Blog Post

How to Achieve Scale and Authenticity in Podcast Network Advertising

03/10/2022 - Sierra Ducey

As an advertiser, one of the most important decisions you make is which channels to leverage for digital ads. Podcast advertising has recently become popular with marketers of all industries. In its advent, advertisers or brands would team up within a podcast host to have their ad played during one show or throughout the “season.”As the medium has evolved, now advertisers have access to podcast networks which give them the chance to have content played across various podcasts — all hypertargeted to your target audience — within that network.

Podcast listeners tune into eight different podcasts a week on average, making it a lucrative advertising channel. Podcast networks are a great way to ensure that you aren’t putting all your eggs in one basket, and they let you engage with listeners as they tune into podcasts you might not have been advertising on before.

The Benefits of Podcast Programmatic Advertising

Rather than investing all your podcast advertising dollars in one show, podcast networks let you reach more listeners across various shows. For example, using Pandora alone gives advertisers access to reach 1 in 3 Americans online.

Why advertise on podcasts? Not only do podcast networks cover a variety of shows and genres, but they also have great data and information about their audiences, overlaps, and areas of opportunity. With insights and data from podcast networks, you can better track conversions across multiple devices, gain insights into your campaigns’ performance, measure impact across devices, and gain a holistic view of your customers’ journey to inform future campaigns.

Finally, some podcast networks allow for unique creative ad formats, such as AdsWizz’s Shake Me Ads. These audio ads enable listeners to shake their phones or smartwatches and trigger an action like downloading a coupon or app, opening a link, or placing a call. All of these can help you find new disruptive ways to reach your audience.

The Future of Podcast Programmatic Advertising

Still, as in all advertising decisions, there are pros and cons. For example, advertising on a podcast network versus a specific podcast does require you to give up the personal aspect of host-read audio ads (which have value in making listeners feel they’re engaging with a trusted source). You may also lose access to certain shows, depending on what the podcast network has access to.

All things considered, though, podcast network advertising is still one of the most promising digital advertising channels for the coming years. Monthly listeners in 12- to 34-year-olds grew 22% in three years. Plus, podcast listeners have a median age of 34, younger than the broadcast ratio at 47 and network television at 57.

Below are some tips for using a podcast network in such a way that you’re able to achieve scale and authenticity.

1.Never compromise creative best practices for the sake of scale.

It’s tempting to come in guns blazing to the podcast network advertising game as you create your ad campaign, but don’t forget about basic creative best practices. For example, keep audio ads as short as possible to be effective — as brief as 10–15 seconds if you can. Test out both lengths to see what performs best based on your goals.

Be sure to also include a clear CTA every time. When targeting a specific channel, such as smartphones, consider a mobile-specific CTA like “Text for a coupon.” Remember, listeners aren’t always looking at a screen, so avoid words like “tap” or “click.” And always tailor your tone to your audience.

2. Keep your message fresh.

If your audience hears the same ad from you too many times, they’ll start tuning you out. Try testing at least two different audio spots and leveraging dynamic audio for more engaging audio ads tailored to the audience. This offers a better listening experience and gives you insight into what messages work best.

Then, for longer campaigns, swap in new audio spots every few months and feature seasonal promotions if applicable. As always, your goal should be to use creative that is memorable and entertaining. If your brand has proprietary jingles or sonic identifiers, be sure to include those as well.

3. Be mindful of frequency.

Audio advertising offers the tremendous opportunity of one-on-one connection, but that makes it all the more important that you’re mindful of frequency. There’s a fine line between being memorable and being annoying.

New brand promotions and time-sensitive offers do warrant higher frequencies, but longer campaigns should be lower-frequency. A good middle ground is three to five times per week.

4. Measure everything.

Podcast networks offer a variety of measurement solutions to evaluate podcast advertising effectiveness. Make sure you know what’s available to you to ensure that you’re receiving the best analytics for your investment. Consider in advance what insights you want to gain so that you can make data-informed decisions to inform your future campaigns.

For example, some valuable actions to measure, which may not be offered by every partner, include tracking conversions from listeners that switch devices before taking the action on a landing page or website and tracking foot traffic attribution. Both require a complex tracking system that not all networks can offer.

5. Align your brand with your podcasting network.

Don’t be sucked in by big-name podcasts and networks. The last thing you want to do is pay a high price for a network that’s not even relevant to your audience.

Instead, evaluate the network on its ability to reach your target audience. What are their listenership metrics? Additionally, how do they measure their audiences? What data do they use to understand who their audience is? How often is that data refreshed?

Podcast network advertising is gaining popularity for a reason. This channel allows you to strategically select the best podcasts for your specific target audience, all while achieving scale and authenticity.

The more you take time to evaluate the whole picture of the podcast network — from who listens to their podcasts to how they know who listens to their podcasts — the better you’ll be able to ensure you’ll reach your audience and find success across your campaigns.

To learn more about effective podcast advertising, get in touch with the Digilant team today.

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