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The performance marketing channel you’re probably overlooking

Future-ready user acquisition strategies - five key reasons to add podcast-ads to your UA Mix
The performance marketing channel you’re probably overlooking
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Edward Fuller, CEO of Media Bodies, data-led influencer and Podcast marketing expert, explains why Podcast advertising presents a valuable opportunity to balance performance and influential creatives for User Acquisition (UA) in the current landscape and how to leverage this medium.

With over 1.8M apps on the App Store, even games with the most engaging gameplay and brilliant design can struggle with discoverability. In such a market with overwhelming options, a sound user acquisition strategy is critical.

But in the ever-evolving market, traditional user acquisition strategies are facing compounding challenges beyond even data privacy regulations. Escalating market costs and banner blindness induced by increasing ad fatigue are making it harder to capture consumer attention.

We have seen marketing teams adapting by integrating strategies that are more contextual; embracing user-behaviour and content-driven approaches like Connected TV and Influencer Marketing. However, these channels are typically not perceived to hold much value from a personalised targeting perspective.

Consequently, their potential is evaluated based on the speed at which positive returns are reached, and the value and quality of users acquired. This in turn determines resources invested into these channels in the long-term.

Let’s consider a real case for a casual mobile game.

The chart evidences promising performance results by all means- predominantly above target, even while testing iterations and scaling to six-figure budgets. But here’s the interesting bit - this was all achieved without displaying any visual assets at all. This was all through the power of Podcast advertising.

The Potential of Podcasts

While traditional influencer channels like YouTube hold great potential for performance marketing and it is encouraging to see more teams embracing this, Podcasts can offer the benefits of both- traditional UA channels and user & content-driven approaches.

But while few like Wooga, Bandai Namco, and Tactile Games have followed early adopters Best Fiends and ventured into Podcast advertising, there is still resistance and scepticism around this platform’s potential to deliver a strong return on ad spend (ROAS).

The concerns associated with audio ads are understandable when UA is largely dependent on showcasing graphics and gameplay. Further, perceptions towards the potential of audio advertising are often informed by radio ads of old - lacking in their ability to target specific segments or drive measurable results.

But here is where podcasts differ. From inherently older, highly engaged audiences to specific segmentation, targeting, pixel tracking, and live optimisation abilities- Podcast advertising has evolved to offer lucrative potential for performance marketing, and it’s time more teams took notice!

Let’s break down five key opportunities Podcast advertising presents for Performance Marketing and User Acquisition:

Specific Segmentation and Targeting

Podcast Ad Tech has progressed in leaps and bounds to incorporate capabilities that support high-value user profiling and targeting lookalike audiences - all key parts of driving successful UA.

From tools that enable highly specific segmentation and niche targeting based on demographics, content verticals, and geographies, amongst other segments to competitor analysis to gain deep insight into industry spending patterns and make informed choices for placement, investment, and spend allocation; modern Podcast-ad tools have abundant capabilities to optimise ROAS and establish scalable strategies.

Comprehensive Tracking, Attribution, and Measurement

Despite the lack of ‘clickable links’ Podcast ads are trackable and less vulnerable to changing regulations around cookies and device IDs. Pixel-based tracking and attribution tools can provide tracking and measurement data and insights relating to events and KPIs across entire funnels- from in-app and custom events to installs, subscriptions, downloads, purchases, etc, enabling a comprehensive analysis to optimise ROAS and scale.

Beyond audience, device, and performance data like reach, engagement, conversions, brand lift, & return on investment (ROI); this click-free form of tracking and attribution also allows an analysis of audience duplications across shows, identification of current customers in a show’s listener base, and promo code leakages.

This provides a much deeper, cohesive analytical insight into factors potentially affecting the performance of specific shows; establishing a strong database to inform iterations and test different segments.

Guaranteed Impressions and Live Optimisation

Podcast tracking and attribution tools track and verify that purchased impressions are delivered specifically to selected audience niches; while live dashboards presenting hourly, daily, and monthly performance data allow the identification of high and low performers to reallocate impressions and spend (within publishers) in real-time to improve ROAS.

High-Value Audiences & Lower Ad Avoidance

Podcasts can be particularly valuable in securing high-value users, as Millennials form the generation with the highest percentage of listeners, followed by Gen Z - both lucrative segments with increasing spending power and potential, and 41 percent of US listeners accounting for an average household income over $75,000.

Podcast ads also draw less resistance compared to other digital mediums, with 16 percent higher ad-engagement, over two-thirds of consumers rarely or only sometimes skipping ads, and typical ‘Ad avoiders’ displaying 22 percent higher engagement.

Stronger Engagement, Parasocial Relationships and Influential Power

The unique content consumption environment of Podcasts also creates prime conditions for influencing consumer behaviour. Podcast hosts inherently possess stronger authority and influential power; while listening through headphones creates an intimate space that amplifies engagement, attention, and perceptiveness which enhances the host-listener's parasocial relationship. This consequently can positively impact the way audio ads are received- with 30 percent of consumers viewing these as more trustworthy than other social media advertisements.

Furthermore, Podcast hosts, owing to the lack of supplementary visuals to enhance their content, pay greater attention to creative aspects like tone, enthusiasm, storytelling, and seamless integrations - which are key touchpoints that can impact influencer campaign performance. These factors combined, make Podcasts an immensely powerful medium to drive action, even in the absence of visual aids!

Podcasts: A Valuable Opportunity for UA

Successful UA is contingent on so many factors. Profiling high-value users, targeting lookalike audiences, and tailoring creatives to these audience values is critical not only for initial high-value user acquisition but also for retention.

This is where Podcasts can present such unique value- offering opportunities to reach profitable audiences across niche interests when they are primed for engagement, and through voices they trust.

Looking to diversify your performance marketing strategy? Meet the Media Bodies team at GDC, or reach out on LinkedIn or via the Media Bodies website to learn more about how podcast advertising works and how to leverage it to level-up your user acquisition efforts!