Explore 4 innovative ways to leverage the power of podcasts for impactful brand storytelling. From choosing the right host to selecting the perfect format, we dive into the essential components of creating an audio story that resonates.
Humans are naturally drawn to stories, and incorporating storytelling into your podcast can make it more relatable and memorable – as long as it’s authentic to your brand.
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.
In this blog, we dive into four expert-backed tips to leverage podcasting to tell your brand’s story and make an impact in the process. Stay tuned to the end for the things to avoid when telling your brand’s story and successful examples of brand storytelling in audio.
Brand storytelling is what brings together the facts and emotions that your brand evokes and embodies.
It consists of your company cultivating a narrative around your brand that helps to connect with audiences and inspire a desired emotional response. Sam Balter, the previous Senior Marketing Manager of Podcasts at HubSpot stated, “Nothing sticks in your head better than a story. Stories can express the most complicated ideas in the most digestible ways.” And he’s right.
Brand storytelling encompasses the same elements that make up a familiar story: recognizable characters, climax, rising and falling action, etc. A crucial piece of brand storytelling is that it needs to have elements to entice people and keep them interested.
The rise of podcasting has given brands a highly effective channel to tell their story, spread key messaging, and connect with audiences.
Here are a few reasons why podcasts are an effective medium to tell your brand’s story:
By fostering a sense of community and delivering valuable content, a branded podcast can create meaningful connections that go beyond the transactional nature of traditional marketing and advertising channels.
Here are a couple of reasons why branded podcasts cut through surface-level connections:
Branded podcasts offer an opportunity to forge authentic connections with your audience. Unlike traditional advertising, where messages can feel overly promotional, podcasts allow brands to engage with their listeners on a deeper level and of course, through story.
Branded podcasts have the potential to create communities around shared interests or niches. When your audience feels a sense of belonging to your podcast's community, they are more likely to engage with your content and share it with others.
With the rise of on-the-go consumption, podcasts align perfectly with changing consumer behaviors. As audiences increasingly seek convenient and on-demand content, offering engaging audio experiences on the go caters to their preferences with 79% of listeners tuning into podcasts on their cellphones.
Additionally, 71% of people say that their primary motivator for listening to podcasts is that they allow listeners to multitask. Only 15% of podcast listeners consume audio content when “relaxing” or “doing nothing in particular.” The vast majority listen to podcasts while they’re doing housework (59%), driving (52%) or cooking/baking (50%).
Can you do that with videos, blogs, or social media? Of course not.
Podcasts serve as a powerful platform for giving your company a distinctive voice and showcasing your brand personality. Through podcasts, you can effectively introduce the individuals who form the backbone of your brand and highlight the core values that define your identity.
This is particularly significant for brands, considering that audiences get a glimpse of the faces and voices behind a company. Therefore, podcasts play a crucial role in reintroducing the human element to your brand, increasing brand perception, and forging a meaningful connection with your targeted audience.
Unlike other marketing channels, podcasts create a space for guests to share their stories, opinions, and experiences, making the listeners feel like they are part of an authentic conversation that goes beyond surface-level engagement.
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, engaging, and fun marketing tactic to build with your team.
Without further ado, here are five tips for brand storytelling through your company’s podcast:
As the medium continues to evolve, new formats constantly emerge, providing creators and listeners alike with endless possibilities for innovative and thought-provoking experiences. Here’s a glance at the most popular branded podcast formats
Each format brings its own unique style, structure, and purpose, offering listeners an immersive experience that resonates with their tastes. So don’t shy away from trying different formats and seeing which helps convey your brand’s story most effectively.
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.
Remember to leverage the available resources, such as editing software, music, and sound effects, to enhance the storytelling experience. These tools can elevate your podcast, creating a captivating narrative that keeps your audience coming back for more.
Quill Tip: If you’re interested in learning more about the 8 most popular podcast formats and how to choose the right one to display your brand’s story, check out our full guide.
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 industry leader, 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.
Whether or not you choose to hire a professional host or opt to choose a host (or hosts) from within your company, you’ll want to think about what value they’ll provide listeners.
Here are some pros to choosing an internal host:
Company executives will likely be able to share compelling and engaging stories 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.
Through engaging and informative podcast content, companies can position themselves as industry experts and thought leaders. Consistently delivering valuable insights, interviews with industry leaders, or thought-provoking discussions helps establish credibility. This expertise elevates the brand's reputation and sets it apart as a go-to source for information in the field.
Ideally, your executives or founder will have a robust network of other industry professionals or top-tier prospects that you can invite to your podcast. This not only adds layers to your brand’s story to paint a more complete picture but also strengthens your industry relationships.
Conversely, if you decide to go with a professional host, you’ll benefit from:
In short, this isn’t their first rodeo. Professional podcast hosts know how to engage audiences, level out their tone of voice, and think of the right questions to ask to keep the conversation going.
On top of that, a seasoned host exudes confidence and authority, instilling trust in the audience. This can enhance your brand's credibility and make a positive impression on listeners.
If you’re an avid podcast listener, you know that a host (oftentimes) can make or break a show. If audiences already know and love your host, they’ll be more likely to tune into your show purely on that basis. Bonus points if you choose a professional host within your niche, because if audiences like their style, insights, and content, your brand can piggyback off that success and recognition.
Depending on your industry, your internal host will likely require a bit of coaching and training to feel comfortable behind the microphone, but you won’t need to worry about this with a professional host.
On top of that, people at your company are very busy and may not have the time to dedicate to hosting a podcast. It’s not just about sitting down and chatting for 30 minutes to an hour, creating an impactful podcast requires a lot of preparation – from ideation and scripting to recording and editing.
Ideally, your host should be someone from within your company who is a thought-leader, brand advocate, and well-versed in your industry/niche. However, we understand that this isn’t always possible given time constraints.
If that’s the case, we suggest opting for a well-respected and recognized industry leader who understands your industry, brand, and target audience.
While interview-style podcasts are the most popular, this doesn’t mean that people will automatically tune into any conversation. While guests don’t need to be celebrities to attract listenership (although this certainly does help), you do need to ensure that you’re inviting guests who provide value to your target audience.
As a general rule, branded podcast guests should:
On top of that, don’t be afraid to add your own stories with the guest. How did you meet them? Are there any quirky stories you have about them? Is there something personal you can relate to? Listeners (and guests) love this.
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 content for episodes, but it can also help you build your company’s network, strengthen key relationships, and increase sales overall.
When deciding how to frame your brand’s story, remember that authenticity is paramount — today's consumers are discerning and can quickly spot insincerity. Therefore, the stories shared through branded podcasts must be authentic and unique to your brand.
Authenticity goes beyond surface-level engagement; it touches the emotions of your listeners. Ensure your podcast provides a range of emotional experiences, including moments of laughter, curiosity, joy, and even sadness.
When drafting episode plans, writing scripts, or even hosting, be sure to speak to your particular area of expertise and share your enthusiasm for the subject. If your passion comes through authentically, listeners will be more likely to empathize with you and form a relationship with your content and ultimately, your brand.
To ensure your branded podcast remains authentic and credible, sit down with your team for a brainstorming session and ask some of the following questions:
Ideally, once you’ve aligned on the answers to these core questions, you’ll be better equipped to formulate compelling episodes moving forward, tell your brand’s story effectively, and extend this level of enthusiasm and comforability with your guests.
By fostering a relaxed and conversational environment, you create space for guests to share their stories, opinions, and experiences, making the listeners feel like they are part of a conversation.
Create an atmosphere where it's okay to express vulnerability and explore meaningful topics. By evoking genuine emotions, you connect with your audience on a deeper level, leaving a lasting impact.
Quill Tip: If all of these steps are feeling a bit overwhelming, we get it. That’s why we suggest partnering with a full-service podcast agency to leverage their expertise, connections, and ultimately, save your team valuable time and resources. Check out our full guide to see how a podcast agency can help bring your brand story to life.
While all of the above tips are extremely valuable for creating a brand story through podcasting that resonates, equally as important is understanding what to avoid.
Here are some things we suggest staying clear of:
Not Just Fluff is a podcast tailored for pet parents seeking top-tier care and understanding for their four-legged friends. The show provides actionable tips and smart advice from pet professionals who understand pet care.
The podcast uses emotion-driven storytelling to touch the hearts of pet parents, addressing common myths, offering practical solutions, and exploring the very questions that keep every pet lover up at night.
The show’s tone is approachable, friendly, and informal, but that doesn’t take away from the Hospital’s expertise in the pet care space. With access to resources and cutting-edge data, they are eager to share with fellow animal lovers, they offer listeners an open and welcoming atmosphere that invites us all to become better informed and engaged.
The Beat, created by Canada’s go-to resource for information on heart disease and stroke, is for everyone who is living with heart disease or stroke, is caring for someone who is, or is simply on a journey to better health. Featuring expert guests, inspiring personal stories, and new insights about heart and brain health, The Beat bridges cutting-edge science with the realities of living with these diseases.
Blending expert advice from leading physicians and real patient stories, the podcast needed to educate and inform, while making use of emotive storytelling to connect with their audience. Each episode needed to provide insightful, expert knowledge while telling a moving story about how heart disease and stroke affect people every day.
Branded podcasts allow companies to craft their narrative and showcase their personality authentically. By sharing stories, insights, and values through audio content, brands can create a distinct voice that resonates with their audience. This unique storytelling sets them apart, fostering a deeper emotional connection that competitors might struggle to emulate.
If you’re looking to leverage the help of a full-service podcast agency to bring your brand story to life, reach out to the Quill team.
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