If you asked us this question a couple years back, the answer was a definitive 'No', but some fairly recent developments in the podcast advertising industry have actually made this possible - and this opens up some fantastic opportunities for brands looking to leverage podcasts to reach their ideal target customer ... no matter where they may be.
The Game Changer
Let's take a quick look back at the history of podcast advertising, which really is rooted in the host-read or host-endorsement style ad. These ads were essentially part of the content of the show, which made it impossible to deliver different ads to different listeners depending on where they were located. Fast forward to today's podcast advertising landscape and a major development has made local or regional podcast advertising possible - Dynamic Ad Insertion.
DAI technology was the game-changer for the podcast advertising industry when it came to opening up more options for brands who may not operate nationally or internationally. What it allows podcast publishers to do is essentially insert ads into the content of their shows at set points throughout an episode based on certain parameters such as a time/date range, listener location and other data elements (more on this later) to optimize the reach and effectiveness of a campaign. As you can imagine, with the old method of delivering ads 'in-content', it limited the ability of advertisers to deliver time-sensitive messages, such as a Black Friday sale being promoted for a specific retailer. If this ad remained in the content for months after the campaign, it became no longer relevant to the listener.
The introduction of Dynamic Ad Insertion not only enabled these time-sensitive campaigns, it has also allowed geo-targeting of ads to take place - where specific ads can be delivered to listeners based on their location (driven by their IP address). This not only opened the doors for local advertising such as promoting a car dealership or restaurant chain with locations in 5 cities, it also allows savvy advertisers to easily deliver multiple ad creative to listeners in different locations.
Why Should I Consider Podcasts Over Radio to Reach a Local Audience?
The answer here really boils down to two factors - measurement and audience. First, in the radio industry, audience measurement is done in a rather archaic fashion using paper log books and a small sampling of audience to figure out who is listening. In the last year or so, the podcast industry has standardized on a set of metrics governed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) which provides advertisers with extremely accurate data around audience reach. As opposed to a radio audience estimate, podcasts can provide real hard data around reach, so brands know their message was actually delivered!
Second, as radio audiences age and younger consumers in their 20's, 30's and 40's forgo traditional media for subscription on-demand services, streaming and podcasts, this highly sought-after audience becomes increasingly more difficult to reach via paid channels. Podcast advertising allows marketers to tap into this audience in a highly-personal, highly-engaging medium that has been shown to deliver strong results for brands.
More Icing on the Cake for Advertisers...
Beyond the ability to give advertisers access to a valuable listening audience and concrete data, there are some even more advanced capabilities that make the podcast advertising channel even more compelling.
To start, recent technology developments have enabled advertisers to target their ads on an even more granular level based on demographics, interests and behaviors. As opposed to the more shotgun approach taken in TV and radio advertising, podcast ads can now be highly targeted for example to females, aged 35-44 who have children and an interest in gourmet food. Or IT decision-makers in businesses over 50 people. You might be thinking...really? seriously? Yes, it's true. We now have the ability to leverage third party data sources to know who our listeners are on a very detailed level and only deliver our messaging to those specific audiences.
Lastly, even more recent technology developments have allowed brands to implement digital elements within podcast advertising campaigns that were never previously possible. These include pixel-based attribution to be able to get insights into how many website visits or purchases your campaign drove as an example, or even re-targeting listeners on social media or online ad networks who heard a brand's podcast ad.
The major takeaway here is that things have changed (and continue to change rapidly!) in the podcast advertising ecosystem. If you'd like to discuss some of these opportunities or ask any questions about these capabilities, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.