If You Want to Reach Your Audience on Podcasts, Use This Targeting Guide

Kimberley Klevstad, Associate Director, Strategic Data ConsultingOct 31, 2022

With the right targeting tools, you can home in on your target consumer everywhere they’re listening. Follow this guide to better understand when to use which targeting capabilities and why.

Practical parents who like mountain climbing. High-powered professionals who decoupage. And picky eaters who love to cook. Just about everyone is listening to podcasts. 

They’re your audience. And, they’re listening to all kinds of content. The good news is, we can help you find them. From genre category (education, business, etc.), to behaviors (football fan, plays video games, etc.), and more, our robust (shall we say, the most robust) targeting capabilities, homes in on your target consumer everywhere they’re listening.  

Based on your objective, follow this guide to better understand when to use which targeting capabilities and why. 

Show Level Targeting

  • If you want to reach fans of a specific show

  • If you want to leverage the relationship listeners have with a host

  • If you want a custom activation (e.g., a bonus episode)

Then targeting at the show level is the solution for you.

People love their podcasts, and they feel a connection to the hosts. Show level targeting allows you to tap into that connection. Many shows have proprietary and third-party audience insights to help you determine the right show for reaching your target audience. Host reads are the OG of podcast advertising, but there are also custom activations to delight audiences with relevant brand messages.

Show level targeting is a highly targeted approach, allowing you to build a relationship with a podcast’s passionate fans. That’s why it’s such a popular targeting option. But any given show only has so much reach, so it’s important to consider how to build upon a show-level buy to further your business.

Inventory Source Targeting for Scale

  • If you want to reach audiences of a specific network (e.g., Team Coco) and build a relationship with a wider, targeted fanbase

  • If you want to scale show-level targeting to include similar shows by the same company (e.g., Crime Junkie and other shows from Audiochuck)

Then inventory source targeting is the solution you need.

Many popular shows are part of a network that creates content that attracts a similar demographic. If you have started buying host reads on a specific show, consider complementing that investment with announcer reads or rotational ads across the broader inventory source for efficient reach. For example, if you have been building a relationship with Rory & Mal fans, expanding to the broader More Sauce portfolio is a great next step to reaching like-minded listeners. You can even use inventory source targeting to reach multicultural audiences with networks like Pitaya and reVolver.

There is an added benefit to inventory source targeting. Having these additional creative assets also gives you greater flexibility for optimization and scale down the road. 

Category Targeting at the Show Level

  • If you want to reach a specific group of people (e.g., parents)

  • If you want to reach people with a specific interest (e.g., sports)

  • If you want to reach people who enjoy a specific genre (e.g., comedy)

Then you want to use category targeting to reach your customers.

Podcasts are categorized at the show level into content categories ranging from business interests to parenting to sports. If you are trying to reach parents in a contextually relevant environment, targeting shows categorized for parents will ensure you reach them while they are in a parenting mindset. This approach also allows you to reach parents in an environment that does not have the same level of identifiers (e.g., cookies) available as other digital audio environments. 

Contextual Alignment at the Episode Level

  • If you want to target a topic at scale across the entire network

  • If you want to expand your reach to topics beyond a specific category

Then taking targeting further with contextual alignment is the solution you need.

Contextual transcription targeting is a more refined approach to content targeting, allowing brand messages to reach audiences through content aligned to their interests. Many of the most popular podcasts are interview-based or topical. And though a show may fall in the news or society & culture categories, episodes may feature Olympic athletes talking sports or tech giants talking new releases. With contextual transcription targeting, marketers interested in sports and tech content can still run ads on these episodes.

Transcription targeting allows you to expand your reach with widely discussed topics, even if they don’t have as many podcasts in their category. You can also ensure brand suitability because we look at keywords in context for their true meaning (e.g., are we talking about alcohol addiction or wine pairings with dinner?). 

Predictive Audience Targeting

  • If you want to reach a specific audience

  • If you want to target audiences based on habits, behaviors, life stage, and more

Then you should consider Predictive Audience targeting.

This approach looks at consumers likely to have a specific behavior—such as an interest in home improvement—and targets them based on the podcast content they have the greatest affinity for. Predictive Audience targeting is another way to use contextual alignment to target content that an audience is most likely consuming. This cookie-free approach uses traditional audience segment targeting in a way that is endemic to the podcast space.

Podcast Audience Targeting for Your Next Campaign

Finding your consumers can be overwhelming—especially in a new medium that doesn’t offer the same identifiers as other forms of media. We are constantly innovating to help you align with your audience in the podcast space. Most importantly, adding podcasts to your mix is pure incremental reach

Let us help you leverage all the podcast advertising space has to offer—engaged, ad-receptive audiences—with the right targeting solutions. 

Let’s talk targeting.

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