New guide highlights best practice for holiday podcast ad campaigns

Podcasts generate up to 4.4x higher brand lift than display ads, according to data

Audio advertising provider SXM Media has released a new guide for marketers ahead of the forthcoming holiday season, advising on best practice for using audio campaigns to drive conversions.

According to data highlighted by the guide, 79% of audio consumption taking place while people are engaged in activities where visual media can’t reach them, with podcast ads generating up to 4.4 times higher brand lift compared to display ads. 

“One thing we can’t forget is that along with the holidays comes a crazy amount of stress,” said SXM Media senior sales marketing specialist Casey Fandacone. “On top of the extra planning, wrapping presents, and hosting, there’s the ongoing macroeconomic issues to deal with.”

“Music has always been a go-to stress reliever for consumers, and now with the rise of wellness podcasts, audio provides an extra layer of comfort.”

According to SXM Media, the holiday shopping season is starting earlier this year, predicted to run from September until December, due to factors like retail price increases and financial burdens. This provides brands with more opportunities to connect with customers and to invest in longer-term campaigns, the company said. 

With two-thirds of the US population having listened to a podcast, the guide advises using podcast hosts as brand influencers and recommends that advertisers create custom personal endorsements from podcast hosts who love the brand, and integrate holiday special sponsorship into episodes. 

To drive engagement, SXM Media also recommends keeping discounted rates front and centre with clear calls-to-action, using both audio and video creatives to amplify markdowns, and gifting things like ad-free listening to potential customers. 

“In times of uncertainty, it’s easy to want to pull back on marketing, but it’s crucial to maintain your share of voice,” said SXM Media head of industry, retail and restaurants, Lauren Chesley. “Use creative to connect with your audience - brands that build emotional connections with their consumers are the ones that will win.”

A number of brands have already started to see the benefits of advertising on podcasts during the holiday season, as proven by monthly figures from advertising analytics platform Magellan AI on the top 10 advertisers in the US. In November 2022, seasonal advertisers Skylight Frame and Aura Frames, which both sell digital picture frames, saw a significant increase during the holiday period with Skylight spending a total of $635,000, a 1,500% increase since October 2022, and Aura Frames spending $490,000 which is double the amount that it previously spent in November 2021.