Let’s face it: brands matter. I know you like to think you can be successful without building a brand. But the reality is that while it might be possible to achieve it, supporting your podcast brand will help you achieve your goals faster and on a bigger scale.
And before you start wondering if it applies to you, I’ll make it simple for you – it does! It applies to anyone – bloggers, podcasters, online, and offline business owners.
Brands drive purchasing decisions. It is essential in both consumer and B2B markets.
- Customers who are engaged by a brand make purchases 90% more often and spend 60% more per transaction, and
- Customers who feel an emotional connection with a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value and will recommend that brand 26% more than the average.
Why is it important to build a brand?
Here are a few reasons:
- Brands influence sales decisions. How? Easy. People are more inclined to buy products when they recognize the brand.
- People are willing to spend more on branded products. Think about shoes, for instance. Would you be willing to pay the same amount of money for a pair of off-branded shoes, as opposed to one from a recognizable brand like Adidas or Nike?
- Brands build trust. And that’s why people are willing to pay more for a branded product.
A McKinsey 2012 study of more than 700 executives found that on B2B market:
- purchasing decisions were less value-driven and that sellers’ value proposition expressed by their brand, was key in making a decision,
- 18% of a purchasing decision was influenced by the brand, compared to 17% they attributed to the sales effort.
Your podcast can be the ideal place to start building a recognizable, trustworthy brand. Not only will it benefit your business, but it will help you differentiate yourself from your competition. And the best thing? It’s not hard at all!
1. The Value Of Your Podcast Becomes The Value Of Your Brand
What needs and emotions do you address through your brand and podcast?
This is one of the most important questions in brand building. In short – what problem are you solving for your listeners and your potential customers?
Until you have an answer to this question, you’re working in vain. In a way, this goes hand in hand with knowing who your ideal client is. If you know that, then you know what needs they have, and you can address them.
Many people will find your podcast by looking for answers to a specific problem. A well-branded podcast will easily convince them to stay and subscribe. How? Because once they find one of your episodes, there’s a chance they will take a closer look at your podcast.
So if they see a series of episodes in the same area, a theme that speaks directly to them, they are more likely to stay.
Also, don’t be afraid to niche down. You can’t and shouldn’t try to sell to everyone. Once you define your ideal client and know the topics that interest them, stick to that area. That way, you’ll build a strong brand and, with it, a base of loyal subscribers.
You should carefully plan how you deliver value through your podcast.
Podcasts confirm your expertise in the field – publishing consistently establishes reputation!
Anybody can make one high-quality recording or a blog post. But to keep at it consistently requires a deep understanding of the topic.
So what should you do? Easy. Make sure you publish new episodes regularly.
Create a schedule and stick with it. Ideally, you’ll plan and record episodes in batch once a month, for example. Regularly publishing will consolidate your position as an expert in the field and will keep your listeners subscribed!
Also, make sure your podcasts are listed in most, if not all, podcasting directories. This increases availability and allows people to listen anywhere and everywhere.
And consider creating transcripts. You’ll make your content available for those with impaired hearing or those who prefer to read notes after listening to an episode.
2. The Theme and Tone of the Show Help with Brand Positioning
Who is your target customer? Build a podcast brand persona to find out
I can’t stress enough how important this step is! Define your ideal client by building a listener’s avatar.
Think about everything from demographics, what they like, what they hate, what they need, what type of personality they have, and more. Ideally, you should also build a negative persona, those people who will never be your clients. That will avoid some serious marketing mistakes, and it will save you a lot of money in the long run!
Once you have your persona, you’ll know what the theme and the tone of your show should be. You’ll know exactly how you should be addressing people to make them feel like you’re the right person to address the issues they’re facing.
Why the theme and the tone matter
The topic is the first step towards podcast brand building. But the tone is equally important and should stay consistent from episode to episode.
Don’t make one show that is pure comedy, then go on the next one in a serious academic mode.
That’s the fastest way to lose all your subscribers. It doesn’t matter if you’re addressing both audiences perfectly and telling them exactly what they need to hear.
They will be extremely confused by your lack of consistency. Is your show actually for them, or was the episode they liked an accident?
Don’t forget about listener engagement!
The level of listener engagement will not only help you get more subscribers, but it will also impact how your podcast brand is viewed.
Do you want to be perceived as a brand that just delivers some content or products without much interest in their clients’ opinions or issues? Or would you rather be the podcasting brand that cares, that asks for the listeners’ opinions, who can become their best friend through their show?
The good thing is that you can easily design the customer engagement for your podcast brand.
Trust me, the majority of your potential customers want the second version! An engaged audience is one who stays with you, who is willing to accept to pay more for quality products, and who trusts your brand.
3. Story-Telling – What Does Your Show Say About Your Brand?
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself at this point:
- Is my show grounded in tradition?
- Or am I rather delivering a modern-day solution?
- Is my show more futuristic – hoping to solve a problem for which no one has found a solution yet?
- Are you more focused on solutions, analysis, or discussing ideas?
- Do you focus more on people or products?
All these will help shape your podcast brand. Many of these are questions you might have answered indirectly when building your persona. I mean, think about it. You thought about what your ideal customers like, their passions, their personality. All of this will tell you the type of story-telling that would appeal to them.
But what is even more important is that how you answer these questions, says a lot about your podcasting brand. Why? Because they show some of its main features: innovation, safety, lifestyle, change, or stability.
4. Use Brand Artifacts
Discussing podcast branding wouldn’t be complete without addressing things like the type of music you use.
The intro, outro, and even the beats during the show, will make your podcast recognizable. It works a similar way to the music used in radio or TV commercials. The music you use on your podcast communicates certain emotions. It draws people’s attention and says, “Hey, this is THE show you like.”
Your tone should also become part of the podcast brand. I’m not talking so much about the tone of the show itself, as I’ve covered it before. I’m talking about the tone of your voice, the way you talk, the way you express feelings, emotions. They should be in line with the image you wish to create. They should also be close to the persona you’ve created and the tone they would best react to.
The guests you invite can also tell a lot about your brand. They should be able, as much as possible, to allow your show to continue in the same tone and the same image you’ve created.
Finally, one thing that’s often overlooked in podcast branding is visual identity. If you’re also selling products, or if you have an accompanying website, visual identity will be just as important as all the things listed above.
Think of a podcast logo, colors, and fonts you use throughout your website. If you create transcripts, again, try to maintain the same visual identity in all your material. The same goes for any promos or ads. Create a brand people will remember, one that communicates the right emotions at the right time!
5. Promote Brand Trust By Becoming More Available
We’re back at the topic of trust because, honestly, I think that’s the most important quality a brand should have. We’ve already talked about how audience engagement helps build trust, but communication can take it one step further.
While podcasting is a one-way communication channel with listeners, you can point them to other, more responsive channels for even more interactions.
An excellent place to start is social media – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all great. You can also create a website and use it to build an email list. People will be able to comment on your posts, and if you build the email list, you can greet them in their inbox every week.
Be sure to make yourself available. People will not always take time to look for other channels where they can find you. But they are listening to your podcast.
So let them know what the best way to contact you is. Become more available and gain their trust in the process!
Other methods for increasing trust include discussion on your show:
- Causes that brand supports or
- talking about achievements and successes.
6. Consistency in Podcast Quality Builds Reputation
About a decade ago, all brands had one thing in common: they were starting a blog. Do you know what else many of these brands had in common? They abandoned their blogs after a few months. Don’t do the same with your podcast!
Picture this. You start your podcast, use all the right tools to get the ideal audience. You publish weekly episodes, and everyone gets in the habit of listening to you, they know exactly on which day the new episode is published. Maybe they even set notifications or write it down in their calendars. And by the time they made a perfect habit of getting your weekly show…you disappear.
And hey, one week they might understand. After all, we can all have unexpected things happen. But then, the next week, you’re still not back, and next after either. Maybe you do come back after a while with no explanation, deliver your episode, only to vanish again for the next few weeks.
Does that sound like a trustworthy podcasting brand? Would you trust to pay a lot for whatever services they were offering? I know I wouldn’t. And neither will the vast majority of people.
Not only that, but over time they’ll understand they can’t count on your show. They’ll delete their notifications and look for other shows.
How can you make sure this doesn’t happen to you?
We’ve already talked about brainstorming and recording in batch. But to keep the quality and build a good reputation, you need to have a long-term plan. I’m talking about a plan for next year. Maybe you won’t have all episode titles right now.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t create a long-term plan. Include episodes, but also your recording schedule, guests you want to have, and alternatives in case something happens, and they can’t show up.
Make sure to plan out all the other marketing channels as well. Don’t ignore your website, or your email list once you’ve built one. Consistency is essential for your podcast brand, but also social media or emails.
7. Quality of your Show = Quality of Your Brand
Finally, since your show promotes your products, its quality will highly impact how your entire brand and the product lineup is viewed.
There are multiple ways you can boost the quality of your podcasting brand.
We already covered:
- Value planning for a podcast,
- Engagement building.
But other essential elements can help you to improve the quality of your show. Here are 3 that you can start implementing right now:
- High-quality podcasting gear – with a good podcast mic, you will sound better. Of course, to match it, you should have a powerful interface and full kit. But the ability to achieve a nice, warm radio voice is definitely worth it.
- Mic positioning and set up – after you upgrade your mic, make sure you make the best of this investment and position it optimally, record in a quiet location, and save your file correctly. Check our 17 mic setup tips for the best audio.
- Vocal tips – in the end, you can prepare yourself correctly for the recording session by protecting your voice, drinking the right beverages, and avoiding putting to much stress on your voice 24 hours before recording.
A podcast has a significant impact on branding. There’s no doubt about it. By simply being consistent and engaging your audience, you’re already building trust and awareness. Your tone, the way you talk, the topics you choose to address, all this can bring you closer to your audience and create a recognizable brand.
Don’t be afraid to create a persona and narrow down the audience you address. The emotions and needs you address mater in podcast branding just as much as they matter in any business.
Create ways for your audience to communicate with you. Surveys are a great way to understand what they want, but they also limit the things people can say. They can only answer your question, and there’s no two-way communication happening. So make sure to be available through a different channel, be it social media, a website, via chat or email.
Be consistent in everything you do. From the topics and the tone of your show, your intros, and outros, the logo or the font and even your publishing schedule, all these things make up a powerful brand.
I don’t typically comment on posts, but as a long time reader I thought I’d drop in and wish
you all the best during these troubling times.
Long time supporter, and thought I’d drop a comment.
Keep up the good work- and hope you all take care of yourself
during the coronavirus scare!