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The Power of Podcast Advertising

Podcasts have become a buzzword today, with India having 57.6 million monthly listeners, as per the Media and Entertainment Outlook 2020 report by PWC.

The podcast market is expected to rise to 170.6 million listeners by 2023.


In 2020, Anchor added more than 25,000 podcasts, with a Spotify survey suggesting that 41% of podcast listeners have reported trusting ads more if heard in a podcast and 81% of podcast listeners taking action after listening to a podcast ad.


Index: Everything you need to know about podcasts covered:

  1. What is a Podcast?

  2. Podcast Advertising - The new revolution in advertising.

  3. Impact of Podcast Advertising.

  4. Advantages of podcasts that contribute towards its popularity.

  5. 5 tips for effective podcast advertising.

  6. My all time favorite podcasts.

  7. The way forward.

  8. Podcast apps to get started with.

1. WHAT IS A PODCAST?

‘It’s downloadable niche talk radio’ or 'It’s like Netflix for audio’. - pretty much sum it up.
  • In India, the audio concept isn’t something new, as radio has had loyal patrons for a long time now. Today, to make the most of the growing digital shift, brands are starting to explore new options within the virtual realm - with podcasts being on top of their list.

  • India ranks number three, following the US and China in terms of consumption of podcasts.

  • Apple dominates the global podcast market, followed by Spotify. Closer home, music streaming platforms like Gaana, JioSaavn and Aawaaz.com have also started tapping into the podcast market.

  • Not only this but the increasing demand for smart speakers has also been an important reason for the growing enthusiasm around audio content.


2. PODCAST ADVERTISING - THE NEW REVOLUTION IN ADVERTISING

  • While users have accepted podcasts with open arms and more creators are exploring the new medium, are advertisers following?

  • ‘YES’ - Although podcast advertising is at a nascent stage in India, it has already started making a great impact on businesses today.

  • Podcast advertising quite literally allows marketers to speak to their customers in a one-to-one setting by reaching their highly engaged audience in screen-less environments.


In podcast advertising, there are three different types of ads:

  1. Pre-roll ads: occur at the beginning of an episode.

  2. Mid-roll ads: occur in the middle or as a break during the show, hence they are the most effective.

  3. Post-roll ads: occur after the episode.


Now that you know the different type of ad options, here are the 2 main ad categories:

  1. Baked in: These ads are part of the actual podcast and are often read live by the podcast host. They will live on for eternity inside the podcast content. Everyone who downloads the podcast hears the same ad.

  2. Dynamically inserted: These ads are inserted after the podcast ends, via an ad server. Not all users will hear the same dynamically inserted ad when they download a podcast.


Here are a few examples of host-read and host-endorsed podcast ads.

If done well, the host-read integrated ad can be one of the most effective styles of podcast advertising because it feels so genuine.


3. IMPACT OF PODCAST ADVERTISING:

  1. Unique opportunity for brands to connect with their audience- Unlike passive forms of media like TV and radio, people are more likely to search for and subscribe to podcasts— repeatedly coming back for more. Hence, the ads will actively engage with the audience when they are ready to hear their message.

  2. Podcast advertising provides friendly or warm leads- This makes customers more likely to purchase your product or service. These leads are similar to those of affiliate marketing or word-of-mouth advertising.

  3. Exclusive offers- The brands must also provide listeners of that specific podcast with an exclusive discount in the form of a code. This is a great way to both incentivize listeners to consider their company and gauge the effectiveness of their ad on that podcast.

  4. Podcast ads are extremely flexible as well- A podcast’s ad campaign can be comfortably turned around in 24 hours, which helps with any useful last minute messaging or adjustments. Today there are limited media channels offering this service whilst delivering in a high-trust, high-reach environment.

  5. Listeners enjoy them- This is the biggest benefit of podcast ads as they tend to be memorable and enjoyable. This in turn gives the consumer a more positive feeling about the company.

  6. Affordability- Advertising prices on podcasts are generally quite affordable, and podcasts will take off when brands see their business increase because of investing in the media. Some will experiment with it, just like a few brands did with social media in the initial days before adopting it fully.


4. THE ADVANTAGES OF PODCASTS THAT CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS ITS POPULARITY:

  1. Build Authority - Unlike other forms of content, podcasts are very personal and offer an intimate experience. It’s this intimate nature of podcasts that help create elevated states of engagement, receptive to brand mentions.

  2. Expand audience reach - Traditionally brands spend their marketing budget on running advertisements, sponsorships and partnerships. But by leveraging branded podcasts, brands can widen their market base in a cost-effective manner, reaching newer segments of their target audience.

  3. Top of the mind awareness - Every brand wants to stay on top of mind with their audience. No amount of money will get brands all the attention. But why not get the attention of some of them and stay on top of their mind using podcasts?

  4. Deeper engagement - To engage effectively with the audience, brands need to connect with them. This is where branded podcasts shine - starting different conversations to engage deeper with their customers.

  5. Build trust - Trust is core to any brand and its relationship with customers. Podcasting creates a portal where the listeners are invited into the brand’s inner circle. Within this inner circle, brands are able to build trust in a way that is impossible through billboards or TV commercials.


5. TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE PODCAST ADVERTISING:

  1. Tip #1: Choosing Relevant Podcasts- A great benefit of advertising with a podcast is that there is a wide variety of shows and content, making it easy for brands to find one that's compatible with their company and products.

  2. Tip #2: Considering the Demographics- Brands must pay close attention to the demographics of the podcast audience and adjust the tone or copy to fit those needs by tailoring their ads. This helps to appeal to the target audience better.

  3. Tip #3: Including the Podcaster- Brands must take full advantage of the host, always keeping in mind that the hosts are used to speaking to their audience. Allowing them to ad-lib or give a personal spin to the ad can be very effective.

  4. Tip #4: Measuring and Optimizing- Analyzing the existing ad is a must. Brands must look for ways to improve it in the future without going over your budget.

  5. Tip #5: Being Entertaining or Informative- Podcast listeners will appreciate ads that create an entertaining or informative atmosphere for them. Brands must try to match the tone of their ad to the tone of the podcast for maximum effect.


6. MY ALL TIME FAVORITE PODCASTS:


1. NoSugarCoatby Pooja Dhingra-

  • Hosted by pastry chef and owner of Le15 Patisserie, Pooja Dhingra talks with fellow entrepreneurs regarding their journey, learnings and failures - without sugarcoating any details.

  • From mainly being known as the ‘Macaron chef’, through this podcast Pooja Dhingra established her authority in the entrepreneur space as well, highlighting the blood, sweat and tears of chefs and restaurateurs that go into making their venture successful.


2. The Slack Variety Pack Podcast-

  • Slack realized that, unlike most media formats, podcasts see the most growth through organic word-of-mouth. In its podcast, Slack has favored a more subtle approach by interweaving experiences and testimonials from their customers into their podcast.

  • It is a glorious mix of stories on work culture, teamwork and innovations. Making the podcast a perfect fit into Slack's broader brand mission.


3. Why not mint money?' by Mint -

  • Mint decided to create a branded podcast which covers ideas that help people make and save money. The podcast provides quick and simple money hacks by leading finance experts.

  • The topics of the podcast are also promoted on their mobile app and are no longer than 7 minutes, published once every 3 days. Thus always managing to retain top of the mind awareness with their financially inclined audience.


4. #Lipstories by Sephora -

  • It is a podcast run by the Girlboss Radio Network in partnership with Sephora Collection. It has a rotating cast of guests for relaxed, fun, and honest chats about having a positive self-image and projecting self-confidence.

  • Through this podcast, Sephora has managed to engage very well with its audience, connecting with them on a personal and emotional level, showing that true beauty lies within.


Thus, well-executed branded podcasts are not about just the podcast, but about everything from strategy to research to storytelling and distribution.


7. THE WAY FORWARD -

  • Technological advancements will help audio platforms reach to the next level. Dynamic ad insertion, live podcast sessions with ticketed audio events, along with the scaling up of ASMR content and transcription technology will help podcasts grow exponentially – leading to greater reach and revenue.

  • To conclude, podcasts are a part of the audio world and have their own unique space.

  • Over the past few years, the kind of content consumers are seeking out and accepting has seen a vast change.

  • Today, it is all about engaging content that they can relate to, especially on-the-go. With a variety of topics, advertising on podcasts attracts diverse listening communities.


To continue growing brands must take inspiration from each letter in the word Podcast to truly stand out in the market.

P - Planning

O - originality

D - focus on distribution

C - consistency

A - artwork that grabs eyeballs

S - The set up

T - Testing the content

S - Sound— a gripping narration to keep the listeners hooked.


8. PODCAST APPS TO GET STARTED WITH -

  • Finally, now that we know so much about podcasts, there are a myriad of apps like Anchor.com, Gaana, JioSaavan and Aawaz.com where you can go ahead and launch your very own podcast.

  • If you’ve got something to say, drop-in audio only apps like Clubhouse and TwitterSpaces are also great places to start, before diving deep into your podcast series!


Podcasts take you through an enriching journey and transport you to another world through your own imagination. As podcast advertising rises in popularity, the competition for getting noticed will continue to grow steeper.


And always remember - If you can Google it, there’s probably a podcast about it!


Author: Jennifer Jagose

Business Manager and Content head at Yogic Gurukul | Content Creator at InsideIIM

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