How to Create a Successful Branded Podcast

By Hearst StoryStudio Feb 20, 2024

In an era with branded messaging coming at us 24-7, staying on top of advertising trends is a key to standing out from the crowd. Podcasts are a breath of fresh air in the world of marketing — authentic, engaging, and oh so effective. 

Over the past few years, branded podcasts have emerged as a powerful tool, offering a unique way for companies to connect with their audiences. The popularity of podcasts has skyrocketed, with over 155 million people in the United States alone tuning in each week, a figure that has more than doubled in the past decade. 

Podcasts are especially good at driving business objectives through immersive storytelling and authentic connections. Think about it like this: You’re inviting your audience to cozy up and listen in on a conversation they’d love to be part of. It’s like skipping the flashy billboard and opting for a heartfelt chat.

Despite the growing interest and clear benefits, marketers may still feel daunted by the prospect of creating their own branded podcast, unsure of where to begin or how to navigate the recording and production processes.

This is where StoryStudio steps in as a trusted partner, offering a comprehensive solution that guides you through every stage of podcast creation and promotion. From initial ideation to custom distribution, our team provides white-glove service, meaning the process is not only enjoyable, but also gets results.

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Deciding on Your Story

A compelling narrative that resonates with listeners is at the heart of every successful podcast. But what makes for a good brand story, and how can companies ensure that their content stands out in a crowded landscape?

We know that authenticity is key. You want to blend your brand’s essence with topics that spark your audience’s curiosity.

Does your founder have an incredible story of inspiration that led her to launch your company? Does your organization specialize in research that can improve your audience’s lives? Can you make them laugh? By aligning brand values with the interests and needs of your audience, companies can create stories that not only capture attention, but also foster genuine connections.

StoryStudio works closely with partners to identify the core elements of their brand stories, leveraging insights from research to inform our content strategy. Whether it’s highlighting a company’s origin story, showcasing industry expertise, or exploring relevant topics in an engaging way, we help craft narratives that are compelling and authentic to a brand’s identity. 

Deciding Who Should Tell It

Now, the voices behind the mic. In the world of podcasts, hosts and guests play crucial roles in shaping the listener experience. Whether it’s an industry expert dropping knowledge bombs or a witty host keeping things light and breezy, the key is finding voices that are inviting, encouraging listeners to pull up a chair and join the conversation. 

StoryStudio understands the significance of this dynamic and works with partners to identify suitable hosts and guests who can authentically convey the brand’s message and connect with the target audience.

When choosing your podcast guest, we believe the ideal candidate is: 

  • An industry expert: They identify as an expert in their industry and are looking to share their insights.
  • A confident speaker: They’re comfortable talking to their audience and having a conversation.
  • Someone with the gift of gab: They want an open, free-flowing conversation about their organization and can share in a detailed dialogue.
  • Connects with your community: They are excited to connect with their community and audience base in an intimate and personal way. Above all, they want to tell their story.

For partners who prefer to leave the hosting duties to professionals, StoryStudio offers a roster of experienced hosts who can bring their stories to life with authenticity and charisma.


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Editing and Production 

The magic that happens behind the scenes can seem intimidating, but with the right support, it can be a seamless and rewarding experience. Whether recording in person or virtually, our team equips partners with the resources to capture high-quality audio and ensure a professional product.

Once recording is complete, StoryStudio takes care of the editing and production process, transforming raw audio into polished episodes. Whether we’re cutting out the ums and ahs or adding in music to set the mood, we weave together sounds to create an immersive listening experience. 

Our podcast team handles everything from scriptwriting to audio editing, collaborating closely with partners to incorporate their feedback and ensure that the final product aligns with their vision and objectives. 


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How Audiences Find Your Podcast

Your podcast is ready to hit the airwaves — now what? It’s time to spread the word and get your audience tuning in. Creating a compelling branded podcast is only the first step; the next challenge is ensuring that it reaches them.

Our partners have full ownership of the content we produce and can distribute it on their webpages, social media channels, and other digital platforms. We also offer native podcast landing pages promoted on the Hearst network with custom distribution plans, meaning you reach highly focused audiences to drive engagement. Whether through full-length episodes, mini-podcasts, or integrated ad spots, we help partners connect with their audiences in meaningful ways and achieve their marketing goals.

By partnering with StoryStudio, companies can unlock the full power of podcasts, from crafting compelling narratives to reaching and engaging target audiences effectively. Together, we can create immersive storytelling experiences that leave a lasting impression on your audience and drive meaningful results for your business.

Want to hear examples of how it all comes together? Check out our recent work for Alaska Airlines, The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Gannon University

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