“What’s on your strategic plan?”
“I want to start a podcast.”
“Wow, that’s ambitious, about what?”
“I don’t know, I haven’t thought that far ahead, I just think I should have one.”
If you’re a professional anything, that exchange seems very familiar. The “I want this but I don’t really know why or how any of it works” conversation can either make your brain ignite with fireworks or you can feel your whole body cringe. For us, we love podcasts and podcast marketing so we’re often very excited when someone wants to venture into podcasting. We take the “I don’t know conversation” and dive deep into what the person is trying to accomplish. Sometimes, the person truly does want to start podcasting, a few times they just want to work for a podcast. Often times, what business owners really want to do is discuss how they can utilize podcasting to make their business or brand more successful, and that’s when podcast marketing comes in to play.
Marathon or Sprint?
Why wouldn’t we encourage everyone to have a podcast? Running a truly successful podcast means you’re in a marathon running a media empire, not just a quick sprint where you hit record, upload a file, and walk away. Can you hit record, upload a file, and walk away and be successful? Sure, it’s not impossible. Things can go viral, but that is rare and shouldn’t be relied upon. Not everyone has the time, energy, or frankly the content to host a full show. We have worked with organizations who wanted to create a limited series podcast because that’s how they strategized their content and how they managed their time and budget. Perfectly acceptable approach. Doing a short season meant that they were taking advantage of a new platform and reaching a niche audience at the listeners’ convenience.
Guest, Sponsor or Advertiser
We’ve talked about what running a podcast before, but let’s discuss why someone might be better off as positioning themselves as a podcast guest, a sponsor, or an advertiser. Subject matter experts often feel passionate about their topic and can be a good judge if there is enough content to host an entire season. Other times, there are specific actions, like show notes and chapter markers, that work well for SEO and being a podcast guest can help build name recognition. Guests may ask that show notes and chapter markers contain certain words or phrases if the topics are discussed. PR companies can be instrumental in finding podcast guest spots.
That can be one type of marketing but a more effective way for a brand is signing on as a podcast sponsor. Podcasts can be hyperlocal or global, they can be hyperfocused on a topic or they can be very broad. They often have a consistent tone and banter that keeps audiences coming back. By researching podcasts and their audiences, brands can connect with familiar demographics or branch into new demographics. Sponsorship typically provides a spotlight on the brand and content can be ad-libbed or managed like a commercial spot.
The word advertising in podcasts can be synonymous with sponsorship and other types of podcast advertising. In addition to the actual recording, podcasts oftentimes have podcast art, a website, social media profiles, newsletters, and other outreach efforts. When negotiating advertising, it pays to ask for all opportunities and reach per advertising space.
Podcast Ad Insertion
Inserting ads into a podcast is one way that podcasters are monetizing their efforts. Podcasters allow services to place ads in their episodes, much like a commercial during a television program. Brands can purchase ad space, set their demographics, and duration, and the services will auto place the ads for the best fit. With data-collection getting more intimate and intensive, services are getting better every day at pairing brands with their desired audiences.
Much like TV ads, the advertising space is competitive. Popular shows earn more for their advertising space than a new show with a lower number of listeners. Not all shows permit ad insertion. Some may want to align with like-minded advertisers and can manage that through sponsorships and other advertising opportunities.
Want to learn more about how podcasting can fit in your marketing plans? Reach out to AMM President Leslie Laney for a consultation.