How to Use Podcasts for Impactful Brand Storytelling

Last updated on: 
September 8, 2021

How to Use Podcasts for Impactful Brand Storytelling

Brand storytelling consists of your company cultivating a narrative around your brand that helps to connect with audiences and also inspire a desired emotional response. Brand storytelling is truly an art form that can make or break your company’s success. While many brands may make it look easy, there’s an abundance of planning, strategizing and creative thinking that goes into the creation of a great story.

The rise of podcasting has given brands one more highly effective channel through which to tell their story, spread their key messaging and convert listeners to customers. Given the flexibility and accessibility of the medium, podcasting presents an excellent opportunity for companies and individuals from virtually any background to communicate with the audience base of their choice.

Podcasting is the perfect channel for brand storytelling because it allows for content that’s much longer in duration than a blog or social media post. It’s also one of the most convenient ways to consume content because people can listen while they’re driving, walking or cleaning the house, as opposed to video. In fact, podcasts have an impressive consumption rate when compared to blogs and can hold a listener's attention 14x longer than video marketing.  

All this combined means podcasting is among one of the best ways for brands to share their stories with the world, and connect with listeners on a human-to-human level. There are plenty of different ways to go about doing this, which makes creating a podcast a creative, fun (yes, we said fun!) marketing tactic you can build with your team. 

Without further ado, here are three tips for brand storytelling through your company’s podcast:

1. Play around with format

With so much creative freedom at your fingertips through the podcasting channel, it can sometimes feel overwhelming trying to decide on just one format. When you’re first getting started with a branded podcast, it’s important to experiment with a variety of different formats so you can find what works best for your brand.

For example, you may want to try various formats like Q&A interviews, documentary style, or even just a solo monologue. Try as many different episode structures as you can to make sure you’re finding the right format based on your company’s content, messaging, and goals. 

Here are some examples of typical podcast formats to get you started:

  • Documentary style
  • Q&A guest interviews
  • Solo episodes
  • Conversational (unlike an interview, this format is more like an equal conversation between two co-hosts)
  • Panel discussions
  • Investigative 
  • Repurposed content from conferences / panel discussions

In addition to landing on the right format for your podcast, make sure you’re making use of all the resources available to you such as editing software, music, sound effects and more. These are all tools that can be extremely helpful as you create a compelling narrative around your brand.

2. Feature the right people

Whether you decide to have your company’s podcast hosted by an executive from within the organization or an outside personality like an actor or professional host, you’ll want to feature the people who are passionate about the work the company is doing, one way or another. For example, sharing at least one episode with the company’s founder (if possible) is a great way to connect with listeners and demonstrate the inspiring story behind the organization.

Ideally, the founder or high-level executives being featured on the podcast will have a compelling narrative to share about the early days of the company, the need or problem they’re solving with their products or services, and why they decided to start the organization in the first place. Depending on the industry your company is operating in, you’ll want to feature the voices of the people who are on the frontlines with their hands in the clay, doing the interesting work.

This could mean featuring researchers, scientists, designers or even engineers as guests or co-hosts on the podcast. If you are able to find an interesting person from your organization to be featured on the podcast, you may want to consider breaking up their content with insights from an engaging host or another executive who can provide context to help listeners understand the episode’s content, and put it all into layman's terms.

If B2B sales is the goal, you may also want to consider inviting new sales leads or prospects onto the podcast to build relationships. Not only can this provide interesting fodder for episodes, but it can also help you build your company’s network, strengthen key relationships, and increase sales overall.

3. Be authentic

Above all, when sharing your brand’s story in a podcast, make sure you’re being true to you, or true to your company’s overall vision and mission. One of the reasons people love podcasting as a medium is because it tends to be less curated and more human than a perfectly polished social media account for example, and people can really connect with podcasters in a visceral way.

When drafting episode plans, writing scripts or even hosting if that’s your role, be sure to speak to your particular area of expertise and share your enthusiasm for the subject. If your passion comes through in an authentic and endearing way, listeners will be more likely to empathize with you and begin to form a relationship with your content and ultimately, your brand.

To ensure your brand’s podcast remains authentic and credible, sit down with your team for a brainstorming session and ask some of the following questions:

  • What is our overall mission and aim with this podcast?
  • Who are we speaking to? Who is our ideal listener?
  • What are the subject matter areas we want to focus on?
  • What action do we want listeners to take after they’ve finished listening?
  • What is our overall key message distilled into two to three sentences?
  • What’s our “elevator pitch” for both our brand and our podcast?
  • What are the “plot points” of our company’s narrative? What are the important points we want to get across about our founder, the founding story of the company, and our overall brand vision?


Ideally, once you’ve aligned on the answers to these core questions, you’ll be better equipped to formulate thought-provoking, compelling episodes moving forward and tell your brand’s story in an effective and engaging way.


Bonus—how not to share your brand’s story in a podcast:

  • Avoid sounding sales-y or like a 30-minute infomercial. If you sound like you’re pushing your product or service too overtly in your podcast, it could do your brand more harm than good.
  • Avoid alienating certain groups or by choosing too narrow of a subject matter focus. Try broadening your horizons to ensure your tone is inclusive and representative of multiple diverse perspectives.
  • Avoid excessive bragging or praising of your own brand. While you definitely want to talk about your wins on the podcast, there’s a fine line between celebrating your success and sounding arrogant.
Platform
Price
Pro’s
Con's
Anchor

Free

  • Easy to use
  • Automatically distributes your podcast to major platforms.
  • Embed media player.
  • Great if podcasting is a
    side hobby
  • Very basic editing
  • Since it’s a free tool, you don’t have full control over the monetization of your podcast.
  • Not the right platform for people taking podcasting seriously
Buzzsprout

Free for 2 hours of content per month

$12 for 3 hours per month

$18+ for 6 hours and up

  • Very user-friendly
  • Caters to both long term and beginner podcasters
  • Advanced analytics
  • Easy distribution of your episodes
  • They measure their size requirements to hours not megabytes
  • Bonus: get a free $20 Amazon gift card when you sign up for any paid hosting plan!
  • Advanced features like dynamic ad insertion need some work
Libsyn

$5/month for Monthly Storage 50mb

  • Oldest podcast hosting site.
  • Easy distribution to major platforms and great for scaling once your podcast gets bigger.
  • Hosted over 35,000 podcasts.
  • An iTunes Podcast partner.
  • Allows you to publish your podcast to specific directories.
  • Embed media player.
  • Price is based on storage
  • 50mb storage for $5 won’t be enough if you are publishing weekly so you’ll end up with a higher price point
Podbean

Unlimited audio package: $9/month

Storage space:

Unlimited

  • Great support & customer service features
  • Unlimited audio.
  • Pages are easy to customize
  • Can schedule podcast release dates.
  • Easy to use.
  • Uploads and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions are automatic to Spotify.
  • Embed media player.
  • Simple Analytics
  • Analytics aren’t as advanced as other platforms
  • Upload and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions take a day to change on iTunes.
  • Not an iTunes podcast partner.
  • The process to send a podcast to iTunes is more tedious. But, you will still be able to get on the platform.
Blubrry

Classic

$5/month

Monthly Storage

50mb

  • Podcast Wordpress plugin and management.
  • If you want to record a new introduction or conclusion, add in a sponsored ad or upload a new version of a podcast, it doesn't count towards your storage usage per month.
  • Blubrry allows a 25% storage overage each month
  • Prices are based on storage.
  • Usability is okay.
SimpleCast

Starting: $15/month

Recommendation: $35/month

Monthly Storage: Unlimited

  • Hosts your audio files no matter what the size!
  • Dynamic insertion for podcast ads or edits.
  • Incredibly detailed analytics including number of episodes completed and listener location tracking.
  • Embed media player.
  • Easy to use.
  • Great distribution! Easy access to all major podcast platforms.
  • Customizable podcast
    website.
  • Prices are slightly higher than other platforms, but well worth it especially if you have a branded company podcast!