Podcast Sponsorships vs. Podcast Guesting: 8 Benefits to Compare These Alternatives

Is it better to buy placement as a sponsor, or become a guest on a podcast?

To help you see both sides, we asked marketing leaders this question for their insights on how much better it is to do sponsorship rather than be a guest. From highly customized ads to increased exposure, there are several benefits that may help you decide which pathway to take when considering podcasts for your marketing strategy.

Here are eight benefits these marketing heads believe sway their opinion on whether to be a guest or a podcast sponsor:

  • The Ability to Run Highly Customized Ads
  • Sponsorships Are Easier, But Less Effective
  • More Control With Sponsorships and Longer-Term
  • Provides a More Steady Stream of Revenue
  • Your Acceptance Rate as a Sponsor is Much Higher
  • Reach Your Target Audience Faster and Build Awareness
  • Increase Exposure Depending on Your Offering


The Ability to Run Highly Customized Ads

Podcast sponsorships are a great way to promote your business and reach a new audience while keeping the experience completely under your control. You can choose your own show or shows, pitch the opportunity to hosts, and work out exactly what you want the sponsorship to look like.

There are lots of different benefits to podcast sponsorships, but one of the biggest is that you can create a fully customized ad that matches your brand and aligns with the show’s content. 

This way, listeners get a seamless experience that doesn’t feel like they’re listening to a sales pitch. The more personal and natural your ad feels, the more likely it is to resonate with listeners and leave a positive impression. 

Podcast sponsorships are also a great way to reach your target audience directly. It’s easier to target podcast listeners with ads on podcasts than it is to target the same audience through social media or other online channels.

Matthew Ramirez, Founder, Rephrasely

Sponsorships Are Easier, But Less Effective

Podcast sponsorships work very well and can prove very helpful because of how loyal their audience usually is. 

It certainly is easier than guest podcasting. Moreover, the whole genre of podcasts is currently booming like never before, so it is only prudent to join in on the trend. For the same reason, appearing as a guest in podcasts can be even more effective in increasing brand awareness. 

It’s a bit like guest blogging but easier unless your interpersonal skills aren’t good. Being a pleasant guest is all about the ability to keep the flow of a conversation, which is something not everyone has.

Natalia Brzezinska, Marketing & Outreach Manager, US Visa Photo

More Control With Sponsorships and Longer-Term

From a sponsor’s perspective, one benefit of podcast sponsorships is that you can have more control over the content of the show. As a guest on a podcast, they may ask you to talk about topics that are not related to your business or expertise.

However, as a sponsor, you can work with the host to ensure that they communicate your message in an appropriate and effective way. 

Additionally, sponsorships can be longer-term arrangements, whereas guesting on a podcast is typically a one-time event.

Aviad Faruz, CEO, FARUZO New York

Provides a More Steady Stream of Revenue

One benefit of podcast sponsorships is that they provide a more steady stream of revenue than guesting. Podcast guesting can be very beneficial to grow your audience and build your brand, but it doesn’t always result in a direct financial return.

Sponsorships, on the other hand, are typically directly tied to the number of listeners you have and can provide a more reliable source of income. Additionally, sponsorships usually come with some level of creative control, so you can ensure that their message aligns with your show’s mission and values.

Lorien Strydom, Executive Country Manager, Financer.com

Podcasters Are Starving for Sponsors

Podcasting is a labor of love for most people. They spend their time, money, and energy coming up with topics, finding guests, editing videos, marketing their episodes, and growing an audience. Very few podcasts have much, if any, revenue. 

With this in mind, you can get a ton of sustained exposure by sponsoring shows. Podcast guesting is great, but you’re ‌limited to one or two episodes per show. With sponsorships, you can negotiate deals with many podcasters to promote your company in every episode for a period of time. 

When you do this, you’re leveraging the podcaster’s rapport with their own audience to put your product in their hands. This is a lot easier than going in cold and trying to build rapport on your own.

Dennis Consorte, Digital Marketing and Leadership Consultant, Snackable Solutions

Your Acceptance Rate as a Sponsor is Much Higher

The biggest benefit of podcast sponsorships vs. the benefits of podcast guesting is that your acceptance rate will be much higher as a sponsored podcast guest over a pitch for a guest. Here’s the rough difference based on my own numbers:

1 in 40 podcast guest pitches will convert into a successful invite to the podcast.
1 out of 4 podcast sponsorship requests will convert into a successful invite to the podcast.

You can imagine how much time you can save. And there are only a few podcasts in a certain niche to reach out to.

Madhav Bhandari, VP of Marketing, Early Stage Marketing

Reach Your Target Audience Faster and Build Awareness

When using podcasting as a marketing tool, the primary target is to raise brand awareness and build trust with your target audience. All these are possible with sponsorships and guesting, but each channel has benefits that align better with the overall outcomes desired by the business. 

Sponsoring podcasts is ideal when you want to target your perfect audience faster, create partnerships with hosts, and expand your potential audience reach. 

Guest podcasting, on the other hand, is better when you want to build deep trust with the audience, position your hosts as experts, and build leadership profiles that build confidence in the organization from the clients.

Yongming Song, CEO, Live Poll for Slides

Increase Exposure Depending on Your Offering

Sponsorships are good for any fledgling brand because it’s all about exposure. You will have to pay for those sponsorships, but it gets people thinking about you more. 

I’ve heard about underwear companies, food service companies, health and fitness companies, and other brands on podcasts; and it has given me greater access to DTC brands. Hearing those ads on a loop has made me more inclined to buy from a DTC company than a traditional brick-and-mortar retailer. 

The benefit of podcast guesting is really more for those content-based businesses or creators. If you’re selling goods or services, you really should focus more on sponsorships rather than becoming a guest on a podcast.

Emily Saunders, Chief Revenue Officer, eLuxury