Podcasting is already massively popular in the marketing mix and is an incredible opportunity to reach a targeted audience in a contextualized setting. Advertisers have a number of ways of getting involved.
The podcast phenomenon in 2022
The findings of the latest research, The Infinite Dial, in 2021 confirm the meteoric rise of podcasting among the general public. 28% of the US population aged 12 and over now listen to a podcast every week. This is four times more than 10 years ago.
The US leads the world in podcast listening in all categories. Sweden comes second in terms of penetration, with 34.6% of Internet users listening to podcasts. The country is followed by Norway, Australia, Canada, and Spain. In absolute terms (population), China and Brazil rank 2nd and 3rd in terms of total podcast listeners (85.6 million and 39.2 million respectively).
The choice is vast: today there are an estimated 2 million podcasts listed on the leading platform (Apple Podcasts), representing no less than 48 million episodes available for free online, mostly financed by advertising. In the field, podcasts are becoming an important sales channel, especially via promotional codes, but affiliate revenue will play a bigger role in 2022 according to Ashley Carman (The Verve), which is why Amazon is interested in this space.
The number of podcasts and listeners is growing, and advertising revenues are clearly following suit. According to eMarketer, marketers spent more than $1 billion on podcast ads in 2021. By 2025, the market is expected to reach $3 billion.
Advertise, Sponsor or Create?
While big publishing studios still dominate podcast production and monetize in the traditional manner via advertising, they are by no means the only content producers within the space. For several years now, brands have been choosing to add this to their marketing strategy and produce their own podcast content.
There are three ways of approaching the podcast format for brands and advertisers:
Mirror your radio advertising within the podcast environmentThe easiest and quickest way to get involved in podcasting is to simply insert your existing audio advertising creative into the existing advertising breaks within the content. Your message is contextually addressed to the right audience, thanks to unique segmentation capabilities and dynamic ad insertion. It is then possible to target each listener individually.
Incorporate sponsorship or “Live Read” opportunities
Instead of just delivering your standard audio adverts into the advertising breaks, you can create a more integrated and impactful experience by working directly with the producers of the content for dedicated sponsorship or Host Read opportunities. This directly aligns your brand with the content and buys you credibility with the audience who are highly engaged with the content and the show talent.
Create a brand podcast
The brand podcast has a special place in the marketing mix. The aim is to promote the brand’s expertise and quality through audio content that is both credible and relevant. Podcasts allow you as a brand to address your fans more directly and to get a community involved.
Advantages of the podcast format in advertising
While a video is only watched for a few seconds on social networks, 87% of podcast listeners listen to it right to the end. As a result, advertising is remembered 4.4 times more than that on other digital media.
The intimate setting in which listeners find themselves allows them to be more engaged and trusting at the same time. For example, podcast ads are considered to be less intrusive, as James McDonald, an analyst at WARC, explained to CNBC: “Podcast sponsorship represents a real opportunity, because consumers are more tolerant of advertising if they know that it is there to support the production of content they like.”
Making a brand podcast successful
The unique feature of the brand podcast is that it is not considered in the same way as an advertising insert in a conventional native podcast. The podcast should serve the brand here without ever quoting it directly. It must be thought through in order to address a subject that corresponds to the brand’s DNA and where it is relevant.
One example of a successful brand podcast is Red Bull ‘s first foray into the adventure podcast scene from a UK perspective with ‘How To Be Superhuman‘. This weekly series launched in March 2020 is hosted by Rob Pope, better known as ‘The Real Life Forrest Gump’ after his epic 15,700 mile adventure, in which he ran across America five times over the course of 18 months, replicating the route Tom Hanks so famously took in the film Forrest Gump. ‘How to Be Superhuman’ aims to inspire people to make more of their own time and talent, whatever that may be.
To ensure wide distribution, the brand podcast must be supported by a communication plan. This must be implemented over time to find its audience and capture it. But there is a price to pay – in terms of ROI, this is about creating affinity and strengthening customer loyalty. The expected effect is measured over the long term. This is not about making seconds pay. Branded podcasts are nothing more than advertisements that people have really chosen to listen to.
Whether you want to target podcast listeners or create your own branded podcast, Targetspot is here to help you achieve your marketing goals.