A podcast can be a great way to add to the brand you’ve worked hard to build. But a poorly executed show can quickly undo all that good will and actively damage your brand irreparably.
Is your podcast serving the purpose to boost your brand? Or is it actively damaging the hard work you’ve put into building your brand?
I stated before and I’m going to say it clearly once again: I honestly think that almost any entity — company, nonprofit organization even as an individual or professional service provider can have a podcast.
Not that they should. But they can.
As with all things in life; just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do something.
Because you are choosing to have a podcast to represent your brand, it’s almost a given that you should do it properly.
I’ve recently made the decision to stop listening to some podcasts by brands because the contents of the podcast episodes have completely damaged the brand for me. Specifically, I mean they seem not to care about their podcast. They don’t care about quality. They don’t care about the contents. The podcast seems an afterthought for them. And since they are clearly spending resources on it, it makes me wonder if they take that same lazy attitude to their products and services. No thanks.
This week, I want to talk about ways you can make sure that your podcast and your brand line up with one another. And if you care about your brand, podcasting cannot be an afterthought.
(Nota bene: I know that for many hobbyists, podcasting certainly is an afterthought. Or just some fun thing they do once in a while with a friend. That’s great. In fact, I think businesses can also have a lot of fun with the podcast. But I’m not talking about having fun. I’m talking about making content that represents a brand image.)
You can’t look at your large audience base as an indication of brand-damage. Nor can you ask your engaged fans if the carefree-attitude you are taking is damaging your brand to them. Of course it’s not. Fans of your podcast will almost always say the same thing: They want more of the same. Of course they do! They’re already listening.
The danger is that fans tend to not be very honest. But it’s not the current listener base a podcaster has to worry about. It’s the potential new listener.
The podcasting space is getting easier (and hopefully better), which means it’s easier than ever to start listening to podcasts. (Thanks, Google!)
And among those new people listening will be people who do not know the brand you’ve already established. For them, the listening experience defines your brand?
Is your most recent episode a good steward of your brand? Perhaps you publish a monthly magazine (one where people pay money to subscribe to the print/digital version) and, as a promotional effort or because all the cool kids are doing it, you also put out a podcast. A podcast with unedited episodes. Episodes with four or five different voices talking over one another with wildly varying volume levels of volume. If that’s the kind of attention you put into your podcast, it makes me wonder if your magazine is rife with typos and lacks any sort of editorial control.
Or maybe you’re a consultant with thrice-weekly podcast episodes of great, highly focused advice. Except you’ve made the decision that the first two minutes of your short episodes are nothing but a giant ad for a different company only tangentially related to the topic of your show. For a different service that I know that you’re going to make a commission on when you get. It makes me wonder about the kind of advice you provide a consultant.
Given the intimate experience people have when they listen to your podcast, it’s critical to not damage your brand with your podcasting efforts.
For the rest of this week, I’m going to help you understand how decisions you make with your podcast directly impact your brand. We’ll talk about the actual contents of your show and how you assemble them. We’ll talk about a release schedule and what that says about your brand. This deep-dive will look at the podcast episodes you are already producing to make sure brand new people not only get the message you want, but also that the “intangibles” of your brand are passed along as well.
You’ll get some insight, so keep a pencil and paper handy as you listen. And feel free to hit the rewind button as necessary.
This article is a human-readable text-version of the 168th episode of my four-times-a-week short-form podcast called, oddly enough, Podcast Pontifications. It’s a podcast about podcasting (a “PAP”, as they are known), but is focused on trends in our growing industry and ideas on ways to make podcasting not just easier, but better. Yes, you should listen.
Evo Terra (hey, that’s me!) has been podcasting since 2004, is the author of Podcasting For Dummies and Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies, and is the CEO and founder of Simpler Media Productions, a strategic podcast consultancy working with businesses, brands, and professional service providers all around the world.