Consumers quickly lose interest in brands that they sense aren’t completely genuine. Honesty and trust are table stakes for modern marketers, and when it comes to branded podcasts, audiences demand authentic value.
The medium is so personal, podcast content must resonate with listeners if a brand hopes to use it to build a following and have a positive impact. Done well, branded podcasts that consistently deliver meaningful, useful content can become powerful channels to build deeper connections with your target audiences.
We asked the members of Forbes Agency Council how to create the most valuable and authentic branded podcast content that will help attract loyal listeners. Here are 10 of their top recommendations.
1. Operate Within Your Strengths
Always make sure you operate within your strengths. Deliver podcast topics and content that energizes you, motivates you and ignites your curiosities and passions. This will come through in your delivery and help you as you work to set the tone for your podcast. Deliver content regularly; consistency is key for keeping your audience engaged. – Ana Miller, A2 Communications Group
2. Don’t Script It Word By Word
Don’t script your podcast word by word—let it flow. This makes it authentic but hits your important key messages. Talk about the main problem you solve, as that will resonate with the audience. Don’t take yourself or company too seriously, accept and acknowledge criticism, talk about the flaws you have and maybe even mention the competition. This makes every benefit that you mention much more authentic. – Timon Hartung, True Impact Consulting
3. Let Your Curiosity Lead
I’ve been podcasting for two years, and the only way I know how to do it is to let curiosity lead. Of course, I bring a journalistic background to the task, and that’s really what is needed. Podcasts require conversation, inquisitiveness, honesty and listening. If you can do that and explore timely issues (not just issues in your industry), your podcast will be authentic as well as valuable. – Lynne Golodner, Your People LLC
4. Weave Sponsorships In Throughout
In my experience, 99% of the time, the quality and relevance of the content are more important to a viewer than the “who” or “why” of the sponsorship. The problem is not who is funding the content, but how good the content is, and how naturally the sponsorship is woven into the entire experience, versus a “commercial” at the beginning and the end. – Abigail Hirschhorn, Human Intelligence | H.I.
Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?
5. Get Introductions From Influencers
Influencers can help establish your authenticity within a niche. If influencers are introducing you to their communities, know that the communities will follow their recommendations and will definitely come to listen to your podcast. – Mandeep Singh, SEO Discovery Pvt Ltd.
6. Focus On The Lives And Stories Of People
Podcasts that focus on the lives and stories of people are authentic and always resonate with the audience. Listeners love to hear where people have come from and how they persevered. No matter where they are in life, listeners can easily identify with the goals and struggles highlighted on a podcast, as we are all on a path to reach our individual goals. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne LLC
7. Inject Personality Into Your Content
You can achieve authenticity by injecting personality into your content and just by being yourself. It’s also important to be consistent because people will be looking forward to your content once they’ve heard your first episode. Sharing personal stories with your audience is also priceless, as it will resonate with your listeners. – Adrian Falk, Believe Advertising & PR
8. Don’t Use It As A Promotion Channel
Most companies can argue that they’re authorities in their domain of expertise and can start building a platform based on that. But what’s crucial is to avoid the trap of using it as a promotion channel. Instead, share real experiences as well as insights about what does not work; invite guests that might not be your fans and have honest conversations that provide value to listeners. – Lars Voedisch, PRecious Communications
9. Back Your Advice With Proper Data
When a brand provides expert advice while sharing content, it not only offers value to its listeners, but it also ensures that the content comes across as authentic, coming from “the” expert in the subject field. Brands should carefully research the topics they share and back them with sound and proper data. This gives content more credibility, showing the brand went the extra mile in its preparations. – Elissar Hajj Zarwi, Comma Hub
10. Approach It As You Do Any Other Ad Content
Approach your podcast content with the same mentality as you do any other advertising content: Remain true to your brand and aim to solve a problem. Put yourself in your listeners’ shoes. Ask yourself, “What makes people tune into their favorite podcasts?” Meet your audience where they are and provide them with transparent and direct content to keep them engaged and coming back for more. – Corbett Drummey, Popular Pays