Podcast Trends

5 Ways to Build Your Podcast’s Brand

Last updated on: 
January 22, 2024

Explore why treating your podcast as its own brand is essential for success in the competitive podcasting landscape. Dive into this insightful guide for expert tips on crafting a distinct podcast identity that resonates with your audience and sets your show apart.

In today’s marketing ecosystem, everything has a brand. 

I’m not just talking about the latest tech product or your favorite midnight snack. I’m speaking about thought-leaders, influencers, bloggers – even your own personal brand that keeps you from posting a TikTok dance you don’t want your coworkers to see. 

Branding in itself is in no way a new phenomenon. Let’s go back over 150 years and look at Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Their name might not stand out to you, but have you heard the phrases “ "there is no such thing as bad publicity" and "there’s a sucker born every minute?" Well, they were coined by the founder of the circus, P.T. Barnum. 

Apart from a few quotable lines, P.T. Barnum and his circus were at the forefront of guerilla marketing and PR before those tactics existed. They would advertise with posters that were nearly larger than life or actual paintings on barns. Notably, the circus executed one of the first documented examples of (successful) experimental marketing:

The Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883. Barnum took this as an opportunity to showcase his circus to the world by leading his circus elephants across it.

He was initially turned down, as you may have expected, but a year later 21 elephants and 17 camels crossed the Brooklyn Bridge. In 2004, The New York Times commemorated the scene on its cover and likened the campaign to “Noah’s ark emptying itself over Long Island." 

While that was certainly the circus’ most notable branding endeavor, here are a couple of posters from the circus’ heyday:

Needless to say, branding has changed a lot since then. 

But how exactly does this branding conversation tie into corporate podcasting?

From the start, we encourage all of our clients to think of podcasts as brands that live within the larger scope of your company’s brand. Don’t worry, we’ll dive into why throughout this article, but remember, podcasts are unique and they deserve a unique place in your company. 

In this blog post, we’ll outline why we believe podcasts need a brand of their own and how to create your series’ brand identity without falling into the trap of an overly sales-orientated show. 

Plus, we’ll run through 5 ways you can kickstart developing your show’s unique brand.

Why does your podcast need a brand?

Crafting a distinct brand for your podcast is essential in today's saturated podcast landscape. With over 2.5 million shows on Apple Podcasts and increasing competition from major players like Spotify, establishing a strong podcast brand identity becomes paramount. 

Much like investing in creating memorable logos and catchy jingles, your podcast's brand assets are extensions of your brand's values and essence. These elements not only communicate your podcast's strengths but also make it more memorable and engaging. They become shorthand for your brand, facilitating recognition and resonance among your audience across various platforms, from social media to merchandise.

A robust brand identity opens doors for brand extensions, such as merchandise, exclusive content deals, or in-person or online events, which not only deepen audience engagement but can also generate supplementary revenue streams. These extensions create opportunities for listeners to show their loyalty to your podcast, fostering a stronger sense of community and connection. 

For example, Call Her Daddy’s Alex Cooper, the most listened to female podcaster on Spotify, has launched her network, Unwell, and signed top influencers, Alix Earle and Madeline Argy. The Unwell tour is currently underway, selling out stadiums and merch tents across North America. 

In essence, treating your podcast's own brand is more than just creating a visual identity or a catchy tagline—it's about creating a distinct personality that resonates with your audience, creating loyalty, recognition, and a better ROI.

Using a branded podcast as a sales tool

When it comes to branded podcasts, something that we always steer clear of is a podcast that is overly sales-y. I’ve never met a listener who has opted into listening to a 30-minute infomercial – they didn’t tune into the shopping channel for a reason. 

The art of branding really comes down to being able to create a series that is tied to your brand but in a clever and subtle way. 

For example, pretend you’re a marketer at a mattress company and are looking to start a branded podcast. Instead of sitting in front of a microphone and talking about why your mattresses are the best on the market, release a series about sleep disorders. You can bring on doctors, experts, and individuals who suffer from sleeping disorders, like insomnia or sleep apnea. The goal of the series can be to help everyone get better sleep – one bed at a time. 

Instead of creating an infomercial without the bad acting, the new podcast concept about sleep disorders relates to your brand in a more subtle and impactful way. Put a comment in the intro or outro that says “powered by *your mattress company*” and feature a small logo in your cover art – that’s all you really need to have to let listeners know who you are and associate your business with your branded podcast. 

How to build a brand for your podcast series

Now that we’ve laid out how your podcast is tied to your brand, it’s time to start building a unique brand for your series.

When you only see your podcast as another marketing medium for your brand, you might rub listeners the wrong way because they don’t want a sales pitch. A successful podcast is a brand of its own, its own voice, identity, and mission. Yes, it can (and should) be tied to your brand like we described above, but it’s also its own standalone entity. 

Here are some ways you can help build your podcast’s brand:

1. Name

With over 5 million podcasts out there, a unique and catchy name is essential to make your show stand out in the crowd. 

Your branded podcast’s name not only captures the essence of your show but also sparks curiosity and leaves a lasting impression on potential listeners. 

Let’s go back to that podcast about insomnia for your mattress company. When you’re creating it, it’ll have a name of its own. Maybe we call it “Slip Into Slumber”. Now this marketing channel has its own name. Aside from newsletters or YouTube channels, can you think of other marketing tactics that do this? 

Here are some tips in mind when it comes to naming your show:

Reflect on your podcast's purpose

Your podcast's name should clearly communicate what the show is about. It should reflect your content's core theme and value proposition. Consider what your brand represents, the message you want to convey, and the emotions you wish to evoke in your listeners. 

Keep it short and memorable

Short and catchy names are more likely to stick in the minds of listeners. Avoid long, complicated titles that are difficult to remember or pronounce.  We suggest saying the podcast name out loud several times to see how it sounds.

Conduct keyword research

Explore relevant keywords associated with your podcast's niche. Understand common search terms used by your target audience. Integrate these keywords seamlessly into the name to enhance discoverability across podcast directories and search engines.

Check for trademark and domain availability

You can use resources like the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website to search for existing trademarks. Additionally, search podcast platforms to confirm your podcast name isn’t already taken. 

Consider your target audience

Understanding your target audience is crucial in creating a podcast name that resonates with them. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what would catch their attention and make them want to listen.

Here are some free podcast name generators to help you brainstorm: 

Alternatively, tools like ChatGPT should do the trick. If you’re working with a podcast agency, they should also be assisting you or managing the naming process. 

2. Cover art

Your branded podcast’s cover art is a distinctive brand marker that entices potential listeners and distinguishes your podcast in the increasingly competitive audio landscape. Often times your cover is the first thing listeners will notice, so creating a design that reflects the quality and content of your show is crucial in leaving a lasting impression.

There are lots of ways to go about designing your podcast’s cover art. Many solo discussions or interview shows leverage cover art featuring hosts' photos, establishing an immediate connection between the audience and the personalities behind the microphone. 

Equally, many brands collaborate with an artist to design a cover that symbolizes your show's themes or elements in a more abstract way.

However, it's crucial to strike a balance between creativity and practicality. Consider the fact that most listeners access podcasts on mobile devices, where cover art often appears as a small thumbnail. Intricate details might get lost in this tiny space; therefore, aim for a design that remains visually compelling even in a minimized format.

For example, Amdocs’ Is it Choice or Chance cover has enough contrast to make your text and design elements easily readable and recognizable. It is both clear and captivating, so it stands out on listening apps while still reflecting Amdocs as a company.

Ultimately, your podcast cover art serves as an extension of your brand identity. Ensure it resonates with your audience, represents your content accurately, and most importantly, sparks curiosity and interest, prompting listeners to hit “play”.

3. Audio branding

It's not just about the content; it's about how it sounds. 

Just like a well-designed logo or consistent color scheme helps to visually identify a brand, you can think of a podcast’s intro, outro, and all the sonic elements in between as its auditory logo that contributes to the unique identity of a podcast. 

Consider the iconic piano notes that open Serial. Even though many of us have not listened to the show again since its release, the familiar high-pitched taps of the piano keys overlaid with the muffled telephone audio “This is a Global Tel Link prepaid call from Adnan Syed” teleports us right back to the podcast that some argue “started it all.” 

Think of Radiolab with its eclectic, almost eccentric audio identity, perfectly mirroring the captivating scientific revelations it showcases. And then there's the chaotic overlay of news segments and background music in Swindled, which prepares listeners for the intensity of the stories it’s going to cover. 

These examples highlight the power of audio in shaping a podcast's unique identity. Crafting an audio brand—through music, sound effects, and pacing—is a strategic move that goes beyond entertainment. It creates a distinct auditory landscape that listeners anticipate and eagerly revisit. 

Quill Tip: If you’re looking to create a unique audio brand for your show that resonates, check out our article where we dive into the psychology of audio branding and tangible tips on how to create your own sonic identity. 

4. Podcast landing pages

First things first – what are podcast landing pages?

A landing page is a place for all things related to your podcast to live. 

It’s a hub where listeners can find out how to listen to your show, resources you’ve mentioned in an episode, where to contact you, and find supporting content like blogs, infographics, and other material

To get a sense of what we mean, here’s an example of Expedia’s Powering Travel podcast landing page:

We love it because it’s easily navigable, skimmable, and reflects the podcast’s brand through its color scheme, imagery, and copy.

Apart from strengthening your podcast’s brand, there are quite a few reasons why we suggest all of our clients have a podcast landing page:

  • SEO: Finding a podcast online without a landing page can be quite difficult and you want users to be able to listen to your show as easily as possible. By posting keyword-optimized content like blogs, transcripts, and episode details, you increase your podcast’s reach and visibility on search engines.
  • Accessibility: By providing transcripts of your podcast on your page, you allow audiences with different consumption habits or accessibility needs to easily tune into your show.
  • Listener experience: For dedicated listeners or new listeners wanting to get a better feel for your show, your podcast landing page is a great place for them to find everything they need. Whether it’s related blog posts, transcripts, or community forums, you can strengthen the sense of community and generate buzz around your show easily by keeping an up-to-date and on-brand podcast landing page. 

Quill Tip: Our producers get a lot of questions from clients about best practices for their show’s landing page. If you’re wondering what your podcast’s landing page should look like and what content it should contain, check out our producer’s guide to podcast landing pages

5. Podcast-specific marketing strategy 

Launching a podcast isn't just about hitting "record" and hoping for the best. It's about crafting a holistic strategy that not only produces captivating content but also ensures that content reaches the right audience

Here’s where a distinct podcast marketing strategy comes in. You can think of it as a roadmap to amplify your podcast's distinct brand identity and reach your ideal audience.

Here are some channels and tactics that you can integrate into your wider podcast marketing strategy:

  • Create separate social channels: Establish dedicated social media profiles solely focused on your podcast. Leverage platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to share engaging content, behind-the-scenes snippets, episode teasers, and listener interactions. This ensures your podcast maintains a consistent presence without getting lost within your brand's main channels.
  • Curate newsletters: Craft newsletters centered specifically around your podcast. Provide subscribers with exclusive content, episode highlights, guest insights, and additional information that complements each episode. This personalized communication helps nurture a loyal audience by providing them with BTS or extra content.
  • Guerrilla marketing campaigns: Get creative with guerrilla marketing tactics. Utilize unconventional strategies like street art, flash mobs, or innovative stunts that align with your podcast's themes to grab attention and create buzz.
  • Paid advertising: Consider investing in targeted advertising across various platforms, like social media, listening apps, or partnerships with influencers to expand your podcast's visibility and attract new listeners.
  • Cross-promotion: Collaborate with other podcasts or brands in related niches for cross-promotion. Guest appearances, joint campaigns, or mutual shout-outs can introduce your podcast to new audiences and diversify your reach.

Ultimately, a cohesive marketing approach aligns each element to reinforce your podcast's brand identity, ensuring consistent messaging across all touchpoints.

By developing a comprehensive marketing strategy, from social channels and newsletters to advertising and cross-promotion, your podcast can carve its niche, resonate with your audience, and further cultivate its unique brand identity. 

Quill Tip: Podcast marketing is a newer concept to marketers and creators, and because of this, it can be confusing to know what tactics leverage and what ones to leave at the door when it comes to growing a show. To help marketers out, our team put together a list of common podcast marketing mistakes and how to fix them.

Does your podcast have a unique brand identity? 

When you shift your way of thinking and start to view your podcast as a brand, it opens doors to many more opportunities when it comes to growth and marketing. You’re no longer just stuck in a box within your company’s brand but you’ve created a whole separate space where your podcast can live.

Podcasts have changed the way that brands can market. There’s truly no other medium like it. A listener is allowing you into their space in an incredibly intimate way for at least a half hour every day, week, or month. Because of this kind of connection, podcasts deserve to have a brand built around them that is authentic and true to the content.

If you’re looking for some help in creating your podcast’s unique brand identity, reach out to the Quill team!

Tianna Marinucci

Content Marketing Specialist

Tianna Marinucci is a content creation and digital marketing specialist. She graduated from McGill University in 2021 and has since worked in a variety of industries from interior design to technology.

After traveling to more than 60 countries and working in three, she is inspired by diverse cultures and motivated by unique experiences.

In her spare time, Tianna loves trying new foods, going to concerts, and learning more about history and socio-economics through books and podcasts.

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Con's
Anchor

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

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$12 for 3 hours per month

$18+ for 6 hours and up

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Libsyn

$5/month for Monthly Storage 50mb

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Podbean

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Storage space:

Unlimited

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Blubrry

Classic

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Monthly Storage

50mb

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  • Blubrry allows a 25% storage overage each month
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  • Usability is okay.
SimpleCast

Starting: $15/month

Recommendation: $35/month

Monthly Storage: Unlimited

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  • Embed media player.
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