Why Podcast Advertisements Can Be the Best Way to Reach Your Audience

The Benefits of Advertising Your Product or Service on Podcasts

Marketers are always looking for a fresh, effective way to connect with audiences. There’s a reason that Palisades Media Group’s digital director Mike McLaughlin considers podcast ads five times as effective as an ad on a website. Podcasts give access to different audiences and produce better returns for the advertiser. A few of the reasons that podcast advertising can help you reach the right prospects and convert them to customers:

You Can Reach a Wealthier, Savvier Customer

Research by Edison indicates that podcast listeners are affluent, well-educated, tech savvy and connected. 31% of podcast listeners have attended grad school or attained an advanced degree, compared with just 20% for the general population. Thirty-six percent have incomes of $75K a year or more.

Podcast Audiences Are More Likely to Follow Brands

People who listen to podcasts are more likely than average to follow brands on social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter. This gives you time to develop the relationships that increase customer retention and, over time, reduce your customer acquisition costs.

Podcasts Are Perfect for Direct Response

Some of the most successful podcast advertisers are those with web-based services or a web portal for their brand. FiveThirtyEight analyzed 186 ads on podcasts in 2015. Of those ads, 162 were for business that acquire customers online.

Most used native ads, with the podcast host delivering the pitch. This is highly cost-effective for the advertiser since no additional production is needed. And, it is less intrusive to the listener, and less likely to interrupt the podcast listening experience. The ads continue a familiar and trusted pattern: talk radio. Because they are delivered in a well-known and trusted way, they become an accepted part of the listening experience that makes them more effective than intrusive banner ads or website popups.

The top podcast advertisers in FiveThirtyEight’s study were Squarespace, Audible, Stamps.com, MailChimp and Dollar Shave Club. And, most were able to entice users to respond and give information by extending special deals. Podcast listeners can be directed to custom URLs that identify the source of the traffic. And, advertisers can extend special offers to entice new customers to sign up.

The average podcast ad doesn’t just make the customer aware of a product. The advertiser gets the chance to explain the product’s benefits and how it can enhance the listener’s life. This level of communication is not as available in other traditional advertising styles.

Podcasts Offer Authenticity and Trust

Fracture produces custom art pieces, printing customers’ photography directly onto glass. They discovered that podcasts were the perfect avenue to promote their unique products. Fracture CMO Herb Jones says that he always ensures that podcast hosts who run their ads have created a Fracture print and seen it in person. Instead of writing copy for their advertisements, he asks the podcast host to describe the piece and its impact in his or her own words. The natural sound and sincere reaction woos listeners. And, since people like and trust the hosts of their favorite shows, those words have more weight.

Fracture measures referrals and conversions by including a question in their order form: “How did you hear about us?” This questionnaire revealed that podcasts advertising was their number one referrer in April 2015. Jones told Midroll that podcast listeners were also more likely to talk about their purchases on social media, giving the company additional exposure.

Podcasts Offer Advertising Opportunities for Every Business Size

While enterprise level companies like Kimberly-Clark, Aetna and Siegel+Gale are all testing the podcasting waters, smaller businesses can also get a piece of the action by choosing more affordable spots. Drinkwel is a small niche business that creates supplements to help with hangovers. When their CEO Mike McAdams wanted to seek out new customers, he found that traditional radio did not fit his budget. Instead, he went with a trio of test spots on podcasts. He said that all three yielded new business but that one was the clear winner. He booked long term advertising with that business and has seen steady growth. By offering up a wealth of shows both large and small, as well as shows with highly dedicated niche audiences, advertisers can find campaigns that fit their budgets.

And, with the low cost of a podcast buy-in, they are able to test multiple shows and ads to see which gets the best return. By continually testing new ads and new audiences, you can determine which gives you the best profit for your investment, ensuring that every marketing dollar is well-spent.

Podcasts Can Give You a Remarkable ROI

Igloo Software was an early adopter of podcast advertising. They’ve stuck with the model because of the remarkable return they get on their podcast advertising investment. The company, which offers intranet services, got 7% of their marketing opportunities from podcasting in 2013. However, opportunities that originated from podcast advertising accounted for 21% of new revenue that year.

As loyal podcast listeners, the team at Igloo says that you can tell when a host likes a product. Like Fracture, they value the authenticity and trust that brings into the picture. And, podcast listeners are highly dedicated and engaged audiences. Igloo’s creative director Marko Savic characterizes podcast listeners as informed and passionate influencers. He says that he has recommended products after hearing them advertised on a beloved podcast and feels confident that his product has gotten this sort of word of mouth boost, as well.

He says that he also likes the flexibility of podcast advertising. As fans of the medium, he is able to customize his ads to fit on specific shows. In one case, he had a spot on the Accidental Tech Podcast. During an episode about the problems with enterprise software, he was able to pitch Igloo as a more user-friendly alternative. The host’s enthusiasm for Igloo’s software became a part of the show. Comments on new sign-ups specifically referenced the episode.

Podcast Audiences Are Growing All the Time

Podcasting is not new technology; the first shows go back a decade or more. But, with more people owning technology like smartphones and the burst of excitement for popular shows like Serial, Marc Maron’s WTF and others, awareness and the audience continues to grow. Last year, Serial’s listenership grew every month. The people who listened to the show enjoyed the experience enough that they sought out other podcasts, as well. Freakonomics had five million downloads the month before serial premiered. After Serial started, that jumped to 7 million a month. And, as these audiences grow, discussion of the advertising on those shows grow with them. Think of the online passion for kid’s quirky pronunciation in the MailChimp ad. When the podcast returned for its second season, mentions of MailChimp increased by 81%. The company also saw a 67% rise in searches.

Podcasts and podcast advertising are still young and developing fields. As growth continues to accelerate, larger and larger audiences will be reached through this exciting medium. By taking the plunge and investing in podcast advertising now, you can find your audience, hone your podcast advertising technique and learn exactly how to connect with the prospects you want and turn them into loyal, long term clients.


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