Producing quality content demands a considerable amount of effort, time, and resources. From research and content generation to recording and editing, podcasts take a lot of work. That’s why many podcasters try to find podcast sponsors.
Who wouldn’t want to get paid for the hard work performed?
You can monetize your podcast if you manage to find and secure podcast sponsors. Besides direct payments, sponsors are also an excellent opportunity to grow your audience, connect with new people and build relationships with brands. The challenge is actually to find potential sponsors. So, let’s move to that.
Podcast sponsorship essentials
Before reaching potential sponsors, you should choose your best-fitting sponsorship model and think of the preferred advertisement format.
Sponsors are paying podcasters to get their products or services promoted during podcast episodes. There are two main styles of podcast ads: podcaster-read or radio-style.
Radio-style ads are the ads that a sponsor or third-party company creates. The host inserts it sometime during the podcast episode.
Podcaster-read ads are promotions made by the host during the podcast. The host introduces the goods or services with a proper narrative by fitting them into the podcast context in a way that sounds natural.
The next decision to make is choosing a sponsorship model. It can be CPM, value-based, or affiliate.
In the CPM (Cost Per Mille) approach, a sponsor pays for every 1000 downloads or views. If your CPM rate is $30 and your podcast is downloaded or listened to 10,000 times, you get paid $300. This approach best fits podcasts with a large audience.
Value-based sponsorship, on the other hand, works best for small or mid-sized podcasts. Unlike the CPM model, in the case of value-based support, there is a fixed price. Let’s say it is $70. It does not matter if your podcast reaches 10 or 1,000,000 views. You get paid the fixed amount that was agreed initially–in this case, that is $70. This approach will not be a beneficial choice for prominent podcasters.
The affiliate model works like affiliate marketing. You get paid when you drive to the actual sale of a product or service. The negative side here is that you may end up earning $0 if your listeners do not buy promoted items. The affiliate model can be beneficial for podcasters who have a loyal and trusting community of listeners.
Ensure these to get sponsors
Before reaching out for sponsors, there are several things you should work on to increase the chances of achieving sponsorships.
Increase audience base
According to Buzzsprout Platform Stats, 50% of podcasts get less than 28 downloads during the first week of release. That does not mean the podcast is bad. It just indicates that the audience base is not significant or built yet. Which sponsors will be willing to cooperate with you, sometimes, strongly depends on the size of your podcast community. It is doubtful for large companies to sponsor shows with a tiny audience.
When you don’t have a big audience yet, consider finding sponsors in platforms like Anchor in the early stages of your podcast. You can both receive donations from listeners and get Anchor Sponsorships by recording the host-read type of audio ads.
When it comes to technicalities, you have one chance to make a professional impression.
Take the following simple checklist and make sure to have all points ticked:
- Make your recordings clear and without interventions
It is simply unacceptable to have technical quality issues in our technologically advanced times. There are well-developed tools and software that you can use to improve the recording quality. For example, you can use the AI-powered tools of Podcastle to make quality audio production.
- Get the highest quality recording equipment you can afford
The quality of podcast recording is not less important than the content discussed. So, try to be generous when investing in equipment. As the widely accepted standard suggests, higher quality products and equipment will serve you for a long time.
- Well-researched facts
Facts, data, and statistics are fun tools to season a speech or to build arguments around. However, it is critically important to be 100% sure of the reliability of facts. Always double-check your facts and estimate the trustworthiness of your sources.
Facing up with silence from someone you were excited to cooperate with may make you disappointed. However, polite persistence is important. Not to cross the line of being annoying, consider the following:
- Send a reminder or follow-up email after a week from an initial message.
- Do it only once.
- Try to keep the opportunities open for future collaborations.
Do not burn the bridges. There might be other opportunities in the future.
Strategies to find podcast sponsors
Contact directly with potential sponsors
Reaching out to potential sponsors is probably the best strategy. You can discover and check out your fellow podcasters who are covering the same scope of topics. You will find what they are advertising by listening to their podcasts. Later, you can find information about promoted brands and contact them directly.
Cooperate with hosting services
Podcast hosting platforms can make a comfortable home for your podcast. These platforms allow you to create, control and monetize your show. As was mentioned above, Anchor allows you to manage ad placement and is a great start for an early podcaster.
Find a directory for your podcast
Directories, such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, IHeartRadio, etc., give chances to find sponsorships as well. Hosting services, such as Buzzsprout, can help you get to directories, but you can also do it independently.
Whether you have started your podcast as a hobby or as a job, you will definitely be pleased to make some earnings with it. Podcast sponsors can turn your show into a profitable business. However, don’t get too attracted to it. Try to limit your ads to avoid turning your podcast into a radio market and irritating your audience.