Things to think about when creating your ad message

Podcasts present a unique environment in which to run ads. The nature of spoken word content means that — unlike radio or music streaming services, which are often background noise — you have a listener’s undivided attention.

That means the type of creative you run should be tailored accordingly.

With 90% of listeners consuming podcasts via headphones, we’re able to offer brands a rare opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with their target audience. Remember, podcasts are a truly intimate and personal environment free from noise — and as an advertiser there’s no reason to shout when speaking calmly is all you need to be heard.

As the podcast experts, we’re happy to create ads for campaigns on behalf of brands. However, should you wish to provide your own ad message, here are some best-practice tips to bear in mind.

Do:

  • Focus on communicating one simple key message to ensure an impactful response. If you need to communicate multiple messages, you might need to create multiple pieces of copy.

  • Consider the content you are advertising within. Can you contextually align your message with the topics or themes of the verticals your ad will be appearing within, to better resonate with the audience?

  • Choose a voiceover artist who is representative of the brand’s personality and isn’t too ‘shouty’ for the podcasting environment.

  • Include a clear call to action. This should prompt a response from the listener and encourage them to take some form of action.

  • Record and edit professionally. Audio quality is key in the intimate environment of podcasting, so we always recommend professional studio recording and editing.

  • Make silence your friend. Silence is golden, as the old saying goes, and in podcasting it truly is. Give the audience space to reflect on what’s just been said. Those dramatic pauses can make the story more impactful.

  • Think about music. Podcasts are a spoken media, so keep voice as the foremost part of the ad. Music can add an extra layer or set the mood, but it might not be a good idea to jar with the listener’s experience with metal or hard rock – so make sure the transition is seamless. What music would enhance the story you’re telling?

  • Address the listener. Make sure the VO is not just reading a script, but actually talking to the person on the receiving end. Podcasting is a one-to-one — not one-to-many — medium.

  • Use sonic branding. Include your brand name early on, so the listener knows who’s talking. Use your sonic branding, preferably adapted to the mood and tone of voice of the ad. Don’t have a sonic branding? Maybe there are other ways you can create audio recognition with your brand or campaign, for example by using audio from your TV commercial, a recurring voiceover, or even product-specific sounds.

Don’t:

  • Use loud or overbearing sounds. Your ad should be adapted to headphone listening, meaning any intrusive or loud noises, music, jingles, or shouting VOs should be avoided.

  • Provide too much information. Too much information in a short amount of time can be overwhelming and hard to take in.

  • Be impersonal. Your ad might not feature a recognisable voice, but that doesn’t mean it can’t tell a relatable story or mean something to the listener. Think about who will be hearing it and what you want them to feel.

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