Podcast Ad Placements and Conversion Factors

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If you’ve been thinking about trying podcast advertising, there are quite a few factors to consider. Although podcasts have proven to be an incredible place to advertise, there are a few different choices you’ll have when you choose how you advertise on these podcasts. One of your primary decisions will be your podcast ad placement — or where you want your ad to run during the podcast.

The choices are deceivingly simple, and each one comes with its own set of costs and benefits. You really only have three options: pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll. But which is right for your business? Let’s look at each of them in a bit more depth. 

Pre-Roll

For pre-roll ads, your advertisement will run before the podcast starts. The great thing about pre-roll ads is that they typically cost less than mid-roll ads, but they can often convert better. This will definitely depend on your messaging and how well you match your target audience, but if all things are equal, pre-roll ads can be a great place to put your ad spend.

So if pre-roll ads typically cost less and convert the same as mid-roll — if not better — what would the downsides be? Primarily, the ease of skipping. Pre-roll ads are placed right at the beginning of the podcast, so it can be fairly easy for someone to just fast-forward a bit and skip your ad. Also, when looking at the cost of pre-roll versus mid-roll, pre-roll can be cheaper, but you usually get less time. So if your product or service requires a longer ad or additional context to get the message across, you might have to pay more for the pre-roll anyway.

In general, pre-roll ads can be a great starting point if you’re looking to get into podcast advertising. You might find that it works perfectly for your brand.

Mid-Roll

Mid-roll ads are run sometime throughout the course of the podcast, usually somewhere around the midpoint. It could be sooner or later than that depending on the length of the podcast. In general, mid-roll ads cost the most and are often looked at as one of the best places to put your advertisement. The reasoning is that you usually get a bit more time for your message and people are less likely to skip it.

The placement of pre-roll and post-roll ads is predictable for listeners. They know exactly when to skip and usually how far to skip. With a mid-roll ad, they’re already in the process of listening and are more likely to just let the ad play out. In addition to this, many people listen to podcasts while they’re doing an activity like driving or working out. These listeners are unlikely to pick up their device and fast-forward just to skip an ad while they’re in the middle of something. In short, the thinking is that you have a captive and more engaged audience.

Of course, the downside is that these ads can be the most expensive option. That being said, there’s a reason they cost more. People listen to these ads, and they do well. So they’re definitely worth your consideration if you have the budget.

Post-Roll

Finally, we have post-roll ads. These ads run after the podcast hosts sign off. The biggest benefit of post-roll ads is the cost. These are almost always the least expensive option, which brings us to the downsides. These are the least expensive because they’re also the easiest to skip or ignore. If you have the ad at the end of the episode, people can skip to the next episode or simply turn off the podcast if they’re done listening without worrying about missing any content.

Still, the price definitely makes them an attractive option. And even though they’re easy to skip, if the listener lets the ad play, you’ll be the final thing on their mind when they’re done listening to the podcast. If you have a smaller budget, post-roll can definitely be worth a try.

Bottom Line

So, with this information in hand, what is the final verdict? In short, it depends on your budget. Ideally, you can have a mix of a few different podcast ad placements that work best for you. Keep in mind, though, you can always switch up your podcast ad placement down the line. If you’re looking for a clearer answer, these are some general guidelines you can follow.

Pre-roll: Great option for those who want to spend less and who have a quick, clear advertisement that can convert in a shorter time period. Can be skipped, but skipping isn’t too common.

Mid-roll: Great option for those with a larger budget and those who need more time for their advertisement messaging. Unlikely to be skipped.

Post-roll: Great option for those who don’t have a ton of budget for podcast ad spend. Highest chance of being skipped.

In the end, the final decision is up to you, but remember that any podcast advertising is better than none at all! Podcast advertising is one of the best ways to directly reach your target audience and raise brand awareness.

Here are more tips and strategies for buying ad slots on podcasts.

Try Backtracks Today

If you’re ready to try podcast advertising for yourself, Backtracks can help. Not only do we have a platform that lets you easily find and buy podcast ads, but we also have the most advanced podcast analytics out there. Sign up today to request an invitation to the Backtracks advertising platform.

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