How to Find Sponsors for Your Podcast
While getting podcast sponsors aren’t for everyone, we made a quick guide for people trying to bring in those killers sponsors and what to expects.
If you get sponsors and ads for your podcast, everyone benefits! You can earn money from your podcast, sponsors get themselves out there and reach potential customers/clients, and your listeners can get information about things that might interest them or help them.
You might be afraid that adding ads to your show will make the show sound cheap and less attractive, but it does not have to be that way. If you keep the ads short, interesting, natural, and relevant to the topic of the show and well-catered toward your listeners, listeners will appreciate them.
So how do you get sponsors and ads? Where do you start? There are two main routes you can take. One is to go about finding them on your own; talking to people and negotiating terms. The other is to use the help of mediating services such as your own podcast hosting service or audio ad agencies.
Businesses sponsor podcasts because they have something to sell or they want to increase their brand awareness. There are two different types of sponsors, CPM (cost per mille) means the advertisers pay per 1,000 downloads or listens, and CPA (cost per acquisition) means they pay per sales or sign-ups from the ad. There are industry standard rates (around $20 for CPM and CPA), but it totally depends on you and the sponsor. If you are not sure, you should start low, and raise the rate as you attract more audiences and increase in popularity.
Ads are also categorized into pre-roll, mid-roll, and end-roll ads, depending on if the ad comes before the show, during the show, or after the show. You should limit the number of ads to two per episode, so that they will not lower the quality of your show.
First things first, work on building a solid, high-quality show with many listeners. The pay is usually set per thousand downloads, and if you have more downloads than people in the same genre, you are more likely to attract advertisers, get higher rates, and make more money. That does not mean that you can start advertising when listenership is still small, but constantly work on having a good show, well targeted to the niche and building a fandom. Some big advertisers directly contact successful podcasters with an offer to partner up.
In order to build your podcast to the right direction and attract potential sponsors, you need to do a lot of research. Know your target audience, competitors and your strength to maximize the potential of your show. Then, get to know your show better by reading the analytics (downloads, reviews, etc.) and get to know potential sponsors.
If you decide to become your own marketer and find sponsors yourself, you should have a marketing deck. It is a short visual presentation of your show, team, stats, the target audience, and your desired form of sponsorship (desired rate, the length of the ad…). Having this will help you navigate through the negotiation process and contract process smoothly even when you end up not showing it to them. When pitching via email, you can attach the PDF version of your deck.
When you have all the information ready, start contacting. Start from the businesses that have the similar target to your show. If your show targets mothers with young kids, talk to companies selling baby products or mommy self-care products. If you find out what your audience will be interested and pitch the sponsorship idea, the businesses will see the benefit and will be much more likely to say yes. You can directly talk, call, or email the companies for the opportunity. Don’t forget to follow up if they don’t respond within a week, but be careful not to be annoying.
A lot of podcasting hosts have their own monetizing programs, which include sponsorship and ad insertion. They will find you sponsors and that saves you some time and sweat, but remember that they will take a cut and that you might not have as much freedom negotiating terms and picking the sponsors you want. Read our article on hosting service comparison to find the best hosting service that offers sponsorship and ads. (You can transfer your show to a different hosting service if you find a better one.)
There are surprisingly many agencies that deal with audio ads, mediating advertisers and audio creators. If you have your RSS feed address and other basic info about your show, the listing will take no time, and the process is very simple. You can see the list of audio advertising agencies here.
If you have questions about market research, podcast sponsorship and audio ads, contact us via email or from the form below.