Last week, we read an article by Ashley Carman for The Verge, a roundup of podcast ads that have gone wrong. As the podcasting industry is moving towards programmatic advertising, the automated technology is intended to place ads with minimal effort required from podcasters.
However, the technology is causing problems for some shows as ads show up in places they shouldn’t, have little relevance to the show, or are inappropriate for the audience. As a result, the trust and connection that creators work so hard to build are in jeopardy.
So that you can avoid your podcast experiencing the same fate, we’re sharing our top tips on creating podcast ads that actually work.
Creating effective podcast adverts
Whether you’ve secured a sponsor for your podcast or you’re organically plugging brands you’re a genuine fan of, always keep these things in mind.
Keep it short & sweet
Podcast ads used to be around 30 seconds long; they’ve gotten longer over the years. So, to avoid your listeners skipping your ad, keep it short & sweet – ideally around 30 seconds.
Chances are, you’ll be including multiple ads into one episode. If you’re exclusively promoting one brand, switch up your ads. Use those 30 seconds to introduce something new, mention a new feature or share some advice. Remember, if your users are listening to your podcast consistently, they don’t want to hear the exact same ad week on week.
If your sponsor has given you a script and it’s the same script that every other podcaster uses, push to go off-script. Even if you genuinely like the brand or product you’re plugging, if listeners have heard the exact same ad elsewhere, they’re going to tune out very quickly. More importantly, your ad may come across as inauthentic and damage the trust you’ve established with your audience.
Be strategic with your placement
Whether you choose to go for pre-roll or mid-roll ads is an important consideration. Think about how your ad placement will impact user experience and use it to guide your ad placement in a non-intrusive and logical way. For example, if you’re discussing a sensitive topic, cutting to an ad midway will ultimately hinder the impact.
If you’re using automated ads, it can be more challenging to naturally lead up to an ad. However, try to let listeners know there will be a quick break, even with something as simple as ‘we’ll be back shortly’.
Include a clear call to action
Within your short and sweet ads, keep your call-to-action crystal clear so your listeners will take the intended action. For example, let listeners know whether you want them to use a unique promo code, sign up for a service or follow a specific URL.
Make use of show notes
If you have a code or link to share, include them in your show notes so that your listeners don’t have to do any heavy lifting. The easier it is, the more likely they are to take action.
If you’ve read our other articles, you’ll already know how critical authenticity is. So, when you’re planning podcast ads and sponsors, our final word of advice is to keep integrity at the forefront. For more on securing the perfect sponsor, click here.
If you need some inspiration for your podcast ads, check out really good podcast ads, the world’s largest database of podcasts and advertisers.