Strategies for Success: How to Get Podcast Sponsors

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Figuring out how to find podcast sponsors can seem an insurmountable task. It’s not as simple as asking and receiving, but it isn’t rocket science either. With a solid understanding of sponsorship models and a strategic pitch, any podcaster can monetize their show profitably this way.

Fortunately, there are proven approaches that increase your chance of securing highly sought-after sponsorship arrangements. Finding the right podcast sponsors goes beyond finding the most lucrative deal. The right sponsorships don’t just bring financial support—they add value for your listeners too. If that sounds like fine line to walk, that’s what we’re here for!

In this guide, we’re going beyond the basics and into the nitty gritty of how to get podcast sponsors. We’ll discuss how to identify  potential advertisers aligned with your brand and target audience. You’ll also learn about leveraging social media platforms to attract these partnerships. And we’ll review the different sponsorship models so you can make the best choice for your business.

How to get Podcast Sponsors: Understanding Podcast Sponsorship

If you host a podcast and want to monetize your platform, it’s time to think about podcast sponsorship. (If you haven’t started your podcast yet, we have a step-by-step guide for you here.) Podcast sponsors are essentially brand partners that pay for ad space on your show. Their ad airs (usually recorded by you, to maintain a seamless transition) at agreed-upon intervals during your show. With each sponsored episode you air, advertising dollars come straight into your pocket.

Building a Strong Podcast Foundation

In the early stages of launching a podcast, several puzzle pieces need to fit together. Podcast sponsorship comes later in the game, so hold off on chasing the money if you haven’t nailed down the basics. Until you  have a strong podcast foundation with a core group of regular listeners, focus on creating one before you reach out to sponsors. The Speaker Lab podcast took years to grow to where we are today–with tens of thousands of downloads every month.

The Power of Engaged Listeners

Your listeners aren’t just numbers. Listeners form an engaged community that trusts what you say (and sell). A staggering majority of listeners agree that they trust podcast ads more than any other advertising medium. This proves how potent those sponsorship deals could be. But to be compelling, listeners agree those ads should be read by the host, as opposed to a pre-recorded script from an unfamiliar voice! Your voice selling the product makes it feel personal and authentic, bridging trust between listeners and sponsors.

The Importance of Host-Read Ads

Authenticity is what makes host-read advertisements so compelling. As the podcast host, you have a deep understanding of your audience. This makes you uniquely qualified to craft product messages that resonate. Sharing personal stories or experiences related to the product or service being advertised is essential. These types of personalized ads tend to gain traction and generate more ad revenue. Get ready to master the art of host-read ads, whether they appear pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll.

Effective advertising also relies on strategic placement within an episode. While a pre-roll ad ensures that every listener will hear about the product, mid-roll ads tend to hold more value. This is because listener engagement peaks during the middle of an episode, resulting in higher returns on investment. In contrast, post-roll ads appear at the end of each episode and may not have the same impact since listeners’ attention spans have typically waned by then.

Regardless of placement within an episode, host-read ads can command impressive CPMs (Cost Per Thousand impressions). Some podcasts even report CPMs for such ads reaching heights of around $40-$50. This serves as a clear indication of the power of well-placed and well-executed host-read advertisements.

On the topic of CPMs, let’s review the different podcast sponsorship models.

How to get Podcast Sponsors: Exploring Different Sponsorship Models

Diving into the world of podcast sponsorships, it’s essential to understand the different models available. Each offers unique opportunities based on your audience size and engagement.

The rundown of different Sponsorship Models

The CPM Model, or Cost Per Mille (thousand), charges sponsors for every thousand downloads or listens your podcast receives. This approach works great for larger shows with high download numbers. However, it can be challenging for smaller podcasts without a significant listener base due to the download requirements.

The Affiliate Model (also called CPA for cost per acquisition) gives commissions based on sales made through referral links in your content. Your success hinges heavily on how effectively you promote these offerings during podcast episodes. If you know your audience is likely to make purchases–e.g. they already ask you for recommendations–affiliate marketing is a great choice.

You might also negotiate a Flat rate sponsorship where sponsors pay an agreed-upon fee regardless of performance metrics. Without careful negotiation upfront about expected deliverables, this could potentially undervalue highly-engaged niche audiences. On the other hand, this might be a great choice for small podcasts, since this kind of value-based relationship focuses more on the quality than the quantity of listenership.

You can learn more about these models and their distinctions here.

How to get Podcast Sponsors: Identifying and Attracting Potential Sponsors

The world of podcast sponsorship is diverse and exciting. This means it is all the more important to embark on your path to finding sponsors with careful preparation and discernment.

Before you identify sponsors that align the most with your brand, you need to understand your target audience inside and out. Know their interests, demographics, and behaviors like the back of your hand. This insight will guide you towards companies whose products or services are a perfect match for them.

Whether you use Spotify’s Podcast Dashboard or a more advanced podcast hosting platform with data analytics, pore over the available data to create one or more marketing personas of your audience. You can use these to show potential sponsors why your podcast audience and their future customers overlap.

The Role of Podcast Networks in Sponsorship Opportunities

Do you feel that exposure is what you’re missing as you figure out how to get podcast sponsors? Consider joining a podcast network. Podcast networks give you front row access to potential sponsors. The managing organization essentially sets up you with sponsors who are a good fit for your target audience. The networks can also give valuable insights into maximizing advertising opportunities.

Choose wisely when picking a network. Since networks exert some control over your content and how often you publish, make sure the benefits outweigh the risks. A podcast network that aligns with your content and attracts high-quality advertisers is key. Click to Tweet

How to get Podcast Sponsors: Pitching And Negotiating Sponsorships

Whether you approach businesses who are actively seeking podcast advertising space or have to pitch the idea of sponsorship in the first place, you should come ready with an airtight proposal. Every podcast offers a unique value proposition to potential sponsors. Your approach towards securing sponsorship deals should be as distinct and appealing as the content you produce.

Crafting an Irresistible Proposal

A great proposal doesn’t just ask for sponsorship. You have to tell your target sponsor a story about why sponsoring your podcast can benefit their business. Highlight how they stand to gain visibility, leads, and even customers from partnering with you. If you’re reaching out over email or social media, keep things short and to the point. Longer explanations can wait for a phone call or follow-up once you excite their interest.

Tips for a Great Pitch to Podcast Sponsors

  1. Showcase Evidence. Data is always the most compelling tool when pitching yourself. Use statistics about your listeners, industry trends, and podcast ad effectiveness to bolster your argument.
  2. Pitch Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Don’t be shy about flaunting what makes you special. Whether it’s a particularly niche community, exceptional listener loyalty, or frequent requests for recommendations, emphasize what sets you apart.
  3. Master the follow-up. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Finding your first podcast sponsor might require a few weeks of cold emailing with little reward. Sponsors get countless proposals daily so helpful non-intrusive reminders are key. Remain persistent and send follow-ups that add value (e.g. linking your highest performing podcast episode). Your goal isn’t merely getting them onboard but also building lasting relationships (and revenue streams)
  4. Emphasize mutual benefits. no matter how great it is, don’t get too carried away talking about yourself and your podcast. When dealing with potential sponsors, always keep their interests at heart while asserting yours too.

Sponsor relationships are about far more than selling podcast ad spots. They help brands contact a new audience who has faith in your podcast. Monetizing goes beyond mere ads. Think creatively about how you can harmonize host-read ads with other monetization–like collaborating on courses or other paid content.

How to get Podcast Sponsors: Leveraging Social Media

Struggling with the daunting task of cold-emailing every possible sponsor? Social media can be your secret weapon to attract sponsors and foster partnerships. As we covered in our recent guide to starting a podcast, a strong digital footprint is key to your podcast marketing strategy. It’s also a great way to attract podcast sponsorships organically.

Social Proof on Social Media Platforms: More Than Just Numbers

The followers you have and likes you receive aren’t just vanity metrics – they serve as proof that people are listening, engaging, and invested in what you have to say. If you’re hearing crickets from the potential sponsors you reach out to, spend some time building community on or two social platforms. As your listeners turn to you for insight, thought leadership, and product recommendations, sponsors will take notice.

While numbers matter, so does authenticity. Demonstrate to potential sponsors that behind those statistics is a community that genuinely resonates with your content and values the knowledge you share through each episode.

Fostering Partnerships Through Online Engagement

Listeners aren’t the only people with whom you can foster community on social media. Brands and potential sponsors are at your fingertips – engage with them! Comment on their posts, share their promotions, and let them know why their mission aligns with yours. They will quickly realize that sponsoring your podcast can further that mission.

You don’t need to premeditate elaborate pitches or compose formal proposals for social media pitches. Use industry-relevant hashtags on your podcast episodes. Interact authentically with potential sponsors’ content. Make yourself visible. With these strategies, sponsors might come right to you. At the very least, there’s a chance  already know about you when you pitch your podcast to them.

Conclusion

To get podcast sponsors successfully, understand the options for sponsorships and build a solid foundation for your podcast first.

Then, pitch your podcast to sponsors whose products might be attractive to your audience. Social media can be a game-changer for connecting with potential sponsors that align with your brand. Leverage it strategically for attracting sponsors and promoting partnerships.

The right sponsorship model for your podcast depends on factors like audience size and engagement level. Choose wisely between CPM, affiliate marketing, flat rate, or a combination of the three! To make podcast sponsorships fruitful, you have to create consistently engaging content. Know your niche and use host-read ads to keep listeners hooked.

At The Speaker Lab, we don’t just teach speakers how to get booked; we also help them monetize their passion through strategies like podcasting. Ready to take the next step? Join us today!

FAQs about How to Get Podcast Sponsors

How much does a podcast sponsor pay?

The amount varies based on audience size and engagement and the terms you negotiate. Generally, sponsors pay anywhere from $15 to $50 per 1,000 downloads.

How many listeners do you need to get sponsors on a podcast?

A general rule of thumb is having at least 5,000 downloads per episode before attracting serious sponsorship interest.

What are popular sponsors on podcasts?

Squarespace, Audible, Mailchimp, and Casper are some well-known brands that frequently sponsor podcasts across various genres.

How do I get my podcasts noticed?

Promote your show via social media platforms, collaborate with other podcasters for cross-promotion, and ensure consistent release of quality content to grow your listener base organically. If you’re still in the early stages of how to get podcast sponsors, accept that it might take time to scale and monetize.

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