Podcast Monetization Strategies for Associations

For associations looking for additional ways to reach their audience and see a financial boost, creating a podcast—and a podcast monetization strategy—is a solution worth exploring.

Is a Podcast Right for My Association?

Starting a podcast may seem like a lot of work, but for associations, podcasts are less daunting than they appear. Association members are a built-in audience, and chances are your members are already active podcast listeners. As of 2023, there are 464.7 million podcast listeners globally, and that number is expected to climb to 504.9 million by 2024. A recent survey of marketers by Sapio Research revealed that 43% of U.S. decision-makers get their business and thought-leadership content from podcasts.

For associations, a podcast is a great way to communicate with members, offer new education and provide opportunities for engagement, such as having them submit questions or inviting them to be a guest on the podcast. Podcasts are also a natural extension of member publications, allowing you to delve deeper into topics with interviewed sources and cross-promote your publication’s stories.

A recent survey of marketers by Sapio Research revealed that 43% of U.S. decision-makers get their business and thought-leadership content from podcasts.

Marketed correctly, podcasts can also help you grow your membership and brand awareness. A recent report commissioned by the BBC revealed that organizations with branded podcasts saw:

  • 89% higher awareness
  • 57% higher brand consideration
  • 24% higher brand favorability
  • 14% higher purchase intent
  • 12% higher memory encoding than other forms of content
  • 16% higher engagement

6 Podcast Monetization Strategies for Associations

Member engagement and brand awareness are essential to a thriving association, but the bottom line is, a new product like a podcast needs to generate revenue. The good news is associations can monetize podcasts in a variety of ways. Read on for six promising podcast monetization strategies for associations.

1. House Ads

Chances are, you already have a library of advertising material promoting non-dues revenue-generating products, like conference registration, certifications or upcoming education sessions. Podcasts are another great way to get this important information in front of your members. Record spots for these products and events and place them before, during or after your podcast content.

2. Industry Education Partners

Think of any partners who try to reach your audience through your publications or at your conferences. Podcasts give noncompetitive education partners yet another way to share their message with your members. Consider prospecting graduate degree programs, continuing education providers and your own association chapters that offer unique educational products. Better yet, you can pair ads for these partners with episodes that relate to the content of their educational product.

3. Member Ads

Depending on your industry, members may be looking to network with other members for referrals or partnerships. Member ads on your podcast are a mutually beneficial offering.

4. Vendor Ads

Just like industry partners, trusted vendors also want to reach your members, and a podcast is a perfect way for them to make contact. Consider the sponsors that regularly exhibit at your conferences, meetings and summits or advertise in your publications, and offer them an opportunity with the podcast.

5. Subscriptions and Exclusive Content

While paid subscriptions are not common for podcasts, some organizations have successfully implemented them. Another option is to offer the podcast for free but offer additional exclusive content for a monthly fee. This could take the form of extended interviews, video or even full episodes only available to subscribers.

6. Sponsored Series

Exposing advertisers to your listeners over multiple episodes allows them to tell a more complete story with their ads. You can propose a series based on topics that align with your key sponsors’ interests. The best part: You’re only obligated to produce the series if you successfully sell the sponsorship.

What You Need to Monetize Your Podcast

If you’re ready to monetize your podcast, you need to demonstrate the value of your audience and spell out your available opportunities for potential advertisers. Two ways to do this are with a thorough media kit and a content plan.

Media Kit

A media kit defines the opportunities, prices and value of your audience. Demographics and psychographics that pertain to purchasing power and preferences are key details to include. Before you open up your podcast to advertisers, create your media kit.

To competitively price your ads, research the going ad rates for other podcasts by similar organizations and audience sizes. Aim for the cost of ads and sponsorships to not only cover your cost of production but generate a profit as well.

Content Calendar

Setting a content calendar helps advertisers understand the context that their message will fit into. For example, an episode or series on professional development advice may be an enticing opportunity for an education provider. Create a content calendar for your podcast at the start of each year. Try to find topics that will both interest your listeners and relate to your potential sponsors and/or advertisers. You might even leave an episode or two open for a sponsor to choose a guest topic.

Ready to Record?

GLC has helped many associations launch, produce and monetize their podcasts. Contact us to help get your podcast off the ground. And get a jumpstart with our Ultimate Guide to Creating a Content Calendar, with which you can begin charting your episodes and sponsorship opportunities. Fill out the form below to download yours.

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