a manifesto for branded podcasts
by work x work
We are in an era of heightened listening. People crave authenticity, and seek meaningful connections with brands that align with their core values. That is why we work with leading brands to cultivate their true voice and their stories.
As an agency working on behalf of brands, our commitment to audio is strong. We have seen the success of our our inspirational storytelling series with Target, Future at Heart and our artist nighttime stories project, Last Sounds of the Day with Sennheiser. The medium has a unique power to engage and inspire, and we encourage purpose driven brands to speak their truth.
We’re often asked how a brand can craft a meaningful podcast.
We love this field and we love what we do and we hope that this manifesto will help inspire new brands to explore podcasting.
- ALWAYS HAVE A POINT OF VIEW
There are 650k+ podcasts out there, with more being published all the time. Whenever we sit down with a prospective client, the first thing we talk about is point of view. Without a reason to speak up, it’s going to be impossible to be heard. Why are you using a podcast to tell this story? Why are you uniquely suited to make it?
- DON’T TRANSLATE. CULTIVATE YOUR VOICE.
A podcast is not an audiobook, and podcasts shouldn’t be conceived of as a literal conversion from one format to another. We want to know the tenor and texture of your voice. We want to know your values, ambitions, ethics and aesthetics before ever pressing record. What does your brand stand for? How does it make people feel? Lead from this place.
- LOOK OUTSIDE OF THE PODCAST MEDIUM FOR REFERENCES ON FORM.
Car racing, independent cinema, magazines, reality TV, art fairs, game shows, museum exhibitions, architecture, city guides, music videos, design and poetry are all rich references we use and share with our clients.
- “PODCAST LISTENERS” ARE NOT AN AUDIENCE.
Neither are “TV watchers” or “newspaper readers.” 51% of Americans listen to podcasts and they listen for very different reasons. Know your niche. We think the best way to cultivate listenership is by celebrating these differences.
- MAKE FRIENDS WITH OTHER PUBLISHERS.
The number one form of podcast discovery is word of mouth and podcasters are influencers. Who are your adjacent audiences? Promote your work on the shows they listen to.
- FOCUS ON ART.
The intersection of design and sound is rich with opportunity. What does your brand sound like? What do you look like? Think of your show art as the cover of your book. Be bold, distinctive and compelling. Avoid cliches, cheezy references, long titles and keep things simple.
- BUDGET FOR PROMOTION.
Production is only part of your planning. Unless you already have a massive earned media audience, expect to pay for distribution. Explore cross-channel campaigns, social, digital and experiential.
- EXIST BEYOND THE PODCAST.
Envision a roster of derivative extensions that will carry the idea further. Now that you know what you sound like, how do you gather? How do you inspire? Live events, social action campaigns, a video portrait series, user tools, merchandise, and secondary podcasts (!) should always be weighed in the process.
- HAVE A LAUNCH EVENT.
People value experiences and will be more loyal to your brand if you can give them something unforgettable. Make audio the hero and bring people together with a common purpose.
- DOWNLOADS ARE AN IMPORTANT METRIC OF SUCCESS, BUT NOT THE ONLY ONE.
Engaging new audiences, strengthening brand loyalty, establishing a perspective, creating a platform for thought leadership, shining a spotlight on team members or people in your community who should be heard are all ways to perceive success.
- A MOMENT CAN BECOME A MOVEMENT.
A podcast has the power to change minds, shape legislation, spark new ideas, and alter behavior. Build for impact.
Let’s explore your brand voice and the power of podcasting. For more information contact us