What You Need to Know about Podcast Advertising

Catering Marketing

The growing number of podcasts indicates that the podcasting industry will only get bigger.

According to The Infinite Dial 2021, there was a 17% increase in the number of podcast listeners in 2021 compared to 2020. Around 176 million people in the U.S are now weekly audio listeners. That’s an all-time high for this category.

As podcasting grows, so, too, will podcast advertising. Podcast advertising is a paid strategy. Essentially, you promote your business through ads on podcasts. This article will give you podcast advertising tips to follow when deploying your ads to grow your business.

1.    Know about podcast ad pricing

It’s vital for podcast advertisers first to be familiar with podcast advertising pricing models. That will help you know the best models to go for when paying for the ad slot based on your needs and budget.

There are three podcast ad pricing models:

  • Cost Per Mille (CPM) – This is how pre-, mid-, and post-roll ads are typically charged. For every play of an episode, the advertiser will pay a specific amount (CPM rate).

This pricing structure works best for longer podcasts with thousands of impressions on every episode.

  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) – The cost of acquiring a single consumer is represented as the price in this model. Therefore, you’ll pay a predetermined payment to the podcaster every time they refer a customer to your business.

This model should be used when the podcast perfectly matches a specific item or service that you offer. 

  • Flat rate – Some podcasts stipulate a set fee for podcast promotion. The rate is negotiated between you and the podcaster. 

CPM is the most widely used pricing model, especially by pre-roll and mid-roll slots. 

Industry standards state that pre-roll ads are host-read. They are placed before the meat of the show’s content. Mid-roll ad slots are host-read ads placed after the listener has finished listening to 40-70% of the show’s content. 

Each 30-second ad (pre-roll, post-roll, or mid-roll ad placement) costs $18 per 1000 impressions, according to AdvertiseCast, a podcast network for buying and selling podcast ads. Each 60-second long ad costs $25 per 1000 impressions.


The screenshot above shows the average rates based on orders in AdvertiseCast’s marketplace. The estimate shows the average for 60-second podcast ad spots in 2022 is $25. 

All these figures aside, the point is that you need to know how much the podcast you’re targeting will charge you and what ad options are available. That way, you can set a realistic budget for your advertising. Some podcast websites offer a calculator for you to estimate the price of an ad slot before placing the advert.

2.   Look for relevant podcasts

Since the podcast pool is large and you can’t possibly advertise on all of them, you must choose podcasts that align with your product or service. After all, your aim in podcast advertising is to connect with relevant audiences. 

Your ad also needs to sound natural. Think of the podcast type as the website design, and the podcast ad as the website copy. If your website has a formal industrial web design, its copy should be formal, too. See how the copy and the web design complement each other in the example below:


The podcast you choose and your ad should complement each other in the same way as well. You don’t want to choose a fun podcast if your ad is of the more serious type. A study by Marketing Charts found that podcast advertising is 83% effective when the ad fits the podcast naturally. 

That said, how exactly should you look for relevant podcasts? Follow these tips:

  • Choose a demographic to target – This will depend on who the target market of your product or service in the first place
  • Conduct user research – Which podcasts do your current and previous customers listen to?
  • Use research results to find relevant podcasts – Are the identified podcasts relevant to your brand?
  • Choose the host – Is your target market comfortable with the host? If they are, they are more likely to consider your ad a friendly recommendation. 
  • Choose the advertisement type you prefer – Will the host read the ad, or will it be pre-recorded?

Contact the hosts or producers of the podcasts that meet the criteria above.

Additionally, you need to choose the podcast topic under which your ads should play. The chosen topic should relate well to your brand and products. 

So, let’s say you sell self-care products for women. Podcasts like Women of Impact will be most relevant for you. The host, Lisa Bilyeu, focuses on women’s empowerment and mental health.

3. Check out your competitors

Perform competitive analysis to identify what businesses similar to yours are doing in the podcast advertising space. While doing this, try to identify where you can get ahead of the competition. 

Look into both your direct competitors and those that provide non-competing but complementary services or products to yours. You can find them by performing a Google search with relevant keywords that are linked to your niche. For instance, this is what I get when I search for podcasts on women’s health:


Identify the popular podcasts competitors advertise on and see whether those shows fit your ad strategy. Identify podcasts with a similar level of success and that are in the same niche as these podcasts. 

Check the nature of your competitors’ ads, too. Check how they are deployed. Are they pre-roll or mid-roll? Are they host-read or pre-recorded ads? Where exactly do these ads send listeners interested in the competitor’s product?

The point is not copying your competitors but drawing inspiration from them. When you look at what your competitors are doing, you can create a better podcast ad strategy that yields the best results for you.

4. Tap into product demos

You can use product demos to advertise your product. A survey by Nielsen Podcast Buying Power revealed that most podcast listeners visited an advertised brand’s website for more information about the advertised product.


Product demos allow the podcast host to try out your product in the podcast and describe their experience to listeners. They’re a type of baked-in podcast ad.

In a product demo, a candid reaction from the hosts after using the product for the first time may lead the audience to also try the product. Interested audience members can be directed to the product page of your website to make a purchase.

Once on your website, you can ask for their contact information to further connect with these qualified leads. You can use generative AI to create effective copy for your marketing emails. Just make sure you use tools to see who among your email recipients opened your promotional messages and clicked on the links. These are the leads you want to focus on for possible conversion.

5. Purchase multiple ads on smaller shows 

Instead of investing your money in one expensive podcast, choose the suitable, popular, and relatively smaller podcasts to place your podcast ads on. People remember what they hear multiple times. Playing your ad on several smaller podcasts helps listeners remember your brand.

Besides, smaller podcasts have a more committed and tight-knit community of listeners than bigger ones. The audience trusts the podcaster more. They consider themselves a small family. So, your ads have the opportunity to make a greater impact on such listeners.

Additionally, that big podcast you may be eyeing may not be relevant to your business in the first place. Having ads on smaller, more relevant podcasts makes more financial sense.

6.    Keep track of your ROI

As we always say, metrics matter. Keep track of the money you spent on the podcast ads compared to the money you earned from the ad. That will help you determine the Return On Investment of your campaigns.

To check how much your ad generated, you must have a mechanism for identifying how many sales came from the podcast ad. A Google Analytics tracking code will help you track the web traffic coming from the podcast and other traffic sources. Use this formula to measure ROI:

ROI = (Sales growth – Advertising cost) / Advertising cost

So if sales grew by $1,000 and you spent $100 on the podcast ad, the calculation will be:

ROI = ($1,000 – $100) / $100

ROI = 900%

Measuring your ROI will help you determine which podcasts warrant more advertisements and which might require less to no ad spend. 

You aim to earn more money with podcast advertising and profit from meaningful connections. That’s the SMART approach you need to apply to your podcast advertising strategy.

In conclusion

Podcasting is rapidly growing and has led to the subsequent growth of podcast advertising. Brands are now using the influence of podcasters to reach their desired audiences. 

You learned everything you know about podcast advertising from this article. Knowing the podcast ad pricing will help you create and monitor your podcast advertising budget more effectively. You should draw inspiration from competitors without copying their ad strategy. 

Take ad slots on several small shows. Choose podcasts that are relevant to your industry, too. Remember to also tap into product demos to qualify leads and close deals. Finally, measure your ROI to know where to invest more and where not to. 

With these tips, you can expect your next podcast advertising campaign to yield the best results.

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