How To Advertise on Podcasts As They Rise in Popularity

The 21st century has seen a lot of technological advancements, and along with this comes the opportunity for new and improved marketing tactics. 

Podcasts are one of the newer social media adaptations that marketers are currently starting to see the value in when it comes to brand awareness and advertising in general.

Influencer marketing has become a strong marketing channel on its own within the last decade, with the majority of marketers finding this tactic effective as a whole. The biggest influencers in the industry are adapting to trends and now almost all have podcasts in some capacity. 

The benefit of this is that the subscribers who follow these users are going to be some of their most loyal and dedicated fans. Their followers trust their opinion, making advertising on podcasts a fantastic new avenue for marketers to experiment with. 

Benefits of advertising on podcasts 

There are so many new podcasts being created every day that are growing fast and are looking for sponsors. The most recent statistics show that there are currently over 500,000 active podcast channels, and nearly 50 million episodes, and these numbers are getting larger every day. A common practice for the creators is to include 1 to 3 podcast advertisements within each episode, which creates a massive amount of opportunities for businesses to reach out. 

The bittersweet factor in this is that you have a lot of content to work through to figure out which podcasts are most relevant to your brand. Podcast followers are more likely to actually follow through on the CTAs within the podcast advertisements, 80% of listeners can recall the brands being advertised and 51% of listeners said they would be more likely to buy a product mentioned in a podcast advertisement. So, as long as you are sponsoring the right podcasts, you should see strong ROIs. 

This is likely the case because what makes advertisements on podcasts stand out from radio or more mainstream advertisements, is that the podcaster is speaking on a personal level to the listener about their experience with a product. It is from their own voice and point of view, not the advertisers, making the entire ad seem more like a conversation than what it actually is, a sponsored ad.  

podcast recording setup

Podcast industry averages 

For typical rates for podcast advertising costs, prices can range anywhere from $18 to $50 CPM, but the most listened to shows can potentially cost even more. This pricing is measured by how many times a podcast is downloaded or listened to. 

CPM stands for Cost per Mille or cost per thousand. For podcasts, the agency would pay the agreed-upon price, usually about $20 for every 1,000 unique listeners for the chosen podcast. Another significant metric to measure is CPA, which is Cost per Acquisition. This calculates how much it costs you to gain new customers out of an advertisement. 

There are 3 types of ads that podcasters can agree to, these being pre-roll, mid-roll and outro ads

  • The pre-roll ad is played right at the beginning of the podcast 
  • A mid-roll ad is played within the middle of the episode
  • An outro ad is played at the very end as the podcast is coming to a close 

You should also consider the type of advertisement you want to be created for the chosen podcast  

  • Native ads: These are advertisements that match the form of the platform it is on. Sponsored posts from influencers would be an example of this. 
  • Offer code: Offer codes or discounts can also be included in the advertisement, and they are used to entice listeners to visit the companies site and use this unique code. 
  • Dynamic ads: A recording of the ad is inserted into the podcast, breaking up the flow of conversation. These can be recorded by the podcaster or sent to them pre-recorded by the company. 
  • Endorsed ads: Endorsed ads take advantage of the podcast host’s personality, and lets them have creative freedom in delivering the content and benefits. Hosts will usually speak about personal testimonials of the product or service. 

Budgets and other channels 

For podcasts being a newer premium marketing channel, some methods can make advertising on podcasts affordable for small businesses, which is one of the great benefits of advertising on podcasts. Doing this research into specific podcast demographics yourself instead of through agencies is more work, but if you are a small business it may be more worthwhile in the long run. 

Other marketing channels have been losing their strength and effectiveness in past years, but are still considerably pricey, such as traditional advertising. With new ad-blocking features being added to devices and fast-forward added to televisions, there is more of an opportunity for consumers to avoid needing to see these advertisements altogether. 

Advertising on podcasts has been so effective because it is so much easier to become engaged in the ad with this channel. When planning a budget for podcast advertising costs, it is more effective to choose several smaller podcasts to sponsor rather than one larger podcast. 

Research has shown that it takes several interactions or introductions to an ad for a listener to follow through with an action for that company. This being said, plan when you sponsor episodes accordingly, as overwhelming listeners with the same ads every week is not best practice. Scheduling sponsorships every other week is a good place to start. 

How to find the best podcasts for your brand

Each podcast genre usually has a dedicated fan base with similar interests. So, it is important to take a deep dive into the genre you are interested in and find out which target audience they have to see if it matches with your company. 

Doing this will increase the likelihood that the podcaster will accept your offer, it will make the ad sound more natural coming from that podcaster, and it will increase the number of listeners who will follow through on any CTAs. 

At the very least, researching these podcasts will also help you better understand your audience and target audience. 

Research before you reach out 

Once you find a handful of podcasts you think would benefit your business, always research the podcasters before you reach out and extend an offer. 

For example, you should check their social media accounts and comments from their recent posts. If you sponsor a dishonest or problematic podcaster, the reputation of your brand will be at stake as well. Building up trust takes a long time, so it is better to do your research beforehand to avoid this issue at all. 

Also, you should listen to some episodes of each prospective podcaster to make sure they fit with the opinions and practices that your company follows. Consider if you are okay with adult language or topics, if they have recently sponsored any competitors’ products or if they have taken sponsorships from unethical companies. 

Podcasts are also not regulated by the FCC. This means that any person will an interest can start a podcast, and not everyone who does this may be following ethical business practices. Some podcasters may not be transparent about their average listeners and try to charge sponsors a disproportionate amount to the results they are seeing from their episodes. 

Track your results! 

After all of your hard work finding the perfect podcasts and advertising method, make sure to continue the effectiveness of these sponsorships. If you are using a unique coupon code, track how often that code is used, as well as your other CTAs. 

Another way to track potential customers coming from the sponsored podcasts is to create a vanity URL that directs those users to a specific landing page. 

Additionally, you can create a popup survey asking customers how they found out about the company. If each step is done right you should see a great return on investment and will be able to grow your credibility and awareness to continue that growth. 

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