If there was ever a marketing idea that was just crazy enough to work, it’s this one. Strangely enough, it’s not a particularly new idea, just one that’s being used by marketers in an innovative way. The podcast is quickly replacing traditional radio and some players are getting on board with innovative bank marketing.
For those not in the know, podcasts are like 30 to 60 minute downloadable radio shows. Unlike a radio show, you can listen to podcasts on your own schedule and bring them with you anywhere on your smartphone. These modern-day radio shows cover a million and one topics – everything from woodworking to dating advice, or even banking and marketing.
Podcasts have been around for years now, but have had one major problem: They don’t make money. It takes creators a lot of time and energy to put a show together and while some are rewarded with adoring fans and millions of downloads, there hasn’t been much money in it.
But that’s been changing. Some podcasts have cultivated audiences in the hundreds of thousands and podcast networks have developed which facilitate the marketing process.
Banking industry newcomer Simple has noticed the opportunity here and has started sponsoring podcasts with in-program advertisements.
While commercials are somewhat new to the podcast medium, that’s not what makes this tactic special. In many cases the advertising is done by the podcast hosts as part of the program and integrated with the hosts’ personalities. They don’t necessarily read from a dry script, but rather develop their own advertising stories within the show, working off a few copy points. The result is more creative ads that are better targeted to an audience. These ads become part of the show’s content and are seen as a differently formatted segment, not a commercial break.
In an hour-long podcast you might have only 2 minutes of ads – a far cry from television or radio which seem to constantly interrupt programming. Listeners become more engaged and are more intent on listening because these aren’t traditionally structured ads. The trade-off of 2 minutes of ads for 1 hour of content is more agreeable than a block of TV commercials, where a viewer might leave the room or change the channel.
In fact, podcast advertising almost harkens back to old-timey product placement in TV shows, where, for example, the characters would not-so-subtly enjoy some refreshing Poland Spring. Except this type of advertising is a little more off the cuff, a little more genuine, a little tougher to look at and say “oh that’s an ad I should ignore it!”
Marketers need to be aware of the opportunities these new types of media hold.