Podcast Sponsorships are an agreement between you and a brand to sponsor your show in exchange for promoting them on your podcast. They can be an extremely effective way to generate revenue for your podcast as it is a mutually beneficial tool for both you and the brand.
Brands can choose to partner with your podcast and can advertise on your show in what usually follows one of the following models:
Based on this, how you go about finding sponsors will mostly depend on the size of your audience.
There are different types of ads you can offer sponsors: pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll.
1. Pre-roll ads: These are at the beginning of the show and are the shortest in length to keep listeners on board.
2. Mid-roll ads: These ads are placed throughout the podcast when listeners are already engaged. For this reason, they are the most valuable to sponsors.
3. Post-roll ads: These are at the end of your podcast and are seen as the least valuable because either people have not listened to this point in the show, or they can simply stop listening once the podcast content ends and the ad begins.
Podcast ads will then tend to take on one of two forms for podcast sponsors:
1. Host-read ads: These are where the host talks about the brand’s product or service in a genuine way, telling the audience why/how they use it and why the audience should use it too.
2. Radio-style ads: A pre-recorded ad from a third party can also be used where you will simply play the ad throughout your episode without you talking about it yourself.
Whichever model you are going to follow, you need to decide how you are going to find a brand that is the right fit to sponsor your podcast.
While it can be a lot of hard, time-consuming work to approach brands and pitch to them directly, it can be the best way to find brands who you align your audience and your values, and whom you would want to partner with. It also means that you avoid network splits and have more revenue potential.
When looking for brands to partner with, first you need to think about your niche and what brands have a similar audience or market. What brands do you think your audience would benefit from hearing about? Look for brands that are already advertising on podcasts similar to your own. What brands match your own values? Make a list of 15 – 20 brands that align with your goals and that you can envision a mutually beneficial outcome from the partnership.
How are you going to pitch your podcast to these potential sponsors?
A potential partner needs to know why they should sponsor your podcast. Be specific with what benefits are in it for them.
When first approaching a brand to pitch the idea of sponsoring your podcast, you do not want to overwhelm them or for them to simply disregard your email without even considering it. Be sure to keep your email concise and to the point, and give them the information they need. Make an effort to find the contact information for the most suitable person at the company to reach out to.
You can include a slide desk in the email with some more information and a deeper breakdown of any stats for the brand to take a closer look at. It is a good idea to make some adjustments to customise each email and slide deck to appeal to each potential sponsor.
Another good idea to stand out from the crowd, and to give a potential sponsor a taste of your podcast, is to include a podcast trailer. This can be specific to sponsors, rather than your usual podcast trailer for listeners, where brands can get a sense of you and your podcast style, and where you can talk about some of the benefits that are in it for them.
When pitching to brands, you will need to be prepared for rejection as not everyone you reach out to will partner with you. Don’t get disheartened and keep trying. You are offering these brands valuable access to your audience and there will be brands who will want this!
Another way to find podcast sponsors is to join a Podcast Network. This is a middleman where you do not have to approach brands yourself to pitch your podcast, but instead, they will do the work for you. Brands will be exposed to your content on the Podcast Network and they can approach you to arrange a sponsorship deal.
It can be very convenient if you do not have the time to pitch to brands yourself. The podcast network will take a cut of your revenue, so this is generally a better idea for when you have a larger following and are earning a bigger revenue from your podcast.
Check out PodcastOne, advertisecast, or SXMMedia.
Brands that are actively looking to advertise on a podcast can go to a Podcast Ad Marketplace to find you. This can be extremely useful as the brands are already looking for the right podcast, rather than cold pitching to a brand that may not be interested in sponsoring a podcast.
Again, while it is a great way to get exposure to brands looking to advertise, the Ad Marketplace will take a cut of the revenue, so keep this in mind.
Some examples are Podcorn or Acast.
Podcast Sponsorships are a great way to earn an income from your podcast, but bear in mind that you will now have contractual obligations to meet. Podcast Sponsors are paying for a service and you must provide it, while also keeping your audience engaged and enjoying your show. You may have a certain amount of ads to include for your sponsors, but too many ads and your audience may become frustrated. Be sure to consider this when finding brand sponsors and agreeing upon terms.
If monetising your podcast or spending time looking for sponsors is not something you have the time or interest in, you can always find a professional or a podcast production agency to manage all of this for you.