Your podcast is much more than the episodes you create each week. Each part is a piece of your podcast’s success, from the content of these episodes to the title of your podcast to your podcast logo.
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This post has been updated in October 2021.
Branding Your Podcast
Podcasts are huge these days. They cover every topic from every slant. You can find podcasts about horses, dogs, goats, cockatoos, and bees. Want to know more about yoga, meditation, spirituality, or chakras? There are plenty of podcasts to help. In fact, if you’re interested in balancing your dog’s chakras…well, there’s a podcast.
So amidst all of these podcasts, how do you make sure yours will stand out? It’s all about your branding. And successfully branding your podcast is a huge part of its success. A strong brand can help your podcast stand out, be noticed, and let people know what it’s about. Also, branding goes far beyond the virtual world of listening to a podcast. Live365 explains podcast branding in a clear way:
The process of branding means creating a unique image of your podcast through the formation of relationships, emotions, and memories around your brand. Ultimately, your brand is your podcast and your brand is defined by your audience’s perception of your podcast.
Your brand is your vision, and you can display this not only through your spoken word but also through any visuals related to your podcast. You want your listeners to understand what your podcast is setting out to do and to be drawn in before they even listen. Things like your titles, your episode descriptions, and your podcast logo are vital to the success of your podcast and your brand.
Each of these will add to your definitive mission and overall vision of the podcast. The clearer your brand is, the easier your listeners can find you and know what you’re about. You want your audience to be able to easily find that podcast about balancing their dog’s chakras without sifting through all the other podcasts out there. The clearer your mission and brand are, the easier your listeners can find you. And a podcast logo is a big part of this.
Your Podcast Logo and Your Brand
When it comes to branding your podcast, your podcast logo is a huge part of this. Your logo may be the first thing your audience sees related to your podcast. Think about searching for a podcast. There are so many to choose from and you scroll through them pretty quickly. If you see a great podcast logo, you may stop and read more. A good logo will catch your potential listener’s attention and make them want to know more. It’s like seeing a great book cover, you can’t help but reach for it.
One thing podcast expert Rachel Corbett suggests doing is to take a look at logos yourself. Scroll through and see what grabs you. What do you think is successful, eye catching, and even, what are your competitors using for their logos? Put yourself in your potential listeners’ minds and think about what they would like to see. That’s what you need to have. Corbett also recommends picking a great color palette. Colors not only can make a logo pop, but they can send connotations about your podcast’s mission and vibe.
Speaking of colors and brands, this is a great time to carry your brand through anything related to your podcast. If you have a website or a blog, use that same color palette and graphics to maintain your logo and brand.
Another tip is to keep your podcast logo simple. We often underrate simplicity, but when it comes to your podcast logo, Corbett reminds us that many people are searching on their phones. They don’t want to see busy cover art crammed with tiny text. Keep your podcast logo clean and simple, add minimal text, and make sure what you do have is readable, even on a phone. Serial is a great example of a simple but effective logo. The bold S on a black background conveys something a little sinister. And this simplicity scales gracefully, which means it can work well in a variety of contexts, at a variety of different sizes.
You can also search for some great logo examples and use these as inspiration. Check out Pinterest and other sites, like DesignCrowd, that feature successful logos. Above all, make sure your podcast logo represents the brand you are trying to convey. This is the first impression of your podcast.
Beyond the Logo
There is more to podcast branding than your podcast logo. Yes, your logo is essential and can win you lots of listeners, but there’s more to creating that successful podcast brand. Let’s take a look.
The Name of Your Podcast
Just as the logo is like the book cover, well the name of your podcast is the title. You want something catchy enough to pique interest, but clear enough to convey the topic. A great story is one from Jim Harold from none other than The Paranormal Podcast. He talks about how he was fortunate enough to get in on the early side of podcasting and he simply called his show The Paranormal Podcast. Now paranormal shows are widely popular and when people search for this genre, they usually type in “paranormal podcast.” Well, guess what shows up? His title brings potential listeners right to him. Yours should do the same.
Where you place your show is critical to who is going to find it. And this also goes along with branding. Most shows can fall into a couple of different categories, but you should choose the one where you see it fitting your mission the best. Some podcasters like to change the category of their show on a regular basis, while others pick one and stick with it. Remember, you can also choose secondary categories, but it really is your primary category that dictates where your show will be listed.
Music in Your Podcast
Many of the great podcasts have theme songs. Listeners begin to recognize the music and it’s a cue to get ready to listen. Music is also often within the podcast, signifying breaks and the end of the episode. Music can evoke strong moods, and just like any other branding element, can dictate the goal of the podcast. Whether your music is something you find and get permission to use, or something created just for your show, make it align with your brand and image for a strong and successful effect.
Your Podcast Logo Beyond the Podcast
We mentioned tying your podcast logo to your website and blog. But what about beyond that? Many successful podcasts have online stores and release merchandise for their fans and followers. This is an excellent use of your podcast logo. Think about your logo on a hoodie or baseball cap. What about a mug or sticker? Once you go to merch, your possibilities are endless.
Another beautiful thing about merchandising your podcast is you can continually release new products. Think about seasonal opportunities, holidays, special shows, favorite shows, monthly releases…the possibilities are really endless.
The Podcast Host shares great insight into podcast merch. Whereas most people think about a tee shirt, think way outside that box. Tee shirts and hoodies can be expensive. Maybe someone will be more inclined to buy a sticker or pin. In fact, some podcasts, like The McElroy brothers, have monthly pins that relate to some sort of inside joke. So you don’t just have to use your podcast logo. You can use jokes or phrases that bring your listening community together.
Also, think about what your listening community would like when it comes to merch. What could define your show even more? For instance, Critical Role, a much-beloved Dungeons & Dragons actual play podcast, offers custom dice to their listeners. What better way to show your love for a show, or start great conversation with a fellow listener?
Some great questions to ask before designing your merch are:
- Who is your audience?
- What does your show represent?
- What does your audience want?
- How would they like to represent you?
- What would they use?
- Do you want your logo or inside jokes and shared thoughts? Or both?
The thing here is to continue on with your brand and your image. The podcast logo is one of the first steps and then how far you go is completely up to you and your imagination. Merchandising can be so much fun. Imagine a fan wearing your t-shirt to the grocery store or having a sticker on his laptop in the coffee shop. Whether it’s featuring your podcast logo or has an inside joke, a fellow fan could make the simple comment of, “Love your shirt (sticker), Man,” and you have just created a human connection. If that doesn’t speak to your brand, what does?
The Big Wrap Up of Podcast Logos
Podcast logos are an integral part of your show. They represent your brand, your image, and you yourself. Your fans will embrace your logo and it can have the potential to bring new fans to you. Your logo is like your book cover.
Imagine your potential listeners browsing in the bookstore. They glance through the shelves, their hand running gently over all of the beautiful books. Then something makes them pause. Their hand stops and reaches for a particular book. The cover has caught their interest, and they open the book to read the inside synopsis. Pretty soon, they are enamored with this book, sharing it with their friends, and thinking about when they’re not reading it. That could be your show, that beautiful podcast logo you create could be like the book cover. It will portray a glimpse into the world of your podcast, inviting your listeners in to share a whole new world, new community, and new entertainment.
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