Podcast Listeners are the perfect customer for audiobooks, and the best way to reach them is through podcast ads. Do you have an audiobook you are ready to sell? I joined Thomas Umstattd on his podcast, The Novel Marketing Podcast, to discuss how...
Podcast Listeners are the perfect customer for audiobooks, and the best way to reach them is through podcast ads. Do you have an audiobook you are ready to sell? I joined Thomas Umstattd on his podcast, The Novel Marketing Podcast, to discuss how authors can use podcast ads to sell books. I loved the value this interview provided so much that I asked Thomas if I could share it on my podcast to benefit my listeners. To my delight, he agreed. So check out my recommendations, and enjoy our fantastic conversation.
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This transcript has not been edited.
[00:00:29]Heather Osgood: [00:00:29] Hello, and welcome to The Podcast Advertising Playbook. I'm your host, Heather Osgood. And today on the episode, I feel like I have a bit of a treat for you. A few weeks back. I was interviewed on the novel marketing podcast and it was such a great experience. Thomas did such a terrific job with the interview that I wanted to share it with you here.
[00:00:50] If you are an author, if you know anyone who is an author. So many people want to write books. So many people want to market their books. In this podcast [00:01:00] episode, we talk about how you can use podcasts to advertising to really get the most out of marketing your book. Not a lot of authors are using podcasts advertising to really push that book forward.
[00:01:11] And so I wanted to share this information with you because I think it's really helpful and useful. So I hope that you enjoy the episode. And without further ado here is my conversation with Thomas.
[00:01:22] Thomas Umstattd: [00:01:22] There are four ways to promote your book on podcasts. You can listen to podcasts like this one to improve your skills. You can be a guest on podcasts where you talk about your book for free and you can even start your own podcast. And today we're not going to talk about any of those ways to promote your book on podcasts.
[00:01:42] We're going to talk about. The fourth way to use podcasts to build your boost, your book sales, and that is podcast advertise. I think I mentioned this briefly a few episodes ago when we talked about advertising for your audio book. And I said that podcast promotion is one of the most undervalued underused [00:02:00] techniques.
[00:02:00] And now we're going to dive a little bit deeper, but I do want to say that if you don't yet have an audio book for your book, don't get into podcast advertising as podcast listeners expect an audio book version to be available. So if you're going to spend money, spend it on creating the audio book first.
[00:02:17] But if you have an audio book or if you plan to have an audio book, the question is can podcast advertising be effective? Well, let me put it this way. Last month, Podsights presented some research to the International Advertising Bureau and the study that they did was on 232 brands across 532 campaigns.
[00:02:35] And they found that on average, on average, $1,000 spent on podcast ads returned $2,420. That's a better ROI than you're likely to find anywhere else. Partly because so few people are advertising on podcasts. When you buy Facebook ads or Amazon ads, you're bidding against an army when you're buying podcast ads, sometimes you're bidding against nobody.
[00:02:58] It's like pushing on an [00:03:00] open door. So would podcast advertising be a fit for you and your book? And if so, how do you get started? That is what we're going to talk about today on this episode of novel marketing, the longest running book marketing podcast in the world. This is the show for writers who went to build their platform, sell more books and change the world with writing worth talking about I'm Thomas Umstattd junior CEO of author media.
[00:03:22] And today we're joined by a very special guest who really knows what she's talking about. She's the host of The Podcast Advertising Playbook, which is a podcast all about podcast advertising, both for advertisers and people buying ads. And it is a podcast that I personally listened to. I listened to a lot of podcasts and then unsubscribed and hers is one that is currently all listened up on my app.
[00:03:44] Uh, she's also the CEO of True Native Media. Which is a company that connects podcasters and advertisers, and she helps podcasts find advertisers. And she also helps advertisers find podcasts to sponsor. So Heather Osgood, welcome to the novel marketing podcast.
[00:03:58] Heather Osgood: [00:03:58] Thank you so much for having me [00:04:00] on, I'm really excited to talk about my favorite topic, which is podcast advertising.
[00:04:04] Thomas Umstattd: [00:04:04] Yeah, it is the best. So how do authors get started with podcast advertising?
[00:04:09] Heather Osgood: [00:04:09] That is a really good question. I would say I really loved what you mentioned. If you were an author and you have a book and you do not have an audio book, do not invest in podcasting. I love podcasts and I also love audio books.
[00:04:25] Yeah. I always go straight to audio book. And what I tend to do is I start with the audio book and if I like the audio book, then I buy the actual physical book because I liked the audio book so much that now I want to dive in to the printed version. So first. Make sure that you know your market and you know what your market wants, and if you're going to be advertising in podcasts, your market definitely wants to have an audio book that they can listen to. So I would say start there.
[00:04:55] Thomas Umstattd: [00:04:55] In the early days of podcasting, there was only one podcast [00:05:00] advertiser. For most podcasts and it was Audible. I remember it could be a day. There'll be a, it was long before the mattress companies got in. Everybody else got in audible has been buying podcast ads. And because of that, amongst the hardcore podcast listeners, they have heard in their lives, probably 200, maybe 300 audible ads.
[00:05:18] I think I've heard audible ads in the thousands. And like a lot of podcasts, like writing excuses have had audio Audible ads for 10 years, which means podcast listeners, not only they believe in audio books, they already have an audible membership and they probably have a stack of credits ready to spend on a book.
[00:05:34] They just need to know which book to spend it on.
[00:05:37] Heather Osgood: [00:05:37] Right. Absolutely. And for someone like myself who is addicted to audio books, I go through sometimes three a week. I'm also addicted to walking and I love listening to audio books. And like you said, if I hear something that sounds appealing, I'm going to, I've got my audible membership, I'm going to head right over and I'm going to buy it.
[00:05:56] And sometimes I buy extra credits just so I can buy the book. Because it sounds so amazing. [00:06:00] And I, you know, so yeah. So make sure you've got that audio book it's so, so important. And then next, you really do need to decide where your audience is in terms of who is going to be purchasing your book. So hopefully, and I'm sure that you have talked to them all about this, but hopefully they've got a really clear idea of who their customer is.
[00:06:20] So you have written this book. For someone. Um, and as you're writing this book for someone, you need to make sure that you're also then buying ads to reach that person. And when you think about really the power of advertising is all in targeting, and that's one of the great things about podcasts is that we can get down into some very specific audiences and very specific topics.
[00:06:43] And so you really need to understand that reader slash listener that you've got going on for your book, and then look to podcast and try to find the podcast where those people are going to be congregating, because if you can speak directly to that person, who's going to be [00:07:00] interested in buying your book. You're going to have a much better chance of actually making those sales.
[00:07:05] Thomas Umstattd: [00:07:05] And here's a good hack that will help you figure out what some of those podcasts are. Talk to your beta readers and your launch team if you have one and ask them what podcasts do you listen to survey them separately? And then if you start to see certain podcasts that multiple of your readers are listening to, that's a podcast you need to look at really hard for getting into.
[00:07:23] And in this case, it's not a matter of like asking them permission. It's not like pitching to have you on as a guest, it's a little bit different of an exchange where you are paying money for them to talk about your book. So, but let's go through the steps here. So step one, have an audio book, step to figure out who your readers are and what podcasts they listen to.
[00:07:44] Uh, what's next.
[00:07:46] Heather Osgood: [00:07:46] Next, you would want to reach out to the podcast. So I would establish some sort of a budget for yourself, what you would be interested in investing. And what I have found within the podcasting space is that there are [00:08:00] huge differences between these mega shows and then little shows. So you kind of have to decide what you're willing to invest.
[00:08:08] If somebody comes to you and they say, gosh, The Daily is, you know, if your readers say The Daily is my favorite podcast. And I really, you know, listen to that all the time, you might decide The Daily would be a great place to market your book. And you also probably would need a couple of hundred thousand dollars to do that, right?
[00:08:24] Because it's a huge show, lots and lots of people listen to it. So you have to decide what kind of budget range you are interested investing in. On the flip side, there are lots of little tiny shows out there because now there are over a million, I think there's like 1.3 million podcasts out there right now.
[00:08:42] And that means that a lot of those podcasters have very few listeners and you don't want to spend a thousand dollars. Right. To reach 10 people, right? So establish the budget that you want and also establish the reach that you're looking to get. And so really know that if you're going to [00:09:00] invest a certain amount of money, you're going to want to make sure that that audience is going to be viable for you.
[00:09:04] And in most cases, my guess is that you're not looking for those. Uber huge shows because they are such a big investment. You're looking for the middle of the road podcasts. So that's what I always really recommend is middle. And maybe even sometimes lower because you know, if they've got a couple thousand people listening to their show, they're very engaged audiences because you're listening to that podcast because you really love.
[00:09:27] That show, right? They're not listening to it because it's a superstar that they can't get enough of. They're listening to it because they're like, Hey, I just really love this host. I love their thoughts. I love their, um, you know, the opinions that they bring or the information that they bring. So that engagement level is going to be much higher.
[00:09:44] And ideally the power of podcast ads is that we have this host read endorsement type ad. Right. So it would be amazing if you could get the host a free copy of your audio book, have them listen to your audio book and then come and say, man, you [00:10:00] know, my husband and I had a getaway weekend and this was my favorite book and it made me so happy.
[00:10:07] So grab this curl up on the couch or go for a long walk and listen to the audio audio book or what have you. But you really want that host read endorsement around your book and that's going to happen with them. Those smaller shows. When you get into the bigger shows, they're not going to have as much traction around that host read.
[00:10:23] So having that budget, deciding exactly how much, you know, how many people you're wanting to reach and then really can you get that engagement from the hosts are really important. Next steps.
[00:10:34] Thomas Umstattd: [00:10:34] Yeah, cause there's a podcast for every budget. If you want to spend a million dollars, there are podcasts networks that will spend that million dollars for you.
[00:10:41] And if you want to spend $20, there are podcasts for it's $20, right. You're like, woo. We're excited. And if that, if that podcast is good fit, right, it's like you've written a dragon writing book and there's a podcast all about dragon writing books. And you know, maybe it doesn't have a whole lot of listeners, but every listener is like, Ooh, Yes, they're going to buy your book.
[00:10:59] It [00:11:00] may be totally worth it. Now that doesn't scale, right. There may be only one book on dragon writing. And I think it's important to say podcasting is different than YouTube with YouTube. I could buy ads just for potential readers that I think would fit me regardless of what video. They're watching. So they're watching some music video and before the music video plays my ad plays, but I've just identified them somehow based off their demographics or Facebook's the same way I'm targeting them based off the demographics podcasting doesn't really allow for thin slicing like that.
[00:11:31] I mean, I know it's starting to happen a little bit, uh, but for the most part, especially with the host readouts, like what you're talking about, you're paying for somebody to read your ad to their whole podcast. Listenership themselves. So you don't have to get a fancy radio guy being like, all right, now this time with the cool music that actually works worse and costs you more money.
[00:11:51] Heather Osgood: [00:11:51] Right. So don't do that. That's not a bad, and that's not a good idea.
[00:11:55] Thomas Umstattd: [00:11:55] So, uh, what are some tips for, you know, so we've identified our budget, right? Some people have a big budget. Some [00:12:00] people have a small budget. Uh, what are the next steps when it comes to reaching out to those podcasts?
[00:12:05] Heather Osgood: [00:12:05] There's a couple of different ways that you can go about finding podcasts.
[00:12:10] And I would say that part of the reason why podcast advertising probably isn't more prolific than it is right now is because it's kind of difficult to buy podcast ads. If you're buying YouTube ads, it's pretty easy, right? You go on YouTube. You buy the ads. If you're buying Facebook ads, you go on Facebook, you buy the ads with podcasts.
[00:12:27] It's not that simple because there isn't like a central receptacle where everybody's in one spot and you can just go in and say, Hey, I'm interested in buying this kind of, of listener. And I've got this kind of budget, like go do it. Um, it's it tends to be a much more manual process. And because it's a manual process, it can be a little bit, you know, it's just more work.
[00:12:47] And so it can be a little bit more difficult. But the payoff I do believe is greater because that engagement is greater. So, you know, to start with, again, I think serving your audience is a really good idea. Serving [00:13:00] any connections you have to the types of podcasts that they like. And if they come back and they say they like the daily.
[00:13:05] Yeah. Maybe you can't afford the daily, but you say, well, gosh, I'm going to look at some other news podcasts or some others within that specific genre. Um, and so you can drill down and go a little bit deeper to the smaller shows where your budget could go further. So identify the shows that you're interested in.
[00:13:22] And I do like to identify them by kind of verticals or genre. So if you're. If you're feeling like, well, the female lifestyles are perfect for me because my book is a romance book and I want to reach this specific person. Or if you've identified that your audience is more male focused, you know, just think about that group of people and the type of content that they're going to be around.
[00:13:45] And then. What I would recommend is opening up some of the different, uh, platforms that have players and just taking some, some time to look through podcasts. There is a platform out there that [00:14:00] I really like called player.fm. It's both a player for your phone as well as a website. And so if you go onto player.fm, you could type in, um, like my, we just got some chickens a few months ago, right.
[00:14:11] So my daughter listens to this chicken podcast. So you could go in and be like, You know, how do I take care of backyard, chickens or backyard chickens, or what have you. And it's going to come up with a list of the different podcasts. So that can be a really good resource, um, or iTunes can be, you know, Apple podcasts can be good.
[00:14:28] Any of the apps out there can be a really a good resource for you to look for different shows. So I would start there. Once you have found the podcast, you can easily go and Google that podcast and either find their website. Also, if you can't find their website, but you can find them on Apple. A lot of times Apple has a link to their website or a contact, you know, information can sometimes be found in there, but you would want to ideally identify who to talk to.
[00:14:57] To add that podcast and then reach out to them. [00:15:00] Sometimes they'll have rates and stats, um, on their website, which is great. And sometimes they don't, you have to keep in mind just like many of you listening are probably authors and you have a book. My guess is most of you are not authors full time that you're doing this as a side project.
[00:15:18] And a lot of podcasters do it as a side project as well. So it doesn't mean that they're not engaged or they don't have great audiences, but sometimes it can be a little bit trickier to get a hold of them. They might not be as responsive. So it takes a little bit, I would say of, uh, you know, time and effort to find those shows.
[00:15:38] And that's, that's a good way of finding them. Um, if you're looking individually, the other ways that you can also find podcasts, you can identify networks of podcasts. So networks or groups of shows typically. Kind of based around a genre or a topic, right? So you might have a true crime network or a sports [00:16:00] network where a lot of the podcasts are the same, and those can be nice because you can go and you can approach a network and say, Hey, you know, I want to advertise.
[00:16:10] And sometimes you can buy across their whole network of shows. Sometimes you can buy individual shows, but then you're not having to do as much heavy lifting. And then lastly, there are companies like true native media, right? Where we are a representation from, we work with 60 different podcasts in a variety of different genres.
[00:16:27] And so you can come to a company like ours and talk to us about advertising. I would say in terms of investment levels. Yeah. Those independent podcasters that you're going to identify on your own will give you more range in terms of budget. Like you mentioned, um, a $20 ad, right? Some of those could, you could place a $20 ad.
[00:16:46] Um, so some of those can be priced very reasonably, um, but the audiences are smaller. The networks are going to be more expensive because you're. You're buying more truthfully, there's more hands in the pot, right. So it's going [00:17:00] to cost a little bit more. Um, and then representation firms, I would say for us, we're usually looking for, to have somebody spend about $5,000, um, on, up for their campaigns for it to, to make sense to work with us.
[00:17:11] So, you know, just depends on where you're at in terms of your budget.
[00:17:15] Thomas Umstattd: [00:17:15] Which is not far out from what PR firms charge for their matchmaking, it's the same kind of level. So somebody fell off your chairs when you heard high thousand dollars, don't worry. You can do this yourself and work with a smaller podcasts and you're putting in the labor yourself.
[00:17:30] So when Heather says it's a manual process, this means. Actually talking to people sometimes. And I know for you fellow millennials, I hate to say it, but it means talking to them on the phone,
[00:17:40] Heather Osgood: [00:17:40] on the phone. Yes, yes. On the phone is a good thing.
[00:17:44] Thomas Umstattd: [00:17:44] He may be able to do it all by email. And I will say the podcast host directory is very helpful.
[00:17:50] If you're wanting to reach out to, especially the ones that seem to be hard to contact any other way, you can email them. That would be like, Hey, would you be open to advertising? So we've identified the podcasts. [00:18:00] And we've now reached out to them, or we're working with a firm like yours that does the matchmaking.
[00:18:04] What's the next step. I know some will just say here's the price list. Take it or leave it. But with others there's a bit of a negotiation. So, so what does that look like?
[00:18:12] Heather Osgood: [00:18:12] Yeah, so it definitely is a negotiation process. What I recommend if you were interested in buying ads is get really clear on the audience size, because the last thing you want to do is spend thousands of dollars to reach a really small audience.
[00:18:29] And one of the biggest mistakes that I see podcasters make when it comes to advertising is that they give you big cumulative numbers. So they might say, This podcast is amazing. And we, you know, we've had over a hundred thousand downloads and you're like great, a hundred thousand downloads. That sounds terrific.
[00:18:52] And on, you're only going to charge me, you know, $150 for an ad and a hundred thousand downloads. Great. Well, what they're missing is that they've [00:19:00] been publishing. 150 episodes a year for the last 20 years. Right? So it's like, what happens is a lot of times podcasters give you this cumulated number of how many downloads they've had collectively over a lot of different episodes over a long period of time.
[00:19:18] And that's a great yay out of boy number for them, but it really doesn't mean anything for you, the advertiser. So most of those smaller shows are going to be doing embedded ad reads and how embedded ad reads work is if there were an ad in this podcast episode that we're recording right now, that was embedded in the episode.
[00:19:37] What that would mean is that anybody who listens to this episode is going to hear that ad, which is terrific. And so you want to know how many downloads is this? Episode getting in a 30 day period. So in 30 days, how many people could you expect to listen to this show? It doesn't matter how many people listen in a week.
[00:19:57] It doesn't matter how many people listen cumulatively [00:20:00] over there, 200 episodes in a month. It only matters how many people are listening to the episode that your ad is in. Right. Over about a 30 to 45 day period. And that might be a hundred people that might be a thousand. That might be 3000, right. That number it's based on what you are comfortable paying for that size and audience, but just make sure that you're clear about their audience size because.
[00:20:27] If you aren't clear about how many people are going to reach or, or listened to that ad and what your reach is, then what's the point of it. And the issue that I have is as a marketer, right? So you're an author, but you're also a marketer. Because you're marketing this product, trying to get customers. You need to know how much, whether it's hiring a PR firm, whether it's, you know, doing Facebook ads or YouTube ads or podcast ads, how much is it costing you to reach a thousand people?
[00:20:56] Which is why in the podcast industry, we often talk about CPMs [00:21:00] or cost per thousand. So how much is it costing you to reach a thousand potential readers? Is it costing you. $150. Is it costing you $10? Is it costing you $500? Right. And then you have to look at what is the return on your investment going to be for what you're making.
[00:21:17] So understanding the audience size is so important. And I think it's something that gets very overlooked.
[00:21:23] Thomas Umstattd: [00:21:23] And it also allows you to make an apples to apples comparison between very different podcasts. So what affects that cumulative number is the age of the podcast and the frequency of the podcast.
[00:21:33] Right? If you have a daily podcast, you're going to have a really big total number of downloads because you have 365 episodes every year. So it doesn't take a lot of listeners, times 365 episodes a year to get a really big number. And yet the per episode downloads, uh, would be very different. Whereas you have another podcast, that's a monthly.
[00:21:52] Podcast or let's say a Dan Carlin, right? He does it in a, I see her.
[00:21:57] Heather Osgood: [00:21:57] And,
[00:21:58] Thomas Umstattd: [00:21:58] but yet he has [00:22:00] 10 million people listen, when he puts out a new episode. Um, and people like me who will stop everything and find two hours in my day to, to listen to his old podcasts. I don't have a problem. It's not an addiction. I can quit anytime I want.
[00:22:12] I just choose not to
[00:22:13] Heather Osgood: [00:22:13] my husband. Can't he loves that show. He's obsessed with it.
[00:22:16] Thomas Umstattd: [00:22:16] It's really good. It's the best history podcast. Um, but. It's very different. And whereas if you're looking at the 30 day number, which is kind of industry standard 34 to five days, how many downloads after that number, it allows you to compare that daily podcast with that, you know, twice a year, late podcast, and know the size of the audience.
[00:22:34] What's interesting about podcasts is that while you get a number after those number of days, those episodes continue to get downloads. Right? This podcast, we have downloads on episodes. We did five years ago and seven years ago. And if you have an embedded ad. Your ad continues to get listened to for all of that time.
[00:22:52] And for some products, this is a real problem, right? If you have a technology product, right? Say you have an iPhone, you're advertising your iPhone and it's like the iPhone six S now [00:23:00] with no headphone Jack, it's so amazing. And now the iPhone twelves are out. That ad feels really dated. Whereas if you have a book that's being advertised.
[00:23:07] Most books are just as good six years later. And you know, maybe if your book was about the 2012 political election, maybe it wouldn't be, but for most novels, especially that book is timeless. It's a really great fit between the product that you're selling your book and the format. Now I, there one thing I want you to talk about.
[00:23:27] And this is something that scares a lot of people away is the fact that you don't get the kind of data that you get with Facebook advertising. Right. But Facebook advertising, I can see exactly how many people clicked, what mood they were in, where they were living, what kind of device they were on. And then I can follow them around the internet for the rest of their lives and peer into their souls and know their inner most.
[00:23:47] Secrets. Whereas with podcasting, you don't get that kind of data. It's a more private ecosystem. So does that mean that we shouldn't buy ads on podcasts? Or how do we navigate that lack of marketing data? Yeah.
[00:23:58] Heather Osgood: [00:23:58] I mean, there is a lack of [00:24:00] marketing data and you know, there, there's no way to really argue around that.
[00:24:03] There certainly is more, uh, information that is coming on on the scene in the podcast space than there has been in the past. Uh, But if you were dealing with an independent podcaster, which most of you will be, I would guess, um, they're not going to have that rich data that you're looking for. And as an industry, we really don't have that rich data.
[00:24:25] Uh, so you just have to decide if you're okay with that. And if you are not okay with it, then I would suggest not doing podcast ads, but you know, Uh, I come from a traditional offline media, uh, background in radio and newspaper advertising where we had really absolutely no idea.
[00:24:45] Thomas Umstattd: [00:24:45] I had a DriveTime radio show, no joke.
[00:24:47] That was the drive time radio show host talk show. And I asked the station how many people are listening to my show and they could not answer me. They didn't know they would, they would base like whether a segment or good was good or not. Based on how many [00:25:00] people called in. And I'm like, that has way more to do with how controversial I am, then how many people are listening to this show?
[00:25:06] And I will say podcasts before I did radio than it did radio. And I did podcasting afterwards. And while people coming from Facebook or Google ads, they come into podcasting like, Oh my gosh, there's no data. You can't retarget people. You can't pixel them for somebody like me coming from radio. I'm like, Yeah, but we have so much more data than we did in radio world.
[00:25:24] We actually know how many people are listening and we know what countries they live in and some cases what cities they live in. Like there's a way better data.
[00:25:31] Heather Osgood: [00:25:31] Yes, yes, no, that is totally true. And I think it's so fascinating because when you look at the billions of dollars that are spent, even in TV, which is.
[00:25:41] Not nearly as trackable as so many other forms, lots and lots and lots of ad dollars get spent where there isn't the trackability. I think what has happened in our industry is that we as marketers have always wanted this rich data. Right. And now all of a sudden it's like a kid in a candy store because you [00:26:00] have so much detail, right?
[00:26:01] And it's difficult sometimes for people to pull back from that and say, is it okay that I don't have this data? Um, and what does that mean for my campaign? And the reality is, is it's okay that you don't have all of that data. I, I think it's more about identifying the market that you're looking at. And one of the nice things about podcasts is that even if you don't know exactly who's listening to the podcast, you can.
[00:26:26] Look at the content of the show and determine fairly well. Who's listening to the show. You know, if you're, you've got a history podcast and you're talking about the civil war, you can pretty much guess who's going to be listening to that as opposed to, if you've got a show that's. You know, talking about parenting and being a mom, you know, it's, it's not as difficult.
[00:26:49] I think sometimes we make it out to be. So I would really encourage you to look at podcasts that you feel like your audience or your target market would actually be [00:27:00] interested in listening to. And then in terms of the data that's infer and you know, available to us, like you said, we can tell you how many downloads have occurred.
[00:27:08] To that episode, we can tell you, you know, where those people are located. Are they in the United States? Are they out of the country? And those are important pieces of information for your campaign. And those are the types of information you could get.
[00:27:23] Thomas Umstattd: [00:27:23] And you can still answer the most important question, which is, was this effective.
[00:27:27] So assuming that you're not doing multiple different kinds of campaigns at the same time, or you're doing Facebook ads and Amazon ads and podcast ads. So let's assume that you're just going to do one of those. You're just going to spend your money in one place. You have a baseline. Let's say my book is selling.
[00:27:41] 10 copies a day, um, normally give or take five copies, right? That's your variation. So I'm selling 300 copies a month, then you start podcast advertising, and then you can compare that period with the podcast ads to the period before the podcast ads and do take into effect or an account that it takes people a while to listen to a [00:28:00] podcast.
[00:28:00] So don't expect it's not like a BookBub ad where you go from, you know, selling 10 copies a day to selling 3000 copies in one day and then. Back down to 10 a week later. It's not like that. What you should expect with a successful podcast ad is it will ramp up pretty quickly, your boost in sales and then trickle off, uh, after the campaign ends.
[00:28:20] But it will trickle off slowly because people, you know, some of you are listening to this podcast in the future. In fact, some of you are listening to this podcast in the far off land of 2021, and we just hope that it is a beautiful thing, 2021, and that the robots have not up prison and overthrown their human overlords by then.
[00:28:36] Heather Osgood: [00:28:36] But I think, I mean, I was going to say that and I think that that's one of the things that is so important to realize about podcast advertising. So to your point, if you've got a baseline, which I'm sure you do have, how many books are selling and then you add podcast ads on top, then it is easy to say yes, Is this lifting my overall sales.
[00:28:54] So I do think that that's a good way of looking at it, but always remember that podcasts are very [00:29:00] slow moving vehicles because even, you know, as you said, even though people will listen to this podcast episode, the day it comes out, people will also listen to it for years to come. And sometimes. Podcasts get more listens in the second month than they did in the first month then.
[00:29:16] So you do just have to make sure that you are realizing that it isn't like YouTube or Facebook where you could say, I want to reach 10,000 people today, and I'm going to reach 10,000 people today. You know, if you're, if you're projecting that your ad is going to reach 10,000 people in podcasts, that will take at least 30 days, if not 45 days to get that number of people to actually have listened.
[00:29:40] And then. We also have to remember in marketing that one impression isn't going to be enough typically to get people, to run out and buy something. So they're going to need multiple impressions of that one ad. So depending if you just buy one ad on one podcast, it's not going to produce results. You're going to need to buy multiple ads on a single [00:30:00] podcast over a couple of month period, to see some real traction and real results from your campaign.
[00:30:07] Thomas Umstattd: [00:30:07] So we've gone through the process. We've now sent the contract. We have negotiated on the price. We found a podcast or podcasts that fit our budget and we send them a sample book. Do we also send them sample copy of like here's some texts to read on the air or do you recommend having the host create it all themselves?
[00:30:25] What does that, how, um, involved should the author be in creating that host read ad.
[00:30:32] Heather Osgood: [00:30:32] So they are going to be host, read ads, which is important. So you, you know, as we already talked about, we want it to be host red, meaning. You want it to be authentic and as organic as possible? The idea behind it is I was talking to a cosmetic company earlier and if a friend of mine came over and said, Hey, Heather, I just started using this terrific skincare.
[00:30:57] Right. It is absolutely amazing. You need to check [00:31:00] it out. I'm going to be much more likely to actually go and check it out because a friend has said, I should check it out. Right. And so we want the ad to feel like a friend is recommending a product, so you don't want it scripted. Number one, you don't want it to sound like you, the host is reading an ad.
[00:31:17] You really want that. Want them to personalize it as much as possible on the flip side, you know, The unique selling proposition of your book and why people are going to be attracted to it. And the host might not bring out all of the points of your book that you want communicated on their own. So typically what we do is we say, Hey, provide talking points for the host, be that, you know, four to five points that is really going to bring the message home.
[00:31:46] For the audience and say, this is exactly, you know, what I want you to say, or, you know, I want to make sure you mentioned these four to five points, but other than that have free reign and use as much personal experience as you can to make that [00:32:00] ad read, feel authentic.
[00:32:03] Thomas Umstattd: [00:32:03] One way to think of it. As you're providing the host, the ingredients, you're letting them cook the meal.
[00:32:08] And you're giving them freedom to cook the meal that will resonate with their audience because it may be, you've got these five bullet points and those are how you've sold your book to your audience. And you're the host of the podcast reads your book and they bring in bullet 0.6 that they think is going to resonate with their audience.
[00:32:24] Don't send them an email being like, what are you doing? Because there's a very good chance they pick the better bullet point. I know the benefit of your book is something that jumped out at them. And even if it wasn't, you know, the best argument that could make the fact that they made it in an authentic way where they believed it, they said something they believed in is going to be a more effective ad than them kind of reading the obligatory party line.
[00:32:44] And I see this sometimes on YouTube with advertisers. So you don't quite get it that it was like, you have to read it exactly like this and it comes across. Very artificial and fake, as opposed to advertisers that give more freedom. Right? In my experience in radio, I see, or sorry, in podcasting, I feel like most average hazards and [00:33:00] podcasting are savvier and they are giving that greater freedom.
[00:33:03] And you know, we're talking about this friction of you have to talk to them in person, you got to do the research yourself and you don't have quite as good measurement. All of these things are why podcasts advertising is cheaper, because there are other people who don't want to go through those hard steps and they're not bidding against you.
[00:33:17] So while that may seem like a downside. Looking at it from another angle. It's the best part of podcast advertising right now as the advertiser, because you're paying less. For that ad, then you will, for the same ad years from now when the technology is better.
[00:33:31] Heather Osgood: [00:33:31] Absolutely. And you know, when I worked in print, we used to talk about clutter a lot like of ad clutter when you've got a newspaper that is three fourths of it is ads.
[00:33:45] How much does your ad stand out? Right. And I feel like we have to take all of the traditional ad, uh, practices and apply them to what's happening right now. How many ads do we all see in Facebook constantly? Right? Like [00:34:00] I remember, I remember the good old days when Facebook didn't have ads, but now it's just bombarded with ads.
[00:34:05] Right? There's so many ads. There are so many ads and Facebook, there's so many ads on YouTube. And the reason is because they are effective. So I will give that to them. Right? They are effective. But when you are constantly bombarded by ads, you're not going to stand out as much. And one of the things that so important and so valuable about podcast right now, there are lots and lots of podcasts out there with zero ad messages in them.
[00:34:30] Which to me, just, it absolutely just floors me because I look at the, the media landscape out there. Granted, this is coming from somebody who likes ads and makes money from ads, but I'm like, how do we have all of these listeners out there that are not being served ad messages? And it's a really good opportunity for somebody who's looking to reach an engaged audience, because if I'm listening to your podcast and I hear, you know, 10 ads.
[00:34:58] Like, you know, the Tim Ferriss [00:35:00] show, I listened to that from time to time and it's like, Oh my gosh, she's got so many ads. Right. And so it's very easy to tune it out. But if I'm listening, especially some of these smaller and mid level podcasts, they don't have any advertisers. Right. And you're going to stand out in such a strong way.
[00:35:15] And it's so valuable for you to be highlighted in a way that's not followed by 20 other ad messages.
[00:35:24] Thomas Umstattd: [00:35:24] And that's not always going to be the case where you're not bidding against anyone else. When you approach that podcast and say, Hey, can I be a sponsor? They're like, Oh no, one's approached us. Before to be a sponsor of our podcast.
[00:35:36] And so you make an offer and they're like, Oh, okay. 20 bucks sounds great. And you're, you're just kind of chuckling all the way to the bank. Cause you're selling, you know, dozens of yeah. Dollars or hundreds of dollars worth of books off of that ad because nobody else has advertising. And this is one of those strategies that because not a lot of authors are using it right now in the author world and the podcast targeting author world.
[00:35:57] There's not a lot of advertisers. Most [00:36:00] podcasts are self. Fund it, you know, this podcast, uh, funded by you. Our listeners are probably our patrons and by the courses, right? I'm the only advertiser on this. And that's true across basically the whole spectrum of authors right now. So you're getting a technique that is not a technique that's been tried and is tired.
[00:36:18] You're out in front of the case studies here, which is a little crazy because podcasting's not new and body. Um, and there have been podcasts that promote other books, but like, um, What is it? The writing excuses. They feature a book every week, but they feature a book every week because their sponsor is audible still.
[00:36:36] It's still audible. And they, and they all will feature a book, but not because the author paid them in a feature of the book that feature the book because audible is paying them to feature your book. So, one thing you may look for are podcasts that are sponsored by audible. And you're like, Hey, can I, co-sponsor your audible app, audible rec encourages you to recommend a specific book.
[00:36:54] Could you recommend my specific book and can, you know, can I get a discount on that? And it allows them to double dip [00:37:00] on the same ad spot and everybody wins.
[00:37:02] Heather Osgood: [00:37:02] That is a brilliant idea because there are so many podcasts out there advertising audible. The other little secret about audible is that they pay pretty well for their affiliate program.
[00:37:15] So a lot of podcasters will run audible ads just as an affiliate ad and they may be very open to. Paying you in partnership with audible so that they can double dip for that. And everybody wins. Good recommendation.
[00:37:31] Thomas Umstattd: [00:37:31] Yeah. And I will say history podcasts, if you're writing fantasy or science fiction, the people who listen to history podcasts are the same people who watch fantasy and science fiction.
[00:37:39] Once you drink the nerd Kool-Aid yeah. You are a nerd and while it may not be a hundred percent of your audience, it's a good fit for your audience. And there's all this history podcasts that get huge downloads history of the category is the biggest category. In terms of median downloads, the median downloads for history podcasts, like five times bigger than the typical [00:38:00] podcast. And yet nobody's advertising on them.
[00:38:03] Heather Osgood: [00:38:03] It's evergreen content, which is terrific because then if you're running your ad embedded. You know, you can listen about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln for a very, very long time.
[00:38:14] Thomas Umstattd: [00:38:14] It never goes out of style, they're not going to discover, Oh, oops.
[00:38:21] We were wrong. Rome didn't burn down after all. It's like, Nope. It definitely burned. There's no more room. I mean, they built a room on top of it and then it burned down again. They built it again. Uh, but anyway, tell us a little bit about True Native Media and walk us through kind of what you do as a podcast representation agency.
[00:38:36] Heather Osgood: [00:38:36] Yeah, sure. So, um, I founded the company, it'll be almost five years ago now. And I started the company because I felt like there were a lot of mid and small level podcasts that weren't being represented well or at all, because, you know, the bigger representation firms said, Hey, podcast had to have 50,000 downloads, an episode to be viable.
[00:38:57] And I thought that just wasn't true because [00:39:00] as we've been talking about, there are so many good opportunities and you don't have to reach thousands of. People to move the needle. If you're reaching the right people, you can reach a thousand people and move the needle with it. So essentially what true native media does is we try to take some of the heavy lifting out of podcast, ad buying, and we work with about 60 different podcasts and we connect them with advertisers and then we handle all of it.
[00:39:25] So if you were to come to true native media and say, I've got this great book, I want to advertise it right. Then I would say, Oh, terrific. Well, we happen to have this handful of history podcasts of which we do, and you could buy ads on them. Right. And then instead of having to go directly to each podcast or, and try to negotiate the deal and make sure everything is happening, um, we do all of that for you.
[00:39:49] And the podcaster is actually the one that pays us. We get a percentage of their ad sales. So it doesn't cost the ad buyer, anything to work with through native [00:40:00] media and. You know, true native media is not the only representation from out there. There certainly are other companies similar to us. And there are some online ad buying platforms.
[00:40:09] Um, I think you have to be really careful when you go on some of those platforms because their downloads have not been validated in any way. And so somebody could just go on there and put their podcast has a hundred thousand downloads and you wouldn't know for sure. So I do. I recommend, you know, kind of treading lightly, um, in some of those arenas, because you want to make sure again, that you're actually reaching the number of people that you're paying to reach, but yeah, true.
[00:40:35] Native media just tries to take some of the heavy lifting out of podcast ad buying.
[00:40:40] Thomas Umstattd: [00:40:40] And we'll have a link to true native and as a website in the show notes, it's true. Native media.com. And we'll also have a link to the podcast advertising playbook, because we have not talked about what to do if you are a podcast.
[00:40:53] And I know many of you listening have started your own podcast and you're wanting to get in it to selling ads. And we're creating a market right here because [00:41:00] as authors are wanting to advertise on podcasts and other authors are starting. Podcasts about fiction or about nonfiction. There is a, some great music that can be made.
[00:41:10] And if you're wanting to learn how to sell ads and kind of how to do the other side, I do really encourage you to listen to the podcast, advertising playbook, hosted by Heather Osgood and Heather, thank you so much for joining us today on the novel marketing podcast.
[00:41:22] Heather Osgood: [00:41:22] Thank you, Thomas. It's been great chatting with you.
[00:41:24]Thomas Umstattd: [00:41:24] You've been listening to Thomas junior and Heather Osgood on the novel marketing podcast to find the blog version of this episode, or to get new episodes delivered to your phone automatically visit authormedia.com. Thank you for listening and live long and prosper.