Home » Series 5: Making Money in Podcasting » Podcast Sponsorship & Advertising: How Does it Work?

Podcast Sponsorship & Advertising: How Does it Work?

Podcast sponsorship and advertisingThis is probably one of the most awaited episodes of the series, because sponsorship is seen as the ‘holy grail’ of podcasting for many. Think about it – you record a show on something you love, you enjoy the process and thousands of people listen. Then, somehow, some way, you talk for 30 seconds about a product and subsequently get paid for it! It’s a great outcome, and many podcasters do make very good money out of sponsorship, if not a living.

It’s not easy though, and there are a lot of pitfalls along the way. The vast majority who secure sponsorship don’t make much more than covering their costs. But, then, even that is a pretty outcome for many.

So, how does it all work? How much can you make? How do you find podcast sponsors? These are all answered in this episode. Have a listen and then, please, ask me any questions you have in the comments below.

Listen to the Episode Below (57:21)
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Resources Mentioned in This Episode

  • BluBrry provide both media hosting and stats. The stats are essential for a podcaster seeking sponsorship. BluBrry also run advertising campaigns that are worth registering for.
  • Midroll are a podcast advertising agency who can help you to find sponsorship. Possibly for those who have a larger audience, eg. 3k+, but worth exploring for those with fewer.
  • PrettyLink┬áis the tool I use to create every link I read out on a podcast episode. It lets you create easy to say URLs, and it lets you track them. This is essential for tracking your sponsor conversions and provides great stats to appeal to existing and future sponsors.
Read Full Transcript

* INTRO
* One of the most obvious ways to make money.
* Applies to any type of business - entertainment, news, etc
* It's not easy
* Takes time to build a reputation

* HOW TO GET TO SPONSORSHIP
* 2 x approaches
* 1 build an audience, then look for a sponsor
* traditional method
* 2. Build a project, and pre-sell it to a sponsor
* Probably need reputation here
* Need to have a route to market
* Can work well though, and funds the creation of seasons.

* HOW IT WORKS
* The normal methods for placing ads
* pre-roll - say 15 to 30 seconds.
* mid-roll - around 60 seconds
* post-roll - probably short, and call to action based. "if you enjoyed..."
* Generally get the key points from the advertiser
* then put it in your own words
* it's that personality and transparency that works well
* I know some shows that play the same pre-recorded ad every time
* I just fast forward. I've heard it.
* give it personality each time. Make people listen. Make the effort.
* Will work better for your sponsor, and so better for you.
* Look at Gimlet - advertising done via interviews - stuff that's entertaining
* In terms of quantity - up to you how many you take on
* Many choose one big sponsor only
* Some do two or three
* Getting to trust-breaking point, though, when you have more than 2 or 3.
* It's a personal thing

* THE NUMBERS
* Now we've done the mechanics
* Payment Methods for sponsorship
* CPM
* some 'standards' but it's pretty early days
* midroll CPMs - $6 to $13 for 20 second pre-roll - $11 to $18 for 60 second mid-roll
* Some say it's closer to $20 for a pre-roll and $25 for the mid-roll
* It's contextual too - how relevant is the audience?
* how high are conversions likely to be?
* how engaged is the audience?
* One show's 1000 listeners can be worth far more than another show's 1000
* You can offer testing - 1 month at a lower set rate, see what click throughs you get. Agree if you get more than X clicks, the rate will be put up to X
* Flat Rate
* Value based - how much is this making for the sponsor? how does it compare to other advertising methods they're using?
* This can work for smaller shows with really engaged audiences.
* Really targetted, really trusting, therefore conversions are likely to be very high.
* the CPM model wouldn't represent the value the advertiser is getting
* CPA
* Needs heavy tracking, but it's a decent model.
* Easier to get advertisers on board, perhaps for less well known shows
* they only pay if a customer takes the action they want them to take
* basically an affiliate model
* so you don't actually need a formal sponsorship for this!
* Audible / Amazon - remember to use an evergreen link on your own site
* Can set it up more formally though - referral codes, etc.

* How many listeners do you need?
* numbers vary
* I've heard the guys from midroll say 3 to 5k minimum per episode
* It's good to give a good time period, but not too long to take your numbers.
* You could go for the month
* You could go for 6 weeks.

* HOW TO FIND SPONSORSHIP
* First off, you're looking for things that would be relevant
* don't bore your listener
* don't sell them something completely unrelated
* Find something they'll be really interested in
* Something they'd WANT to own
* If you've used it, and can say so, all the better
* Look at Tim Ferriss' sponsors on this - they're all personal recommendations
* you're giving people value in this way, not just putting in a 60 second section they're forced to listen through.
* FINDING IT ON YOUR OWN
* what products do you use already? Look up whether they have affiliate deals
* Approach those products and ask.
* Talk to people in your industry
* Search in google for stuff in your area - see who's advertising on adwords
* they have a marketing budget
* Listen to other shows in your niche - do they have sponsors?
* Magazines are a great source - mountain biking
* USING A SPONSORSHIP AGENCY
* BluBrry
* very varied - you just have to be using their stats
* good for small shows - they have buying power, so no minimum number
* Midroll
* Probably bigger shows
* that 3k or so
* CPMs - $6 to $13 for 20 second pre-roll - $11 to $18 for 60 second mid-roll

* NEXT STEPS
* Preparing for sponsorship
* first off - branding
* cover art, website, domain
* What's your target - keep content friendly to that
* ie. swearing
* Get good stats
* blubrry or libsyn do it well
* new platforms too
* create sample ads
* create a 60 second show promo - this is something blubrry work with.
* Then start the search!


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