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How to Start and Grow a Branded Podcast (A Beginner’s Guide)

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You’re a company and have decided to start a podcast? That’s awesome! 

Branded podcasts offer businesses a unique opportunity to connect with their audience through engaging audio content. 

Unlike traditional commercials, branded podcasts focus on storytelling and providing value to listeners while subtly promoting the brand. 

In a report commissioned by the BBC, companies with branded podcasts saw 57% higher brand recognition and 89% higher brand awareness. 

BBC podcast report

Both brand recognition and awareness could lead to increased sales and revenue for the brand. A study by Edison Research revealed that 54% of podcast listeners are more likely to consider buying from a brand after hearing its advertisement on a podcast. 

Do you need help with launching your branded podcast? Speak with a professional at Influicity. Our podcast services cut across finance, tech, retail, e-commerce, and B2B.

In this guide, we’ll explore the benefits of starting a branded podcast and provide actionable steps for beginners to get started.

Pros and Cons of Branded Podcasts

To give you a complete picture before you launch a branded podcast, here are the main pros and cons:

Pros Cons
Effective brand storytelling Risk of overselling
Builds audience trust Time and resource-intensive
Establishes industry authority Potential audience resistance
Creates engaging content
Opportunity for audience interaction

What is a Branded Podcast? 

A branded podcast is an episodic audio show created by a company to connect with its target audience. Unlike commercials, branded podcasts focus on providing valuable content to listeners while subtly promoting the brand. 

branded podcast

The goal is to engage listeners and build brand loyalty through storytelling and informative discussions. 

Many brands are investing in and starting their podcasts because of the potential benefits this type of podcast offers. 

For instance, branded podcast episodes increase customers’ purchase intent. This highlights the effectiveness of branded podcasts in driving consumer behavior. 

Benefits of Starting a Branded Podcast

Here are the benefits of starting a branded podcast for your company or organization:

  • Brand awareness: Branded podcasts provide a platform for businesses to increase brand visibility and recognition among their target audience.
  • Thought leadership: By sharing valuable insights, expertise, and industry knowledge, branded podcasts position businesses as thought leaders in their respective fields.
  • Audience engagement: Branded podcasts foster deeper connections with listeners through engaging storytelling, interviews, and discussions, leading to increased audience loyalty and engagement.
  • Content marketing: Branded podcasts serve as an effective content marketing tool, allowing businesses to deliver valuable content to their audience in an easily consumable format.
  • Relationship building: By providing valuable content and fostering meaningful conversations, branded podcasts help businesses build stronger relationships with their audience and establish trust and credibility.
  • Lead generation: Branded podcasts can drive lead generation by attracting and engaging potential customers who are interested in the topics discussed on the podcast, ultimately leading to increased sales and conversions.

Steps to Start a Branded Podcast

How do you start a branded podcast? What are the tools you need to make it a success, and where do you begin? Well, here are the 7 easy steps that are proven to work:

Step #1. Define your podcast’s purpose

Before diving into podcast production, clarify your podcast’s purpose. Identify the overarching goal, target audience, and topics that align with your brand. 

podcast purpose

For instance, if you’re a fitness brand, your podcast could focus on health tips, workout routines, and interviews with fitness experts.

Pro tip: Conduct market research to understand your audience’s interests and pain points. Use tools like surveys, social media polls, and keyword research to identify popular topics in your industry.

Step #2. Develop a content strategy

Craft a content strategy that outlines the format, frequency, and structure of your episodes. Determine whether you’ll host solo episodes, conduct interviews, or feature guest experts. 

Plan your episode topics to ensure consistency and relevance. You may use Google Sheets, Excel, or a task management tool like Trello to create a podcast editorial calendar.

podcast editorial calendar

An editorial calendar will keep you organized, schedule, and stay on track with episode releases. Consider seasonal themes, industry trends, and timely events to keep your content fresh and engaging.

Step #3. Choose the right format and equipment

Select the appropriate podcast format and invest in quality recording equipment. Decide whether you’ll record in-person or remotely and choose a recording setup that suits your needs. 

Essential equipment includes microphones, headphones, audio interfaces, and recording software.

Start with basic equipment and upgrade as your podcast grows. Focus on delivering high-quality audio to enhance the listener experience.

Step #4. Record and edit your episodes

According to Bridget O’Rourke, a video producer at Riverside,

“It’s important to record your episodes using your chosen recording setup and edit them to ensure professional sound quality — based on your podcast format.”

record a podcast

Remove any background noise, ums, ahs, or long pauses to keep your episodes engaging. Add intro/outro music, transitions, and sound effects to enhance production value.

We recommend using audio editing software like Audacity, GarageBand, or Adobe Audition for seamless audio editing. Consider hiring a professional editor for polished results.

Step #5: Publish and promote your podcast

Publish your episodes on podcast hosting platforms like Podbean, Libsyn, or Anchor. Optimize your podcast title, description, chapters, and episode titles with relevant keywords to rank better in the search engines.

add podcast chapters

Promote your podcast on social media, your website, email newsletters, and industry forums to attract listeners. 

You should also consider collaborating with influencers, industry experts, or other podcasts for cross-promotion and increased visibility.

Step #6: Engage with your audience

Interact with your audience by responding to comments, messages, and reviews. Encourage listener feedback, questions, and suggestions for future episodes. 

podcast reply comments

Create a community around your podcast through social media groups, live Q&A sessions, or exclusive bonus content for subscribers.

Pro tip: Incorporate listener feedback into your content strategy to create episodes that resonate with your audience’s interests and preferences.

Step #7: Measure success and iterate

Track key metrics like downloads, listens, engagement, and audience demographics to gauge your podcast’s performance. Analyze listener feedback and adjust your content strategy accordingly. 

Castos Podcast analytics

Experiment with different formats, topics, and promotional tactics to optimize your podcast for success.

It’s crucial to set specific goals for your podcast, such as increasing listenership, generating leads, or boosting brand awareness. 

Regularly review your progress and adapt your strategy based on insights and feedback.

Ready to launch your podcast? At Influicity, we make branded podcasts for companies in finance, tech, retail, e-commerce, and B2B. Contact us today.

Branded Podcast Examples and Real-life Case Studies

Let’s explore some examples of branded podcasts, their goals, and how often they publish new episodes:

1. Mailchimp Presents

Mailchimp Presents is a branded podcast that focuses on entrepreneurial stories, offering insights and inspiration for small business owners.

Mailchimp_Presents

  • Goal: To provide valuable content for entrepreneurs and small business owners to grow their businesses.
  • Problem solved: Addresses common challenges faced by small business owners, such as marketing, customer retention, and brand building.
  • Frequency: Mailchimp Presents releases new episodes periodically, focusing on quality over quantity to deliver impactful content.

2. Shopify Masters

Shopify Masters explores the world of e-commerce, featuring interviews with successful entrepreneurs and experts in the field.

Shopify Masters

  • Goal: To educate and inspire ecommerce entrepreneurs to build successful online stores.
  • Problem solved: Offers practical advice, strategies, and success stories to help ecommerce businesses thrive in a competitive market.
  • Frequency: Shopify Masters releases new episodes weekly, featuring interviews with successful ecommerce entrepreneurs and industry experts.

3. The Growth Show by HubSpot

The Growth Show by HubSpot delves into the strategies and tactics behind business growth, showcasing real-life success stories and lessons learned.

The Growth Show by HubSpot

  • Goal: To explore strategies and tactics for business growth and success.
  • Problem solved: Provides actionable insights and real-world examples to help businesses overcome growth challenges and achieve their objectives.
  • Frequency: The Growth Show releases new episodes bi-weekly, featuring interviews with business leaders, marketers, and entrepreneurs.

4. Masters of Scale by Reid Hoffman

Masters of Scale by Reid Hoffman is at the top of our branded podcast list. It discusses strategies for scaling businesses with insights from top entrepreneurs and leaders.

masters of scale

  • Goal: To uncover the principles and strategies behind successful business scaling.
  • Problem solved: Offers valuable insights and lessons from entrepreneurs who have successfully scaled their businesses, helping listeners navigate the challenges of growth.
  • Frequency: Masters of Scale releases new episodes periodically, with a focus on delivering high-quality content that resonates with listeners.

5. Modern Marketing by Influicity 

Modern Marketing by Influicity is our branded podcast that features interviews with marketing leaders, offering insights into the latest trends and tactics in marketing. 

Modern Marketing

With each episode, listeners gain valuable knowledge and strategies to enhance their marketing efforts and stay ahead in the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing.

  • Goal: To provide listeners with valuable insights from marketing leaders and experts, helping them stay updated on the latest trends and tactics in the marketing industry.
  • Problem solved: Addresses the challenge of staying informed about the rapidly changing landscape of marketing, offering practical strategies and advice from industry professionals.
  • Frequency: Releases new episodes regularly, typically on a weekly basis, ensuring listeners have access to fresh content and the latest industry insights.

How Branded Podcasts Work

Branded podcasts operate by subtly integrating brand messaging within engaging content, fostering a deeper connection with the audience. The ultimate goal is to use storytelling to deliver value, establishing trust and credibility. 

branded podcast

This type of podcast align with the brand’s core values and target audience interests. 

Each episode creates emotional connections with listeners. They also offer a platform for thought leadership, allowing brands to showcase expertise and provide valuable insights. 

Through consistent, high-quality content, branded podcasts can establish authority within their niche and drive long-term engagement and customer loyalty.

Starting a Branded Podcast: Essential Tools You Need

  1. Recording equipment: Invest in quality recording equipment such as microphones, headphones, and audio interfaces. Popular options include the Blue Yeti microphone and the Audio-Technica AT2020.
  2. Editing software: Use editing software to polish your episodes and enhance audio quality. Programs like Adobe Audition, GarageBand, or Audacity offer user-friendly interfaces and a range of editing features.
  3. Hosting platforms: Choose a podcast hosting platform to store and distribute your episodes. Popular options include Podbean, Libsyn, and Anchor, which offer reliable hosting, analytics, and distribution to major podcast directories.
  4. Graphic design tools: Create eye-catching podcast artwork and promotional graphics using graphic design tools like Canva or Adobe Spark. These platforms offer customizable templates and intuitive design features for creating professional-looking graphics.
  5. Transcription services: Consider using transcription services to create written transcripts of your episodes. This can improve accessibility for listeners and enhance SEO by making your content searchable. Services like Rev or Temi offer affordable and accurate transcription options.
  6. Social media management tools: Use social media management tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule and automate posts promoting your podcast across various social media platforms. These tools help you maintain a consistent presence and reach a broader audience.
  7. Analytics platforms: Monitor the performance of your podcast with analytics platforms like Podtrac or Chartable. These tools provide insights into listener demographics, engagement metrics, and audience growth, helping you refine your content and marketing strategies.

Final thoughts

The best time to start a branded podcast was 5 years ago when podcasting became very popular, the second best time to start is now. 

When you start, we want you to know this: A branded podcast is not a promotional platform for a company’s products or services. 

Many companies make the mistake of being overly promotional, which can turn off listeners and diminish the podcast’s credibility. Instead, the right approach is to focus on providing valuable content that educates, entertains, or inspires the audience. 

By creating engaging episodes that resonate with listeners and align with the brand’s values and industry expertise, companies can establish themselves as authorities in their niche and build meaningful connections with their audience.

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