More and more brands have started podcasts – including in the market research space. So the questions arise:
- Do you need a branded podcast
- How do you make it a success?
To discuss the topic, Host Jennifer Mancusi is joined by Lara Varlamova, B2B consulting partner at Poddster and an expert in B2B podcasting. Poddster is a leading podcasting studio in Dubai where about 500 creators and B2B companies are recording their successful shows.
Join us to learn what’s involved in making your company’s podcast a success.
A branded podcast drives results for companies, but there is a method to the madness so to speak. We’re discussing some of that in this episode of the “Marketing, Demystified” podcast, and you can also download our checklist on how to get started correctly.
At the core, a branded podcast is basically just a podcast that is run by a company. The company shares valuable information in an audio format. For example, this podcast is a branded podcast by a growth marketing firm. On the podcast, we talk to experts in the field and fields related to driving growth through marketing.
Podcasts are a great way to connect with audiences because they’re very conversational and people can listen while they’re doing other things. But also keep in mind that more and more people now want to watch podcasts. This is especially true with the emergence of YouTube as a podcast network in Spotify publishing video. Live stream video versions also play a factor.
The Benefits of Starting a Branded Podcast
When asked why a company should launch a branded podcast, Lara outlines several key benefits:
Reach new audiences. With the rise of podcast platforms, starting a podcast opens up potential new listeners that your brand likely wouldn’t reach otherwise. Even if a company already has an audience, a podcast format allows you to expand and diversify that audience.
Position as a thought leader. Podcasting allows you to showcase your expertise and thought leadership. By starting smart conversations, you demonstrate that your company has vision and insight worth sharing.
Build your brand narrative. While you may already have an overarching brand message, podcasting offers a platform to tell your brand’s story from different voices and angles. It’s an opportunity to make that narrative feel more personal.
Foster community. When you feature guests on your podcast and facilitate insightful conversations, you bring together people interested in your niche. This helps build a sense of community and gives listeners a way to engage with your brand values.
As Lara summarizes, “it builds a community around your brand.”
Making the Decision
While the benefits are clear for individual podcasters sharing their message, the decision involves more complexity for an established business with existing processes and programs. As Lara says, launching a business podcast is “probably a much bigger decision.” She advises assessing goals, audience, positioning, and resources to determine if and how podcasting aligns.
Starting a podcast may also feel daunting given the commitment required for ongoing planning, production, distribution, and promotion. This long-term investment signals why it’s smart to partner with an agency when first launching a branded podcast. Lara explains that an expert partner helps conceptualize your show, ensures consistency, and enables you to understand “where you’re moving with this particular format” before building full in-house capacity.
Launching and Producing a Business Podcast
We break podcast creation into three core stages:
Ideation and Conceptualization
This initial planning phase involves defining your target audience, goals, potential guest profiles, show formats, name, creative branding and more. While you may start with general brand awareness goals, one benefit of podcasting is the ability to adjust over time as you learn more about your listeners’ interests.
Once the concept is set, you need the technical setup and workflows to actually record episodes. Options range from a basic virtual recording setup to more advanced equipment for studio recordings. Lara suggests that partnering with a production company helps ensure consistency while allowing the flexibility to occasionally record special episodes in a high-end studio environment.
Ongoing production also requires coordinating schedules, planning episode topics and formats, booking and preparing guests, conducting pre-interviews, and allowing input from other internal teams.
Post-Production and Distribution
After recording episodes, partners can assist with distribution. You also have to decide how to distribute your podcast across various platforms to maximize reach. Finally, repurposing recorded conversations as micro-content across blogs, social media and other channels reinforces overall content strategy.
Making Your Branded Podcast Successful
So, how do you actually make it a hit? Lara has several recommendations:
Start simple. She advises new podcasters to simply “switch on the camera, put on the microphones, invite the first guest and record the first episode.” Develop the name, branding and positioning over time. Starting is most important.
Have a dedicated owner. Within a company, have a single owner responsible for the podcast. This gives needed authority to make decisions and proper bandwidth amidst other commitments. Don’t just make it an “additional” activity.
Plan ahead. Identify interesting guests and schedule recordings well in advance to ensure consistency. Life happens, but planning helps avoid unexpected gaps.
Track leading indicators. Initially focus on engagement rate, social shares, positive referrals and other signs of audience interest instead of hard commercial metrics. Set proper expectations around the pace of business results.
Adjust as needed. Consistently review topics and guest profiles to ensure you provide relevant insights audiences want to hear. Tweak based on listener feedback.
Stay motivated. Connect the show to company values and missions that resonate internally and feel authentic. This intrinsic motivation keeps teams engaged long-term.
Results to Expect
While hoping for direct monetization or lead generation, companies need to be patient. Lara stresses that podcasting is a “long-term game.” However, the amplification effect of exposing your brand through new conversations drives more immediate impacts:
- Audience engagement goes up across social channels as fans react to new show formats
- Increased positive word of mouth and referrals start new partnership conversations
- Speaking opportunities, guest appearances on other shows and media coverage all raise visibility
- Thought leadership positioning strengthened by facilitating insightful discussions
Over time, growing loyal listenership leads to monetization. But Lara sets expectations around episode 30-40 before brands can expect these direct monetization outcomes.
In summary, branded podcasts clearly offer tremendous value, but only if companies put in the effort and resources required to produce episodes consistently over the long haul.