Here's Why Your Podcast Ad Should Sound Different From Your Other Ads


Welcome to The Yard, a blog by Backyard Media that explains the podcast industry and podcast advertising.

Are you a marketer for a company looking to make its first foray into podcast advertising? Great! You couldn't have picked a better time to get into the medium. Podcasts are growing, and podcast audiences are super valuable. Backyard Media is here to help you get started. Today we'll talk about a few things new podcast sponsors should consider when making their first podcast ads.


Podcast ads need to be written for the ear

Just like radio and narrated podcast scripts, podcast ads should sound natural to listeners. In radio and podcasting, we talk about "writing for the ear". Whether it's narration for a podcast or a newscast for the radio, the wording needs to sound like someone discussing a topic in conversation. It's harder than it sounds, especially for an ad.

So what does writing for the ear mean? First, it should be simple and clear. At most, have one whole idea per sentence. For example, "XYZ mattresses provide maximum comfort. We do this through expert engineering of our product." An ad script can and should hit multiple selling points for the product over the course of the 10 to 90 second ad slot while not overloading the listener with information. A podcast ad is like explaining what you like about a product to a friend. You wouldn't pack six selling points into one breath.

Why is this important? Remember that podcast listeners are often consuming a podcast as secondary activity. Avoiding overly dense ads helps the message stick, so that they can remember it later. Scripts for podcast ads are fundamentally different from ads on other online media. They have no other sensory cues for audiences to latch onto, like an accompanying scene in a video ad.


Customize your ad to the podcast and the host you're working with

When starting a relationship with the podcast host who will be reading your ad, work with them so that they understand your product and its main selling points. This could mean having the host try out the product, or speaking with them directly. The most effective ads are those that feel tailored to the particular show they're appearing on.

Consider customizing your ad copy by taking an angle specific to the show. Is it a tech news podcast? Reference the cutting-edge technology in your product or the rigorous testing you do to ensure quality. Is it a culture show? Talk about accolades and mentions your product has received from major publications.

You can also provide a shortened ad script of "must mentions"- often a few bulleted points - and let the host take it from there. Lean on the host's talents and trust that they know their audience. By giving the hosts the opportunity to try out the product, they can develop their personal anecdotes to reference during the ad. Great hosts will find the selling points that speak most to them and use that during the ads. Listeners can tell when they're being genuine, and it's likely those same selling points will also speak to the audience.

Why is this important? You are buying an ad slot on a podcast to access that podcast's valuable, engaged audience. The best way to reach that audience is by leveraging the host's relationship with their listeners. This personal connection drives the high ROI of podcasts more than anything else (we spoke more about this in this post about why listeners listens to podcasts). By giving the host some input on the delivery or angle, the podcast ad becomes part of the content of the show and listeners won't even mind hearing it.


Mention the call-to-action multiple times, especially near the end

Podcasts have a somewhat different call-to-action from other digital ads. Because a podcast is an audio medium and listeners are consuming it as a secondary activity, the CTA should appear multiple times and be very simple and memorable. Most ads will be a direct response ad - either a promo code that audiences can use during checkout, or a special URL they'll type into their browser. Have your script mention the promo code or URL after you mention the special deal you're providing them, like 10% off their first order. Then, mention this code or URL again in the last few sentences of the ad to finish it out.

Why is this important? Listeners act on podcast ads in a delayed fashion because they're often doing something else while listening. Having a memorable CTA means they won't just Google you to find your website, but will use the specially-made code or URL when acting on the ad. This way, you can track which podcast they're coming from and have better data to inform your post-campaign marketing decisions.


Ready to get started advertising on one of Backyard Media's podcast partners? Contact us and see how easy it is to start hearing your ads on podcasts today.

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Backyard Media is a marketplace for podcast advertising. We connect content creators of all shapes and sizes with awesome sponsors, providing them with the resources they need to do what they do best. Everyone wins.