Your podcast audience can be a fickle thing.

Each host has a different podcast audience, but they all share one common feature – when surveyed, nearly 2 out of 3 say they would consider buying something they heard advertised on a podcast.  That’s a very big number, especially when you think about the effective rates of advertising online, on TV, or on regular radio.

[LISTEN: How much does it cost to successfully market your podcast? – PODCAST EPISODE]

Most advertising done today has a very minimal effect on the target audience.  People are often fickle; for instance they love to shop around for a bargain but sometimes even a rock bottom price won’t make them buy from a particular vendor if they have an emotional aversion to that vendor.

What kind of action will a podcast audience take?

In the survey mentioned above, the responses indicate that podcast audience members will take the following types of action:

  • Visiting a sponsor’s website (45%);
  • Considering a new product or service (42%);
  • Gathering more info about a company or product (37%);
  • Using a promotional discount code mentioned in the podcast (28%)
  • Purchasing a product or service (25%)

Consider your podcast audience very carefully.  They can make or break your show – especially if you rely on advertising dollars to make money from your broadcast.

[CHECK THIS OUT: Learn to market your podcast updates on mobile for a broader audience reach]

On the flip side, advertisers are becoming more cognizant of the value of the podcast audience and are beginning to act accordingly.

Advertisers are still concerned about how a podcast audience and its response rates are tracked.

We’ve told you, time and time again, that podcast stats can be tricky.  Bots, bad coding and all other manner of bullshit can go into screwing your stats up big time, and you failing to realize that you have a problem.  It’s hard to read stats properly, especially if you haven’t set up your broadcast tracking in a way that actually gives you honest statistics.

Everyone loves to see the dial go up, up, up on the number of listeners, but posting your raw .MP3 link on Twitter and letting the bots hammer it for two days may appear to drive up the numbers in your podcast audience; however, the most rudimentary ad tracking will prove that you either have absolutely zero reach or reputation with your podcast audience, or that your stats are wrong.

Ad Age sums it up:

“Advertisers need to be able to track how many people are exposed to a spot, which can be difficult to do with podcasts. Some of the most effective podcast advertisements take a direct-response approach, which is better suited to tracking. Ad-skipping is also an industry concern, though it’s not clear how much of a problem it is.”

  • Some 21% of advertiser and agency executives said in a July survey that they already advertise on podcasts, up from 15% last September, Advertiser Perceptions said.
  • Just under 60% said they have “discussed podcast advertising for potential media investment,” up from 41% who said they’d done so last fall.
  • And 21% said they plan to advertise on podcasts in the next six months, up from 10%; 28% said they would definitely consider it, up from 18%.


What’s the takeaway here?

Before you start selling ads on your show, take a few episodes and do some testing to determine what kind of reach and reputation you have with your podcast audience.  Host a giveaway, or some other small, simple and easy to compete task that you ask your podcast audience to complete.  Make sure you can track it (giving away some sample content on a specific URL that you ONLY use for the purposes of podcast audience testing is a great way to do it), and you do track it.

This is the first step in determining what kind of metrics your advertisers can expect.  If your show is small, sell by the monthly rate, and not by the per listener rate (unless you’re going to go the bot route on purpose, but keep in mind that will cost you advertisers and reputation with other prospective advertisers), and be prepared to defend your sponsorship pricing based on the actual deliverables you feel you can bring to the table from your listeners.

Don’t forget the mobile component when marketing your show.

Yeah, this is the part where we jump in and remind you that mobile is the most effective way to market almost anything these days.  We’d also tell you (again) that 80% or more of your listeners in your podcast audience are using mobile to listen to your broadcast.

Then we’d tell you that being able to give your sponsors a value add (like a spot in the back links of your Podcast Marketer updates) with direct access to your listeners is huge.  Like being able to charge a lot more than you’ll pay for the service huge.

Go figure.