So maybe you’re self-employed, running a startup or even a large brand, and you really want to start a podcast for you or your company, the problem is you know the podcast scene is already becoming very saturated, so how do you get an audience as a branded podcast?
Here are a few points to consider for branded podcast success.
One issue some new podcasters go through is expecting to emulate the formula of popular podcasters, but soon realise they can’t achieve the calibre of guests. As much as we all love a high profile interview podcast, aiming for a niche audience and focusing your target audience is a solid way to achieve strong engagement with your podcast.
You’re a new skateboard clothing brand and want to make a skateboard podcast. Focusing down to a topic within the niche, can sometimes help create an identity which can be lost in a broader podcasts:
- Level 1 – Extreme Sport
- Level 2 – Skateboarding
- Level 3 – Skateboarding in a particular country/city
- Level 4 – The London Southbank skateboard scene
- Level 5 – How fashion for skateboarders has evolved or kept steady throughout the decades at Southbank
There may be very top level or deeper topics you may bounce through, but having this kind of perimeter can really help push forward where the podcast needs to be. This may also be the foundation to help push your podcast from an interview podcast to something more documentary based or experimental.
Challenge your ideas
Conceptualising a podcast plan can be difficult. The difference with branded podcasting compared to passionate hobbyist and professional broadcasters, it can be hard to surround yourself with the correct talent across the process, so it’s easy to make do. If something isn’t working, address it. Always challenge your podcast with:
- Who specifically is the audience?
- What problem do you want to help solve?
- When would these people need your help? Would your skills be best utilised by beginners or should you focus on people who are more experienced?
- Where are these people? How are you going to reach them?
- Why are you here? What are you bringing to the table that nobody else can?
So possibly a big difference between a hobbyist and a brand launching a podcast is that a brand will have a pool of assets and artwork which they can dip into. On the other hand, branded podcasts should also try and keep their own branding subtle.
The last thing you want is potential listeners to see your podcast sitting there in their podcast player and it looks like one big advert. Asking someone to commit to 20 minutes to an hour of a podcast is a big ask. You need to clearly show them that listening to your podcast is beneficial to them, not to you as the brand.
Always create the podcast’s own identity. If you work with anyone from a designer to a creative agency, make some new brand guidelines for your podcast. Unless your business is in publishing and your name is already the trusted voice, try and give your podcast its own name to add identity and be less salesy.
Creating engaging social media posts is difficult at the best of times. Asking people to move off the social app and go to your podcast is a huge request. If you always remember this, think about what is going to turn heads, or in this case, switch apps.
Posting your podcast logo and saying ‘new podcast episode, check it out’ isn’t enough. Use engaging video clips showing highlights from your podcast, if you don’t video your podcast, use animated subtitled graphics with a clip.
Ultimately remember to bring the podcast to the listeners, they’re not going to just come to you. Being a brand in most cases means you’re editorially at a disadvantage until proven. Podcasting is about trust and authenticity. Prove to your listeners you can give them something more than a sales message and something to enjoy. Fundamentally, this is brand building and will strengthen the brand in the long run.
Andy Greening is a podcast producer, audio engineer as well as Senior Creative Producer at London based content marketing agency The River Group, which has produced branded podcast such as Holland & Barrett’s The Wellness Edit, Superdrug’s The Beauty of it All and Co-op’s In it Together.