The numbers are in: marketers spent more than $470 million placing ads on podcasts in 2018. Podcasting revenues are also projected to exceed $1 billion by 2021 according to the IAB.
This dynamic growth is based on conservative figures that show that only a quarter of the American population i.e., 76.4 million people are listening to podcasts in 2019.
Are you willing to stake your claim in this multi-million dollar industry?
One of the best ways to earn money podcasting is by getting sponsorships.
Sponsors can be incorporated into your podcast seamlessly, and your listeners won’t mind as long as you are honest about the fact that you need to make money, provide context and be charming about the entire deal.
Marketers know that podcast advertising can help them sell goods, spread awareness, and build a reputation. Research has found that 61% of consumers who hear ads are likely to purchase that product.
Additionally, other studies reveal that podcasts can generate up to 4.4 times better recall than display ads across all digital media platforms!
So no one can deny the effectiveness of podcasts for finding new customers, making it an attractive medium for advertisers.
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How Much Is a Podcast Ad Worth?
Making money from podcasting while working in the comfort of your home isn’t hard at all.
If you have enough podcast listeners and a fair number of downloads per episode, you are already in the game.
The good news is that you can take advantage of a pre-set industry standards that remain the same for all pretty much podcasts.
The advertising is sold on a CPM or cost per mille basis, which means that your sponsors will buy your ad slots by the thousands. $15 to $20 is the CPM rate for a pre-roll or post-roll ads and $23 to $25 for a mid-roll ad, for every thousand downloads per episode.
So the standard mandates that you can sell time slots on your podcast to potential sponsors in three ways:
These advertising spots are at the very start of your podcast.
You’ll talk about the sponsor’s products/services for 15 to 20 seconds as a part of your introduction. Carefully discuss the benefits of what they are selling with your listeners.
Pretty similar to pre-rolls, but included at the end of your podcast instead of the beginning.
You’ll remind your listeners of what your sponsors are selling without being too salesy. This spot can last for up to 30 seconds.
These are more in-depth, and that’s why you can charge more money for these. Spend up to a minute chatting about your sponsor and earn between $20 and $25.
So, for example, if your sponsor is the Highland Burger Bar, and they want a pre-roll spot, you could say something like, “The Highland burger Bar sponsors this podcast, they’ve got some unique burgers and craft beer. Go check them out and try the ice cream too!”
The mid-roll is usually a lot more free-form. You can hear Rush Limbaugh do them on every radio show of his where he tells you that he adores his Sleep Number Beds. Then he makes up a story about how he loves to dream of all the drama he’ll create the next day as he makes a pitch for his sponsors.
That takes at least 60 seconds, as per the requirements for a good mid-roll spot!
If this sounds like a lot of work, your advertiser should happily give you a script or at least a few pointers to talk about. However, as a good podcaster, it’s up to you to make it sound authentic and convincing.
You will come across sponsors who’ll want all three spots on your show, but sometimes podcasters just casually through in the post-roll spots as an extra value to advertisers who buy the other two ad slots.
How Do I Find Podcast Sponsors?
There are three main ways to find sponsorships for your podcast:
1. Through Your Podcast Host
Libsyn, Blubbry, and a range of other podcast hosting services can also introduce you to pretty lucrative advertising opportunities.
You do what you do best, i.e., create good content that delivers real value to your listeners and leave the heavy lifting of finding podcast sponsors to the pros.
Granted, they will take a cut of the revenue; it can still be an excellent way for novice podcasters to build a sales plan and earn money.
2. By Selling The Ad Spots Yourself
It will take a significant amount of work, but you can also sell your podcast ad spots yourself.
Start by studying other podcasts in your niche and see what kind of companies are sponsoring with them. Contact their marketing teams to find out if they’d be willing to sponsor with you as well.
In the same vein, read industry magazines that cater to the audience in your podcast’s specialty. Check to see which companies have placed ads in there and whether your target audience might like hearing about them.
Other businesses such as Audible, Squarespace and LegalZoom, etc. love to advertise with podcasts regardless of the niche and industry. Talk to them as well.
3. Wait For Advertisers To Come To You
Some podcasters like to take their time to build up a viable service that attracts the money itself, and that’s okay too!
Take your time to set up your podcast for long-term success, making sure it ranks well on iTunes and has thousands of listeners. The sponsors will contact you at some point to ask about advertising on your show.
Just make sure that you continue to promote your podcasts heavily across all podcast directories, keep up the quality and be very active on all social media sites. This is a waiting game, one that you’ll undoubtedly win as long as you keep delivering content your listeners love.
How to Get a High-Paying Podcast Sponsorship
A high-paying sponsor will value the quality of your listenership, and listeners can smell BS from miles away.
Once you have selected a niche and have a large number of engaged audience for your podcast show, stick to it. Make sure that the advertisers you choose also have a similar calling; otherwise, you might alienate your listener base and destroy any chances of growth.
Only accept sponsorships from companies that work in your niche. Sure, you can easily find payday loan companies who’d pay you good money to advertise with you, but will your podcast listeners take kindly to being suggested their services?
High-paying sponsors value engagement above all else.
They’ll want figures that show that your listeners value your recommendations and take action on them. This matters more for some advertisers than your number of downloads per episode because what good is a large loyal audience if it’s passive and doesn’t like to convert.
Measure your audience’s engagement by recommending resources using a trackable link. With Better Links Pro or Pretty Link Pro, you can find out how many of your listeners clicked on the link – and how many more made a purchase!
Measuring and reporting the right numbers is the key to finding sponsors who are willing to pay a premium price. Use promo codes, surveys and custom links to track your success. But please be comfortable in knowing that not every ad will work, especially the first few times.
What Other Podcasters Earn With Sponsorship
Podcast marketing / advertising is catching speed as the marketing tactic of choice for businesses of all sizes. Engagement rates are increasing at breakneck speed, and companies can no longer ignore the effectiveness of this medium.
Successful podcasters are already lined up and taking advantage of this fact, offering businesses a chance build brand awareness at competitive sponsorship rates. (What is a Podcaster?)
Here are the numbers:
John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneurs On Fire reported a total income of $182,208 for the month of October 2019, out of which $76,660 were sponsorship income that month.
Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income’s earnings were 167,553 as of January 2018, out of which $3,389 was from podcast sponsorships.
Despite such heartening figures, the fact remains that building such profitable podcasts takes considerable time and effort. These and hundreds of other successful podcasts are run to perfection and then monetized, ensuring that the advertisers flock to them instead of the other way round.
It is possible to find amazing sponsors who can elevate your podcast content while also helping you grow as a podcaster. Just take your time, do your research, and value every single second of your podcast like its real estate!
Your goals should be to entertain and inform your podcast audience and deliver insights that they can value. That’s why it is imperative to be picky about whom you let sponsor your podcast. Do not sacrifice the quality of your offering and negotiate with the sponsors to ensure that their advertisements can smoothly fit with your existing content.
You’ll be doing the selling after all, and if it doesn’t make sense to you, your listeners won’t like it either!
We hope that this article has answered your questions about podcast sponsorship. Let us know in the comments section if you’ll be trying any of the methods listed here!
This information was very informative and helpful. I will definitely try several of the methods mentioned in this article.
I’m doing the planning for my very first podcast and I’m so excited!!!
Keep the articles coming!!
Glad that you like it! I wish you great success with your podcast!