So you want to get some podcast advertisers for your show.
You’ve got your numbers up (and they’re real numbers, not just a bunch of bots hitting your MP3 link!), and you think you’re ready to start pitching podcast advertisers on spending money with you to sponsor your show.
On the one hand, finding podcast advertisers could be as simple as asking people; the likely reality is going to involve producing some collateral that demonstrates why your show is worth the price you’re asking for ads – once you’ve convinced someone to buy advertising on your show, that is.
What sort of presentation do you need to sell podcast advertisers on your show?
For starters, you’re going to need some numbers to show potential podcast advertisers about the medium as a whole. We suggest you download a copy of the IAB study from last fall, and pull a few numbers from there (or you can check out the slideshare presentation); you’ll want to include:
- figures about who listens to podcasts, by demographic such as age group or geography
- what sort of devices people use to listen to podcasts (specifically yours if you can pinpoint it)
- how much time people spend listening to podcasts during a time basis (monthly, weekly, etc)
- how much more willing people are to test products they hear about on a podcast
- what sort of trust in podcast hosts their listeners have
Of course podcast advertisers like these kinds of numbers.
They’re buying exposure on your show, not donating to charity. When you can solidly show advertisers that there’s a great reason to want to gain exposure on your show, that’s always a plus.
There are a number of podcast networks out there that perhaps don’t really provide value to their advertisers – they fudge on numbers, inflate the figures, that kind of thing; there are individual podcasters collecting ad revenues and not spending a dime of it to promote their show to get more listeners, downloads and subscribers.
It’s impossible to police with the system that we currently have – which is almost no system. Spreaker just announced a rev sharing program for their hosts a few weeks back. That’s probably going to work well for the hosts but it’s too soon to tell.
What should you charge for advertising?
This is a tough question, and the answers are all over the map. Shows that air as part of a network have one basis for cost estimation and pricing, while individual shows going it alone have a completely different set of metrics for profitability.
If you’re a niche show, or have a very specific target audience, you’re likely to be able to charge more for advertising, based on a comparable number of listeners to a general type of broadcast. Other factors, like how long you’ve been producing shows, what kind of name recognition you and your show have with your target demographic, and how much added value you can demonstrate to potential podcast advertisers are important.
Unless you’re in a network, you’re probably better off negotiating a set price for ads from your sponsors. The cost per thousand listeners is all over the map ($5-45 and higher for more popular shows), and while there are certainly ways to inflate your listen stats if you’re going it alone, that sort of thing doesn’t really net you much in the end besides disgruntled advertisers.
The chief takeaway here is that you need to put together a presentation that shows a potential advertiser WHY they want to advertise on a podcast, WHY it should be your podcast, WHY they’ll benefit from the money spent, and then discuss the terms after they have an understanding of the medium and the power of the host’s message.
Really, it’s like radio advertising, only a bit more targeted and a bit more expensive.