Podcasts – what works for brands

Marketers, who have all won awards for their brand podcasts, outlined what worked for them in a new series called Award Winners. In each case, from Australia to Europe, there were five common success strategies which worked for all of them. Podcast expert Dusty Rhodes shares them here…




Every single award winner started out with a specific goal in mind. They were using a podcast to hit this goal by engaging with key customers or prospects in a quality way. Essentially, they were playing a longer game, with deeper connections, but which paid off much bigger dividends. Shine Lawyers in Australia were looking for new clients in their specific area of law.

In their podcast, clients told their own success stories followed by a lawyer commenting on that specific area of legislation. The firm engaged with people in such a strong way that new clients didn’t just call wanting to work with the firm, they called wanting to work with a specific lawyer by name.


All award winners said story was key to their success. Very simply, people listen for story. If they like your story, they like your brand.  It gives you authenticity and personality. Not every podcast has to be like The Flying Doctors with dramatic tales of shark bites or arms being degloved by crocodiles.

It worked also for Royal Bank of Canada who chose a podcast for their Moneris payment processing brand. The podcast told stories of small businesses, the challenges they faced and how they overcame obstacles. There is little or nothing about payment processing but because listeners resonated with the story, they resonated with the brand who won significant new business as a result.


Another winning trait was delivering something of value which a listener can use in their lives. Learning something of value is one of the main reasons most often given by listeners for tuning into podcasts. Care Plus Pharmacy (above) created a podcast for women who were pregnant for the first time. Personal stories from experts who had already been through the experience, gave listeners valuable information not available on Google.

It included things you wouldn’t normally consider, such as bringing big knickers or an extra-long phone lead to the hospital. After the podcast, pharmacies reported an uptick in first time mums calling in to chemists and converting to long-time, if not life-time, customers.


Woody Allen famously said “80 per cent of success is showing up” and all our award winners agree. A consistent release schedule makes you a part of people’s lives and you become a trusted source of information. It also builds a bank of content. When new listeners find you, they don’t just listen to the latest show. They gobble up older shows too.

This increases your overall download rate, which in turn pushes you up the podcast charts, where more people find you and on and on goes a never-ending circle of success. The majority of award winners started with slow downloads at first. Once a back catalogue began to build, through a mix of word-of-mouth recommendations and increased promotion, the momentum started and downloads increased steadily over time.


For us, the most surprising element of success, was an allowance for time.

Winners said that by committing for a year, it gave them time to develop the podcast and their own skills. They also had time to discover who the audience was and what they wanted. Allowing time, also helped battle ‘podfade’. It is where 80 per cent of podcasts give up after seven or eight episodes. They either don’t know what they’re doing, or just feel it’s not working quickly enough.

Simply by showing up on a consistent basis, our winners were in the top 20 per cent of all podcasts.

Wouldn’t life be great if getting rid of 80 per cent of your competition was that easy. These five elements helped marketers across the world build success and win awards with their podcasts. Listen to their individual stories in a series of short podcasts by searching for ‘Award Winners DustPod’ in your podcast app or use the link dustpod.io/podcast to open directly in your app.

About the author

Dusty Rhodes followed a 15-year career with RTÉ by creating his own audio production company. He first started making podcasts in 2006. Since 2019, DustPod.io has worked exclusively creating podcasts for brands. The company has produced over 1,000 episodes and won multiple awards. They include best brand podcast for two years running at the Irish Podcast Awards; dusty@dustpod.io




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