podcast ad copy

Podcast Ad Copy: Lessons Learned from $100M in Podcast Ads

Introduction

Podcast advertising continues to propel brands into the zeitgeist of consumer thought through intimate storytelling. Brands like BetterHelp, Manscaped, Magic Spoon Cereal have leveraged podcasts to scale and impact their bottom line. And now, it’s time for you to jump in!

Having great podcast ad copy is key to your success, but it’s not easy. Knowing how to write for others to read aloud, while also communicating the intricacies of your business in less than 60 seconds is no simple feat. But, when done well, your business will feel the impact.

At ADOPTER Media, we’ve facilitated over 100,000 ad placements on over 25,000 shows (a collective spend of over $100M). We know a *little* about ad copy…

Let’s break down the science of podcast ad copy that converts listeners into your customers.

You’ll Know it When You Hear It

It’s hard to define what makes a great ad, but we all know one when we see or hear one. It has authenticity, a good hook, and a well-crafted Call to Action (CTA). It makes you feel something and, in turn, take action.

Podcast ads are great due to their host-read nature. You are getting the voice of influential thought leaders talking about your brand to their audience. It’s the ideal recipe for high conversion. But, this also presents the greatest challenge: writing ad copy in a way that works for their talent!

Set a Great Foundation

Every great podcast ad has great structure. It is mostly comprised of three key elements: intro/hook, body/key selling points, and an offer/CTA.

If you’re like most brands, you probably could go on for hours about how great your product is, but the challenge here is giving enough relevant talking points to fill 60 seconds (the average podcast ad length). When onboarding new clients, we work to simplify messaging down to a few key selling points, and a “hero statement.”

What’s Your Hero Statement?

Your hero statement is the one-sentence summary of why your brand exists to serve customers.

Typically, this comes right after the intro and is reinforced throughout the ad. It’s the cornerstone of your brand. It’s what separates you and defines you against your competition.

It should be:

Broad

Covers the breadth of your business’ purpose.

Understood

Keep it jargon-free and use “regular people talk”

Noteworthy

Is it remarkable? Will I care enough to remember it?

Simple

What problem do you solve?

Present Tense

i.e. “We are building a world” not “we want to build a world.”

Inspiring

Listeners, regardless of if they buy, should be excited about what you’re doing.

Short

Keep it to one sentence. I promise… you can.

My favorite organizational psychologist, Adam Grant, (yes, I have a favorite organizational psychologist) has a great “hero statement:” work doesn’t have to suck.

It’s calling out the belief that work sucks, which many hold, it’s clear and understandable, noteworthy, simple, present tense, inspiring and short. AND out of it flows so many talking points.

He in himself is a brand, his product is helping people find fulfillment in what they do. All of his talking points flow out of this hero statement. Similarly, your ads should function the same.

Define your hero statement, and your copy will flow much more freely.

Intro

Intros are best left in the host’s hands, with a nudge of guidance. At the top of the page before talking points, we include:

Brand name + pronunciation and a highlighted note reminding them to lean into their personality and what makes them authentic to their audience.

I.e. If you’re a ready-made food brand, maybe give them prompts like:

  • Talk about the pains of cooking at home
  • Talk about how you’re always on the go and can’t find time to cook

The intro is meant to flow from the content of the pod, into the ad. It should fit the tone of the show. 

We suggest giving at least 3 variants of intros/hooks.

Body

This is your meat and potatoes, and it should not be scripted.

Here’s where you identify your brand, hero statement, and key selling points (3 max).

Remember, this ad is 60 seconds so keeping this sweet and to the essentials is important.

This section flows from the intro and you will want to begin with a call out to the brand.

A simple, “that’s why I’ve started using…” can do the trick.

Secondly, introduce the hero statement:

I.e. “Magic Spoon is cereal that’s actually good for you!”

Now you’ve made your claim, you need to back that up.

This looks different for every brand. Some brands talk about the people behind the formula is it’s a food or drug base product, or maybe points about sustainability, etc. You know your brand and customers. Lean on your three biggest selling points.

Do you offer any guarantees? Be sure to include those!

I also like to add a reminder to talk about the personal experience at this point in the copy. I.e what flavours they enjoy, the benefits they’ve felt, etc.

Maybe you want to add a note to mention testimonials? The list is endless, but it’s your job to keep it tight and to the point. Don’t waste your 60 seconds.

The Offer/Call to Action

Lastly, after educating the audience on why your brand or product is so cool you gotta close the deal!

Depending on your brand’s objectives, this could have varying looks. Retail-oriented brands may want to shout out the different big box stores you can purchase at, product guarantees, etc. Where a direct response brand might push you to a URL and offer a discount code.

Regardless, give listeners something to do as a result of the time you took from them. Add value, and in return, you may karmically receive value.

If you are pushing them to a URL ask the host to spell it out at least once, and repeat the offer.

We generally ask that the offer be read 100% verbatim to ensure accuracy. This is often the only verbatim piece we ask for unless there are highly specific client expectations.

Closing

Podcast ad copywriting doesn’t have to be complicated, just human. Write for the human voice. Give creators the freedom to choose and let them be your voice!

Copy can have drastic effects on campaign performance. Bad intros can lead to ad skips, the overly scripted ad reads lose the host’s authenticity, and unclear instructions can lead to potentially FTC-violating reads.

Write copy clearly and concisely. Add a DO NOT say section if your brand has strict guidelines for advertising, and get advertising!

At ADOPTER Media, we leverage the data of over 100,000 ads placed on over 25,000 shows to scale leading Direct Response brands like Magic Spoon Cereal, Feals, and Apostrophe. Find out if podcast advertising is right for your brand by getting a free audit!
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ADOPTER Media makes podcast advertising simple for brands like yours. We have decades of combined experience scaling brands like yours through podcast ads. We work hand-in-hand with our clients to ensure their product hits the right ears to drive conversions. If you are ready to scale your business, contact us here for a free audit to see if you are podcast advertising ready.

Adam X Fum Final
Adam McNeil

Podcast Advertising Simplified | VP, Marketing @ ADOPTER Media | Co-host @ Make Better Podcast | Former VP, Marketing @ Füm

Adam helps DTC brands scale through podcast advertising by creating armies of podcasters that keep your inventory levels low.

I'm the VP of Marketing for ADOPTER Media (Podcast Advertising Agency), co-host of the "Make Better" podcast, wannabe Alex Honold, and a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur.

Podcast Ads. YouTube Sponsorships. Real Results.

Our agency represents advertisers to plan, manage, and optimize their host-read ad campaigns at scale.
"ADOPTER Media has been a fantastic partner for us since the earliest days of Magic Spoon."

- Gabi Lewis, Co-Founder, Magic Spoon

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