Create a Branded Podcast People Want to Hear

Podcasts are powerful. Or at least, they can be. Let’s be real: There are more than 2 million podcasts to choose from on the Apple Store alone. Is every one of those worth listening to? Probably not.

A good podcast truly can improve the lives of listeners, bring audiences to action and even help build brand affinity. But the point is, it’s becoming a more crowded medium—so only the best will be heard through all the noise.

Ready to start growing your subscriber base? Here’s how to create an impactful branded podcast that will stand out from the rest.

First, Find Your Podcasting Purpose

Many brands are excited to be entering the podcast space. But like any creative endeavor, podcasts take a lot of work to pull off—and your efforts will be wasted if you don’t know your purpose. To get people to listen, you have to provide something of value.

So, what’s your message? What do you really have to say as a brand that’s going to help people and make them interested in hearing more from you? With one podcast we work on, Truist’s Money and Mindset With Bright and Brian, our purpose is clear: We explore the connection between your finances and well-being, offering practical advice and inspiration for rethinking your relationship with money. Listeners who tune in can expect tips that benefit both their money and mental health. It’s a topic that makes sense coming from a financial brand, which is something else to be mindful of—listeners may be less likely to subscribe if they feel the message isn’t coming from someone who has the knowledge or authority to be speaking on whatever your topic is.

Got Talent? Creating a Podcast Takes a Team

Connecting with an audience takes true talent, and the podcast hosts are arguably most important.

With Money and Mindset, we were lucky in that the client provided two gifted and knowledgeable individuals as our hosts for the show—but if you’re producing a podcast from scratch, it may take some leg work to find that talent. Make sure it’s someone who is a good fit for the topic of your show—do they have a background in the subject matter that gives them a unique perspective? You should also consider: Are they likable? Are their voice and style what you’re looking for? Will audiences enjoy listening to them?

While some creative individuals have all the skills out there to produce a podcast on their own, keep in mind that you’ll likely need a team of talented individuals to pull one off. We have an audio engineer and editor from our studio who manage the equipment, recording sessions and post-production. And we have multiple writers who help come up with ideas and flesh out episode scripts—plus a project manager to keep us on schedule. Together, we’re all working with the talent and brand in one cohesive effort.

4 Tips for Fine-Tuning Your Podcast, Creating Great Episodes and Getting More Listens

1. Get on a consistent schedule.

Many podcast listeners tune in to their favorite shows regularly as part of their daily routine. Consistency is key for success—so set a pace, whether monthly, weekly or biweekly.

If you’re releasing episodes at a regular pace, you’re more likely to become a permanent part of a listener’s lineup. But if you miss a month or two, it’s easy to be forgotten.

Be sure to record teasers for upcoming episodes with each one you produce, which gives listeners more to look forward to.

2. Bring in guests and influencers.

Yes, you need a great host (or two). But bringing in outside guests and experts will help take your podcast to the next level. Not only does it inject fresh takes and voices on the subject matter, but it also provides a networking and promotion opportunity in that your guests will want to promote the episodes they’re featured in.

Think about it: If you score a reputable guest who has 50,000 Twitter followers, that could be 50,000 more potential listeners on that episode.

3. Help your host hone their talent.

Even if your host is brilliant, they may not come with a background as a radio DJ or news anchor—professionals who’ve spent years developing their voice and hosting presence. These are skills that a new podcast host can develop over time with intention and practice. For instance, this article offers tips to help you sound good on a podcast, like working on the pace of your words and simply standing during your recording sessions.

4. Look for ways to engage listeners.

When you have a podcast, there are lots of ways to get your audience more involved with the show. You can use hashtags and your host’s social media presence to invite listeners to submit questions or offer ideas for new episode topics.

If you have enough engagement, you could even produce a segment for each episode in which your hosts respond to listener questions—or perhaps even invite a listener to join the show and participate in an episode.

Like many things in life, practice makes perfect when it comes to creating a podcast. Yes—you need to figure out what your message and value proposition is (which could evolve over time)—but you’re only going to get better with experience. So assemble your team, come up with some ideas and start recording. Focus on creating quality content, and the subscribers will come.

Keep reading in Strategy