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Podcast Advertising Works Because It’s the Ultimate Referral

Podcast Advertising Works Because It’s the Ultimate Referral

For brands looking for the ‘secret sauce’ in connecting with an audience, look no further than Podcast Advertising.  Essentially, it’s the ‘purest form of native content’ on the market. And in a world that’s becoming more and more diluted with digital advertising ‘trash’, podcast advertising is starting to take hold amongst some of the most innovative brands in the marketplace.

A Complacent Digital Community Neglecting the Podcast Trajectory

I hate to say this, but the digital buying community has become complacent in providing the same products, using the same metrics, and failing to expand beyond their comfort zone when it comes to integrated campaign creation. But it’s the agencies that are starting to take the podcast medium seriously are the ones that will reap the reward from their clients, especially as digital fraud becomes more and more prevalent in the industry.

As the on-demand audio space continues to see tremendous growth,  cutting-edge brands are diving in. According to Statista, U.S. advertising spending in podcasts is estimated to reach $256 million U.S. dollars in 2018, up from $133 million in 2015. Sadly, these numbers dwarf the $60 Billion plus digital advertising forecast for this year. But why?

The Digital Buying Community Has Been Slow to Evolve to Podcast Advertising

Step inside any agency and ask the digital buyers how many of them are listening to a podcast? In New York City (because it’s more of a commuter city), you might see 1/3 of them raise their hand. Then ask them…’How many of you have actually placed a podcast buy for one of their clients?” Shockingly, you’ll be lucky to see any of them raise their hand.

I witnessed this first hand a couple weeks back at an event at Publicis Media, in New York City, with 70 digital buyers in the room.

Yes, it was a little shocking…but it sums up the current mind-set of the digital buying community. Agencies are fixated on using the products they’ve come accustomed to.

Digital buyers are also too hell-bend on the following metrics, discounting conversations about direct response advertising and activations:

  • Video-to-Completion Rates
  • Click Through Rates
  • Total Impressions
  • Granular Demographic Targeting
  • Pretty spreadsheets with lots of numbers on them

The Ultimate Referral

When it comes to pushing out a direct message to an engaged audience, there isn’t a better platform to do it on than the podcast medium. Think about these facts about the experience one has when they listen to a podcast:

  1. People choose to listen to a specific host or show
  2. It’s a one-to-one experience…lean-in listening
  3. Advertisers receive a high share of voice (the platform isn’t diluted with many ads in one show)
  4. No competing advertisers within any show
  5. The LIVE-READ message, from a host, is the ultimate referral

Native Content Is King

Advertisers are investing more and more of their marketing dollars into creating native content that seamlessly is integrated into their messaging. No other medium, TV, Radio, or even Newspaper is able to embed a message into content as effortlessly as a podcast ad does.

Earlier this year, Fast Company predicted that advertisers will spend upward of $20 billion dollars on native content.

As marketing opportunities continue to splinter across a myriad of platforms and channels, at the same time as traditional interruptive ad intervals are ever avoided like a consumerist plague, brands need to find a way to get their messages across in ways we might actually want to see it.

This trajectory matters to podcasting because the charm of a podcast ad is that it is inherently native by nature. There is an intimate connection between hosts, advertisers, and listeners…and as an advertiser becomes embedded in the fabric of a podcast, there’s a trust that develops with the audience over time…hence, frequency does matter in podcast advertising, as it does in most other mediums. But the unique interaction from host, to brand, to listener is unlike any other traditional or digital platform.

Measurement, Attribution & ROI – But Agencies Are Too Comfortable With the Same-Old Same Old

Finally, as digital buyers slowly start to test the waters of podcast advertising, one thing must be shouted out from the rafters:

Podcast advertising allows advertisers to measure attribution via promo codes & pixeled landing pages. Digital buyers need to worry less about measurement and more on actual sales results.

So, if a client spends $10,000, the smart advertiser will measure how many units were sold and what the direct uplift to their website was from that specific buy. Many brands, or at least the smart innovative ones, test their podcast ads across multiple podcasts…and then they consolidate to the shows that had the most conversions. And once they determine that a show is performing well, and their KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) are being met, you will hear that advertiser over and over on the same show.

Trust Matters to the Listener –> The Ultimate Referral

Again, it’s the trust that the audience has in the hosts recommendation/endorsement (live read ad) that creates the ultimate referral in a way that other mediums are jealous of.

If you’re ready to explore the power of podcast advertising, click through to our Podcast Business Center and let us connect you to the right show!

It’s time for your brand to experience The Ultimate Referral!