Do opposites attract? Psychologists say that couples who are too similar to each other are less likely to last. When it comes to digital marketing and podcasting, the collision course has been very complicated.
Why So Complicated?
The digital buying community, more often than not, perceives podcasting as the opposite of the digital medium…associating podcast advertising too closely to the terrestrial audio world.
Analyzing this pre-conceived notion more closely, it’s time to change this mindset. Here’s why:
Podcast Ads are the Purest Form of Native Advertising
The characteristics of podcasting ads– to the novice advertiser – dovetail with terrestrial radio. Many view it as a spoken-word format. But a deeper dive assessing the true characteristics of podcasting advertising drives a new narrative…one that advertisers must understand. Specifically, podcast advertising is the purest form of native advertising.
Beyond native advertising, many companies are now creating podcasts as a form of branded content, using it as a marketing platform for their organization.
Native Advertising Walks A ‘Fine Line’
In regards to native advertising, podcast personalities walk a fine line when it comes to host-read ‘advertisements’ vs. actual personal ‘endorsements’. It’s this murkiness, if you will, that has led many direct response advertisers to successfully find a home within the industry. Ultimately, digital marketers love native advertising, and there’s nothing more native than an organic live-read embedded into the fabric of a podcast.
Digital Buyers Typically Stick With What They Know
Generally speaking, birds of a feather flock together. Digital advertisers stick to what they know: SEO, PPC, video, banners, traditional native digital ads, e-mail, social, mobile, etc. However, podcast advertising is aggressively knocking on the digital door. We want to come in. We want to swim in your $70 billion advertising pool.
But because of a lack of clarity and advocacy, it’s been tough to get the respect we deserve, specifically from digital buyers.
Why is this? Because we have failed to aggressively demonstrate that we deserve to be treated on the same level of digital advertising.
A Lack of Education Has Allowed Others To Control the Narrative
Because of the lack of education, specifically within the digital buying community, podcast advertising has not been readily accepted as a pure digital product. Despite the fact that podcast industry revenue continues to grow at a double-digit clip, it is a mere blip of digital’s massive $70 billion annual advertising take.
Just look at the typical ad agency. Many audio buying teams still manage podcasting buys for their clients. Digital buyers aren’t reallocating dollars to podcasting as aggressively as they should. Remarkably, many advertising agencies don’t even have podcast experts within their ranks, which again, creates a disregard for podcast advertising as a legitimate digital offering.
The segregation of podcast advertising needs to change, specifically for national clients focusing on direct response campaigns and storefront businesses that have capitalized on e-commerce strategies.
Podcast Advertising Delivers Multiple Digital Properties
Within the podcast industry, listener retention is high & engagement is exceptional. Podcasting Advertising is unique on the digital spectrum because:
- Podcasting Ads are the purest form of Native Advertising
- Podcast Ads deliver Content Integration
- Podcast Ads can be Branded Content
While all three digital strategies are used interchangeably, it’s imperative that those of us that sell podcast advertising can tell them apart. If publishers & their sales teams fail to understand the distinction between native advertising and content integration and native ad placements, then we will fail to articulate how podcasting advertising can be integrated into any complex digital strategy.
Bottom line, it’s an integrated world we are living in and we must as educated as our clients…digitally.
ROI Is What Really Matters
Digital advertisers, much to their displeasure, are held to higher standards than traditional ad mediums when it comes to attribution and measurability. And measurability has been a crutch that has held the podcast industry back too.
While the podcast industry is challenged because of our lack of ‘internal’ measurement, it’s time to amplify the success stories podcast advertisers have when it comes to delivering actual results.
After all, it’s the ROI that matters to a client, not external third-party spreadsheets that highlight viewability, video-to-completion rates, impressions, and click-throughs.
Activation & Results Trump Pretty Spreadsheets
What does podcast advertising do best?: ACTIVATE! While our self-inflicted limitations in failing to embrace an ‘industry-accepted delivery method’ inhibits advertiser participation, podcast ads deliver direct results that trump any industry prejudice. We must do a better job amplifying this narrative with new advertisers.
After all, how much noise did the industry make when comScore and Wondery released a study last summer saying:
Two-thirds of podcast listeners have engaged in various research and/or purchase related behaviors as a result of advertising exposure from podcasts. Among all forms of advertising on mobile devices, podcasts create the highest improvement in perception. And among all forms of digital advertising, podcast ads are considered the least intrusive.
Now that’s a powerful statement that most digital advertisers have no clue about!
comScore Says People Prefer Ads in Podcasts Over Any Other Digital Medium
We should have been screaming on the doorstep of every digital agency, in a unified manner, what this study means. Every publisher should have sent press releases to every agency, highlighting the message that this study uncovered. Yes, Ad Week headlined the fact that “comScore Says People Prefer Ads in Podcasts Over Any Other Digital Medium’ (June 3, 2016), but it’s not enough to rely on others to tell our story.
Podcasting & Digital Advertising – Not an Oxymoron Anymore
TopPodcast.com is here to Advocate, Amplify, and Educate! We will knock on doors to make sure that the digital buying community clearly understands what is occurring on this side of the digital-audio universe. But it’s high-time that the industry decides to unite together in becoming more digitally savvy, allowing us to communicate the power of podcast advertising more effectively.
Bottom line, when viewed through a digital lens, podcasting advertising is not incongruent, let alone an oxymoron anymore! It’s one of the purest forms of native advertising in the marketplace.
Interested in exploring Podcast Advertising? Contact us through our Podcast Business Center!