Podcast Blog

Stand Out from the Crowd: Make Podcast Content That Matters - Brand Podcast Summit


If there's one thing that has significantly changed the landscape of content creation in recent years, it’s the longing for genuine personal connection. Something we see reached through new mediums of video, and audio like podcasts, where the audience can interact on a new level with the creator. As more and more brands and individuals embrace podcasting, it has become a key component of content strategy for organizations across diverse industries.

But why podcasting?

Podcasting, when presented correctly, using an authentic voice and storytelling, can humanize a brand. It can present a brand’s expertise and mission through different voices, getting right into the ears of a target audience. This medium resonates with audiences in ways other content cannot. 

We invited Ann Handley to the January Brand Podcast Summit to discuss the impact of podcast content, and how it can be leveraged to stand out in a crowded content-rich environment. 

Ann is an expert content marketer and the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of “Everybody Writes”. She is cited by Forbes as the most influential woman in Social Media and recognized by ForbesWoman as one of the top 20 women bloggers, she is focused on helping businesses worldwide escape marketing mediocrity to ignite tangible results. 

This blog shares key insights from the talk, with tips for marketing leaders to make their company podcast content truly unique to your brand.

Embracing the Podcast Opportunity

When I started Lower Street 7 years ago, many of my conversations with brands were around advocating for the medium. “Podcasting is so powerful, here’s why you’ve got to give it a try…” But then along came the pandemic and an explosion in listenership and brands turning to audio – and seeing amazing results from it.

Today much has changed. Podcasting is part of the marketing discussion in almost every boardroom. Whether or not they have acted on it yet, businesses have seen the opportunity, and compared to other channels, there is far less competition for attention.

In a study of marketers looking to 2024, there were three main concerns regarding content.

1. How do we stand apart in an age of AI?
2. How do we emphasize more thought leadership?
3. How can we be a trusted resource for our audience?

Brands have shown that a podcast is the perfect solution for all three. By telling human, original stories that position the brand as a thought leader, you can build trust through expertise and connection in a way no AI could.

When it comes to content, 94% of brands post short-form content, while only 24% post audio content, like podcasts. At the same time, data shows us that podcast listeners continue to increase month after month, year after year. The potential reach is only increasing for brands. That means there is a great opportunity for your brand to reach your target audience on this medium.

Most competing brands don’t bother exploring podcasting, because it’s they can’t ask some basic questions to position podcasting in their strategy. 

  • What can we expect to achieve from podcasting - what does good look like?

  • How do I create an original, differentiated concept?

  • How do we grow our audience?

I’m here to help you answer these questions and to see how podcasting can work for your brand. 

The Secrets of a Successful Podcast

What can we expect to achieve from podcasting - what does good look like?

When it comes to defining a successful podcast, there's no one-size-fits-all approach. 

Every brand has different goals, and every podcast will serve a different purpose. You’ve got to clarify what successes will look like to you and your brand, before getting into production.

Success may be a larger audience, and positioning yourself as a thought leader. Success might be measured by awards. Or it may be measured by direct relations with listeners.

In podcasting, the significance of measurable and meaningful goals can’t be understated.

 While metrics such as downloads and reach are essential, they are just a part of the larger picture. The true measure of success often lies in audience engagement and the ability to spark meaningful conversations and interactions. 

Podcasting gets people talking, and that is what you’ll achieve from using this medium in your content strategy. You’ll have people talking about your expertise, your show, and your brand.

 No matter how you define your success, you’ll reach it by aligning the purpose and voice of your podcast with the preferences and needs of your audience. 

But, maybe the question you should ask is not only what makes a podcast successful, but what makes a podcast “good”?

There is a difference between a successful and a good podcast, and a successful one may not necessarily be considered good. But two key elements make a podcast good (or I’d say, great):

  1. It has a clear purpose and a clear role in the larger landscape.

  2. It's compelling to the people whom it seeks to reach. 

Crafting a Compelling Podcast

Creating a podcast is tough on its own, and creating one that truly stands out and resonates with listeners is a common concern for many.
So how does a brand create an original, differentiated concept?

Start by defining your show’s purpose and value proposition. Make sure it offers a distinct and valuable experience tailored to your target audience.

You’ll want to look from both the creator’s perspective and the audience’s perspective. When considering your brand as a creator ask yourself: Why are we creating the podcast? What's the intent behind it? What's your goal in having a podcast? What do you hope to accomplish with it? What space do you hope it will occupy?

When looking at it from the audience’s point of view, consider: So what? Why should your audience care about it? Why does it matter to them?

This will help you figure out the big picture of your podcast content strategy, but then it comes down to the episodes.

“You've got to offer your listeners something that they just find irresistible in one way or another, because it’s a great story or stories, that will by definition, capture our hearts and our minds, or because it's information that the listeners want.”
-Ann Handley

When you know what your listeners need and want, focus on giving them valuable content in response.. Don’t just share practiced lines and expertise. Use an engaging narrative and storytelling to “share the value, not the moment”, as Ann so wisely stated.

Nurturing and Growing Your Podcast Audience

Now, onto that third question on everyone’s mind, let’s answer: how do you grow your audience?

While the first step is creating content that could only come from your brand, you’ll want to make sure it reaches the ears that matter. Being clear about who you want to listen to and providing them with content they want to hear and share is essential to growth. 

The process of growing your podcast audience is like tending a garden; it requires care, attention, and a personal touch. While classic marketing tactics are valuable, the potential for organic growth and genuine audience connections should not be overlooked. 

You know that the best way to grow always is organically. By just inviting those in your audience to share it with somebody else. That's by far the way that I have always grown almost anything that I've created or produced. Say: If you like this, tell other people about it, send them here, invite them to listen as well.
- Ann

Encouraging genuine engagement, sharing valuable insights, and leveraging direct interactions with your listeners, is what is going to get you a loyal and expanding audience.

Once you have high-quality content to share your brand’s message. you can implement other growth methods: landing pages and blogs to share your content with search engine optimization, newsletters, promotional campaigns, and social media. Wherever you choose to share, there is one crucial idea to keep in mind.

Share the value, not the moment.

Wherever you are sharing your message, make valuable content for your audience. This rule applies across greater content marketing, not only to podcasting.

In every piece your brand produces, there should be clear value. Before you hit publish or share, ask yourself, what is this bringing to my audience?

When you want to share your podcast across mediums, don’t only share that you’ve launched a show, or released a new episode - share the value of that piece. Repurpose quotes and moments that highlight the episode’s expertise that your audience would find useful, or the stories that will inspire them

Further Reading: How to Grow Your Podcast 

Future Outlook: The Role of Podcasts in Content Strategy

As we make our way through 2024 and beyond, podcasts continue to be more important in a brand’s content strategy. Podcasts can be a cornerstone of brand storytelling and audience engagement. The shift towards authentic, human-centered content only backs up the relevance of podcasts in a brand or organization’s larger strategy. 

The future of content marketing promises many opportunities for brands and content creators in podcasting. By embracing the potential of podcasts as a medium for storytelling, audience connection, and meaningful engagement, organizations can build genuine relationships and a distinctive presence in a competitive environment.

Contact our team at Lower Street and let us help you clarify your podcasting content strategy and produce a great show for your brand.

If you enjoyed these insights with Ann, you’ll want to join us for the April Brand Podcast Summit. We’ll have even more key sessions with industry leaders, as well as group strategy sessions, interactive workshops to finetune your podcast strategy, and much more. Find the details and register here: https://www.brandpodcastsummit.com


Harry Morton

Hi, I'm Harry. I'm a father and the founder of Lower Street. I like mountain biking, making music, and travel.