January 16, 2024

Are there good branded podcasts? These 9 examples show it can be done

Branded podcasts don’t have to be boring. These 9 shows marry content marketing with storytelling for a captivating audience experience.
January 16, 2024

Are there good branded podcasts? These 9 examples show it can be done

Branded podcasts don’t have to be boring. These 9 shows marry content marketing with storytelling for a captivating audience experience.
January 16, 2024
Elise Dopson
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What type of content do you primarily create?

Videos
Podcasts
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Matt D., Copywriter
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What type of content do you primarily create?

Videos
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Social media clips
Transcriptions


You’ve got a company social media account, a website, and maybe an email list to communicate with potential customers. But those content marketing channels all have one thing in common: they’re predominantly text-based.

Audio content like branded podcasts gives you a chance to cater to a target audience that prefers to listen to their content. The problem is: with so many podcasts out there, how can you create a company podcast that stands out, builds brand awareness, and maybe geven makes money? This guide shares the answer, complete with nine examples of actually good branded podcasts to draw inspiration from.

What is a branded podcast?

A branded podcast is a type of audio content that businesses use to establish thought leadership, build brand awareness, and promote their products and services. People can tune into the podcast using a podcast app like Apple Podcasts or Spotify, then click the link in the podcast show notes to visit the company’s website and buy its products or services.

4 benefits of branded podcasts

Engage and grow your audience

A branded podcast is a superb channel to increase brand awareness. Unlike text-based content like blog posts or video-based content on YouTube, both of which require undivided attention, podcasts are a medium that fit into your target audience’s daily life—many listen while they’re driving, exercising, or doing housework. A BBC study found that this kind of active listening boosts engagement with and memory for the brands mentioned in a podcast. 

That’s not to mention the size of the audience: with a branded podcast, you have the potential to reach 464 million podcast listeners who tune into their favorite show on a podcast player. You’re instantly primed to reach people across Apple Podcasts and Spotify with a company podcast.

Show authority and social proof

It’s one thing to sell a product or service; it’s another to become a voice of authority in the global conversation about the industry. Aligning your brand with valuable ideas—and, thanks to interviews, leading figures in the space—burnishes your brand’s reputation in the minds of your listeners. 

Build strong customer relationships

A successful branded podcast isn’t just a way to drive sales from new customers. Treat your own podcast as a way to build stronger relationships with customers you already have. You could invite them to host the podcast with you, talk to their favorite influencers, or ask them to submit questions that you’ll answer on the show. 

A regular podcast gives people a reason to stay connected to your business. If they know to come back once a week and be entertained or educated, you can reduce your reliance on other marketing channels designed to drive existing customers back to your website to make another purchase.

Generate leads and revenue

Branded podcasts are a great way to drive website visits. Treat your show as the top of the marketing funnel, then use tactics to get people on your website buying products. That might mean including links to your site in the podcast show notes, giving your podcast listenership an exclusive discount code (such as “PODCAST”), or promoting lead magnets to grow your email list. 

Top 9 branded podcasts to start your own

Before we jump into the step-by-step process of hosting your own company podcast, let’s look at nine brands who’ve started their own show. 

1. a16z

a16z podcast cover art

a16z is a venture capital firm that invests in companies across the AI, healthcare, fintech, and gaming industries. The company has created a branded podcast that covers topics in these industries, oftentimes interviewing experts in the industry.

What’s interesting about this company podcast is that the guests are genuine, credible thought leaders. Whether it’s a Stanford University professor or the CEOs of multi-million dollar companies, it proves that a16z knows its target audience. Business people interested in venture capital need more than light-hearted conversations with social media influencers.

2. BombBomb

BombBomb podcast cover art

BombBomb is a software company that sells communication tools to help businesses communicate virtually. It uses the interview format to talk about topics in the customer experience space—things its target audience would want to listen to.

Pay close attention to BombBomb’s podcast episode titles. Each episode features a guest, but rather than using the guest’s name as the episode title—which could be great for listeners who know and like the guest, but alienating for people who haven’t heard of them—the episode titles begin with the theme and lessons contained in the interview. That way, listeners know what they’re getting before they press play.

3. WHOOP

Image of WHOOP podcast channel on YouTube

Your branded podcast doesn’t have to limit itself to audio-based platforms like Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Take WHOOP, for example—an ecommerce brand that sells fitness trackers. It creates video versions of its podcast and uploads them to YouTube. This helps the brand capture the majority of people who tune into their favorite podcasts on YouTube. 

This strategy has helped WHOOP climb to over 26K YouTube subscribers. That’s a huge competitive advantage and a captive audience to build brand awareness on YouTube. 

📹 Start learning: How to start a video podcast

4. 37signals

37signals podcast cover art

37signals is a software company with a branded podcast that touches on remote work and entrepreneurial topics. But instead of inviting guests on the show, a dedicated podcast host runs the episodes solo to build a stronger connection with listeners. This is supplemented with the occasional input from the company’s co-founders (who also run Basecamp).

To replicate this strategy you’ll need an engaging host—one that’s entertaining enough to take center stage. 

5. Duolingo

Duolingo podcast cover art

If you’re searching for an example of a branded podcast that exists to educate potential customers, look no further than Duolingo. The language learning app doesn’t limit its education to paying subscribers. Anyone can tune into its Spanish podcast series to listen to real-life stories in a language they’re not yet fluent in. 

Some companies avoid the free podcast route because, well, customers should pay for your services, right? But a podcast can help people see the value you provide before they subscribe. It’s like free content that acts as a teaser before people get the real thing: your product.

6. Shopify

Shopify Masters thumbnail for Spotify

Shopify is an ecommerce brand with millions of customers. It uses that to its advantage with Shopify Masters—a branded podcast designed to tell in-depth success stories of entrepreneurs using Shopify’s products.

Don’t rule out this strategy if you’re a startup or small business. Although Shopify publishes new podcast episodes weekly, you don’t necessarily need to follow that strategy to the letter. You can still find a wealth of inspiring stories by interviewing people who’ve seen success with your product or services. For example, if you staggered new interviews with other podcast formats (like a deep dive or solo show) every two weeks, you’d only need 26 customers to fill up your content calendar for the entire year. 

7. National Geographic

Overheard at National Geographic podcast cover art

If there’s one thing that National Geographic excels at, it’s creating high-quality content. This branded podcast is no different. 

National Geographic’s podcast doesn’t just talk about the content it sells. Instead it takes people behind the scenes of the organization. “Overheard at National Geographic” retells stories told by team members who—because they work at National Geographic—have stories to tell from all corners of the world.

8. Trader Joe’s

 Image of products Trader Joe’s features in its branded podcast

Convenience store Trader Joe’s might not sound like a suitable candidate for a branded podcast, but it proves you can launch a show without having an obviously interesting niche. From holiday lists to loyalty clubs, the brand’s podcast ties trending topics into facts about the organization. 

It’s an especially great example to look into if you’re selling online products. Trader Joe’s publishes the transcript of its podcast on its website. Viewers can see the products mentioned in each episode, their price, and add them to their online shopping cart—an omnichannel customer experience that turns your company podcast into a sales machine.

9. Microsoft

Image of Microsoft’s podcast cover art

Do you work for a large organization or sell multiple products? Your branded podcast doesn’t have to cover every topic. Instead, take a leaf from Microsoft’s book and go niche—like this podcast hosted by its Threat Intelligence team. 

Not only is this a great way to claim market share for a niche product, but it’s a type of thought leadership that can stand out. In this case, the cybersecurity industry is overrun with so-called experts. When you attach Microsoft’s brand identity to this show and hear from the team who work for such a prestigious company, you instantly know this one is credible. 

How to start a branded podcast

Feeling inspired to start your own branded podcast? Let’s walk through the process of creating a podcast on behalf of a business. 

Step 1. Define your target audience

Much like any other marketing strategy, the first step in creating a branded podcast is to define your audience. Who will you be talking to when recording new episodes? Detail demographic and behavioral data like:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Goals
  • Challenges 

Pull information from your brand messaging documents and sales platform for help here. Data from your online store might show that most customers are women, or that people aged over 50 have a higher conversion rate than younger demographics. Either way, this data can help you fine-tune your target audience. 

💰 Monetize your show: The podcast advertising rates guide

Step 2. Prepare your podcast topics

Next, choose what you want to talk about in your show. Don’t fall into the trap of choosing a popular podcast niche—such as true crime—and creating a company podcast around that if it has minimal relation to your products or services. The greater the overlap between what you sell and what you podcast about, the more chance you have at monetizing your show. 

And remember: you don’t have to be super specific about nailing down a single niche. Many brands use podcast segments to talk about different topics or themes within each episode. 

Step 3. Record and edit your show

Choose a topic from your shortlist and start recording your show. You’ll need a podcast production platform to do this. We’re biased, but we recommend Descript. It has everything you need to record and edit your show, including features like:

  • Remote recording—ideal if you’re co-hosting or inviting a guest
  • Automated transcription to edit your podcast like you’d edit a Google Doc
  • Filler word removal to banish awkward stutters, pauses, and phrases
  • AI tools to fix audio mistakes with a clone of your natural voice  
  • Show notes summarizer that uses AI to write your podcast description

The best part: Once you’ve edited your podcast in Descript, you can export it to popular podcast hosting platforms like Buzzsprout, Podbean, and Restream. 

image

Step 4. Promote your branded podcast 

To share your new podcast with the world, you’ll need to find a podcast hosting platform. This acts as a home for your podcast. It’s also where you’ll get the RSS feed link to submit your branded podcast to directories like Apple Podcasts and Spotify. 

Once your podcast is live in the main directories, get people to tune into your new show by repurposing each episode and turning it into teaser-style audio or video clips. 

The Descript feature Find Good Clips does this for you. It’ll use AI to run through your episode and pull out the most entertaining, educational, or useful parts of your episode. Those make for golden nuggets to share on social media. 

Image of Descript’s new feature Find Good Clips in action

The best tool to start and grow a company podcast

A branded podcast is one of the most effective ways to communicate with your audience, especially if you’re on a budget. Descript offers a free trial that comes with premium podcast features as standard:

  • Record remote interviews with Squadcast
  • Improve audio quality with Studio Sound 
  • Edit your podcast like you’d edit a Google Doc
  • Collaborate with your team through project comments 
  • Turn your podcast into a video to promote on social media and YouTube 

Thousands of the world’s top companies—including NPR and The New York Times—use Descript to record and edit their podcast. Take a free tour today to find out why.

Elise Dopson
Elise Dopson is a freelance writer, creator, and fierce Descript user. She's also the co-founder of Peak Freelance.
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Are there good branded podcasts? These 9 examples show it can be done

three vertical blue microphones with light blue background


Transcribe. Edit. As easy as tapping your backspace key.
Create your podcast from start to finish with Descript.

You’ve got a company social media account, a website, and maybe an email list to communicate with potential customers. But those content marketing channels all have one thing in common: they’re predominantly text-based.

Audio content like branded podcasts gives you a chance to cater to a target audience that prefers to listen to their content. The problem is: with so many podcasts out there, how can you create a company podcast that stands out, builds brand awareness, and maybe geven makes money? This guide shares the answer, complete with nine examples of actually good branded podcasts to draw inspiration from.

What is a branded podcast?

A branded podcast is a type of audio content that businesses use to establish thought leadership, build brand awareness, and promote their products and services. People can tune into the podcast using a podcast app like Apple Podcasts or Spotify, then click the link in the podcast show notes to visit the company’s website and buy its products or services.

4 benefits of branded podcasts

Engage and grow your audience

A branded podcast is a superb channel to increase brand awareness. Unlike text-based content like blog posts or video-based content on YouTube, both of which require undivided attention, podcasts are a medium that fit into your target audience’s daily life—many listen while they’re driving, exercising, or doing housework. A BBC study found that this kind of active listening boosts engagement with and memory for the brands mentioned in a podcast. 

That’s not to mention the size of the audience: with a branded podcast, you have the potential to reach 464 million podcast listeners who tune into their favorite show on a podcast player. You’re instantly primed to reach people across Apple Podcasts and Spotify with a company podcast.

Show authority and social proof

It’s one thing to sell a product or service; it’s another to become a voice of authority in the global conversation about the industry. Aligning your brand with valuable ideas—and, thanks to interviews, leading figures in the space—burnishes your brand’s reputation in the minds of your listeners. 

Build strong customer relationships

A successful branded podcast isn’t just a way to drive sales from new customers. Treat your own podcast as a way to build stronger relationships with customers you already have. You could invite them to host the podcast with you, talk to their favorite influencers, or ask them to submit questions that you’ll answer on the show. 

A regular podcast gives people a reason to stay connected to your business. If they know to come back once a week and be entertained or educated, you can reduce your reliance on other marketing channels designed to drive existing customers back to your website to make another purchase.

Generate leads and revenue

Branded podcasts are a great way to drive website visits. Treat your show as the top of the marketing funnel, then use tactics to get people on your website buying products. That might mean including links to your site in the podcast show notes, giving your podcast listenership an exclusive discount code (such as “PODCAST”), or promoting lead magnets to grow your email list. 

Top 9 branded podcasts to start your own

Before we jump into the step-by-step process of hosting your own company podcast, let’s look at nine brands who’ve started their own show. 

1. a16z

a16z podcast cover art

a16z is a venture capital firm that invests in companies across the AI, healthcare, fintech, and gaming industries. The company has created a branded podcast that covers topics in these industries, oftentimes interviewing experts in the industry.

What’s interesting about this company podcast is that the guests are genuine, credible thought leaders. Whether it’s a Stanford University professor or the CEOs of multi-million dollar companies, it proves that a16z knows its target audience. Business people interested in venture capital need more than light-hearted conversations with social media influencers.

2. BombBomb

BombBomb podcast cover art

BombBomb is a software company that sells communication tools to help businesses communicate virtually. It uses the interview format to talk about topics in the customer experience space—things its target audience would want to listen to.

Pay close attention to BombBomb’s podcast episode titles. Each episode features a guest, but rather than using the guest’s name as the episode title—which could be great for listeners who know and like the guest, but alienating for people who haven’t heard of them—the episode titles begin with the theme and lessons contained in the interview. That way, listeners know what they’re getting before they press play.

3. WHOOP

Image of WHOOP podcast channel on YouTube

Your branded podcast doesn’t have to limit itself to audio-based platforms like Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Take WHOOP, for example—an ecommerce brand that sells fitness trackers. It creates video versions of its podcast and uploads them to YouTube. This helps the brand capture the majority of people who tune into their favorite podcasts on YouTube. 

This strategy has helped WHOOP climb to over 26K YouTube subscribers. That’s a huge competitive advantage and a captive audience to build brand awareness on YouTube. 

📹 Start learning: How to start a video podcast

4. 37signals

37signals podcast cover art

37signals is a software company with a branded podcast that touches on remote work and entrepreneurial topics. But instead of inviting guests on the show, a dedicated podcast host runs the episodes solo to build a stronger connection with listeners. This is supplemented with the occasional input from the company’s co-founders (who also run Basecamp).

To replicate this strategy you’ll need an engaging host—one that’s entertaining enough to take center stage. 

5. Duolingo

Duolingo podcast cover art

If you’re searching for an example of a branded podcast that exists to educate potential customers, look no further than Duolingo. The language learning app doesn’t limit its education to paying subscribers. Anyone can tune into its Spanish podcast series to listen to real-life stories in a language they’re not yet fluent in. 

Some companies avoid the free podcast route because, well, customers should pay for your services, right? But a podcast can help people see the value you provide before they subscribe. It’s like free content that acts as a teaser before people get the real thing: your product.

6. Shopify

Shopify Masters thumbnail for Spotify

Shopify is an ecommerce brand with millions of customers. It uses that to its advantage with Shopify Masters—a branded podcast designed to tell in-depth success stories of entrepreneurs using Shopify’s products.

Don’t rule out this strategy if you’re a startup or small business. Although Shopify publishes new podcast episodes weekly, you don’t necessarily need to follow that strategy to the letter. You can still find a wealth of inspiring stories by interviewing people who’ve seen success with your product or services. For example, if you staggered new interviews with other podcast formats (like a deep dive or solo show) every two weeks, you’d only need 26 customers to fill up your content calendar for the entire year. 

7. National Geographic

Overheard at National Geographic podcast cover art

If there’s one thing that National Geographic excels at, it’s creating high-quality content. This branded podcast is no different. 

National Geographic’s podcast doesn’t just talk about the content it sells. Instead it takes people behind the scenes of the organization. “Overheard at National Geographic” retells stories told by team members who—because they work at National Geographic—have stories to tell from all corners of the world.

8. Trader Joe’s

 Image of products Trader Joe’s features in its branded podcast

Convenience store Trader Joe’s might not sound like a suitable candidate for a branded podcast, but it proves you can launch a show without having an obviously interesting niche. From holiday lists to loyalty clubs, the brand’s podcast ties trending topics into facts about the organization. 

It’s an especially great example to look into if you’re selling online products. Trader Joe’s publishes the transcript of its podcast on its website. Viewers can see the products mentioned in each episode, their price, and add them to their online shopping cart—an omnichannel customer experience that turns your company podcast into a sales machine.

9. Microsoft

Image of Microsoft’s podcast cover art

Do you work for a large organization or sell multiple products? Your branded podcast doesn’t have to cover every topic. Instead, take a leaf from Microsoft’s book and go niche—like this podcast hosted by its Threat Intelligence team. 

Not only is this a great way to claim market share for a niche product, but it’s a type of thought leadership that can stand out. In this case, the cybersecurity industry is overrun with so-called experts. When you attach Microsoft’s brand identity to this show and hear from the team who work for such a prestigious company, you instantly know this one is credible. 

How to start a branded podcast

Feeling inspired to start your own branded podcast? Let’s walk through the process of creating a podcast on behalf of a business. 

Step 1. Define your target audience

Much like any other marketing strategy, the first step in creating a branded podcast is to define your audience. Who will you be talking to when recording new episodes? Detail demographic and behavioral data like:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Goals
  • Challenges 

Pull information from your brand messaging documents and sales platform for help here. Data from your online store might show that most customers are women, or that people aged over 50 have a higher conversion rate than younger demographics. Either way, this data can help you fine-tune your target audience. 

💰 Monetize your show: The podcast advertising rates guide

Step 2. Prepare your podcast topics

Next, choose what you want to talk about in your show. Don’t fall into the trap of choosing a popular podcast niche—such as true crime—and creating a company podcast around that if it has minimal relation to your products or services. The greater the overlap between what you sell and what you podcast about, the more chance you have at monetizing your show. 

And remember: you don’t have to be super specific about nailing down a single niche. Many brands use podcast segments to talk about different topics or themes within each episode. 

Step 3. Record and edit your show

Choose a topic from your shortlist and start recording your show. You’ll need a podcast production platform to do this. We’re biased, but we recommend Descript. It has everything you need to record and edit your show, including features like:

  • Remote recording—ideal if you’re co-hosting or inviting a guest
  • Automated transcription to edit your podcast like you’d edit a Google Doc
  • Filler word removal to banish awkward stutters, pauses, and phrases
  • AI tools to fix audio mistakes with a clone of your natural voice  
  • Show notes summarizer that uses AI to write your podcast description

The best part: Once you’ve edited your podcast in Descript, you can export it to popular podcast hosting platforms like Buzzsprout, Podbean, and Restream. 

image

Step 4. Promote your branded podcast 

To share your new podcast with the world, you’ll need to find a podcast hosting platform. This acts as a home for your podcast. It’s also where you’ll get the RSS feed link to submit your branded podcast to directories like Apple Podcasts and Spotify. 

Once your podcast is live in the main directories, get people to tune into your new show by repurposing each episode and turning it into teaser-style audio or video clips. 

The Descript feature Find Good Clips does this for you. It’ll use AI to run through your episode and pull out the most entertaining, educational, or useful parts of your episode. Those make for golden nuggets to share on social media. 

Image of Descript’s new feature Find Good Clips in action

The best tool to start and grow a company podcast

A branded podcast is one of the most effective ways to communicate with your audience, especially if you’re on a budget. Descript offers a free trial that comes with premium podcast features as standard:

  • Record remote interviews with Squadcast
  • Improve audio quality with Studio Sound 
  • Edit your podcast like you’d edit a Google Doc
  • Collaborate with your team through project comments 
  • Turn your podcast into a video to promote on social media and YouTube 

Thousands of the world’s top companies—including NPR and The New York Times—use Descript to record and edit their podcast. Take a free tour today to find out why.

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