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 dip a toe, or deep 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:
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 is 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 topic of the show and the clearly defined interests of the audience, or you may focus more on the age, income, and education level of the audience.
2. Understand 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.
If you want to sponsor a podcast episode, or run a more intensive promotion across multiple episodes with the promotion worked into the content, the costs will vary – potentially quite dramatically. For example, Joe Rogan does this with Cash App and ExpressVPN, going into detail about how he uses these products in his daily life and also mentions that they sponsored the episode. The ad feels more like a friendly recommendation than an ad, because the host (in this case, Joe) can discuss his experience with the product and verify his own use of the product. If his listeners are loyal and have his trust, they may consider the products themselves.
The two options above are essentially the two most prominent forms of advertising via podcast: audio ads and branded podcasts.
3. Verify you’re getting accurate numbers
Smaller, less reputable podcasts should provide metrics to prove they are 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 are 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, 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 that can connect you, to organise podcast ads. At Agora, we have partnered with sca.com.au for podcast advertising. Their audio network Listnr is a robust platform. We have also partnered with the Sports Entertainment Network.
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, 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 of 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.