RedCircle Lands $6 Million in Series A Funding as Podcast Industry Soars

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RedCircle Announces 6M raise

Los Angeles, California — September 2, 2021 — RedCircle, the leading podcast platform for independent creators, today announced that it has raised $6 million in Series A funding to meet growing customer demand. The round was co-led by EPIC Ventures and Refinery Ventures, with participation from SignalFire, Bloomberg Beta, MathCapital, and angel investors including Justin Wohlstadter, founder of Wonder, George Strampolos, founder of Fullscreen, and Eckart Walther, a contributor to the original RSS specification, among others.

A growing industry that’s leaving creators behind

The podcast industry is booming. According to eMarketer, podcasting will be a $2 billion industry by 2023, and by 2025, there will be over 144 million monthly podcast listeners in the United States. However, as the industry rapidly expands, most of the revenue lands in the hands of large publishers, while the independent creators – who have fueled the podcasting medium since inception – are usually locked out of the growth. 

“Our data show that 65% of the listening is happening outside the top shows that are owned by Big Media and Big Tech. And yet, most of the money in the ecosystem ends up with these podcasts and networks,” stated Mike Kadin, co-founder, and CEO of RedCircle. “We built RedCircle to ensure that podcasters of all sizes can benefit from the industry’s growth. Simply put, we believe in democratizing access to podcast revenue.”

RedCircle’s technology for distribution, cross-promotion, dynamic audio insertion, listener payments, and automated advertising gives independent creators the same powerful tools as major publishers, allowing podcasters to compete on a level playing field. 

Podcast monetization, democratized.

RedCircle helps independent podcasts monetize through the RedCircle Advertising Platform (RAP).  RAP enables brands to purchase host-read ads or programmatic, pre-recorded advertising across a large number of podcasts through a fully automated platform. With tools for demographic targeting, advertising attribution, and brand safety, RAP allows brands and their agencies to establish a foothold in podcast marketing or scale their existing spend. RAP also takes the overwhelming operational overhead of executing podcast advertising campaigns out of the equation, allowing sophisticated, performance-minded marketers to point-and-click to create a campaign in a data-rich, self-service environment, similar to that of Facebook and Google.  Hundreds of advertisers are already taking advantage of RedCircle’s inventory and are on pace to spend several million dollars in 2021. The majority of the revenue is distributed to the podcasters, supporting their creative work.

Many podcasters take advantage of the RedCircle Exclusive Content product, a cross-platform paywall that lets creators restrict bonus episodes to paying subscribers only. Podcasters can therefore build their subscription business and understand its growth in the exact same platform where they view audience analytics. Using Exclusive Content, RedCircle’s podcasters have amassed tens of thousands of paying subscribers, and many are generating six figures annually as a result. 

Leveling the playing field

By bringing powerful tools to independent podcasters, RedCircle has been growing at an exponential rate since its inception in 2018, with thousands of monthly active podcasters earning several million dollars this year alone. With this new Series A funding, RedCircle plans to expand its team and enhance its offerings so that more podcasters can earn what they deserve.  

“We’ve seen how software tools can empower independents against incumbents, like with Shopify and Amazon,” says Nick Efstratis, managing partner of EPIC Ventures, one of the investment round’s leads. “Considering the strength of the RedCircle team and their traction thus far, I’m confident that they can stand up to the big names in podcasting and ensure that podcasting revenue and resources become accessible to all.”

About RedCircle

Founded in 2018 by Mike Kadin and Jeremy Lermitte, RedCircle provides a platform for podcasts and brands to scale their message. The platform helps podcasters with distribution, growth, and monetization, and its advertising platform helps brands purchase advertising efficiently, guaranteeing high ROI. The team is hiring for a large number of roles. Visit to apply.


Getting Smart with RedCircle’s New and Improved Analytics

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We are thrilled to introduce the newly revamped RedCircle analytics dashboard to our community of creators. You’ve asked for more robust analytics, and we’ve listened! As the world of podcasting evolves and becomes increasingly more data-driven, it’s of utmost importance for us to provide the most accurate and detailed analytics to our users! 

What’s new??

The new analytics dashboard will showcase all of your analytics, all in one place! Additionally, we’ve paid close attention to the new design to ensure a sleeker appearance and a more streamlined user experience. Select a date range and you’ll now be able to see both your overtime and cumulative metrics. The revamped analytics dashboard will allow podcasters access to detailed metrics, beyond just downloads

These changes are just the beginning! Keep an eye out for even more updates in the near future!


RedCircle Adds Programmatic Advertising to RedCircle Ad Platform (RAP)

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RedCircle, one of the largest free podcast hosting platforms, has enabled programmatic advertising for its community of podcasters and advertisers. Programmatic pre-recorded ads will enable creators to earn more consistent revenue from their work and adds another method of monetization to the expanding suite of options.

The RedCircle Ad Platform (RAP) has expanded its suite of advertising products which now includes “Programmatic” advertising in addition to “Host-Read.” RAP is a podcaster’s one-stop shop to monetize their show with advertising, all from inside their RedCircle account, and allows brands and agencies the power to easily purchase ad inventory and run campaigns across an array of podcasts. With thousands of podcasters on the platform, and shows spanning every conceivable topic, Programmatic Advertising is the newest addition to RedCircle’s suite of monetization products that puts more money into creators’ pockets.

This is RedCircle’s fourth monetization feature released in less than two years after launching in April of 2019. Whether it’s donations, subscriptions, programmatic ads, or host-read endorsements, RedCircle gives every podcaster the opportunity to make money in a way that fits their style and strategy. 

About RedCircle:

RedCircle is a platform for podcasts and brands to scale their messages. RedCircle’s monetization features empower creators to create their own audio empires by growing their audience and earning money through advertising, listener donations, and paywall subscriptions. For brands, RedCircle provides scalable access to potential customers through thousands of vetted independent creators and networks.


The Wait is Finally Over! Programmatic Advertising is Here!

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We are thrilled to officially offer programmatic advertising for our incredible community of creators! In partnership with Adswizz, we have developed a fully scalable monetization solution that individually optimizes each listener’s ad experience while putting more money in our creator’s pockets.

What is programmatic advertising?

Programmatic advertising is very similar to streaming music ads. Pre-recorded ads will automatically be inserted into your predesignated ad insertion points. The more ad insertion points, the more opportunities for you to earn money.

How does it work?

Programmatic ads can be enabled on all podcasts with 500+ weekly downloads. The programmatic ad marketplace allows brands to bid at scale on a given amount of downloads. This process is almost instantaneous! As listeners download your show, our platform will assess how many available ad blocks there are and allow brands to dynamically insert their ads based on your show’s content and opted in categories. The beauty of it all is that two listeners could download the same episode at the same time and get an entirely different set of ads targeted directly to them.

Get started using programmatic ads

To enable programmatic ads, podcasters should go through the RedCircle Ad Platform (RAP). In RAP, you can opt into Host-Read and programmatic ads by going to the advertising section of your account > “Edit Profile” > “Programmatic Settings”.

The specific aspects of programmatic ads that we’ll need from you are:

  • Your show’s primary category
  • Any advertising categories you wish to exclude from playing on your show (eg if you don’t want political ads running, you can check “Politics” as one of your exclusions)

After you enable programmatic ads, be sure to double-check that your insertion points are at your desired position! The great thing about programmatic is that it’s “set it and forget it” meaning you don’t need to review or accept any of these ads, you just need to make sure your Default Ad Block insertion points are at timestamps in their episodes that sound natural for an ad break, to ensure an ad doesn’t cut you off in the middle of a sentence.

I’m all set up, now what?

Sit back and let the money roll in.  The best part about this feature is it all happens in real-time. No need to approve audio or accept offers, as long as you set any category exclusions, and indicate where in your episodes you’d want ad breaks, we’ll do the rest. If you have any current ads running, no need to worry. We will prioritize all host-read ads first and programmatic second.

We can’t wait to see how you use programmatic ads in your podcast!

Podcast Advertising

The Most Common Mistakes Marketers Make in Podcast Advertising

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When done well, podcasts are one of the most effective channels for brands to reach their target audience when they are most engaged. It’s no surprise that brands, big and small, are devoting more and more marketing budget to podcast advertising. In fact, over the last several years, brand spend on podcasting has tripled. That said, there is also a bit of a learning curve when it comes to podcast advertising and it’s easy to make mistakes, especially if you’re new to the channel. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or launching your first podcast ad campaign, here are a few of the most common pitfalls in podcast advertising and how you can avoid them.

Not providing a unique offer 

Unlike other digital channels, the promo code or unique URL is the primary way to track the performance of a direct response campaign. A bad or lacklust offer simply won’t generate good results. So, it’s especially important to customize your offer directly to the audience you’re trying to reach and make sure it’s simple enough to understand and compelling enough to motivate a new customer to take action. Which is why you want to avoid using the same offer that you’re using in other channels or an offer that is readily available to everyone that visits your website.  If you’re automatically offering free shipping on all orders, then free shipping won’t be an effective offer for your podcast campaign. 

Treating podcasts like other mediums 

Many marketers mistakenly assume that they can apply the same strategies from social media and other paid advertising channels to podcasting. But podcasts are different and much more intentional than other forms of media. When someone listens to a podcast, they are highly engaged in the content and much more invested than they would be scrolling through instagram. Podcasts require more of an upfront investment and some patiences, since results tend to drive over longer time periods. It’s also important to be flexible and consider adapting your messaging and strategy to podcasting. You may have perfected your messaging in other channels, but there’s a good possibility that messaging will not translate directly to podcasts.

Making assumptions about your target audience

For a marketer that is passionate about podcasts, it can be tempting to want to advertise on your favorite shows to start. But, just because you like a podcast, it doesn’t mean that it will necessarily resonate and reach your target audience. In order to drive results, it’s important never to lose sight or make assumptions about your target audience when planning a podcast ad campaign. The most critical part of your ad is making sure the show, message, and offer are a good fit for the audience you’re trying to reach. Which is also why it’s smart not to adhere too strictly to a single category of shows. You can’t automatically assume that the health-conscious listeners you’re trying to reach are only interested in health-related podcasts, when you may be surprised to learn they are also dedicated listeners to comedy podcasts.

Prioritizing reach over frequency

Another common mistake marketers make is choosing big podcasts just because they assume that will reach the most people. Just because you’re advertising on Joe Rogan’s podcast doesn’t mean it will automatically drive great results. If the ad isn’t a good fit for the podcast and that audience, it won’t perform well. Instead of focusing on reaching the most people, it’s more important to focus on reaching the right people. 

It’s much better to prioritize the frequency of your ad, over the ad’s reach when selecting podcasts for your campaign. No matter how great your ad or your product is, if a customer isn’t familiar with your brand, it’s very unlikely they’ll make a purchase after hearing just one ad. Marketing experts say that people need to hear about your product 7-10 times before they purchase. Which is why it’s smarter to select podcasts where you are able to purchase three to five ads that run consecutively, versus just one ad on a large podcast. 

Get more tips on selecting the right podcasts for your campaign, here

Not testing before scaling

One of the easiest ways to avoid making a common mistake and ensure you’re spending your budget smartly is to be diligent in testing your ad across a variety of shows and audiences before you start to scale your campaign. It’s always best to start small and figure out what exactly is working for your brand and audience before scaling up. 

Once you’ve ran a few campaigns and experimented with different messaging, ad formats and podcast categories – it will become clear what is working and what isn’t. Like any other medium in marketing, testing and continuing to optimize your campaign based on the data is key to driving better performing campaigns.  

RedCircle’s Advertising platform and team of experts helps you to launch a seamless campaign and save you from frustrating and costly mistakes. To learn more about advertising with RedCircle, sign up and we’ll get in touch! 

Podcast Advertising

How to Select the Best Shows for Your Podcast Advertising Campaign

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If you’re just starting out in podcast advertising, one of the most important aspects of your campaign is deciding which shows you want to advertise on. With hundreds or even thousands of options to select from, deciding what podcasts are the best fit for your brand is an overwhelming and daunting task for any marketer. Here are a few best practices that will help you select the right shows for your podcast campaign. 

Know your target audience 

It’s critical to know that you are advertising to the right listeners, otherwise your money and efforts will go to waste. So before you start looking at a list of potential podcasts, first you’ll need to clearly define the audience that you are trying to reach. If your target audience is too broad or large, not only will the process of selecting be much more complicated, but your campaign will not be as effective.

Standard demographic labels are a good place to start, including your target audience’s gender, age, education, and interests. Next you’ll want to think about the categories of podcasts that fit your target audience. It’s important to think outside the box when it comes to categories. For example, if moms that are 25-35 years old are your target audience, parenting shows are an obvious fit. But young moms aren’t just listening to parenting podcasts, they’re also listening to pop culture podcasts, news podcasts, etc. Which is why it’s also important to understand your existing customers and use that data as the basis for your target audience. Surveys are a great way to quickly gain a deeper understanding of your customers interest and habits, including the types of podcasts they listen to. 

Maximize your budget

Your target audience and broader content categories will help to narrow down the field of potential shows. In order to narrow that list down further, you’ll want to consider what size of shows you want to partner with and how that will factor into the overall budget and scale of your campaign. 

Bigger shows aren’t always better when it comes to podcast advertising. The bigger the podcast, the more expensive it is to advertise on and you don’t want to spend your entire budget on a single ad spot. In order to really see if your ad is effective or the show is a good fit, it’s ideal to advertise on consecutive episodes for four to six weeks. 

Independent shows offer a huge benefit to brands that want to accurately match up shows to their target audience. Not only do the independent shows have CPMs that are much more affordable, they also have dedicated audiences with content that is focused around niche categories. Since the inventory is generally less expensive, it also provides flexibility to test your budget across multiple shows and broaden your overall reach. 

There are several more advantages to buying ads on smaller, independent shows. Smaller and new shows are often priced with lower CPMs. Less expensive inventory enables brands to be more flexible and test their budget across multiple shows and broaden their reach. Independent podcasts have dedicated audiences with content that is focused around niche categories. It’s a huge benefit to brands that want to accurately match up shows to their target audience.

Make sure the show is a good fit

After narrowing down your options by budget and target audience, next you’ll want to identify the shows that best align with your brand and customers. If you are new to podcast advertising, it’s helpful to listen to a few of the top shows you’re considering partnering with. This way you can determine first hand if the show is something that your customers would listen to and if the podcast’s tone and content will be a good fit for your brand. 

It’s helpful to learn what type of brands the podcast partners with and see if that is inline with your target audience. This will also give you a sense of their approach to advertising. Keep an ear out for hosts that are passionate about the brands they are promoting and are able to naturally incorporate the ad into the conversation. 

RedCircle is here to help

We’re here to help you find the right podcasts for your business. RedCircle’s Ad Platform was built to make host-read podcast campaigns easy and scalable for brands of all sizes. Whether you are just starting out advertising on podcasts or looking for ways to expand your existing reach, sign up to learn more about advertising with RedCircle.


Announcing RedCircle’s Automated Podcast Advertising Platform

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RedCircle Launches First Automated Podcast Advertising Platform to Scale Host-Read Ads on Thousands of Popular Podcasts

PRESS RELEASE — August 14, 2020

RedCircle, one of the largest platforms for independent podcasters, has launched a new automated ad insertion platform that allows brands and agencies to quickly and easily access thousands of vetted, independent creators and launch easy-to-scale campaigns that reach target audiences in days, not weeks. 40+ brands have bought RedCircle inventory and about 25% of them have already utilized the platform during the beta testing period to execute campaigns in full and more are in the process.

Through the easy-to-navigate RedCircle dashboard, advertisers have the unique power to access metrics for hundreds of podcasts at once, allowing more specific audience targeting. The first-of-its-kind platform enables advertisers to visit the profile of a show, which contain social reach and previous ad-reads / episodes in order to deeply understand it, then easily communicate with creators through the platform about campaign messaging, sample product, and pricing, facilitating more impactful brand/creator partnerships, which are helping scale this important and growing media segment.

Michael Kadin, Founder and CEO of RedCircle stated: “With more than half the US population turning to podcasts for information or entertainment, the medium shows no hint of slowing down. The ability for brands to quickly and easily manage ad campaigns targeting key demographics, including the coveted 18-34 year old category which make up half of the podcast listening audience, can be a critical piece of the marketing mix for brands ranging from CPG to DTC to subscription services. With RedCircle, advertisers have the opportunity to partner with hundreds of podcasters through one, scalable platform because we don’t follow the traditional radio model that’s replicated throughout the podcasting space. We’ve simplified the buying experience in what has traditionally been a very fractured market, helping brands buy on one podcast, a hundred, or more.”

Additional features of the RedCircle platform allow advertisers to:

  • Select as many podcasts as they’d like to work with based on a variety of metrics provided by RedCircle including: podcast topic/category, audience size, listener demographics and CPM.
  • Set budgets, campaign dates and identify specific episodes (either new episodes only or all episodes downloaded during the length of the campaign) for each podcast they partner with.
  • Review ad reads, and provide feedback to creators throughout the length of the campaign,
  • Track budget and performance across shows that are running their campaign and adjust in real-time as necessary.
  • Optimize and A/B test campaigns through ad formats, messaging and show placement.

With thousands of podcasters on the platform hosting shows spanning every conceivable topic including sports, finance, comedy, pop-culture, fashion and style, health and wellness, politics, current events, and true crime, brands have the opportunity to reach either a wide or very niche audience, depending on their marketing strategy. RedCircle’s network is “app agnostic,” reaching listeners regardless of which of the 40+ available podcast players they use, such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music and Overcast.

For the independent creators on the RedCircle network, this new advertising platform enables them to seamlessly partner with world-class brands, record promotional spots, and insert them into natural breaks throughout their episodes in intervals agreed upon by the host and brand, all on one easy-to-use platform. Additionally, creators can take advantage of the streamlined platform by accessing multiple monetization opportunities on the dashboard including:

  • Subscriptions – Listeners can sign up for exclusive content and creators will be able to track the growth of their paid offering
  • Donations – Listeners can donate to their favorite creators on individual episodes or on the platform
  • Cross-promotion – Creators can connect directly to negotiate and track cross-promotions across podcasts in the user-friendly messaging portal
Podcast Advertising

Podcast Advertising Glossary

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Here is a quick and simple list of common podcasting terms, acronyms, and phrases that are helpful to know when you’re getting started advertising on podcasts. 

Ad Copy

This is also often referred to as the ad script or talking points. Ad copy is the brand’s messaging that they provide podcasters. It can take different formats, whether it’s a script that podcasters read word for word or bulleted talking points that give podcasters the freedom to personalize the message. Here’s a guide to writing great ad copy! 

Ad Inventory 

This is the total amount of space or remaining ad spots that a podcaster has available at any given time.

Ad format 

The ad format determines the type of ad read and how the ad is inserted. 

Host-read ad

Host-read ads are read by the podcast host (or producer) and are the most common and traditional way of advertising on podcasts. The way that host-read ads get inserted into podcasts has evolved and changed over the last few years. Instead of being “baked in” or directly edited into the episode, now almost all major publishers and networks dynamically insert their host-read ads into the episode. 

Pre-recorded ad

Pre-recorded ads are similar to traditional radio ads. These ads are recorded and supplied by the advertiser and are dynamically inserted into the episode. They are also significantly less expensive than host-read ads with a typical CPM of $3 – $11. 

Ad position

The ad position determines where in the episode the ad will run. There are three different ad positions in a podcast: pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll. 


Pre-roll ads run before the episode starts or within its first few minutes and is generally  between 30 – 60 seconds long. Depending on the placement, pre-rolls can sometimes be skipped over so they are typically priced slightly less than mid-roll ad spots.


Mid-roll ads run halfway through an episode and are usually a little longer and more in depth than a pre-roll or post-roll placement. Listeners are most engaged through the middle of an episode and make mid-rolls the most expensive and most effective ad placement.


Post-roll ads run within the last few minutes of the episode or directly after the end of the episode content. Post-roll placements are typically shorter in length and priced the lowest because listenership tends to decline slightly by the end of an episode. 

Ad Spot 

Ad spots are the limited number of time slots within a podcast episode that brands can purchase for advertising. 

Baked-in ads 

Baked-in ads are a part of the actual podcast episode and are either read live by the host or directly edited into the episode. Bake-in ads will always live within the content and everyone that downloads that episode will always hear the same ad.

CPM Rate 

Podcast ads are generally priced by a CPM rate or the cost of an ad per 1,000 listeners. For a host-read ad, the average CPM rate starts around $25 for a 60 second ad spot. Pre-recorded ads have much lower CPM rates that average just a few dollars.

Call to Action (CTA) 

Typically one of the last things a podcaster mentions in an ad spot, the CTA tells listeners how to take the next step and make a purchase. A CTA should include the brands website, a promo code, and mention any special offers or discounts.  

Direct Response campaign

The most common type of podcast ad campaign that is tracked by advertisers with a unique promo code or vanity URL. 

Download Numbers

The average number of downloads an individual podcast receives, which estimates the number of people that listened to that episode. This metric is used to estimate how many people an ad will reach. 

Dynamic insertion 

Technology that stitches together and serves an audio file to the listener at the time the episode is downloaded. When ads are dynamically inserted, listeners may hear different ads when they download an episode. 

Insertion Order 

The final step in the ad proposal process, an insertion order means that the podcaster is obligated to deliver the ad per the terms of the agreement. 


An advertiser can request a free rerun of an ad spot to make up for a previous cancellation or error by the podcaster. 

Promo Code 

Also referred to as a coupon code, special offer or vanity URL. An unique identifier or code that podcasters mention with the call to action and encourage listeners to enter during checkout. The main purpose is to help measure the performance of each individual podcaster and the overall ad campaign.

Product sample

Free product or services provided to a podcaster by an advertiser before the launch of an ad campaign to allow the podcaster to get familiar with the product and brand. 

Tracking pixel 

A third-party podcast attribution product that connects a podcast’s downloads to activity on your website to give both the advertiser and the opdcaster additional insight into the effectiveness of a campaign. 

Now you know the lingo, it’s time to launch your first podcast campaign. Want to learn more? Check out Podcast Advertising Basics: A Marketers Guide and Is Podcasting Advertising Right for Your Brand? for more help getting started with podcast advertising. Or dive right in and sign up to start advertising with RedCircle.

Podcast Advertising

How to Create Perfect Podcast Ad Copy

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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

Personal experience 

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.

Tailored messaging 

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.

Podcast Advertising

Is Podcast Advertising Right for Your Brand?

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When done well, podcast advertising can be a profitable and effective channel for your brand. Podcasts can help grow your brand, expand your reach into hard to reach audiences, boost user engagement, and generate new leads. But, if you are new to podcast advertising, it can be difficult to determine whether it’s the right time to get started or if it’s even a good fit for your brand. 

Podcasts can be an effective channel for every brand, regardless of the industry you’re in or the size of your budget. That said, a small startup won’t be able to take the same approach of an established brand like Peloton and buy premium spots across top shows. To be successful, you must build a strategy that will make podcast advertising work for your unique brand, goals, and budget. 

Why invest in podcasting

If the meteoric rise in podcast advertising over the past five years isn’t enough to convince you that it works and works well, there is an overwhelming amount of data and studies to ensure that you’re making a good investment. Here’s a few more reasons why podcast advertising is worth the investment: 

How to make podcast advertising work for your brand

Direct-to-consumer brands were trailblazers in the medium and still spend the most on podcast ads, but today industries across the board, from finance to education, have successfully incorporated podcasts into their digital marketing strategy. You don’t have to be a household name with a big budget to successfully advertise on a podcast. Small businesses have a unique opportunity to take advantage of podcasting. Here are a few tips to help make podcast advertising work for your brand. 

Start with the goal of your campaign

The first step when planning a new podcast campaign is to set a clear objective. Is your goal to stay top-of-mind with audiences or is it to increase lead generation? Since podcast listeners skew young and tech-savvy, perhaps your goal is to further a proof of concept for your startup. Although podcast advertising is generally used for direct-response campaigns, it’s also very effective for brand awareness and lift. In fact, brand awareness ads make up 38% of all podcast campaigns

Set expectations for the ROI 

When it comes to calculating your campaign ROI, there are multiple ways to track attribution for podcasts, it’s just not quite as direct as other digital channels like Google and Facebook. For every listener that goes to the unique landing page when they make a purchase or use a show’s promo code, another listener may remember a few days later and just google the company directly. Which is why marketers will often apply a multiplier to account for any attribution spillage and give a clearer picture of a campaign’s true ROI.

Make your offer compelling

Whether it’s a free trial to your service or limited-time discount on your product, it’s crucial to have a unique and compelling offering when running direct-response campaigns. Not only do you want to have an offer that will get a listener to take the next step and make a purchase, you also want the listener to be motivated to use the promo code or unique URL when they do so it’s easier to track the performance of the overall campaign, as well as the individual shows. 

Focus on the long-tail 

You don’t need to buy ads on the biggest or most popular podcasts to see results. For smaller brands or those just starting out it’s important to focus on the long-tail podcasters. Instead of looking at the download numbers, look at the shows for who you’re trying to reach and who your customer is. 

To get the most out of the budget you have, you don’t want to spend your money all in one place on shows with huge download numbers. It’s much better to spread your budget across a variety of  smaller, strategic shows. Don’t discount a podcast just because it’s small, if your customers are listening to it, it’s a much smarter buy than a large show that appeals to a broad audience. One of the enormous benefits of podcasts is that they attract a niche, dedicated audience that is also highly targetable. 

Launch your podcast campaign

If you are finding success in other digital channels, podcasting is a great way to diversify your advertising budget if you haven’t already. RedCircle’s Ad Marketplace enables brands to find and access thousands of independent creators and networks, making it quick and easy for brands to plan and launch their first campaign with a flexible budget. Sign up to learn more and  get started advertising with RedCircle.