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How many podcasts are there? According to Apple Podcasts, there are approximately 525,000 podcasts active currently.
The number of Americans listening to podcasts has nearly doubled in the past 9 years and is projected to continue to grow into the foreseeable future. Because interest in podcasting has grown tremendously, an increasing number of advertisers are leveraging this trend to promote their products and services.
According to the Podcasting Audit Study by Bridge Ratings, advertisers are expected to spend $500 million on podcast ads in 2020 – a trend that comes on the heels of significant past growth in the sector.
How can advertisers leverage podcasting to get the highest possible ROI? There are two crucial elements to success:
- Create an engaging podcast that supports your brand
- Develop a cost-effective marketing strategy to build an audience
Creating a stellar podcast isn’t easy, but finding ways to promote it can be even more complicated. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that you can get the word out. Here’s what you need to know about podcast advertising and how to market a podcast.
Why is Podcast Advertising Growing?
Big brands are looking at advertising on podcasts for a simple reason: it works. Traditional advertising has dwindled while podcast advertising is growing rapidly.
When you look at the traditional banner advertisement, typical click-through rate is about 0.06%. This figure is actually a bit misleading as the size of your banner and its placement will change your results significantly. However, the data shows that even the most optimally sized and placed banner advertisement will get one click per three thousand impressions. This is not that great!
All of the data shows that podcast advertising is head and shoulders more effective than traditional advertising. The question is why?
The answer to that question lies in the benefits podcast advertising offers.
- Podcasts are a highly engaging medium for delivering messages. Because of the audio nature of podcasts, listeners hang on to
everword. This makes them an excellent audience for advertisers trying to spread the word about their brand. The data shows you don't have to worry about them tuning out your message as they do in other mediums.
- People listen to podcasts due to great respect for the host. This is an extremely important benefit. Because the listeners trust the host, they also trust any brands the host promotes. If their favorite podcast host says they like your brand, the listeners are going to like your band as well.
- The listeners are likely part of your niche. If you sell equipment for the triathlete, you could advertise on the radio, but only a small portion of those listening will have any interest in what you're selling. However, if you were to find a podcast about triathlons and advertise there, you are guaranteed to reach an audience interested in your products.
- The message gets heard due to difficulty in bypassing it. Even if a listener wanted to skip an advertisement, podcast players make it difficult for them to do so. The listener runs the risk of going
toofar forward and missing part of the show, so they are more likely to just listen to your advertisement rather than fast forward past it.
If you want to promote your brand and products, podcasts are a great place to do so. Despite the great success, there are also a few common pitfalls as well.
Every successful podcast advertising campaign has 3 key steps that you must be aware of.
- Finding podcasts that appeal to your target audience.
- Understanding the nature of the intended audience.
- Tailoring the ad to suit the brand's conversion goals.
Brands that follow these steps are assured their advertising campaign on podcasts will far exceed those on traditional media.
Podcast Sponsorship: Industry Standards
Advertisers can run two types of advertisements on a podcast: a 15 second pre-roll or a 60 second midroll.
Give some thought to podcasts you generally listen to. The hosts generally speak about their sponsors in those two places: at the beginning and in the middle.
A pre-roll is about 15 seconds long. It is inserted before the hosts delves into the topic for that particular episode.
Mid-roll advertisements appear at a point where the listener has heard 40 to 70% of the show already.
Another spot some podcasters will allow advertising is at the end of the show. This spot tends to be quite successful as it sticks in the minds of the listeners.
What Does it Cost?
The rates vary, but the typical costs are as follow.
- $18 per 1000 listens (CPM) for a 15-second pre-roll.
- $25 per 1000 listens (CPM) for a 60-second mid-roll.
The more likely a listener will listen to your advertisements, the higher the cost will be.
Understand Your Audience
If you are involved with marketing of any kind, you should have a detailed understanding of the demographics your brand is targeting. Even then, you may not fully understand why the customers are listening to your podcast, so you will need to align your efforts with their expectations before you can do anything about customizing podcast ads to meet their needs.
Elements of a Successful Campaign
After taking the time to clearly define your target audience, you can use podcasts to grow your base of followers. There are many strategies you can use to get the word out and build listeners.
Make sure to submit your podcast to every possible directory. The more places you are listed, the more exposure you get and that translates into a larger audience.
Get Guests to Promote Shows
If your show features guests, ask them to help promote the episode they appear on. They will be happy to help because you both benefit from the greater exposure.
If your guests have a large social following or an email list, ask them to help promote the podcast. You might just be surprised by the traction you will receive.
Reddit is surprisingly one of the best platforms for generating leads for your podcasts. The site has a number of important benefits.
- There are millions of users, making it easy to find people who are interested in your content.
- No matter what your industry, you can easily identify relevant niche subreddits to promote your show.
- Users are very easy to engage, which means it won't be hard to convince them to check out your show.
You must be sure not to spam Reddit. Their users can tell when there is a sales pitch and are wary of new users who have never added anything to the conversation. Make sure to provide value to the Reddit communities you participate in before trying to promote your shows.
If you want an extremely effective way to draw attention to your podcast, ask for referrals from other podcasters. Find podcasters who appeal to similar demographics. It doesn't have to be identical, it should just have some overlap.
There are a couple of ways you can get other people to promote you. For instance, you can pay them for a mention, or you can exchange favors of some kind (such as promoting them on your own podcast or through your e-mail list). Try to maintain ongoing relationships with these podcasters. If they become active, loyal supporters of your work, they’ll start plugging your podcast on their own, without your even having to ask.
Use Podcast Advertising Networks
One worthwhile investment is to use one of the different advertising networks that exist specifically for promoting podcasts. The most popular service is Midroll and RadioTail is another great platform to check into.
These sites have
Suggestions for Podcast Advertising Networks
In this list, there are networks for every podcast regardless of the genre, length, or audience size. Your search for advertisement just became a whole lot easier!
Please note that this list is in no particular order.
Midroll has an impressive collection of 300+ podcasts, including WTF with Marc Maron, The Art of Wrestling with Colt Cabana, Never Not Funny with Jimmy Pardo, and Entrepreneur On Fire with John Lee Dumas. In addition to this, they have relationships with more than 200 mega-companies like HBO, Toyota, SquareSpace, and T-Mobile. Midroll loves podcasts and want podcasters to succeed by earning income with their shows. They do this by matching podcasters with great advertisers who understand the unique benefits offered by podcast ads. Head over to this link for some great testimonials.
Check out Midroll here: http://www.midroll.com/
The process to get an account at AdvertiseCast is very simple. Sign up, describe your podcast, then go live. AdvertiseCast combines an industry-leading ad buying and management platform with full-service agency capabilities to reduce the typical friction involved with podcast advertising. Advertisers are able to shop through the over 1000 listed podcasts for a show that fits. When that happens, a simple ad buy order is completed and you can begin making money! AdvertiseCast clearly stipulates a 70-30 revenue share (where you keep 70), so there’s no funny business to be expected.
Check out AdvertiseCast here: https://www.advertisecast.com/
PodGrid specializes in smaller podcasts, though not all are actually so little. “Shows of all sizes” are welcome to join this network who recognizes that value often comes from the dedicated and committed listener base, and not always from pure quantity. If you are struggling to find representation because of the size of your show, get in touch with PodGrid right away!
Check out PodGrid here: http://podgrid.com/
Megaphone is a service from Panoply Media, the podcast network. It now allows marketers to buy targeted ads on podcasts. The team at megaphone has been recording and producing podcasts for more than a decade, so they know their stuff. They have used their experience to build a set of tools that meet the needs of veteran producers and blue-chip advertisers. Megaphone only works with networks and podcasts with average downloads of 20,000 or more per episode.
Check out Megaphone here: https://megaphone.fm/
Do Your Research
Like any other business decision, take the time to do your research. If you are ready to get into advertising for your show, spend the time to find out what approach is best for you. There is no need to rush into it with your eyes closed when it comes to monetization. When the money starts coming in, you will be happy you followed my advice.