Building your brand may sound to you like a phrase that belongs in a corporate boardroom and doesn’t apply to your podcast. This could not be further from the truth. As much as you may feel like a small-time independent podcast creator, the fact remains that there in order to build your podcast audience you are going to have to market your podcast.
Part of that marketing scheme should include building your online brand and figuring out how to market it.
If you are like me then you were born, tragically, without a single marketing bone in your body. So here are the basics of creating a brand for your podcast.
This may come easily for some of you, the name of your podcast may have been the first thing that you created when you decided to do a podcast. If you haven’t chosen a podcast name yet, here are a few recommendations to consider.
Your podcast name should tie into your podcast topic somehow. If you are podcasting about quilting it makes no sense to call your podcast the SuperNova Podcast. That may sound like common sense to some of you, but I have seen some crazy podcast names out there.
Don’t make your podcast title something obscure that you will appreciate but others will find confusing. You want a name that is easily identifiable and relatable for your podcast audience so that they will remember you. Sometimes you can take a gamble and give your podcast a bizarre name and hope to be memorable because the name is so different, this is a big gamble and sometimes you gotta know when to fold ‘em.
If you plan on having a website, and I highly recommend you do, then you should bring your website into consideration as well. If you are going to register your own domain for your website then you will want to pick a name for your podcast for which the website domain is still available. If your podcast is titled The SuperNova Podcast but that domain is already taken and so you register AstronomyCast.com you are going to confuse your audience and there will be a disconnect there. It would be a better option just to rename your podcast AstronomyCast.
Having a tagline is optional, there are a lot of successful podcasts that don’t have a specific tagline but sometimes they are nice when rounding out a brand. Sometimes taglines can be used to elaborate on a podcast title that you had to shorten because it was too long.
Call your podcast AstronomyCast, and have your tagline be – SuperNovas, Black Holes and More…
I can’t stress enough how important the color scheme for your podcast is. It will translate across the board to all of the marketing you do. If you rush to make a decision on color and then you change your mind later on, it will make for a lot of work as you have to go back and re-design your website, logos, business cards, everything else. If you aren’t color coordinated, surf the web and check out the sites you frequent. See what kind of color schemes they are using and try to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t work for you, then translate that into what you think fits your podcast. Also pay attention to what colors people use for backgrounds text etc. For a lot of people having a black background and white text is difficult to read, look for trends like that and steer clear from them if at all possible.
Make sure that you have spent enough time selecting a color scheme that you are going to be happy with it for the long haul. If I were to change the color scheme on my site without any warning, many people who frequent the site daily would wonder if they had landed on the wrong site, simply because of the drastic change in appearance. You never want to confuse or surprise your audience that way.
I talk about color schemes a lot because this was one of the areas that I failed in miserably when I started my first podcast. That podcast went through at least 4 different color schemes and site re-designs before I finally found one that I liked. Every time I changed the design, my website traffic to a dip and it took a while to bring those people back in. If I had just spent more time in the preparation of my brand and website I wouldn’t have had to work so hard to rebuild the audience that I had lost.
The logo is important because it will often times be your Avatar as well. It will be your image in the iTunes directory, will be displayed on your website, on business cards, everywhere. If you are not a graphic artist I recommend finding one to create a logo for you. This needs to look professional, a logo that looks homemade will not give the first impression that you want for your podcast. You are going to want one that looks a little more polished.
If you can afford to hire someone to do this for you, there are a number of agencies that do logo design. If you are on a tight podcasting budget then I would recommend one of two options:
· Ask a friend who is a graphic artist to do the design for you
· Go to your local college and post an ad in the art department asking for help for a minimal fee. Art students are often looking for ways to expand their portfolio. Offer to link back to their website if they have one and mention them in your podcast.
In regards to your brand, think of your website as the face of your podcast. This is what listeners will see on a daily basis that relates to your podcast. Once again, spend some time thinking about what impression you want to give with your website and then plan your content accordingly.
You should develop a brief description for your podcast, shoot for 160 characters or less. This description will be used in a number of places, on your website, in iTunes, you will also use this description when submitting your podcast to directories for listing. Keeping your podcast description to 160 characters or less will also ensure sharp looking search results when people find your page in the organic search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Another optional element of your brand is your sign off for your podcast; a quick farewell that you say at the end of every podcast episode that signals the end of the show. It should be short, catchy and memorable. Having a clever sign off leaves your audience with a familiar phrase (branding element) that they can associate with you and your podcast.
Some of the greatest broadcasters in media have had their signature sign off, this is no coincidence, and here are a few examples of some of the more famous ones.
“And that’s the way it is” – Walter Cronkite
“Good night and good luck” – Edward R. Murrow
“Good day and may the good news be yours” – Les Nessman from WKRP for you old-schoolers
As you build your brand you are establishing a platform that will allow you to be successful with not just your podcast; but your website as well. A podcast that is has an established is easier to market and has better potential for making money as a podcaster. It is the brand your audience remembers, the brand that the audience can identify with that will achieve the most success. So spend some time planning, brainstorming and building your brand.