This may seem a little bit like news jacking, but it is something I’ve been thinking about over the last week. With the amount in-person events being cancelled or going online due to COVID-19, is there another good outlet for brands to reach new customers? While digital events are the next likely option, I think podcast sponsorship can serve as a fantastic alternative for a few reasons. Here are what brands and podcasters can do to help fill the void.
Benefits of Podcast Sponsorship
There are a few strong benefits of podcast sponsorship:
- It’s usually more affordable
- The potential reach is greater than an in-person event
- The spot is forever. There will always be a backlink for that episode
- Hosts are trusted by their audience, so recommendations hold more weight
- You don’t need to send people, swag, or booths anywhere That’s not to say there aren’t drawbacks. Having boots on the ground at events to talk directly to potential customers can be a powerful thing. So what can be done to help mitigate that?
What Brands can do
A while back, I wrote how to make the most of a podcast sponsorship. I still strongly recommend all of those things. You want to make it as easy as possible for people listening to get to you if they’re interested. But given that you’re probably doing fewer in-person events due to COVID-19, you can get a little more creative! A few ideas:
- Offer a free 15 minute consult for listeners of the show by people whom you’d send to events
- Offer to send stickers (or other nifty swag) to people who sign up via the link
- Promote a webinar or other live event (and see if the podcast host is willing to come on and talk more about your product or service)
- Do a giveaway
- Link to an exclusive demo specifically for listeners …or anything else you might do at a conference/in-person event.
What Podcast Hosts Can Do
As the podcast host, the onus is on me to persuade the listener to try or buy. And to do that, the listeners have to believe I trust the product.
So above all else, be genuine. If you can, use the product or service and talk about what you like. Talk about why you recommend it for your audience. That also means don’t verbatim read a list of talking points. Definitely work in what the sponsor wants you to highlight, but add your own personal stories. Some of the best ad reads I’ve heard are from the guys at RelayFM. They don’t prescribe to the “exactly one minute” spot, and generally go 2 or even 3 minutes. They’ll tell you about the product, hit the talking points, and talk about why they like it. It really builds trust.Podcast hosts need to be genuine in the ad-read. Use the product and talk about what you like. Click To Tweet
Let the Sponsor Connect with Your Audience (on-air)
When appropriate, having the sponsor as a guest on your show could also work. It’s not something I always recommend, but it’s something I’ve done in the past. It helps drive home the message and provide even more value to the listeners…it acts as a replacement for that “in-person” connection they might get at an event.
Promote on Your Other Channels
If you’re trying to provide the most value possible for your sponsors (and you should be), make sure to promote them everywhere you have a following. Alongside my podcast, I will promote on my social media accounts, my YouTube channel, and my newsletter. This is a lot easier if you actually believe in the product you’re promoting.Promote the sponsor on all of your channels, not just the podcast. Click To Tweet
Work Together to Create a Unique Experience
The lack of travel due to COVID-19 that’s likely to increase for at least the next few months gives podcasters and brands alike an opportunity to try a new medium for reaching potential customers and creating a unique experience for them. Let me know what you’re doing as a podcaster or brand. I’d also love to chat more with anyone who’s interested in exploring this further. Get in touch here!