Swipe Right

A quick guide to match your brand with the right podcasts.


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Your brand wants to be in podcasts, no, needs to be in podcasts — you’re afraid of missing out. But is finding the right shows to sponsor as hard as finding a soul mate? 5.5 million new podcast episodes were created in 2018 alone — that’s a lot of content.

Ok, once you break down the number of podcasts that have more than a single episode, are currently active, and taking on sponsors, the field shrinks significantly. That still leaves a dizzying number of options to choose from. So…

Which podcasts should you even be in?

What should you look for in a potential ad partnership?

Is your brand message right for podcast ads?

If content overwhelm is keeping your brand from booking your first podcast ad campaign, here’s what to keep in mind when seeking that perfect match.

You may find your people in unexpected places.

The tone of your campaign will be much different in a comedy podcast versus a history podcast. But don’t be afraid to get creative with genres. Unlikely brands are turning to trending categories like True Crime, a space with a lot of interaction from fans. A recent campaign from the American Lung Association creatively used the tone of popular True Crime podcasts, speaking to female audiences directly about the dangers of a killer they may previously have thought they were safe from — lung cancer. Thinking outside the box can also help when targeting crowded genres to make your ad stand out.

Speaking of standing out, what is the ad environment like? A premium, uncluttered ad environment with limited midroll breaks helps your brand shine while also maintaining the listener experience. Also, keep in mind that one spot in one show is not going to deliver results that really move the needle. Networks can offer efficient reach by placing your message across similar audience profiles or genre verticals.

Get to know the host(s).

Time for a little stalking research. After all, they will be the one voicing your ad. Is their read style humorous or matter-of-fact? How do they talk about experiences they’ve had with products? If the show doesn’t currently have ads, do they inspire listeners to take action in other ways? Maybe they have hundreds of glowing 5-star reviews or have a lively social community that regularly comments on and shares posts.

If their announcer game is on point, give them free reign. No, we don’t mean go completely off script, copy points are fine and make sure to note anything you don’t want to be said about your brand. Think in terms of partnerships vs. sponsorships — the more creative control the host has, the better their reads will sound.

What’s going on behind the scenes?

The environment is right and the host sounds great, but what about the inner workings of the show? Check iTunes. Whether there are 100 or 1,000 episodes, a consistent publishing schedule is a great sign that they mean business. What about Spotify, Stitcher, Google, and dedicated podcast apps? Make sure their podcast is distributed everywhere.

If the latest measurement capabilities are a must, ask about the hosting platform used. IABv2 compliance has become more widely adopted and a handful of hosting platforms are already IABv2 certified or in the process of being certified. Some platforms are even taking measurement to the next level, NPR’s Remote Audio Data (RAD) has gone live while Megaphone announced a new partnership with Google Campaign Manager.

Now, it’s up to you.

As with any advertising, context is key. Make sure your brand messaging is optimized for the highly personalized, intimate podcast environment. Copy should be podcast-first (no repurposed radio copy here), call to actions should be simple, and you should be excited about the host repping your brand.

For more resources, check these out:

Stop Junk Podcast Ads

DI Ad Roadmap

Ready to meet Mr. or Mrs. right? From financial experts to wellness gurus and very funny people — cabana can find the right voice for your campaign. We match your brand to the content environment, getting your message into the ears of qualified customers.

hello@letscabana.com | letscabana.com | @letscabanadotcom