As brands think about how to capitalize on the massive increase in podcast listenership, it's helpful to compare podcast marketing to influencer marketing. Both channels undeniably expose consumers to new products and services, and may close the sale, but much of that value is hard to attribute. Like influencers, podcasts are often measured through vanity URLs and promo codes. However, brands see a lift in sales from spending on podcasts, which is why there are many leading brands that have been leveraging podcast acquisition for years.
Entering the Podcast Space
Podcasts are always somewhere in the list of marketing priorities for brands. In practice, clients dedicate budget towards podcasts in two ways. For some clients, we've already worked to recruit and onboard a large set of partners to drive value. As we look to optimize some of these top partners, we come across podcast opportunities. Since we already have data on how well the partner performs for the brand, we are confident that there is a demographic match and the podcast listeners are likely to be interested in our brand. This approach is seeing podcasts as an incremental, optimization opportunity – similar to paid placements. Comparatively, sometimes our clients will come to us and say they would like to make a concentrated effort to test podcasts as an experimental channel. In these instances, we set a budget to test a wide variety of shows. Whichever segments we see success in, we can scale. This approach can often lead to the podcasts portion of a program scaling to over six figures in monthly spend.
Scripts, Logistics, and Reporting
Podcast hosts have a strong relationship with their listeners. For brands to effectively leverage this trust, it's important that they give hosts a degree of creative liberty. Giving hosts a set of talking points and letting them try or experience a product allows the host to speak authentically to their followers. While too much creative liberty might make brand teams a little uneasy, striking the right balance between authentic and brand-compliant is key for performance. Our team works closely with all stakeholders, including our client's brand teams to make sure all parties are aligned. We bring our experience across clients to guide clients on what works and what doesn't. Likewise, we help our clients navigate the different approaches to tracking, which can include using vanity URLs and promo codes. Likewise, we help our clients understand how having an offer can affect listeners' willingness to go through a trackable medium and the discount's impact on campaign efficiency. These are key aspects of scaling the podcasts channel through a performance approach.