3 Reasons to Use Podcast Advertising

Podcasts have been around for nearly 20 years, but only recently have gained mass appeal among both audiences and advertisers. With growing audiences, loyal listeners, new targeting advances and reporting options, there has never been a better time to explore podcast advertising.

“The growth of podcasting has brought a massive opportunity for advertisers to reach highly engaged, niche audiences.” – Arica McKinnon, Vice President, Client Consulting at Nielsen.

Not sure if podcast advertising is the right tactic for you and your brand’s bottom line? Here are three reasons that may change your mind.

Reason #1: The audiences are there…and growing

An estimated 120 million Americans listened to podcasts in 2021, with a projected growth to 160 million listeners in 2023. Despite a short flatline in listenership in 2020 due to shortened or non-existant commutes (a highly-popular listening time for the avid podcaster), podcast engagement increased notably this year with no signs of slowing down. Furthermore, according to a survey done by NCS Solutions, 88% of current podcast listeners maintained or increased their listening time over the past year. This increase can be attributed to several factors. Those factors include the return of commuting, increased WOM, new shows for niche audiences, and an influx of influencers developing their own shows to flesh out revenue streams and reach their audiences in a new way.

With this growth trajectory, it is no surprise that advertisers are increasing investment in this lucrative channel. According to IAB, podcast ad revenue in the US increased by 19% in 2020 and is predicted to exceed $3B by 2023. This indicates brands are seeing success with podcast advertising. As follows, competition for reaching these audiences will continue to build over time. Jumping into the pool of opportunity now will allow you to expand your reach and effectiveness.

Reason #2: More options and flexibility

Podcasts have held the attention of highly-engaged, niche audiences for years. Historically, the only option for brands to advertise in this space was to purchase expensive, inflexible and hard-to-measure direct buys. In recent years, however, the growing popularity of podcasts has created a demand for an updated, more flexible and measurable system for reaching these audiences.

The industry recognized this opportunity and began developing alternative ways to monetize it. The result? A programmatic option called dynamic ad insertion (DAI) has now entered the market, making it easier and more affordable to incorporate this tactic into your media mix.

This biddable technology allows for new audience targeting options, including listening habits, geographic region and weather conditions. Due to the nature of podcasting, there are somewhat limited options for targeted demographics. However, as the technology continues to develop, there will likely be more options on the horizon. Don’t let these limits keep you from investigating this tactic as a viable option.

Reason #3: Listeners are ad-friendly

Not only are the audiences growing, they are receptive and responsive to the ads they hear while listening. A recent study on podcast “super listeners” discovered that 48% of listeners pay more attention to podcast ads than any other media and that 71% of those surveyed say they never, rarely, or only sometimes skip the ads they hear while listening. The study also found 54% of respondents are more likely to purchase a product after hearing an ad for it on a podcast, up from 46% in 2019.

There are a few surface-level reasons for this acceptance. Firstly, most podcasting platforms are free to use and audiences understand they trade the ad for the content. Then, there is the fact that most listeners tune in while doing other activities – driving, cleaning, walking, etc. Their hands are not typically free during these activities so they are more likely to listen through the ad. This is unlike many other ad formats that are easy to scroll by or tap the skip button.

The primary reason audiences are receptive and responsive to podcast advertising, however, is trust and authenticity. Listeners often feel like the host is directly speaking to them. Before the introduction of DAIs, hosts read all podcast ads. Because podcasts tend to attract highly engaged, niche audiences, the hosts became their own breed of influencer. They make trusted recommendations to their highly connected listeners. This has set the stage for advertising to natively work its way into the expected user experience. Host-read spots are still the most highly trusted advertising spot in podcasting, but they have conditioned podcast listeners in general to be more receptive to advertising.

Recommendations

With the growing audience sizes, ad-friendly listener behavior and advancing technology options, reaching your ideal audience in the podcast space has become easier than ever. However, the unique channel constraints may require different strategies than what is successful for your brand on other channels. Here are a few recommendations:

  1. Be creative with your targeting strategy. With limited out-of-box options for DAI placements, hyper-targeting will likely lead to overly expensive and minimal scale results. Instead, research the audiences that are already listening to podcasts and find a happy medium between niche and broad. What podcasts would your target audience be listening to and engaging with? Use interest and affinity-based audience insights to inform your targeting strategy.
  2. Consider the user experience when creating ad content. Like with all advertising mediums, your ad will perform better if it blends into the user experience. Podcast listeners are used to more conversational experience, so ads that are organic, informal and relatable perform best.
  3. Experiment with programmatic and traditional direct-buy placements. A podcast whose audience perfectly aligns with your target may be worth the direct ad buy. But also experiment with more flexible DAI purchases to find the most successful shows and targeting combinations for your brand.
  4. Stay on top of technology developments. Be comfortable in these platforms so you can take advantage of the high value podcast audiences before your competitors

The Value of Evergreen Paid Media Campaigns

Navigating the paid media landscape can be difficult for advertisers big and small. Making informed decisions on goals, targeting, and budget are challenging but integral aspects of reaching campaign goals. One of those challenging decisions is knowing when to keep campaigns running and when to pause. The first instinct when a campaign is underperforming is to pause or cancel. However, evergreen paid media, even at a lower spend, allows for increased campaign learning. This ultimately leads to long term benefits. Especially with automated campaigns, extended flights allow the platform to optimize towards the best performing audience and provide more insightful data.

Evergreen Paid Media Campaigns Keep Momentum Strong

When considering keeping campaigns on or deactivating, it’s helpful to think of the analogy of being stuck in traffic. The instinct when stuck in standstill traffic is to put the car in park and turn the ignition off. That would save fuel while things are moving slowly. But when traffic picks back up, you’re stuck having to turn your car back on. This takes more fuel and the cars around you are already down the road before you’re able to get your car moving again. In this analogy, think of your car as your campaigns and your fuel as your budget. By the time you get your campaigns going again, your competitors are already coasting down the highway. Plus, it took them less effort and budget to get down the road because new campaigns typically take longer to deliver results.

Campaigns with a longer duration historically perform better on platforms including Google, Facebook, and The Trade Desk for several reasons:

  • The platform optimizes towards campaigns with more history and higher engagement. Especially with Google Paid Search, Google’s algorithm is more likely to present an ad with a history of a high user engagement than something brand new.
  • The ability to A/B test audiences, creatives, and other strategies with a lower budget. Down periods of seasonality allows space for testing in a lower risk time period with smaller spend.
  • Spread awareness when intent may be lower. Though users may not be converting at the target rate, keeping campaigns on brings users into the funnel. Then, when they are ready to convert, you are top of mind.

Maintain Brand Consistency and Messaging

Users are more likely to trust a brand that they’re familiar with. This isn’t a new concept, yet it’s as true now as it has ever been. Consistently reaching a target audience keeps you in front of potential customers even if they’re not ready to make a decision. But, this doesn’t have to be at the expense of extra budget. Even keeping campaigns active at a much lower spend will keep users engaged and solidify your spot in their consideration set.

When seeking results in the paid media landscape, consistency and optimization is key. Staying in front of a target audience while making changes is more likely to lead to results than stopping campaigns. The best way to improve is to continue to test. Evergreen paid media campaigns are the most effective way to do that.

Key Takeaways

  • Learn and optimize before you cancel under-performing campaigns
  • Extend campaign flights for improved efficiency and platform optimization
  • Maintain consistent momentum to stay top of mind with consumers

For more tips on evergreen marketing strategy, watch this quick video.

What ‘The Coegi Way’ Means to Me

What is ‘The Coegi Way’?

At Coegi, the workplace culture is defined by a set of shared values, also known as ‘The Coegi Way’. ‘The Coegi Way’ emphasizes four core principles that are standard to the everyday practice of attitude, approach, service and culture.

The attitude at Coegi is “hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard.” This means that employees have enthusiastic determination, engage in responsible communication, hold a desire to be the best, and take pride in their workmanship.

The approach at Coegi is “the difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.” Employees drive this approach by having a strong attention to detail, implementing data into projects, delivering beyond client’s expectations, and celebrating achievements.

The service at Coegi is “nobody raves about average.” At Coegi, employees strive to go above and beyond by being transparent with clients, providing quality insights to campaign performance, and optimizing results based on performance, while working collaboratively towards client goals.

The culture at Coegi is “excellence is not a skill, it’s an attitude.” Employees at Coegi carry out this expectation by respecting peers, enjoying coming to work, giving back, and showing ambition

What it means to me

‘The Coegi Way’ is more than just a set of principles in my work life. It aligns with my values and reminds me of my motivations and goals on a daily basis. I try to apply each of the core values to my work each day by turning associations of those values into specific work practices.

For the value of attitude, I always go into my work with a positive, learning mentality. To begin my day, I read industry news and take notes on trends I believe to be important or timely. I use these notes when doing additional research, or content writing. I uphold this enthusiastic attitude knowing that I am putting my best effort forward in my task load.

Because I am an analytical thinker, I can easily relate to the approach value because it emphasizes the importance of attention to detail. I am able to naturally identify key details in campaign reports and research articles. When working in programmatic, I would conduct daily reports on pacing to make sure that campaigns were spending appropriately and in a timely manner. Additionally, I would create insights for reports by portraying a story with the metrics I found. I did this by explaining the importance of the metrics and what could be changed in campaign strategy to better optimize budgets. The purpose of close attention to detail is to provide clients with the best possible outcomes towards their business objectives.

The value of service focuses on the quality of work produced. To ensure I am producing quality work, I collaborate with team members in my department to review and revise the content I produce. As a former programmatic specialist, I would consistently monitor and adjust campaigns based on current results. In reporting, I would give transparency to key metrics and their effect on the client’s business objective. Being a strong communicator is something that I have always strived for, to ensure clear feedback and collaboration in my work. ‘The Coegi Way’ has helped establish constant communication as an everyday practice in my work.

The Coegi culture value reminds me to consciously engage with team members daily. Whether I’m working online or in-person, I make an effort to communicate with my coworkers. I try to assist them where I can, or just chat with them about personal matters. I’ve always felt a strong connection with my colleagues, because I know employees at Coegi share the same values and want to help each other succeed. Part of engaging in this culture is giving back to one another, which I execute by reviewing the work of others, and creating content to share among employees. This is a key component to Coegi’s success as a collaborative and high growth workplace.

The Coegi Way is more than just a set of principles in my work life. It aligns with my values and reminds me of my motivations and goals on a daily basis.

How it influences my work and outlook at Coegi

My outlook on work has changed since starting at Coegi because of the values they have introduced into my work life. Being surrounded by people who share similar core beliefs and values in my workplace motivates me to be the best version of myself and continue to grow and learn within the industry. Not only do I feel confident in my work strategy and results, but I have a remarkable satisfaction for it as well. I go into work everyday feeling positive about what I am accomplishing and the people around me. I look forward to seeing my future growth at Coegi and in my professional life by carrying out the values of attitude, approach, service and culture.

Data Storytelling: How to Act on Analytics

Turning data into stories transforms brands. Take an inside look at how Coegi takes data from our custom dashboards and crafts a story with actionable recommendations for our clients by finding the human element in the numbers.

As marketers, we now have access to vast amounts of data. There’s been a major influx of analyst jobs in the last several years as a result.  But are we telling compelling stories with that data and adjusting our strategies based on the insights? If not, what’s the point? The true value in big data and data science lies in how we use key insights to take informed actions for businesses. In other words, with data storytelling.

Here are four steps you can use to set up that process within your organization.

Gather: Set up a measurement framework to capture metrics that matter most

First, set performance KPIs that ladder up to your business goals. For more information on how to do this, feel free to reference our Marketing Measurement Playbook. Then, prepare a learning agenda to determine the type of insight you are looking to understand from your campaign.

Are there hypotheses you want to validate? Assumptions you want to challenge? Audience learnings you want to gather? Use the agenda to help answer these questions.

Learn: Capture and visualize data to pull key insights

Once the campaign is running, you begin to gather data: this is your “what.” Now, it’s up to you and your media partners to uncover the “why.” Look at the underlying narrative running through to build a meaningful data story arc.

A great way to do this is through data visualization tools. This method of data storytelling allows you to easily identify trends and understand performance relative to goals. Consider layering campaign data with third party data to see a holistic picture and identify outliers or interesting correlations. Look at the visual analytics data from a macro lens. This helps weave the micro data points into a cohesive story makes sense to both marketers and external team members like the sales team or the executive suite.

We often talk about blending art and science in our marketing strategies – that same concept applies to data analytics. When communicating results to internal stakeholders, qualitative information with direction from quantitative data often speaks volumes for executives. But only if you tell the right story. You want to layer in context, feeling and understanding – the human emotion and behavior will amplify the data you’ve collected. Knowing the audience and tailoring your story to their point of view will help ensure the information resonates.

Brent Dykes, author of ‘Effective Data Storytelling’, says “Your data may hold tremendous amounts of potential value, but not an ounce of value can be created unless insights are uncovered and translated into actions or business outcomes”. This leads us into the next step: application.

"Your data may hold tremendous amounts of potential value, but not an ounce of value can be created unless insights are uncovered and translated into actions or business outcomes"

Apply: Transform data insights into actionable strategies, and repeat. 

Data storytelling provides an opportunity to connect the dots between various media spend across channels and use data visualization to show how they work together to reach your customer when and where it mattered. If done right, it will also show areas that didn’t succeed. Those failures can guide new messaging or creative on particular channels, or the adjustment of certain tactics and spend reallocation. Additionally, it should highlight any gaps between customer touch points and eventual conversion or retention. As a data storyteller, lay out clear, actionable steps based on analytic insights to transform your digital marketing strategy.

Refine and Repeat

Marketers create an infinite cycle of improvement through this data feedback loop. The digital ecosystem is constantly in flux. New platforms, privacy laws, consumer behavior and more, creating twists and turns in the media landscape. This process is never perfect. But, by using performance marketing data to tell your brand story, you can ensure it is always evolving and being refined. This practice of data driven storytelling minimizes media waste and allows data scientists to derive actionable insights and craft winning strategies.

“Numbers have an important story to tell. They rely on you to give them a clear and convincing voice.” – Stephen Few

If you need help finding the compelling story in your data analysis, Coegi is here to help. Set up a discovery call with our team to explore data storytelling opportunities for your brand.

Why Short-Form Video is Critical for Your Brand’s Success

Not new, but increasingly important.

While short-form video is not a new tactic, it is becoming increasingly important. Online video consumption has been growing steadily year over year but was propelled by coronavirus and lockdowns. It is predicted that in 2021, the average person will spend 100 minutes per day watching online videos.

The TikTok Effect

TikTok continues to dominate the social media landscape. To keep users on their sites, other platforms are offering similar features. Instagram is a prime example of this with its creation of Reels, a veritable clone of TikTok. The company also announced this year that they are “ no longer a photo-sharing app or a square photo-sharing app” and are pivoting to full-screen video, among other things.

Short-form videos are what consumers want to watch – whether on TikTok, Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, or Snapchat Spotlight. The social media giants know this and have shifted their algorithms to prioritize users who utilize these features. Keep in mind – each social media platform has different placement options and nuances.

Find Your Hook

Whether you’re using video on organic or paid social media, short-form video increasingly wins the day. One study found that attention spans last an average of eight seconds, so getting your brand and message across in an “elevator pitch” increasingly is becoming the norm. Seventy-three percent of people want to see “entertaining” videos on social media so your content needs to hook consumers immediately.

What it means to me

‘The Coegi Way’ is more than just a set of principles in my work life. It aligns with my values and reminds me of my motivations and goals on a daily basis. I try to apply each of the core values to my work each day by turning associations of those values into specific work practices.

For the value of attitude, I always go into my work with a positive, learning mentality. To begin my day, I read industry news and take notes on trends I believe to be important or timely. I use these notes when doing additional research, or content writing. I uphold this enthusiastic attitude knowing that I am putting my best effort forward in my task load.

Because I am an analytical thinker, I can easily relate to the approach value because it emphasizes the importance of attention to detail. I am able to naturally identify key details in campaign reports and research articles. When working in programmatic, I would conduct daily reports on pacing to make sure that campaigns were spending appropriately and in a timely manner. Additionally, I would create insights for reports by portraying a story with the metrics I found. I did this by explaining the importance of the metrics and what could be changed in campaign strategy to better optimize budgets. The purpose of close attention to detail is to provide clients with the best possible outcomes towards their business objectives.

The value of service focuses on the quality of work produced. To ensure I am producing quality work, I collaborate with team members in my department to review and revise the content I produce. As a former programmatic specialist, I would consistently monitor and adjust campaigns based on current results. In reporting, I would give transparency to key metrics and their effect on the client’s business objective. Being a strong communicator is something that I have always strived for, to ensure clear feedback and collaboration in my work. ‘The Coegi Way’ has helped establish constant communication as an everyday practice in my work.

The Coegi culture value reminds me to consciously engage with team members daily. Whether I’m working online or in-person, I make an effort to communicate with my coworkers. I try to assist them where I can, or just chat with them about personal matters. I’ve always felt a strong connection with my colleagues, because I know employees at Coegi share the same values and want to help each other succeed. Part of engaging in this culture is giving back to one another, which I execute by reviewing the work of others, and creating content to share among employees. This is a key component to Coegi’s success as a collaborative and high growth workplace.

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