Whether you’re utilizing RAP or sourcing your own campaigns, understanding how to create an amazing Host-Read ad is a beneficial skill to build. We’re here to help you navigate through this process and provide tips to make your first (or even your 21st!) Host-Read Ad an excellent experience for you, the brand, and most importantly, your audience.
We had the pleasure to sit down with a couple of our podcasters who consistently have stellar Host-Read Ad performances and picked their brains about their process. What did we learn? Well, it turns out the major differentiator is how much effort is put into a campaign.
Both Les from Balanced Black Girl and Sarah from Andy’s Girls: A Real Housewives Podcast go above and beyond when crafting their Host-Read Ads. From scripting, to recording, to engagement, these women put a great amount of care into their campaigns. They also always keep their audience top-of-mind when creating the ad reads. Ensuring that the product is a good fit for their listeners.
The first step to putting together a fantastic ad is to spend time with the product and the brand. Both Les and Sarah noted the importance of understanding the key message that the brand wants to get across to listeners. They give themselves ample time to use the product and to understand what the brand is trying to convey to their audiences. Thoroughly reviewing scripts and talking points to ensure they know exactly what the brand wants to highlight.
But they also take time to think about the message they want to share with their respective audiences. Crafting narratives that reflect their true experiences with the products and the brands they work with. This is why both Les and Sarah write their own scripts for their Host-Read Ad campaigns, even if given one by the brand! They know their audiences well and create the ad in their own voices. Brands trust you as the podcaster to know what your audience is going to like and what they won’t. Don’t be afraid to tweak the script in order to better fit your show!
Les writes scripts as if she’s holding a conversation with a good friend, while Sarah focuses on making the experience of the ad feel like one of her episodes. The common thread between the two is creating a script that feels casual and conversational in nature. They’re not simply just talking to their audiences, they’re making them a part of the conversation. They share stories, experiences, and bring a level of authenticity that radiates even through headphone speakers.
After understanding the brand and its key message, and crafting an authentic script, recording comes next.
We were surprised to learn that neither Sarah nor Les practice their scripts before recording. Instead, they opt to just go with the flow. Doing so allows them to maintain that conversational tone. In fact, practicing too much might even end up impacting your ad negatively. Making you sound more robotic instead of natural.
Technology plays an important role, too. But not as much as you might suspect! Both simply use external microphones to capture their voices. And both rely on Garageband to edit the ad. Sarah did note, though, that wireless microphones seemed to provide lower quality audio! You may have heard that having top-of-the-line technology helps to create the best ads, but it’s only a small component to the formula. Focusing on the content and yourself is what turns a good ad into a great one.
When it’s time to select a spot for the ad to play, both choose a moment where it feels the most natural to insert. Using our Dynamic Insertion tools, Sarah and Les select a moment in their episodes that feels natural for an ad break. You want to be careful and not cut yourself off mid-sentence, or skip to an ad break during an engaging moment. Choose a time in your episode that lulls like when switching topics or the conversation naturally peters out.
You may think that your role in the campaign is over when you upload your audio and assign it to episodes, but going above-and-beyond really sets your performance apart from others. Both Les and Sarah share the promo codes/vanity URLs in their show notes. Sarah also engages with the brand on her social accounts. Les engages on social media, but also includes the brand in her scheduled newsletters and the blog posts that accompany her episodes. Both widen their reach through the use of social media and other platforms. Utilize your own reach by placing promo codes and vanity URLs for your campaigns through your different mediums!
From start to finish, these two incredible women put in a significant amount of effort to craft Host-Read Ads that not only please the brands they work with, but provide a wonderful experience for their audiences. The recipe for a wonderful Host-Read Ad keeps these crucial things in mind:
- Understanding the key message of the brand, and the message you want to share with your audience
- Creating a script that feels casual and conversational
- Not overthinking recording and just going with the flow
- Using good technology to capture your voice, but focusing more on content of the ad read
- Choosing a natural time in your episode to place an ad
- And going above-and-beyond by promoting the brand through other mediums
Finally, each host has a final piece of advice to help any podcaster (new or seasoned!) create a great Host-Read Ad.
Les says not to overthink it. If you get into your head too much about creating the perfect ad, then you’ll inevitably make it much harder on yourself to make it.
Sarah recommends not being afraid of going beyond the 30-60 second guideline. Give the ad enough time to tell the story you want it to and to make it feel unique.
Thanks again to Les from Balanced Black Girl and Sarah from Andy’s Girls: A Real Housewives Podcast for setting aside their precious time to speak with us. Check out their shows to hear awesome examples of amazing Host-Read Ads!