Are Your Podcast Ads Actually Working For You?

Are Your Podcast Ads Actually Working For You? | Listeners to Leads

Podcast ads are a wonderful tool for getting more clients in your business, but only if you have a strategy that makes them the most effective they can be. For an ad to be effective, it needs to be aligned with the goals you have for your podcast. This week, episode 89 of Listeners to Leads is about making ads on your podcast work for you! 

You may aim to make money from your podcast, but are your podcast ads supporting your overall podcast goals? How about your business goals?

I see many podcasters putting a lot of effort into creating content that their audiences want and desire, only to weaken the results because of their ads. Poor placement of ads or unaligned ads can impact your audience experience. In order to create a podcast ad strategy that helps you to achieve your goals, you need to look at where you place your ads and the types of podcast ads you’ll run.   

Where to Put Ads in Your Podcast Content

So, let’s look at how your ad placement can affect your ad strategy and the success of your podcast. There are generally 3 places you can run ads in your podcast.

Putting your Ads at the Start of Your Podcast Ad

If you watch a lot of those big wig podcasts, then you are probably familiar with the podcast ads that appear right in the first minute of the show. And if you’re anything like me, you probably skip past that ad.

The first few minutes of your podcast are the most important part of your podcast. Your listener will decide in the first few minutes whether they want to continue to listen or not. Why would you use that precious time to promote someone else’s business?

The caveat to this is a single sentence saying, “this podcast is brought to you by BUSINESS NAME.” We all grew up with PBS programming, so quick promotions like that aren’t off-putting.

Putting your Ads in the Middle of Your Podcast Ad

I recommend having a mid-roll ad. The mid-roll is around the midway point of your episode. These ads are most effective in a section where you are sharing expertise or providing your audience with value.

Mid-roll ads aren’t right for everyone. When I have guests on my podcast, I take a more conversational approach. I want to get to know my podcast guests and really shine a spotlight on them, but it’s done as a discussion. Therefore, with that format, a mid-roll ad doesn’t always make sense for my podcast goals. I tend to only include ads when I feel it makes sense. For example, I will promote my strategy sessions when they are related to the podcast content.  

Putting your Ads at the End of Your Podcast Ad

Another place you can put your ad is at the end of the episode. Once all the content is finished, you’ve got an ad, and then you go right into the outro. Keep in mind that when your audience hears the music at the end of the episode, they may just skip through rather than listen to the ad.

Personally, I think the best ads are those that are incorporated naturally through the episode. So, talking about your products and services while still giving valuable information to your listeners. For example, you could share results you helped clients achieve as examples. 

Types of Ads to Use in Your Podcast

When you are choosing the types of ads to use in your podcast, think about your podcast goals. You want to choose ads that are in alignment with those goals.

For example, if your goal is to communicate the service you provide to your audience, then an ad for a mattress or deodorant won’t make sense. At best, the ad may seem a little odd. At worst, it may make you look like a less credible source of information. If your podcast is a lifestyle podcast, then ads for coffee brands or smoothie brands are appropriate. If you are a business owner using your podcast to generate leads, then your podcast should be focused on providing value. Save the mattress ad or information about your favorite smoothie brand for platforms like Instagram or TikTok, where you share behind-the-scenes content.   

In addition to choosing appropriate ads for your podcast content, look at how many call to actions you have in your podcast. You don’t want to overwhelm your listeners with too many options. Give them one or maybe two things to do.

If those two things are sending traffic away from your business, then that’s not actually working for you; it’s working against you. So there are pros and cons of promoting other people’s products on your show. My rule of thumb is to only promote external services or products when it makes sense with the podcast content. For example, I teach clients to improve their podcasts, so occasionally, I will promote BuzzSprout because I love the product and it fits with the podcast content.

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