Podcast Targeting Puts Travel Campaigns in Motion

MaryKate Breslin, Senior Manager, Sales Research & InsightsJul 25, 2023

Ready to take your travel campaigns to the next level? Podcast advertising can help you target and reach your consumers when they have their next trip in mind.

Tickets paid. Hotel booked or house rented. Activities planned. Bags packed. Headphones? Where are they!? Phew; found them! 

When it comes to travel must-haves, audio is high on the list. Travel and audio are practically synonymous. According to a recent SXM Media research study focused on travel, 94% of listeners consume some form of audio while they travel. And just as the most appealing travel options depend on the audience, so does the type of audio they’re taking with them.

Podcasts in Motion

Over half (53%) of podcast listeners turn on podcasts while they’re traveling. Podcasts are popular among travelers, acting as a companion to travel-related activities like driving, flying, or sightseeing. And they can be consumed on demand for a flexible listening experience. 

Among podcast listeners, 61% say they plan their leisure trips several months in advance and are most likely to be planning their travel for the summer (82%), fall (71%), or spring (62%). This means that brands can take advantage of this engaged audience all year round, with podcasts providing opportunities for brands to align with intimate moments and inspire action from listeners, like visiting a specific vacation destination or using a travel website or app to plan a vacation.

Podcast fans plan travel all year

So how can travel advertisers use podcasts to reach their most coveted audiences? It’s all about the audience—and how you target them.

Targeting is a Must-Pack for Podcast Campaigns

Getting the words and tones right, developing the kind of creative to drive awareness and increase sales—that only works when the right audiences hear the ad. From lifestyles to demographics to interests, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to reaching audiences with travel messages. Taking an audience-first approach helps brands make sure their ads land. 

With the SiriusXM Podcast Network, advertisers have multiple audience-targeting capabilities to choose from. Let’s dive in.

  • Behavioral Targeting: Target listeners based on their lifestyle, interests, and behaviors (e.g., travel intenders, gamers, smart speaker owners).

  • Category Targeting: Target listeners with specific interests (e.g., sports, fashion, beauty), reach fans of specific genres (e.g., true crime, comedy, news), or connect with a specific group of people (e.g., parents, Hispanic listeners, men). 

  • Show-Level Targeting: Reach fans of a specific show to leverage a host-listener relationship or create a custom activation (e.g., a bonus episode or live event).

  • Transcription Targeting: Target listeners using ad technology to reach audiences at the episode level. Transcription targeting allows brands to advertise on episodes about niche topics (e.g., travel) across multiple shows. This option also allows for anti-targeting for increased brand suitability.

  • Contextual Targeting: Reach audiences based on a topic of interest at scale across the entire SiriusXM Podcast Network, or expand audience reach to topics beyond a specific category or genre.

  • Predictive Audience Targeting: Connect with a specific audience based on habits, behaviors, life stages, etc. (e.g., frequent travelers, empty nesters, home improvement). 

On-Target Travel Campaigns

We’ve tested audience-first targeting strategies for various travel advertisers with great results. 

Behavioral Targeting Brings Brand Boosts

A recent SiriusXM Podcast Network campaign for a travel advertiser proved the power of podcasts in brand-building, generating awareness, and driving lifts in upper-middle funnel metrics. This campaign saw success with programmatic ad placements, which allowed the advertiser to optimize and target listeners in real-time at scale, building awareness and favorability. And by leveraging behavioral audience targeting, the advertiser was able to reach a leaned-in audience of podcast listeners with travel-related interests while simultaneously reinforcing their key brand messages.

Podcast targeting inspires consumer action across the marketing funnel

Audience Targeting Delivers First-Class Results

A recent SXM Media cross-platform campaign drove increased awareness and consideration for a travel advertiser. This campaign leveraged a diversified media-mix with ad placements across Pandora, SoundCloud, and SiriusXM Podcast Network to extend reach and connect with consumers across listening environments. It also used advanced audience targeting to connect with audio streamers and podcast listeners ages 25+ who are frequent travelers or travel-website users, as well as high-impact creative featuring celebrity voiceovers and contextually relevant themes to inspire action and drive intent.

Podcast audience targeting boosts campaign metrics

Ready to upgrade your next travel campaign? Let us help you reach your brand’s most valuable audiences with our best-in-class podcast targeting solutions. Let’s talk.  


  • 1.

    Pandora Soundboard Study, Travel, Q2 2023

  • 2.

    Kantar Millward Brown Brand Study, Q2 2022. Unaided Brand Awareness lift shown is directional; Brand Favorability lift shown is statistically significant at 80% confidence interval; all other lifts shown are statistically significant at 90% confidence interval.

  • 3.

    Kantar Millward Brown Brand Study, Q1 2023. Online Ad Awareness lift is statistically significant at 80% confidence interval, all other lifts shown are statistically significant at 90% confidence interval or above.

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