4 Reasons Why You Need a Branded Podcast

December 14, 2020

2020 was the year of many things and branded podcasts is one of them. 

As an agency that works directly with brands and their podcasts, we’ve seen this spike first hand. While it took awhile for brands to begin to realize the full potential of podcasts, not only are we now seeing more and more come forward with their own shows, it’s clear that general awareness of branded podcasts is also on the rise. 

Even our CEO, Fatima Zaidi, has predicted that in the next 5-10 years all brands will either have a podcast or be advertising on one. 

Why You Need a Branded Podcast

But now we get into the question, why should your brand have a podcast? 

1. Community/Relationship Building

The first one is community and relationship building. Podcasts in general are an incredibly intimate medium. You’re in the ear of your listeners, speaking to them as if they were in the room with you. There’s truly no other medium that allows for this level of raw connection with an audience and it gives the opportunity for listeners to see your brand in a new light. 

A huge reason listeners will stick to a podcast is if they feel a connection and relationship with the host. Your listeners want to view the host as a friend or look up to them as a credible source to be speaking on the topics that they are. This is why picking the right host for a podcast is so important, but if you do it right, you’ll gain a dedicated listener base that will keep coming back each episode. 

On the community side of things, the success of your podcast doesn’t need to live just on listening platforms. You can take the community off of those apps and bring it to another platform that allows for more two-way communication (i.e. Facebook Groups, other social media channels, Slack groups, etc.). This not only allows your brand to learn more about your listeners and speak to them one-on-one or in group settings, it also lets the community come alive and engage and interact with one another as well.

2. Brand Recognition

The second is brand recognition. Having a podcast is a great way to ensure that your current audience continues to associate your brand with the topics you cover throughout the podcast. A branded podcast also makes it possible for new audiences to discover your brand through your series and automatically view you as a thought leader on the topic and make that association in their own minds. 

Podcasts also assist with credibility. When you’re able to speak on topics that your company is focused on, you’re establishing a concrete level of credibility and thought leadership in your industry. Something to be weary of though -- ensure that your podcast doesn’t come off overly sales-y or inauthentic by promoting your own brand too much. This will take away the relationship and community building value of the podcast. 

3. Listening Hours 

Thirdly, unless you’re looking to create a branded documentary series, podcasts are really the only branded medium where you can hold a listener's attention for long periods of time. Although you want to avoid making your series sound like an insanely long infomercial, you still have the ability to connect listeners to your brand by the topic of the podcast and format. You can always say “powered by…” at the beginning or end of the series. 

The average podcast is 43 minutes long and the average listener is consuming over 6 hours of podcasts every week. Being able to maintain a listener's attention for long periods of time week over week is truly incredible and a game changer for brands everywhere.  

4. Convenience for Audiences

And finally, podcasts are an incredibly convenient way for your audience to consume content produced by your brand. The vast majority of people own a smartphone, podcasts are free to listen to, they can be listened to offline, and listeners don’t need to be watching their screen. There are just so many pros!

Best Branded Podcasts

Let’s take a quick look at some brands that are doing branded podcasts well:

Hackable? Powered by McAfee 

hackable podcast

Hackable? comes to mind for many when they think of branded podcasts. The show does an amazing job at relating the topic to what computer security software company, McAfee, does. But they do it without overtly advertising the brand. Instead, they’ve made an incredibly engaging and thought-provoking podcast. 

Rise and Grind Powered by ZipRecruiter

ziprecruiter podcast

Rise and Grind is an interview/discussion based podcast focused on the idea of achieving success. Host, Daymond John, speaks to leading entrepreneurs, musicians, artists, and so many more about their journeys to success. But what we’ll say Rise and Grind does really well is connect to their audience. Daymond does an amazing job at building a connection with his listeners and his enthusiasm is almost contagious. Also, you won’t hear ZipRecruiter self promoting throughout the podcast.

#LIPSTORIES Powered by Sephora

sephora podcast

This podcast just makes you feel good listening to it. Host, Kristina Zias, puts off a relaxed, calm, and authentic vibe throughout each episode which really translates to the listener. Tuning into this podcast you feel as if you’re just listening to some girlfriends having a candid conversation. That’s the beauty and art of branded podcasts.

Boost My Business Powered by Facebook 

facebook podcast

Previously known as Three and a Half Degrees, Boost My Business is powered by Facebook and brings together unexpected pairings to discuss values, visions, experiences, and ideas. This series does a really good job in bringing authenticity forward throughout the conversations and pairings present in its episodes. Again, we don’t hear outward promotion for Facebook. Instead, it’s connecting itself to a cool concept.  

To get the full list of our favorite branded podcasts and why we love them, check out this article here

Podcasting is a Long-Term Strategy 

We’ll quickly mention that you shouldn’t just throw your podcast out to your followers and call it a day. To actually achieve the goals and success factors that you have laid out, you need to be strategic. 

Some things that you should consider are the structure of your series, quality of content, distribution platforms, and audience growth. 

For a full breakdown, check out our Ultimate Guide to Branded Podcasts

And finally, if you’re curious about different ways your brand can leverage podcasts, check out our deep-dive into uses of branded podcasts.

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!