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Seven Steps for Great Podcast Ad Copy That Will Grow Your Podcast Audience

Crafting Effective Podcast Ad Copy: Strategies for Engagement and Conversion

As an audience growth specialist, my role often encompasses developing impactful podcast ad copy, a key tool in expanding your podcast’s audience. We handle anything that helps to grow your podcast audience and get your content in front of the right people. We’re strategists, analysts, public relations professionals, art directors, marketing managers, community builders, media buyers and more. And when it comes time to promote your podcast on another podcast, we craft the words that come out of a host’s mouth.

I’ve written a lot of scripts over the years. And I’ve developed a set of principles for copy that converts. The general rule is that the more specific you can be, the higher the return. 

Lately, we’ve seen impressions → downloads converting at a rate of nearly 2% on some campaigns. That is among the highest I’ve seen for podcast-to-podcast ad campaigns for branded shows.

Here’s how we do it:

1. Research 

The first and most important step is to ensure your target audience is listening. We do extensive research to identify shows that serve our target audience

The number of downloads that show has is less important than how engaged the audience is, so we look at things like reviews and how well the host engages with their audience on social media before we commit to buying ad inventory on their show.

2. Listen

Next, we listen to the podcasts on which we’re advertising. We want to, first off, make sure it is indeed brand safe. And second, we want to get a sense of how the host talks to her audience, both when reading ads and elsewhere. 

The goal is to write the copy in the host’s voice. It’s not easy, and it can take years of practice to get it right. Personally, it’s a skill I honed in my days as a radio producer writing scripts for my hosts. But if you listen deeply enough to the words she chooses, the energy she brings to her read, you’ll be able to write an ad that sounds like a natural continuation of the conversation.

3. Identify a Pain Point

Now, put yourself in the mind of your listener. What are their pain points, what do they need? Are there big questions their facing at work or in life that you know are on their mind? Call out the pain point in your copy so they know you see them; you’ve identified their problem.

4. Offer a Solution

How does your show help them solve that problem? Is it a guest? A step-by-step breakdown of what they need to do next?

5. Be Specific

Reference a specific episode first, before talking about your show in generic terms. So this pain point should be one that is addressed in a particular episode. Talk your listeners through what they’re going to learn from this episode, and why they’re be better off after listening than they were before. 

Ideally, the episode you’re referring to will be at the top of the feed when they go to look for it. So keep your production schedule top-of-mind. 

6. Add a Call to Action

Now that you have their attention, what do you want them to do? Listen wherever they get podcasts? Follow the show? Share it with a friend? Take your phone out right now and hit the “follow” button in Apple Podcasts. I personally favour CTAs that ask listeners to follow the show so they don’t miss an episode. This conveys a sense of urgency, and it ensures they’ll be alerted the next time you release an episode.

Limit your CTAs. If you give them too many directions, they may be paralyzed by choice and do nothing. 

7. Watch the Conversions Roll In

Be sure to track your conversions using tracking tools so you can see how many downloads and unique listens your copy is generating. Experiment with different ways of communicating the same idea to find out what works or doesn’t for your listeners. Every audience is different. 

Good luck!

Key takeaways

  1. Research you podcast neighbourhood
  2. Listen to the host so you can write in their own voice
  3. Identify a pain point and how you can help them
  4. Be specific in your copywriting
  5. Add a simple CTA
  6. Experiment!

By: Liz Hames, Director of Audience Growth

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