How can brand podcasters not step on the pit?

If you keep following the new podcasts over the past few years, it is not difficult to find that brands are launching podcasts almost every week. Last year, we were still discussing whether brand podcasts could become a standard component of the brand communication matrix, but now the growing number of brand podcasts has shown with facts that the discussion is no longer just “Why do brands want to do podcasts?” It should also include ” How to be a good brand podcaster?” Through the accumulated cases over the past few years, we have refined from the broadcast data, program form, etc., and gave this guide to avoiding pitfalls for brand podcasts.

Growing fleet of branded podcasters

The domestic brands that create podcasts are mainly composed of two parts: one is a new consumer brand, and the other is a leading company in all walks of life. It has a relatively sufficient market budget, is very sensitive to the media, has resources for continuous content creation, and most importantly, has the need to build a brand image.

In the context of a significant reduction in advertising budgets, many large companies have entered the market one after another this year, such as Tesla, Jones Lang LaSalle, Modern Sky, etc., all of which have recently opened brand podcasts . Some brands that entered the game in the early stage are still investing. The “Beiwanglu” produced by the Withinlink Beixi Investment Partnership and the “Entrepreneurship Insider” of GGV Jiyuan Capital have been regularly updated for more than three years.

picture Selected brand podcasts starting in 2022

After sorting out brand podcasts in the past three years, it is not difficult to find that domestic brands that create podcasts are mainly composed of two parts: one is a new consumer brand, and the other is a leading enterprise in all walks of life. It has a relatively sufficient market budget, is very sensitive to the media, has resources for continuous content creation, and most importantly, has the need to build a brand image.

There are three important reasons why branded podcasts are a recent content trend:

The market awareness of podcasts has been continuously improved, and they have stepped out of hidden corners. This is not difficult to see from the WeChat index. On July 31 last year, the index was 410,000, which doubled year-on-year this year, and even soared to 12.22 million on July 6 this year. Behind this may be the continuous deployment of TME and Spotify in the field of podcasting, and more and more celebrities are entering the market, but no matter what the reason is, podcasting is entering the field of vision of more and more people and has become a medium that cannot be ignored.

Brand podcasts also have room for profit, not pure investment. Brand podcasts can also advertise for other brands, which may not sound like a viable option at first, but it’s already happening. Because if you want the audience to listen to a program, the first thing you can’t listen to is advertising. It is easy to persuade them to quit. The content must be high enough to retain the audience. When the quality of the program is recognized by the market, it will naturally have advertising value. And endorsement for brands in other industries can also reflect its own brand tonality or highlight its association with other industries to a certain extent. For example, “Island Jumping FM” produced by CITIC Dafang recently produced a customized program for Cadillac, discussing works related to women and automobiles, and expounding the brand concept.

Advertisers who have run podcasts have seen the value of voice. Before many brands started podcasting, they had the experience of running podcast advertisements and were aware of the characteristics of podcasting. For example, new consumer brands such as MissBerry, Yin Yin, and Sandunban, who have recently created their own programs, have all carried out different forms of batch delivery. From direct contact, they have learned about the companionship, deep links and long tail effects of podcasts. Yvonne, the brand marketing director of YIN, said in an interview: “We believe that podcasts are not a (content form) for sales conversion to attract traffic, but more for brand communication.”

Brand Podcasting Guide to Avoiding Pitfalls

Create a clear style and maintain it for a long time; cooperate with podcast agencies or creators; both visual and text need to be consistent with the brand; have a sense of publicity, don’t wait for the audience to come

However, with the continuous increase of brand podcasts, many common problems have also been exposed. Many brand podcasts have not been continuously updated, and there will be no following after a few issues. The reason is usually low play volume, and the performance of program data is not as expected. For example, “Wenyi West Road Night Talk” launched by Tmall and “Looking for Aliens” launched by Alien Electrolyte Water have not been updated for more than 20 issues. The various programs also aroused negative public opinion, which had the opposite effect.

Why are most of the shows so far below expectations? Thinking from a different perspective may yield the answer.

For many brands, podcasting itself is not a channel that can quickly bring direct benefits. There is also a big gap in traffic compared with videos and graphics. It is an unfamiliar niche medium and can only learn from the form of head programs. . This has led to two mainstream forms of brand podcasting: interviews and small talk, interviews with industry-related guests, or conversations with company insiders. You can easily record a program without high investment and without any difficulty.

But for listeners, podcasts are a form of content with a very high trial-and-error cost, and the program duration of more than 30 minutes often makes listeners very cautious in their choices. Correspondingly, once the audience recognizes a certain program, they will establish deep trust and listen to and listen to the past content for a long time, which is also the origin of the long tail effect of podcasting. Therefore, in order to attract audiences to click and listen, the selection of guests in interview programs and the topics of small talk programs need to be interesting enough to have high emotional value or information density. These are the program standards that are difficult to achieve.

Podcasts themselves have already had a certain Matthew effect. It is becoming more and more difficult for new podcasts to break through, and brand podcasts face more problems. For most listeners, brand podcasts themselves are a form of corporate promotion, with an advertising nature, which naturally makes people feel repulsive. Brands with their own traffic may attract some audiences, but retention is also not easy. If the content of brand podcasts is self-talk and lacks sincere expression, it is conceivable that the audience will not pay.

picture Image credit: Behance

Is this enough to say that the road to brand podcasting is bound to fail? Of course not, we can also see many positive cases in the market, and conclude the following rules:

The first is to have a definite style and maintain it for a long time. Back Stage author Crystal Duran found that the most successful branded podcast topics tended to fall into three categories: education, entertainment, and news. Educational programs answer questions about the industry for the audience, reveal the inside story of the industry, and invite industry leaders to share their thoughts, so that the audience will have a sense of gain after listening to a program. Entertainment programs provide emotional value to the audience by analyzing industry trends, interviewing celebrity KOLs, and telling company gossip in a light-hearted and humorous style. News programs report industry information, reveal the truth through information collection, deeply explore the history of industry development, and put forward critical views to meet the public ‘s demand for in-depth content . Brand podcasts are not limited to these three forms, but what value they can provide to the audience is a priority that brands need to think about before doing podcasts.

Second, partnering with a podcast agency or creator is a great way to do it. Although the broadcast volume cannot fully explain the quality of a program, it is undoubtedly a very convincing reference. Taking the total broadcast volume breaking one million as a watershed, it can be found that most of the programs that exceed one million are in cooperation with institutions or creators. For example, the “Flowers in the Rock” launched by the luxury brand GIADA, hosted by “Steve Talk” anchor Steve, interviews outstanding women in different fields in each issue, and the number of broadcasts of the program has exceeded one million in three months.

On the one hand, the experience of podcast institutions and creators is reflected in the quality, and the sound quality, listening experience, production and other aspects of the program can be guaranteed to be above the passing line, and there are not many brand podcasts on the market that can do this. ; On the one hand, it is reflected in the flow , based on the long-term trust established by institutions and creators, to reduce the audience’s sense of exclusion, improve the listening tendency, and ensure the number of program listening. Expressed in a life-like form, listening to podcasts is like making friends, and it is always easier to get along with friends who are introduced by acquaintances.

In addition to the program itself, visuals and texts need to be consistent with the brand. The program title, cover, and program introduction are aligned with the brand, making it easy for listeners to quickly identify the content. As the number of podcasts continues to grow, it becomes more and more important for listeners to have a memory of the show. Not everyone is interested in brand podcasts, but unified visual and text content can show the brand’s level of investment in podcasting and convey the brand image.

If you have the awareness of making announcements, don’t wait for the audience to come. Due to the length of time and the difficulty of labeling audio content, podcasting is a content form that does not rely on algorithms, but rather depends on spending energy on program content. The more common way is to co-create. For example, the average number of views of “Looking for Aliens” on the small universe is around 100, but the number of episodes in cooperation with “Genius Catcher FM” has exceeded 200,000 views. Planet Radio”, which invited six podcast creators to update weekly, and the number of subscriptions was close to 7,000 within two months of its launch. Focusing on topics of public concern is also an important way to get new additions. The most popular single issue of “Love New Students” launched by Tencent Interactive Game NExT Studio focuses on school recruitment, sharing how school students can enter the game company.

There are many spontaneously formed related communities and industry media for podcasts. The “Listen to Podcasts Together” circle on the instant podcast, the podcast group on Douban, and the podcast super talk on Weibo are all positions that can be promoted. Promote the show by creating program previews, collecting questions from listeners, sharing behind-the-scenes footage, and ideally extracting quotes or ideas worth sharing for each episode for easy dissemination on social media.

Being a brand podcaster is by no means easy, but when reaching those brand-loving audiences and resonating with other souls in content, brands will find it worthwhile.


1. “With 50% of the investment budget, what do brands like about podcasts? 》, New List,

2. How to Launch Your Own Branded Podcast , CRYSTAL DURAN,

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