When you wanted to know how to start a podcast, we should have also informed you that being successful at it will involve a lot of hard work and effort.
For such a stressful venture, won’t it just be good if you get paid for all the hard work?
As a podcast streaming platform, we’ve seen many podcasters grapple with monetizing their podcasts. Many have even closed shop due to a lack of a sponsor for their podcast.
At Disctopia, we have a growing resource on podcast monetization; we’ve even explored the possibility of monetizing a podcast via Non-Fungible Tokens. Regardless of all the alternative podcast monetization strategies available, selling ads is still a popular and effective way to monetize your podcast.
Finding sponsors for your podcast will involve ringing phones, cold-pitching via emails inboxes, and knocking on the door of potential advertisers. If you are ready to monetize your podcast, you’ll have to pay great attention to sponsorships and adverts.
Here’s where it gets dicey. Finding sponsors for your podcasts might not be difficult; what could be a challenge would be finding the right ones for your podcast. By the right ones, we are implying advertisers that your audience will not hate.
You’ve spent a lot of time building trust with your listeners. It’s not worth it if you bring on a sponsor that will jeopardize the relationship between your podcast show and listeners.
This piece will focus on how to start a podcast that attracts the right sponsors to monetize your podcast show. In the end, you’ll learn the nitty-gritty of podcast sponsorship and advertisements.
5 Methods To Find Sponsors For Your Podcast
1. Join a Podcast Advertising Marketplace
As you are looking for a podcast sponsor; there are also brands looking for podcast shows to place adverts on.
A podcast ad marketplace’s job is to connect both the brand and the podcast show.
On every podcast ad marketplace, thousands of podcast shows are listed. Then the brand looks through the listings to find the podcast show that fits their needs.
The downside of podcast ad marketplaces is the commission, which can be as high as 30%. That’s not to talk about the stiff competition on the platforms. Usually, ad marketplaces are always the first option for podcasters looking for a sponsor.
Here are a few marketplaces you can check out;
2. Sign Up With a Podcast Network
It’s the job of a podcast network to search for podcast sponsors for you. If you cannot be stressed about doing all the hard work, sign up with a podcast network.
You will be able to focus on creating content while the podcast network finds a sponsor.
Let’s hope everything works fine; signing up to a podcast network often benefits the podcaster, the podcast show, and the podcast network.
When you list your show on the podcast network, that’s from where potential sponsors will reach out to you.
Aside from monetizing your podcast, there is also a lot of good podcast network can do your show.
However, this option comes with its downsides. Aside that it’s difficult signing up to some podcast networks, and you may also see yourself losing creative control of your podcast show.
Examples of podcast networks include;
- WNYC Studios
- Radiotopia, etc.
These podcast networks have quite a lot of successful podcasts and world-class brands as partners.
3. Cold-Pitch Potential Sponsors Directly
This is the simplest way to find a podcast sponsor of all the methods. You’ll only know who to contact if you make a list of potential brands.
There are ways to build a list of potential advertisers;
- You can listen to podcast shows in your niche, then note the products and brands they are advertising.
- Look for magazines or blogs in your niche, and see who is advertising with them.
Once you identify these potential advertisers, you are ready to send in your pitch or ring them up.
You will likely be poaching these advertisers from another podcast show, blog, or magazine. That means you need to be able to prove why they are better off with you than their current choice.
Pitching to a brand does not have to be done only virtually if you identify small businesses around you, walk in, and pitch your ideas directly.
As you’ll realize, this could be the best way to find sponsors. You’ll be deciding who is best for your podcast show, you will not have to split your ad revenue, and you can work out the terms on your own.
However, you must understand podcast advertising models and be a good negotiator.
4. List Your Podcast on a Directory
There’s also a chance that you’ll get noticed by a sponsor on podcast directories. We encourage you to list your podcast show on as many podcast directories as possible.
If you’re on the Disctopia platform, you can also list your podcast on every available podcast directory. You’ll find your RSS Feed Url here, copy to a clipboard and add it to every directory.
You can list your podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and Spotify for a start.
5. Start Affiliate Marketing
No need to explain what affiliate marketing is; it’s as old as humanity. Quite simple, for every successful sale you make, there’s a cut for you.
The beauty of affiliate marketing is that it does not matter what the size of your audience is; you can always find a sponsor and monetize your podcast.
Unlike the other sponsors, the affiliate platform does not expect that you have millions or thousands of listeners or downloads. Affiliate marketing does not require a lot of time and effort; you can make money and continue focusing on creating excellent podcast content.
All you need to do is promote the unique affiliate link on your podcast, podcast transcript blog, or podcast website.
You can also combine affiliate marketing with other podcast monetization strategies.
Here’s a list of affiliate marketing programs that are worth a try;
Best Practices to Attract and Find the Best Sponsors
You’ve already invested quite a lot of time, effort, and resources into starting a podcast. No harm in going the extra mile by getting it right with finding sponsors for your podcast.
Here are some proven ways to boost your chances of finding the right sponsors;
Develop a Quality Pitch
Why are advertisers advertising on Joe Rogan Experience or the Tim Ferris Show? Beyond the number of listeners these podcasts has, advertisers are well aware of the key metrics of these podcasts.
Your pitch should be streamlined to capture an informative overview of your podcast show. Make them aware of the potential of advertising on your podcast. Your pitch should capture engagement metrics, positive reviews, and listener demographics.
This is what you should do; be straightforward with your propositions, engage them with storytelling rather than just facts, and tailor your pitch to every specific advertiser.
No Advertiser is Little
This is the mistake of most podcasters. You don’t go about looking for Fortune 500 companies or big-name companies. There’s no harm in starting with the lesser-known businesses.
What advertisers don’t know is that there are countless startups and small businesses that would appreciate every advertising opportunity that comes their way.
You are better off with a small business with great products. What you should consider is the benefit of their products to your listeners.
Identify Potential Brands
You know your podcast audience and what appeals to them. With this knowledge, list potential brands whose products and services interest your audience. This can be done by looking at advertisers on podcast shows similar to yours.
This can also be guided by a knowledge of potential podcast advertisers. Please do your homework on these advertisers; know how much they have spent on podcast ads and how much more they are willing to spend. Here’s a list of the top 15 podcast advertisers in 2021 and top podcast advertisers in 2022 as of May.
Always Follow-Up on Your Pitch
You may not get a response when you send out an email to a potential podcast advertiser, or you ring their office. Don’t be discouraged; there’s still room for a follow-up.
Allow a reasonable amount of time, say about a week or two, then send the follow-up email, or call. You want to ask the potential advertiser if they’ve had time to review your first email. Make them aware that you are still ready to work with their brand.
However, don’t send more than one follow-up email or phone call. If you don’t hear back, that’s your cue to move to the next potential advertiser on your list.
If you intend to monetize your podcast and turn it into a profitable venture long-term, you need to master the art of finding podcast sponsors.
We hope this piece will help you to cross that bridge of finding podcast sponsors, and they will be those your audience will not hate. However, don’t expect your listeners to warm up to your podcast sponsors immediately; it might take losing a bit of your audience.
Not to worry when this happens; know that we win and lose some. Bringing on podcast sponsors is a risk, but your podcast brand will be better for it if it works out.