Small Business

Small Business and Podcast Advertising. Should you be doing it? By True Native Media Team posted on 08/29/2019

Over 6,000 large and small business owners have advertised on podcasts according to Magellan's monthly findings.  

51 % of Americans have listened to a podcast, with 74% of the audience ranging between 12 to 54 years old. 41% of that audience is earning +$75K a year.  For most direct to consumer products or services, this is their target audience.

Digital advertising is attractive to small businesses because it is usually a low-cost option with good results. Podcast advertising also falls into this realm. With over 750, 000 active podcasts and over 30 million episodes, small business owners have the opportunity to target local, national and international consumers.

Google is now making it easier for people to access podcasts in its latest update of search results. This means greater exposure for businesses advertising on podcasts. Infinite Dial

If you are looking for a case study to understand more, look no further than our interview with Yev Pusin, Director of Marketing for Backblaze.

“Podcast Advertising has been increasingly successful since we began, not only in terms of ROI  but from a brand awareness perspective. A new company needs a focus on both.” 

Pusin, joined Heather Osgood, Founder of  True Native Media and host of Marketing Success with Podcast Advertising, in a candid interview to find out how a small business like Backblaze became a software phenomenon, and how podcast advertising helped shape their growth. 

Backblaze has spent over 1 million dollars so far on podcast advertising. This is what he had to say.

Key Insights Into Podcast Advertising

  • There is a learning curve for most small business advertisers when they being sponsoring podcasts. However, advertisers who have worked with TV or radio before will find it easier to advertise on podcasts. The tracking metrics are similar versus online mediums that have click-throughs. 
  • They saw a correlation between the regular website page activity spiking and the unique ad URL going live. What they found was that some consumers were visiting the landing pages, others did an organic search instead. This helped to better determine whether a podcast was working or not.
  • It's very important to get the math and metrics down from the start and be consistent with data collection. If you constantly change tactics it becomes cumbersome to make valuable decisions based on incomplete metrics.
  • Listeners don't always listen to shows as they go live. Most will have them in their playlist and listen when they have time. As a result, some shows can double their downloads months after they post the episode. The ad then reaches double the audience than originally perceived. It’s recommended to leave URLs active and only clear them up after a year.
  • Podcast listeners have trust and investment in a host. The organic ad reads bring so much value to the brand. If the offer is minimal, the company can still get traffic because the host believes in the product and produces a genuine ad. 
  • The company should have a deep understanding of who would be their target audience to reach the right demographic. Ads can have great results even if the podcast topic doesn't relate to the industry, but the audience needs the product/service. Backblaze worked with tech-focused podcasts but branched out to other options that had an audience who were interested in their product. This has produced the highest ROI. 

Campaign Tactics

  • Backblaze finds it easier to work with podcast advertising companies to curate a podcast portfolio with a smaller budget. It’s imperative to have a base portfolio that the company advertises with consistently. Then, an experimental budget can be invested in new shows quarterly.
  • With new shows, the company places one ad and sees if it moves the needle in any way. They look for traffic to the landing page and any action that takes place there, or organic traffic to the website at the same time. If yes, then time is spent figuring out what campaign changes are needed to increase traffic. When listeners are visiting, but not taking action, it's usually the messaging of the creative content that needs to be tweaked. If the needle doesn't move at all, then they move to the next show.
  • It's so important to keep historical data for all shows, whether they were successful or not. That's why baked-in ads are preferable. Growth of podcasts that yielded terrible results, to begin with, gained and exceeded expectations over time. When listeners use the landing page URL, they are allocated a specific number that's linked to the podcast. This unique code allows the brand to see which podcasts have actively engaged consumers, and how the consumer interacts with their brand over time. E.g. they may add more accounts, purchase additional items, etc.Backblaze
  • A challenge for Backblaze is that their product is not a high-profit service. This means that they need to be creative with their promotions. The promotion type a company uses will solely depend on their product/service. If the item being advertised doesn’t have a high price point it’s difficult to provide a promo code with discounts. Rather, focus on a free trial or gift to incentivize the listener to the landing page. 
  • Managing the ad campaign consistently is important. Eventually, some of the company's most profitable shows hit a saturation point of limited returns. Change the balance to keep momentum or go on hiatus for a period to allow the audience to build up again.

Final Thoughts

  • Show size depends on the advertising budget of the small business. For a company with monetary restrictions, you have to work harder to come up with the portfolio of shows, so you don’t waste money. It’s more beneficial to place several ads on one small or mid-size show, than place one dynamic insertion ad on a show that has millions of listeners. Brand repetition is key to conversions. 
  • Consistent listeners are more important than download numbers for Backblaze. There is no base number that they work from, but rather the cost of the ad and if they have activity from it. They also don't work with podcasts that have minimum purchases. It doesn't give a small business the flexibility it needs to stretch its budget.
  • Customers who see the brand online will not have the same intimate connection to the brand than if they came across it through their favorite podcast host. 

If you want to hear from the man himself, click here!

Backblaze is a world leader in computer backup and cloud storage. Backblaze had a mission to make backup software elegant and provide complete peace of mind. Today they have expanded to protect business and offer B2 Cloud Storage to developers and IT.

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.

Have Questions?