$51,975 spent on these podcast sponsorships – here are the surprising results

Podcasting is the new gold rush.

Thought leaders, gurus and experts are SCREAMING that we need to rush to the Internet and start a podcast – ASAP.

And while it is true that some of the top podcasters are makin’ bank, most struggle to find worthwhile sponsors.

On the flip side, lots of businesses are wondering if podcast sponsoring is worth it.

One company spent $51,975 on testing the ROI of advertising on different podcasts. This article reveals how they tried different formats, different hosts – even different ad copy.

And the long story short is this: podcast advertising was insanely expensive and ineffective.

Here are the lessons learned after spending $51,975 on podcast advertising:

The cost per acquisition of a new trial signup was over $1,400.00. That is outrageously high. In fact, it is the worst acquisition cost I have ever heard of. It should be a tiny fraction of this cost.

Authentic-sounding ads perform better than scripted-sounding ads – yes, this is obvious. People prefer authenticity over fake…

Podcasters HATE being told what to say… and it shows. It is better to give the podcast host a free review copy of our product (or service) and let them promote it in their own words. The host-read “on air”-style spots can be VERY persuasive.

Podcast sponsorships are hard to track. Because instead of clicking on a referral link on a webpage, they are forced to type in a web address or dial a phone number after listening to it read “over the air”. The vast majority of podcast listeners will not pause a podcast, write down a website address and type it into a browser – even with a shortened URL.

Big-time podcasters is usually sold out. This puts enormous pressure on prices – artificially higher prices that is.

Surprisingly, there is no platform for connecting podcasts with sponsors. This is a HUGE opportunity with a big, gaping hole. Because today, advetisers have to figure out how to track down podcast hosts… this is a HUGE, MASSIVE time suck.

While I am NOT a fan of traditional podcast sponsoring, I would use parts of it with a twist to help build my business:

For me, the more valuable opportunity is the link juice from a podcaster‚Äôs website. Podcast advertisers generally choose to have a dedicated landing page and a promotional offer for each podcast they sponsor. This helps to track conversions and the success of their ads. Having a clickable link from the podcaster’s website to our website can help naturally boost our SEO scores.

Another overlooked opportunity is to list all our podcast ads on a single page on our website. I would install a website audio player so each of my sponsored ads would play right on my website. This builds trust with the appeal-to-authority tactic. (Yes, devilishly clever… right?)

Finally, I would compile the top 10 most asked questions about our product or service. We would forward this list to a willing podcast host and offer to pay them to interview us – either over the phone or Skype. Again, we would duplicate this interview onto our website. Heck, I would even post it on social media like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram – even Twitter.

Punchline: traditional podcast sponsorships are outrageously expensive yet ineffective. But with a few “twists”, podcast advertising can be used as a cost-effective way to grow our business.