My own experience shows that sponsoring podcasts can be very effective in driving awareness and sales. I have bought many things triggered by podcast ads, including supplements, clothing and even a new mattress.
Here are the success factors that made those sales happen:
A trusted host
Podcasts are very personal, and loyal listeners spend countless hours listening to their favorite hosts. I would only work with hosts that have earned a high level of personal connection and trust with its audience.
Let the host read the ads
When the host reads the ads, they feel much less intrusive and may even be perceived as useful information. Bonus points if the host ads his own twist to the ad text.
A product loved by the host
The absolute best conversion rate can be achieved when the host uses and loves your product, and includes his own experience/testimonial into the ad text. Most of my own purchases have been triggered by this factor.
A juicy coupon code
This serves two purposes. The consumer has a powerful call to action, and the advertiser can measure the effectiveness of the campaign.
A separate landing page
Sometimes, the company creates a unique landing page, e.g. yourproduct.com/john if the host goes by the name John. This can increase the conversion rate, because a testimonial or special promotion can be added.
Repeat the call to action
The call to action and URL should be repeated multiple times.
Frequency is key
It can take a long time for people to get the message. That is what frequency is for. Don’t book just one or two placements. Book 8, or 24 or 52 placements, spread out over a long period of time. Don’t stop when you or your employees are tired of hearing the ads. Consumers need regular reminders, even if they have purchased from you before. If you want repeat purchases, don’t stop the campaign.
Consider Media for Equity
Some entrepreneurs form a joint venture with podcast hosts. In such a deal, the podcast host gets a share of the business in return for its audience and influence. One such example is Onnit which has partnered with Joe Rogan.