4 Ways Podcast Ads Are Like Speed Dating

by Guest Contributor on September 8, 2011

Phone: "Old-Fashioned" DialingThink of advertising on a podcast like speed dating – you want to hear what they have to say and then get out as fast as possible.

In many ways, viewers of a podcast are not interested in watching little advertisements, so keeping them engaged is difficult.

The biggest mistake companies can make when trying to jump into podcast advertising is to treat them like commercials, and this makes sense because the description sounds much like a commercial.

Podcasts offer content through audio, and placing images or visuals with your podcast is not uncommon.

However, the way in which you present your specific content is different than you would in a commercial. Consider some of the differences and make sure you don’t strike out in the little time you have.

How to make sure you don’t fall into the trap

1. Podcasts are short

A podcast only lasts about 15 seconds as opposed to the usual 60. When it comes time to create a podcast ad, you will find that some of your tactics and tricks to making a successful commercial will go out the window.

2. Be simple, brief, and to the point

You should be explaining why someone needs a certain product more so than explaining the specifics of the product. Podcasts are not the time for specifics. You only have 15 seconds—you must engage your viewer immediately!

Do not bother spending time with loud music or setting up catchy attention getters like you might in commercials. While those are all nice, you need to get to the point.

3. Variation is key

While many commercials follow a common character around or use a common theme in each commercial, you should have variation from podcast to podcast. There are many commercials on the air, so your commercials will likely not be seen so close together, making consistency a good thing.

However, podcasts are a different story. Your podcasts could run very close together, and if viewers are annoyed by seeing the same thing over and over, their attention will be lost and you could actually cause resentment!

4. You have placement options

This is similar to a commercial because placement does have an effect; however the ideal placement for your podcast ad may be different than a commercial ad. In short, the best time to advertise is during the podcast.

If you started an advertisement at the beginning, viewers would likely not pay attention because they know their program will be on in 15 seconds. If you put it at the end, viewers know their program is over and can easily shut off the podcast (and unlike a commercial, there will not be anything on after).

However, if you can insert your ad within the podcast, viewers will likely sit and watch or listen knowing that their program will come back.

Keep in mind that podcasts are becoming popular again. While Facebook and Twitter still hold the social media crown, podcasting is slowly creeping up on the competition.

If your company can tap into the value of a podcasting advertisement early, you may find yourself ahead of the curve when this new phenomenon really takes off.

After all, if podcast advertising is like speed dating, you will want to make your time count. Better yet, if you can understand these tricks first, you will look great next to all those speed dating rookies.

Image: pouwerkerk via Flickr, Creative Commons

Amanda DiSilvestro is an expert writer on topics ranging from social media to access control systems based in San Diego, California.  She writes extensively for an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs such as surveillance systems at Resource Nation.

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