Four ways podcasting can build your brand

Tom Otton, CEO at Create, writes how positioning in podcasting can help in brand building

Credits: Create Group
Credits: Create Group

Podcasting is about positioning


1      Tell your cultural story

I can’t think of a better platform to communicate the agency’s culture to the internal team and wider world. So much needs to be said about what an organisation values, how it thinks, and how that feeds into the decision-making process. A podcast allows us to have a deeper, more open conversation with the listener in ways that other formats limit. 

And while we can set the tone for what our culture is about, culture champions are the ones who really prove it. Podcasts give them space to tell their story and reflect on all the things they’ve achieved with the business. It goes back to sitting around the fire with nothing but the stars and each other for company. Podcasts slow us down and put the world on hold while we listen in.

2      Prove your expertise

Podcasts can also help you find your competitive edge in a market of many. Your competitors are also putting out lots of content, often saying the same things as you. Part of the challenge is that you’re speaking as an organisation, to other organisations, and the conversation is inherently narrow and predictable. 

But clients are people, and they’re sold on people. Podcasts sidestep the sales-pitch dynamic, even when you’re effectively making one. Through conversations you’re able to show off all the uniquely talented minds behind the scenes who are really your organisation’s fingerprint. Having the time to share more complex thoughts and ideas can be such a powerful way of communicating expertise. Again, it’s about the ability to have that deeper conversation and connect. 

That potential also applies to the clients you already have and deeply value. We had Victor Dalmau, the Managing Director for Volkswagen Middle East, on our podcast a few months ago. To have that time with him was incredibly insightful; it showed us what mattered most to him, and it showed him how valuable his input is to us. What came out of that wasn’t just a better understanding of each other but a stronger client-agency relationship. 

3     Disrupt traditional communications

It’s a logistical challenge for organisations to say everything they want to say, because it always needs to be carefully packaged before it goes out into the world. So you launch campaigns and create beautiful social content to envelope the message you actually want to communicate. A podcast can do without most of that. The format allows you to say everything you want to say, and to pack multiple messages into the stories you tell. They’re conversational case studies that help talent and potential clients really understand you. That combination of low-cost production with long-term value is hard to beat.  

The interpersonal dynamic works the same way for us as individuals: If we’re looking for a better-paying job, for example, we start by updating our CV. But we only have two pages to distil years of hard work, passion, experience, and the more you’ve done in your life, the more reductive that document will be. Sure, it gets you through the door, but the interview is where decisions are made. It’s where you show off your personality, tell your story and reflect on how your experiences shaped you. And we all need that level of interaction before we can decide whether we’re a good fit for each other. 

Organisations need to understand that when they speak to the world. The surface-level pitch helps you with reach and awareness, but it’s what lies underneath that builds trust and connection. 

4     Build out a content universe

There’s so much to gain from a communication standpoint, but what gets overlooked is just how impactful podcasts can be for building a strong content library. Cutdowns and quotes from episodes can live on social media and drill home very specific messages you want your audience to hear. It combines reach with depth; someone hears a sound bite on Instagram that really clicks with them, so they go deeper and listen to the whole episode. That may draw them into following the show, which gives us quality time to take them through our people and brand. That’s where they see we’re experts in strategic digital communications, we’re trusted by some of the most influential institutions in this region, we’ve got a strong culture, incredibly smart people and so on. So from that initial sound bite, they come to learn that we’re the safest pair of hands in the industry. They come for the sound bite but stay for the story.