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.
But now we get into the question, why should your brand have a podcast?
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.
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.
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.
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!
Let’s take a quick look at some brands that are doing branded podcasts well:
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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