Monetizing a podcast can take many different forms. Your podcast could be a marketing tool to help you sell your products and services. You can also receive donations from listeners or sell advertising on your podcast. Any of these approaches can be profitable – all you need to do is determine which one best fits your business and goals. In this post, I’ll cover how to get started monetizing your podcast using ads.
The podcast industry is expected to surpass more than $ 1 billion in podcast ads sold this year. So there is no question that brands are spending in this area. The question is, how do you get a slice of that advertiser pie? The first step in getting sponsorship is to determine if your podcast is ready for advertisers.
Why is it important to have your podcast ready for advertisers? That answer is simple. Prepare your show for advertisers and you will get more successful deals and long-term partnerships with these advertisers. Here are the five steps to get started with podcast ads.
- Know your audience
- Prepare to connect with advertisers
- Prices and packages for your ads
- Create a media kit
- Find podcast sponsors who are a match for you
Know your audience
Companies know who is buying their products and are looking to partner with podcasts that can reach that audience. It is therefore vital that you know who is listening to your broadcast. My experience is that it is common for hosts to give advice about their audience.
It would be helpful to have your listener demographics, but it’s not that simple, unfortunately. If you are interested in working with advertisers, you need to know your target audience. One of the best ways to gather this information is to conduct a listener survey. Create a survey using a tool like Google Forms or Typeform and ask your audience to fill it out. Providing an incentive to complete the survey can help increase your response rate. Make sure you include questions such as gender, age, income, and education. These are the building blocks of demographic research.
Prepare to connect with advertisers
I am regularly shocked at the number of podcasts that don’t have clear contact information, including a website. If you want advertisers to reach you, make it as easy as possible. There are several resources available to help you build affordable websites. Here is an example of my podcast using podpage.
Here are the basic pages to include on your podcast’s website:
- Episode Page (Home)
- about us
- Media kit / advertiser page
Prices and packages for your ads
I hear that a lot: The size of your target audience does not affect your ability to attract advertisers. I would like to politely contradict this statement. If your audience isn’t big enough, sponsors and advertisers won’t get a return on investment.
The number of downloads you need to attract advertisers depends on the type of audience you are targeting. The more niche your podcast is, the more attractive your audience will be to advertisers. So you can charge more! For example, a general comedy show reaches a wide audience; Hence, you need a larger audience than a show that explicitly reaches female athletes.
If you’re looking to sell podcast ads yourself, a thousand downloads per episode in thirty days is usually an excellent place to start. However, if you want to work with a representation company, it will take 5,000 to 10,000 downloads per episode within thirty days to sell ads for you. Of course, the size of your audience also determines how much you can charge for ads.
If you have a smaller audience, consider packaging your podcast with other media such as social media, newsletters, or banner ads. Develop a package that makes sense for both you and the advertiser. If your audience is large, consider the price per thousand (CPM). The current industry prices are between 15 and 50 US dollars CPM, depending on the target group.
Related: How to Start a Podcast in 2021: The Complete Podcasting Tutorial
Create a media kit
A media kit is usually the first thing a sponsor asks you to review. It’s a sales document that contains relevant information about your podcast.
A media kit should contain:
- The podcast description you created in step 1
- Podcast cover that you checked in step 2
- A biography of the host (s)
- Listener demographics
- Download numbers based on embedded or dynamic insertion in step 3
- Prices and package options
Do you know who is listening to your podcast? Understanding your target audience is one of the essential elements in positioning your podcast for potential advertisers. (If you have completed the recommended work in “Know Your Audience” above, you should be in good shape.) For example, what is your age, gender, education level, household income, marital status, etc.? Create a listener avatar for both content creation and contacting advertisers.
Keep your media kit concise, around three to five pages, and make sure it only contains relevant information. I recommend hiring a designer to create your media kit as you want it to be visually appealing. If you are familiar with design, you might be able to use a tool like Canva. But ultimately, you’re looking for a piece that is good quality portrayal of your podcast and the brand partnerships you’re trying to build.
Find podcast sponsors who are a match for you
Depending on your needs, you can use different sales outlets to attract sponsors.
There are online marketplaces where you can offer your show, such as AdvertiseCast, Popcorn & Zvok. Other options are to work with networks or agency companies like True Native Media to serve advertisers on your behalf. Working with a company can be a great option if your podcast is getting more than 5,000-10,000 downloads per episode. However, if your numbers are still small, contacting certain brands directly works well.
Podcast ads can be profitable if you properly prepare your show and price your advertising packages in a way that benefits the advertiser and generates a little bit of profit on your show.
If your podcast is advertiser ready, it is money to be made, so your approach is crucial. Please carefully follow all of the steps in this article to get your podcast ready for advertisers.
To learn more about how to turn your side hustle podcast into a profitable business, check out this other article I wrote: “5 Tips to Turn Your Side-Hustle Podcast into a Profitable Business.”
Related: Another way to monetize your podcast is with Supercast’s Jason Sew Hoy
About the author
Heather Osgood is the founder of True Native Media, a boutique podcast representative specializing in podcast advertising. She is the creator of Podcast Moneymaker, a course for podcasters who need the formula, tools, and tactics to attract advertisers in six weeks. She is also the host of The podcast advertising book, a show dedicated to the education of those interested in podcast advertising.
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