Podcast Advertising: How does it perform?

It may be a platform you’ve not thought seriously about spending your marketing budget on, but advertising on podcasts has proven to be quite successful for a number of brands. In many ways, the podcast series name becomes strongly connected with the brand supporting it through advertising. 

A great example of this is the podcast series that really kicked off the podcast series trend, “Serial”. It’s first season back in 2014 was sponsored by Mailchimp and it became an instantly recognisable name the world over. Mailchimp’s well-timed ads and catchy soundbites of people with varying accents and degrees of English fluency were placed sporadically throughout each episode, and by the end of the series, Mailchimp’s ad was almost as famous as the series itself.


And the Serial-Mailchimp campaign is hardly the only example since; many brands have now become synonymous with podcasts series or podcast advertising in general. For example, Audible, Blue Apron, ZipRecruiter and Squarespace have all heavily invested in podcast series and most of those reading this can tie their names to a series they’ve listened to recently.

Studies also show that podcast advertising is cheaper than other forms of digital advertising when you factor in the results of a campaign and ROI. The main reason for this is that this is a relatively new platform for marketers and new tools are slow to get adopted. This means that, for now while demand is low and reporting limited, you may be getting podcast advertising at a bargain rate!


What makes podcasts a great advertising platform?

There are many reasons why it’s a great platform for brands, but let’s touch on just some of these:

  • High user loyalty rate: When it comes to podcasts, people typically don’t just listen to one or two and then never return again. Research shows that 92 per cent of users who reach the end of the second episode of a limited series/season will listen to that series in full. It also shows that 81 per cent of users who listen to at least two episodes of an ongoing podcast series will become regular listeners (listened to at least 50 per cent of all episodes in a series).
  • Spoken word versus written word: It doesn’t just have to be catchy — spoken word is more memorable than visual creative. In fact, data consistently shows that around 67 per cent of podcast listeners recall a brand or product advertised in a podcast, and some research has shown as much as 64 per cent have made a purchase soon after hearing a podcast advertisement for that product.
  • Native placement: When you advertise with a podcast, you typically know the context of the content mentioned, so you can build your advertisement to fit perfectly within that content so there is a smooth segue to your message. In some cases, you can even opt to have the host or narrator deliver your message for you, which will help give a more native feel to your advertisement.


Marketing tips for podcast advertising 

  • Running a series of ads within a podcast series: Listening to the same ad within an episode might be effective at building recall of a name or phrase, but telling a story about your brand or product over a series of ads within the same episode or series will help you build a stronger connection with your listeners. For example, you could have the same intro in the first few seconds of each ad and then each ad could use the rest of the time talking about a different feature of the product that would benefit the listener. 
  • Use a unique code or landing page: Monitoring the results of your podcast campaign is a little less direct as other forms of digital advertising like a click, but using an easy-to-remember landing page URL or a unique discount code can help you track where those conversions are really coming from. 
  • Make use of the host: You want to utilise the expertise of the host and those that support them, find out what they know about their audience and which episodes have performed best. Use this knowledge to build out the messaging within your ad, and work with the host to build the right segue. If your host is the voice for your advertisement, trust their input and let them word your message to suit their style.
  • Mention your audience directly: Even if you are using the host, it’s always a good idea to build some exclusivity between your message and your audience. Mentioning them in your message and offering an exclusive discount code can help with engagement and a feeling that your message was tailored just for them.



As with any new platform, there is an initial period with slow uptake from advertisers. However, if you pay close attention to the first results, you can identify opportunities to bag a real bargain for your marketing campaign. In any marketing campaign, you always want to stand out from the rest, and the great thing about podcast advertising is that “the rest” is a lot smaller than other platforms.



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