4 Ways Your Brand Can Use Podcasts

September 30, 2020

There are a variety of ways that brands can leverage podcasts. Most people assume that podcasting really only works for CPG brands that are looking to attract new customers and spread awareness. But that’s wrong, so so wrong. 

Brands can use podcasts in several different ways to achieve success, depending on what they’re trying to accomplish. Below we’ve outlined a few examples of how brands and podcasts go hand-in-hand. But remember, the possibilities to get creative with your show are endless -- this is just a guideline. 

1) Awareness

Let’s start off with the most popular use for branded podcasts: awareness. Podcasts that  have a goal of awareness are usually created by a B2C product or service brand that’s looking to grow their audience and build a stronger relationship with their customers. 

With this goal in mind, podcasts give you the opportunity to foster relationships with potential customers (your listeners) by educating them on your respective industry in an engaging way. It’s even been shown that podcast listeners are more likely to follow companies and brands on social media (Podcast Insights) and podcasts tend to attract more wealthy and educated people (Music Oomph).  

When you're creating content for awareness, make sure that your podcast isn’t just an incredibly long infomercial for your brand (no one wants that). You need to create content that’s still relevant to your brand and industry but provides listeners with some sort of value. 

Some great examples of branded podcasts that have a focus on awareness are Field Tripping by Field Trip, Mr. Open Banking by AxwayPick Me Up, a series created by Lyft in partnership with Gimlet, and #LIPSTORIES powered by Sephora

2)  Internal Communications

Today, everyone is busy, especially your employees. With so much going on in the world, it’s hard to grab their attention to provide them with company updates, news, or to try to build more of an internal culture within the brand. This is where podcasts come in. Podcasts open the door when it comes to internal communication and brands can easily implement them to better their communication channels, employee engagement, and employee retention. If you’re worried about privacy, not to worry - just make sure you have a private RSS feed. 

Say farewell to the days of email and hello to the world of audio. Podcasts bring the convenience factor to your employees -- they can tune in whenever, wherever. 

Let’s take a quick look at how an internal comms podcast can be useful to you:

  1. Providing Updates
    Have something going on in a specific department or some big news company wide? Podcasts give you the ability to spread the message to the masses in an efficient way. 
  1. Training 
    If you’ve onboarded new employees, you can have a series that everyone joining the company can tune in to. The show could cover facts about the company, who they should know, the benefits of working there, etc. the options are pretty endless. 
  1. Employee Engagement 
    Keep your employees interested and engaged with what’s happening within the company. A podcast is a great way to interact with your workforce by being in their ear and providing valuable content. 
  1. Community
    Make your employees feel connected to one another no matter their job title or department. Podcasts are open to everyone and it gives your brand a chance to bring everyone together by listening to the same show. Podcasts also give you a chance to feature different employees from various departments or locations around the world. You can also let your employees know a little more about your executives within the company. 80% of communications professionals feel like it’s their goal to make leadership more visible (happeo). Podcasts can help do that. 
  1. Industry News 
    Keep employees informed on what’s happening in your brand's respective industry. This helps to keep everyone educated and in the know with what’s going on in your space.  

3) Sales

Not many people see how useful podcasts can be in filling your pipeline and strengthening relationships with your current clients and partners. Here are just a few ways that podcasts can be your secret weapon when it comes to sales: 

  1. Lead Generation 
    Podcasts are a great excuse to get someone that you’ve been wanting to talk to sitting right in front of you (or virtually). If there is a lead that you are trying to find a way to get some face time with, invite them to be a guest on your podcast! At the end of the day, everyone loves to talk about themselves so if you bring them on your podcast, you can show them that you know their industry and start to build that relationship. However, it is important to remember that when you do bring them onto the podcast, the recording is not a sales meeting. Have a natural conversation that’s fun for the both of you. You’re not trying to pry and see what opportunities they can bring. Make sure to foster the relationship on and off the mics so you can grow that lead into a paying client.
  1. Relationship Building
    Have you been stuck trying to find ways to maintain and strengthen relationships with your partners, clients, or really any stakeholder? Podcasts can be a great way to continue to build this connection. Similar to the lead generation tactic, invite them onto your podcast to chat about their journey, role, industry knowledge, or whatever your series is about! This will show them that you value them as well as their insights. 
  1. Case Studies
    This one can be a little tricky because you don’t want to come off as too sales-y. But overall, case studies are a great way to show your audience that you’re credible, knowledgeable, and can execute. Just make sure that if you’re giving examples during your podcast and reference your own case study, also throw in information from other brands (these don’t need to be competitors) that are relevant to the conversation. This will help to make sure that your podcast doesn’t come off as an infomercial.

4) Events 

And our last example for today, events. Podcasts can be a wonderful tool when it comes to events of all sizes. Conferences, meetups, panels, whatever it may be, podcasts have your back. 

The goal is to repurpose the amazing content that your event is already sharing or to catch some extra value from the speakers or sponsors that you have. The two ways of doing this are: 

  1. Recording your podcast directly from the stage
    This is where repurposing the content comes in. All you need to do is record directly from the main soundboard that’s gathering all the audio from the microphones on stage. This means that after the session is done, you can take that audio and edit it into a podcast. 
  1. Behind the scenes interviews
    This is one where you squeeze out some more value from your speakers or sponsors or whoever you’d want to be featured on your podcast. Create a list of questions that dive deeper into the subject matter of the speaker's talk or the industry of the sponsor. Not only does it provide listeners with more insights, it also builds a stronger relationship between you and the guest.

So Which One’s For You? 

Like we mentioned, this is just a broad overview of some of the many ways that a brand can use podcasts. Whichever approach you decide to take, it’s up to you (or your agency) to make sure that there's some sort of unique twist that makes it your own. 
If you’re curious and want to learn more about how your brand can use podcasts, get in touch with us here!

Platform
Price
Pro’s
Con's
Anchor

Free

  • Easy to use
  • Automatically distributes your podcast to major platforms.
  • Embed media player.
  • Great if podcasting is a
    side hobby
  • Very basic editing
  • Since it’s a free tool, you don’t have full control over the monetization of your podcast.
  • Not the right platform for people taking podcasting seriously
Buzzsprout

Free for 2 hours of content per month

$12 for 3 hours per month

$18+ for 6 hours and up

  • Very user-friendly
  • Caters to both long term and beginner podcasters
  • Advanced analytics
  • Easy distribution of your episodes
  • They measure their size requirements to hours not megabytes
  • Bonus: get a free $20 Amazon gift card when you sign up for any paid hosting plan!
  • Advanced features like dynamic ad insertion need some work
Libsyn

$5/month for Monthly Storage 50mb

  • Oldest podcast hosting site.
  • Easy distribution to major platforms and great for scaling once your podcast gets bigger.
  • Hosted over 35,000 podcasts.
  • An iTunes Podcast partner.
  • Allows you to publish your podcast to specific directories.
  • Embed media player.
  • Price is based on storage
  • 50mb storage for $5 won’t be enough if you are publishing weekly so you’ll end up with a higher price point
Podbean

Unlimited audio package: $9/month

Storage space:

Unlimited

  • Great support & customer service features
  • Unlimited audio.
  • Pages are easy to customize
  • Can schedule podcast release dates.
  • Easy to use.
  • Uploads and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions are automatic to Spotify.
  • Embed media player.
  • Simple Analytics
  • Analytics aren’t as advanced as other platforms
  • Upload and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions take a day to change on iTunes.
  • Not an iTunes podcast partner.
  • The process to send a podcast to iTunes is more tedious. But, you will still be able to get on the platform.
Blubrry

Classic

$5/month

Monthly Storage

50mb

  • Podcast Wordpress plugin and management.
  • If you want to record a new introduction or conclusion, add in a sponsored ad or upload a new version of a podcast, it doesn't count towards your storage usage per month.
  • Blubrry allows a 25% storage overage each month
  • Prices are based on storage.
  • Usability is okay.
SimpleCast

Starting: $15/month

Recommendation: $35/month

Monthly Storage: Unlimited

  • Hosts your audio files no matter what the size!
  • Dynamic insertion for podcast ads or edits.
  • Incredibly detailed analytics including number of episodes completed and listener location tracking.
  • Embed media player.
  • Easy to use.
  • Great distribution! Easy access to all major podcast platforms.
  • Customizable podcast
    website.
  • Prices are slightly higher than other platforms, but well worth it especially if you have a branded company podcast!