Listen Up: Unleashing the Power of Branded Podcasts

Anybody can start a branded podcast, but how do you make it successful? Our own CEO and Managing Partner Carolyn Walker sat down with Ben Decowski, host of the Recorded Content podcast, to talk about the untapped potential of branded podcasts as marketing tools. They dive into the agency’s role in creating McAfee’s popular “Hackable?” podcast and the lessons she learned in the process. Later, they discuss tips on how to navigate the creative process of branded podcast content, and interesting marketing channels that can boost promotion.

Listen here! or continue reading for a summary of the key points:

Strategic Approach to Branded Podcasts: Launching a branded podcast should align with the strategic imperatives of the brand. It’s crucial to consider how podcasting fits into the overall marketing and content strategy. Not every brand should jump on the bandwagon, but for those where it aligns strategically, a podcast can be a powerful tool to build brand value.

Identifying Challenges and Solutions: The challenges discussed revolved around McAfee’s attempt to engage with a cybersecurity audience that typically disengaged from the topic until they faced a threat. The “Hackable?” podcast aimed to educate through entertaining content, breaking down complex cybersecurity concepts into engaging, relatable stories.

Unique Content and Format: The key to the podcast’s success was its unique format, resembling “Mr. Robot meets MythBusters” meets cyber security advocacy. By recreating pop culture hacks in an audio format and testing their feasibility, the podcast engaged listeners and demystified cyber threats.

Brand Representation in Podcasts: The decision to keep the branded podcast lightly branded rather than overtly commercial was critical. The podcast was not positioned as a sales tool but rather as a gift to educate and entertain, which significantly enhanced the brand’s positive sentiment.

Marketing and Engagement Strategies: The success of the podcast lay in multifaceted marketing approaches, including in-podcast advertising, cross-promotions with other podcasts, leveraging the company’s website, PR, and utilizing employees as social champions. Additionally, efforts to rank on popular podcast platforms significantly contributed to increased visibility and success.

Listener Engagement and Content Duration: Keeping episodes under 25 minutes encouraged high listener retention. Engaging listeners via an 800-number for feedback, incorporating listener-suggested topics, and offering backstory content on the website added depth and connection with the audience.

Impact and Success Metrics: The branded podcast not only strategically aligned with McAfee’s goals but also created positive brand sentiments, built brand intimacy, and exceeded expectations in audience engagement.

Target Audience and Advice: The podcast is geared towards marketing managers, directors, VPs, and CMOs of restaurant chains. The advice is centered on strategic alignment, storytelling, lightly branded content, engaging formats, multifaceted marketing efforts, and the importance of understanding the audience’s listening habits.

To learn more about the creation and execution of Award Winning Podcast, “Hackable?” check out our work page.