Changing Your Audio Branding Podcast Season 1 audio branding Music Radio Creative

How Long Does Audio Branding Take?

It really depends on how quickly we would agree on certain things. After you answer some basic questions the next stage will be to get the scripts together and to actually find out what message we want to put in to all the elements.

It is a collaborative experience between us and the client. Production will start as soon as we agree on specifics like the music, voices and agree on the right balance for your personal sound.

Can You Alienate Your Audience With Changes?

If you’re already an established podcaster with a good audience base, retaining certain elements and adding new vocals or new scripts is advised rather than having a massive change to your audio branding from one episode to the next. This way your listeners would have a feel that they’re listening to the same thing.

However if you’ve just created a few episodes and your audience is really not established yet there is not much to lose in changing your audio branding right away and getting a great sound.

Example Of Changes In Audio Branding

Late Night Internet Marketing – Mark Mason has been podcasting for a long time and is a respected expert in his niche. He also has a very catchy theme song that many of his listeners have commented upon. So we kept the music theme and refreshed Mark’s audio branding with a mix of new sound effects, vocal effects on the singing and added some brand new voice overs.

Changes In Audio Branding For Radio Stations

It’s different with radio as broadcasting is 24/7 and you can do things over a period of time unlike with podcasting that can change (usually weekly) on each episode.

The general rule in radio is that you will slowly introduce a new voice, new sweepers and put them on air however I’ve also experienced sudden changes in radio branding like (parody alert) the North Norfolk Digital to Shape change the next day as shown in the new Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa movie but this also happens in the real world of radio. It can sometimes be part of a marketing strategy but in general preparing your audience for change is important.

Why Is Audio Branding Important?

Aside from getting that song into someone’s head and associating it with your podcast. It is key to having a professional sound for your listeners. Professional sounding podcasts give listeners the comfort that they’re listening to someone who knows what they’re doing and talking about. Audio branding and sound quality is as important as your content.

Why Do You Podcast?

In this podcast episode, Izabela asked me the question, “why do you podcast?”

I replied by saying that I want to document the knowledge I picked up over the years particularly in radio production and audio production techniques. I think there’s little information about some of the trade secrets and fun effects that can be achieved to this date.

I want to pass that knowledge to my audience and I also would like them to take it and improve upon it. So it’s like a learning experience for me but also I wanted to get the Music Radio Creative name out there.

You would have to list down all the selfish reasons why you wanted to podcast as well as the nobel reasons. This may help you decide to start podcasting too!

Izabela has worked with different podcasters – lawyers, teachers, financial advisers and more – who wanted to show the knowledge they have and to gain potential clients by sending out a very clear message on their audio branding to book them if they needed advice.

Messages In Your Audio Branding?

We could categorise podcasters into two. The first one is someone who wants to be an authority in a particular field and the second is someone who is already an authority and doing the podcast to essentially enhance the audience and find additional potential clients.

So with the first group of people who are trying to establish themselves they shouldn’t include that in their audio branding because it could really come across a bit off.

However with the second group who are professionals and authorities in their field they can definitely include a clear message in their audio branding which can easily be used in the outro or a jingle break.

Podcast Music Intros – Why Have Them?

It’s an icebreaker between the intro and the host coming in. The podcast host can use the music as a buffer. However, Izabella challenged me on this and explained that from an audio branding perspective for podcasters I’m not adding that much value by having a podcast music intro. As it is not about the music in the podcast but about the content.

I would actually have to disagree on that as most of the podcasters I respect have a music bed that plays after their into which they fade down. I like it 🙂

How Long Should A Podcast Be?

Firstly set the target length of your podcast. This is important so you can make sure that the ratio of your branding elements versus your content does not exceed to 10 to 15%. The last thing you want to do is to make your listeners feel like “come on get to the point”.

Defining Your Podcast Structure

I can see clearly 3 very defined parts of the podcast. At the beginning we would always want to have a chat but still being conscious about the content of the podcast. So it could be like a Music Radio Creative update. Then we get to the content and can have like a jingle break to transition. Then after the content finishes there could be a quick tip like a website or a resource. Finally, a call to action maybe in the outro jingle.

If you’re just starting out don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Just have a simple start and you can enhance your podcast as you go along.

Call To Action In Audio Branding

As advised by Izabela, in audio branding you must only have one clear call to action in your audio. Any more than that you’ll lose the power, the listener will be overwhelmed and most probably will do nothing that you ask them! I think the very best call to action for Music Radio Creative would be to join out mailing list for frequent updates.


14 Responses

  1. hi mike and Izabela

    i think it is a good thing to have music donut because it set makes the listen want more if it is sung and the sung long sicks in peoples minds but on the other had it could push the listener away.

    i have different audio branding for different shows and for me it works

    1. Thanks for the comment Liam. The issue of having some bumper music or a donut to talk is a sticky one (no pun intended) 🙂

      Some folk like it and some don’t. Donut jingles often come across as very ‘radio’ and podcasters, in my experience, tend to favour the intro music that fades away. The choice is a personal one – like you say – you have different shows all with different styles of audio branding and jingles.

  2. Hi Guys,

    I am not a guy who calls or write to the station when hears an opinion and want to argue, but this time I need to write you 😀 :D. so I guess you are doing something really great, you have just motivated me to share my opinion, omg, I cannot recall any other time I did that…. so just listened your podcast, and when you talked about “why the music is there in the intro” and after the intro fading out…” why is it good, what is the benefit for the listener, Im sorry to say, and bare with me I dont want to offend you, but… 🙂 you both were wrong on why and what the point is having a music in and there.

    Its not about helping the transition
    Its not about helping the tempo, though they are all true

    The music itself can give you an environment, a mood, convey a feeling, convey some kinesthetic or any other response. THat is the difference between BEDS and MUSIC. Beds are only some noise with rhythmic or something content. Music gives(I mean should give) something special, an added value, it can travel to you and your listener something which is not possible with voices or sound effects. It helps you to tune into the content, also helps tuning your audience to tune onto, so it helps to establish the connection between the messenger and the audience, it completes the 360degree of the purpose of the podcast/radio program whatever. So music for people, it is like another and a very special way to communicate the message, that message which is related to the original “mission” of what the podcast brand stands for.

    I know it sounds a little blur or psychedelic but I hope I could explain what I think, and yes, maybe I am wrong on this and will learn why 🙂

    Cheers, Zsolt

    1. Zsolt, I appreciate you sharing those insights (especially as you don’t usually feedback to shows) 🙂

      You have hit the nail on the head with this comment and expressed what neither Izabela or I could do in the podcast. I think you are right and I KNOW you understand exactly what you are talking about 😉

      For anyone who wants to hear the section we talk about this head to 18 minutes 30 seconds in.

      Cheers Zsolt!

  3. One of the things I really like about the current branding is the brevity of the intro / outro. So many of the podcast consultants out there use these really long, drawn out pieces. MRC really caught my eye (or ears !) because it was different. Snappier.

    Don’t lose sight of what made you unique.

    Ps. Love having Izzy on the show. The dynamic is more pedagogical which is a powerful marketing tool when addressing your target audiences key issues / problems / questions.

    1. Thanks for a great comment Jon! I really enjoy chatting to Mike in real life and sharing that with others makes it even more special 🙂

    2. Thanks for the comment Jon. This makes plenty of sense to me and is something we didn’t think to mention in the podcast that sounding different can actually be a big plus!

      I appreciate you and the great work you do Jon.

  4. Great podcast.

    First, I completely agree with Izabella Russell in questioning the relevance and/or benefit of an intro. There is not a particular benefit of intro music – which is largely unfamiliar and more or less a distraction.

    I am a broadcast professional and have listened to a number podcast shows. However, with all due respect, I am not a fan of the long intro and find the music somewhat of a lengthy annoyance throughout a number of Podcasts (Including Cliff Ravenscraft).

    Further, the choice of music is typically inconsistent with the target audience in which the show is attempting to attract. As you may recall in radio rotation, having the correct song air in the appropriate day part was essential – a Podcaster’s taste in music should be relatively similar to the listening audience.

    An even greater issue is that Podcasters believe they are ‘Hosting a show’, however, it is typically a general monologue of self-serving talk (Including Cliff Ravenscraft). So, really having an intro (Other than a brief stinger) is largely unnecessary.

    1. Thank you for backing me up Val! I agree – I think that too often music choice reflects the music tastes of the podcaster – which doesn’t go hand in hand with the audience. Saying that however you could argue that podcasters attract with their personality and music is just another part of it – extension to their personality 🙂

      Cliff Ravenscraft creates a very successful podcast (actually the whole network of them) and produces very relevant content. His audio is created for his podcast network – which needed to be fairly generic in my opinion – it may be a good idea to make a split and actually brand each podcast individually but it is not an easy task – especially with so many episodes behind his belt and very well established audience. Needless to say I have a lot of respect to Cliff and what he does.

      Another thing worth to note here is the fact that podcasting is really still an experiment – radio broadcast has been around for decades and has ways and methods that are very well embedded. Industry pros know what to expect and what standard to adhere to. With podcasters – it is a brand new world out there – who sets the rules?

      1. Hi Izabela! Yes, agreed podcasting is an experiment and the success of the podcast can be largely attributed to the personality of the host.

        However, we are discussing the value of an intro, not necessarily the content of the podcast – which could be an entirely new set of topics for another post/podcast.

        In terrestrial radio, there is no such thing as a ‘Show intro’, the talent simply speaks 15 seconds (Max) over the intro of a song with the objective of nailing the post before the actual singing begins. The overall objective is listening to the music, not the talent.

        Having said, a podcast is not a radio show, thus music is not the value (Unless it is a show about music, of course).

        An intro for a podcast (Largely talking head/s show) would be best served as an ID or Jingle, short and sweet that lends well to branding, rather than having the listener wait while senseless music blares. In this context, the music adds nothing of value and does not further the identity of the show – it’s a waste of listener’s precious ear time. After all, the objective is to listen to the talking head (I mean, host 🙂 – not the host’s taste in music.

        In comparison, the MRC podcast begins with a short, smart intro (Again, Jingle) that clearly states the title of the show and the name of the host (Mike Russell) – would be neat to hear a version of that jingle that includes “…with Izabella & Mike Russell” 😉

        My point: If a podcaster is hoping to create a seriously unique identity they should take lessons from radio and TV, get a professional Jingle – not music for branding.

        1. Thank you for your thoughts Val! I entirely agree with it all. Very much appreciate your contribution 🙂

          MRC Intro is changing soon – so keep your ears out!

  5. Each podcast produced my Music Radio Creative is an insightful look into he world of todays broadcasting. From Terrestrial Radio topics to all the various aspects, viewpoints, and technology connected with the Internet such as streaming a live radio show or podcasting are covered. By taking the time to listen carefully one can obtain and gain insightful knowledge to help a career or perhaps even change a career. I highly recommend listening to these podcasts, as the information given is very valuable.

    Duke Morgan Voice over Artist

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