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Podcast Advertising: Is Programmatic the Next Big Thing? Ads can be tailored to target specific listeners and audiences.

By Jacky Chou

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Nicola Katie | Getty Imaged

With at least 150 million monthly listeners in the U.S. alone, it's no surprise that everyone from global brands to small businesses are turning to podcasts as their next key advertising investment.

After all, podcast ads are, for the most part, native — and native advertising can quickly turn an inbound trickle into a whole stream of new business. Indeed, podcast advertisements are seamlessly integrated into the natural flow of a show. Combine that with extremely engaged listeners and a personal touch added by the host, and voilà! You've got an excellent recipe for a highly effective advertising campaign on your hands.

So, what could be better?

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

Say hello to programmatic podcast advertising

When compared to a run-of-the-mill native podcast ad, the programmatic approach has a few distinct advantages right off the bat. It gives you a refined degree of control over your campaign. From geo-targeting to in-depth demographics to the device type and context, you can turn every proverbial dial to stack the odds of success in your favor. Though native advertising boasts authenticity, going the programmatic route allows you to ensure the relevance of your advertising. This helps you lay down the foundation for a successful campaign.

At the heart of the efforts to bring programmatic advertising to businesses and podcasters across the globe stand only a few specialized companies, such as Audry. Unlike a podcast network or a hosting platform, programmatic podcast advertisers are fully focused on building the technology that will bring podcast advertising to the next level.

Related: The Social Selling System: Flipping a Follower into a Client

Relevant, authentic and effective

Imagine the following scenario: It's a rainy morning in Chicago, and a young professional woman in her late 20s is on her way to work while listening to podcasts on her Android device. It's possible to target her directly — and that's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the degree of control programmatic podcast advertising offers.

This approach allows for the audio spot to be put together in real time, and then be tailored to any given audience and delivered right to the targeted listeners at the perfect moment, no unsolvable variables involved. You're able to take the already intimate experience that podcasts offer and integrate your advertising in a seamless and complementary manner rather than blasting the listeners with poorly crafted, poorly targeted and poorly timed invasive radio-style ads.

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

Lower attribution and true scale

When it comes to assessing the success of your podcast advertising campaigns, coupon redemption is pretty much the holy grail among all of the available methods. But let's face it: Beyond how many people heard your ad and how many people redeemed a coupon, you have little to no relevant data to analyze.

Programmatic podcast advertising helps do away with this problem as well. You can go much further than baseline redemptions, getting insights on how many listeners there were on certain days, what episodes they listened to and what demographics they belong to, among a treasure trove of other rich and meaningful data.

Having access to this information is pretty much the key to beefing up your advertising and making sure that it's hitting the right people on all the right points.

It's no secret that native advertising is costly and is only really possible for the top fifth of the podcasts out there. And when we account for the fact that there are more than 1 million podcasts available to listeners on iTunes alone, the remaining 800,000 or so are left with little to no option to monetize their show.

The programmatic approach can come to the rescue yet again by enabling smaller shows to grow their reach and allowing advertisers to access cost-effective advertising geared toward a well-engaged and highly targeted niche-relevant audience.

Should you take part?

As an emerging trend, programmatic podcast advertising is finding its foothold in today's increasingly digital world. But despite the fact that it's in its infancy, this approach to podcast advertising already has quite a number of advantages versus the more traditional native advertising. It's important to note that these advantages don't just exclusively apply to advertisers. Programmatic advertising helps empower both podcasters and prospective advertisers alike while delivering a far more fine-tuned and intimate advertising experience to the audience.

When asked about the impact potential of programmatic podcast advertising, Niklas Hildebrand, the co-founder of Audry, said, "Native advertising in podcasts used to outperform all other ad types on most performance metrics because targeting was very limited, and brands used aggressive radio style ads. With programmatic podcast advertising, this is no longer the case. The new generation of podcast ads are not only more targeted, but the assets themselves can be dynamically assembled for every listener and designed to fit the medium's auditory style.

Programmatic advertising is bound to have a powerful and notable impact on the marketing mix for brands and businesses of all sizes. Becoming an early adopter is an excellent opportunity to participate in the development and growth of a new medium while getting a head start toward mastering it and turning it into a high-performing advertising channel.

Jacky Chou

Founder of Indexsy

Jacky Chou is founder of Indexsy, an enterprise SEO agency. He is a proud native of Vancouver, BC, who has been featured on Forbes, Oberlo and GoDaddy.

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