Is Podcast Advertising Worth It?
iPod + Broadcast = Podcast. For those who are familiar with podcasts, this complex mathematical equation will be very familiar to you. In theory, this is completely correct, but in practicality, podcasts have come a long way from just being another radio channel build for the everyday Apple device. Podcasts are an On-Demand platform that allows for people to discuss anything at all in video or, more commonly, in audio form. They are usually discussions regarding a certain topic between a host and a guest. They are downloadable, easily accessible clips discussing specific content that captivates a specific target audience.
Podcasting has rapidly started gaining traction. Much like On-Demand-Video services such as Netflix and HBO Go becoming the replacements for entertainment, podcasting is becoming the On-Demand platform that replaces audio media such as radio channels. Due, mainly, to its free offline usage and portability, since it is available on all smartphone and tablet devices.
This popularity was generated mainly in the United States. With more than 57 million Americans listening to podcasts this year (a 23% increase from 2016), this is no doubt becoming a frequent hobby amongst citizens and we are already seeing the spread to the globe. Organized events such as the Asia Pacific Podcast Conference (APPC) have sprung up purely to promote podcasting in countries other than the United States and promote connectivity between the podcast community. The APPC’s goal is to not only increase the number of listeners from countries in Asia and Australia but to also increase the creation of content specifically targeted to those countries.
Podcasts range from interactive training exercises (such as the very popular Brain Training Podcast) to political debates with notable guests (Marc Maron’s podcast interview with ex-vice president Al Gore), National Public Radio in the US, to tv show related news (the widely followed Game of Thrones Podcast). This type of categorization allows for any listener to cherry pick their podcast based on their interests and allows for any advertiser to cherry pick their perfect audience.
Podcast advertising is distinctly unique, and beneficial for advertisers, in several different ways. These advertisements act more like endorsements for your product or service, spoken by the trusted host of the podcast. They must be distinctive, timeless, and captivating to an audience that will most likely listen to your message multiple times.
A podcast is usually a casual discussion of a topic from a host, and that is what the channel’s listeners are there for. This kind of media usually attracts more affluent and educated individuals from economically developed countries, which translates to a wealthier customer. They don’t want the flow of the discussion to be interrupted, and that is why they don’t respond well to a traditional radio ad, which is usually very obviously scripted or rehearsed, that disturbs the flow of the conversation. Ideally, you should aim to have an ad that captivates and excites audiences, but one that doesn’t break the flow of the conversation.
The endorsement of your product shows users that the product is used by a trusted, popular, public figure. The host has been speaking consistently for close to 20 minutes before your ad, so all you have to do is pitch your product or service to an already invested audience.
An evergreen ad is an ad that is defined as timeless, relevant, and captivating. The content you put forward in an ad could be heard close to 125 times in the span of four months if a podcaster released one clip every day (which many do). It is important to make sure people don’t get tired of hearing it. This may mean only advertising twice or thrice a week, or it could mean making your endorsement more of a scripted, positive opinion from the host. Whatever you do, make sure to avoid dated references or prices (that could be subject to change). A good idea might be to tell the host to direct his audience to a website that always has your product or services on display.
The last and most important reason for considering podcast advertising is that once aired, your ad is set in stone. Users can listen to a podcast from the moment it airs to the same day, ten years later. Nothing changes about that podcast, which means that investment you made 10 years from today could still be helping your business today. The investment lasts as long as the interest for that podcast episode (or episodes) do, and thus what you pay for is not just to spread your media to new customers today, but also to customers years down the line. Thus creating ads that are truly timeless; truly evergreen.