Your listeners are the most important section of your podcast audience, but there are other valuable parties who can help build the podcast’s success. These include sponsors and advertisers, journalists, influencers, and potential guests, and a media kit can really assist you in getting your message across to those who can help you succeed. Here are the essential guidelines on how to build an effective one to promote your podcast.
What is a media kit?
A media kit is a promotional tool that offers a quick primer for potential partners with all of the key information they might need to know. It includes an overview of what the podcast is about, as well as its key strengths. This generally takes the form of a document, although it’s not uncommon to see media kits formatted as slide decks. They’re usually in a universally readable format such as a PDF, but they could be hosted on a dedicated web page or on cloud-based storage such as Dropbox or Google Drive. If you use a shared folder, you can even include some sample shows or a trailer to go with the document that will form the central feature of the pack.
Although media kits are often primarily aimed at potential advertisers, meaning the focus is on persuasive stats, they should also contain details that can minimise the volume of communications needed with other interested parties. This could include potential guests and new hosts, or even your listeners, as well as the primary target - advertisers and sponsors. Like an elaborate and detailed infographic, a media kit should also be attractively designed, to represent the value of the podcast in the easiest possible format for consumption.
What should you include in your media kit?
The Basics: The obvious details to include in your media kit are the title and series synopsis. Biographies and photos of the host or hosts should be supplied, plus briefer details of previous key guests. If you have a mission or goal behind the podcast – such as decoding the confusion in politics or debunking myths about climate change – state this as clearly and persuasively as possible near the start of the document.
You should also explain who the intended audience is, and if there are content warnings (for example use of explicit or triggering language). Let the media kit reader know about any other projects hosts have worked on. Perhaps they were an esteemed media personality, editor or come from a previous, very successful podcast.
The Metrics: You can include short descriptions of your most successful episodes, alongside their audience figures and more general listener number metrics. You should also include any further audience details you can obtain from your analytics software. Your podcasting platform should be able to furnish you with information about where your listeners are and what platforms they're using, and platforms like YouTube, Spotify or your website may even allow you to glean details about their age, gender, and other information - although note that due to the way podcast analytics works, this won’t represent a complete picture. All this information, however, will be extremely valuable to potential advertisers and sponsors.
You can pull out some key facts about your audience in an infographic style, for easy consumption. If your podcast has experienced strong growth, underline this in percentage and time terms, not just the audience figures themselves, using images to visualise this rather than merely stating the numbers.
The Reviews: If your podcast has had favourable reviews, you can include any associated scores and a key quote from the reviewer. Similarly, if a well-known personality has cited your podcast in a positive light, you can use this testimonial as well. However, make sure you get permission for anybody’s words you republish. Even though your media kit may not be publicly available, it could harm your reputation not to request this. If your podcast has won any awards, be very sure to include these as industry recognition can be very persuasive for listeners and sponsors alike.
Your podcast’s reach on other platforms
Remember that your podcast’s reach extends beyond its listening audience. Its website could have a commendable level of traffic, and its social media channels could have sizeable followings too. The hosts might also have strong follower numbers on social platforms. All these could add to the attractiveness of your podcast to sponsors and guests, so include these numbers. Guests may want to be comfortable that appearing on your podcast will enhance their brand reach.
You may want to add them all together to form a total aggregate audience - although beware of over-promising when it comes to things like ad impressions. Of course, don’t forget to include account names and links for all these social platforms within the media kit, alongside links to the podcast website and the podcast audio on all the platforms where it can be found.
Details for sponsors and advertisers
If your podcast is well established, it may well have landed previous partnerships with various brands. By association, these confirm the validity of your content for their brands, which could help persuade other companies to come on board. Be sure to include the logos of these partners in the media kit document layout, perhaps calling out key partners and their involvement. A media kit purely destined for sponsors and advertisers should outline promotional packages, what they include, and their prices - although sponsors will probably negotiate these prices down.
If you do also intend to use your media kit with new hosts, guests, and journalists, you should create a second version of your media kit that doesn’t include advertising package and price details, although it can still mention key sponsors. This version can also be made available to listeners to aid discovery and engagement.
While a media kit is intended to be a generalised document you or your sales team can reuse quickly and easily, always consider a bespoke version tailored to a specific recipient. Like a CV and cover letter, if you ensure you’re telling your podcast media kit recipient what they want to hear, the more likely you are to succeed in gaining positive attention. For example, a potential fitness company sponsor will be more interested if you highlight podcast episodes that cover this topic and have been well received by listeners in their target demographic.
If your podcast team has created regular special editions or content in media other than an audio-based stream, it can be worth including details of these in your media kit. These could be videos, websites, or interactive experiences. It may even include “transmedia”, where the content of your podcast, particularly a drama, extends into other media to add narrative value for the most engaged listeners.
Designing your media kit document
You will be best served to employ someone with competent page layout skills when putting together your media kit, unless you have strong abilities in this area yourself. However, there are readily available templates that can get you started.
Canva is a popular tool for the rapid creation of graphical documents. It hosts a large selection of media kit templates, many of which are free. These templates aren’t specifically aimed at podcasts, but many can easily be adapted to fit this purpose. At the other end of the scale, a professional graphics layout application such as Adobe InDesign will provide powerful tools, although you will need to know how to use it.
Make sure your media kit is as visually compelling as possible. Images and logos are essential in your design, as are graphs (where appropriate) to make audience data easier to consume. The majority of human beings are primarily visual in their information consumption, so relying entirely on text and numbers could reduce the impact of your media kit. Include professional headshots (or at least excellent photos) of your hosts and guests.
Don’t forget to include contact details for your advertising team – because otherwise your media kit will have been pointless.
Keep it updated!
Your podcast media kit isn’t written in stone for posterity. Your figures and achievements will constantly change – and hopefully improve - over time. So make sure you regularly update your media kit with the latest information. If the kit is hosted online, the added benefit here is that even those who received the link before the latest update will see the most recent version every time they check.
It may seem like extra effort when all you want to do is get on with recording the next episode. But creating a carefully constructed media kit will be essential to conveying the importance of your podcast to the people and organisations that can help your podcast to thrive.