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Open Letter to American Business: Why Aren’t You Sponsoring Podcasts?

Newspaper ad revenue has plunged to its lowest level in 27 years, now being surpassed by the internet. Terrestrial radio’s future is even worse. Television is still holding on but with the advent of Hulu, Netflix, and Google TV, more and more eyes and ears are being drawn to the web.

You are scrambling to use your advertising dollars effectively. You’re also becoming leery of publishing and radio due to their ever decreasing audiences.

The majority of web-based advertising is leaving you perplexed as well. Do you go with the standard banner campaign (knowing that a majority of readers suffer from banner blindness) or do you risk your advertising dollars testing costly Adwords campaigns?

How about video or blogging? How many companies have the time, talent and budget to implement that course of action? And what’s the real ROI of social media?

Have You Considered Podcast Advertising or Sponsoring?

Back in 2005, Webster’s Dictionary declared that podcasting was the word of the year. There’s a reason Webster’s is still the dictionary of choice – they get things right.

A Little Background on Podcasting

  • 1.4 billion iPods have been sold between May 2004 and January 2011*
  • 311 million iPhones have been sold between January 2008 and March 2011*
  • Over 70 million iPads have been sold between April 2010 and June 2011*
  • In 2010, 70 million Americans have either watched or listened to a podcast – this is up 43% over the previous year**
  • Two-Thirds of podcast consumers have listened to digital audio files in their vehicles via iPod or MP3 player connected to the audio system**

*According to Apple’s quarterly financial reports.
**Edison/ADM Consumer Attitudes to Podcasting Advertising 2010

Podcasting is emerging from it’s infancy. With the advent of easier home-recording techniques and tools, new podcasts are being created everyday. The opportunity of finding multiple shows targeted directly to your niche grows stronger every day.

Why You Should Sponsor Podcasts

You pay for your spot once, but it’s heard every time the show is downloaded. Unlike a newspaper, where your ad is discarded once the product has been consumed – or radio, where the channel often gets changed once your ad appears – a podcast lives in perpetuity. Always available for download and consumption.

Currently, you can expect to invest approximately 3-5 cents per listener in your chosen niche. But, it’s a one-time investment per show that can produce returns, possibly, for years.

Your Ad Is Too Short to Skip Over
Because the listener has to manually force the playhead forward, your 15-20 second ad will most likely be listened to.

Since audiences are extremely picky about what shows they listen to, they become more engaged with the shows they really like. If you decide to have your product or service talked about by the host of the show, the audience engagement with the show carries through to your ad.

Tips on Creating an Effective Podcast Commercial

Keep it Short
15-20 seconds. Anything longer and you increase the likelihood of the listener skipping over your content completely.

Keep it Simple
Save the wild sound effects and gimmicks. Get your message across in as straight-forward a manner as possible.

Host Read
As stated above, an audience engaged in the podcast will hold the words of the host in higher regard than a nameless voice in a commercial. Plus you’ll have little to no production costs involved since you’re just submitting bullet-points for the host to cover.

Always try to get your ad placed in either the beginning of the show, right after the show has begun, and no later than the middle of the show. If you’re ad is at the end of the show it’s easy for the listener to just stop the program and move on to the next. Expect to pay a premium the farther forward your ad is placed.

American business: I’ve laid out these point-by-point examples of why you should be advertising or sponsoring podcasts. So, I’ll ask one more time –

Why aren’t you sponsoring podcasts?

About Jay Walsh

With a combined 25 years of design, marketing, podcasting, video and social media knowledge, Jay created with the goal of helping you make a better podcast.

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