By Olivia Roehm | Account Executive

Podcasting has taken off in the past few years, with the audience for podcasting growing significantly in the past year. According to Edison Research, “32% [of Americans have] listened [to a podcast] in the past month, and 22% in the past week.”

Even marketers are growing in the adoption of this avenue as a strategic move, as “17% of marketers plan[ned] to add podcasting to their marketing efforts” just last year (Hubspot, 2018). It’s time to at least consider sponsoring a podcast as part of your marketing strategy (if you haven’t already considered or tried it).

So, let’s get into it! Here are a few quick pros and cons to sponsoring a podcast with some additional resources that can help with that internal discussion.

Pros 

  • Targeting options – the increase in podcast popularity means you have almost any niche audience available to your targeting.
  • Convenience and Accessibility – your audience doesn’t have to stop focusing on other tasks while listening to your ad. It’s the same reason radio was so popular in the traditional space – you can catch your audience whenever and wherever they choose to fill the silence.
  • Downloadable – this checks the convenience box; your audience will likely have an automatic download of their favorite podcasts, and you’re in their listening lineup before they know it. 
  • Podcasters can make incredible brand ambassadors – we are increasingly aware that we are marketing to PEOPLE, and they want to connect with other people, not brands, over a product or service. The podcast host can give life and meaning to your brand among an engaged audience he’s built an almost tribal relationship with.
  • Gain SEO and domain authority – the call to action are usually to type in a website and use a promo code or hit a specific landing page; when new audience members of the podcast are searching, you’re checking critical boxes for the SEO method of gaining better organic exposure for your website. 

Cons

  • Cost – sponsorships are not necessarily cheap, and the prices vary wildly as they are pretty arbitrary. Informed decisions on why you’re choosing an expensive podcast or a niche audience, as well as an internal understanding of and commitment to your KPIs, are really the only ways you can justify the costs of some. 
  • Niche or General? There seems to only be anecdotal data about why it might be better to choose extremely popular podcasts that may be expensive and have a wide, generalized audience, or whether it’ll be better to choose a niche audience and bet on their passion.
  • The Ad itself varies – This is where choosing a podcast requires that you not only find the right audience, but the right podcast host too. The ads vary in how the host will promote the product. The best advice is to find a host who will demo your product so they can speak intelligently and passionately. Again, this takes time, effort, and possibly lost product or ineffective use of your service. Managing a podcast contract process is not a walk in the park!
  • Incentives are a must. This kind of advertising almost requires an offer or giveaway for people to consider checking out the site. Pairing a great offer that works for your company with a fantastic podcast host is the golden ticket.
  • It’s cold advertising. It’s as simple as that. So, it’s even more crucial to making sure your KPIs are the correct ones that can be tracked and don’t expect too much of this form of advertising. 

As an avid podcast listener myself, I’ve definitely purchased new products and services at the advice of my favorite podcast hosts. The funnier and more genuine the host, the more I trust their sponsorship ads! However, I listen to about 8-15 podcast advertisements a day based on my podcast consumption, so it is by no means an untapped audience.

Take it as you will, but I challenge you to seriously consider this platform for 2020 marketing strategies, whether you decide to give it a go or not!

Resource: Here’s a great review of podcast advertising that helped inform a few of my pros and cons, complete with this company’s numbers analysis and anecdotal findings.

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