Sept. 24, 2020

Why The Speed Of Podcast Advertising Is Different And Why It Works Better Than Other Ads.

Why The Speed Of Podcast Advertising Is Different And Why It Works Better Than Other Ads.

Podcast advertising is a slow medium. It can frustrate some advertisers who want instant results. Today, I am going to break down why speed doesn’t matter, and how the intention behind the way listeners engage with podcasts, is far more important to...

Podcast advertising is a slow medium. It can frustrate some advertisers who want instant results. Today, I am going to break down why speed doesn’t matter, and how the intention behind the way listeners engage with podcasts, is far more important to a campaign.


The transcript is not edited, however, links have been added for convenience.

[00:00:00] Heather: 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 speed of podcast advertising. Every medium has a different speed at which you can expect results from a campaign, and podcast ads are different than many others.

[00:00:23] One of the things that are important to consider about podcasts is that while podcasts can reach a very large audience, they do take time to reach those listeners. Podcasts are a really interesting medium. What I find the most fascinating about podcasts is that it's a very intentional activity.

[00:00:44] You're not listening to me on this podcast by accident. You didn't accidentally just stumble over this, you know, podcast episode, and now it is accidentally playing on your device. I know that a lot of [00:01:00] us have had experiences with all kinds of different mediums where all of a sudden we're watching, we're listening to something and we're like, how did I even get here?

[00:01:09] Right. We've all been there, especially, I feel like, on YouTube where you're like, I'm four videos in, I didn't mean to watch about space aliens. I wanted to, you know, watch a video about gardening. How did I get here? But suddenly, here I am, and I'm watching it. It happens all the time, but it doesn't happen in podcasts, not in the same way.

[00:01:31] Certainly there are streaming vehicles that stream podcast back to back, and that can happen from time to time if you're streaming or you're just, you know, looking to reach one bit of information or one topic. Still, I would say 99% of podcasts listening is extremely intentional. 

[00:01:49] What I mean by that is that you have to have, number one, a device that you're listening on, right? Whether that's your phone, whether that's a computer, and then you have to have some sort of a listening app, right? You've got to [00:02:00] have your podcast listening app. If you're on an iPhone, then you might be using the Apple app. Maybe you've got another installed app that you're using.

[00:02:09] If you're on an Android, maybe you're using Google play or something else, but you have to have a way to listen to podcasts. It's not something that is just a habit hazard activity. You have to be intentional about listening. And then once you get to those apps, you have to decide which podcasts you're going to listen to.

[00:02:26]And that could be a whole other ball of wax, right? There are so many great shows out there. And sometimes, it can be difficult as firstly for me to decide which show I want to listen to because there are so many great options, but it's an extremely intentional activity. When I push play, I want to listen to that podcast.

[00:02:44]Now I was thinking the other day and granted, yes, this certainly does date me, but when I was in my newspaper ad sales day, I used to sell ads for a daily newspaper, and it was a newspaper that had subscribers. So we had the [00:03:00] newspaper delivered to homes, and we also had newspapers available on stands. So I worked for this daily newspaper.

[00:03:07] That was a paid product for quite some time. And then I went to go work for a more kind of like a magazine that was a free publication that was just distributed throughout the community in a freeway. Now that is great, right. To have a free product that is distributed. And you might think, well, gosh, if it's free, that means it's out there.

[00:03:29] And it's easy to have access to this free product. But on the flip side, how qualified is that person picking up a free publication? Right. And I equated in the same way with podcasts listening as with other digital mediums. 

[00:03:47] When that paid subscriber requested that newspaper be delivered to their home. Do you think they read it? I mean, yes, I'm sure we've all had times where we had a newspaper delivered that we [00:04:00] didn't read, but by and large if you're going to be purchasing a newspaper, you're going to read it. If you're going to buy a newspaper off a stand, you're going to read it right. You didn't buy it just for the fun of sitting it on your counter.

[00:04:12] And it's the same thing with podcasts, right? You don't accidentally happen on a podcast. It's a very intentional activity. And once you're there, you're going to listen to it. When you compare podcasts, listening to other forms, especially to YouTube, it's crazy the length of time that people listen to podcasts and comparison to watch videos. I mean, night and day difference. 

[00:04:36]Most podcast listeners will listen to 80% of a podcast episode. So most people who subscribe are going to listen to the podcast they subscribe to. And then once they get there, most of them are going to at least get through 80% of that episode, which is just a crazy number when you compare it to other mediums. So it's extremely intentional. 

[00:04:57] But as I began this episode, it's [00:05:00] also very slow-moving. And part of how that plays out is let's say I have a weekly podcast that I listened to, and once a week, there's a new episode that comes out. Who knows what's going to be happening in my life every week. I think especially in 2020, they really have no idea what's going to be happening in our lives.

[00:05:19] Right. We're just along for the ride at this point. So we've got this weekly podcast that's coming out. And we may have its time on Thursdays, let's say, when that podcast episode comes out, we might have time to listen to that episode, but we might not. Right. We might save up several podcast episodes for a long drive that we're anticipating having, or maybe saving up.

[00:05:44] I save a podcast episode for my cleaning spree days because I love to cleaning spree days. And then I listened to lots of podcasts back to back. So there are definitely opportunities where people listen to podcasts, but they don't necessarily always [00:06:00] he's listened to them the moment that they come out. 

[00:06:02] They're going to have that listenership spread over at least a 30 to 45 day period. Now, most podcasts are downloaded relatively quickly, but that doesn't mean that they're all being listened to. So when you think about it from an advertising perspective, if today I said, you're going to run ads on Facebook, and you're going to run an ad campaign to reach 10,000 people.

[00:06:26] All those 10,000 people would see your ad message today. You would expect today that you would get a response. You would have a headline; you would have an image; you would have an offer. And all of that would be centered around reaching those 10,000 people today. But how podcasts work is we're going to reach 10,000 listeners within a 30 to 45 day period.

[00:06:49] And as those people listen, they're going to hear an ad, and they're going to respond accordingly, but that takes time, right? It's not something that happens instantaneously. 

If you're [00:07:00] an advertiser and you're in a position where you feel like you need to have a quick response that you have to have this medium turned things around on a dime.

[00:07:09] I'm telling you it's not going to happen. It's not a good medium for those quick responses.

[00:07:14]But what it does provide is an extremely qualified buyer, right? So you've got an extremely qualified buyer who is very interested in purchasing your product and service because this host that they know like, and trust that there's been a ton of intentionality around listening to the show is communicating that message.

[00:07:35] So it is a slower moving vehicle, and it's important that advertisers go into podcast ad campaigns, realizing that it's a slow-moving vehicle. One of my favorite stories that I like to tell is that we were working with a food delivery company for a while and they had a CMO that planned a campaign with us. The day the ads were set to go out, I want to say they were running ads on probably four different podcasts, 

and [00:08:00] coincidentally were all hitting on the same day, he emails me, and he said, we've got to stop this campaign. We're not getting the results we need. This is horrible. And I said, well, I'm really sorry, but the campaign, you know, has a 30 day cancellation period.

[00:08:12] You can't just cancel it today, and Oh, by the way, this isn't how podcasts work. You need to stay in the game, right? Well, unfortunately, I did not hear back from that CMO after that, however, six months later, they got a new CMO, and I did hear from her. She emailed me, and she said we were looking through these reports, and this podcast ad campaign performed terrifically. We're really interested in exploring some options to do this again. 

[00:08:38] And I was kind of dumbfounded because here you had somebody who was ready to cancel the entire campaign on the day that it went live. And yet six months later, they were able to see that it actually really did create a good amount of return for them. And part of what it is is six months later; they had given it the time that it needed to really get the results out there. 

[00:08:59][00:09:00] So make sure that you're thinking about podcast ads as being a vehicle that does take some time to get results. 

[00:09:06]Now, on the flip side, it can be relatively easy to get ad messages out there fairly quickly. Because, you know, it doesn't take a lot, you know, there's not a lot of production involved in podcast ads. So when we think about getting an ad up and running, really, all we need to do is make sure that the host has a sample of your product and that they have really good talking right points. So the timeline of actually getting ads running on podcasts can be relatively short in comparison to other types of video or audio type ads out there.

[00:09:39] Right. So, yeah, getting on the podcast doesn't mean necessarily take a ton of time. We usually tell people we want at least a two week turnaround time. But, you know, not a huge run time to get on podcast ads, but in terms of getting results, that's important to think about. The other thing to think about with timing and podcast is that you know, while holidays can 

[00:10:00] definitely affect listenership, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't advertise on holidays.

[00:10:05] Because again, getting back to the way that people listen to podcasts, we are here coming up on labor day. That's going to be happening in a couple of weeks and, you know, the reality is, is that there's probably not going to be a ton of people who are going to be listening to a podcast on labor day.

[00:10:21]However, just because a podcast publishes on labor day doesn't mean that somebody isn't going to be able to listen to that episode at a later date. So, in my opinion, in terms of holidays, that really doesn't play a huge factor in whether or not you should, or you shouldn't advertise. 

[00:10:38] Now there can be a bit of a lull in listening, I find in the Christmas new year holiday. So depending on the types of products that you're wanting to advertise between Christmas and New Year's probably isn't the best time to, to advertise if, especially if you're brand new to podcast advertising, but most holidays really aren't going to have an impact because again, it doesn't 

[00:11:00] matter when that podcast comes out.

[00:11:02] It matters when people listen to it. It's going to take a little while, but the results will be worth it. I promise. I hope this has been helpful. If you're interested in learning more about podcast advertising, please come on over and check us out a and we would be happy to answer any questions you have about podcasts and podcasts advertising.

[00:11:20] Again, that is Thanks so much. We'll talk to you soon.