And though those indeed play a huge role in creating a more professionally produced podcast, only a handful includes branding into the equation.
And you know what’s funny, some even have the concept of what branding is completely wrong.
In this article, I will try to explain to you the importance that branding has and its impact on customer and company relationships.
Branding Is Not The Same As Marketing
Like I said earlier, when most podcasters are asked if they include “branding” in their podcast strategy, they are actually referring to “marketing”.
Now I don’t really blame them, as even actual marketing people get this wrong themselves.
You don’t believe me? Try asking several marketers to explain what branding is, and you will get varying answers.
Many would say that branding pertains to logos, others to PR or advertising campaigns, and some might even argue that engaging with a company’s social media followers is branding.
Yes, those are all sound responses – as each of those is within the scope of what branding is.
And this is where the problem stems. Because if I tell you to stop reading now and just start planning a branding campaign as part of your podcast strategy, what will you do?
What will you focus on, where do you start, and what will you focus more on?
Those are just some of the questions where the answer you choose will absolutely have a huge impact on how you plan our and shape the future evolution of your branding campaign.
So in order for you to come up with a strategic, and more importantly – well informed – podcast strategy, let me throw a few definitions your way based on my understanding, experience, and how things were explained to me by people that I trust.
Defining What A “Brand” Is
It does not refer to the name or logo of a company – but the “promise” that is attached to it.
And what is that promise? It could be the idea of quality, value, etc. In a podcast setting, it could be the feeling of being entertained or you acquiring knowledge or information off a talking point discussed within the podcast.
What Is Branding
It’s the concept of using a “brand” to fulfill the needs and wants and expectations of its target audience.
It’s how the “brand” is utilized to build trust with its target audience, and then develop said trust into long term relationships.
What Is Marketing
It’s about “how” to grow your market – in this case, “audience” – for the brand to become self-sustaining and profitable.
Does that make sense to you?
With that explanation, are you now able to separate what “branding” is from “marketing”?
Effectively Incorporating Branding Into Your Podcast Strategy
You as a host need to have a convincing and authentic-sounding voice, that can easily convey a sense of trust to your target audience.
Your content also needs to be completely unique and memorable – as you are not the only one out there trying to get listeners regardless of how obscure your niche may be.
Plus, your text-based content (show descriptions, blog posts, social media content) should be interesting and engaging, as well as keyword optimized to ensure search visibility.
Let’s break down how you should go about this aspect of your podcast strategy one by one.
Ideally, it is always better to have a host that is quite known within the industry you wish to target – or at least has some sort of authority to talk about certain topics.
For example, if your podcast is about health and fitness, people would gravitate more and listen without prejudice on what you have to say if you were a doctor or a fitness instructor right?
Now if you treat podcasting as a serious business venture, then it would be better if you hired a host that has the credentials associated with the industry you’re going to target.
If you don’t have the funds, or can’t find anyone to work for you, then at least go for the next best thing and hire a professional voice talent.
But if you want to host the shows yourself, then at least try to research your content diligently, and practice modulating your voice.
I know that what I just said is a complete bummer for many.
But then again, this article was not written to boost your ego or function as an “I can be anything I want” cat poster.
This article was made to explain to you in black and white what challenges you’ll be facing.
Yes, that is the “branding” angle for this article.
You get my drift?
Your Content (Script & Show Frequency)
For the record; I’m using the word content to represent your podcast as a whole.
What topics will you be talking about, how long will each episode be, how often will you be releasing episode, etc.
The first thing you should decide is what niche will you be going after.
This goes hand in hand with what your purpose of starting a podcast is, and what topics are you most knowledgeable about.
So going back to my example a while ago; if you’re gunning for a niche that you are not an expert on, you better make sure that you got things well covered.
Going back to branding, keep in mind that it is about “presenting a promise” and “ensuring that said promise is kept”.
So don’t start an episode without a well-researched script.
Trust me, there’s a limit to how much you can fake things. And if you get caught, you can say goodbye to your “brand” and your “branding” campaign.
Now in terms of making the episode itself, you first need to ask yourself what will you be able to consistently deliver – as we all have real-world responsibilities that take up most of our time.
With that said, you can choose to either release new podcast episodes daily, weekly, or monthly.
Personally, it doesn’t really matter what you choose; so long as you’re consistent and are able to launch new episodes on time.
Remember – a “brand” is a “promise”. And missing out on a release date creates a chip on your podcasts strategy in terms of “branding”.
Anyway, if you want to learn how to plan an effective podcast script, go read our Podcast Script Writing Tips That Will Improve How You Interact With Listeners article.
“Branding” a show effectively requires great visuals, accessibility, and of course entertaining content that provides its listeners with value.
This includes your podcast’s main logo and graphics for each episode as well as for social media and/or blog posts.
Now unless you are great at creating and manipulating images; I strongly advise that you leave this part to the professionals.
As a new podcast, one of the most important things you should be concerned about is “getting noticed”.
An eye-catching logo, show image, or social media post can do this for you.
You need to make sure that the image you used instantly conveys what your podcast; or an episode is about.
Good graphics can heighten a person’s expectation about something.
And if the graphics you use are able to do this – and if your show is able to deliver – I’m pretty sure that person will keep coming back for more.
You cant get people to click on your show if they couldn’t find it, right?
And this actually serves both “branding and marketing” aspects of your general podcast strategy.
“Accessibility” encompasses your social media campaign, content marketing, and search engine optimization.
So without a doubt, this is one, if not the hardest part of your podcast strategy.
And that is why again, I suggest that you hire a professional to do all of this for you.
Look, I am not saying that because we at Podblade offer some of the services you need.
As a podcaster myself, I also had this “I can do this attitude”.
And though I was able to create one episode after another without professional help; it took a huge chunk of my time. It also affected how I dealt with my real-world responsibilities.
Not to mention that reaching my goals took a bit longer; as each episode was a trial and error in branding and marketing.
Look, when I say try Podblade out; I’m not saying that you should immediately sign up for one of our packages.
What I’m suggesting is for you to first understand what we can do for you. Allow us to explain to you what we do, why we believe it works; and how it will make everything much easier.
Schedule a FREE consultation now and ask us how we can help.
Rom is a podcasting specialist, ranking his show in the top 100 for all business podcasts in only his first 6 months since launching. He is also the co-founder of Podblade, creating an affordable yet professional editing solution for podcasters. When he isn’t working, you can find him watching his favorite soccer team (Tottenham Hotspur) in action.