Are Podcasts Worth it For Boosting Your Brand?

Sequoia Cardoso de Sá
. 20 Jan 2022 . 4 min read

We love a good list post at Agora, so we’ve blended two lists into one post. Read on to find out why podcasts are worth it for boosting your brand, and how to get started!

Podcasts may not be on every business’s radar, but there are certainly some businesses that should be considering this channel to boost their brand awareness. Before you dive into podcasts, consider your business’s current goals and needs. There may be other channels to test, invest in, and further develop before dipping your toes into podcast ads.

But now that we’ve given our ‘evaluate your own business needs’ disclaimer, we can ask the question we’re all here for: are podcast ads worth it for boosting brand awareness?
Our vote is a resounding yes!

For brands ready to dive into podcast advertising, there’s a lot to be gained. In fact, studies have found podcasts can boost brand awareness from 24% to 79%. That’s a pretty hefty figure and speaks volumes by itself, but let’s break it down some more:

Four simple reasons podcast ads are worth the investment

1. Podcasts are portable, on-demand content pieces that audiences can easily slot into their day-to-day life in short bursts. And the most important part of this – they actively choose to listen. Aside from the people who seem to be able to focus on two things at once (ahem Kailey), most podcast listeners are actively engaged when they choose to hit play.

2. The huge range of podcasts out there in the world means it’s easy to find ones that align well with your specific target audience and who you are as a brand. Find podcast hosts that share your interests and values, and you’re one step closer to building relationships with your ideal audience.

3. More than a third of listeners have made a purchase or conversion after being introduced to a brand from a podcast ad. And they’re more likely to have a high household income (hellooo purchasing power).

4. Podcast ads are 4.4 times more effective than display ads. Enough said.

So, since we've now convinced you to try podcast advertising, here are five tips to get started

1. Don’t obsess over the audience size

Instead of focusing on the numbers, focus on the podcasts that relate to your brand or industry. The ultimate factor to consider is the ‘fit’. Podcasts are aimed at defined audiences, so the right fit is the most important and impactful decision. It’s often most worthwhile to purchase multiple ad slots for small shows rather than one for big podcasts. You may consider a podcast audience solely based on the show’s topic and the audience’s clearly defined interests, or you may focus more on the audience’s age, income, and education level. And remember, size isn’t everything, it’s how you use it.

2. Understand the pricing of different podcast ads

Pricing on podcasts may be more transparent than you thought. While it’s not always the case, the simple formula below can provide a fairly good estimation of what you could expect to pay for a standard ad slot.

This will usually fall between $10 – $50 for a standard ad in a podcast… however, there will be a premium charge for large, popular podcasts.

The cost will sometimes vary quite dramatically depending on the ad structure you’re looking for. This could be anything from sponsoring an episode to running an intensive promotion across multiple episodes. The latter can be incredibly powerful since it feels more like a friendly recommendation than an ad, but with this comes bigger costs.

The two options above are essentially the two most prominent forms of advertising via podcasts: audio ads and branded podcasts.

Cost of Sponsoring 1 Episode = (# of Downloads per Episode / 1000) X CP

3. Verify you’re getting accurate numbers

Smaller, less reputable podcasts should provide metrics to prove they’re worth the investment. There are some metrics, such as downloads, that are easier to make up. So, to verify a podcast host is honest about their metrics, look at all the sites they’ve posted on. The platforms themselves generally provide view numbers. If they have a loyal audience, they most likely also have followers, likes and visual signs of engagement on their social media pages. You can also opt to work with a credible network, as they’re generally quite transparent with advertisers about their performance.

4. Consider the promotion you’ll run

McAfee – yes, the software security company – has their own podcast ‘Hackable’. Likewise, Lyft had a short podcast series, as did McDonalds. Having a branded podcast is an opportunity to contribute to the personality of the brand and the brand story, support the messaging and value propositions given, and for many brands, will also lend credibility.

With your own branded podcast, you can target a niche, tailored audience for your product/services, providing value and building relationships with potential customers. Listeners tend to be very loyal to the hosts of their favourite podcasts. So, if you have the means, it’s a great option. While podcasts are easy and affordable to produce, it does take time and dedication to build a loyal audience.

So, if you want to reach people immediately, or if hosting a podcast just isn’t feasible for your brand right now, podcast ads could be a better option. You can reach out to podcast hosts directly or speak to a third party to organise podcast ads. At Agora, one of our partners is Southern Cross Austereo because their audio network Listnr is a super robust platform.

5. Consider your ad placement

There are three different placements for podcast ads: pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll. These play before, in the middle of, or after the episode. Pre and post-roll ads are shorter and tend to be lower cost. However, it’s easier for the listener to miss them. Mid-roll placements are a little longer and a little more expensive but are placed at a point in the episode where listeners are engaged with the host and the content. The mid-roll ad is particularly engaging when host-read, as it allows the ad to seamlessly integrate with the organic episode content, which leverages that engagement we just mentioned.

Now that you're geared with more information about podcast advertising and some tips to start, go get ‘em! If you have questions or want an agency to help with podcast advertising, reach out to our team today.

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