Podcast Advertising

Podcast Advertising for Small Businesses

Podcast advertising has emerged as a powerful medium for businesses to reach their target audience and build awareness. It’s not just the big places that can participate, though, small businesses can also leverage podcast advertising to boost their reach and grow their customer base.

Did you know that one-third (32%) of American adults listen to podcasts a few times a month? There’s a significant chance that your target consumers tune in to podcasts at least once during the month (and 10% of U.S. adults listen every day!) It’s an advertising avenue worth adventuring down!

What is Podcast Advertising?

At its simplest, podcast advertising is a type of advertising where the ad is placed in a podcast. Advertisements in podcasts were traditionally “baked-in”, meaning that the ad was placed in the raw audio of the episode. Podcast advertising has grown more sophisticated these days with dynamically inserted Programmatic Ads and Host-Read Ads. Instead of having the podcaster add the advertisement directly in their episode indefinitely, platforms like RedCircle allow for dozens of campaigns to cycle through podcast episodes. Advertisers now purchase a set amount of time for their campaign(s) to run across multiple episodes and multiple podcasts. This helps to keep advertising content fresh. Listeners hear up-to-date info on your business including relevant promo codes (instead of super old promo codes they can’t use!)

There are two types of ads in podcasting: Programmatic and Host-Read. Programmatic Ads are typically professionally pre-recorded advertisements that play on a podcast either in the pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll spot depending on the Dynamic Insertion configuration. Similar to old-school radio ads, these ads range from a large variety of categories including entertainment, education, real estate, technology, and more. 

Host-Read Ads are pretty much what they sound like – the podcaster reads the ad to their audience. Either straight from the heart or off of paper! We usually recommend that advertisers send along a script or talking points. We have an entire blog post dedicated to helping your partner podcast absolutely nail your Host-Read campaign!

As a small business, your best option is to pursue the Host-Read option as you can rely on your partner podcaster to spread the word about your business in a compelling way!

The Host-Read Ad

Host-read ads are one of the best ways to spread awareness of your business. A recent report shows that podcasts are the #1 trusted medium for US consumers. Podcast listeners are highly engaged and trust the recommendations of their favorite podcasters. Finding the perfect podcast partner can help draw in new customers to your business.

A part of finding the right podcast to advertise on is understanding your audience. Take the time to create detailed customer personas, including demographics, interests, and pain points. This knowledge will guide you in selecting podcasts that align with your ideal customer base.

When you know your audience well, you can choose podcasts that share a similar audience profile, ensuring that your message reaches the right people. This targeted approach maximizes the impact of your ad campaigns.

Once you understand who you’re looking to entice, the next step is to find podcasts that match your vibe. Small businesses should research and select the podcasts that best fit their niche and marketing goals. Look for podcasts that align with your industry or products, as well as those that have a dedicated and engaged following. Consider factors like the podcast’s content, audience size, and overall vibe.

While larger podcasts may have a broader reach, niche podcasts can be highly effective for small businesses. These shows cater to specific, dedicated audiences, making them an ideal platform for reaching your target market. Audiences of niche podcasts tend to be very involved and passionate about the topic. Look for podcasts that align with your industry, products, or services, as they often have a highly engaged and receptive audience.

If you’re a local games shop, for example, then finding podcasts centered on board games or similar is a great place to start. Or perhaps you create natural beauty products, you’d want to look for a beauty podcast that delves into the natural side of the industry. You’ll also want to consider their audience demographics and how well that aligns with your own.

Collaborating with smaller podcasters also allows you to create a fantastic rapport with one another. They can become one of your biggest advocates! Engage with them on social media, attend podcasting events, or even offer to collaborate on unique content. These relationships can lead to more favorable ad rates and opportunities to feature your business on their shows.

Have a Test Budget in Mind

For small businesses new to podcast advertising, it’s advisable to start with a pre-planned test budget. Experiment with a few podcasts and ad placements to gauge the effectiveness of your campaigns. As you gather data and insights, you can gradually scale up your podcast advertising efforts.

While it may be tempting to spend all your budget on one huge show, it’s a more reliable strategy to choose frequency over popularity. Advertising experts recommend running your campaign anywhere between 2 and 10 shows as it allows you to test different reads, types of shows, new audiences, and more. RedCircle is home to hundreds and hundreds of independent podcasters with dedicated audiences!

Podcast advertising offers a promising avenue for small businesses to connect with their target audience and enhance brand visibility. Start small, learn, and gradually expand your efforts as you become more familiar with the podcast advertising landscape. With the right approach and strategy, podcast advertising can become a valuable asset in your marketing toolkit, driving growth and success for your small business.

Browse hundreds of shows on RedCircle and get started advertising today!

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