Podcasts have a-ways to go but offer mid-market companies an opportunity to connect with consumers ahead of their competition.
Podcast programing began in the early 2000’s and was originally created for people who owned iPods. These “programs” had more of a quiet cult following for several years. Today, thanks to the increase in mobile usage and voice-enabled speakers, like the Amazon Alexa, audiences are increasingly “tuning in” to podcasts for entertainment, news and information.
Podcasts have had a steady increase in listenership since inception and continue to grow at a vigorous pace. According to Nielsen Digital Media Lab, nearly 62MM households have a casual listener, defined as listening at least once each week to a single show. However, 15MM are considered avid users because they listen to more than 4 or 5 different shows each week. The consistent increase in podcast downloads is not only good for those creating content and growing their audience but also for those mid-market companies that want to reach these loyal audiences with their brand’s message on a personal level. While this medium is not typically subscriber based and doesn’t allow for direct demo targeting yet, the content itself helps narrow down the identity of the listener within a certain percentage of error and allows for an advertiser to reach the audience they desire in the company’s footprint
Podcasts offer two types of advertising opportunities, “baked in” and dynamically inserted. The “baked in” ads, occur when a podcaster incorporates the ad within the pre-recorded podcast itself. This allows for the message to be heard time and time again whenever the program is downloaded. This option is better for national brands. It doesn’t financially make as much sense for a regional company unless that company is in most of the states since Podcasts can be downloaded anywhere in the country. Regional companies could pay dearly for areas that they do not target.
Presently, the second option is a more viable option for a regional company. Your ad is dynamically inserted through an ad server. This method works more like a traditional digital ad which pulls a message into rotation with other ads and allows for the geo-targeting of listeners within a specific market by area or zip code.
A regional company can isolate specific markets where they conduct business and want their message to be distributed, to ensure their ad budget is only being invested in those potential consumers that can buy their products or frequent their businesses. Another incentive for dynamic podcast ads, is the frequency of creative copy changes. A “Baked in” ad never changes while a dynamic ad can change every rotation.
Finally, and possibly the best point to podcasting currently, is the lack of use and knowledge by most companies. Therefore, you will need to buy less to resonate larger in your industry in this medium. Like all good things that too will eventually end in the future but that is exactly why it might be a terrific time to strike now. With loyal audiences of podcasters continuing to grow, now is the time for mid-market companies to seriously investigate this relatively untapped medium to round out your campaign.