Need Advice? An In-depth Look at Podcast Advertising

By True Native Media Team | Posted on 07/31/2019

The application of podcasting originated in 2004, by two gentlemen, former MTV video jockey Adam Curry, and software developer Dave Winer.  Since then, there has been meteoric growth to over 750,000 podcasts and over 30 million episodes to date. It has become one of the most popular methods of entertainment and communication, benefiting everyone, including businesses.  However, podcasts are still a relatively new medium for advertisers. In a world where information is at our fingertips, there seems to be a lack of “How to Advertise on Podcast” blogs or videos available.  So, when you get the chance to sit down with a podcast advertising veteran like Greg Scown, Founder of Smile Software, you make the most of it and get as much advice as possible. 

It’s interesting that Smile, a software company, would yield the benefits of this amazing medium for over a decade. They began with the MAC World community, who were already using their product, targeting their ideal consumer. For that reason, podcasts were a perfect match.

In the latest episode of Marketing Success with Podcast Advertising, Heather Osgood,  gets real and honest advice from Scown. This is what he shared.

Fundamental Advice for Podcast Advertising

  • A podcast host is an excellent spokesperson for your brand. Firstly, they use the product themselves, secondly, they speak intelligently about your product/service during the ad. The large community of listeners, value their opinion and buy what's on offer.  Podcasts are amplified word of mouth. 
  • To make informed decisions about campaign productivity, advertisers should give 6 months to a year to really see the impact. Above all, it's most important to stay flexible. Being open to making tweaks to the campaign and organically establishing your product with the audience is critical for success.
  • Another key piece of advice is to monitor activity on a daily basis. As a result, there will be an upswing in return.
  • Furthermore, advertisers must have realistic expectations that this a long journey with great results. Effort and engagement are required. Providing materials and promotions to the host on time is pivotal. Give them space to digest the information, craft a good message and deliver a focussed, native ad. 
  • smilesoftware.comIf the company runs one add per month for a year, it is recommended to give new talking points to create a quality ad each time. Fresh content for the host keeps them engaged.
  • Sale conversions help a business grow, but branding is vital for long term growth. Due to a focus on this, referral counts have been remarkably consistent with longstanding shows as listeners share the brand with their network. 
  • Two Key points for finding the right podcasts are, matching your target market and selecting a host who is passionate about your product/service.

Campaign Tactics

  • One recommendation is to implement a monthly task to determine what the brand message is going to be. These talking points can come from blog posts, comments, pain points for customers, etc.
  • Advertisers can write a canned read for hosts who tend to be very busy and just want to read. However, it's preferable to send the host key points to cover and let them expand on that organically. Your brand becomes part of the conversation and overall message delivered to the audience.
  • A good way to measure the effectiveness of the ad read is to use general querying of the consumer in their checkout cart to see where they were recommended the product. 30-40% of people do answer, providing clear and usable data. 
  • Another tactic to try is using podcast advertising along with other social media platforms, like Twitter or (Short posts like tweets but on your own web site that you control). It creates good interplay and drives product awareness.
  • Asking established consumers what podcasts they listen to help advertisers align with the correct audience. Depending on budget, advertising on a variety of podcasts helps to widen the net. At least 3-6 different shows. You are not going to have overnight success with one show or ad. 
  • A brand is a participant in the host community and it gets integrated into their content. Drive-by advertising doesn’t blend with Podcast Advertising.

Final Advice

  • Companies are shooting for a nice long slow burn. This is the growth that they gain over time to develop their brand and turn awareness into conversion. 
  • Podcast Advertising has garnered 3 x the ROI for Smile Software which has been a huge win.
  • Pick shows studiously and invest in the work. Make sure to provide enticing materials and incentives to drive conversions.  
  • Podcast advertising is fun!

Learn more by listening to the full episode below.


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True Native Media is True Native Media is an advertising agency that specializes in connecting brands with podcasters to develop engaging content hand-crafted for audiences around the globe.

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