Finding Success in Podcasting (And, Why Brand Storytellers Have the Advantage)

Jonas Woost, Director of Strategy, Pacific Content

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Success in podcasting, of course, starts with a great story. Any brand that wants to have a successful audio storytelling strategy needs to tell stories that audiences actually want to listen to. We like to refer to those kinds of stories as 'gifts to your audience.’ Those are not the stories that you simply want to tell because it fits your business objectives but the stories that audiences will actively seek out and voluntarily choose, out of the millions of podcasts available to them.

However, in order for your brand to meet its business goal through podcasting, you need more than an amazing creative direction. Creating the right strategy to put the podcast in front of the right people is just as important. 'Build it and they will come’ content does not work—especially not in podcasting.

Discoverability is a big issue for most people in this business and the recent growth of the audio space doesn’t help as there are many more shows available to the audience now. And an original podcast by a brand isn’t only competing with other podcasts by brands, but with all the podcasts out there.

I like to say that Podcasting is Netflix and YouTube combined, only in audio form. You have a huge range of different types of audio stories, some highly produced, other very grassroots. They all have their place in the audio ecosystem but finding the right audience within that broad range is tricky.

However, there is very good news for brands in podcasting: you happened to be perfectly positioned to create success with what we call Audience Development Superpowers:

  1. Big brands have large existing audiences. The kind of audience that most independent podcasters would love to have. Think of your network. Your reach. Turning customers, partners, employees, and other stakeholders into listeners is a great way to ride into the podcast charts and start a word-of-mouth referral campaign. Unlike most podcasters, you are not starting from zero when starting a new show.

  2. Internal expertise and resources. Brands have marketing departments, social media experts, CRM systems, external agencies, and many other resources. Having teams available to help promote a podcast is a game-changer and critical to creating podcast success. This is the stuff that most podcasters dream of.

  3. A content ecosystem. A successful podcast is part of an integrated brand storytelling ecosystem. Brands can use other storytelling vehicles or brand marketing assets like videos and blog posts, to plug and promote the podcast. Typically it goes both w