How to Successfully use Podcasting for Your BrandJune 03, 2020
Podcasts are the new medium in digital advertising. Podcast usage is growing steadily as more audio-first gadgets, devices, and platforms are finding their way into people’s homes. This brings about new possibilities for effective advertising. A series of Nielsen studies recently showed that podcast consumers are more likely to remember brands and product names than if they have been exposed to them through visual advertisements.
The research suggests that podcasts are facing a bright future where they will both become more popular than ever, but also have more to offer in terms of revenue. If you are a podcast producer or a brand looking to make the most of the possibilities presented by podcasts as a profitable advertisement platform, you need to focus on creating a successful podcast.
The road to a profitable podcast brand depends on three factors. If you want to grow your audience, these are the building blocks.
Pick a topic that complements your brand
The general podcast audience consists on average of well-educated consumers who enjoy listening to engaging conversations and stories about interesting topics. When you create a podcast to promote your company, you shouldn’t make it sound too promotional. No one wants to spend half an hour listening to a company ad. Instead your podcast needs to bring something new to the table. A podcast which goes beyond the company walls and shares insights from behind-the-scenes will have a better chance of appealing to listeners.
A way to produce a compelling podcast for a company might be to host discussions on company cultures, modern work life, and challenges for that particular industry. Rather than doing simple self-promotion, a company can create new interest among consumers by sharing real insights and educating their listeners. This can also work to highlight the strengths of the business and showcase individual success stories, which again are easier to relate to and can make the listeners connect with the company brand.
By inviting experts in the field to participate in debates and discussions, you can generate positive impressions by showcasing your company as someone who provides solutions.
If on the other hand you are sponsoring a podcast that is produced independently of your company, you are using the integrity and appeal of the podcast host to shine a positive light on your brand. For the listeners to connect to your brand, your company’s services and products should connect to the theme of the podcast in a meaningful way. That way the show will be happy to endorse you and your brand is more likely to get positive recognition from the audience.
No matter whether you choose to produce or sponsor a podcast, you need to focus on providing quality and connection with the listeners. Advertising must be meaningful and add real value to the target audience. The strength of podcasting lies in its ability to engage listeners through storytelling and audio interactions centered on powerful themes and topics. If your brand can take ownership of a topic and connect with your target group, you can build positive recognition and establish your position as a strong industry name.
Choose the right voice for your brand
It is important to establish the correct tone of voice. Perhaps you have one in your organization that has the skills, or you could use a skilled journalist that has the right tone of voice reflecting your brand. Another way is using an influencer to advertise your products or services. It can be a powerful marketing tool and a great return on investment. However, you need to pick the podcast provider or influencer with care, since their brand might not match yours in the long term. You have to be aware of the fact that by using an influencer, who by default has a following because of his or her unique personal style, you are essentially giving up control. You will have a limited influence on how your brand will be presented, so you need to consider if the influencer’s unique and personified style will work well with how you want to communicate to your target group.
Ask yourself if the influencer will be able to connect with the right audience. As an example, you can consider if the podcast provider’s tone of voice matches the emotions you want associated with your brand. If you are looking to promote lighthearted appeal, then consider someone whose voice has a slightly high vocal register. If you are looking to create sympathy and enthusiasm, a youthful voice is appropriate, while an older-sounding voice can be the best choice if you want your audience to connect your brand to a wise authority figure or someone who provides sound advice.
As a rule of thumb, you should seek out a podcast provider whose tone of narration can match the way you would normally communicate with stakeholders or clients. You should use a tone of voice that is consistent with your other forms of communication, be it the recorded voice from customer support, voice-overs used in other ads, and even the written tone of voice used in your company’s copywriting. If you don’t already have one, it’s a good idea to create a guideline for your brand voice so you can ensure consistent use, not just in podcast advertising, but in all communication with your target groups.
Sound quality is everything
The most important rule when it comes to successful branding through podcasts is of course the actual production. Since audio is your chosen medium, you need to provide good audio quality. A podcast should be easy to listen to with a natural sound flow to get a positive reception. It should go without saying that bad sound quality and design will get a negative reception and can thereby hurt your brand by weakening its credibility.
Listening to podcasts should feel easy and pleasant, and the intimate nature of podcasting can provide a subtle yet effective transition to branded information. The listeners are drawn into the conversation and can feel almost a part of it, which provides a strong platform for your brand to connect with them. If you are simply sponsoring an external podcast, usually you don’t need to worry about quality. However, if you are producing the podcast yourself, you need to invest in the right equipment and have a solid knowledge of the sound design and technical aspects of podcasting to create a profound audio experience that will engage your listeners.
To build your authority and value as a brand through podcasting, your overall focus should be on sound and production quality, using the right tone of voice, and discuss topics that can provide value to your target audience. By advocating the core values of your brand in a way that creates trust and engagement among the listeners, you have the best chance of succeeding.