Even if you already have established podcast branding, you probably want to take a min. to read through this. Brands can get stale and need updates– it is good to review the basics! 🍎
What is Podcast Branding
Ok, first things first: Podcast branding is when you create an identity for your podcast in relation to your audience through assets: visual, audio, design, voice, etc. 🎨
It is the foundation of marketing, whether you treat your podcast like a business or simply want to increase how many people hear your message.
The idea is that when people see or hear something from your brand from the first time, they can quickly call to mind certain characteristics and place your content in the context of their lives. 👨👩👧👦
Just as importantly, the idea of a brand is also that when people see or hear something from your brand a second time, or 100th time, they recognize it as being related to your show.
Marketing is about creating a story about your product. Branding is creating the main character. 🕺
Example of Branding
To really understand what branding is, let’s take a look at one of the most powerful brands in the world: Coca-Cola. 🥤
Its color is classic red and its font has a very classic look too. Even if the logo is in another language, you can tell that it is Coca-Cola. It has a very strong visual identity.
Because of the business’s long-term strategy of aligning with Santa Claus and other traditions, most people see it as wholesome. 🎅
Not bad work for a company that just makes sugar water and plastic!
How to Create a Brand
Now that you have a general idea of what podcast branding is, let’s jump in to how to create one!
We’ll break down how to establish a brand into three steps: Identity, Audience, Assets.
What is your podcast’s identity
Take a seat. It is time to ponder for a moment. 🧘
If your podcast was a person, how would you describe them? Cover these basics:
- What are their characteristics?
- What are their values?
- What is their relationship to others?
- Are they more professional or laid back? What’s their vibe?
- What would their astrological sign be (mostly kidding about this one)?
We are far more used to describing people’s identities that podcasts’. That’s why it can help to think about it in human terms, especially as you first start.
Practice Example of Podcast Branding Identity
Let’s practice. I’m going to describe a podcast as a person and you have to guess what podcast it is. 🤓
He’s a sports guy. A little loud, but funny. He is sure of himself. Opinionated. Social. A little rough around the edges, but nothing obscene. He could chug a beer and then perform some amazing physical feat. A mix of jersey shore and good ol’ boy country.
Any guesses as to what podcast I’m talking about?
If you guessed The Pat McAfee show, you are correct! 🏆
In the show, Pat Mcfee, a retired American football player, is the host. He has different sports personalities as guests on his podcast and they give their takes on the latest news about a team or a player.
Now, it my seem like I was cheating– wasn’t I just describing Pat McAfee and not the show’s brand? Not so!
Many times the host is the foundation for a podcast’s identity. 🕴️
Keep in mind, McAfee might be totally different in ‘real life.’ But when he steps into his role as podcast host, he is on brand.
If you are the host on your podcast, your podcast branding will probably be generally based around you, but it is based around you in that role. You can be a little different on your show than you are in real life, and still be authentic.
Why? Because branding is all about how you purposefully connect with your audience. That leads us to our next section! ▶️
Who Are Your Listeners and How Are You Connecting With Them?
The next step to start building your podcast branding is to think about what audience you would like to have.
Who is your target audience? If you are having trouble answering that, check out our blog to learn tips that will guide you in how to define your target audience. 👆
Once you have your target audience in mind, think about how they may first find your podcast.
Will they find you through other media? By searching for your show’s unique topic? What kind of mindset are they likely to be in and what might attract them to give your podcast episode a listen? What world is already built in their head and where do you want your podcast brand to fit in it? 🌍
Your podcast branding is about your podcast, but it is also about your audience. Branding is the line that connects your podcast to your potential listeners.
Take for example, a podcast about the old country music scene. If the target audience is retirees who love to think back to those memories, the branding probably needs to very reminiscent of the old days and comfort. 🤠
However, if the target audience is young music fans who want to learn all about the drama-filled scandals back in the day, your branding probably needs to be a bit edgy and cheeky. 💃
Your target audience may change over time. If that happens, your branding needs to shift along with it. In fact, freshening up your brand over the years is always a good idea. That’s where assets come in!
What Podcast Branding Assets Can You Get?
When most folks think of branding, they immediately think of logos. And that’s not wrong!
A logo is an branding asset. Branding assets are items that make up your brand.
Besides the content of your episode, assets are what your listeners interact with. 👈
Here’s a list of brand assets:
- Podcast Cover Art
- Social Media Profile Picture
- Color Palette
- Photo filter
- Voice and Tone (writing and audio)
- General design
- Mascot (not common in podcaster’s world, but hey why not dream!)
Don’t worry, you don’t need every single asset. And each asset doesn’t have to be some unique work of art. Speaking of art, let’s dive into visual brand assets. 👀
Visual Podcast Branding Assets
Although podcasting is an audio medium, visual assets are critical to strong podcast branding. Let’s talk about the most important ones.
Color Palette and Font
Typically you will want to start work on your podcast branding visuals by first picking the best color palette and font for your brand.
Adobe Express is a great, easy to use, free tool to build your color palette.🎨 It will help you pick out a palette of five colors, by toggling through options, turning a color wheel, etc.
There are also a lot of free and easy-to-use typeface and font sites online. ✒️
You may doubt your design skills, but by simply being a consumer of everyday marketing and brands, you probably have more of an eye than you think.
Watch out, you may just start to love design! 😍
Just always remember when you are picking colors and fonts: Do they represent the identity of your podcast and will they connect well with your listeners?
Cover Art is the image that will show up when folks find your podcast on a directory (Apple, Spotify, etc.). 🖼️
Just like books, podcasts do get judged by their covers. That’s why you may want to hire a professional or business to make it the best!
To make sure the professional delivers exactly what you want, send them these items as a guide: Other cover art examples you like, any images you want incorporated, your color palette, and your font.
Of course you can always make your own podcast cover art if you want! 💪
Just remember that your cover art is crucial to building your brand so do your best work!
Most likely, you will be using social media as part of your brand and marketing strategy. A big part of social media is photos: Profile photos, posts, etc. 📸
So let’s cover just two tips on how to make sure they are a good visual brand asset.
If possible, try to include your color palette in your photos as much as possible. For example, if you main color is purple, try to wear a plain purple shirt in some of your photos. 🟪
You may learn that having a go-to photo filter can really help you stick to your color palette and overall brand in all your photos. Of course, make sure the filter helps bring out your color palette.
Voice as a Podcast Branding Asset
By ‘voice’ as a brand asset we actually mean two different things: Your host’s actual spoken voice AND your podcast’s voice in writing.
Sometimes a podcaster will carefully build their branding, but then their voice on the show is totally different. For example, a wellness podcast might have very nurturing and calming branding, but then the host is super intense. 🥺
Make sure when you record your episode content that you don’t forget your branding strategy! A listener should pick up the same vibe from all your media, visual and audio.
The second kind of voice is writing voice. ✍️
What’s a writing voice? Well, I’ll show you an example. Here are two different brand voices about the same topic, have a read:
Brand One: Dogs are so cute! Doesn’t your heart just siiiing when they cuddle with you? OMG, Precious.
Brand Two: Dogs are man’s oldest best friend. For centuries, man and dog have hunted and explored side by side. There is no greater loyalty than that of the noble canine.
If you have a podcast website (and you should have a podcast website), the writing voice on it should be on brand.
Sometimes podcast hosts speak one way, but then write a totally different way. If you need to, don’t be afraid to hire a professional copywriter to help you write your website’s copy in the voice that is on brand. 💯
It is incredibly important to build a strong brand and then stick to it. 📣
If you want to increase not just how many individuals listen to your show, but truly grow a massive team of fans, you have to have a great brand to promote your podcast.
When you first create a podcast, it is tempting to only focus on on the content of the episodes. Don’t fall into that trap! 🙅
Plus, as you design your brand, you’ll get the added benefit of really examining the heart of your podcast. You learn what your show is really about and the direction you want to take it.
You may find that as you design and build out your brand, your marketing strategy gets clearer and your target audience gets more refined. Overtime, this could make your show an excellent candidate for a money-making podcast network!
Even if you have never even though about how to make a logo in your life, you can create great podcast branding! 🚀
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