Podcast Advertising: The Nuts & Bolts

Written By

SMI Staff

Published On

Monday, Dec 02

Podcasts are a rapidly expanding medium offering exciting opportunities for audio advertisers. Thinking of advertising on a podcast but not sure you’re ready to make the leap? Strategic Media, Inc. manages millions of dollars in podcast ad spend annually. Here are some things we have learned over the years that may help inform your decision to pursue a new medium.

Podcast demographics

Podcasts now reach 51% of US audiences aged 12+ monthly, up from 44% in 2018. The scales have tipped in 2019 and now the majority of Americans are listening to podcasts.

But podcasts aren’t just reaching listeners. They’re reaching qualified listeners with high household incomes who are more likely to purchase the product or service advertised. 

Furthermore, listeners’ passion for podcasts can heighten listener appreciation for a service or brand. New research shows that six in ten Super Listeners—people who listen to over five hours of podcasts per week—”appreciate podcast advertisers for supporting their favorite podcasts,” and 44% say they think more positively about companies that advertise on the podcasts they listen to regularly.

Personal endorsements from hosts  

The podcast medium is changing the way people react to advertising. This may be due in large part to the trusted connection podcasts create between the listener and the host.

According to Edison Research, “54% of podcast consumers say that they are more likely consider the brands they hear advertised on podcasts, compared to 7% who say they are less likely.”

Given that ads read by hosts outperform pre-recorded ads, it is likely that the unique connection podcast hosts have with their listeners makes for especially effective ads.

Finding the right host who can speak from personal experience about the product or service he/she is endorsing lets advertisers tap into that trusted connection.

The ad agency’s role 

Strategic Media, Inc. offers full-service podcast management including:

  • Formulating media plans based on targeted demographics and your specific goals, 
  • Working with hosts to ensure they have knowledge of the product or service ahead of launch–including coordinating product samples so hosts can speak from personal experience,
  • Crafting unique talking points and/or scripts for hosts,  
  • And tracking ads after they air to ensure quality control.

By monitoring the performance of our host-read ads, we have found over the years that hosts who can speak with genuine excitement about their personal experience with a product or service (particularly if they can relate it to their podcast’s content) tend to outperform other host reads. That is why we consult with hosts before their endorsements air and ensure they are given the chance to try the product or service beforehand when possible. Additionally, our best practices for talking points provide hosts the flexibility to speak in their own words, allowing their voice to carry through the ad and resonate with readers. 

For more information on how podcasts can help you grow your brand, contact SMI today!

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