Effective marketing connects with your target audience in a meaningful way. However, audiences can have a diverse range of media preferences that make it difficult to hone your targeting. The key to reaching your target is to find platforms that cater to a wide variety of preferences and tastes.
One of the best channels for marketers to reach more people across many interests is podcast sponsorships. Brands can attract more prospects and increase sales with well-placed messages on popular podcasts of any genre. Businesses have seen plenty of success with podcast marketing, with 63% of listeners purchasing products they heard about through podcasts. Unlike some traditional marketing channels, podcasts are available on demand, allowing listeners to engage when they choose to do so on the platform of their choosing.
Who's tuning in?
More than one-third of Americans ages 12 and over listen to podcasts every month, which translates to 104 million active listeners. However, affluent educated millennials are generally the biggest audience for podcasts. Many listeners tune in via smartphone, but some use voice-activated assistants, smart speakers, or in-car dashboard interfaces to listen to programming or stories from their favorite podcast hosts. With so many ways to connect, podcast sponsors reach listeners in nearly any location and at any time.
What is podcast sponsorship?
Podcast sponsorships are heard during podcast episodes, whether at the beginning, in the middle as an intermission, or toward the end of an episode. Messages are either baked in to show content as part of a particular episode, or are pre-recorded and inserted into ad placements as audio is requested by listeners. Sponsors work with the creative teams to produce spots in the voice of the show, and can either be host-read or recorded by an announcer.
How much does it cost?
Podcast sponsorship is competitive with traditional marketing tactics. However, pricing can vary widely depending on the popularity and listenership of a podcast, giving sponsors flexibility based on marketing budgets. Podcast sponsorship prices are pretty transparent, so you won't be left in the dark regarding how much you'll be paying.
You can calculate the cost of a podcast sponsorship using the following formula:
(# of Downloads per Episode / 1,000) X CPM (i.e. cost per mille or cost per thousand impressions) = Cost of Sponsorship Message in One Episode
For instance, sponsorship of one podcast episode with 1,500 downloads at $15 per 1,000 impressions would cost you $22.50. In addition to the cost based on this formula, some podcasts may charge a premium. Through effective budgeting, podcast sponsorships can be very cost-effective.
Which podcast should you sponsor?
Today, over 850,000 active podcasts are available covering just about every genre and topic imaginable. With so many options out there, it can hard to know where to start. Smart marketers will focus on the audience they want to reach instead of the podcast they want to sponsor. What would your audience listen to and which podcast would appeal most to them? Audience targeting is one of the most efficient ways to reach your desired target with podcast advertising.
What are some best practices for podcast advertising?
To help you get the best results from your sponsorship, consider these best practices.
Consider Letting the Host Promote You in Their Own Words
Depending on your goals and the information you want to get across in your message, scripted host-read messaging leverages the relationship the hosts have with their listeners on behalf of sponsors. However, you may want to let the podcast host talk about your brand in their own words. This can not only feel more natural for the listener, but may also make them more likely to trust your brand, having heard an implied endorsement from a trusted personality. Oftentimes, hosts will also include public media sponsorships as a natural part of an episode's original audio. As a result, your brand can become a permanent part of a given episode, leading audiences to forever associate your brand with that podcast and vice versa.
For instance, veteran brands like Blue Apron and Dollar Shave Club are still commonly associated with many podcasts after years of natural and even humorous host-read endorsements.
People will be more likely to hear and remember your message if they hear it on multiple episodes and podcasts. Campaigns with sponsorships on five or more episodes of a podcast result in 39% more listener recall than one alone. In addition to supporting multiple episodes, it's often best to sponsor multiple podcasts with loyal followings rather than focusing on one popular podcast. If you can spread your message across several episodes on multiple podcasts, you'll be able to generate better ROI as you effectively connect with a larger audience.
Consider Working with a Network
To get the most from your podcast marketing and align your brand with the right audience, it's often best to tap a reputable network that hosts multiple podcasts. Trusting your marketing dollars with a network helps you achieve the frequency of sponsoring multiple shows and the reach of the network’s entire listenership.
With the ability to target nearly anyone and significantly increase brand awareness and sales, podcast sponsorships can be invaluable to your marketing efforts. If you would like some help getting started on your podcast marketing journey, Market Enginuity can help you come up with an effective strategy.