Branded Podcasts

The Power of Storytelling in Branded Podcasts

Last updated on: 
June 12, 2023

Discover the power of using storytelling in your branded podcast through case studies and tips!

Brand storytelling is a hot topic among marketers. It is becoming increasingly popular to want to tell “stories” with your brands, but what exactly does that mean? 

Marketers across all industries and areas of expertise are talking about the importance of brand storytelling. We can’t seem to go on social media without coming across a post speaking to brands and the use of stories. Some of our favorites recently:

When thinking of storytelling in branded podcasts, it’s hard not to focus solely on podcasts whose primary aim is to deliver a story.  Murder mysteries, personal testimonials, and fictional storytelling podcasts all fall into this category. 

But storytelling isn’t just for this kind of podcast, in fact, all effective podcasts use storytelling to some degree. Just because your branded podcast isn’t telling a narrative story doesn't mean that you shouldn’t be using storytelling. 

This article dives into what storytelling is and how your branded podcast can effectively use storytelling to connect with consumers on a deeper level.

What is storytelling?

When we say storytelling, what do we mean by that in the context of brands? According to Forbes, “Brand storytelling is the cohesive narrative that weaves together the facts and emotions that your brand evokes.”

Brand storytelling encompasses the same elements that make up a familiar story:  recognizable characters, climax, rising and falling action, etc. It doesn't matter if the story is short or long, it needs to have elements to reel people in and keep them interested in what you’re saying. 

How can brands use storytelling?

Done well, Storytelling is a way for brands to connect with consumers through values and needs. If brands know what those needs are for their target consumers, they can create stories that compel listeners into action. 

One thing that any company employing storytelling in their branded podcast needs to keep in mind is authenticity. Today's consumers are wary of what they are being told by brands, and if your story sounds too good to be true, too manicured, or simply isn’t true, they will notice. So when deciding on what story to tell through your podcast, make sure it's authentic to your brand! 

Brands can use storytelling in various ways. Here are a few elements to remember when deciding what story your company will tell on a branded podcast. 

  1. Will the story unfold over multiple episodes, or will each episode have its own story? 
  1. Will your podcast feature stories about your brand, or feature employees and guest stories?
  1. Will you make it clear to your audience that you’re telling a story? Or will it be subtle?

All brand storytelling is different, just like every branded podcast is different. That’s why it's up to you and your team to decide what will work best. 

Things to caution when brand storytelling

Sometimes brands can get lost in the “brand” component of storytelling, using their podcast solely as a means to push sales. This becomes very apparent to customers and impacts your credibility and authenticity.

On the other hand, some branded podcasts get lost in the story and, in doing so, remove all meaningful associations to their brand. Essentially, these podcasts are just producing content without a real story.

But done effectively, brand storytelling can intimately draw in and engage your listeners, differentiating you from the competition. Because when you can connect with your customers on an emotional level through storytelling, whether that’s through humor, happiness, surprise, or even sadness, it’s a powerful thing. 

Here are some successful examples of how brands are using storytelling in podcasts:

Case studies of effective storytelling in branded podcasts

C Suite with Caluadette McGowan

In this TD podcast, host Claudette McGowan discusses cyber literacy for everyday people. From navigating the perils of sending your online love money, to protecting yourself from cyber attacks, this podcast helps listeners understand how to keep themselves, their information, and their money safe on the internet. 

In this branded podcast, the stories being told are ones most audience members can relate to. Who hasn’t clicked a link that, in hindsight, might have been sketchy? By telling relatable stories that bring up questions that most people have about the internet, this podcast is sympathetic and answers burning questions about internet safety. 

Sephora #LIPSTORIES

As a massive beauty retailer, Sephora knows that its consumers and audience are interested in the beauty industry and its impact. That’s why they created #LIPSTORIES, a place for guests to come on and discuss self-image, beauty standards, and those standards’ impact on their lives. 

This podcast employs episode-by-episode storytelling, using interviews to engage with audience members who may have had similar experiences and give them a chance to learn and grow with the guests.

Powering Travel 

In its corporate podcast, Expedia features travel and hospitality industry leaders to discuss the industry, trends, and predictions for the future. 

Whether or not audience members are in hospitality or travel, these two industries touch everyone's lives. While many listeners will tune in to hear stories and predictions about the area that they work in, others will tune in simply because they are interested in the changes that the past few years have brought in these sectors. 

Smart Money

NerdWallet puts its in-house writers to work answering client questions about personal finance. As a personal finance company, NerdWallet has the brand authority to answer these questions, and by doing so in a top charting podcast, increases their credibility in the space. 

By answering questions, they are weaving a story that everyday people can relate to: having questions about their own financials. These stories aren’t complicated, but they are compelling nonetheless. 

Keep brand storytelling simple

As you can see from the examples above, storytelling in podcasts doesn’t need to be complicated. Here are the lessons from the case studies to keep in mind when creating your branded podcast: 

  • Stick to your niche: Tell stories that you have the brand authority to tell. If you're a tech company, creating a podcast interviewing sports pros (while very exciting) doesn’t make sense in your brand story.
  • Be relatable: By including relatable elements, you’re telling a story that people see themselves in. This will compel them to listen and potentially convert them into leads!
  • Don’t use your branded podcast to sell: You probably picked up on the fact that none of the podcasts listed above are meant to sell a product, rather they provide insight and answer questions. This is the point of a branded podcast- to increase brand authority and have consumers associate your name with a great product (your podcast!).

If you are looking for ways to take your branded podcast to the next level, our team of experienced podcasters and storytellers would love to give you a hand. Get in touch.

Quincy de Vries

Producer

After falling in love with the power of audio storytelling, Quincy has funnelled that passion into her work producing stellar audio content for brands. She has worked on narrative, interview, and hybrid shows and brings her strong research and writing background into everything she does.When she’s not busy producing, you can find her reading, writing, and making her third coffee of the day. Quincy holds a BA in History from McMaster University and an MPhil in Medieval History from the University of Cambridge.

Platform
Price
Pro’s
Con's
Anchor

Free

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  • Embed media player.
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  • Very basic editing
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Buzzsprout

Free for 2 hours of content per month

$12 for 3 hours per month

$18+ for 6 hours and up

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  • Advanced features like dynamic ad insertion need some work
Libsyn

$5/month for Monthly Storage 50mb

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Podbean

Unlimited audio package: $9/month

Storage space:

Unlimited

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  • Embed media player.
  • Simple Analytics
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  • Not an iTunes podcast partner.
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Blubrry

Classic

$5/month

Monthly Storage

50mb

  • Podcast Wordpress plugin and management.
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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.
  • Easy to use.
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    website.
  • Prices are slightly higher than other platforms, but well worth it especially if you have a branded company podcast!

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