We want podcast ads to work. Podcasters want podcast ads to work. And the advertisers themselves definitely want the ads to work. The good news is, we know that podcast ads can work.
The first thing that podcast advertisers have learned, again and again, is that live host reads work best.
The “host” part of that phrase is easy: The people who host a podcast should be the ones lending their voice to the ad. If there are two hosts on a show and only one host on the read, that’s a problem; it sets the ad apart from the rest of the show.
Part of the reason podcast ads are so effective is because they offer some of the qualities of an endorsement. It’s you, the podcaster, reciting the ad.
Because of that, you should make the ad your own. Unless explicitly instructed not to or handed a script meant to be read verbatim, adjust wording to fit your personality, improvise, ad lib, and vamp as appropriate.
Sell the ad. Don’t feel the need to be a carnival barker, and certainly don’t say anything you’re not comfortable saying. But do feel empowered to have fun with the reads.
We’re not trying to fool anyone; this isn’t subliminal messaging or product placement—an ad is an ad. But the more natural and organic the above-board sponsorship read, the more effective it will be.
In my next post I’ll dive in to the best way to integrate live reads into your podcast.