Podcasts have been around since 2004, and while their popularity has steadily grown, recent media coverage of podcasts has brought them more attention says WhyPodcasts.org. They have potential as an advertising medium for financial services marketers for multiple reasons. Benefits of podcast advertising include:
- The ability to target niche audiences. Our Emerging Media Team notes that audience fragmentation is spurring advertisers to take advantage of podcasting’s targeting ability.
- Growing listenership. The Infinite Dial 2021® from Edison Research and Triton Digital found that approximately 80 million Americans ages 12+ are weekly podcast listeners. This is a 12% increase from 2020.
- Engaged listenership. According to WhyPodcasts.org, podcast listeners are loyal and engaged, mobile and social.
- Strong reported ROI. The Podcast Conversions Benchmark Report from Podsights studied 532 campaigns run by 232 brands from October 2018 through July 2020. They found podcast campaigns delivered an average return on ad spend of $2.42 for every dollar invested.
For financial services marketers, it’s also important to note that industry organizations and financial institutions regularly publish podcasts. And while podcast advertising for FS brands need not be limited to podcasts covering financial topics, it’s a good sign that audiences are turning to the medium not only for entertainment but also for financial education.
Types of podcast advertising
There are several types of podcast advertising. Audio ads are the most common and tend to be relatively short. They are either pre-recorded or a live host endorsement. These ads are placed at the beginning (pre-roll), middle (mid-roll) and end (end-roll) of the show. The most common pricing model is cost per mille (CPM) or cost per 1,000 listeners. Under this model, the charge would roll out as every thousand ad impressions served.
In a survey of podcast “Super Listeners” – those who listen to at least five or more hours of podcasts each week – Edison Research found that host-read ads provide the most value with 33% of Super Listeners saying they paid more attention.
Additional opportunities include:
- Blog posts
- Social media mentions
- Website advertising
Additional podcast advertising considerations for financial services marketers
It’s important to match your brand with a good podcast. “Ensure whatever shows you want to partner with are aligned with your brand values and target audience. Know the content of the show, the host and if they conduct themselves in a way that is consistent with your brand voice and ethos,” says CMO Kurt Kaufer, in an AdAge article. The key to a successful podcast advertising campaign lies in finding the right partnerships and creating ads that add real value to the listener and the potential customer.
Admittedly, it can be difficult to measure ROI from podcast advertising, especially when tracking ad performance on a podcast hosted by another organization. The podcaster should provide monthly insights into how the advertisements are doing. These insights include download numbers, web traffic numbers, advertisement impressions and click-throughs, email click numbers and more. However, they cannot measure conversions without tracking information. One suggestion is to bring podcast ad listeners to a particular landing page using a special link or providing listeners with a specific code.
Brand awareness can be an important objective for podcast advertising. A recent Claritas study found that podcasts can lift brand awareness between 24% to 79%. This is a notable statistic for FS marketers launching acquisition campaigns for new or existing products.
Besides being interested in podcasts as the advertiser, podcasting can also be an important part of your financial services content marketing strategy – right there with blog articles, social media posts and email marketing. If you’re looking for ways to build awareness for your brand, create a community of listeners and better engage with consumers, check out our previous blog post on financial services podcasts (complete with some strategic considerations for getting started and relevant examples).
We’ve only scratched the service on what FS brands can do to harness the benefits of podcast advertising. As this medium continues to grow, we’ll follow up with more insights, tips and other information.