Winning Strategies

Harness the Power, Part 5: Podcast Buying Guide 2.0


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Hear that? That’s the sound of a podcast host knocking another ad read out of the park. Not only have they nailed the copy points, they shared an awkward experience that the product helped them avoid. Listeners are then tweeting or posting about the ad or about the product they just bought and now love. The advertiser is over the moon, reassured that they have made a smart investment.

Very few media channels can boast the kind of ad effectiveness like podcasting can, letting a brand’s personality truly shine. So now that you know the components of a good campaign, let’s talk about what success looks like with some case studies in compelling brand creative.

When the ad is just as interesting as the content

There are few rules when it comes to podcast ads, but telling a story is one of them. Podcasting is all about storytelling, after all. Ads can take an unexpected twist, tug at the heartstrings, or play into the audience’s deepest fears. How about all of the above?

This not-for-profit took an unusual approach to raise awareness for a deadly disease, and a True Crime host took the creative and ran with it. Her show doesn’t dwell on the gory details but instead empowers listeners to stay informed and stay vigilant. By leaning into the tone of the show, the educational campaign fit seamlessly. Fans noticed too as they took to social media to share their own experiences and to thank the host for bringing this cause to their attention.

Pro Tip: Use the podcasts’ unique positioning and core values to inform how your messaging is delivered.

When the brand is the *perfect* fit

In a field of 900,000 podcasts, only a handful have mega-reach. Those shows get crowded fast, as advertisers see their overarching reach as an efficient way to get their message heard. But big shows don’t always equal big impact. Brands that capitalize on untapped podcasts to cut through the clutter frequently see better than expected results and return to the podcast for longer campaigns.

Take, for example, a men’s health vitamin that invested in an American history podcast. While the ads didn’t include the host’s personal experience with the product, the reads were authentic, engaging, and invited his niche audience of hard-core history buffs to take better care of themselves by using this product. End result? This podcast landed in the top 25 performers for the brand. The brand acknowledged that despite the (what some might consider) smaller audience, the results were impactful enough for a yearlong renewal. #winning

Pro tip: Approach long term campaigns not as an “ownership” opportunity, but as a chance to build a relationship with the audience and establish familiarity.

When more is more

There’s more to podcasting than the show. These hosts have built entire communities to connect deeper with their audience and expand their listenership. This can include their fan clubs, social pages, newsletters, and YouTube channels.

To maximize the impact for a national CPG brand’s first foray into podcasting, it was time to think of the podcast as the total influencer package. This brand used dynamically inserted ads and the host’s social clout to generate buzz for a new product release. Fans knew that when their favorite podcaster endorsed a new product, it had to be good. It was not long after campaign launch when the fans rushed in to send DMs, post Instagram Stories, and write their own social posts to thank the host for telling them about the product, and how much they loved it too.

Pro tip: Launching a new product? Let the host sample first, so they can create some FOMO in their reads.

You can get the complete Podcast Buying Guide here.

That’s a wrap folks…for now. We know the world of podcast advertising will continue to change and adapt, but we got you. Feel free to reach out anytime with your toughest questions, your biggest challenges, or new partnership ideas.

This is part five of our five-part series.

Part 1: The Podcast Glow Up

Part 2: Understanding the Podcast Ad Environment

Part 3: Ask an Ad Ops Expert

Part 4: Dynamic Mechanics

Part 5: Winning Strategies | @letscabanadotcom |