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Podcast listeners are gobbling up episodes of their favorite shows in huge numbers. In 2018 the weekly podcast audience grew by six million people, and female listeners increased by 14%. With smart speakers popping up in more homes all over the country and increases in cars available with wifi connectivity, podcast consumption will only continue to grow. Podcast audiences are even gaining on TV audiences!

While they’re enjoying their favorite content, podcast listeners are also more engaged in the ads they hear. Whereas TV includes 16 minutes of commercials, for which audiences often leave the room, a podcast averages only four minutes of ads in an hour, for which the audience stays present.

Podcast ads are “immersive”. They are spoken by the hosts, making them less intrusive and presented in a voice the audience already trusts. The ads themselves are longer, more informative, and because they’re presented with the podcaster’s personal spin, they’re more engaging. Ads are either pre-recorded or a “recorded read” and edited in, or they’re less of a “commercial break” and more an organic part of the podcast episode, discussing the product in a way that matches the show’s theme, known as a “live read”. It’s hard to skip these ads since they’re seamlessly woven into the listening experience.

When listeners are given a designated vanity URL in an ad to visit your website (like, www.yourwebsite.com/podcast), podcast leads have a conversion rate up to SEVEN times higher than an average website visitor.

Knowing all of that, it’s no wonder almost 50% of podcast listeners have purchased an item after hearing it advertised via a podcast.

So how do you get your business or product featured in a podcast ad?

Step 1: Listen

Like any marketing strategy, first comes research. There is a podcast for ANY genre or audience you can think of, so look within your niche for podcasts that reach your target demographic. Choose podcasts with a range of audience sizes.

Step 2: Understand the Metrics

While a podcast may have 50,000 subscribers, a single episode may only have 20,000 downloads, so research the difference when narrowing down your targets. If you happen to advertise in an episode in which someone enormously popular is a guest, that episode may blow its fellow episodes away in terms of download numbers. It’s important to know this because ad prices are largely based on the number of downloads.

Step 3: Budget

Prices of podcast advertisements depend on the length (usually 30-90 seconds) and whether they’re recorded or live. The size of the podcast’s audience also affects its prices, and most have a cost per thousand downloads (CPM) ranging from $18-$50.

The rewards of podcast advertising are lucrative, but it may require an investment. A quality podcast with a small but loyal audience may be a great place to start. You can advertise on one episode, or a few episodes in a row. You can also go all-in and do an ad in one episode of a very popular podcast.

Step 4: Warm Up Your Vocal Cords

Are you or a trusted business partner an engaging speaker? A creative way to skip the cost of advertising on a podcast is to appear on one as a guest. For example, Lendistry CEO, Everett K. Sands, participated in LendIt Fintech’s podcast on the subject of serving underserved businesses, in which he is an expert.

If you know people who do podcasts and are able to make your own arrangements, being a guest on a podcast is a free and high-value way to get your business in front of the podcast audience. You get a longer amount of time to represent your brand, but you also get just the one episode.

More expensive than free but less expensive than a series of advertisements is hiring an expert to send you on a podcast tour, in which they book you to appear as a guest on several podcasts in your genre.