The number of podcast listeners has increased substantially since the global pandemic drove audiences indoors, seeking socially distanced entertainment. With this growing form of entertainment comes an increased opportunity for brands to spread the word about their products and services. It’s estimated that there will be over 100 million podcast listeners in the US by 2024, and 81% of these podcast listeners say they pay attention to the ads played during the podcast.

Why you should consider podcast advertising

The expanding audience of listeners isn’t the only reason for investing in this marketing channel. Podcasts are also especially lucrative because of their niche audiences, making potential customers easier to target within specific categories and demographics. Whether a company is trying to reach c-suite executives, technical experts, or federal decision-makers with their marketing, there’s a podcast out there for everybody. With such a large pool of podcasts to choose from, there are plenty of opportunities to reach specific target audiences.

What makes podcast ads so effective?

Podcasts have superior user engagement compared to traditional channels – 65% of users skip online video advertising on platforms like Youtube whereas only 33% of survey respondents say that they skip podcast ads (most of the time or always).

Why does podcast marketing have such high engagement? Unlike most marketing channels, podcasts have a well-established ground layer of trust between the host and listeners. This puts them at an advantage over other channels like display ads or video ads. In a way, this channel of marketing is tapping into the validation offered by celebrity endorsement, wherein the ‘celebrity’ is the host who viewers recognize and feel comfortable with.

How podcast ad buying works

Companies interested in buying podcast ad space can do so through Standard Advertising Agreements, where they pay to sponsor the podcast. In return, the host of the podcast will mention the sponsor’s product or services, describe their benefits, and sometimes even share personal anecdotes about the products or offer discounts and promo codes. See below for more information about the different factors to consider when buying podcast ads:

Pre-recorded or Host-read ads:

Ads can be pre-recorded and fully-produced by the brand itself or read by the host in their own words. Oftentimes, podcast hosts can offer specialized knowledge and expertise with their audiences to deliver the information about the sponsoring product or service in a way that best appeals to their listeners. Hosts are incentivized to make their podcast listening experience enjoyable, this includes smoothly incorporating ad interruptions in clever ways. For these reasons, host-voiced ads are more common.

Pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll ads:

The pre-roll ads and post-roll ads tend to be shorter (15-30 seconds long), and they play at the beginning of the show and at the end of the show, respectively. The longest of these are the mid-roll ads (30-90 seconds); their placement in the middle of the show is less skippable, so mid-roll ads usually come at a higher cost.

CPM (Cost-per-mile), CPA (Cost-per-acquisition), or flat rate ads:

CPM ads are most common, charging based on every per thousand listens of an episode. They typically run at a price of about $25 for 60 seconds. CPA ads are charged based on the number of conversions from the ad. Alternatively, a flat rate could be agreed upon beforehand, but this is much less common.

How to succeed with a podcast marketing initiative

With the increased exposure of podcast advertising, the best brand strategy firms are investing resources in exploring podcast-specific planning, buying, and measurement strategies. While a dedicated in-house podcast marketing division may not be feasible for many organizations, a digital marketing agency could offer the support and expertise you need to craft and deliver successful podcast advertising strategies.

Whether you’re at a small company that currently doesn’t do any podcast advertising at all, or you’re already buying some podcast ad placements, Bluetext can help to maximize the reach for your media spend with a strategic selection of ad opportunities. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you build your brand and marketing strategies.