The Importance of Branding
Branding your podcast is one of the most important objectives that you will achieve before you market and promote your podcast. Effectively branding your podcast will send consistent messages to your audience, establishing your brand image and purpose.
By taking the time to plan and brand well in advance of the release of your first podcast, your efforts will go a long way and quickly differentiate your podcast from similar offerings. Selecting a name for your podcast, securing a domain name for both your podcast website and blogger, picking colors, creating a logo, corporate language, music, sound effects, slogans, and voice-over imaging are all important aspects of branding your podcast.
Identifying Your Podcast Theme
Your theme is the core of your podcast and should conjure up some imagery and familiar iconography for your listeners.
Writing your podcast description is a necessary step in the branding process. When you are drafting your podcast description, make sure that it explains the purpose of your show and the theme of your podcast. This description should be no more than two to three sentences long.
Selecting a Name - Personify Your Podcast
When selecting a name, be sure that the name of your podcast reflects the content that you are recording. For example, if your subject matter is about travel, your podcast name should be branded to compliment your show. To illustrate, a podcast about travel might be called Globetrotter, Passport Podcast, The Travel Guide, and so on. Make sure that the name you choose is also available as a domain name online. Try to make your name unique but easily understood and recognizable.
Securing a Domain Name and Blog Name
Once you have picked a name for your podcast, secure the domain name for your podcast. This is extremely important because interested listeners and inquisitive searchers will be able to find your podcast in Search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, MSN and others. As a reward for consistently branding your podcast, search results will display your website and podcast accordingly.
To find out if the name that you are seeking is available, visit Network Solutions and conduct a search for the domain names that you are considering for your podcast. Sometimes, the name of the podcast comes from the domain name that you secured instead of picking the name first and then finding the domain afterwards. Always try to secure a "dot com" website instead of a .net, .org, or .biz. The .com extension is standard, holds more value, curb appeal, and is deeply ingrained in the minds of Internet users.
Here is a link to Network Solutions: www.NetworkSolutions.com
Here is a link to Blogger: www.Blogger.com
Picking Colors - Visual Appeal
When choosing colors to represent your podcast, it is important to select complimentary colors, that is, colors that go well together. Once you have picked the colors that you will brand your podcast with and use on your website, create a logo incorporating those selections to further brand your podcast visually.
Colors often have certain emotions or connotations associated with them, for instance, the color yellow is often associated with the sun, cheerfulness, and innovation, whereas blue may be associated with the sea, tranquility, and freedom. If your company already has a official colors, you may wish to incorporate those same colors into your branding scheme for the podcast.
Creating a Logo - Your Visual ID
A logo is the most readily available representative of your podcast. Your logo can accompany press releases, be used as a link to your site, for advertising purposes, and give potential audiences a glimpse at what you and your podcast are all about even before listening to your show.
Logos are very important. When designing your logo, remember that it is often the first impression of your podcast. Bearing this in mind, your logo should be friendly to all age groups and sized appropriately, making sure that it does not take up more than the normal allotted dimensions for logos. Incorporate the colors that you chose for your podcast to further enhance and unify your visual branding.
If need be, you can outsource logo design to a freelance graphic designer or firm. If you are able to design your own logo, using tools such as Fireworks and Adobe Photoshop are good programs to achieve your branding goals. If your company already has a logo, you could further brand your image by incorporating your business logo or design a variation of your corporate logo to strengthen and reinforce your brand.
Company Branding Language - Digestive Corporate Lingo
If you are podcasting for a company, it is likely that you can enhance your pitch with marketing and product language that is already familiar to your audience. Though using corporate language is important to maintain your identity, limit the use of industry jargon. If you intend to use jargon freely, be sure to explain the terminology and provide examples of what you are expressing throughout the podcast to accommodate listeners. Remember to fully exude your company culture when recording the podcast. Your audience will enjoy knowing that your company is real, fresh, and accessible, all of which can be positively conveyed by exhibiting your 'true colors' for all to hear.
If you are outsourcing your podcast voice-over recordings, be sure that the voice-over talent is fully educated with regard to your company culture and overall business mission. The talent needs to understand your objectives in order to bring your message across using your language to build the podcast brand.
Music and Sound Effects - An Audio Smorgasbord
Many podcasts have introductory music, music that heralds segments, music beds underneath segments, and closing or outro music. Often, the music selected will be based upon a theme and vary throughout the podcast. This is known as theme and variation.
For instance, the intro music, which is also the music that is most associated with your podcast, is the main theme that the remaining music revolves around. The outro music should nearly mirror the intro music with a more subdued variation, finishing with a cadence or fading out to end the show.
Sound effects can be interspersed throughout the show while you are speaking, or can be nestled into the musical theme and variations. When selecting sound effects, make sure that they are appropriate to your show and are used sporadically to compliment your podcast.
There are a few options for acquiring music and sound effects. You can purchase royalty-free music and sound effects, hire a composer to create custom work for your podcast, or compose your own music.
Voice Imaging - Voice-over for Your Podcast
To give your podcast a leg up and some major audio impact, consider hiring a professional voice-over talent to provide imaging for your podcast. Imaging packages can include podcast introductions, segment announcements, and full music production as well as sound effects. Employing the talents of a professional imaging voice talent will complete the branding of your show, giving your audience a consistent voice that they associate with your podcast and listen for each week.
When selecting a voice for the introduction and additional imaging, aim to choose a voice that is complementary to the voice of the host. Sometimes it is effective to have an imaging voice of the opposite gender introducing the show and the host. Entertainment and corporate podcasts will use this tactic to separate segments and to build brand recognition as well as define the voice of their company or organization. The imaging voice should be in line with the podcast theme and audience.
A good example of a complementary imaging voice to both the show and host is the IV Podcast imaging voice talent. His voice, just like the podcast and company, is friendly, clear, confident, genuine, and crisp. A male voice was selected purposefully to compliment the voice of the female host and her voice type. With that said, many listeners do appreciate hearing the voices of everyday people. Don't be discouraged that you may not have a "radio voice". With good content and a clear message, you will connect with your audience.
Summary - Key Points About Branding
In this chapter, we talked about how important it is to make your podcast stand out by branding all aspects of your show. Refer back to this branding guide to as you progress in your podcast planning. When inspiration strikes, have a good brainstorm and jot down as many ideas about your podcast vision as possible and use the results to brand your podcast.
Written by Stephanie Ciccarelli