You hear the term “monetization” all the time in reference to podcasting – and the translation is usually “get a podcast sponsorship.”
That’s a great option for shows that get thousands of downloads, right? But what about the little guys? What about those of us who have a very passionate but smaller audience? Is there a possibility that we could find an ideal sponsor for OUR show?
Trevr Smithlin from Advertisecast says “Yes, it’s possible” and on this episode of Podcastification he’s going to explain exactly how it’s possible.
Listen to this episode
- [1:25] Podcast monetization doesn’t work like most people think
- [2:33] How Trevr got the idea that he could create a company to help podcasters
- [4:46] Why advertising fits for almost everyone who podcasts
- [6:46] How can a niche based podcast even hope to get a podcast sponsorship?
- [8:50] The honest truth about how many downloads you need to land a sponsor
- [12:03] Super niche shows can demand higher sponsorship fees
- [17:19] How advertisers can use the do-it-yourself marketplace
- [19:34] Many sponsors provide samples or trials for podcasters before they endorse
- [20:42] How to get your podcast listed for advertisers to consider sponsoring you
- [23:10] Calculating possible revenue at a $25 CPM on the first 30 days
- [29:06] If you are curious about Advertisecast, try it out – and you can be picky!
How podcast sponsorships can be a win-win-win for podcasters, advertisers, and listeners
When I hear sponsors on a podcast, I typically hit the 30-second skip button on my podcast app. Why? Yes, I’m impatient – but I’m also a bit irritated that the sponsor ads often have NOTHING to do with the show I’m listening to.
To me, that’s not a good sponsor-podcast audience fit… and it’s the host’s fault. My opinion (and it’s a strong one) is that the podcast host owes it to his/her audience to only take sponsorships from advertisers that will bring SPECIFIC VALUE to their audience.
Otherwise it comes across as purely a money-grab.
In this conversation Trevr points out that the goal of the sales team at Advertisecast is not just to get sponsors and podcasters working together – they want the fit to be a win-win-win. How’s that?
The scenario he’s talking about is one where the advertiser wins through generating revenue – the podcaster wins by making some moolah from the sponsor – and the audience wins by being exposed to a truly great product that meets their specific needs.
When is the last time you heard a podcast sponsor spot that fit THAT criteria?
My hope is that it happens more and more as platforms like Advertisecast provide podcast sponsorships that truly serve everyone involved. If you want to learn more about how Trevr’s team can serve your show and your audience, listen to this conversation.
Smaller downloads don’t mean you can’t get a sponsor
Let me paint a scenario for you – to show you why a small download show can get some very significant sponsorships.
Let’s say there’s a podcaster out there who is quite the expert in her field – say she’s a Plein Air painter. She interviews other artists, learns their studio techniques and habits, gets the inside scoop on their favorite equipment and supplies, you know – that kind of stuff.
And let’s say that over the years this podcaster has built a relationship with her favorite brush supplier – simply because she loves their brushes. And let’s just supposed that said brush supplier becomes aware that she has a podcast.
What is that brush supplier going to know about her podcast audience almost immediately?
- They are very interested in fine art related topics.
- They love to know the details of artis stories and techniques
- They are likely artists themselves (budding or experienced)
- They will likely know others who have the same interests
TRANSLATION: The audience that listens to this podcaster’s show is the EXACT target market for the brush supplier.
Can you imagine a better sponsorship opportunity for them?
That company could make their products available to the exact people they are trying to reach – and it will cost them pennies on the dollar compared to any kind of print or radio or industry magazine advertisements.
That is EXACTLY WHY smaller downloads don’t necessarily mean podcast sponsorships are out of the question for you.
If you have a fanatical, niche audience and can find the exact right fit products to present to them – those product suppliers are the people you should reach out to as potential sponsors for your podcast.
You serve the sponsor AND you serve your audience. And you get to profit as a result.
My friends, that’s free market economics at its best.
A simple but easy idea for finding a sponsorship for your niche podcast
I’ve had this crazy idea for some time about how podcasters who don’t mind a bit of hustle can find their perfect sponsorship – and I may have gotten the idea from someone else. Sorry, if I remembered who I’d tell you. But I don’t.
Anyway – here’s the idea.
If your podcast is related to a certain industry or hobby niche, you probably know the magazines that serve that industry or niche.
What are they? Seriously – take a minute to call them to mind. Here’s what you do…
- Go buy one of them.
- Sit down with a notepad or computer in front of you.
- Start thumbing through the pages and take special notice of the advertisements.
- Write them down – name – contact info – what they sell or provide as a service
- Then draft a form letter you can modify for each sponsor that says something like this…
Hey there NAME OF PERSON/COMPANY,
I saw your advertisement in NAME OF MAGAZINE and was very impressed with NAME OF PRODUCT/SERVICE. I can see how it’s a natural fit for people who are interested in NAME OF INDUSTRY OR HOBBY.
As I was reading through your ad it occurred to me that we may be able to work together to bring you more customers.
You see, I’m a podcaster – and I podcast about INDUSTRY TOPIC OR NICHE TOPIC. You can find my podcast here (provide a link). My show is currently downloaded ???NUMBER of times per episode, within the first 30 days of publication.
And the most important part? My audience is a perfect fit for your product.
I wonder if you’d be interested in talking about sponsoring my podcast.
I’d be happy to try out your product so I could speak intelligently and enthusiastically about it, read or speak any ad copy you provide myself so you’re able to benefit from the trust I’ve established with my audience, and tell my listeners how to find out more about what you do.
In my mind, it’s a win-win-win – for you, for me, and for my listeners. What’s not to like?
What say you?
YOUR NAME – YOUR CONTACT INFO
I think that’s an ideal approach for a couple of reasons…
- You are appealing to their need to grow their customer base
- You are talking to representatives from a company that already sees the value of advertising
- You’ll be able to provide them with great ROI for much less than they spent on the ad you read
Of course, my sample letter is written through my personality and style, but you get the point, right? You could take my copy above (sure, you can steal it) – modify it to fit YOUR voice, show, and topic, then sit down with your own magazines and get to work.
If I were a betting man I bet you’d have a sponsorship conversation with someone after only contacting 2 or 3 sponsors.
If you decide to try it (at least 10 emails or letters you commit to sending), email me. I’d love to hear what kind of response you got.
Pardon this quick note from one of our partners
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What a pain it would be to be STUCK with a bad podcast sponsor
Like I said at the beginning, I think lots of podcasters make very poor choices when it comes to podcast sponsors.
When the ad doesn’t fit the audience in a very specific way, it comes across the wrong way. I really believe that.
Some podcast advertising companies that can truly get you a sponsor will do so in a way that doesn’t take into account who you are podcasting for, what their needs are, and whether or not their product is a good fit for your audience or not.
They’re taking the shotgun approach – the billboard approach – the tell-everyone approach – and it isn’t very effective.
One of the things I love about the way Advertisecast is doing business is that they allow podcasters to have the final say about what sponsors they will and will not work with.
That’s important – because you know your audience the best – and you need to be able to say, “It’s not a good fit for my audience.”
Listen to find out how Trevr’s team can help you find exactly the right sponsorship and how you can keep your listeners first in your consideration of any monetization that could happen through a podcast sponsorship.
This is a very interesting conversation.