3 Lessons from the 2021 Podcast Buying Guide

Making podcast advertising easy.


Photo by: akinbostanci


Your ears do not deceive you, podcasting is everywhere these days. “What are you listening to” might as well be the new “what are you watching.” 

If you’ve listened to a podcast recently, you may have heard an ad or two. In fact, over 1,700 brands ran their ads in podcasts for the first time according to Magellan AI…and that was just in Q3 of 2021. (Magellan AI Q3 Advertising Benchmark Report)

To the wave of brands who are just getting started in this space – welcome! There’s a lot to take in, but we really think you’ll like it here. Podcasting provides new audiences to engage, less ad clutter, plus more of the capabilities you’ve come to expect from other digital media. 

“Podcast advertising requires a different, more nuanced approach – that’s kept a lot of brands from either finding success or getting started at all. However, those who are willing to learn and lean into what makes podcasting unique can really reap the rewards: new audiences, more authentic messaging, and greater engagement.”  

-Cathy Csukas, Founder & Co-CEO, AdLarge

We created the Podcast Buying Guide in the spirit of helping new brands find success in podcast advertising. Sharing our knowledge from working on thousands of audio campaigns for over a decade, we highlight the latest best practices, strategies, and expert advice every year.

If podcasts are on your radar for 2022, we’re here to show you the ropes. Here are some rules every new advertiser should play by.

Lesson 1: Have a reason for being in the content 

With so many ways to slice and dice the podcast audience, finding the right environments to be in is no small feat. Strategies for evaluating media range from keeping up with the podcast charts, using ad tech for guidance, scouring industry publications, or a combination of each.

If your goal is to maximize reach with the top-ranking podcasts, or you’re just a fan of a particular show; will your brand messaging make sense for that particular audience in that context?  

Lesson 2: Good basics lead to great campaigns

Start off strong with a definitive goal. Setting this in advance will help your ad partners better serve your campaign. Depending on your goal, establish the right cadence for your campaign to begin building familiarity.

Don’t sleep on the coveted host read. Even if they are only a part of your podcast buy, the host-voiced ad has a proven positive impact on a number of KPIs – brand awareness, recall, and purchase intent.

Lesson 3: Don’t fear the pixel

Relatively easy to implement by the advertiser, pixels are solving the common pitfalls of promo codes while still addressing the question “Is my investment paying off?” From lift to purchase conversions, the pixel provides insight into consumer behavior at multiple points in the funnel. 

Podsights and Chartable pioneered pixel-based attribution specifically for podcasting, but more providers are stepping in to address the need to measure effectiveness across larger marketing efforts. 

Bonus: Partner with the experts who can help

…And that’s where we come in. We tapped a couple of VIPs (Very Informative People) to answer some common questions. Pre-rolls vs. mid-rolls? What’s an impression? Will the cookie-apocalypse ruin everything? 

Download your copy of the 2021 Podcast Buying Guide here.


Combining decades of experience across all forms of audio and our unique hands-on approach, we have successfully guided thousands of brands on their campaign journeys. Come explore what makes us different.

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