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Sep 29, 2023

How to take advantage of podcast advertising

Dayna Lang
Author Dayna Lang

Podcasts have taken off in the past decade, giving marketers access to new tools for reaching audiences.

Where radio listeners have started to dwindle, podcast listeners have soared, meaning that audio ads are far from a thing of the past. Alongside the growth and popularity of podcasts, comes a great opportunity for advertisers to reach new audiences through podcast advertising. 

While audio ads are still alive and well, it’s worth noting that what might be an effective radio ad, doesn’t directly translate into the podcast space. These two mediums, while both audio, are distinct from one another and marketing strategy should reflect that. 


Types of podcast ads

Believe it or not, programmatic podcast advertising is a thing, and it’s effective. Including podcasts in your programmatic strategy is an effective way to reach new audiences and tailor customer journeys. When building out an advertising plan, marketers need to consider which kind of podcast ads will benefit their brand. 

There are four main types of podcast ads: 

  1. Live-read ads – an ad read or performed during the podcast episode by the host or podcast guest. 
  2. Pre-roll or midroll ads – pre-recorded ads made by the brand or pre-recorded by the host and placed at the beginning or in the middle of the episode 
  3. Blended display ads – ads that incorporate display elements as well as just audio. This format works best for ads played during podcasts that are also video recorded. 
  4. Programmatic audio ads – ads that use programmatic ad technology to target audiences and deliver ads in real-time.

The type of ad marketers choose is going to depend on their product or service, their target audience, and their budget. Different podcasts may also vary in length, impacting where in the program an ad should be placed and if repetition would be of benefit. 

One thing Hubspot urges marketers to consider in the above article is that there is “much less drop-off on a podcast compared to other forms of content, like video.” Since podcast ads experience less drop-off, ad placements can be effective both at the start and end of an episode with little difference in audience engagement. 


Put the listener first 

It is crucial to consider your personas and your customer journey’s when choosing which podcasts to advertise on and when creating the content of your ad. 

When choosing a podcast to advertise on, consider the age and interest of your customers. Consider what podcasts your specific target audience is likely to choose based on relevance to your products/service, its length, and shared demographics. 

For example, D&D Beyond is a frequent sponsor of Critical Role, a popular Dungeons and Dragons podcast. This makes perfect sense for D&D Beyond, who provides an online service to facilitate character and story management for Dungeon and Dragons players.  

The content of your ad also needs to match the content of the podcast: a dull reading urging listeners to get their flu shots may not mesh with an improv comedy podcast where the contrast in the content types becomes too heavy.

Alanah Joseph, Senior Marketing Manager for HubSpot, “When reviewing the custom ad placements…we’re looking at the ad from the point of view of a listener. Does the ad feel like it’s an authentic part of the show? Is it enjoyable to listen to?”

While it’s important to measure success from a marketer’s perspective( looking at audience size and download numbers) it’s equally important to measure the success of an ad based on how entertaining it is. 

The entertainment value of a podcast ad correlates to the audience engagement it generates, so marketers need to be sure to create ads that feel authentic to the podcasts they live in. 


Why advertise on podcasts? 

You might ask yourself ” What are the benefits of podcast advertising”? Podcasts have an 85% engagement rate. In terms of long form content, this is remarkable, with video content maxing out at 70% for videos under two minutes and dropping as content gets longer.

The average podcast listener is also typically a well-educated, millennial, according to Edison Research. This often means that they have a greater disposable income, or put simpler: money to spend. 

Since the largest demographic of podcast listeners coincides with one of the top two generations in terms of income and buying power, this medium is a great way to reach audiences that are more likely to make a purchase. 

Podcast listeners by generation

Podcasts are continuing to grow in popularity, as well as the podcast advertising effectiveness. The variety of topics they cover also offer marketers the ideal opportunity to specifically target niche audiences. 

The high engagement and audience demographics of podcasts make them an ideal opportunity to reach customers and the perfect addition to an advertisers programmatic tool kit.  


Frequently asked questions about podcast advertising 

What exactly is the podcast advertising meaning?

Podcast advertising refers to ads placed before, during, after, or within podcasts. 

What are the different types of podcast advertising? 

There are four main types of podcast ads, Live-read ads, pre-roll and midroll ads, blended display ads, and programmatic audio ads.

How do I advertise on podcasts?

In order to find a podcast that suits your brand, first choose a category of podcast to focus on based on the interests of your target audience. You can then filter podcasts based on budget, audience size and reach, and quality of content.


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