As we’ve briefly discussed in previous articles, growth in your business should naturally include the use of digital marketing. Not only for the potential ROI, but the beauty of digital marketing is in the versatility and diversity of web markets. One such approach for connecting with your consumers might include a podcast. One key reason that brands are paying more money for podcast advertising: it works, especially as traditional advertising mediums have become less effective over the past few years.
As with any new endeavor, planning is key. You can’t just jump onto the microphone and expect listeners to line up. So, what exactly goes into a good podcast episode and how can your company utilize it for advertising?
Why Podcast Advertising Is Worth Your Attention
As the world becomes busier, the podcast format has become incredibly popular. Podcast audio content gives listeners the ability to dive into topics without having to set aside time to read or watch a video. Almost a quarter of all Americans listen to a podcast each week; for reference, the population of the United States was estimated at 329 million in 2019.
Given the audio nature of podcasts, listeners tend to hang on to every word, making them an excellent audience for advertisers who are trying to get their brands known. You don’t have to worry about them tuning out your ad like they do in many other mediums. People listen to podcasts because they have a deep respect for the host. And since they put their trust in the hosts of their favorite podcasts, they’re much more receptive to the brands that these hosts decide to endorse.
Crafting The “Perfect” Podcast Episode
There is no exact science to creating a perfect episode; luckily, you can take cues and patterns from podcasts of yesterday and learn from them.
The first few minutes of a podcast is the most important part of an episode. It lets listeners know what the episode is going to be about and piques their interest. It’s still important to note – listeners can get bored easily. While there is no set number that is ideal for the length of a specific episode, try to make something that does not drag or waste listeners’ time. A good podcast episode should also be focused. You want to be able to easily articulate what the episode is about. Although the length and arrangement may vary, your podcast should be created with a focus already in mind using these questions:
- Where’s the conflict?
- What’s the story?
- Why should I care?
Podcaster and data analyst Alli Torban evaluated the top two podcasts for every category in iTunes to identify the patterns of a successful episode. One of Torban’s findings was this: good podcast episodes are a mix of educational, entertaining, and inspirational content that is arranged in a different way for each episode.
- The top podcasts kept the story moving by alternating the TYPE of segment between entertaining, inspirational, and educational. The mix of these types of segments take us somewhere better than before: the unknown to known; isolated to connected; lost to inspired.
- The duration of the segments is influenced by the podcast’s category and audience expectations.
- The order and frequency in which podcasts use entertaining, inspirational and educational segments is influenced by the category and audience’s expectations.
Building a Successful Podcast Ad Campaign
Once you’ve clearly defined your target audience (as well as why they’re listening to podcasts) you can use this new medium to actively grow your base of followers.
You’ll want to know whether you are buying a “live read” or a “recorded read”.
- In a live read, the host is integrating your product into the current episode in an authentic way, and maybe even improvising on the spot.
- In a recorded read, the host pre-recorded an audio commercial about your product that will be played during a specific time slot in the podcast episode.
The placement of the time slot also matters. The average podcast has three slots for ads — a pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll.
- Pre-roll: usually 15 – 30 seconds at the beginning of the podcast
- Mid-roll: usually 1 – 1.5 minutes towards the middle of the podcast
- Post-roll: usually 15 – 30 seconds at the end of the podcast
The most valuable spot for a podcast ad is the mid-roll because that is when listeners are most engaged with the content and are least likely to skip through your ad. Pre-roll spots are second best as the podcast is just beginning, while post-rolls are probably the least valuable because a listener will likely end the podcast before listening to the ad at the very end.
Interested in developing your own podcast series or advertising on an established regional podcast series? In 2020, we entered into a partnership with Starlite Broadcasting to bring our very own media network to the Corpus Christi, Texas market. Learn more about the partnership and contact us if you’re interested in learning more. For advertising opportunities with Starlite Broadcasting on 96.5 FM, 105.5 FM or the digital media network, contact Starlite at 361-883-1600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.