less of a break in the podcast flow, which means that listeners will more likely listen to the ad all the way through instead of zoning out when a foreign ad comes on.

4. Be Informative!

It may seem obvious, but it’s important to remember that listeners use podcasts to educate, inform, and entertain themselves, and even more importantly, they are usually on the go. The keyword here is listen. Make sure your advertisements are effective in the time you have, in addition to making the ad unique for the audience to remember This point also goes with positioning your ad to the right audience. Remember to also match the tone of the ad and the information to the tone of the podcast.

5. Track Your ROI.

The last tip to effective podcast advertising is to make sure you are tracking your return on investment. In order to do this, you will need to build a tracking mechanism into your ads. There are two main ways to accomplish this:

  • Include a vanity URL. A vanity URL is a short and easy web address to direct listeners to a landing page. According to Wealth Wits, podcast ads using a vanity URL were more than twice as successful as banner ads (remember, those listening on their phones can easily click a link that will show up during your ad!).
  • Include a promo code. We actually prefer promo codes because not only do consumers love a good discount, but it’s an easy way to see who directly responded to your ad. Be sure to change the promo code slightly for each different ad and/or each different podcast so you can measure the effectiveness of each.

Always analyze and reanalyze your ad and look for ways to improve it in the future. When you continue to measure your results and determine the overall effectiveness of your ad, you will find ways to enhance your ads for greater optimization and effectiveness.

Podcast Examples

Ten26 Media is no stranger to Podcast Advertising and have been featured on multiple podcasts discussing all-things digital marketing. Check out a few podcasts here, and be sure to pay attention to the ads!

  1. Listen: A Session on Agency/Client Relationship
  2. Don’t Freak Out: A Digital Conversation with Jason Zotara
  3. The Pop Cult Podcast: On Air with Ten26 Media

The Takeaway

Podcast advertising isn’t going anywhere, and this form of digital media is looking to stay in the podcast world for quite a while. Podcasts currently reach over 68 million Americans weekly, and it’s projected one in three Americans will be listening every week by 2022. In fact, podcast ads are set to climb in 2021, exceeding $1 billion in revenue. With so many people listening to podcasts, and the continued projected growth in podcast listeners, now is the time to get your message out to an audience that is willing to listen!