How brands can make podcasts people will listen to

Key takeaways from Globe Content Studio's audience intel and experience in podcasting

_DSC1327There’s been a surge of popularity in podcasts, and brands increasingly want to get in the game and into the ears of Canadians. How do you know if a podcast is right for your company? And how do you ensure you are achieving your brand objectives, without alienating listeners?

Globe Content Studio’s content strategist Kiran Rana and creative lead Monica Bialobrzeski shared their experience producing podcasts during a presentation at the 2020 Atomicon conference. They walked participants through successful case studies to distill their approach to optimal brand integration in podcasting.

Here are key learnings for brands to consider before creating a podcast:

Understand your audience:

As a brand, who are you trying to reach? Is a podcast the right way to reach them? If they do listen to podcasts, what do they listen to? What are their interests and hobbies? How can you create something that adds value to them?

The story is always first:

Journalists and creatives, are storytellers by trade – and always put the “story first.” Focus on creating a strong concept with a compelling angle and a capable host who will engage your audience – only then should you consider how your brand fits within the story. This isn’t the medium for a 25-minute commercial.

Authenticity is key:

There are more than 800,000 active podcasts available globally. We live in a world of never-ending content. Respect your audience’s time because you are competing for it. If they don’t like what they hear, if they feel like the facts are disingenuous, if it feels like a commercial, they will tune out.

This isn’t to say you should avoid integrating your brand into the podcast – it means finding a level of brand integration that serves the story and feels like a natural fit.

Podcast listeners will listen to your ads. Make sure they fit the medium:

Recent data shows that podcast listeners are less likely to avoid ads than in any other media. On top of this, nearly 60 percent of podcast listeners recall taking action as a result of a podcast ad, with one in four saying they found out about a product or service they hadn’t heard about before.

People are actively listening, so make use of the 15 to 30 seconds you have to make an impression.

Know your strengths and limits:

Has your team created a podcast before or is this your company’s first foray into podcasting? Assemble a team of experts – both internal and external. Podcasts are time and resource heavy, so make sure you have the appropriate staff taking the lead.

Be open to the process:

Podcasting is a relatively new creative terrain. There’s a lot of room for experimentation, but there also may be hiccups along the way.

Embrace the journey – remember these steps and at the end you’ll have created something that your brand can be proud of.


Globe Content Studio is the award-winning, content-marketing arm of The Globe and Mail.