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Are Podcasts the Answer to B2B Losses in Print?

Are Podcasts the Answer to B2B Losses in Print?

Stories captivate — whether they push a product or not. 

When a podcast host reads a sponsored ad, sharing a story about the quirky website they created on Squarespace, listeners often take their finger off that 15-second fast-forward button. 

In theory, at least, they push aside their cognitive awareness of the paid advertisement and remain equally as intrigued by the advertisement as the podcast itself.

B2B advertising spend in print has steadily declined over the past several years. But businesses are finding new ways to reach audiences with interesting podcast advertisements. 

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B2B losses in print open up new avenues in podcast advertising

Over the past several years, we’ve seen B2B companies either buy advertisements in either print or media. 

In 2019, there was a slight uptick in companies that spent on both channels.

However, the pattern of slow print spending continued.

Print-only B2B brands fell by 8 percent and spend dropped by 16 percent YoY. Meanwhile, digital ad spend increased by 60% YoY. 

Podcasts play an important part in increased digital advertising spending for many reasons, including the shift in style of B2B ads.

B2B brands have traditionally created straight-laced, informative and professional advertisements. But B2B marketers have begun to use interesting stories and wacky humor in their advertisements, just like their consumer-facing counterparts. 

We have seen B2B ads become more creative and charming. Podcasts are perfect for B2B marketers to continue on with this inventive style of advertising. 

B2B brands ride the podcast movement

B2B advertisers have been active in podcasting for a number of years now. 

Back in 2015, before Spotify bought Gimlet Media, co-founder Matt Lieber told the New York Times, “We try to make ads as compelling for the listener as the rest of the show.” Ads can be about the most interesting part of a company, an interesting personal interaction the host had with the brand or offer a unique story that captures listeners’ attention.

B2B brands like Ziprecruiter, Stamps.com, Indeed, LinkedIn and Salesforce all spent over $1M on podcast advertising, especially among B2B focused podcasts.

While many B2B services focus place their ads on niche, B2B related podcasts, others place advertisements across consumer-targeted podcasts. Business professionals listen to podcasts for non-business related interests too, after all. 

Ziprecruiter is the top podcast advertiser across B2B and B2C podcasts.

Advertisers tend to stick with the same podcasts to reach their target audience. 

57% of advertisers bought podcast ads over the course of multiple months in 2019, implying that their purchases are renewable and create steady streams of revenue for the podcast.

Why B2B advertisers choose podcasts 

More individuals are frequently listening to podcasts. There is a wide array of content for any type of listener, whatever their mood, to listen to podcasts on their way to work, at the gym, cleaning the house, or winding down before bed. 

More than a third of Americans report that they have listened to a podcast in the last month, representing 90 million monthly listeners. 

Ignoring visual ads — whether on TV or digital media — is second-nature to most consumers these days. On the other hand, audio ads, especially those read by trusted and endeared podcast hosts, are interesting and memorable. 

67% of listeners can recall the item advertised on their podcast, and 61% actually made a purchase after learning about a product on a podcast.

Podcast ads, when done right, are simply more engaging and effective. They are targeted towards a specific audience and benefit from the trust that the podcast host has with their audience. 

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