Podcast Advertising

How to Sell Your Show to Potential Brand Partners

Host-Read ads perform so well because of their authenticity! Listeners trust you to be real with them when it comes to the products you’re promoting. Brands also want to work with podcasters who are enthusiastic about their products and/or services. The genuine excitement helps to create a stellar ad read.

One of the best ways to secure a future opportunity is to put your best foot forward when responding to brand inquiries. We’ve talked before about the ways you can stand out when responding to brand inquiries, but now we’re going to take a closer look at the role brand inquiries play in RAP (the RedCircle Ad Platform.)

What is Brand Inquiry? 

A brand inquiry is a powerful tool for you to use as it demonstrates to us why your podcast would be a great fit for an ad campaign. Use every brand inquiry form as your moment to convince the brand why they should choose your show!

Why do we do this? 

We vet shows for a few different reasons at RedCircle. Vetting is very helpful in data collection and helps us get to know our podcasts better. We send out brand inquiries to see what shows would be interested in participating in ad campaigns.

The Two Different Types of Brand Inquiries


Brand-specific vetting happens after a direct conversation or request from an advertising agency or brand. The buyer gives the RedCircle sales rep specifications or guidelines for shows. The sales rep then builds a campaign with the specifications and any additional shows they believe to be a good fit.

At this point, the podcast host receives the brand inquiry form about the campaign. It’s now in the host’s hands to decide if they are interested in the opportunity and explain why.

These responses often get sent to the buyer, so it’s important to sell yourself! Be clear and concise on why your show can deliver a great ad read and why this brand is a good fit for the audience.


The sales team at RedCircle proactively vets for data collection and future planning. It’s important to point out that proactive vetting does not guarantee an ad for your podcast. A campaign invite isn’t guaranteed as no agency or brand is filling a campaign at that time. This type of vetting mainly focuses on holidays, seasons, or events with a nationwide audience. 

This type of vetting allows us to…

  • Learn if any podcast hosts are interested in ad opportunities that wouldn’t typically fall in their genre/content
  • Build campaigns to be sent to brands/agencies way in advance and get shows on the books
  • Collect data that can present your podcast to more ad categories and more opportunities
  • Make note if there is a brand or industry your show’s values do not align with or you are not interested in

I’m getting vetting requests, but no ads; what does this mean?

There could be a few different reasons as to why your show was not chosen for a particular campaign. This decision always lies with the buyer who is either an advertising agency or a brand.

If the request was proactive, then no ads were guaranteed at that time. When a brand requests podcasts for something that was proactively vetted, the deal can move forward without a new vetting request being sent. Podcasters would then learn if they were chosen or not.

Why am I not getting any ads?

There are a few different reasons as to why you’re not scoring as many ads as you were hoping. Here are the most common:

  • Your audience might not be the best fit for the brand.
  • Your show might be the wrong size for what the brand is looking for.
  • Make sure your ad reads have personality!
  • Your show’s CPM might be too high.
  • Sell yourself and your show in vetting responses!
  • Your content may be sensitive or not align with the brand’s beliefs.

Step Up Your Vetting Response! These Are Seen by Brands and Agencies.

Our whole family uses Quip! The girls and I have the all pink ones and I love them. No messy cords to plug and huge ugly charging stations. I love how the stand turns into the cover so you can put it in your suitcase. I even have them at our second home for all of us too! I love the subscription so the batteries, heads and paste come and you don’t have to worry about running out of anything. They work so well and my dentist says I have perfect gums. We love quip!”

Tommy John has some great clothing that Steve and I have purchased over the years. From their classic underwear to their pajama pants to their loungewear, we have worn Tommy John before. We’d deliver a great read by speaking from our own personal experience with the product and highlighting the great qualities that are a signature of Tommy John clothing “

This show strives to inspire healthy, positive, and confident lifestyles in our listeners. Through sharing our own experiences, research, and that of guests, we emphasize the importance of physical and mental health and ZocDoc is the perfect supporter of that. Our audience has heard ZocDoc reads on our show before, and I know that everyone can benefit from the service no matter what their health needs are, so I’m sure our listeners will love the reminder of how ZocDoc can help them in the journey to better health!”

“Our audience, deeply engaged in exploring the unusual and appreciating the genuine, aligns perfectly with Moink’s commitment to ethically-sourced, high- quality farm products. Our listeners, who trust us for authentic content, will connect with my personal background in farming, understanding the value and importance of what Moink offers. This personal connection and shared values around sustainability and quality make our podcast an ideal platform to introduce Moink to an audience that values authenticity and thoughtful consumption.”

Ad Reads are what you and us are good at.

Host-Read ads are a huge part of monetizing your podcast. They give advertisers and brands the opportunity to use the host’s voice, experiences, and relationships to sell their products and/or services.

The better and more personable your Host-Read ads are, the more likely you are to be selected for campaigns. No one knows you or your audience better than yourself! Don’t sell yourself short.

Get some inspo!

Check out these real Host-Read campaigns from podcasters on RedCircle just like you!

You can learn more about brand inquiries in our Help Center. And be sure to read the rest of our blog for more helpful tips!