The brand podcast: a company’s well-intentioned (yet often muddled) foray into the world of podcasting. But when done right (and for the right reasons), branded podcasts can be a beloved pillar of the brand, bringing it more engaged audiences, material for future marketing content, and even a new source of revenue.
We’ve built Season 4 of our Casted podcast around leaders of companies that are currently #winning in the branded podcast space. With marketing expertise and passion for authentic content, these trailblazers understand the importance (and potential) of making a podcast a critical part of your podcast strategy. (If you’re looking for podcasting wisdom, these are the folks you’ll want to listen to.)
Lola.com: Make a Brand Impression
Lola.com CEO Mike Volpe has been in podcasting since the industry first got its start. As the pioneer of shows like HubSpot TV (which was more like a modern podcast), The Growth Show, Cybereason’s Malicious Life Podcast, and now Lola’s Agile Operations Podcast, Mike has seen it all. But one lesson that stands out to him is the ability for podcasts to generate an impactful brand impression that grows audiences and engages listeners.
“Never assume that something is boring,” says Mike. “Because to the right person, everything is interesting. You just have to find someone who’s passionate about it.”
Brands have personalities, and podcasts can bring that personality to life. While blogs and whitepapers are still important mechanisms for sharing education and driving leads, they can’t touch podcasting when it comes to humanizing a brand and building relationships. Whereas readers are only vaguely aware of a periodical’s author, podcast audiences build personal connections through hosts that make a lasting impression. In fact, the one-on-one feel of podcasts typically makes listeners see hosts as more likeable and trustworthy.
Privy: Use Podcasting as a Brand Anchor
If you’re thinking of trying your hand at corporate podcasting, we’re big believers of going all in. That doesn’t just mean producing a kick-butt show. It also means securing your podcast as a pillar of your marketing strategy and anchor of your brand.
Dave Gerhardt, CMO of Privy, believes in this concept so much that podcasting is his go-to tactic for brand development.
“I think it’s the most important piece of a brand opening strategy, not an overall marketing strategy,” he says. “Your podcast is not going to be a direct response marketing channel (at least in the early days), but from a brand-building standpoint, it’s the number one strategy.”
Even just one episode can fuel other marketing content for months to come. Do you record your episodes on video? Even better! Further, Dave believes podcasting is a niche medium that allows storytellers to go deeper on unique topics and build more profound connections. To him, podcasting is more accessible, intimate, and versatile than any other channel, allowing you to build connections like never before.
HubSpot: Identify Your Purpose
Sometimes, companies will start a podcast without first establishing a purpose or what their audience is looking for. But not having a goal or narrow focus is a huge no-no that could lead to early losses.
“Too many brands start a podcast without knowing why,” says Meghan Keaney Anderson, VP of Marketing at HubSpot. “Podcasting is hard enough to grow without knowing why you’re growing it.”
HubSpot is widely known for its expertise in inbound marketing — and developing authentic, tailored podcast content is no exception. That’s why the brand now has five podcasts under its umbrella, each with its own purpose and strategy.
When considering what purpose your podcast fulfills, ponder this:
What need are you filling? What distinct problem(s) are you solving?
Can your listeners get the same content anywhere else?
Do you have a fresh take, or are you largely repurposing what’s already been said?
PERQ: Let Podcasts Fuel Other Marketing Content
Know any other profession that records live interviews? Of course, the age-old reporter. A former reporter, PERQ’s Director of Content was used to interviewing experts and spinning them into other pieces of content for the brand. To Muhammad Yasin, Executive Vice President of Marketing at PERQ, this tactic makes perfect sense.
“It’s a lot of work to create a piece of content, and one of the reasons that I love podcasting in particular is it allows for some of these organic conversations to happen,” he says. “You end up with a much more authentic piece of content that you can use on the back end to write blogs...for weeks or months sometimes.”
Muhammed’s team uses podcasts to fuel a plethora of content — and you can, too. This might include:
Transcripts and audio to give to the content manager
New themes/topics for future campaigns and content
Audiograms for social media
Snippets for postable images
BombBomb: Give Your Brand a Voice
Getting noticed. It’s the constant thorn in the marketer’s side. Brands must figure out how to rise above the noise of thousands of channels, entertainment, and marketing messages of other companies. So what’s the trick?
First, you have to look at who consumers listen to most: their friends and family. If you can relate to listeners on a personal level and give a voice to your brand through the voices of your podcast hosts, people will be more likely to listen and take action.
“If someone is connected to five BombBomb team members on LinkedIn, they know a lot more about us than they would ever learn from following BombBomb on LinkedIn,” says Ethan Beute, Chief Evangelist at BombBomb. “This idea of the personal brand as the face and the personality [of the company]...it’s so much more open, it’s guard-down, it’s just conversational.”
If you have a branded podcast or are thinking about starting one, don’t anticipate a “quick win” just to compete with the efforts of other companies. As complex and nuanced as brands are, developing a strategy that identifies all facets of your podcast before you begin will set you up for greater, more rewarding success in the future. If there’s anything you can glean from these five industry gurus, it’s this: podcasts hold major potential for your brand.
You focus on the strategy, and leave the promotion to us. At Casted, we’re marketers who understand that promoting a podcast is equal parts ideation and execution. We’re here to help you access, amplify, and attribute every single episode you produce so you can spend more time strategizing your next brilliant move. Let us show you how it works today with a quick demo.