Branded Podcasts

What Makes a Successful Branded Podcast?

Last updated on: 
August 2, 2022

With the rise of branded podcasts, the question of how to make yours successfully stand out often comes up. Read our four expert tips on creating a great branded podcast.

We all know that podcasts are a form of audio content that listeners can subscribe to, download or listen to on-demand. A branded podcast is exactly the same as a regular podcast but created by a brand.

There are countless popular examples such as Trader Joe’s: Inside Trader Joe’s, Blue Apron’s: Why We Eat What We Eat, Sephora’s: #LIPSTORIES, Zendium’s: 2 Minutes of Zen, Gatorade’s” The Secret to Victory and Slack’s: Slack Variety Pack

A well-executed branded podcast can be another meaningful tool in your content marketing arsenal. The best branded podcasts out there are not a 30-minute commercial for an organization or product. Rather, they’re an episodic show which is usually related to the brand’s industry. 

The key is that throughout the podcast, brands should only make small passing mentions of the company while diving into a specific topic and featuring relevant guests. Always think about how you can provide the most value to your audience, and typically, that’s not going to be by advertising your company for upwards of half an hour. 

Good branded podcasts deliver useful, informational, engaging content that an audience will want to pay attention to. By placing focus on the value you’re providing audiences, you increase your ability to build trust and authentic relationships with listeners. This is how you start creating a loyal listener base, meaning they keep coming back for more of your content, sometimes across platforms other than just audio. 

Keep reading to learn our top 4 tips on what makes a successful branded podcast. 

1. Be Original and Add Value

Too many podcasts in the branded sector can feel like just another interview with someone who has successfully built a business in the space. And don’t get us wrong, there are some amazing podcasts out there that are following this structure, but developing a unique point of view on the subject matter or filling a need for an audience can help branded podcasts separate from the pack.

Remember do not create a podcast with the goal of just selling your product or service. A radio ad disguised as a podcast will not work. It’ll alienate your audience and reflect poorly on your brand. 

Podcasts have to put the listener first and deliver compelling content. Ford, for example, released Bring Back Bronco: The Untold Story, a podcast that highlighted one of the most popular automotive brands and explored how the model was brought back after being discontinued. Instead of being an extended Ford commercial, it successfully spoke to the heart of fans of the brand and of automobiles.  

Brands that are successful in creating something truly original will create an opportunity to reach an audience far beyond those that already have an affiliation with their brand. Produce something different, unique, and value-add so you stand out from the crowd. That’s how you’ll grow the biggest and most dedicated audience over time. 

Have an idea for a branded podcast? That’s our favorite thing to talk about. Reach out to our team to book a brainstorm session

2. Think Big Picture 

When it comes to your branded podcast, remember to think big picture. In other words, what is your long-term strategy to keep growing your audience both internally and externally? One of the best ways to ensure your audience grows with you and stays engaged is to involve them in the podcast. 

  • Ask for opinions, POVs, and comments – but not only ask but actually later read them. If your listeners have valuable insights and advice consider implementing it. An engaged audience who cares about your success is invaluable.
  • Respond to questions – there will always be fan questions. Find a way to respond to some of them. Some podcast formats will allow replying to some questions during the episode. If your format doesn’t allow it, consider having special episodes that are dedicated to listener questions or a section on your website. 
  • Analyze – review how your podcast is performing. Find your best and worst episodes. Analyze the difference between them (episode format, length, sound quality, topic). Learn what your audience cares about and see if you can deliver more.

If you are able to step back and always focus on the big picture of growing an audience with a thoughtful and communal approach, you are well on your way to a successful show. 

3. Augment the Product

Countless movies, TV shows, and streaming platforms are now using podcasts to extend the reach of their original programming. Netflix, for example, releases “companion podcasts” to go along with many of their big show introductions. This is a strategic move, considering how many podcast listeners are also video streamers.

A great example of this is The Crown: The Official Podcast which supplements Netflix’s popular show with the same name. Brands can learn from the Netflix model and find ways to augment their product or service and use a podcast to enrich the experience a consumer has with your product. 

Take time to strategize other ways that you can take advantage of your podcast content. Maybe you decide to start a blog series that does a deep dive into each podcast episode to boost SEO and visibility, maybe the podcast also turns into an event series or even a separate video series. 

It’s modern-day branding and a way to leverage podcasts as another marketing tool. 

4. Have Brand Alignment 

There are many examples of brands who have successfully aligned their podcast with their brand and made it work to their advantage. Nike produces a great podcast called TRAINED which is about…well, training using Nike resources. 

As mentioned earlier, Trader Joe’s also has an extremely successful fast-paced podcast series. The podcast is hosted by two long-time employees, adding to the authenticity of the series. Each episode takes you inside the popular convenience store, talks about its humble beginnings as a small chain in Southern California, takes listeners behind the scenes, and offers advice on in-store products. 

The series continues to grow because it provides useful and valuable information for fans. In fact, episodes often result in food bloggers and websites covering what’s new. Their successful podcast is just another example of smart marketing and why Trader Joe's has grown to a national chain of 500+ stores in the US.

There you have it! If your branded podcast can find ways to be original, add value, think big, augment your product/service and have true brand alignment, you are well on your way to a great podcast that will attract listeners.

Quill Marketing Team

Driven storytellers

A team of experienced podcasters that are looking to equip brands with the necessary resources, knowledge, and insights to create a successful branded podcast.

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!