Podcast Advertising

Running Your First Podcast Ad Campaign

You’ve finally got the a-okay from your team and you’re ready to dip your toe into podcast advertising! But how exactly do you go about running your first podcast ad campaign? You, of course, want to make sure that the investment is worth it, so understanding what makes a campaign successful is key.

One-third (or 32%) of American adults listen to podcasts a few times a month. So, 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!) Learning how to run successful podcast ad campaigns can help you reach your consumers with ease.

Have a Budget in Mind

The first step to creating a podcast ad campaign is to have a budget in mind. A key thing to keep in mind when determining your budget is what type of shows you want to advertise on. While larger shows with huge audiences seem like the best bet, they can be pretty pricey and you may end up getting less coverage than you’d like. Smaller shows allow more bang for your buck, as you can run your campaign on more episodes which may reach a larger variety of listeners.

Select the Right Partners

With a budget in mind, it’s now time to decide where you want your campaign to run. As we noted earlier, larger shows may seem like the obvious play but keep in mind that you may get less than what you expect due to their pricing. Our Advertising team recommends a blend of podcast types when testing your first campaign. A couple of large shows to explore that avenue, and a few small shows to test those waters.

You also want to make sure that your brand fits with the selected podcasts. 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. Smaller shows typically have a more dedicated and engaged audience than the huge shows, so it’s worth exploring those types of podcasts!

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.

Devise Your Ad Strategy

The next step after deciding on a budget and selecting podcasts is to figure out how exactly you want to run your first ad campaign.

There are 3 places in an episode where you can place your ad: Pre-Roll, Mid-Roll, and Post-Roll

Pre-Roll is the very beginning of the episode. Ads in the Pre-Roll position can be played before the show’s introduction or after the show’s introduction depending on the podcaster’s preference. Ads assigned to the Pre-Roll position are played within the beginning 10% of the episode, or the first 5 minutes if your episode is longer than 20 minutes.

Mid-Roll is the middle of the episode. Many podcasters create a special break specifically for ads in the middle of their podcast. They lead in with something like, “and now let’s hear from our sponsors this week…” Ads assigned to the Mid-Roll position play 10% to 90% of the way through the episode. On RedCircle, podcasters can manipulate where in the episode they want Mid-Rolls to be.

This position generally has the highest impressions due to listeners often being engaged in another activity while listening. This reduces the chance that listeners skip over the ad. Host-Read ads do well in this position!

Post-Roll is at the very end of the episode. Ads assigned to the Post-Roll position play during the last 10% of the episode, or the last 5 minutes if your episode is longer than 20 minutes. While many may believe this position isn’t ideal, it’s still valuable especially when ads are placed before podcasters sign off. These ads are also effective when listeners “binge-listen” to their favorite podcast. Rather than skipping to the next episode, they just allow the Post-Roll ads to finish and wait for the next episode to automatically start playing. Similar to Mid-Roll, many listeners are engaged in another activity so they may not want to fool around with their device just to skip.

If you’re just testing the waters, then opting for a blend of positions is always a good idea. Try starting with Pre-Roll and Mid-Roll positions as those two typically perform the best overall. However, be sure to keep in mind that Mid-Roll tends to be the most expensive as it’s usually the highest performer.

Track Your Success

In order to understand the success of your first campaign it’s recommended to use specific measurement tools such as promo codes or vanity URLs to track progress.

A promo code is a code unique to the podcaster you’re working with during the campaign. Typically, podcasters create their own promo codes, like “RC Insider”. Create discount codes using these promo codes and easily keep track of where purchases are flowing in from.

You can also use a vanity URL to track the progress of your campaign. A vanity URL is a URL for your website that incorporates the specific podcaster. Something like, “https://yourbrandname.com/podcastpartner”. This allows you to track exactly where your website visitors are first landing.

Be sure to check in during the campaign to see how many listeners are making their way over to your site. Visitors can trickle in even after a month since your campaign aired!

Keep Testing!

New shows are always being added to hosting platforms as more and more folks start to dip their toes into podcast creation. The number of podcasts in the United States is expected to keep increasing! New shows that fit your brand and style are cropping up every day. It’s wise to keep the door open for podcast advertising after your first campaign!

Be sure to check out these other blog articles for more information on how to absolutely ace your first podcast ad campaign!

Our Advertising Team would love to connect if you’re curious about podcast advertising. Sign up today to get started!