The 4 Keys To Building A Powerful Podcasting Partnership For Brands

Posted by Sierra Schade on October 2, 2020 at 7:38 AM

How Podcasting Partnerships Are Changing The Game

Over the past few years, podcasts have shifted their placement within the world of entertainment, and they are now competing with mainstream audiences. Whether they’re streamed on Spotify or Apple Music, the message is still the same: podcasting is taking over the world. This medium is allowing for marketers to build close relationships with influencers, and it’s paying off when done properly.

However, don’t be mistaken. With new developments come new rules and an entirely new marketing landscape. In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares the 4 keys to building a powerful podcasting partnership for brands. 


The 4 Keys To Building A Powerful Podcasting Partnership

Understanding The Landscape

Over the past 20 years, the response people have given to the word “podcast” has gradually shifted from a “What’s that?” attitude to an appreciation where people are excited to discuss and share their favorite podcasts and podcasters. In 2006, only 11% of Americans had ever listened to a podcast. By 2019, that figure jumped to 51%.

This level of growth is causing podcasting to rapidly evolve into a multimillion-dollar (and soon-to-be billion-dollar) industry. Like any other medium for entertainment, podcasts can reach across countless genres and demographics. Practically anyone can find a podcast to fit their specific interests regardless of how niche they might seem. For marketers, what this means is that virtually any brand can find the perfect partnership. To create truly engaging and successful podcast partnership campaigns, it is critical that brands stay aware of their actions and take note of these four key tips in order to ensure that their pairing becomes an advertising success.

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1. Decide If Podcast Partnerships Are Right For Your Brand

Podcast advertising revenue is estimated to hit the $1 billion mark in the very near future. According to that same IAB podcasting revenue report, in 2019, podcasting revenues increased by 48% from the year prior reaching an all-new high of $708.1 million dollars. That’s not a small feat for an industry that was essentially nonexistent, or should we say, underground, only about 15 years ago.

Hearst Bay Area compiled a list of four signs that podcasting is right for you and your brand:

  1. You have a compelling offer: You need to offer something that matters to the listeners of the podcast that you’re trying to sponsor. Due to podcasts carrying such a niche and passionate crowd, whatever you’re selling should be relevant to the listeners and the podcast’s theme.
  2. You’re looking for something with a low barrier to entry: Pricing is going to range vastly depending on the size of the show you are attempting to sponsor, but in general, podcast advertising is affordable for most companies. If you’re looking for something long-term, negotiating a deal is always an option, as well.
  3. You want a targeted audience: Considering that there’s podcasts lingering out there for everything from discussing TV shows, health and lifestyle, comedies, and even educational opportunities, doing research ensures that you’ll jump into a podcast where your product, if partnered correctly, hits the target demographic sweet spot.
  4. You’re looking for brand-awareness: Unlike digital ads where you can see an ad, click the image, and it’ll bring you directly to a page, podcasts are more of a representation for the brand than the product itself. Podcasts do a great job of bringing people to company pages and encouraging brand recall, but you’re going to need to put in the work to ensure that the advertisement you’re running brings people to these sources.

Podcasting Partnerships


2. Know Your Audience

In order for brands to find value in forming podcast partnerships, they must first understand the demographics of the people who listen to them. When looking at the industry with a wide lens, there are a few major trends that become obvious regarding podcast listeners. For starters, when you look at monthly podcast consumers (as in, people who claim to regularly listen to at least one podcast a month), a survey conducted by Edison Research found that 41% have an annual household income of over $75,000 per year in comparison to only 29% of Americans in general having incomes above that threshold. Meaning, podcast fans hold purchasing power, and lots of it.

Not only are they wealthier than the average American, they’re more educated, too. The same study discovered that 53% of podcast listeners have at least a bachelor’s degree or above. In comparison, only 39% of Americans hold the same level of education. Obviously, each individual show will hold their own specific demographic and draw up their own unique crowd; however, these statistics help to demonstrate that when looking at podcasts in general, brands need to know that they’re dealing with a wealthy and educated fanbase.

Podcast advertising

Photo credit: marketingdive.com


3. Be Authentic

Due to the catered content and the almost personal relationship audiences tend to feel with their favorite podcast hosts, viewers develop a trust. While in many other industries, ad-blockers and other methods of ad-avoidance act as a barrier for advertising attempts, podcasts don’t face this issue. 78% of listeners approve of ads and 63% have made a purchase after hearing about a product or service through their favorite podcast. These numbers are powerful, and it’s due to the fact that podcasting audiences are, in general, pretty receptive to advertising.

Podcasts are personal. The listeners that come back week after week usually develop a connection with the podcast and the host. Because of this, podcasters are highly influential with their audiences, due to the fact that they have had the time to grow to trust them. After all, they spend potentially hours a month listening to their favorite host talk about their topic of choice. This is why authenticity is so important. When you’re trying to turn another person’s audience into your consumer, you need to respect those boundaries. The products or services you’re trying to sell need to align with the values and goals of the podcast. Otherwise, consumers will see right through the phony attempts and your partnership will be pointless. Respect those boundaries and your sales will reflect it.

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4. Tell A Story

Instead of traditional stodgy commercials that interrupt your music while you’re listening to the radio and driving to work, podcast advertisements are built into the content and essentially become a piece of the show as scripted inserts read aloud by the host. Or they could be an adlib opportunity placed within the episode. The creative opportunities are essentially endless. When podcasts are partnered perfectly with a brand (one example could be a foodie podcast that partners alongside a meal delivery service), listeners don’t feel as if the ads are being intrusive. Rather, they instead become a part of the show.

One great example of advertising becoming a fan-favorite portion of a podcast can be found within the Jenna & Julien Podcast. Each week, they have a new sponsor for the episodes they air, and each week, fans also look forward to the transitions into the sponsored sections of the podcast. Julien Solomita, a YouTube influencer, makes it a challenge to create the most smooth and funny transition every week. Using humor and natural conversation, the podcast is able to seamlessly incorporate advertisements into the show and not only do the fans accept it, they embrace it.

Jenna Marbles and Julien Solomita End Podcast

Embrace The Relationship

Podcasts and their respective sponsors should not just have a symbiotic relationship with each other, but with the consumers who benefit from the materials as well. At the end of the day, the most important part of creating podcast partnership opportunities is embracing the audiences that you want to draw to your product and your company. Harnessing the influential powers of the podcasters that you partner with can bring about extensive benefits for your brand as well as theirs. Following these four simple guidelines can lead you onto the path of success creating a strong relationship between your brand and consumers.

Interested in learning more about brand partnerships or how to better brand your company? Check out some of these posts!

Interested in learning more about podcasts and your brand? Check out these posts:

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Topics: Social Influencers, Product Placement & Branded Content