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In 2019, Statista reported more than half of Americans listened to podcasts. And, according to Edison Research, 54% of consumers are inclined to purchase from brands they learn about when listening to their favorite podcast. With numbers like these, already part of a growing industry, more digital marketers are embracing the opportunity. In this blog post, we share our answers to eight of the most commonly asked questions about podcast advertising.

Where do Podcast Ads Fall in the Marketing Funnel? 

At Code3, we leverage podcast advertising throughout our clients' marketing funnels. Podcast ads are effective in driving new customers, especially when the offer is strong and the call-to-action is creative. With that said, we generally recommend using them as a mid-to-lower funnel tactic. 

However, the way we look at it, podcast ads are a great way to scale word-of-mouth marketing. And, while it's not as cheap as PPC campaigns, many brands have begun using podcast ads for driving upper-funnel tactics and brand awareness. This is usually best practiced when advertising on a podcast with a sizable audience of daily listeners.

Can Advertisers Leverage Geo-Targeting for Podcast Ads? 

The short answer is yes. But, keep in mind, not all publishers or podcasts geo-target. At Code3, many of those we worth with do geo-target and the results have been positive. If geo-targeting is important to you, our teams can find a variety of podcast titles in the geographic areas of interest to your business. Then we craft different messaging served or read in different regions to ensure optimal performance.

What is the Difference Between Baked In and Dynamic Ads? 

When a podcast ad is 'baked in', the ad is played within the episode's content. It usually remains in the episode for at least 120 days, and in many cases, forever. This will vary by publisher and is generally desired to extend the life and impact of the ad. On the other hand, dynamic ads are run through an ad server and inserted into the podcast. These ads only run during the campaign flight and can easily be removed. For example, if a flight runs for the month of March, and someone listens to an episode recorded prior to the flight, your ad could still be played.

How Should Advertisers Go About Creating Talking Points? 

Talking points should follow best practices, word-count requirements, and include a promo code. When creating them, it's wise to include statements for the podcast hosts to read verbatim. On the same note, we recommend specifying anything that should now be said and writing your brand and website phonetically. 

In general, talking points are preferred to a written script. This allows podcast hosts to speak about your product authentically and in their own words. Before submitting talking points, try reading them out loud to ensure it flows as you wish. This will also reduce the number of revisions and help the launch stay on time.

Do I Have to Send the Host’s Product? 

While it’s usually not required, we consider it best practice to send podcast hosts sample products or offer them a larger discount. This will allow them to authentically speak about it or even personally endorse the product. After an IO is signed, Code3 will gather the host's addresses for the client to send the products. Then, the client handles sending the products so they can manage the packaging, including inserts, and the shipping method.

What is Podsights? 

Podsights is Code3's preferred third-party tracking and attribution partner. The service makes it possible to measure a variety of delivery and digital performance metrics. Some examples include impressions, households, site visitors, conversions, revenue, and campaign spends. Podsights creates a pixel and sends instructions for clients to add it to their website. The software also uses IP address matching to identify where someone heard a podcast ad and how they made it to the client's website. 

Podsights attribution model accounts for noisy IPs, like coffee shops or an office building. So, when it can't tell exactly which IP is connected or an IP is deemed 'noisy', Podsights removes it from their attribution model. To account for these, Podsights has a filter in its dashboard where our team can toggle between modeled data vs. non-modeled data. The modeled data is where Podsights applies a multiplier to the numbers in order to account for the IPs that were removed. Code3 considers both modeled and non-modeled data when reporting and will call out the differences.

What is the Difference Between Impressions and Downloads? 

This terminology has become interchangeable in the podcast industry. Historically, listeners needed to download a podcast, but today, anyone can listen to a podcast without downloading. An impression is counted when someone clicks play on a podcast for at least 1 minute per IAB standards.

Do I Have to Use a Promo Code or Offer Code in my Ads?

While it's not mandatory, we consider it best practice to include a promo code or special offer. Even when tracking with Podsights, it's useful to have an offer code to easily identify how many people are using it and interested in the product. And, some podcasts are not compatible with Podsights. This is when an offer code is the best way to know if someone heard your ad and it was what drove them to the site. With this, we also suggest having a podcast-specific offer code, meaning an offer that is exclusive to podcast listeners. It's not uncommon to see more site traffic when people are enticed by an offer, and even more so when it’s not an offer available to the general public.

Final Thoughts 

The community of podcast listeners has grown by more than 37% over the last three years, according to Edison Research. Savvy brands will be embracing podcast advertising and driving strong results in 2021 and beyond.

If your brand wants to be a leader on the most relevant platforms with high-quality, conversion-worthy media, creative, and commerce efforts, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us with questions about podcast advertising and other platforms. And, in the meantime, download a copy of our 2021 Platform Planning Guide to ensure you can be strategic and agile on today’s most lucrative platforms.

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