Dynamic ad content is the ability to put in additional content to all or a select few sets of your episodes on a changing basis without having to change the root podcast file. I’m able to run a pre-roll, a post-roll, or, in some tools, a mid-roll that is changeable.
If you have ever listened to a podcast and gotten a current ad but you know, for sure, it was an old podcast – let’s say, you are listening to Armchair Expert. You hear a Pacifica commercial for a Labor Day weekend sale. You’re like, “Wow, that’s weird, because this episode is the third episode they ever did,” – that’s a dynamic ad. That is something they’re putting in and placing separately from the audio file for the show.
Whereas our traditional ads sit inside the show, right? We’re saying them. A great example is me talking about the Podcast Newsroom in this show. That was me with a host read in the show. It’s going to be hard for me to change that later without taking this file, reopening it, re-editing it, and then re-uploading it to the host which is an option.
It’s something we’ve done more than once. We’ve had sort of multiple versions. A show exists, and we went in and swapped the file after a certain point, because it allowed us to go in and take something that was launch content and built as an asset.
Take it from, “Hey, the doors are open,” to, “Hey, there’s a waitlist.” Because the traffic to that episode was still really solid. We wanted to make sure those people weren’t just sort of ending up in an endless cycle of the courses open but instead going in and getting on the waitlist, so that when the course reopens, they could take advantage of that. Now, you can do this with dynamic content.
Things to Be Aware of When Using Dynamic Ad Content
Now, I want to say, first and foremost, dynamic ad content has some things you need to be aware of from a mixed perspective. From a sound perspective, you want to make sure your volumes are on point. You do not want this ad set to be aggressive.
We’ve all listened to drive time radio. We’re driving home. We are rocking out to the song of the summer. Then aggressively, you get, “Ba ba ba ba. USED CAR SALE. This weekend only.”
We’ve all gotten that. It’s aggressive. We don’t want to create that environment. That’s not going to be a good first impression of your show if you’ve set this up as a pre-roll.
It’s absolutely critical paying attention to what it’s going to go inside of and what it’s going to sit next to. This is the most important if you’re using a tool that allows you to embed these dynamic ad content inside of the episode, meaning not as a pre-roll and not as a post roll – so not at the very beginning and not at the very end – but instead somewhere in the middle of that content.
Those tools are really great. Libsyn is a great example of a tool you can use this with. You go through. You define what those spots are in the episodes which is going to be laborious depending on how many episodes you have. Because I would recommend actually strategically placing those dynamic ad spots.
Pre-rolls, post-rolls, you have a little more leeway. A, I don’t need to go and make sure it’s going to sound good next to what it’s in. I can make sure I’m not going to be interrupting some sort of important or inappropriate placement. It’s not going to sit next to something it shouldn’t be sitting next to, because it’s at the beginning. We’ve got ad, show hook, intro music, my sort of intro promo piece. Then we get into content. Again, we’ve got some leeway there.
Now, if you have a pre-roll ad spot, you might want to be conscientious about how you’re using that intro area, whereas I promo right there. Maybe not great if you have an AdRoll. It’s going to depend on what that AdRoll is.
The other thing I want you to be aware of is how long a dynamic ad sits up. Where are you consistently changing this? For me, the bigger question becomes how are you managing what it needs to be now? If you don’t have a really good grasp on your marketing strategy, on your sales cycles, on your timing, dynamic ad content might not be the move yet.
If you are somebody who has a really clear understanding of, “We’ve got these launch windows. These are the kind of things we cycle through. This is what we sell in the course of the year. Here’s what we want to be promoting,” you can absolutely be creating those and cycling them through.
We have, for our clients who run dynamic ad content, specific boards. Just like we have a dashboard for the podcast, we have a dashboard for dynamic ads. That’s kept separately so that we can include the timeline. This is when it goes up. This is when it comes down. This is what needs to happen in that space.
It makes it really incredibly simple for us to be just looking at a dashboard, figuring out what needs to be there, and making sure that’s really what’s running.
What Podcast Hosts Allow for Dynamic Ad Content
Let’s talk a little bit about the last sort of nuance here which is that not everybody, not every tool uses or allows you to use dynamic ads. There’re 2 providers I want to talk about today. I like the way both of these providers do this, but they do it very differently. These are the two hosts I most frequently recommend to our podcasters.
We have a couple of clients who have actually moved to one of these platforms. I think we currently only have 1 show not on one of these 2 platforms that we produce. In fact, we had 2. Now, we’re moving one of them to one of these platforms. These are the ones I use.
First, we’ll talk about the one this show is hosted with. That is Libsyn. With Libsyn and Libsyn Pro, you can do dynamic ads. The cool thing about Libsyn is they will allow for those mid-roll dynamic ad content. It just means that you have to go in and mark the spots where those dynamic ads are going to sit. You’ve got to be aware of that.
You would reach out directly to Libsyn. They would onboard you into that. You would go through that process with them.
It’s a great tool. I love it. I’m not going to dig into the technical ways to do this, because it’s not a good use of our time together. But that’s tool number 1 that I would recommend.
Tool number 2, is the one I recommend. If you are DIYing your show still, if you’re unsure of how dynamic ads are going to look for you if you want to be able to just sort of quickly be able to, at the front or back of your show, have a new ad running every couple of weeks – cool – use Buzzsprout. I really love Buzzsprout. It’s a great tool.
Again, it’s not what I host on. But we have a couple of clients who are on Buzzsprout. Their dynamic ad content setup is really really simple. You seriously just go to a tab that says Dynamic Content. You mark which ones you want. You can select the episodes that you want. You don’t have to include every episode. Maybe you have a special episode about a more sensitive topic, or maybe you don’t want to feature AdRoll on solo episodes, because you have an ingrained promo inside of those solo episodes. But you want to make sure your guest episodes or your coaching episodes or your case study episodes do include a solid pre-roll or a post-roll, because you don’t have as much time to feed the offer in that 2-person or multiple-person conversation.
Awesome. This is a great way to go in and be able to select the episodes. You want to be able to include it in and exclude the episodes you want to skip for the dynamic ads. Really really simple all on your dashboard right in Buzzsprout.
Those are the 2 tools I recommend above all, just in general, to be honest. But also specifically, if you want to be running dynamic ad content, both of them offer that and in slightly different ways.
I’d argue that if you want to get heavy into dynamic content, if you are somebody who wants to be able to run mid-roll dynamic ads, if you are somebody who wants to be able to have your producer or someone on your production team go and find all of those timestamp spots or mark all of those timestamp spots for you, Libsyn’s the way to go.
If you’re somebody who wants to be able to DIY your dynamic ad content, you want to be pretty simple, you want it to go right up at the top or right up at the end – although I would say right up at the top – if you want to be able to do that really easily, really quickly, Buzzsprout is the move all the way for that.
Check out those 2 tools.
Why Use Dynamic Ad Content on Your Podcast
We’ve gotten to the what. We’ve gotten to the how. Let’s talk a little bit about the why. Why would you do this?
If you’re somebody who runs a couple, one or more sort of annual courses, you have programs that you put people in once a year- we’re going into Q4. A lot of our clients when we are sitting down for our, “What are we selling this…?” I already know what it is. We’re selling the same Mastermind we sell every year, right?
What are those things for you that are those annual pieces? This is really helpful, because instead of having 6 or 8 episodes in Q4 of your year where you’re selling this thing, and they end up being some of your most popular episodes, these great assets, but they’re selling a program that’s closed, you can go in and say, “Hey, this Mastermind’s not available right now. But a great way to gear up for this for next year is this secondary program that I sell the rest of the year.” Or, “Make sure you’re on the waitlist when we open the doors in October for our following-year enrollment.”
Whatever the case may be, you can still leverage those assets. You can still find a way to serve and nurture that audience especially that interested audience without destroying yourself, without being like, “I’ve got to go in and re-upload all of those,” or whatever. It’s just recording it and flipping a switch. It’s really really simple.
Another great work case of this is if you have something you sort of cycle between. For me, a great example of this would be production and a secondary service.
When we open our single-session calls, we have started opening and closing those or not open all the time, because with our client roster having priority, always always always, our production clients always have priority. We’re in it the deepest with them. I have 4 times a year where a month is sort of filled with those calls. So I don’t have time to take on single-session calls.
But I do sometimes. For example, I’ll have some space for standalone conversations in October of this year. I’ll have some in January of next year. I’ll have some time, because those aren’t months where I’ve got heavy client call responsibilities with our production clients. I could be running dynamic ad content saying, “Hey, right now is the time to get in to get one of those calls. I’ve got it opened.” Because I only book them one month at a time when they are available. That’s it.
The other times, I have that calendar straight up closed so as to not over book myself and also to be really honest about like, “These aren’t available right now. I don’t know when it will be. I can open them and close them as I have capacity.”
I could flip on and off a dynamic ad promoting those across all of my episodes without a lot of additional effort or frustration which makes it easy for me to sell that thing I don’t sell all the time, and I just kind of sell as I have capacity. That’s another great case study or work study for dynamic ads.
Now, you’ll notice we don’t actually run dynamic ad content right now on the show, because really, I just sell production all of the time. But you never know. This is a great way for you to do it if you wanted to do that.
Another option is a waitlist. When something is switched to a waitlist, the episodes that promote that membership get dynamic ads for a waitlist. When it’s open, the dynamic ad is flipped to a, “Hey, we’re open now. Make sure you come join us.” That runs at the top of the episode. Then it goes into your sales asset.
If you’re somebody who opens the doors for their course or membership, let’s say, quarterly, you can just be flipping back between those two dynamic ads. You can be managing all of that on a dashboard. This is incredible.
How to Get Support with Dynamic Ad Content
If this is something you want support with if you’re listening to this and you’re like, “Stacey, yes, please. How do we do this,” I want to talk to you!
Let’s have a conversation about what production as a whole looks like because this gets possible when you have a real line of sight on what your show is and a firm understanding of how your show is a sales and marketing asset when you have that clear line of sight over what’s happening. That’s exactly what we do with our clients.