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Five reasons why podcast advertising won’t work for your brand

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

Simon Franklin
June 2, 2023

If you’re an advertiser considering podcast advertising for the first time, you may be reluctant to take the plunge for fear of a new channel not working for your brand. And you could be right. Podcast Advertising won’t work…unless your campaign is set up for success. 

By understanding the keys to setting up a successful campaign, you will unlock the true power of podcasting and see why other brands have seen over 60% higher ROI from podcast advertising vs. other channels. 

So will podcast advertising work for your brand or not? In this article, you will be taken through what are the assumptions made around booking a podcast ad campaign, and where you might be going wrong.

1. You assumed you needed a big budget

According to WARC, consumers spend 31% of their media time with audio, yet audio is only allocated 8.8% of media budgets. Why is this? Well, buyers often assume they need a big budget to start using podcast advertising, which is simply not the case. With our self-serve platform, you can test podcast ads at any budget level. If you’re seeing positive results, you can always scale your spend. 

In comparison to other mediums, podcast ads are a lot cheaper to produce as you only need recording equipment and a voice to get started. Check out our helpful article on Putting Together the Perfect Audio ad for an in-depth guide on getting started. 


2. You repurposed a radio ad to use on podcasts

It makes sense - you wanted to save time on producing an audio ad tailored to podcast advertising itself. However, in the long run, creating an ad that’s bespoke for the listener can lead to a better ad, and in turn, better performance metrics for your campaign. A study was taken with over a thousand podcast listeners across Acast’s established markets of the US, UK, and Sweden investigated the impact of different types of podcast ads on overall campaign performance. Listeners were exposed to a podcast ad, a 3D podcast ad*, or a traditional radio ad, all for the same brand, in a natural podcast setting.The research found that when considering ad likability, 60% of listeners said they liked the 3D podcast ad and 51% the regular podcast ad, compared to just 47% who liked the radio ad — a 28% shift in respondents liking the 3D podcast ad relative to the radio ad. Not only this but message clarity relative to a radio ad was twice as strong for the 3D podcast ad compared to that of a regular podcast ad

*A 3D podcast ad is an immersive listening experience that is recorded on binaural headphones to mimic the way you would hear sounds around your head.

It’s also a good idea to think about your brand’s sonic identity and what your unique sound will be throughout audio ad campaigns. Research with Audacy and Veritonic found that sonic branding increases ad recall in podcast ads by +14%. In Ipsos’ 2020 Power of You report, they revealed revealed sonic cues are eight times more likely to draw attention to a brand than other assets such as visuals, which continue to dominate as a medium.

People are often worried that it will be hard to create a bespoke ad, but we’ve made it easy for everyone - we created this guide on how to make the most effective podcast ad and it gives you recommendations on ad creation and how to perfect it.

3. You used the same targeting as other mediums

One of the ways traditional upper funnel media channels worked for brands was it achieved signficant reach and scale, hitting as many demographics as possible with one message. This used to be the sole focus of a campaign, but times have changed, and people want to feel that they are being served relevant messages that resonate with them specifically. This can go even further with our conversational targeting, which uses speech-to-text technologically to allow brands to insert themselves in the heart of relevant podcast conversations, feeling more relevant than any stereotypical ad. In research with Seedtag and Nielsen this boosted consumer interest by as much as 32%, and they were 85% more open to receiving further advertising than when there was no targeting whatsoever.

With podcasting, you are also able to drive mass awareness, but you can also reach a diverse, often hard-to-reach demographic. Recent research conducted by our Acast Intelligence team identified that the new listeners in podcasting are 40% more likely to be under 25 (hitting that all-important Gen Z audience) and 25% more likely to have a household earning of over $150, 000, meaning they have significant spending power. Not only this, they are 6% more likely than average to listen to advertising, and 70% more likely to make purchases because of podcast ads.

4. You didn’t use a vanity URL or any attribution tracking 

As an advertiser, you want to know that your time and money was worth it. In order to measure your results, it’s important to put perimeters in place to ensure that you can see how podcast listeners have taken action from listening to your ad. The easiest way to do this is by using vanity-tracking URLs. This measurement tactic directs the listener to a call-to-action that usually results in a purchase - taking them to a landing page that mentions the content, offer or podcast. It also lets the listener know that as a brand you are supporting their favorite podcast host by running podcast advertising on their show, which reflects favorably to the listener. In research between ourselves and Nielsen, we identified that 57% agree that listening to an ad is important to support favorite podcast hosts. 

To learn more about the ways in which you can measure the impact of podcast advertising, take a look at our blog post dedicated to the topic.

5. You didn’t optimize your campaign for better results

One of the benefits of running a podcast advertising campaign via a self-serve platform vs other mediums is that there is such a low barrier to entry. For whatever budget you’re comfortable with, you can test multiple ad creatives to see what performs the best, and using the post-campaign analysis (PCA) report, you can track reach, impressions, clicks, conversions to allow you to adjust your marketing strategy accordingly and test out new ideas that you think will resonate with your audience to see which performs best.

So you see: without audio - specifically podcasts - in your media mix, it’s clear you will be missing out when it comes to reach, performance, engagement and listeners taking action. By considering these five tips, you will ensure that you have the pieces in place to maximize success throughout your campaign, and beyond.

Want to get started? Head here to book a campaign in just a few clicks.

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