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Podcasts are an interesting format for audio storytelling that has a growing number of listeners. Due to this increase, more people and businesses are expressing interest in them as a vehicle for marketing. So is Podcast Advertising right for you? Some web design companies have certainly seen the value they can provide when done properly which certainly makes it a topic worth exploring.

So what is a Podcast?

Just so we are all on the same footing for this discussion, let’s start with what a podcast is. In a nutshell a podcast is a digital audio file that is placed on the internet, available for download by users to either a computer or mobile device.

The name was related to the iPod combined with broadcast so we have podcast; a way for anyone to basically create their own audio show. The format has become popular for creating listening series on any number of topics or niches with comedy and sports podcasts being two common groups with decent followings and has been around since 2004

In a way it is similar to the radio programs of the 1930’s where people would tune in for entertainment. Now however things can be automated with new episodes automatically downloaded and consumed offline if wished.

Podcasts can be audio, audio with images or video.

Why use Podcasts for Advertising?

There are a few reasons to consider podcasts as a viable method to advertise:

  • Increasing Listeners – Podcast listenership was at 13% of the U.S. population in 2016 up from 8% in 2014
  • Younger Demographic – Millennials and Gen X comprise well over half of all listeners with Millennials having a 2-to-1 numbers advantage
  • Regularity – Over half of listeners tune in weekly while a third tune in monthly
  • Good engagement – Based on IAB research 25% of listeners purchased a product or service with 45% visiting a sponsor’s website

Overall it appears that podcasts are an up and coming medium that appeals to younger people and not only do they tune in regularly but they also will engage. This might occur more often because podcasts ads are typically read by the podcast host which acts as somewhat of a product endorsement and often has a more natural feel.

Keys for Podcast Advertising

To be perfectly frank, podcasts are not a perfect medium from a marketing perspective. For one, results are difficult to track. Secondly, they are difficult to target. Really it is much like radio or television in those regards.

One important key is using Promotional Codes with the ads that the hosts read. When these codes are used by listeners it allows a method to track effectiveness of the campaign. You can also use custom URLs as a way to track traffic.

Targeting is going to be difficult much like radio ads. Ideally you want to focus on topics or people that align with your brand and message so that you share some commonality. For example, it would make perfect sense for a football podcast to promote a brand of beer while promoting the newest Candy Crush game would not align as well.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that although still one of the smaller media markets, podcast advertising could be right for your brand especially if your demographic is younger. While it is not the easiest campaign to track, statistics support good engagement which is what you want at the end of the day from any ad campaign you are running.

This article was originally published in 12 July 2017. It was most recently updated in November 28, 2022 by

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