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How to Promote Your Local Business with Self-Serve Podcast Advertising

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

Simon Franklin, Digital Brand Marketing Manager
June 7, 2023

In today's digital marketing landscape, finding innovative ways to promote your local business is what can set you apart from the competition. One marketing strategy relatively untapped by small businesses, and proven to be effective, is podcast advertising. Podcasts have surged in popularity in recent years, and they offer small business owners a unique platform for reaching a captive audience.

If you’re completely new to podcast advertising, make sure to read our ultimate guide to give you all the essential information you need.

In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of leveraging self-serve podcast advertising to boost awareness, attract new customers, and stand out in a competitive market. So, let's dive into the world of podcast marketing and learn how to make it work for your local business.

Understand the Benefits of Podcast Advertising

Why Podcast Advertising is Effective for Local Businesses

Gone are the days when podcast advertising was a broad, scattergun approach to marketing. With new technology at your fingertips, podcast ads are now a highly effective tool for small businesses to speak directly to their desired audience.

Today your customers are more likely than ever to be podcast listeners. According to recent studies, over one-third of Americans have listened to a podcast in the past month, and 20% have done so in the past week. Local businesses can’t afford to overlook podcasting to advertise their products or services, wherever they’re located in the world.

Another reason why podcast advertising is so effective is that it allows local businesses to connect with their target audience in a more personal and engaging way, thanks to new targeting tools offered by platforms like Acast. Setting up a campaign with Acast allows businesses to select their perfect audience based on listener demographics, including their listening location—where you can even drill down the exact postal codes you want your ad to be heard. This approach ensures that businesses are not wasting their advertising budget on people who are not likely to be interested in their products or services.

Launching a podcast campaign with Acast also means you can reach listeners no matter what apps they consume podcasts on, whether they’re on iOS or Android, or listen on Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes), Spotify, or any of the hundreds of podcast directories. All of our 100,000+ shows are available on every podcast listening platform, so you can reach them wherever they’re listening.

Advantages of Podcast Advertising Over Other Advertising Options

Podcast advertising has several advantages over other advertising options. One of the main advantages is that podcast ads are seamlessly integrated into the podcast episodes, and there are comparatively fewer ads  than in other mediums. In fact, 84% of surveyed marketers said that podcasts currently have low ad loads. This means that listeners do not feel like they are being bombarded with ads like TikTok and other social channels, and are more likely to engage with commercial messages—a win-win for the listener and the advertiser.

Another advantage is that podcasting allows businesses to leverage the trust and relationships that podcast hosts have built with their audience. Listeners develop deep relationships with hosts, and by getting an ad read and endorsed by their favorite host, businesses can benefit from the halo effect.

This word-of-mouth strategy can also support other marketing channels, including SEO as people will potentially be looking up your business on search engines. Therefore it makes sense to complement podcast advertising with a wider content marketing strategy to capture all the traffic generated from the ad campaign.

With the most advanced targeting and attribution capabilities in the industry, Acast allows businesses to target highly specific audiences based on location, interests, and many other factors. This targeting can help businesses increase their conversion rates and ensure that they are reaching the right people with their advertising message. And unlike online ads, paid ads on podcasts cannot be blocked by ad-blockers.

You can think of podcast advertising as having all the authenticity and engagement of influencer marketing, combined with the scale and targeted reach of digital ads.

Acast’s Self-Serve Podcast Advertising Platform

Before we get into how local businesses can use podcast advertising, let us introduce you to Acast’s self-serve platform.

Before self-serve, the only way to advertise on popular podcasts was through an ad sales team, which often requires minimum budgets upwards of $10,000, or directly through the podcaster themselves, which requires a lot of manual effort on both ends of the deal. Acast’s self-serve platform changes all of this.

Launching a campaign with Acast’s self-serve ad platform is by far the easiest and fastest way to purchase podcast advertising. You can set up a campaign that runs across multiple shows with the option to target your audience by gender, age, location, Nielsen Audience Segments, and other demographic categories. Unlike working with sales reps or the podcaster, the self-serve platform does not involve any back and forth or negotiating CPMs with multiple shows - it's a fully automated solution and available at any budget level. Click here to sign up.

How To Started with Self-Serve Podcast Advertising

If you're a local business looking to expand your reach, podcast promotion could be the perfect match. Here's what you need to know to get started with self-serve podcast advertising:

Identify Your Target Audience

The first step in getting started with podcast advertising is identifying who exactly you’re trying to reach. Consider who your ideal customer is and what their interests are. This will help you find podcast categories and shows that align with your product or services. You should also discover information about the customer demographics to pinpoint targeting. You can use tools like Google Analytics to find out the demographics of your website visitors, as well as social media insights to gain insights into your audience’s interests, and behaviors.

As a local business, there’s likely a lot you already know about your customers. For example, you know the location(s) and areas your business caters to, so make a note of these regions or postal codes. You could also survey your existing customers to discover new insights into their interests that you can utilize to find future customers.

Choose Podcasts That Align with Your Brand Niche

Once you've identified your target audience, the next step is to match this audience with the categories of podcasts they would listen to. This involves analyzing the demographics, interests, and behaviors of the listeners of the podcasts you're considering advertising on. This can be a manual process where you look at the podcast categories that Acast allows you to target, or specific audience segments we’ve identified such as tech enthusiasts, homeowners, fast food consumers, and many more.

For even more in-depth analysis, you can use podcast analytics tools like Podchaser Pro where you can enter your target audience’s demographics and interests to help you discover shows you may never have considered that are a good fit for your brand.

Explore by tweaking the targeting options in Acast’s self-serve platform to see the expected number of impressions and the CPMs.

Decide on your ad type

When it comes to podcast advertising, there are two primary types of ads to consider: pre-recorded ads and host-read sponsorships.

Pre-recorded ads allow for targeting podcast audiences at scale, enabling you to reach specific demographics, interests, and locations across a wide number of podcasts. It’s the responsibility of the business to produce these ad creatives.

Host-read sponsorships are endorsements by the podcaster themselves offering a higher level of trust and authenticity, where the podcaster will produce the ad in a way that’s relevant to their podcast content.

The best thing about working with Acast is that both ads and sponsorships are dynamically-inserted, meaning that campaigns are always relevant and timely for listeners. Ads and sponsorships can be inserted into specific moments of the podcast episode, including pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll. Ultimately, the type of ad you choose will depend on your advertising goals and budget.

Setting a Realistic Budget

Before hitting ‘Launch’ on your podcast campaign, it is essential to determine your budget.

Setting a realistic budget is crucial to ensure that you’re allocating the right amount of budget to your campaign to achieve your goals. At Acast, we have set a minimum of $250/£250/ €250 as the entry point into testing podcast ads.

We sell advertising based on cost per thousand impressions (CPM), essentially how many times your ad is heard—similar to how Facebook ads or LinkedIn ads work. This price varies depending on the ad type and the targeting you add to your campaign. Read more information here about dynamic pricing.

So it’s difficult to recommend budgets as it’s down to business goals, but if you're targeting a narrow or niche audience, it can make sense to start small — say $1,000 or similar. If you want to reach a wider audience, you might want to increase your budget to at least $2,500 in order to see a significant impact. Keep in mind, you can start small and ramp up. There are no hidden fees or start-up costs. Adding several smaller campaigns won't cost you more than one bigger one.

Creating a Podcast Ad for a Small Business

Now you’ve got a plan for setting up your ad campaign, you’ll need the audio creative that promotes your local business. This is where your creativity can be let loose, and explore how best to get your message across to your audience. We have a guide to putting together a perfect audio ad here, but he’s the basic steps:

Step 1: Create a plan

Before writing your ad script, you should put together a plan for your campaign. It should answer the following questions:

  • Your Business Objective: Why are you running a podcast ad? Is it for brand awareness? Driving web visits or purchases? What type of conversion are you looking for? Are you looking for a direct response?
  • Target Audience: How broad is the audience you want to reach? Are you trying to reach a new customer? What podcast categories are popular with that demographic?
  • Key messaging: What is the problem your business is solving and how do you solve it? What is the key takeaway you want your audience to remember?

Step 2: Write a Script

Once you've identified your target audience, it's time to write your ad script. Your script should be concise and to the point, highlighting the benefits of your product or service. Be sure to include a clear call to action, such as "Visit our website", "Call us today.” or using the promo codes you’re offering.

Step 3: Record Your Ad

Once you have a script, it's time to record your ad. You can either record it yourself or hire a professional voice actor. If you're recording it yourself, be sure to use a high-quality microphone and eliminate any background noise.

How Local Businesses Can Measure the Success of Podcast Advertising

Podcast advertising is a powerful tool to help local businesses increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and boost sales. But how do you know if your podcast ads are actually working Measuring the success of your podcast advertising campaign is essential to ensure that you are achieving your goals and maximizing your return on investment.

Local businesses should identify the key performance metrics to measure success, and these will depend on the specific goals of your advertising campaign. Here are some metrics you should consider monitoring:

  • Ad impressions: This is the most straightforward and available metric. Ad impressions or downloads indicate brand awareness generated from the campaign, i.e. how many people are becoming aware of your brand as a result of your podcast ads. These are split into total impressions and unique impressions.
  • Website Traffic: Look for increases in website traffic or specific landing pages around the times when your podcast ads are running. You can use Google Analytics or similar tools to monitor this. Or use unique vanity URLs with UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) parameters to track the effectiveness of your podcast advertisements. When new listeners visit the vanity tracking link you’ll know that they heard about your business from the podcast ad.
  • Conversions: These are the podcast listeners who took the desired action after hearing your ad. This could be signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or any other goal you have for your campaign. With podcast advertising, businesses often use promo codes that are only heard in podcast ads to track conversions from ads. However, you can also use UTM links or third-party tracking tags.
  • Survey and Feedback: Consider surveying your customers to understand how they heard about you.

By tracking these metrics, you can get a better understanding of how your podcast ads are performing and make adjustments to your campaign as needed.


Alright, let's wrap this up. Podcast advertising is kind of a big deal, especially when it's as easy as pie to get started with something like Acast's self-serve platform. It's got the personal touch of influencer marketing with the wide reach of digital ads – the best of both worlds. Plus, with more and more folks tuning into podcasts, it's like a pool of potential customers just waiting to hear about your local business. It's a new frontier, and it's ready for you to make your mark.

Ready to mix things up and try podcast advertising? Jump into the driver's seat with Acast's self-serve platform and get your business in the ears of your future customers, get started now.

Let’s discuss how we can help you achieve your business objectives
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