Learn How Podcast Advertising Is Used By Top Brands Today

How Podcast Advertising Works

Podcast Advertising Apple WatchOS2
Apple Watch’s latest operating system features major podcast technology.

Though podcasts, a digital audio file that’s made available for download, do draw their longstanding origins from traditional public radio shows, a recent reveal of the forthcoming Apple Watch operating system “watchOS2” features dedicated podcast support for both listening and recording. A quick glance through iTunes’ Podcast offerings yields a variety of enticing show topics including food, personal development, crafts, and top shows from all niches like BuzzFeed, The Late Show, and superstar athlete, Shaq (the podcast is appropriately titled, “The Big Podcast With Shaq”). WSJ reports that close to 50 million Americans listen to podcasts each month.

With podcast developments quickly on the rise (podcasts can be streamed on all Apple products including Apple TV — read more on Techcrunch’s latest article “Apple Watch Is About To Become A Perfect Podcast Machine“) and big named brands like MailChimp, Toyota, Geico, and Squarespace taking to the podcast medium for untapped advertising opportunities, it’s time to give podcasts a good look, check out some of their specific advantages, and finally, explore the best ways to advertise brands on podcasts.

Core Elements of Podcast Advertising

  • Pre-roll: roughly 15 seconds, the pre-roll is the advertising section that precedes or kicks off a podcast.
  • Mid-roll: runs 30-60 seconds, the mid-roll is the advertising section that’s usually found in the middle third of the podcast.
  • Live read: in contrast to a pre-recorded ad read, a live read is performed at the time of the podcast.
  • Outro: the tail end of a podcast where the host can give some sort of call-to-action and direct listeners to take advantage of a brand’s advertising campaign promotion (giveaway, limited time offer, promo or discount code).
  • Integration / Customization: podcast advertising sponsorships allow for both specific, high-level brand copy points and more customized organic integrations by the podcaster.
  • Direct-response: in light of podcasts’ latest tech developments, CTAs provided by brands can truly propel listeners to click provided links.
  • Branding: Companies can align with influential podcasters (usually bloggers, YouTubers, or other digital influencers) who can create positive and powerful brand associations.
  • Tracking: specific promo code or dedicated landing page URL used by podcast advertisers to track KPIs of the brand’s advertising campaign.

Podcast Advertising With Digital Influencers

Just like other influencer sponsorships, advertising on podcasts starts with proper brand and message alignment between the company and a podcaster’s personality or show focus. Podcasts, like blogs or YouTuber channels, build around niche subjects and content (everything from fitness to comedy to technology and a myriad of other topics). This enables brands to pinpoint their consumer audience base and craft a custom-tailored message alongside the content creator that resonates and prompts listener engagement, feedback, and response.

With the digitalization of podcast technology, a prospective consumer can now commute to work, hear of a brand’s product while streaming their favorite podcaster, be directed to the custom promo link in podcast, and instantly click over to the brand’s dedicated landing page all within their smart device.

The podcast audiences of today are savvy digital consumers, smart phone users, and socially engaged vs. the public radio audiences of old (less engaged). As the technology for podcasts and podcast audience base both grow and develop at unprecedented rates, this upward trend is simultaneously reflected in the types of brands who look to podcast advertising sponsorships as a critical part of their overarching integrated marketing strategy.