I’m going to go ahead and say I made this word up and for now and forever this is where it started! The word is the title of the blog post, POD-VERTISING. The only thing I can find on the internet is some dude that does a podcast with said title in some other language so yes, I’m taking credit here.
What is Pod-Vertising? Again, this is my definition so don’t go too far into a bar argument if this comes up, OK? Pod-Vertising is simply advertising on a podcast. End of blog. No, just kidding. There’s so much to talk about when it comes to podcast vs radio advertising and what I’ve learned in just a short period of time.
When I started this project in October of 2021 I wanted to do things differently than what was being done in radio. One of the categories was advertising. Over the years I’ve seen radio advertising get extremely sloppy. Let me give you an example. New client comes into the radio station and after a short back and forth signs on with their assigned Account Executive. During this process they bring in a talent to help seal the deal as well as give the client an option for personal endorsements. So far everything is great. Now, the honeymoon period ends quickly. The copy, in which talent is now usually responsible for, has to be read. That is, the majority of the time, handed down from the AE. Talent reads copy and it’s wrong. Not all of the time but sometimes. The point here is after the check clears everything else is overlooked. The client is now upset. With who? Well, the radio station of course but they can’t fight the mothership so the next best thing would be the talent. And the kicker is most radio stations don’t want the talent to have a relationship with the client so the talent is now stuck with their finger up the butt looking like the bad guy when all along it was really just laziness after the check was delivered.
See where I’m going with this? I have always had a problem with that exchange. It’s very similar to a high school football standout taking his college visit. They treat that kid like gold. He signs and now he’s just a number. Clients shouldn’t be treated like this….EVER!
How am I changing that in the podcasting world? There’s a system that I’ve created that might be helpful to anyone doing this with no experience. Let’s go through the steps together, shall we?
Sign the client. With this of course you have to find them. Ask yourself if they’re right for your brand and vice versa. Ask yourself, “Will you have success advertising for this client? Because if it’s a lose lose situation from the get-go then all you’re going to do is piss them off and that word travels fast. But for this blog let’s say the client is good for the brand and you’ve just signed JB’s Hot Dogs where every weiner needs a mouth. Congrats!
Discuss the marketing strategy. This step should actually be done before you sign the client but I wanted us to have a client first that we can picture in our brains. The rule of thumb for any sponsor is 3 to 1 return on investment (ROI) in a certain time period. I like to revisit every 3 month to see where that ROI is. That includes branding. I’ll get to that in a minute. I like to discuss the initial launch and how we want to do it and what’s going to work for the client’s brand. For example, we have a big deal defense attorney and he wanted to Pod-Vertise with the show but he’s not a fan of traditional commercials. I can understand that. So, we developed a package for him where not only he’d have commercials but also be able to come on twice a month as a guest and discuss defense attorney stuff. Just like I’d do on the radio but because I’m now in this arena we can have a long conversation and dig deep into news stories, his clients as well as take questions from the audience via voicemail and social media. Within the first 2 weeks he had already gained a new client because one of the questions asked was exactly what this listener was dealing with. So, make sure the message is clear; fits the brand of the client; and the call to action is clear.
Branding. Ok, I’m big on this word and I think that a lot of people don’t really know what it is when it comes to this forum. Branding is priceless! When you crave a fast food hamburger and someone sings, “dadadadada” you think McDonalds. When you see an apple with a bite in it you think Mac computers. When you see a Clydesdale horse you think Budweiser. That’s all branding and that’s priceless. For someone to think of you when the time comes I don’t believe you can put a price tag on it. I tell my clients the same thing. Someone that’s listening to my podcast hears a commercial for a mortgage company. They might not need a mortgage right then and there but they might down the road. That exact scenario happened with our mortgage client. It was the branding and the volume that after about a month this listener used their services because they trust the show and the show’s sponsors. Branding is also part of the ROI. It might not be dollars today but down the road they’ll be there. So, just because they don’t get 3 to 1 in 3 months but people are calling and talking about them counts.
Thank you for being a friend! Yes, business is business and you should never make it personal but the rules are changing and making it personal doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Keep in constant contact with your sponsors. I’m not saying you need to show up at midnight unannounced pounding on the front door. I’m saying shoot them an email every few weeks to make sure everything is going as they expect. I’ve always told clients whether it’s radio or podcasting that when you buy-in you’re paying a cover charge that opens up a whole bunch of options.
What are some of the big differences with advertising on the radio vs podcasting? Radio is a volume based business. The more you hear the more you know it, do it, or buy it. That takes money and some of the businesses advertising in the podcast world don’t have those dollars. Will they get the same reach in podcasting? On paper, most likely no. Radio is still a powerful medium and reaches a bunch of people but it’s not direct content listening. What I mean by that is people that listen to podcasts want to listen to that podcast. There’s nothing they don’t like. In radio people might like a certain station but change when a bad song comes on or the talent says something…not talented. You never walk into a party and hear someone say, “Hey dude turn on that podcast!” Or walk into a gas station and a podcast is playing in the background. It’s because podcasts are direct to ear content.
Here’s another thing I tell my clients. I give this example. You’re standing in the middle of a busy corridor at one of the busiest airports in the world. As thousands of people pass by you’re screaming your message about your brand. Now, the people that walk by you a few times might stop and listen. That’s called volume. It works but it’s pricey.
Now, what we podcasters are doing is taking you into a private room at that airport and bringing a percentage of those people that want to be there and locking the door. You now have their undivided attention. That’s called Pod-Vertising. Maybe a smaller audience but less dollars spent and direct to ear branding. Value over volume.
Also, take into consideration how you’re presenting your sponsors to your audience. Part of my business plan was to create numerous platforms we can advertise on so it’s not all in the audio portion of the podcast. Within our packages we offer not only the audio portion but all social media platforms audio and video. I was worried that it would cause clutter. You don’t want that especially if you also have a subscription based podcast like we do. So, we seperate the sponsors on every episode and usually only have 2 minute commercial breaks.
Radio has always struggled with the commercial break length. Some stations make that “2 minute promise” and only play 2 minutes of commercials. Oh, those 2 minutes of commercials are surrounded by 3 minutes of promos and imaging. If the show’s content is good, people won’t care how long the commercials are but if your content isn’t there then the audience won’t be there either.
Lastly, get creative with sponsors. That was another thing that bothered me in the radio world. I would create these benchmark bits solely for sales to either sell them or have the option of using the bit as leverage to close a deal. Very rarely were they sold. That frustrated the shit out of me. Why isn’t the hotline sponsored? Why isn’t the studio sponsored? Why isn’t the intern sponsored? You literally can sponsor anything. Now we can, right? We have just about all of our segments sponsored and I have my freakin’ studio sponsored. How can I accomplish that in 4 months in the podcast world but for years radio couldn’t? Yeah, I don’t know either. Also, get creative on how you produce the commercials. Be real. They don’t have to be overproduced commercials with a bunch of zings and zangs. I like to treat them like endorsements. Speak from the heart and believe what you’re saying.
In closing, I wanna say this. I don’t want this Bailey’s Big Blog post to come off as rip on radio sales because it’s not intended to do that. There are great AE’s out there. The problem is the system. We podcasters can change that outdated narrow minded “that’s how it’s always been done” routine within our podcast. This is my blog and my 2 cents. I’m not saying that I’m a sales genius by no stretch but I can tell you what has worked for me so far…and I did. I hope it helps and thanks for reading.
Host /Creator / The Bailey Show Podcast
Love the show, love the Ambience of the creative thinkers of the show and I’m involved as much as possible! commenting sharing and so on! doing my part as a listener is it worth it? sometimes I don’t see the effort of the people in charge to make me feel that I’m worth it! I have suggested different things direct messages to “the top tier” I barely get a reply as a matter of fact I have left a reply in this blog a couple of times and I don’t see it posted! oh well!!!