Are you putting your audience first?

If you’re looking to work a branded podcast into your content marketing plan, your audience should be your top priority. A well-made series will consider your ideal supporters while prioritizing their interests and striving to meet their needs.

Below, you’ll find a list of dos and don’ts essential to creating not just any podcast, but one that’s tailored to your audience and your brand identity. Follow this guide, and you’ll be one step closer to boosting loyalty, increasing awareness, and building brand affinity.

Don’t create the world’s longest commercial.

Do you want to listen to a 30-minute commercial or business pitch while you’re on a run or out to grab your morning coffee? Of course not. But, if you truly believe in your business, the urge to sell and/or promote can be seriously tempting.

At the end of the day, you’ll want to remember this: your podcast should be about your audience, not your company.

Do keep that “sales pitch” subliminal.

As we discussed above, a great podcast will not explicitly discuss why listeners should choose your brand and, in many cases, will hardly mention your brand at all. So, how can a branded podcast build your business? Through subtextual messaging, of course!

Effective content marketing relies heavily on the story you tell about your values, mission, and purpose, but that message will be implicit and received by way of the guests you feature, the approach you take, and the ideas you prioritize within your series. By creating a podcast that dives into the issues, concerns, people, and topics that are important to your audience, you will begin to develop loyalty, affinity, investment and reciprocity.

Don’t neglect accessibility.

If you don’t want to miss the mark, here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • How can a person with hearing loss enjoy our content?
  • If a listener can’t hear our podcast, will they have the option to lip read?
  • Can a person with vision impairment access our series?
  • What if someone needs our guests to speak more slowly?
  • Does our graphic design consider audience members that are color blind?

Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive — and will continue to grow and change as we learn more about disability. To get your series on the right path, though, you can check out this crash course in podcast accessibility.

Do look to interests to identify needs.

For example, KLM’s podcast The Journey is all about people whose lives have changed, after a trip or holiday. It offers listeners an inside view of some of the most beautiful and amazing places on the planet and brings you close to the people who tell their emotional stories. KLM could have made a podcast on flying, or on popular destinations, but they didn’t.

A less obvious jump can be seen in the massively successful podcast of Saje Natural Wellness, also a giant in its industry. While this is a company predominantly known for its essential oils and diffusers, its podcast Well Now is more explorative, diving into all things holistic and natural remedy. They did not, conversely, make a podcast about essential oils.

While the approach varied, each of the above-mentioned brands ultimately created a series which was based on their target audience, and took into consideration what their needs, interests, values, and common queries might be.

Don’t overlook the importance of dialogue.

Assumptions only get us so far and, at the end of the day, consistent communication has the potential to change the game when it comes to your content marketing strategy.

Do turn to analytics for further feedback.

You’ll want to be sure to use a hosting service that allows you to access this data often, and easily. While we are of course seeking an invested, long-term following — and prioritizing audience quality over quantity — KPIs like your number of downloads and listen-through rate provide valuable feedback that should absolutely inform what you’re doing.

Don’t forget to address your audience personally.

While it’s obviously not possible to speak to Mark in Alabama and ask him how he’s doing with his marathon training, we do have the opportunity to connect with our listeners personally. Through thoughtful questions, a tip of the hat or a spirited sidebar, we can create an atmosphere of camaraderie.

Here are some examples of language that will helps make your podcast feel like a two-way street:

  • “Based on what we’ve learned about all of you…”
  • “If you’re as shocked as I am right now…”
  • “I’m sure you’ve peeped who today’s guest is and, like me, are excited beyond belief!”

Also, don’t forget to thank them. A little gratitude never hurt anyone, and an audience that feels seen and appreciated is an invaluable commodity.

Putting people before your company.

This is an essential step to any effective content-focused strategy. Your audience members become your clients, consumers, and supporters, after all. Without these folks, where would your brand be?

Originally written and posted by our partner in crime, JAR Audio.