4 Best Podcast Advertising Campaigns Case Studies

Your advertising plan hasn’t been working as well as you’d like it to? Try out podcast marketing 101 for a start!

Podcasts are becoming more and more popular as a form of media. 57% of Americans had listened to a podcast by February 2021, and 37% had done so in the previous month. In prior years, such percentages had been 55 percent and 51 percent respectively, and the number of listeners keeps rising gradually.

Podcast advertising is becoming more common as the number of people listening to podcasts rises. Your digital advertising campaign will benefit greatly from using podcast adverts.

Most podcast listeners (78%) don’t mind advertising and sponsorships since they know they’re helping the show. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), 61% of podcast listeners have made a purchase after hearing about it in an ad or on the show.

However, how does advertising on a podcast work? In addition, what steps should you take to ensure your podcast advertising strategy is successful? As well as answering these and other concerns, this tutorial will show you how to advertise your podcast effectively.

Types of Podcast Ads

Take time to listen to some of the most successful podcasts if you’re not acquainted with podcast advertising. You’ll hear a variety of commercials throughout the show, whether they occur in the beginning, middle, or end credits.

There is a wide range of advertising in podcasts based on the host (s). Advertising on podcasts is easy for them since they know how to do it creatively.

What’s the deal with podcast advertising? The following are the most frequently used podcast ad formats:

Baked-in ads:: These adverts are included in the podcast and are heard by everyone who downloads or listens to the podcast. The presenter or announcer of the podcast usually reads these commercials. It’s possible that a presenter reading the ad will improvise and deliver the commercial in their own unique way. If the advertisement is delivered by an announcer, expect a more planned and official tone.
Dynamically inserted ads: Advertisements introduced when the podcast is downloaded or streamed are referred to as dynamically injected advertisements. There will be a variety of commercials played depending on who is listening. These commercials are pre-recorded rather than read live.

You may also control when your advertisement appears in the episode by selecting from a number of different options. The following are examples of common podcast advertising options:

Pre-roll: This type of advertisement appears before the opening of a program, either before the content or during the introduction.
Mid-roll: Ads that appear in the middle of the show’s rollout. They’re usually more than twice as long as pre-roll and post-roll spots combined.
Post-roll: These advertisements appear at the end of each program and are the most cost-effective option to choose from.

How podcast ad pricing works

It’s critical to have a firm grasp of podcast ad prices before launching an advertising campaign. Let’s take a look at three different pricing structures for podcast advertising:

Cost per thousand impressions (CPM)

CPM is an abbreviation for cost per mille, meaning the price per 1,000 impressions, in this case, listeners. The number of downloads or listeners a podcast has can be used to estimate the number of impressions.

With regards to podcast advertising, cost per thousand downloads (CPM) is by far the most popular pricing strategy.

Cost per acquisition (CPA)

CPA pricing is another option. In this business model, you pay a fixed fee for each new consumer you bring in as a result of your advertising efforts.

When someone uses a special promo code you supplied in your advertisement, you’ll be charged a fee each time they use it on your website.

Flat fee

Although it is unusual, some podcasters charge a fixed rate to advertisers that wish to promote on their show.

Podcast Advertising case studies

Hackable? An Original Podcast from McAfee

The strategy:

A marketing company called Response has been collaborating for over a decade with McAfee as a security company. It’s been a never-ending struggle to get people to talk about digital security all these years. They’d rather not even consider it. And, for the most part, it’s not until there’s an issue that they consider it. However, learning is the primary line of defense when it comes to avoiding security concerns.

Listening to popular podcasts like “Serial” while thinking about this nagging problem gave them the idea to start their own McAfee Podcast to entertain and educate their audience through a relatively fresh and uncomplicated channel. As a result, they proactively approached the agency with the notion of creating a podcast on their behalf.

From the beginning, the objectives were as follows:

  • In order to impact customer loyalty and NPS, increase McAfee’s leadership role in cyber-security and enhance good sentiments about the McAfee brand
  • Make cyber-security concerns more approachable and fun while still offering clear information and training.
  • Remain more knowledgeable than you arrived with the audience

The company’s goal was to develop brand-building audio storytelling that was both entertaining and informative. Since Pacific Content has a wealth of experience and ability in telling the most vivid tales through audio, they were an obvious choice for the production team.

Pop culture (recreate a scene from a television show, a movie, or the news that shows a security breach or hack) + MythBusters.

The show was given the working title “Hackable?” by the production company. The question mark “?” at the end denotes that they are asking if anything can be hacked.

Take a look at the teaser video for “Hackable?” below.

When it came time to disseminate Hackable? to the various podcasting sites, they turned to SimpleCast.

A large portion of podcast listeners turn to Apple products, thus it made sense for the company to focus on its platform, resulting in a prominent placement in the “New and Noteworthy” section of their website.

In addition to receiving significant commercial placement on Pocket Casts’ app, the material was extremely well received by the company.

Those who do not listen to podcasts using an app can go to the microsite to listen, and those who use other platforms can go to find out more about each episode.

They figured the site’s tech audience would put up a fight, so they made it “Hackable” for them. You can “hack” the website if you locate the “easter eggs” concealed in blog entries, episodes, and on the website.

Hackable recognized it would be an uphill struggle to convert non-podcast listeners, so they set out to change that.

As a result, they concentrated their efforts on “fishing in areas where fish are abundant.” In-Podcast “Advertising” and Social Media were major components of their 360-Degree Marketing Plan.

The success of their show hinged on the use of in-podcast advertising. It’s not so much advertising as it is the host really endorsing the product.

Together with Reply All, Sincerely X, Science Magazine, and SpyCast they collaborated on the project.

People who have expressed an interest in podcasting or in certain podcasts were carefully targeted on social media.

The company also utilized its own and internal platforms, including its website, social media sites, social champions, and blog entries. McAfee additionally used

Because of the tight budget, the agency has switched to in-product communication as well as in-kind marketing with other podcasts to accomplish more with less money.

When they used their Mobile Security app to send messages about Hackable to McAfee android users, they saw a significant rise in the number of downloads of Google Podcasts.

They contacted other podcasts with Hackable-oriented material and listeners.

They were able to work together with Zig Zag and Deep Web Diaries because of their efforts. As a result of these cross-promotional efforts, more people became both downloaders and subscribers.

The Results:

  • Since the release of Hackable, has the McAfee Net Promoter Score (NPS) increased?
  • Is the vast bulk of it vulnerable to attack? Even individuals who had never tried a McAfee product before (65 percent) had a more favorable impression of the McAfee corporation after hearing this message.
  • After listening to the podcast, 77% of listeners stated it was “liked” or “loved.”
  • Eighty-eight percent of listeners felt the podcast taught them anything new.
  • Hackable? is one of the most popular podcasts of all time, with over 2 million downloads and 90,000 subscribers.
  • Hackable is a 5-star rated podcast on iTunes
  • Top-rated Apple Podcast: Hackable? U.S. podcast ratings: #1 for tech news, #3 for technology, and #42 overall (Overall)
  • SiriusXM Insights took up the show (twice)
  • In addition to winning The Shorty’s and Digiday’s “Best Branded Podcast” awards, the show was nominated for the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards.
  • Google Podcasts presently has it as a top trending topic.
  • Hackable’s third season was recently completed, right? & Seasons 4 and 5 have already been approved for broadcast.

a16z; A leading Tech Podcast

The Strategy:

With the objective of becoming a leader in the bot creation sector, one of the world’s biggest IT companies sought more awareness inside the bot development industry. As a result of Portent’s podcast advertising approach, more people began to pay attention.

In the bot development area, this well-known IT business intended to establish itself as a dependable top-level domain. They were up against well-known and well-established companies with their fledgling website. Even though they routinely posted fresh material, they needed a strategy for cultivating and feeding their organic search traction because of their relative invisibility as a newbie.

Their team developed a podcast advertising campaign around their target persona, a company owner and bot enthusiast named Greg, to raise brand recognition in the bot design niche.

They initially launched a $10K test campaign to make sure they were focusing on the correct character.

Because of the positive outcomes and increased knowledge of podcast listeners, they raised their budget and quadrupled the number of sponsorships in their campaign (from 14 episodes to 43).

Their overall approach included the following components:

  • The search for podcasts in the business and innovation area was done to make sure they were focusing on Greg to the best of their ability.
  • The team conducted a cost-benefit analysis after determining the cost of sponsoring podcasts in our niche to identify which podcasts would yield the highest return on investment.
  • Understanding key performance indicators (KPIs) – The effectiveness of the podcast ad campaign was evaluated based on the number of episodes downloaded, as well as traffic referred from other sources.
  • Messages Delivered Live on-Air Podcast hosts were given talking points to use at the sponsorship announcement to help spread the word about the business and establish trust.
  • Everything discussed had a clear connection to the client’s purpose and vision.
  • Custom ‘welcome’ landing pages were built for each branded podcast. Landing Page Design.
  • On top of that, they provided a unique experience for first-time visitors by helping us better segment and identify where our listeners were coming from.

The Results:

  • The podcast advertising campaign resulted in 800,000 downloads of episodes, resulting in an increase in all of our organic measurements:
  • Time Spent on Site Increased by 127% (127 seconds vs. 53 seconds)
  • A 40% Increase in Pages Viewed Per Visitor (1.97 vs. 1.41)
  • Bounce Rate Dropped by 24% (59 percent vs. 78 percent )
  • A 7% Increase in the Refund Rate (6.83 percent vs. 6.38 percent )
  • All of this was accomplished with no discount offers made to podcast consumers, a strategy commonly employed to entice listeners to the website.
  • Podcasts they worked with also included links to sponsors in their show notes, helping the brand develop links and promote its content. As a consequence, they received 400 followed links and 200 nofollowed/noindex links for nearly every episode sponsored. Over a seven-month period, the organic traffic increased by 222% as a result of the links built as a result of these campaigns.
  • In the first 9.5 weeks of the campaign and the second 13.5 weeks, the following number of visits came from organic sources:


Armchair Expert

The Strategy:

Armchair Expert’s presenter Dax Shepard excels at delivering adlibs that emphasize authenticity and use emotion.

Chrysler is a major sponsor of Armchair Expert, and Dax is a vocal supporter of Chrysler. It’s a match made in heaven.

It’s clear from any episode how much he likes his Chrysler Pacifica, describing it as “the prettiest van in the market” and a “really attractive tiny van. ”

During the interview with Malcolm Gladwell, Dax seamlessly integrates the commercial with a contemporary event, describing how convenient and roomy the van was on their recent visit to Disneyland.

This meant that his co-host, Monica, was free to add her two cents since it wasn’t scripted or pre-recorded.

It’s easy to tell that she’s feeling sentimental when she likened the vehicle to a Mary Poppins bag, that set up Dax well for a rundown of all the things it has to offer.

A bespoke URL, PacificaandDax.com, makes it even easier for listeners to remember.

Dax is also a fantastic storyteller.

Dax, while advertising CBD MD on the Ashton Kutcher episode at minute 56, talks about his recent vacation to the dunes for three days, where he was in a lot of physical discomforts, and how CBD MD came to the rescue with immediate relief for his muscles and joints with the help of CBD MD.

You would want to listen to the commercials because of the humor and sarcasm, as well as the relevance.

Whatever Dax thought about the 12-page essay about how the earth is losing sand doesn’t really matter now, does it? The fact that he’s fascinated by such a little issue catches your attention because there are so many interesting things to learn about.

The Results:

  • One of the most interesting podcasts on the web was created by actor and director Dax Shepard, who tapped into his Hollywood connections to create Armchair Expert, a podcast that features guests like Will Arnett and Drew Carey as they seek to understand what it means to be human.
  • The popular podcast Armchair Expert, hosted by Dax Shepard and Monica Padman, is currently close to the top of the Apple Podcasts rankings and will be available exclusively on Spotify starting July 1.
  • Over the last few years, Armchair Expert has grown in popularity as one of the most listened-to podcasts. Because of the high level of its guests, the show has become well-known and frequently tops the charts on Apple Podcasts. Around 20 million people listen to the show each month, according to Forbes.

The Adam & Dr. Drew Show

The hosts of this podcast do an excellent job of seamlessly integrating sponsor commercials into the broadcast.

They mention the significance of mental health and wellbeing at minute 14 of Episode #1240 – Mike Likes It. They also mention the necessity of keeping things in perspective. When it comes to wellbeing, they mention “other things to consider,” and one of their advertisers is Tommy John underwear.

Many people are puzzled as to how undergarments may help with mental health and wellbeing.

In addition, they offer an excellent incentive, which is repeated repeatedly throughout the advertisement.

Episode #1239 shows them using narrative as well.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Drew discusses the studies on sleep and the fact that “sleep is fitness.” He incorporates that into a tale about his former job at an Alzheimer’s care facility. For a long time, he blamed their ill health on stress, but it seems it was a lack of sleep.

This epiphany led to an impromptu advertisement for EightSleep.

Adam, his co-host, was also able to incorporate his narrative. Additionally, they utilize data to persuade customers, since 94% of those who sleep in the pod report sleeping better as a result of it. With a doctor’s endorsement and convincing evidence, you have everything you need to make it to the finish line.

At the beginning and conclusion of the advertisement, they state and spell out the website, which is a fantastic repetition technique.

The Results:

  • Because the presenter is delivering these commercials, people are more likely to believe them. It’s easy to see the similarities between this type of podcast promotion and an endorsement. A podcast commercial featuring the host’s voice might be planned, improvised, or even based on the host’s own experience with the product.

What is Common in Our Case Studies? Key Takeaways

Featured Product

The first stage to establishing a successful podcast advertising campaign is to have a flagship product in an established market. The podcast listeners will discover value in your business if you have an engaging offering that offers value while also telling your company’s narrative.

By removing the variables of marketing numerous goods, you can analyze the success of your podcast ad spending in comparison to other types of media advertising.

National or Global Reach

Podcasting doesn’t care where you are. Listeners are nearly always scattered around the country or even the world, regardless of where the podcaster is located or how strong their local presence is. You can’t geo-target your podcast marketing campaign since distribution networks don’t. In order to be successful in the podcast advertising market, you need to have the capacity to ship nationally and be experienced with national campaigns.

Online Advertising Success

Listeners who find your website through a podcast will be looking for a compelling brand narrative, high ratings, and a clear call to action (CTA). To reiterate, the primary goal of podcast marketing is to raise brand recognition and memory rather than to generate purchases directly from the ads themselves. Optimizing your website, in particular, your sales page is essential. Enable the listener to convert into a buyer with ease.

Excellent copy

Podcaster ad copy must be optimized to attract consumers to your sales page, much as your website material. When thinking about a product, ask yourself: “What, why, and how”? What’s in it for the listeners? How are they going to pay for it?

To be more specific, your text must give the podcast host product details, one to three useful elements of the product, and a compelling call to action. Even better, if you’re able to provide your podcast host a free sample or trial! Podcasters often use the ad spot to discuss their personal experiences with the product, which helps listeners remember it more vividly since they were inspired by the host’s words.

Outstanding Narrative

To answer this question, we must look at the ad’s “Who, When, and Where.” For a podcast marketing campaign to be successful, your brand’s story must also have a strong pull and memory. These tools are especially beneficial for podcasters, who like to build personal relationships with businesses before launching campaigns to ensure that the brands their listeners are hearing from are respectable and inspirational. Make a brief Zoom conversation with the podcast host in advance to tell them everything about your company and express your passion and beliefs. This will help you build a relationship with them.

Product Identification Codes

For a podcast ad campaign to be successful, you must have unique product identifiers for your sales page before and after the campaign. To get the greatest results, your keys should be simple to remember and link to the podcast host.

If you’re booking many podcasts on the same campaign, create separate codes for each podcast host. This will help you focus your efforts even further. If the listener associates the podcaster’s brand with their favorite podcast, they are more likely to remember the brand. It also makes it easier to monitor podcast performance.

6-12 Touch Points

Before they click on an ad, listeners of podcasts often require six to twelve contact points. In order to run an effective podcast advertising strategy, don’t use fewer than six ad slots for every podcast.

Final Thoughts

Just in case you needed another reason to listen to a podcast, here are some more: Every week, 42 million Americans (about 15% of the country’s population) tune in to podcasts. In comparison, that’s five times more moviegoers.

Advertisers know when they’ve got a captive audience: Nearly all of the podcasts that people who click “play” on listening to the entire thing.

It’s tough to choose the best podcast to communicate your message without doing the adequate study.

Advertisers whose messages lead to sales look into whether podcasters have the proper audience segments for their business. You need to know where you fit, what kinds of advertisements will connect with your target market, and how to allocate the appropriate resources to achieve success.

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