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By Kurt Kaufer

When you hear the term influencer marketing, most people think of YouTubers, Instagrammers and, more recently, TikTokers who partner with brands to promote products and services for compensation. However, brands could significantly benefit from breaking out of this stereotype and looking beyond the usual suspects when planning their influencer marketing programs.

Among these are podcast partnerships, which should be a part of any robust influencer marketing strategy. These influencers are often trusted and beloved personalities who are considered highly influential by their listeners, as they’re often tuning in during their valuable “me time.” The podcast experience is highly personal and the immersive storytelling of audio draws listeners in and holds their attention. In fact, the average podcast listener finishes 80% of a podcast episode, which averages nearly 39 minutes.

In addition to capturing the attention of their audience for considerably longer than an Instagram post or TikTok, podcasters also naturally align with the goals and objectives of most influencer marketing campaigns, things like product discovery, tutorials, endorsements and cultural relevance. In fact, podcast audiences generally cite their primary reason for tuning in as “learning something new,” as reported by 68% of listeners. This is a much greater proportion than for TV (39%), social media (38%) and online articles (20%).

In addition to the openness of podcast audiences to hear from brands, there are four primary reasons that podcasters are a must-have in your influencer marketing campaigns.

1. Authentic endorsements

Podcasters have such a devout and enthusiastic fan base that they actually welcome and appreciate brand partnerships. In fact, 64% of podcast listeners state that they appreciate podcast advertisers for supporting their favorite podcast. Even more impressive is the fact that 45% of podcast listeners believe the hosts of the podcasts they listen to regularly actually use the products and services they mention on their shows.3 Arguably, there is no other media channel where consumers’ embrace the inclusion of brands into the content they are enjoying as much as podcasting.

2. Better measurability

Measurement has always been a challenge associated with influencer marketing, and while some strides have been made to better measure delivery and attribution, it’s a far cry from the expectations set by performance marketing channels. According to the Global State of Influencer Marketing 2019 report by Talkwalker, 38.9% of marketers claim that measuring the ROI of influencer marketing is still a top challenge.

However, the primary measurement methods available to tracking the performance of host live-read endorsements are promo codes, vanity URLS, surveys and pixels. At Ad Results Media, we believe the best measurement solutions capture the signals from one or more of the four measurement methods and analyze the results in the context of your business model, technical capabilities and campaign objectives.

3. Scale and control 

There are over 2 million individual podcasts amassing a total of 48 million available episodes. That’s a lot of inventory! And according to the Infinite Dial report, there are 80 million Americans that tune-in weekly. Podcast partnerships offer an excellent enhancement to your standard influencer marketing tactics because podcasting scale comes with far more control over placement, creative and brand safety.

By partnering with a specialized podcasting agency that has a breadth and depth of relationships within the industry, your brand is able to pay for host live-read integrations across hundreds of podcasts at once, all while using ad tech to verify placement and ad quality. 

4. Reaching niche communities

There is almost certainly a podcast for everyone and about everything. If you are looking to align your brand with niche interests or communities in an authentic way, both traditional influencers and podcasters are a great way to do that. Since these communities are inherently specialized, the best way to wield influence as a brand is through partnership with a trusted or credentialed third party, forging a meaningful connection with your target consumers by recognizing their diverse interests and supporting their favorite podcasters with sponsorship. Comedian and podcaster Bert Kreischer even sat down with us to discuss why podcasters are an integral part of any influencer strategy and how his ad reads resonate with his listeners.

As the practice of influencer marketing matures beyond the #ad Instagram posts, we believe paid partnerships with podcasters can provide an invaluable type of diversity to your efforts, along with increased favorability and recall.