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Confessions of a Campaign Manager: How to Get the Most Out of Your Podcast Campaign

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

Acast Senior Campaign Manager, Lucinda Long
April 11, 2023
By Acast Senior Campaign Manager, Lucinda Long

What exactly is a Campaign Manager, I hear you ask? Well, at Acast we’re responsible for managing all aspects of the post-sale process for Acast’s advertisers and podcasters.

That means we liaise with agencies and clients, set up and manage timelines, handle all commercial deliverables, facilitate podcaster payments, and manage, report and analyze campaign performance. Our integrated view and hands-on experience from brief to completion means we know exactly how to be efficient and effective. 

In my role with the International team, I’ve already handled over 30 direct campaigns this year – a 23% increase from the same time period in 2022 – and worked with multiple markets including Italy, Spain, Singapore, Japan and the Philippines. 

So with a busy and varied workload like mine, I have a lot of secrets to share. And I’m here to share them with you. If you’re considering a podcast advertising campaign in 2023, read on:

Brief Us Early

The earlier you reach out to Acast, the better. We’ve all heard “book early to avoid disappointment” in the travel industry, but this is especially true of podcast advertising. Speaking to us in advance will result in availability of relevant podcasts that match the campaign objectives, and with more time to plan, podcasters can put the necessary effort into the project. On average Sponsorships require a lead time of four weeks, Sponsored Stories require six weeks and Branded Episodes require eight weeks. 

Agree a Start Date, From the Start

It sounds simple but agreeing on a start date from the beginning will create a structured schedule and allows podcasters to be kept informed of what needs to be created. This is especially true of campaigns with short notice. We recently worked with a tourism board that presented three months to organise a campaign which included podcasters traveling to other countries. With limited time and a lot to achieve, we had to make sure all dates were clear and agreed from the get-go.  

Be Aware 

Not all markets are the same. If you want to advertise across multiple markets, take into consideration the nuance of each one and make sure your creative allows for easy activation and brand recall. For example, football has a large following in the UK, but the same campaign might want to look at an alternate sport in another market, such as cycling in The Netherlands, for greater impact. Additionally, different markets have different advertising laws. For example, in some countries you may need to include a “Drink Responsibly” disclaimer if you’re advertising alcohol. Furthermore, in larger markets with established podcast hosts and celebrities boasting a large social following, you may want to consider using social add-ons. We will advise on all aspects but being mindful ahead of time is alway encouraged. 

Allow For Approvals

Before you start the process, make sure your local teams are aware of the brief and the creative angle you are going for. If changes are made after the brief has been sent out, it can cause confusion for podcasters and delay the activation timeline. It is also important to factor in approvals for local language deliverables, as this will extend the process and add extra time. To ensure that everything runs smoothly, it is important to be mindful of these potential issues from the beginning and plan accordingly.

Be Authentic

Time and time again we see brands try and dictate what podcasters say down to the exact words. Instead of dictating what the podcaster should say, it's better to let them use their own natural style and language. This helps to keep the podcast authentic, as well as creating a stronger connection with the audience. Work with the podcaster to ensure the advertising message is cohesive but within their style and content. A great example is this Sponsorship with Running Commentary who recorded as they ran and talked, replicating the format of the show.

To Script, or Not to Script

Do you need script approvals? Does the client need legalities? Depending on the answers to these questions, it can greatly affect how the activation is managed. For example, if there is no need for word-to-word approval, then a script is not necessary and the activation process can be much simpler and more casual. This allows for greater creativity and flexibility with the content. However, if there are many prerequisites and legalities to consider, then a script can be useful to streamline the process. It eliminates back and forth conversations at the recording stage and ensures that all of the necessary information is included in the recording. 

Be consistent

Consistency is particularly important when a brand is entering new markets or using new formats. For example, Acast has a long standing partnership with The Economist who use identical voiceovers across their advertising to reinforce familiarity, trust and increase brand recall. 

Keep The User Journey Simple

It’s important to remember that listeners are busy people, who want to get the message quickly and clearly. To ensure this, create a concise message that won’t be overly complicated. Make sure that any message you deliver is true to your brand and will not confuse or overwhelm the listener. For example, use a simple URL that a listener can remember without needing to write it down. 

Be Resourceful

When there are no guidelines on creative, by utilizing existing material, time spent on production can be saved while still delivering an effective campaign. For example, for Paramount Pictures, we used clips from an upcoming blockbuster, recorded an intro and outro, and made the audio 3D. It was a really effective campaign with little new material required. 

Match Content With the Creator 

Knowing who the target audience is before crafting the creative can increase the effectiveness of a podcast advertising campaign. Consider who you want to target ahead of time and trust we know the right hosts for your brand message, and we know their audiences - even if the podcast is not directly about your brand/ product. For example, you don't have to pick a running show to promote trainers, as long as the host is passionate about your product it will shine through. Runners don't ONLY listen to running podcasts, they'll listen to other content too.

That's it! My secrets to success. With Acast, we will always provide you with the knowledge you need to run a podcast advertising campaign, including timelines and efficient workflows, but hopefully this blog provides you with key considerations and takeaways to be successful.

To explore podcast advertising with us, please click here.

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