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Advertising through Podcasts – best practice

Excellence in Developing Podcasts

This was the final episode of an early series of the Corporate Podcasting Show recorded and posted in 2007. The show explored the potential of advertising using podcasts and included themes such as the best time to include an advertisement in your podcast, the use of promotion codes and surveying if a podcast helped materialise a sale.

Typically many Podcast host’s read out an advertisement to be included, either during the flow of a show or via a pre-recorded segment. Many advertisers prefer the former, as “live reads”, facilitate a natural, ‘fit’ making the whole listening experience more genuine or less obvious. NB Its still selling at the end of the day! The construct of a unique advertising message or development of an opportunity to relate products to the theme of a show can materialise should be the main objective. AKA – This enables ads to seem like another segment instead of a paid endorsement.

After a host reads an Ad, companies must determine if it generated a positive return on investment. Unlike pay-per-click ads that capture consumer behaviour in real time, podcasts don’t offer a built-in way to indicate that listeners took a desired action. However, there are other ways to see if advertising on podcasts delivers (just like a return on investment), according to Forbes:

  • Promo codes: A specific word or phrase that is entered into a website’s checkout screen to track if a podcast generated a sale
  • Vanity URLs: A specific website link or extension that allows advertisers to count how many visitors a podcast produced
  • Checkout surveys: A question posed during a payment process to determine when podcasts sponsorship’s create sales
  • Integrated: Combining the latter as an intermediatory step, to count / tag / track using Web optimisation or customer nurturing tools.

The above tools are best suited for direct response campaigns, the most common type of podcast advertising. For brand awareness campaigns, marketers can monitor social media to see if podcast sponsorships deliver a boost in likes, shares and mentions.

After you’ve heard the show, consider if there are ideas that you could incorporate / adapt into a podcast that Castlab could do for you. There’s  never been a better to time explore the potential to include loyalty mechanisms and measure their effectiveness – now that data analytics can be based on in-store or online product or service purchases.

NB As mentioned earlier, this podcast was recorded back in 2007 and both branding and entities have moved on. Therefore, many of the URL references cited are unlikely to work. The good news is that we can learn from best practice and opportunities for advertisers that still haven’t surfaced, either because our consumers are not ready or supportive systems are too complex at this time of Podcast evolution.