Sept. 17, 2020

Direct Response Versus Brand Awareness Podcast Ad Campaigns. Which is Best For You?

Direct Response Versus Brand Awareness Podcast Ad Campaigns. Which is Best For You?

Most of the ads running on podcasts right now are direct response ads. In this episode, I talk about the difference between direct response and brand awareness; why one might not work for you; and how to figure that out without wasting time and money.

Most of the ads running on podcasts right now are direct response ads. In this episode, I talk about the difference between direct response and brand awareness; why one might not work for you; and how to figure that out without wasting time and money.


[00:00:35] Hello, and welcome to the podcast. Advertising playbook. I'm your host, Heather Osgood. And on today's episode, we are going to be talking about the difference between direct response campaigns and brand campaigns. Now direct response is certainly a leader in the podcast space right now, lots and lots of companies and brands are out there running direct response campaigns.

[00:00:57] Last I saw, I want to say it was [00:01:00] somewhere between 60 and 70% of all the campaigns. Being run on advertisements in podcasts right now we're direct response. So I wanted to kind of set the ground rules for how to create a successful, direct response campaign. And when to know if a brand campaign is, is going to be a better option for you with direct response campaigns, it's really important that we set a few bits of, of pieces in place in order to make sure that the campaign is successful.

[00:01:28] Now, if you're not familiar with direct response campaigns, direct response campaigns, Our ad campaigns run for the specific reason of getting new customers for a company or a brand. So the company is coming into the city space. They are advertising, they're investing dollars and they want to see a return on their investment.

[00:01:48] And they really want to make sure that they're getting. Actual responses back from their ads. And you might say, of course, any advertiser is running ads because they're looking for some [00:02:00] response of some kind, and that is absolutely the case. But with direct response campaigns, the difference is that that advertiser is going to be looking at the bottom line to make sure that they're actually getting a return on what it is that they're spending.

[00:02:14] Now with direct response campaigns, I find that they can be very successful, but I also think that it's important to put these elements into place, to really ensure that you have success. So the first one I wanted to talk about was how much brand recognition does your company have? That is going to be looking at doing cast advertising.

[00:02:36] If we were to look at, you know, a hundred people in the U S and ask, have they heard of your company? Would they have heard of that company, right? Is it, is it a company that they're familiar with? If they have never heard of your company before, it's going to be really tricky for them to hear one add and then decide to make up decision.

[00:02:57] So I think it's super important for [00:03:00] advertisers and podcasters alike to be aware of how much brand recognition. Already exists. Now, often smaller companies do tend to do direct response campaigns because they're smaller and they don't have the budgets to run big branding campaigns to get that recognition.

[00:03:16] So a lot of times direct response and branding has to go hand in hand because the company doesn't have the budget to spend thousands or millions of dollars on a branding campaign. That being said, you are going to be running. And you don't have the brand recognition that a larger company might have.

[00:03:34] You are going to have to run a greater frequency. Now that frequency doesn't have to take place just in podcast advertising. It certainly is a frequency that you could spread out across. you know, Google search and digital and, you know, social media ads as well as podcasting, because we know that if you're targeting correctly, you're going to be hitting the same person multiple times and multiple messages that being said, [00:04:00] podcasts listeners can be a little bit challenging to track.

[00:04:02] Sometimes we're not always a hundred percent sure. Who is actually listening to the podcast. So retargeting can be a little bit difficult. Now, there are definitely some attribution tracking companies out there. We work with one company pod sites where we are able to run retargeting ads. So that capability is in place, but it, that might not be in place for a hundred percent of the podcast that you're advertising on.

[00:04:26] Or a hundred percent of the podcasts out there. So take that into consideration and look at the frequency that you are creating in your campaign and make sure that that frequency is high enough to get a response. Now, when we're looking across the ecosphere at podcasts, most podcasts listeners listen to about seven podcasts per week.

[00:04:46] So there is crossover, and if you are investing. Fairly heavily in this space. Hopefully somebody could hear an ad on one podcast and then another podcast and then choose to make a bike decision, hopefully coupled with other exposures that they've had to [00:05:00] your company, but just know that frequency is super important.

[00:05:04] If you're just going to run it one ad and you're just testing it out on one podcast and you've never done it podcast advertising before, it's going to be really difficult for you to get a response from that campaign. So think about your brand of your company and how that's going to be. Impacting the campaign that you're creating next, it's really important to make sure that you're clear about your unique selling proposition and what our unique selling proposition is, is what sets your company or this advertiser apart from any other company out there, we've had a lot of supplement companies that are in this space right now and succeeding very well in podcast advertising.

[00:05:42] What makes your supplement. Different than any of the other supplements out there. What's going to make me choose to go with it. You were company and buy your product as opposed to another company or another product. So make sure that that's a really clear and then make sure that the host does a good job communicating that.

[00:05:58] So if you are [00:06:00] the host and you're doing the ad read, make sure that your audience understands what is so different about this and what is going to make somebody want to just said that piece has to be really clear. It has to be clear. At a company level, the podcast host has to be clear about it. They have to do a good job communicating that to their audience, because if that piece is not there, I think that really the campaign could be dead in the water.

[00:06:26] Right. We have to make sure that we're establishing that. Next, I want to talk about creating a good offer. When we're looking at direct response John's campaigns, we have to put something in these campaigns that are going to compel someone to take action. Right? So we're trying to take action. we want this, this listener to go and make a buying decision and what is going to tip the scale?

[00:06:50] I think one of the challenges that I faced in some of the campaigns we've run is that if you are a higher end product and you don't. For discounts, maybe you don't [00:07:00] traditionally ever give any incentive to people to purchase your product. That's absolutely fine. And I understand that there are higher end products and companies that aren't, you know, they're not discount type companies.

[00:07:13] They don't want to run a discount. They don't want to run an offer and there's nothing wrong with being that company. But it's important to realize that it's. Really difficult to run a direct response campaign paint. If you don't have something compelling offer, that's going to get people to take action.

[00:07:29] And more importantly, it's not even about taking action because I believe a lot of people do. It's taking action in the way that you need them to take action in order to track those results. And that would be by creating a unique URL or using. A promo code. Of course, we've got attribution tracking piece that is able for us to see, in some instances who has listened to a podcast and who has made a buying decision, but by and large, you want people to go to [00:08:00] this unique URL or to go to a site and then enter a promo code.

[00:08:04] And the only way that they're going to do that is if you give them a good offer. Now we, we have, conversations of course, at true native media on the regular about what campaigns are successful and why they're successful. And we had a conversation the other day, and one of our team members mentioned that they had gone to a very popular podcast advertising company.

[00:08:28] They had. Searched out a specific promo code so that they could have it so they could make sure to give the podcast credit. They had gone on the site and instantly the exact same offer popped up. And not only did it pop up, but it prepopulated. Yeah. The promo code space with the promo code that was attached to the offer that was on the website now.

[00:08:55] In this case, of course, because this was a team member and they wanted the podcast to get credit for [00:09:00] the sale. They were able to put the correct promo code in that box and make that fine decision. But there are a ton of obstacles that this advertiser created, right. So first offer wasn't any different on their website than it was in the podcast app.

[00:09:15] Right. So if I'm going to. A company's website. And I see on their website that their offer is exactly the same as the offer that's being listed in a podcast. Why would I take any extra effort as a consumer to want to get that code in there? Unless I have some other preconceived, you know, ideas or motivations.

[00:09:37] I'm not going to go out of my way to do that. Right. As a consumer, I want the product that I'm interested in. I want to purchase it, and I want it to be in the easiest way possible to get that product in my hands. I'm not going to jump through 10 hoops to make sure that you understand all the tracking as a marketer.

[00:09:55] Right? So if the offer on the site, you know, [00:10:00] pops up and is the same offer, or in some cases, a better offer than the one that's on podcasts. There is no motivation for the person to use that. And if there's no motivation, then it's not going to happen. So that's really, really hard. Right. And pretty, yeah, tricky, in this space, when we're talking about tracking results from a direct response campaign, so you have to establish a good offer and it needs to be something that is slightly different, you know?

[00:10:29] I think that it's so valuable, we're working with a company right now. That's offering a yearlong vitamin D supplements. And I think that that's a terrific offer. Given the current situation as we're going through the pandemic, as I'm recording this, people are interested in vitamin D and that's a really compelling offer that is going to make somebody say, Hey, I think that that would be great.

[00:10:51] I mean, I feel like it's a great offer, right? I want a year's supply of vitamin D. That sounds awesome. Amazing. So it's a good offer. It's something that's timely. [00:11:00] And also it's not even discounting the product. Right. But it's going to make somebody want to take action. And as far as I know, they're running this offer exclusively on podcasts.

[00:11:09] So it's not on their Facebook ads. It's not on their website. Only here so that they're able to really see what are the results of this campaign. So make sure that taking some time to come up with a specific unique offer. Now I understand if you're new to advertising and podcasts and you're like, Hey, I'm just going to run a little test.

[00:11:30] Maybe you don't. I want to put a ton of effort out there and that's fine, but if you're not going to put a ton of effort, Into the campaign. You can't expect to get great results at the backend, right? Your campaign is going to perform just as well as you are willing to contribute your effort and your energy to make it successful.

[00:11:48] So think about that as you're adding, you know, all these pieces together to create a good campaign, having a good solid offer is really important. It can't. You know, it can't really be [00:12:00] free shipping. So many people give out free shipping. If it's 10% off, is that really a motivation, try to get as creative as you can with putting something together, that's going to motivate people to take action.

[00:12:11] Next, always recommend that you think about CRI a good landing page. If you're going to be using a unique URL. The reason you want a good landing page is that you want to welcome people onto your site and you want to connect them in some way to the podcast. If the listener has gone through all of the challenges of remembering that unique URL, and then they're going to the page, you want to greet them and you want to make sure that it's clear to them that you understand what the offer is.

[00:12:40] I always find it very odd in marketing and he puts out an offer and then you try to redeem that offer and it doesn't actually really feel right. It exists. Right. So, you know, just the other day I was interested in signing up for a course and they said, watch our free three videos before you sign up for this course.

[00:12:59] So I [00:13:00] click on it. And it doesn't lead me to anything about three free videos. And I thought that's bizarre. Like, you know, you just told me that if I clicked here, I would get these three free videos and now you're not even giving them to me. So if, if somebody heard an offer on an ad, when you welcome them onto the site, you want to make sure that you're reiterating that this is the offer, that this is something that's going on for them.

[00:13:24] And I understand that you can't reconstruct your entire website to cater to a small audience that you're at. Advertising and one of your mediums, but you can create a really nice landing page, any pages aren't difficult to construct, and you can put all of that information on that landing page. So think about creating a landing page.

[00:13:43] That's going to really welcome your podcasts listeners. Onto your company's site. and then next, really think about how are you going to be tracking these results? Are you going to be tracking it through unique URL? Are you asking them to do enter a promo code? Some advertising [00:14:00] we'll choose to do a unique URL plus a promo code.

[00:14:03] I always feel like that's double trouble because you're asking. Getting the listener to go to a specific URL. And not only are you okay with them going to the specific URL, but then you're also requiring that at checkout, they enter a specific promo code. So really you're asking that consumer to do double work for you, the marketer to track the results.

[00:14:22] So in my opinion, that gets a little bit tricky. I would choose one or the other. Not necessarily both, unless you really. I feel like that's something you need, having a promo code can be also a really good, easy way to have people, you know, take advantage of an offer. If you're already, you know, have a place on your website where you're collecting promo codes or where you're using promo codes, as long as it's not prepopulated.

[00:14:48] Right. Another promo code. I'm a promo code. Yeah. Good. Because there's already a box. There's already a spot on your website and when they enter the promo code, If it comes up that, you know, like, Oh, [00:15:00] castle center, 40% discount or whatever your offer is that can also really help close the loop for that buyer to know they got the offer.

[00:15:08] They know they got the offer because of the podcast. And then obviously it gives you the results that you need to track the campaign to see how successful it was. There's also attribution tracking software. Like I mentioned, attribution tracking has been around for a little while now. And while most podcasts are not set up with that,  tracking.

[00:15:28] If you go to an agency, most agencies are going to have that as a capability and it, with attribution tracking, we are able to see who has listened to the podcast. And then when you install a tracking pixel on your website, you can see who has then made a purchasing decision. The cool part about that. The tracking pixel is that you can install it and to a variety of different places on your website, you could put it on that landing page.

[00:15:51] You could definitely put it on a checkout page. You could put out an email newsletter sign up page. You could put it in a variety of different spots on your site to see where [00:16:00] people are entering and what they're doing as they're exploring your product offerings. So attribution tracking, I think is definitely a good.

[00:16:08] piece and a good element for direct response campaigns, but making sure that you have those other foundational pieces is just as important. If not more important. You know, if you, you, you know, just recapping, if you don't have strong brand recognition, you're going to need a level of frequency. You're going to need to make sure you personally have very clearly defined unique selling propositions and that the host is doing a good job.

[00:16:33] Communicating those to the audience. Next, you're going to want to make sure that you. Your offer is super strong and something that's going to motivate people to go to the extra work it takes to enter a unique URL or promo code. And then you want to make sure that you're welcoming those listeners onto the site so that they know that you understand that they've come as a special guest from a show.

[00:16:56] And then lastly, make sure you are tracking the results for the [00:17:00] campaign. Now, as I mentioned, direct response does tend to be the leader in advertisers in this space. Right now, I believe that as the medium grows, we'll get more and more brand advertisers and we're seeing more and more every month and every year, which is exciting brand advertising definitely is.

[00:17:19] A good, a good option for podcast advertising. And part of the reason that I think that brand advertising is so valuable has everything to do with alignment. So I, I think that if you're, you're looking to go into a brand campaign, one of the things that you want to make sure you're establishing is do you have the right brand ambassadors working via these podcasts hosts?

[00:17:43] So is that podcast going to do a good job of communicating who you are as a company? Do you want to align with a podcast? and you know, look at all of the pieces of that podcast. What is the host act like? What is the host social media look [00:18:00] like? What, you know, what is that. The show consists of, is that something that interested in having some alignment with, I know the other day I was talking with one of our advertisers and they had had a change of position and the CMOs said, you know, I just don't really feel like this podcast communicates our brand message.

[00:18:17] Well, and that's an important piece. You have to make sure that the podcast partnerships that you're going into are really. Good representations of the types of companies that you want to align yourself with. They represent the same type of quality. They target your audience very well. Well, and that, that host is going to do a good job, communicating the value of your product, regardless of whether it's a brand campaign or a direct response campaign.

[00:18:45] Having that piece is really important. And. You want, ultimately for that host to be able to show the value of the company that you're bringing. So those are definitely two options, direct response and bread campaigns that can [00:19:00] be run in podcasts. Ads, both are very successful. If you're interested in learning more about podcast advertising, we would love to chat.

[00:19:07] You can come on over to Yeah. And reach out and we'd love to talk to you further about podcast advertising. Thanks so much for joining me today. And I look forward to being with you again next week. Take care.

[00:19:28] if you want to learn more about how to be a market leader in podcast advertising, reach out to us at