Blog Post

4 Key Strategies to Launch Your Podcast Programmatic Advertising Campaign

08/04/2022 - Sierra Ducey

Podcasts have been around for quite a while, though it wasn’t until recently that their popularity skyrocketed. Audiences are continuously increasing across all demographics: Edison Research found around 177 million Americans over the age of 12 will listen to a podcast in 2022. Additionally, Neilsen’s poll found that 56% of respondents report listening to more podcasts more frequently since the onset of the pandemic.

Due to these increasing audio trends, advertisers have followed suit to get their messages in front of a captivated audience. Research has discovered that 81% of consumers are more receptive to podcast ads over radio and TV commercials, billboards, or even sponsored social posts. More consumers are listening to full episodes, with 65% of loyal listeners staying through to the end.

Although the shift to remote work and school was an initial contributing factor, it’s likely that the popularity of audio advertising will only grow further. Currently, about two-thirds of the market is held by two key players: Apple Podcasts (40.7% of podcast listeners) and Spotify (25.3%). More companies, like Alphabet, Amazon, and even Twitter, are poised to get their foot in the door soon, which will continue to boost the popularity of podcasts. After all, we listen to podcasts at home and on the go; that’s why it’s time for your business to dedicate a budget to programmatic podcast advertising.

Digital audio advertising trends will inevitably draw competition like any other channel, but the unique demographic targeting with this over-the-top (OTT) advertising strategy can’t be ignored. If you’re unsure how to advertise on podcasts, there are two ways to go about it.

Dynamic Digital Advertising

Dynamic digital advertising in audio marries dynamic content with programmatic ad buying. This means your digital audio advertising content — text, audio, video, visuals, etc. — changes based on user behavior, preferences, and quantifiable data.

In the case of dynamic digital audio, each ad can change and adapt content and promotions as necessary to specifically fit each user. This ensures that each consumer is exposed to an ad that most aligns with their interests and specific customer journey. Ultimately, this increases personalization and allows for more clicks or consumer actions.

Sequential Targeting

Sequential targeting transforms the typical single ad experience into a more robust storytelling experience targeted at a consumer, based on their individual behavior. Advertisers can base their stories on tangible data, such as exposure and click history, through a sequence of ads served in real time.

Think of digital audio sequential targeting as storytelling rather than advertising. It is a simple story told via ads likely used to increase brand awareness and keep the listener engaged. To keep the format authentic, some advertisers even choose not to incorporate a CTA until the final message of a “series” in order to maintain a feeling of storytelling over advertising.

What Is Digital Audio Advertising?

Today’s digital audio ads should ideally have audience targeting or insight layered behind them to ensure that each message is targeting the right consumer. However, where dynamic advertising and sequential targeting differ is whether the content adapts to align with the consumer or vice versa.

These specific audio advertising techniques add an extra layer of personalization that more “traditional” digital ads do not have. While both unique solutions offer great benefits for digital audio and podcast ad campaigns, the advantage of digital audio advertising don’t stop there.

When working with a strategic digital advertising partner, these ad experiences can be taken across the customer journey to multiple channels such as mobile, desktop, tablet, TV, social, digital out-of-home (DOOH), and beyond. Using strategic targeting, advertisers can retarget audio listeners based on their individual customer experiences.

Does Podcast Advertising Work?

Consumers have voiced that they love the authenticity and personalization that comes from hearing their favorite podcast hosts put unique spins on ad reads. As such, it’s no wonder that advertisers continue to embrace this ad type and invest more dollars into them. However, this ad format does have a few drawbacks:

  • They can be expensive to produce because you are paying a premium to have the host read the ad.
  • They cannot be edited if they are incorporated directly into the audio file when uploaded to a platform.
  • They can date themselves quickly. While some podcasts (such as timely news shows) have shorter shelf lives, there are a whole host of podcasts that users listen back to months, if not years, down the road.

As a business, you will get more run time from the ad because it won’t change no matter when or where the consumer listens. However, this does run the risk of dating an ad. On the consumer side, you may have experienced this if you’ve gone into the archives of one of your favorite podcasts. Maybe you’ve heard a holiday special promo in the middle of July, now being served an ad with an expired promo code.

As more podcast hosts incorporate unique creative ad formats that enable dynamic insertion, the risks outlined above disappear. However, it does rely on the podcast host, or the hosting platform they use, to set time stamp markers within their content that would then be used to automatically insert an advertiser’s organic, curated, customized ad. When adapting this process and ad form, podcasters can reap the following rewards:

  • Cuts down on the work required by the podcaster
  • Allows podcasters to focus on the content by offloading ad placement
  • Avoid ads becoming stale and irrelevant
  • Much more automated process
  • Still remains a brand-safe environment for both podcast hosts and advertisers
  • You can still insert host-read or prerecorded ads into these spots.

How to Advertise on Podcasts in 4 Steps

Now that you understand the problems, solutions, and benefits, it’s time to get your OTT advertising strategy podcast-ready. It’s the only non-visual form of marketing within mainstream channels, so that means you need to focus on four key areas.

1. Invest in Effective Technology and Data

The data required for a targeted campaign like this is available, and powerful technology to collect, manage, and analyze this information is essential. Without a strategic cross-device or device mapping platform solution and a strategic data management platform, the data cannot be used effectively enough to maintain a data-driven campaign like this.

There are multiple ad formats, different channels, multiple audiences, and audiences at different stages of the customer journey. Additionally, all the insights needed to run these campaigns are updated and, in turn, need to be implemented in real time. To execute this process successfully requires resources — both personnel and technology-wise. It’s no easy task, but with the right strategies, you will reap the rewards of your efforts.

2. Focus on Strong Storytelling

If you’re going to invest time and resources into an ad format such as this, ensure that you have a strong, captivating story to tell. If you simply want to express different features your brand has or promotions you’re running, a more traditional ad format will be more than sufficient.

Programmatic podcast advertising is a unique format and, as such, the story you tell and the interactions you have with consumers need to be unique to that of your other digital advertising efforts.

3. Identify the Right Channels for Your Business

As mentioned before, these tactics can be used simply within podcast advertising or can be taken across the full scope of your digital advertising efforts. Understand which channels make the most sense for your brand to use this style of messaging and then which channels make the most sense for which parts of the story.

Do you want your initial impact to happen within a podcast? On social media? Once a consumer is moving down the funnel, how can you ensure an ad with a specific CTA happens on a channel that most likely will produce said action? These are questions and areas to focus on as you begin to ideate on unique ad formats such as these.

4. Know Your Target Audience

Before you start any digital advertising initiative, understand your target audience. This will help ensure that you know where and when your message needs to go. Taking it a step further within the realm of sequential and dynamic ad formats, consider which of your target audiences this type of ad campaign is best suited for.

It is possible to reach all your audiences; however, this might also be a great opportunity to home in on a particular audience you’ve struggled to reach. This could be one who is stuck in the consideration phase and won’t make the leap to conversion, or a segment that you know would be most appreciative of a storytelling consumer experience.

Because you’re putting extra time and attention into this ad journey, knowing your audience arguably is the most important step in your OTT advertising strategy. To learn how Digilant can help you create audio advertisements specifically for your desired audience, get in touch today.

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