From PodCast to Purchase


While the world has been fixated on trendy newcomers like SnapChat and Instagram, another medium has quietly seen an impressive surge: Podcasts. This form of audio content is nothing new, but the advancements in phone technology and Internet accessibility have empowered podcasting to evolve and truly become a part of our everyday lives.  

In 2014, the breakout hit Serial helped spark this rebirth. And today, listening rates are at an all-time high. Publishers of podcasts are investing in and striving to improve the experience. In fact, after abandoning podcasting 5 years ago, The New York Times recently formed an audio team dedicated to creating greater content.

Marketers, justifiably, are now looking to find their own place in this space.

If you’re contemplating the podcast world, here are 5 COMPELLING REASONS why you should consider testing podcast advertising now.

Endemic programming. Look at the top trending podcasts at any one time, and you will see a diverse range of storytelling. Audiences can follow any specific passion subject, or explore new ones. For example, if you’re a wellness brand, you may want to seek out podcasts focused on health. With podcasting you can find a show that fits seamlessly with your brand’s message, or find that specific audience whose passion lines up with your offering.

Engaged listeners. While listenership is still small (only about 21% of the adult population has listened to a podcast in the past month) the audience is engaged and loyal. Podcast subscribers typically are enthusiastic fans of the show and the host. They trust the information that is put forth. Consequently, when the host talks about your product, they have faith in what he or she is saying. It brings credibility to your brand.  A recent study shows that not only do listeners view sponsorship messages positively, but 65% are more willing to purchase a product heard on their favorite podcast.

Creative Opportunities. For many (but not all) podcasts, there is no need to create a specific spot for the program. Instead, you can take advantage of the loyalty listeners feel for the show and the host. Craft a message that sounds natural coming from the host and let the host read your spot. Allow the host to insert personal experience and highlight the partnership between your brand and the show. You can even look to make your brand part of a weekly segment. There are opportunities here to be creative and make your ad spend work harder.

Limited interruption. Most podcasts have limited advertising per show, in either a pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll, or host read slot. This isolation is a big check in the positive column. Your message and brand will stand out and more easily be recalled. Not only is advertising limited, but if the host reads your spot, it can be seamlessly integrated into the show. It feels less like a disruption and more like an extension of the programming. 

Measurement. Success can be measured based on traditional direct response tracking. Unique URLs, unique phone numbers, promo codes and overall web traffic monitoring are all ways to measure the effectiveness of your advertising. Longer length reads allow flexibility with the call to action and time for repetition.

Despite the rapid growth, podcasts are still beset by inconsistent audience measurements and a wide range of CPMs. However, this shouldn’t hinder anyone from testing it out.

We have found podcasting success in some very unlikely places. The most popular or best produced show doesn’t always mean the best results – something any DR advertiser may already know.

With a smart strategy and some creative thinking, podcast marketing can be a real difference maker. You can deliver your message in a manner that’s fresh, genuine and motivating. You could deliver your brand story to a whole new audience. And podcast by podcast, you should be able to track the impact that each one has on your business.