16 Pro Tips For Creating A Successful Branded Podcast
Given their ever-increasing popularity among consumers, podcasts offer a great way for businesses to reach people in their target markets with content that can help improve their brand awareness, recall and reputation. Of course, proper planning is essential in launching a podcast to ensure it will be effective in meeting the brand’s goals for it.
From not staying on-brand or marketing it well enough to pushing out content at an inconsistent cadence, there are many ways a brand can falter when trying to create a podcast. Here, 16 members of Forbes Agency Council share their No. 1 tips to create a successful branded podcast.
1. Do Your Homework
What other podcasts exist that would compete with your plan? Determine how you can differentiate your podcast from those. Know your audience and what will entice them and make them stay. Build your plan with this in mind at every step of the way. Establish an editorial calendar for ten episodes, book your guests and market the current and upcoming episodes.
2. Understand Your ‘Why’
Before you think about format or audience, figure out why you want to start a podcast in the first place and why others would care. Reasons to start a podcast may include inspiring others, providing education, highlighting customers or engaging prospects. Once you understand your “why,” work next on how you will cut through the noise and provide value to listeners.
3. Have A Game Plan Mapped Out In Advance
The branded podcast space is a crowded one, and to truly stand out, your message, branding, content and promotional materials have to all be on point. I suggest mapping out your game plan well in advance and having at least ten episodes recorded before going live.
4. Prepare A Few Months’ Worth Of Podcasts
Make sure you have a few months’ worth of podcasts “in the bag” before you launch. There’s nothing like announcing a new podcast and then having it fizzle out because guests had to cancel or postpone or because you became busy with other priorities. Once you launch, you want to create strong momentum to gain a good following and keep the buzz going.
5. Start True, Build True And Market True
Everything you do for your podcast—from the guests you recruit to the way you market it—should ring true to your brand’s personality. Most podcasts get the big stuff right, but as with brand experience itself, it’s the small details that matter. Plot out every aspect of your podcast and see if they line up with your brand. If not, it needs to change.
6. Don’t Stick Too Rigidly To An Outline
Planning out too much and then trying to stick to the plan is a mistake. Having an outline or bullet points is fine, but when it’s time to record, you never want to lose the authentic interactions of the people involved. Your audience wants to be informed. They want real value, but they also want the real you.
7. Post New Episodes On Tuesdays Or Wednesdays
Record podcasts that are between 20 and 30 minutes long. Aim to publish new episodes at least once a week and, if you can, try to post on Tuesday or Wednesday. Learn from the professionals whenever you can!
8. Show What Your Brand Stands For
Launching a podcast is trivial, but successfully building a following as a podcast creator—especially as a brand—is still hard. If you’re launching a podcast as a brand, it’s important that you think about not only who your audience is and what they care about but also what your brand stands for and how the podcast shows that. In the end, your podcast will show people who your brand is.
9. Focus On Delivering Value To Your Listeners
So many podcast hosts approach their time in front of the microphone selfishly, presiding over a loose format and engaging in mindless small talk. Respect your audience’s time by getting to the point and presenting information that listeners can apply to their careers. Show prep, editing, rehearsal and continual evaluation will produce a better podcast.
10. Broadcast Around Your Brand Values
Your values are the stuff that you and your team live by and what first drew in your clientele. To expand on that with a new podcast, curate topics, guests and products that have a natural synergy with your brand’s core values. For example, if you’re a story-centric brand for small businesses, be laser-focused on guests who are budding leaders with tales to share!
11. Pay Close Attention To The Key Metrics
When branding for a podcast, you need to make sure the content is engaging. Watch time is a massively important metric when it comes to a podcast’s success. Many brands aim for revenue to be the success driver or the reason to start a podcast. Truthfully, it’ll take time to see a return on a podcast, so the key metrics should be the number of viewers and listeners and the value you deliver that drives others toward listening.
12. Partner With Creators In Similar Spaces
Collaborate with others who are in similar industries. One of the greatest ways to grow your podcast channel while still staying on-brand is collaborating with other content creators. This can also yield the benefit of a built-in audience from the partner collaborator.
13. Be Consistent And Post When You Say You Will
There are two objectives you need to meet for a successfully branded podcast. One is consistency. Your audience needs to know who you are and when you film your shows. Don’t book a guest or discuss a topic that will seem too far “out of the box” from what your listeners want to hear from you. Also, be sure to announce when you will post your new shows, and stay true to that promise.
14. Pay Attention To Audience Feedback
My tip for a successful branded podcast—or a successful branded anything, really—is to pay attention to the feedback. Really pay attention; listen and observe how the audience is reacting. If you’re not getting traction, there’s a reason. If your listeners are confused, there’s a reason. Don’t ignore audiences or assume that things are clearly communicated just because you understand it.
15. Partner With An Established Network
Sometimes, it’s better to partner with an established network instead of trying to build your own show from scratch. Align with recognized leaders in your industry and open the conversation to a broader set of listeners while promoting it via your own CRM campaigns. Once you have a steady base, you can transition to hosting on your own with a dynamic audience and proven utility.
16. Keep It Simple
Many people overcomplicate things, making it absolutely impossible to get a hold of every production process. Don’t start with a full-blown studio if you have no experience running one. My advice is to start small, master the process, make sure it’s consistent, then add more features as your team gains more knowledge and confidence.