Once you’ve decided it’s time for your brand to start podcast advertising, the next step is to think about the messaging for your campaign. The messaging is the foundation of a successful podcast campaign, which means it’s important to provide podcasters with a set of clear instructions for the ad read, whether it’s in the format of a script or an outline of bulleted talking points.
Before you begin to craft your messaging, consider what makes a great performing podcast ad. Your goal is to create an ad that will resonate with both the listeners and the host, these are the ads that will drive conversion.
The first step in creating your ad is to decide on how you’d like to format the ad copy you’ll provide to the hosts. For a more formal approach, you can provide a script that the host will read verbatim. A script works well for pre and post roll ads where time is limited to all but a brief intro to your brand and a call to action. But for longer mid-roll ad spots, it’s best to provide a list of key messaging points that gives the host freedom for some improversation and storytelling.
Part of what makes podcast advertising so effective is the host’s ability to personalize the message and inject their voice into the campaign in a way they know will resonate with their audience. A perfect podcast script allows the host’s personality to shine through, while also giving enough guidance to ensure your brand is represented accurately.
Components of great podcast ad copy:
You’ll want to deliver your ad copy to podcasts to later than a week before the show date. This leaves plenty of time for the host to review the copy and resolve any questions or concerns they may have. No matter the format of your copy, here are a few things to consider as you craft your messaging:
The best performing ads are those that are true to the host and show. When done well, podcast ads will feel more like a recommendation from a trusted friend than an advertisement. Honesty always sells, so trust the host to be themselves and personalize your ad message in a way that relates to their unique audience. Remember that they are the experts on the listeners you’re paying money to reach.
“At the end of the day, the best performing podcast ads are ones that are true to the content and the personalities on the show. Whether it’s a read that ties into an inside joke on the show, or calls upon the host’s personal experience in explaining the benefits of a product, truly personalized podcast reads will always outperform those that utilize generic copy.”Will Flaherty, VP of Growth at Ro.co
Always allocate time for the host to speak about their personal experience with your brand.
It will be clear to listeners if a host has true passion for a product or service, or just reading talking points that the brand fed them. Which is why giving the host a sample of your product or a trial to your service is always a good idea. Ultimately, the goal is to tell a story that evokes emotion in the listeners, and the most powerful and interesting stories will come from a host’s personal experience.
In addition, it’s best practice to set up a kickoff call with the host before the campaign goes live – it’s an opportunity to make sure the host’s experience with the product was positive, educate them more on your brand, and answer any questions they have about the product.
Key talking points
The host is the expert on the audience, but you are the expert on speaking about your brand. Your time is limited, so it’s important to distill the value proposition of your brand into two or three messaging points that are most critical to your brand. The points can be in bulleted format and should be short and sweet, highlighting your key differentiating factors and tell the listener why they should make a purchase.
Unless you are using scripted ad copy, ideally the host will take these talking points and weave them into the ad read using anecdotal stories from their own personal experience. If there are certain talking points that must be included or you’d like the host to read verbatim, be sure to clearly indicate that in the script.
Call to action
The most important component of your ad copy is your call to action (CTA), it tells listeners how to take the next step and is ultimately what drives conversions. The CTA should include your website or vanity URL, a promo code, and any special offers such as discounts or free trials.
Repetition is key here. Be sure the host reads your CTA 2 – 3 times at the end of the ad read. For longer mid-roll ads, you may want to add a CTA in the middle of the ad as well. Given the medium is audio, you want to make sure your CTA is crystal clear. If the promo code or website is difficult to pronounce or spell phonetically, you may want to request that the host literally spells it out several times.
Like all things in marketing, your audience should always be the focus of your messaging. It’s great to experiment across different categories of podcasts, but that doesn’t mean that the same message will resonate with audiences across the board. It’s important to tailor your message to fit with the tone of the podcast and profile of their audience. You may have several different versions of your ad copy for a single campaign, so It’s good to have a repository of key talking points to select from to quickly tailor the message to a specific target audience or category.