With financial gurus and politicians now fully admitting we’re in a recession, we’re starting to see the economic ramifications for advertisers that get their budgets slashed.
Of course, if you’re a podcaster, that may worry you. How can you land sponsors when there’s less money to go around? There are a few ways to make your podcast stand out for advertisers (even if you don’t have a lot of downloads).
Go Narrow and Deep With Your Niche to Align With Advertisers
Something I firmly believe is you need a mission statement for your podcast. You need to answer the question, “what problem does my podcast solve, and who does it help?”
This allows you to niche your podcast down and speak to a potentially smaller, but much more engaged audience. As a result, your podcast and your audience will more directly align with brands that solve the same problem.
For example, if your podcast helps non-technical podcasters produce their shows faster, you can offer advice on how to make recording, editing, and publishing easier.
The takeaway here: build an audience of people who need what your potential advertisers offer. If your podcast helps listeners solve a specific problem, and an advertiser solves that problem, it’s a match made in heaven.
Create a Press Pack to Send to Advertisers
A press pack (or pitch deck) can serve multiple purposes in your pursuit to get advertisers.
First, it shows you’ve put more time and effort into your advertising efforts than a tweet that says, “please sponsor me.” But it also allows you to showcase the best parts of your podcast.
Highlight important stats, good reviews, and comments from listeners. If you’ve had sponsors in the past, include those logos in your deck. If you haven’t, highlight organic brand promotion that’s been successful for you.
For example, if you did an episode about your favorite inexpensive microphone and you saw lots of people clicked on that link, bought it, or had questions, you can highlight that as a successful organic campaign.
The goal here, and your takeaway, should be creating social proof for advertisers. You want to show that your have an engaged audience who happily accepts your recommendations. That way, even if you don’t have a lot of downloads, the advertisers can leverage your trust and respect within your community.
Try Going Local (And Other Tips for Your Analytics)
A great tip from Lindsay is to try going local. This is a remix on niching down, and it’s often overlooked by people who do business online.
Sure, anyone anywhere can access your podcast. But what if a large number of your downloads come from a specific area? You can reach out to a local business that aligns with your show’s mission and see if they’re willing to sponsor your podcast.
You can start off slow at first. If your annual costs for hosting are $144, you can likely find a local business that’ll pay that to sponsor your show for 8 or 12 episodes. It’s going to be MUCH cheaper for them than any other form of advertising.
Similarly, if the vast majority of your listening devices are Android, reach out to an Android-only app in your niche.
The takeaway: leverage your analytics! Look for different niches that allow you to deliver a hyper-targeted audience to the advertisers.
Use Your Overall Reach
Finally, go beyond your podcast. If you have a small number of downloads, but a huge Instagram following, use that in your sponsor pitch. That’s definitely not something bigger podcasts are doing.
Let’s say you have 100 downloads per episode, but you also have 5,000 Twitter followers, 8,000 Instagram followers, and a mailing list of 3,000 people.
Your overall reach just went from 100 to 16,100. Put together a sponsor package for advertisers to reach that entire audience, and they’re more likely to accept your proposal.
Anecdotally, YouTube videos have really helped me sell more sponsorship packages. I’ll do something like a 3-month campaign with 1-2 YouTube videos, and businesses love the cross-platform content and extra reach.
How can you leverage all of your audiences to sell more podcast sponsorships?
Remember: advertisers are people. And your goal is to connect those people to your audience. Just because NPR sells 30-, 60-, and 90-second sponsor spots, doesn’t mean that’s the only thing you can do.
Find businesses that align with your podcast’s mission perfectly, show those businesses that you have an engaged audience, and add value that only you can.