The Growing Power of Podcast Advertising

By Leslie Youngblood
Digital Growth Director 
National Chamber Program

This post is part of the Digital Marketing Boot Camp series, a new set of blog posts across different mediums designed to provide intel to people and companies looking to improve their digital marketing strategy.

Social—been there done that. Banner ads and other OLA—over it. So, what’s next in digital advertising? Undoubtedly the podcast.

Many of us are somewhat familiar with the format and a few zeitgeist-y shows (Serial anyone?), but many advertisers and marketers have limited knowledge on how to utilize this developing powerhouse.

The aforementioned Serial helped the podcast platform break through and drive ad dollar interest. Billed as one of 2014’s biggest cultural phenomenon’s, the series’ season one episodes had been downloaded more than 80 million times as of February 2016. Now that’s a lot of ear drums.

Podcast advertising is also driving sales that are 10 times greater than two years ago, up 70% compared with prior years.

While the audience grows—21% of all Americans have listened to a podcast in the last month, the same number of Americans who use Twitter—so does the advertising spending: an estimated $35 million spent in 2016, up 2% from 2015.

This unprecedented boom can be attributed to several advantages podcast advertising offers:


MORE: Learn more about podcasting at the Digital Marketing Boot Camp, Feb. 15


1. Spots, spots for everyone!

From big money, branded podcast sponsorships to more easy-on-the-budget pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll spots, large companies and smaller startups have multiple access points.

2. The right ears, every time

Content of current podcasts range from film to music to business, education, politics and more. Program audience can also be broken down by gender, ethnicity (African Americans are found to be a growing podcast demographic), and buying habits, just to name a few, ensuring your ads are getting to the specific audience of your choosing.

3. And those right ears are more open

Unlike TV or radio, podcast listeners tend to listen through the ads. Most often the host of the podcast speaks to talking points provided by the advertiser, weaving in his or her own related experiences. This more organic, personal product endorsement is more impactful than simple show filler and has also been shown to result in a stronger brand relationship between the brand and the audience.

4. Brand recall like, “whoaaaa!”

According to a May 2016 survey of 11,123 podcast listeners by Midroll Media, a leading podcast advertising network, podcasts drive strong brand recall and intent to buy.

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Image courtesy Midroll Media. http://www.midroll.com/midroll-study-shows/

Another interesting information nugget the Midroll study found was that a brand’s relationship with listeners grows stronger with continued exposure. Because you’re reaching listeners in a more intimate setting, it’s as if you’re having a direct conversation with them, making messages more meaningful. Talk about building a loyal base.

For podcast advertising, it’s still just the beginning. The space is growing rapidly, offering a ripe number of advertising and marketing advantages for those brave enough to explore and experiment. Godspeed.

For more on podcasts, click here:

Radio Steps Up in the Digital Age

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