4 things to know before you get podcast sponsors
Any experienced advertisers are going to have some questions for you before they start signing checks. It’s important to have these answers ready because this is what sponsors want to know:
1. What’s your pitch?
Simply put: why should a brand advertise with you?
A media kit can help answer all of the common questions they may have, and also help you to promote the idea of podcast advertising in general. Some companies will be familiar with podcast ads, others won’t. As you start to learn what the points of friction are, you can adjust your media kit accordingly.
A podcast trailer is a great way to introduce your podcast to advertisers and listeners alike, and you could even make a second unlisted version that’s specifically for advertisers to give your pitch a personal touch.
2. What are the demographics of your audience?
Who listens to your podcast? Is your audience filled with stay at home dads in their late thirties or college-educated people in Chicago that love basketball? Is it single women who earn over $80,000 per year, or teenagers who live at home? Knowing this is very helpful in determining how to get sponsors for your podcast.
You can, of course, have a pretty rough idea who your audience is based on the content you’re creating. But podcast analytics will give you the data that you can take to the bank. Your podcast hosting platform will offer basic information, but we recommend looking at your Spotify analytics dashboard for slightly more detailed demographics, or running a listener survey (perhaps with a giveaway as an incentive) to get a better understanding of who your listeners really are.
3. What’s your advertising rate?
Even if the prospect of earning anything at all from your podcast is exciting, you don’t want to undervalue your show. Remember, podcast advertising offers an incredible opportunity for businesses, and you’ve done all the heavy-lifting of putting together an audience. What you’re providing is very valuable. If you want to get sponsors for podcast episodes, they’ll need to know how much they’re going to have to pay.
Rates are typically calculated as a CPM (more on that in a second). That rate is usually determined either by the size of your audience, or who they are – which makes step 2 all the more important.
If you can prove that you have an audience of 500 CEOs, that’s a valuable proposition that you can successfully monetize. But just 500 nondescript listeners won’t cut it.
4. What is your inventory?
Podcast ads are often broken up into pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll ads. It’s a familiar format. The mid-roll is the most valuable, since people are already engaged in the podcast by that point, and the post-roll is often less valuable since fewer people are going to listen through to the very end, and the ones that do can just turn off the episode once the end-roll ads start. Pre-roll ads are often the shortest, in order to keep listeners on board. Native advertising is where you work more closely with an advertiser in order to integrate their brand with your brand of content. This generally means host-read ads, but could also be a business podcast that interviews the founder of one of their sponsors as an episode.