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Should Your Company Make a Branded Podcast?


March 27, 2023


March 27, 2023

In today’s media landscape, your brand has endless channels available to raise awareness, reach new audiences, and (ideally) convert those audiences to paying customers. But one channel that’s started to stand out from the rest is brand-owned podcasts. The growing world of offline is becoming smarter, more effective, and more efficient as technology advances and practices across the industry are standardized. So is creating a podcast right for your brand? Maybe. The key is knowing which type of podcast is best for your brand.

Let’s break down the different types of podcasts and how each can benefit your business.

Internal Podcast

While internal podcasts don’t target paying customers, they can be a valuable tool for connecting with your employees. This type of podcast gives leadership the opportunity to disseminate information with a personal, vocal touch (vs. an email or brief), with the convenience of on-demand access that allows employees to listen when they’re ready and interested.

While internal podcasts have their place, many workers are returning to the office and so the needs may change as it pertains to distributing information to an internal team, relative to what we saw during the virtual environments of the mid-pandemic. However, internal podcasts can still be a valuable tool and resource for employees when done in coordination with in-person meetings and touchpoints.

Branded Podcast (About the Brand)

These podcasts are essentially meant for general consumption, but are directly related to the brand underwriting the podcast. This includes content like a sleep-focused podcast created by a mattress company, a ‘true crime’ style insurance claim podcast by an insurance company, etc.

Crucially, these types of podcasts can have a few drawbacks. Notably, they are expensive to produce, even if you have your own in-house studio. Once the podcast content is created, then you have to compete with the multitudes of podcasts that already exist for listeners and share of ear. This is perhaps the most expensive endeavor, as organic growth often feels short for these shows and cost-per-new-listener benchmarks (a version of CAC for audience acquisition campaigns) generally range from $1–5.

From production, to distribution (hosting and serving costs), to audience development, branded podcasts have the potential to be more costly than a paid advertising campaign on podcasts for the brand, product or service.

Branded Podcast (Not Really About Your Brand)

In this situation, your branded podcast might not really have much relation to your brand. This type is typically the most expensive to produce because you have to strike a delicate balance of creating a genuinely good and interesting podcast with (maybe) slipping in light product placement, loose brand messaging, or subtle product affiliation.

A great example in this realm was The Message by GE, a science fiction podcast that followed the story of a team of cryptographers attempting to decode a message from outer space received 70 years ago (not exactly meant to sell light bulbs or dishwashers). It was a huge hit and spent time on all the top pod charts.

Things to Consider for Your Branded Podcast

Although the costs of podcast production and promotion are rising, creating a branded podcast for your business can have a big impact on your customers and employees. To get the most out of this space, take a close look at which type of podcast best suits your needs and assess the existing resources and capabilities available to you. The cost, along with the challenges of consumer discoverability (and the fact that if your podcast even resembles an advertisement it won’t get listens), means it’s important to know what you’re doing before you burn through your marketing budget making a podcast flop.

A Better Option for Your Brand Message

Good content is crucial for success here—and making good content isn’t always easy. If you don’t feel confident about making your podcast in-house, the significantly easier (but still not easy), less expensive option is to work with a consultant (like someone at Right Side Up) and launch a paid podcast advertising campaign in-house. This allows your brand to be served up alongside premium content without having to worry about creating or promoting it. And the best part is that it's not going to break your marketing bank—there are now experts in the space who have launched podcast advertising campaigns hundreds of times (our team is full of them), and we consistently see that consumer response is higher (in both CR% and LTV) than other paid channels (e.g. digital, search, and social).

The bottom line: Make sure you’re spending your precious marketing dollars on exceptional and impactful advertising rather than struggling internally to produce a podcast, and you’ll see the results you want.

Interested in exploring how a branded podcast or podcast ads could turbocharge your marketing efforts? Drop us a line at growth@rightsideup.co to talk to one of our offline experts.

Grant Durando is a growth marketing leader, currently consulting on podcast and offline advertising at Right Side Up. He has helped some of the largest podcast campaigns start, scale, and optimize their offline growth campaigns; with many going on to be household names because of their ubiquitous podcast presence. After working with 60+ brands in offline growth marketing, he knows what it takes to efficiently dominate emerging media landscapes, and actively works with brands, ad tech, and media companies to push nascent spaces to their limits.

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Let's talk growth

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Let's talk growth

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