Use Cases

How Universities Can Boost Awareness and Enrollment with Branded Podcasts

Last updated on: 
July 7, 2023

Learn how universities can leverage the power of branded podcasts to connect with prospective students, engage alumni, and establish themselves as thought leaders in their field.

With the education industry becoming increasingly competitive, universities are looking for new ways to differentiate themselves and attract prospective students.

One strategy that is gaining popularity is the use of branded podcasts. Branded podcasts offer a unique opportunity for universities to stand out and build trust, authority, and recognition in today's media-driven marketing landscape. By creating a range of podcasts across disciplines, universities can reach a diverse audience.

The challenges facing universities

Universities are facing numerous challenges when it comes to recruiting students and establishing themselves as leaders in their fields. 

These challenges include:

  • Increasing competition: The higher education landscape has become increasingly competitive, with more and more universities vying for the attention of prospective students. Additionally, online learning platforms have emerged as a viable alternative to traditional classroom-based education, making the competition even tougher for universities.
  • Difficulty in reaching younger, tech-savvy audiences: This generation has grown up with technology and expects to engage with information in different ways than previous generations. Traditional marketing methods like brochures and billboards may not be enough to capture their attention.
  • Limited opportunities for engagement with alumni and current students: Engaging with alumni and current students can also be a challenge for universities. It can be difficult to keep these audiences informed and engaged in the institution's ongoing activities and initiatives. This can lead to a lack of brand loyalty and support, which can harm the university's reputation and future success.
  • Challenges with providing valuable content to their audiences: This can be challenging as they are expected to be experts in their fields and provide cutting-edge research and insights. Providing this content in a way that is accessible and engaging can be a challenge.

Why universities should use branded podcasts for recruitment, engagement, and awareness 

Branded podcasts offer a unique opportunity for brands to establish a more personal connection with their audience and memorably showcase their brand personality. Through storytelling, expert insights, and engaging conversations, branded podcasts increase brand awareness, build brand loyalty, and drive customer engagement.

That’s why branded podcasts pose an opportunity for universities to overcome the above challenges and achieve their marketing goals. 

Here are some of the benefits of branded podcasts for universities:

  • Establish thought leadership: Branded podcasts can showcase the expertise and thought leadership of professors and other faculty members. This can help establish the university as a leader in its field and attract prospective students and donors.
  • Increase awareness: Branded podcasts can reach a wide audience and increase awareness of the university's programs, events, and research initiatives.
  • Connect with younger audiences: Branded podcasts appeal to younger audiences, in fact, a recent study found that 40% of US citizens between the ages of 12-34 are listening to podcasts weekly. By providing engaging and informative content through audio, universities can connect with these audiences on a deeper level.
  • Engage with alumni: Branded podcasts give universities a platform to connect with alumni and showcase their achievements and contributions to society.
  • Provide informative content: Branded podcasts are an easy medium to communicate valuable and informative content to students, faculty, and the wider community. This can help establish the university as a trusted source of information and increase its credibility.

Take your brand’s marketing strategy to the next level.

Branded podcast FAQs for universities

Q: What is a branded podcast?

A: A branded podcast is a marketing strategy that does not promote a product but rather increases a brand's name recognition, authority, and public image. In today's media-first marketing landscape, branded podcasts are a way for brands to break into the popular podcast space and create lasting impact and impressions. 

According to the BBC’s Audio Activated study, branded podcasts lift brand awareness by 89%, brand consideration by 57%, brand favorability by 24%, and purchase intent by 14%.

Q: What topics should we cover in our branded podcast?

A: Your branded podcast should focus on topics that are relevant to your university's mission, programs, and community. Consider interviewing faculty members, students, alumni, and industry experts to provide diverse perspectives and insights.

Q: How do we choose a host for our branded podcast?

A: Your host should be someone who embodies your university's personality and can effectively engage your target audience. Consider selecting someone with experience in podcasting or media, or someone who has a natural ability to communicate and connect with people.

Q: What equipment do we need to produce a branded podcast?

A: At a minimum, you will need a microphone, recording software, and a hosting platform for your podcast. Consider investing in higher-quality equipment and professional editing services to improve the overall quality of your podcast. If you decide to work with a podcast agency, they’ll be able to provide you with the equipment and tools you need. 

Q: How do we promote our branded podcast?

A: Use your university's social media channels, email newsletters, and website to promote your branded podcast. Consider collaborating with other organizations, media outlets, and influencers to expand your reach.

Q: How can we measure the success of our branded podcast?

A: Use metrics such as unique listeners, consumption rates, downloads, social media engagement, and audience feedback to measure the success of your branded podcast. Consider conducting surveys or focus groups to gain more in-depth insights into your audience's preferences and opinions.

How universities can get started with branded podcasts 

If you're a university looking to get started with branded podcasts, here are some steps to follow:

  1. Define your audience: Determine who you want to reach with your podcast and what topics will be of interest to them.
  2. Choose your format: Consider the format that will work best for your podcast. Will it be an interview-style show or a more scripted narrative?
  3. Develop your content: Create a content plan for your podcast that aligns with your university's goals and values.
  4. Determine your budget: Consider the resources you'll need to produce and promote your podcasts, such as equipment, production costs, and marketing expenses.
  5. Choose a production partner: Consider partnering with a branded podcast agency like Quill to help you produce and promote your podcast. An agency can help with everything from content development to distribution and promotion, making the process easier and more effective.

Use Case: University of Leeds: Forever Leeds

The University of Leeds produces several podcasts, and their Forever Leeds series shares the stories of alumni. It allows alumni to share their positive experiences at the University while inspiring current and prospective students. 

They interview a wide range of people from across industries, highlighting their ability to provide students with a great launching pad for the future. It’s a great tool for alumni engagement and loyalty while increasing their visibility to a large audience. 

​​Next steps for universities and branded podcasts 

Branded podcasts are a powerful tool for universities to establish themselves as thought leaders in their fields, engage with current and prospective students, and provide valuable and informative content to their audiences. 

With a focus on storytelling, production quality, and audience engagement, Quill works with universities to bring their podcast to life through strategic ideation, production, and promotion. Investing in a branded podcast with Quill can provide universities with a competitive edge in today's challenging educational landscape. 

If you’re interested in exploring your universities’ opportunities with branded content, reach out to our team of experts!



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