If you are new to podcasting, you’re probably wondering how to get podcast sponsors and monetize your show. Thankfully, getting sponsors is not rocket science but first, you must get a few things right.
Understand that businesses are looking for ways to raise brand awareness, and considering the increasing popularity of podcasts, it presents an excellent avenue for companies to place themselves right in front of loyal podcast listeners.
This is a win-win situation for both sponsors and podcasters. So, how do you find sponsors? Read on to learn how.
Things to Know Before Reaching Out To Potential Sponsors
Advertisers or sponsors will not likely hand you a check without learning certain crucial things about your show. So, consider the following before reaching out to potential sponsors.
Why should any business advertise on your podcast? You need to come up with a presentation that answers all the common questions potential sponsors may have.
While it is great to put your best foot forward, your first pitch doesn’t have to be perfect, though. Think of it as a work in progress. As you interact with more brands, you’ll figure out how to tweak and refine your pitch presentation.
Who makes up your audience? Stay-at-home mums, teenagers, college-educated people, or older folks?
Although the content you put out has a lot to do with your audience demographics, you can get more accurate information from your podcast analytics. Determining your type of audience will help you figure out the brands to target as sponsors.
Your Advertising Rate
Sponsors would want to know how much you expect them to pay for your podcast episodes. So, you need to do your research before approaching brands. We’ll talk more about this in a bit.
Keep in mind that you are offering great value to businesses by offering ad spots on your show, so don’t undervalue your hard work.
Your inventory refers to the ad format. Will you be offering ad spots at the beginning, middle, or end of the episode? We’ll get into the details of these shortly but your inventory will determine how much the sponsor is expected to pay.
Putting all of these together (pitch, demographics, ad rate, and inventory), you should be able to come up with a pitch presentation containing the following details:
- Title: a slide with your podcast logo
- About us: a summary about your show (podcast subject, format, hosts, guests, episode length, etc)
- Audience: statistics about your listeners
- Pricing: proposed ad rates
Types of Sponsorships
Next, you’ll have to decide what sponsorship model best suits your podcast. Your options include:
The CPM (cost per mille) sponsorship model involves sponsors paying a predetermined amount based on the number of downloads or signups from your podcast. This is typically in increments of 1000s.
For example, if your CPM rate is $25 and a particular episode has 10,000 downloads, you get paid 25 x 1,000 = $250.
Consider a CMP sponsorship if you have a fairly large audience.
The CPA (cost per acquisition) is similar to affiliate marketing where you get a commission for sales or signups. While you can rake in good revenue from this model, it is also possible to earn very little or even nothing if listeners don’t sign up for services or buy promoted products.
This model is best suited for podcasters who have built a community of trusting and loyal listeners.
This model offers a fixed price for ads. For example, if you charge $50 per episode, you will get paid that amount regardless of whether your podcast reaches 10,000 listeners or only 10 people.
Small and mid-sized podcasts will find this model most suitable. But the value-based sponsorship model isn’t the best fit for podcasters with large audiences.
How Much Should You Charge?
Now, this is the part that can get a bit tricky because the podcasting industry doesn’t quite have standard pricing rates. That’s another way of saying that the amount you charge will depend on your current reach and the sponsor.
Having said that, in a CPM sponsorship deal, you should expect sponsors to spend anywhere from $15 to $25 for 1,000 downloads. For affiliate or CPA, it is common for sponsors to spend between $15 to $30 per product purchase or signup.
With this in mind, you can aim for an acceptable range to charge depending on the type of sponsorship that best suits your podcast. And if the numbers are agreeable, you’ll likely have sponsors renewing their ads for your show.
Another thing to keep in mind when deciding on how much to charge sponsors is the ad spot during the show.
There are three possible spots to place ads in your podcasts. These are:
- Pre-roll: Just before the show starts
- Mid-roll: Somewhere during the episode similar to a commercial
- Post-roll: Right after the show
Using the CPM, it is safe to charge the following ad rates depending on how long they run:
- $15 for 10 seconds
- $18 for 30 seconds
- $25 for 60 seconds
Usually, pre-roll and post-roll ads don’t last more than 5 to 15 seconds and are typically straightforward. It is common for podcasters to run pre-roll ads by saying something like, “this podcast is sponsored by…” and mention the name of the sponsor.
On the other hand, mid-roll ads tend to be longer (up to 60 seconds) and take on a more free-form style, where the podcaster delivers the main talking points outlined by the sponsor. However, this is done creatively to sound very natural, authentic, and convincing to listeners.
Bottom line: If you are not yet an established name, consider charging low at first until you get plenty of ad renewals, establish a solid reputation, and are sure that the ads are suitable for your listeners before charging higher.
A Few Extra Tips
Let’s wrap up this topic with these quick tips:
Where to Find Sponsors
It is one thing to know how to get podcast sponsors, but knowing where to find them is a different thing altogether. Where exactly should you look?
A good starting point is to listen to popular podcasts in your niche and find out who sponsors them. Those who buy ads on similar podcasts as yours are potential sponsors.
You can also run keywords searches on search engines. Make sure to pick keywords that are relevant to your podcast niche to see the brands advertising using those keywords. Even if these businesses are not currently advertising on podcasts, you could win them over with a well-thought-out pitch.
Feel free to ask your fellow podcasters, especially those with a similar theme as yours. They could help you with a few hints and nudge you in the right direction. Lastly, don’t overlook your listeners. Thinking about what they would like to download or buy could give you an idea of what type of sponsors to go after.
Reach Out to Potential Sponsors Directly
After figuring out where to find sponsors, the next logical step is to reach out to them. The best way to do this is to approach them directly.
Compose your pitch proposal and email potential sponsors. This is your first impression, so make it counts. Keep things simple, concise, and professional.
Simply focus on providing information that tells the potential sponsor who you are, what you are offering, and how a partnership with you will benefit them. Remember to thank them for their time and end with an invitation for the potential sponsor to contact you for further discussions.
Reach Out to Multiple Potential Sponsors
Reaching out to only one potential sponsor is like putting all your eggs in one basket. You will waste valuable time waiting for a response that may not come, and you’ll have to start the cycle all over again.
Your best move would be to send out emails to between 5 and 10 potential sponsors, at least. Not all of them will respond but this approach increases your chances of receiving responses from a couple of them.
Send a Follow-Up Emails
Avoid the mistake that many newbie podcasters make, and that’s waiting for a reply to your pitch email. Many sponsors may not respond to your email, at least, not the first time you email them.
A follow-up email will be necessary in most cases. But here are a few tips to consider before sending out a follow-up email:
- Wait for at least two weeks after your first email before following up.
- In your follow-up email, courteously ask if they’ve had a chance to read and consider your proposal. Also, remind them that you’re eager to start a partnership with them.
- Never send more than one follow-up email. If you don’t get a response, simply move on to the next potential sponsor.
How to get podcast sponsors can seem like an uphill task but with the right approach, you’ll find the right business partner.
Work on building a large audience with a sizable number of quality listeners because that’s what will attract sponsors to invest in your show.