PODCAST AD SPENDING TO SURPASS 1 BILLION NEXT YEAR: Podcast ad spending is rapidly overtaking digital radio ad spending. According to eMarketer, 105.6 million people in the US will listen to podcasts by the end of 2020. Edison research suggests that 49% of all Americans ages 12-34 listen to at least one podcast per month, and 68 million Americans are weekly podcast listeners. There is still plenty of room for growth for podcast advertising, like better standards for reporting and audience measurement to help give marketers more confidence in this channel and more easily realize return on investment.
Why you should care: The ability to reach the adult learner and graduate audiences remains high with podcast ads. As an enrollment marketer, you have the opportunity to reach a super targeted audience with your custom messaging. For example, if you work at an MBA program, you could approach a host with an entrepreneurship podcast about promoting your program through an audio ad that the host inserts during an episode. Unlike typical Facebook or Google ads that rely on an automated bidding process, the ability to pick and choose specific podcasts that align with prospective students’ interests can improve hyper-targeted ad reach and confidence in your podcast ad investment.
MARKETING ATTRIBUTION AND HIGH-ROI INVESTMENTS DON’T ALWAYS WORK TOGETHER: You decide to run a 15-second podcast ad. In the ad, you mention a special URL to measure traffic generated from that ad. Unbeknownst to you, after the podcast is over, listeners go to Google and search the program/offer you mentioned in the ad. Who gets the attribution credit for the traffic to your page now? Google (organic search) does, not the podcast! To you and the budget decision-maker, more time, energy, and dollars should be spent on Google. Scrap the podcast ads, right? Actually, this the result of the unattributed marketing conundrum; results and traffic whose attribution is unclear or uncertain.
Why you should care: As Sparktoro’s Rand Fishkin puts it, “stop explaining quarterly reports that show brand growth (branded search volume, direct traffic, increased social followings), as ‘natural,’ and start defining them as a combination of all those unmeasurable tactics you invested in.” Instead, justify podcast ads and other hard-to-measure tactics with implied attribution; geographic and/or time-based data that shows “proximity” or “relatedness” of the marketing tactic to the traffic data and new prospective student information collected.
YOUTUBE TO STOP INSTANT NOTIFICATION EMAILS: Do you receive email notifications when a channel you’re subscribed to on YouTube publishes a new video or live stream? Not anymore. YouTube is stopping those emails thanks to an abysmal 0.1% aggregate open rate. YouTube concluded that it didn’t see a drop in viewership or watch time as a result of stopping these instant notification emails when it tested this move earlier in the year.
Why you should care: How often do you really click through notification emails from blogs you’re subscribed to? Some predict there will be a decline in automated distribution emails (or auto-publish emails), that will instead be replaced by more custom-crafted emails for new content published. Enrollment marketers want high open rates and engagement. For many schools, achieving that high engagement may mean scrapping instant/automated email notifications and spending the time to create customized emails each and every time.