Podcasts have continued to gain popularity in recent years with both listeners and advertisers, despite COVID-driven drops in commuting. According to the “US Podcasting Industry - Statistics & Facts” from Statista, in 2020, 75% of US adults were are aware of podcasts in 2020 (vs. 22% in 2006) and 105 million actively listen to podcasts, even with the drop in commuting due to COVID-19. As listenership grows and traditional channels like broadcast TV and radio decline, podcasts have become more sophisticated to meet advertisers’ needs.
If you thought podcasts were only useful for awareness-building or discount code-based campaigns (which are only partially trackable), now may be the time to reconsider them for your direct response campaign. New ways to measure enable brands to get more precise with podcast selection, budget optimization, and media mix -- with better data to back it up.
Companies like Podsights, a leading podcast attribution vendor, use ID graphs and site pixels to track listeners from ad to visit to purchase. Kepler has successfully deployed Podsights to help clients track conversions and identify incremental conversions among exposed and holdout populations.
What’s the value to brands?
Podcast ads are beginning to perform on par with tried and true DR tactics like non-brand search. Kepler is using more granular podcast performance data to optimize campaigns for:
- Show selection: Measure the performance of individual shows and genres to determine whether your audience is listening to news or murder mysteries
- Audience quality: Understand listener overlap and adjust spend based on a program’s unique contribution
- Media mix: See how much incremental value podcasts add over other digital tactics
- Budgeting: Have a data-based rationale for whether to keep or expand spend on podcasts
Ready to run podcast ads? Consider this:
- Goal: Is your KPI for podcasts direct response or branding? Tailor your creative accordingly, e.g., by including a call to action, easy to remember vanity URL, and offer or discount code for DR campaigns.
- Buying method: Podcasts can be purchased directly at fixed cost or via podcast networks that usually offer more efficient rates. However, it’s critical to assess each podcast network’s rates, genres and available shows against your audience demographics. Buying inventory at scale across multiple shows tends to be more efficient than buying directly from individual shows.
- Measurability: Similar to other digital campaigns, use a measurement partner to assess impact. A podcast site pixel can capture purchases, leads, revenue, and landing page views for each podcast, down to the specific episode.
- Iteration & testing: Continuously test and learn by trying different scripts, genres (true crime, news, comedy, etc.) and shows to see where your audience best responds.