5 reasons your branded podcast won’t succeed

27 October 2023

Two microphones, a recording device, a little jingle to top it off. Your branded podcast is ready to go viral, right? Not quite. Let’s discuss several pitfalls that come with creating a branded podcast, along with tips on how to avoid them.

podcast Mathias | iO

Those who never make mistakes, usually don’t make anything at all. It’s a wise saying because it holds true. However, it’s helpful to know in advance which blunders to avoid. This applies to creating branded podcasts as well. 

Being successful with podcasts… it’s important to first dissect the definition of success. Comparing yourself to larger media companies isn’t the right approach. For insurers, banks, government agencies, or telecom providers, it’s not easy to compete in that arena. If you have 10,000 customers and 10,000 unique listeners, you may not have the best national listening figures, but you’re spot on with your target audience. That being said…

1. ‘Because everyone else is doing it’

A classic “mistake” that’s made often is imitating podcasts by well-known individuals. However, what’s forgotten is that their podcast approach is not the main reason for their “success”. The reason is that they are famous, have fans, and have already created hundreds of episodes. And then you, as a car leasing company, come along with a studio conversation. In the same way as the celebrity chat podcast, but with business conversations about electrifying your vehicle fleet in 6 episodes. 

  • We consider the chances of this podcast gaining traction as close to zero. Unless you pour a lot of advertising budget into it. But there are other approaches. Why not take a road trip through Europe in an electric car? Experience the future literally and figuratively. 

2. The worst of both worlds

There are essentially two flavours in the podcast world: a short series about an unsolved murder, a mysterious disappearance (e.g., “De Verdwenen SS’er), or an exciting court case, and a weekly show about current events, as described above, for example. Brands often combine these. A talk podcast on a topic that’s important for them, in a limited series. 

  • One of the hardest things for brands to understand is that building a podcast audience takes time. Yet, many brands end their production after just six episodes. This eventually becomes a costly mistake, as it is only through continuous promotion of the show that the podcast becomes more well-known. 

3. Broadcasting without considering the audience

Imagine you're a manufacturer of outdoor clothing. Windbreakers, padded jackets, hooded sweaters, that kind of thing. You want to reach your target audience through a podcast. Good idea. Let's interview the CEO about how the clothing is made. That's what the target audience wants to know, right? Well... Think carefully about what your audience is craving, instead of assuming that your message is "interesting" enough.

  • In this specific case, we would rather think of a podcast where we engage in activities that require this clothing. A funny host exploring unusual hobbies, for example. What's so fun about using a metal detector? Why climb a mountain? Why go mudflat hiking? (while wearing that windbreaker, of course.)

Podcast spotify headphone image

Want to know more about podcasts?

Download the whitepaper.

Download here

4. Podcasts are an audio-only product

Granted, we also consider podcasts primarily an audio medium. However, especially a branded podcast should be heavily promoted on the familiar social channels. And for that, you need (moving) visuals. It doesn't have to be video right away. It can also be behind-the-scenes photos or iPhone footage during the recordings. 

5. Inconsistency in publishing

Releasing a podcast as a brand is primarily aimed at building loyalty among your target audience or gaining visibility (awareness). You don't necessarily have to release multiple seasons of podcasts or even weekly episodes, but you need to adhere to a schedule that your fans can rely on. This not only builds trust but also consistency. You want to ensure that your podcast is not forgotten by listeners who want to tune in often. 

  • De Verdwenen SS’er” was published in twos. So, two episodes were released every week. This had the advantage of keeping listeners engaged, while still creating anticipation for new episodes at a regular moment. 

 Read more about how we approach it, using a simple A-B-C-D model, here: 


Related articles
Relevant topics


Stay informed. Subscribe to our newsletter

iO respects your privacy. You can unsubscribe at any time.

 Or get updates & insights via our WhatsApp newsletter!