People love podcasts. According to Podcast Insights, there are over 660,000 podcasts, which means that no matter what topic or area you’re passionate about, there’s probably a podcast out there that covers it.
Outside of the breadth of content available, podcasts are also a seamless way to consume information. Whether you’re doing the dishes at home, commuting to work, or enjoying lunch at your desk, it’s easy to hit play and listen to your favorite show. In that same survey, Podcast Insights found that a full 51 percent of Americans had listened to podcasts in the past.
Knowing how popular the medium is, brands can clearly understand the benefit of sponsoring or advertising on a podcast. You can reach a whole new audience if you’re strategic about how you select a program and move forward with the sponsorship process.
If you’ve been toying with the idea of sponsoring a podcast but aren’t sure where to start, we’re happy to share what we’ve learned about the sponsorship process over the 10 plus years of producing the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast.
Selecting the Right Podcast
As I mentioned, there are literally hundreds of thousands of shows to choose from. So how do you select the one that best aligns with your needs and desired audience? (You can see the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast here to better understand who we target)
Start by honing in on the right area of focus. Our sponsors are hoping to reach the community of small business owners, marketing consultants, and agencies, which is how we end up on their short list.
After you’ve narrowed the field to the most relevant podcasts, give them a listen. Each host has a unique pace, tone, and approach; each show has its own format; and each audience will have its own demographics.
When you understand your existing customers, you can identify the show that best aligns with what they would want or need from a podcast. And once you’ve done that, you can feel confident that the audience for the podcast will likely find the goods and services you offer to be highly relevant. These are the kinds of people you want to introduce to your brand!
Making Sure You Shine On-Air
Once you’ve selected the podcast that’s best suited to your brand, you want to work with the podcast team to ensure your business sounds amazing to their listeners.
As a part of our sponsorship or advertising process, we ask for a handful of resources to ensure that we’re properly communicating the desired message to our audience and that we’re sharing the facts and links that are most important to our sponsors.
We start with a request for talking points. Because you already studied the podcast’s tone and messaging as part of the selection process, you can tailor your talking points to match that voice and to best speak to their specific audience. Don’t just give listeners your generic elevator pitch; tell them something special about your business, and consider making an exclusive offer, just for listeners. It should be something attractive to them, and you should make it easy for them to redeem by providing a simple URL to follow to access the offer.
Next up is your logo. Your logo is an easy way to visually communicate who you are and what you do. And the more frequently prospects encounter your logo, the more likely they’ll be to visit your website or seek out more information about your brand. Making sure your logo is included on the transcript and dedicated blog post is key.
Finally, you want to create a link to your website. If you’ve made a special offer for podcast listeners as a part of your talking points, then you’ll want to create a landing page specifically for this offer. Not only will this allow you to greet listeners with a header, welcoming them from the show and offering the promised deal; it also allows you to see how much traffic your sponsorship message is generating. This provides a concrete way to track ROI.
Thinking Beyond Your First Episode
The best things in life often take a bit of time to get off the ground. You can’t expect to see results after sponsoring just one episode of a podcast.
All marketers understand the importance of repetition in getting a brand’s name out there. It’s been said that a consumer needs to encounter a brand seven times before they even begin to consider doing business with them.
That’s why we recommend a sponsorship that lasts for several months. A three-month sponsorship of a weekly or bi-weekly show gives you between nine and 18 opportunities to put your business’s name in front of the show’s audience.
If you do opt for a longer sponsorship period, consider swapping out the offer made to listeners. Most shows have loyal listeners, but if they encounter the same offer month after month, they might start to tune you out. Providing offers that are fresh not only grabs listeners’ attention, it also provides a sense of urgency—get this offer before the month is out and it’s gone!—which can help to drive conversions.
Getting the Most Out Of Your Sponsorship
You’ve put together your offer, talking points, and special link. Now your job is done and it’s all in the hands of the podcaster, right? Wrong!
There’s still work to be done once the episodes are released. Don’t sit back and expect people to happen upon the episodes you’ve sponsored—promote them proactively.
Give the episode a listen and identify the one piece of information or tip that your audience would be most excited to hear about. Then shout it out on social media, send an email newsletter telling your fans about the episode, or boost the post on your favorite social channels.
I’m amazed by how many of our sponsors don’t support their own sponsorship efforts by going that extra mile to promote the show. Sponsorship is an incredible value, but you can get even more out of the experience by sharing the show with both your internal and external audiences.
If you’ve ever wondered what podcast sponsorship could do for your business, the short answer is: a whole lot! If you’re smart about selecting the right show, providing assets and offers that will grab listeners’ attention, understanding that results won’t happen overnight, and doing the legwork to help spread the word about the podcast, you can end up with an incredible return on your sponsorship investment.