Guide For First-Time Advertisers

Every day businesses get their start in advertising with podcasts. Here’s our quick overview of the three major campaign types to help you begin thinking about your first campaign. But, be careful, podcasts may spoil you for other ad platforms.
Podcasts can be used to advertise anything you can think of. In general, the vast majority of campaigns break down into three common types, based upon the advertiser’s goals. Think of these goals as what an advertiser wants a listener to do: buy something, watch something, or know and remember something.

While many campaigns will fall into one of these types, some are a hybrid, combining two or more approaches and goals. Consider these types a frame for thinking about your campaign, not as strict categories.

Don’t be concerned if you’re not sure what kind of campaign is best suited to your needs. Midroll’s sales staff will help you define your objectives and then design the right campaign.

Direct Response Campaigns

Direct response advertisers want listeners to go and buy something in response to hearing their ads. These companies were pioneers in podcast advertising, and their early successes helped prove the model.

If you hear an ad promoting a product and then providing a way to buy, often accompanied by a coupon code, that’s a direct response campaign. Many advertisers use a unique offer code or website URL for each show they run spots on, so that they can measure which purchases resulted from which ads.

Tune-In Campaigns

A tune-in campaign asks listeners to watch or listen to some other content or channel. This might be a television show, a theatrical release, an online video, a song or album, or even another podcast. These are usually more difficult to measure than direct response, since the advertised content or ticket purchase may not be online. However, advertisers promoting online content can use direct response tactics like offer codes and custom URLs to to provide additional conversion tracking.


Think about a commercial you’ve seen or heard for Coke, Ford, or Progressive Insurance. While these ads may discuss the qualities and benefits of these products, they usually don’t come right out and ask you to buy. Those are branding campaigns, focused on building awareness of the products and brand.

Obviously the desired outcome is that consumers will buy those products, but these advertisers are also aware that a purchase may come hours, days, weeks, or months after an ad runs. The goal is that when customers decide they want a refreshing beverage, the first thing that springs to mind is a Coke, or that when they decide to buy a truck, Ford will be on the list.

Historically brand advertisers have preferred media with very large aggregate audiences in the millions. However, as podcast listenership has grown—and as ad-skipping and ad-blocking has become more prevalent across TV and the Internet—advertisers are trying and finding tremendous success with podcast branding campaigns.

Fill out the form at right to have Midroll’s podcast ad experts help you put together the perfect podcast ad campaign.

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