14 Essential Tips For Starting A Branded Podcast Target Audiences Will Love

In the not-so-distant past, podcasts were considered a unique new avenue for businesses to reach their target audiences with engaging content that would inspire them to want to learn about the brand and come back for more. While some who started podcasting in the early days may have turned their efforts into valuable, long-lasting content delivery systems for their brands, others fell by the wayside.

What separates brands that are successful at podcasting from those that end up failing to achieve their goals with it? You can find out below, as 14 members of Forbes Agency Council share their best advice for setting yourself or your company up for success with a branded podcast that your target audiences will love and come back for more of.

1. Start With A Strategy

As a podcaster who has produced more than 150 episodes, I would say that you need to start with a strategy and define your targeted audience, your overall goals and all the steps you will take to promote your episodes once you have launched them. After all, a podcast is no good if you don’t have any listeners. Also, be sure to stick with it, as many podcasters quit after the first seven episodes. – Nancy Marshall, Marshall Communications

2. Keep It Real

Authenticity is key. Keep it real by bringing unique voices together for unscripted yet well-thought-out conversations about topics that provide value to your listeners. Start with the basics by defining the theme of your podcast, determining a name, securing the right equipment and identifying a host. Create a clear roadmap of topics and guests, then promote the podcast across all channels. – Laura Cole, Vivial

3. Test The Waters As A Guest

Consider guesting on a podcast focused on your industry or favorite topic. Test the waters to assess your comfort level, ability to stay on message and overall contribution. There are lots of podcasts, and probably many in your industry. You could easily spend a year testing the waters as a guest. These experiences will create allies and offer you insights into how to find success as you create your podcast. – Jim Caruso, M1PR, Inc. d/b/a MediaFirst PR – Atlanta


4. Determine Your Podcast’s Purpose 

Start by answering these questions: “Why am I doing this? What’s the goal of my podcast, and who is the audience?” Is the goal to increase your personal brand, get prospects’ attention, promote your company or entertain people? For example, the goal of my podcast is to provide value to B2B SaaS marketing leaders by interviewing other marketing leaders, who, in turn, are our agency prospects. – Lindsey Groepper, BLASTmedia

Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?

5. Focus On Building The Right Story

To tell a great story, the brand should already be clearly defined and have a strong sense of itself; a podcast is too high stakes and not the right scenario to define your brand. Focus instead on building the right story to tell. Less risky options could include branded episodes, branded segments in podcasts or live events/experiences. – Russ Williams, Archer Malmo

6. Choose A Few Brand-Reinforcing Anchors

When creating a podcast, be sure you keep your main objectives and your audience in mind. Go into each episode with the goal of giving your listeners something they want. From a branding perspective, choose a few key anchors that you’re consistent with in each episode. That could be the intro/outro, music, specific questions or trivia. This will reinforce your brand along the way. – Lori Paikin, NaviStone®

7. Hire A Professional Production Company

The first question I would ask a client who wanted to start a podcast would be about their goals for starting the podcast. Later, I would have them assess whether they have enough content to maintain a consistent presence. The biggest piece of advice would be to hire a professional production company to assist with the recording and editing. This company can also provide tips on improving the content. – Marc Hardgrove, The HOTH

8. Serve Your Audience, Not Your Brand

The most effective podcasts aren’t self-serving; they’re audience-serving. Providing value to your audience is essential for building trust and credibility and for getting your content distributed and shared. – Douglas Karr, Highbridge

9. Stick With What Audiences Expect From Your Brand

There are different types of podcasts, so it’s important to create something that not only stays with the brand you are creating but also reaches your target audience in a meaningful way. Whether you want to create an open forum, Q&A sessions and interview segments or just analyze topics in your industry, you can do it in a way that sticks with what your target audience likes and expects of you. – Jason Hall, FiveChannels Marketing

10. Create Content That Resonates With Existing Customers First

Focus initially on building content that will resonate with an existing customer base. Once you’ve established a following, consider strategic collaborations with influencer networks that will aid in organic growth. – Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC

11. Look Inward First To Find Your Passion

For podcast planning, it’s important to first look inward. What topics could you enthusiastically talk about for multiple segments? Your brand will be easier to maintain if you enjoy what you’re discussing. Planning will seem less tedious, and you’ll be more inclined to keep a regular recording schedule. Listeners will appreciate your passion, and this will help you stand out among less engaging competitors. – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design

12. Communicate Exactly What Listeners Will Gain From It

Be sure that you communicate exactly what the listener will gain from listening to your podcast. Instead of advertising a 45-minute podcast titled “Best practices for building a website,” advertise a 10-minute podcast titled “3 essential things you need when building a website.” The more specific your content is, the more likely the right audience will interact with your content. – Katie Schibler Conn, KSA Marketing

13. Make Sure You Have An Audience First

Don’t expect the podcast to be how you’re going to grow your customer list or audience, because the field is too crowded. Instead, start with a huge email list of people who love reading your blog or emails, then let them know about the new podcast you are starting. – Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co.

14. Put Yourself In Your Target Market’s Ears

The first questions one should ask before starting a podcast are: “Who is my target market? Who and what else are they listening to? And how can I make my content entertaining, memorable and consistent with my brand expertise and voice?” Put yourself in your target market’s ears and think, “Would I listen to this, or is this just more noise?” Be bold, unique, inclusive and provocative! – Nancy A Shenker, theONswitch

The Tycoon Herald