6 Things Your Podcast NEEDS in 2022

written by our Canadian Podcast Partner Jar Audio

With companies like KLM, eBay, Johnson & Johnson, and American Express (plus more) all hopping on the branded podcast wagon, it’s clear this medium is here to stay.

And, with more folks working from home in post-pandemic life, we expect both the branded podcast and internal podcast to continue to thrive in 2022.

Below, we explore what your series needs to succeed next year — including the things increasingly savvy audiences have come to expect.

Let’s dive in.

More creative risks

When you build a branded podcast, you’re not just competing against other branded podcasts. (But wouldn’t that be nice?)

Instead, you have to stand out in an absolute sea of content — among every other podcast out there, in fact — and we’re looking at a library over 2 million strong.

It’s time to take creative risks, break the grid, change the formula, and challenge the status quo. Listeners are savvier than ever. Fresh concepts and an innovative approach will take you far.

(If you’re not a creative agency, it’s probably time to outsource.)

Niching down (even if this means a second podcast)

With so much competition out there, it’s also seriously crucial that you find a way to niche down.

Really down.

Let’s take a look at some prime examples:

  • Expedia, the travel industry giant, created a series focused on getting the best out of your travel. Out Travel the System offers hot tips on getting the best deals, and visiting the best cities (at the best time).
  • KLM, on the other hand, created The Journey — a series that tells the story about peoples lives being radically changed after a trip.

Finding the perfect niche for your brand isn’t just about creating cohesive content.

It can also help you:

  • Offer something that’s uniquely valuable to listeners
  • Build an owned audience that will be loyal to your series
  • Establish your company as an expert in a space of your choosing
  • And prequalify prospective customers, partners or clients

Perhaps you’re feeling pulled in two directions? No worries. This happens a lot — and we expect an increase in podcast brands with multiple podcasts as we move into 2022.

Greater diversity

Hopefully, we can all agree on this by now. Diversity isn’t a should. It’s a must.

The podcast biz, like every other form of popular media, is more than saturated with white, cis-gendered, able-bodied and heterosexual folks.

If you want to create a podcast that offers real value, you need to provide other stories, experiences, and perspectives. So let’s hear from someone else for a change, shall we?

This isn’t just about building a successful series, it’s about challenging the status quo, creating representative content, and not alienating massive portions of your potential audience.

It’s time to prioritize all listeners — and this can only happen when you open your series up to a wide array of guests, topics, and hosts.

Robust marketing

Branded podcast creators should also have their eye on their marketing plans now, and moving into 2022.

As this industry continues to grow, it will become more and more important for brands to make a concerted marketing effort — and ideally, have a healthy media budget to match.

Need we reiterate that there are over 2 million series out there for you to compete with? We’re all ready to make our podcast stand out, right?

Well, trust us when we say that pouring a portion of your marketing budget into a branded podcast is a powerful strategic move.

Content marketing is in its prime — an unsurprising fact, given how ad proof consumers are these days.

Based on existing trends, the demand for quality content and substantial business-consumer relationships will only increase as time passes.

And we know we’ve said it before, but when it comes to content marketing, the podcast really stands out.

It offers a level of intimacy, depth, humanity, complexity, and audience loyalty unrivaled by social media, webinars or blog posts.

Exceptional quality

As more and more folks listen to podcasts on a regular basis (stats available here), listeners are growing accustomed to exceptional production.

We have come to expect:

  • Flawless audio
  • Superb music choices
  • And professional editing

And, when the audio quality isn’t there, listeners start to drop off. We’ve seen it happen.

Needless to say, when it comes to a branded podcast, you don’t want shoddy production to be the reason you lose touch with an otherwise loyal, invested audience.

As more brands realize this, we expect a growing number of them to choose to outsource. (Perhaps you should too.)

A nurture mindset

As content marketing continues to grow in popularity — as well as perceived and actual value — it’s crucial that companies adopt a nurture mindset when it comes to their branded podcast.

This means that we will stop looking at this medium exclusively as an opportunity to deliver CTAs and build brand awareness.

Instead, the branded podcast should be used to educate and nurture prospects and customers at a level, and length, no other medium can.

Your branded podcast shouldn’t be an ad. This is an opportunity to build the kind of meaningful, lasting relationships that can make the difference between failure and success.

No small project

Clearly, this isn’t the kind of thing your team can just slap together on Friday afternoons.

A branded podcast packs major reward. It’s also a massive project. This isn’t a matter of just sitting someone down at a mic and pressing record.

It’s about effective strategy, engaging storytelling, extraordinary concepts, and professional-grade creative work — not to mention the time and effort that goes into monitoring performance and podcast ROI.

If you’re looking for expert guidance, we’d be more than happy to help.

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We love audio. It triggers fantasy. It triggers emotion. ‘Your ears are our way in’

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