Planning Your Podcast Ad Campaign: 4 Things to Consider
“Podcasts are so popular! I’ll definitely use them to build my brand’s online presence!”
There’s hardly a chance you’d hear something like that from an entrepreneur or marketer just 5 years ago.
Podcasting as a way to connect with Internet audiences and advertise brands only started to catch hold in early 2015, so until that time, no business wanted to get involved in this. Now, the budding podcast industry consists of more than 500,000 active podcast series, with well over 18 million episodes available.
A podcast can be wildly popular if it strikes a chord with people. Each episode of Serial, an investigative journalism podcast that was named “the game changer for audio,” for example, has been downloaded over 3 million times; moreover, there are podcasts that people created to discuss Serial or those based on its format (McDonald’s own podcast called The Sauce is one of them).
Many businesses have embraced this communication channel, but creating a successful branded podcast could be a difficult undertaking. For example, if you master navigating the below podcast production process, there’s still a lot of things to take care of, with advertising being on top of the list.
Besides, with the number of podcasts increasing every day, implementing an advertising campaign to raise awareness of your new project is quickly becoming a must.
In this guide, we’ll share 4 things you need to consider to run a successful podcast advertising campaign to get through to your target audience.
How to Plan a Podcast Advertising Campaign
Provide Value For Listeners
It goes without saying that your podcast should provide value to the target audience, but the importance of this cannot be stressed enough. So, before you try to advertise it, make sure you have something of value to people. Instead of copying others, focus on creating value through quality, engaging content is your best bet.
This means doing the most essential customer research to determine what could be interesting to the target audience. It’s going to take you some time, of course, but there’s no way you can target everyone out there and succeed.
Now, let’s get back to advertising.
Submit The Podcast to the Platforms Your Target Audience Uses
Letting the world know that you have a new, exciting podcast to share should be your first step in the advertising campaign. If you don’t have it available on the most popular platforms, where’d your ads redirect those who clicked on them, right?
“There are a number of popular podcast platforms out there, and each of them offers access to thousands of thousands of listeners,” says Jimmy Juszczyk, a digital marketer from Studicus. “If your research revealed that customers prefer to use specific platforms to listen to podcasts, you should definitely choose them for submission.”
A recent survey revealed the most popular online podcast collections. As you can see from the results in the below image, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts being the top three choices.
According to the survey, the results also indicated that people don’t limit themselves to only one podcast platform or app. For you as a podcaster, this means that you should submit your episodes to at least several sites for maximum reach.
But here are the most widely used ones, just in case:
Accessible via Google Play Store or the official Google Podcasts app, this is one of the top podcast platforms in the world. Keep in mind that most users of Google Podcasts are Android users because of the obvious reason, but many are also listening on laptops and smart speakers.
Google has a number of specific requirements for those submitting podcasts:
- A valid and verified email address
- An online, active website
- Verified ownership of the podcast
- Availability of the website and podcast to Googlebot (this requirement is satisfied automatically unless you have robots.txt blocking the path to the podcast webpage, so check for that with Google Webmaster Tools)
- At least one publicly available episode of your podcast in either m4a or mp3 format.
Apple has been the biggest player in the podcast game since the very early days, so you need to have your episodes available on their platform.
To submit a podcast, you have to go through these steps:
- Sign in to iTunes Podcasts Connect with your Apple ID (have one ready)
- Hit the “+” button in the dashboard, provide your podcasts’ RSS feed and click on Verify (the name of the podcast should be unique + be ready to provide a valid email)
- When the system verifies the details you entered, you can submit the podcast
- Wait from the email from Google signaling that your first episodes have been accepted.
Please note that Apple requires podcast artwork images to have a minimum resolution of 1,400 x 1.400 pixels.
With more than 200 million listeners from all around the world, Spotify is another legit platform that should definitely consider submitting your podcast to.
Here are their requirements:
- Your audio should have a bitrate of at least 96 kbps
- The maximum size of one file is 200 MB which is about 80 minutes at the highest bitrate of 320 kbps
- 1:2 aspect ratio for the artwork in JPEG or PNG format.
To begin a submission, go to the Spotify Podcasters page and log in (Facebook login is also available) or create an account if you don’t have one. Next, click on the Get Started button in the platform’s dashboard, accept the terms and conditions, and follow the instructions.
Check out Spotify’s podcast promotion instructions, too, and make sure to read each platform’s recommendation.
Remember: the three platforms described here are the most popular ones out there, but not the only ones. The rest of the options mentioned in the survey are also worth your time and attention, especially if customer research finds that your target audience hangs out there often.
Spread the Word with an Email Newsletter Announcement
Now that we’re ready for people to discover our podcast, let’s talk about ways to draw people to it.
“One obvious way is email marketing,” says Deebo Mostert, an email marketing expert from WritingJudge. “If you have a base of subscribers that you share a newsletter with, then letting them know about the podcast as well as each new episode is simply a must.”
For example, here’s how Wine Enthusiast announces the arrival of the new season of their podcast.
Just like Wine Enthusiast, provide a link to the podcast’s page on a platform you’re using and give them a little taste by providing a concise description. Some artwork would be amazing, too.
Promote on Every Channel You Have Access to
Chances are your business has social media pages and a blog on a website. Leveraging these customer communication channels to raise the awareness of your podcast is a must because there must be a community following your updates.
In addition to making a post on each social media platform (don’t forget Instagram stories, they’re great for more exposure), write a blog post announcing your new project. Here’s what you can mention to attract some attention:
- The guests (for example, having a well-known guest is a huge boost)
- The topic and subtopics for discussion
- The benefits for the listeners
- The online places where the podcast is available.
These are the essentials of successful podcast ad campaigns that you can apply for your next project. Using them in-tandem with engaging, listener-inspired content is a great way to gain significant followership and grow as quickly as possible (that’s another way of saying that content is another piece of the puzzle that fuels success).
Kristin Savage is an experienced blogger from Supreme Dissertations and a podcast enthusiast. Apart from being a regular contributor at Trust My Paper and Grab My Essay, she is actively working on a guide to podcast marketing for small businesses where she intends to cultivate authentic relationships with customers. Besides writing long-form content, she also works as an editor and writing team lead for Best Essay Education and Wow Grade.