Want to Advertise Your Business on Podcasts? Here's How to Get Started.

The average CPM for podcast advertising often ranges from $25 to $40. Here are more things you should know.
Want to Advertise Your Business on Podcasts? Here's How to Get Started.
Image credit: visualspace | Getty Images

Free Book Preview: Brand Renegades

Discover how two entrepreneurs used unconventional business strategies to turn their startup into a multimillion-dollar company.
Founder of DJH Marketing Communications
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Everyone “knows” that sponsoring podcasts is, quite often, one of the most effective and easiest ways to launch a modern startup and set it on a fast-growth trajectory. Although podcast audience numbers are down slightly during the pandemic, most industry observers predict they will bounce back up once the stay-at-home orders are rescinded and commutes resume.

Podcasting is especially attractive for advertisers, since it enables distribution of content when the audiences want it, wherever they want it and in whatever platform they choose to consume it.

When plans are laid to launch a modern marketing campaign, spending money on podcasts is almost certainly going to be strongly considered. According to Triton Digital, a provider of technology for the podcast industry, there are more than 800,000 active podcasts available, with 54 million episodes. 

Taking those first few steps in this process can be simple: First, determine the audience profile that makes up your target market. Basic information to include their age range, gender, education, occupation, income level, family situation, geographic location, politics, hobbies and interests, etc. Then, identify the podcast distribution networks that represent which shows reach your target market, and work with those companies' sales personnel to help figure out which specific shows reach the best audience profile within the desired spend or budget.

Related: 7 Reasons to Add a Podcast to Your Content-Marketing Strategy

Verifying the legitimacy of a podcast is crucial. Have they worked with other well-known advertisers? Do they have known/legit guests, hosts, and/or a legit media brand associated with them? 

According to Lex Friedman, CRO of Art19, a California-based independently owned podcast company, there are three common mistakes entrepreneurs make with podcast campaigns:

The first is trying to make a podcast ad sound like a radio ad. “Radio listeners instinctively hit the preset station button to avoid listening to ads. In fact, one of the reasons audiences continue to abandon radio for podcasts is to avoid the endless personal injury lawyer pitches and car dealership owners yelling at them,” says Friedman. 

The second is sponsoring a podcast mainly based on the fact that the decision-maker likes the show, without spending the time and effort to determine whether the show’s audience profile is right for the brand and product. “The audience profile and your target market may overlap, but not closely enough, or you may just want to support some of your favorite podcasts,” says Friedman.

The last mistake is being too cautious with your budget. Despite its widespread growth, podcasting remains one of the best options for entrepreneurs with shoe-string budget DIY campaigns, but Friedman says, “Don’t try to ‘dip a toe’ in podcast advertising and expect to get any results ... or even learn anything useful. If you only have a minimal amount — a few thousand dollars to invest — better to wait until you’re able to properly fund a campaign.”

According to a survey of 168,500 podcast listeners, the podcast advertising network Midroll found that “campaigns with ads on five or more episodes result in 39 percent more listener recall than those with just one spot. Running spots on just four episodes improves unaided brand recall by 27 percent compared to running a single ad.”

Related: How to Promote Your New Podcast: 10 Effective Strategies to Try

Speaking of spend, podcast ad deals “are not that complicated,” says Richard Laermer, CEO of RLM PR. “There are two fundamental numbers always to consider: the first is the audience number, which gets measured as downloads, the higher the podcast's audience, the more an advertiser pays) The second number is CPM.”  CPM stands for cost per 1,000, M being the Roman numeral for 1,000. For podcasts, the 1,000 refers to downloads. When a podcast and an advertiser broker an ad deal, CPM is the number they negotiate. According to Laermer, “generally, CPMs range from $25 to $40, and sometimes higher if the podcast is really hot or hits a niche audience.”

According to Midroll, 63% of podcast listeners have bought a product they heard advertised on a podcast. Whether the topic is daily news or sports, true-crime, career-booster professional development or obscure historical events, podcasts have become a part of our daily routines, making commutes easier and life more interesting, and represent a prime opportunity to change the way consumers respond to advertising in general.

More from Entrepreneur
Our Franchise Advisors will guide you through the entire franchising process, for FREE!
  1. Book a one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor
  2. Take a survey about your needs & goals
  3. Find your ideal franchise
  4. Learn about that franchise
  5. Meet the franchisor
  6. Receive the best business resources

Book Sale - Save 60%!

Through 6/20/21, save on our collection of recommended side hustle and Start Your Own books, including:

  • Start Your Own eBay Business
  • Start Your Own Business
  • Start Your Own Etsy Business
  • And more

Use code SIDEHUSTLE2021 to claim your savings!

Make sure you’re covered for physical injuries or property damage that occur at work by
  • Providing us with basic information about your business
  • Verifying details about your business with one of our specialists
  • Speaking with an agent who is specifically suited to insure your business

Latest on Entrepreneur