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3 Common Mistakes in Self-Serve Podcast Advertising (and How to Avoid Them)

From targeting and creative development to measurement, we offer the most advanced solutions to make your podcast campaign a success.

Acast Editorial Team
January 17, 2024

Mistakes. We all make them. Luckily for you reading this article, you can learn from the mistakes of others. In this article, we’ll look at the three most common mistakes that happen when using a self-serve platform for podcast advertising, and tell you how to avoid them.

Self-serve advertising is where advertisers can plan, book, and manage ad campaigns themselves, without requiring a salesperson or campaign manager. Accessing and running these campaigns happens through a self-serve buying platform, you may be familiar with platforms such as Meta Ads (Facebook & Instagram) and Google Ads. And now, self-service advertising is available for podcasts.

Acast has the leading self-serve platform for buying podcast ads, allowing brands and agencies to take control of their podcast advertising to reach the most engaged listeners on the planet. Through Acast’s self-service platform, advertisers can book pre-recorded ads to deliver messages at scale, or browse and book host-read sponsorships to leverage the influence and trust of thousands of podcast hosts.

Podcast advertising is still a relatively new kid on the block, especially when it comes to self-serve podcast advertising. This means people can overlook key steps in their campaign planning and management. So, let’s discuss 3 common mistakes that advertisers make and how they can be avoided to make the most of self-serve podcast advertising.

Choosing the Wrong Ad Format for the Objective

Through Acast’s self-serve platform, you can choose to launch pre-recorded ads and host-read sponsorship campaigns. You’ll want to consider which ad formats are best for your marketing objective.

If building trust and credibility with a target audience is important for your brand: host-read sponsorships may be the best choice. Podcasters integrate sponsorships into the content of their show, and when they endorse a brand or product, it comes with a high level of trust and authenticity with their listeners.

If it’s a high-consideration product, for example, something with a bigger price tag, working with a podcast host allows you to tell a more complete story about your brand and products—and why the listener should be interested. Our study revealed that 72% of listeners say they’ve visited an advertiser’s website after hearing a host-read sponsorship.

On the other hand, if you’re prioritizing reach, scale, and consistent messaging: pre-recorded ads might be more suitable. Pre-recorded ads allow you to produce and deliver an ad creative that’s completely under your control, and ensures a consistent message across multiple shows and episodes. Targeting options allow you to run the ad across specific categories of shows, or even specific audience types defined by demographic or Nielsen audience segments.

It’s wise to approach ad format choice based on the marketing funnel, we advise:

  • Awareness stage: Pre-recorded ads
  • Consideration: Host-read sponsorships
  • Conversions: Combination of pre-recorded ads and sponsorships.

Each format has its advantages, and the choice depends on your campaign goals and target audience. It’s not necessarily an either/or decision and you can utilize both ad formats to achieve your objective.

Using Poor Quality Ad Creative

There’s no doubt that the success of a podcast ad campaign relies heavily on the quality of the ad creative. A low-quality ad creative fails to captivate the audience's attention, leading to a lack of engagement and ultimately a lack of impact. Listeners are likely to tune out or skip through ads that do not resonate with them.

Lackluster ad creative can also negatively impact the perception of the brand or product being advertised. An unprofessional ad may reflect poorly on the advertised product, creating doubts about its quality or credibility in the minds of the listeners. Things don’t go unnoticed in podcast advertising where over 90% of listening takes place using headphones—there’s no hiding badly produced ad creatives.

Additionally, if the ad creative fails to effectively communicate the value proposition or key messaging, it diminishes the chances of converting listeners to take action.

Advertisers should invest in high-quality ad creative that resonates with the target audience, aligns with the podcast's content, and effectively communicates the brand's message to maximize the impact.

Not Measuring Campaign Success

The growth of podcast advertising is skyrocketing and it’s now a multiple-billion-dollar industry. The appeal for advertisers to extend their reach and engage with their target audience on a deeper level is obvious, but they must be able to measure the success of a podcast advertising campaign.

If you’re new to the space, you might not know which metrics to monitor that signal whether your campaign succeeded. Due to the often audio-only nature of podcasting, its measurement solutions can be a little different from the usual digital advertising platforms.

For example, there’s no link for listeners to click when they hear a podcast ad. This means the advertiser needs to set up alternative ways to track engagement with the ad, such as using a vanity URL, using custom promo codes, or using a pixel-based attribution solution like Podscribe.

We’ve created a guide to measuring podcast campaigns for the most common marketing objectives, you can read it here.

Self-serve podcast advertising puts you in control, so you must be making the best decisions to get the most out of your advertising budget.  Ready to launch your self-serve podcast ad campaign? Start advertising with Acast today.

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