10 Important Things a Sponsor Looks for in Your Podcast
You’re working hard, gathering leads, and researching to find potential sponsors for your podcast. Did you know there are sponsors out there that are working just as hard looking for you?
Let’s make it as easy as possible for them to find you!
We chatted with Gavin Zuchlinski from Acuity Scheduling about what he looks for from the sponsor side of things. What does he, as a paying sponsor, want to see from podcasters?
If you want to listen to the actual conversation we had with Gavin, have at it:
Here are 10 important things a sponsor looks for in your podcast:
1. Your Podcast Audience
Your audience must align with a sponsor’s audience. Sponsors want a podcast whose listeners will convert into customers. And who are also on brand with their company’s image and style.
Gavin sponsored the Invisible Office Hours podcast (a show I co-host) because we have a tech forward and entrepreneurial audience. That’s who he wants to reach. Gavin also sponsored Matt and I because of Matt’s sweet podcast rapping skills, which brings us to our next point.
2. Good, Quality Content For Your Listeners
Sponsors want a podcast that delivers good, quality content that’s helpful to their audience. They’ll pay extra for creativity since that creates more engagement and leads to growth.
Gavin sponsored our podcast rap and he loved it so much, he sent us champagne afterwards to celebrate.
3. Listener Engagement and Podcast Growth
The quality of your audience engagement matters. Which is good news especially if you are still growing your audience.
You might not have a lot of downloads, but sponsors can look at your podcast reviews and social media accounts to see how your audience feels about you. And that can count for a lot.
Sponsors may also check numbers from season to season to look at growth potential. They want to see that they can reach new people with each season, so if you are growing, they will notice.
4. Artistic Integrity
Integrity matters when it comes to choosing a sponsorship. Many sponsors do their own due diligence to make sure they are making a good investment.
Gavin says he’s found that most podcasters inflate their podcast download numbers. He does his own research to see that the numbers are within reason. He also looks at social media channels for content, also checking personal accounts. This allows him to assess what and who he’s investing in.
Integrity can go a long way for a sponsor!
5. Buzz and Referrals
Sponsors want to partner with businesses that their customers view as high quality. What better way to get a feel for what your customers like than to ask them about the products or services they use. Or, in this case, the podcasts they listen to.
Gavin told us that customer referrals count for a lot when it comes to seeking partnerships and podcasts to sponsor.
If you deliver consistent (interesting) content to your listeners, there’s a good chance your audience will boast about you whenever and wherever they can.
6. How Easy It Is to Find You
If your listeners are referring you to potential sponsors, how easy do you make it for them to find out how to work with you? Be sure to have a sponsor or advertise page in place on your website!
Gavin hits <CTRL F> on his keyboard when he lands on a website and searches for “sponsor” or “advertise.” If no results are found or if there isn’t an obvious place to find that information, he will leave the site and go on to the next one.
Don’t miss out on that money! Make it easy for sponsors to find you.
7. Your Personal Interest in a Sponsor’s Product or Service
This is a big one. If you have knowledge about a sponsor’s product or service, tell them about it.
Did you switch from another product to theirs for any particular reason? Tell them why. That’s sponsorship gold!
Sponsors love it if you use their product or service yourself (or if you are willing to try it), and it paves the way for a great partnership.
Using their product gives you instant credibility. As Gavin says “If you show interest in my stuff, I’ll show interest in yours.”
8. Other Podcast Sponsors
Sponsors will look at the other sponsors you’ve worked with. They want to make sure it’s a good fit based on other sponsor’s you’ve had on your podcast.
Don’t pretend you didn’t have a competitor as a sponsor. Be honest and up front about it. Most sponsors are okay to share the spotlight, as long as the sponsorships aren’t happening at the same time.
9. Your Effort
Sponsors are happiest when they work with people who are responsive and easy to do business with. Don’t just take the money and run away to a tropical island. Show up for your sponsor and check in with them to see if any updates or changes are needed.
Everyone appreciates a good, collaborative effort in a working relationship. Even if the sponsorship doesn’t work out, you can make a valuable contact for future opportunities.
10. What You Offer
Last but not least, a sponsor needs to know what you can offer them. They want a return on their investment.
Gavin mentioned a few things he looks for:
- clickable promotion on your site and social media channels
- mentions in pre-roll, post-roll and/or mid-roll
- mentions in show notes and newsletters
- prominent logo display
- package deals with other products
- your passion and personality in the sponsor reads/promotion
If you’re not sure what to offer, ask a sponsor what they look for. You might be surprised to find that they don’t want as much as you think.
For a sponsor, lots of variables go into choosing a sponsorship and the pricing of it. Be honest about your audience and what you can offer. If you are an up-and-comer, you may need to work a little harder out of the gates to show up for a sponsor. With effort comes results!
Remember to think of your sponsors as people. You’re building fruitful relationships that don’t have to end after one sponsorship. Go above and beyond, and don’t forget to under promise and over deliver for your sponsors.