Content Marketing Digital Marketing

Enterprise Podcasts: The What, Why, and How of Podcasts for Business

First it was blogs, then it was vlogs, and now it’s podcasting. As the fastest growing medium today, many are turning to podcasts to grow online presence and business. It’s grown so much that many are beginning to explore enterprise podcasts to effectively promote brands.

Driven by the widespread rise in audio content consumption, creators and brands – by actively sponsoring episodes or advertising on existing podcasts – are jumping on the train. Some are even hiring their own teams to create enterprise podcasts under the name of the brand.

In the business of enterprise podcasting

A lot of people think that to make a podcast, all it takes is a mouth, a microphone, and a means to post it. Because all a podcast technically is is an audio file uploaded to the internet, available to be downloaded and streamed.

There are different apps that let you do just that, and can even slap on intro and outro music for you. Voila! You are a podcaster. But what if you’re creating one for your business or brand? Enterprise podcasts can – and should – be more.

I’m speaking for how we at PumaPodcast think about it. We launched our enterprise podcast production company in 2019 and have since created over 30 shows and 500 episodes. This includes the first podcasts out of Asia to be archived in the US Library of Congress and win Anvil Awards for their effectiveness as public relations tools for brands.

Our vision is to create a world that listens. We believe in sharing the joy, power, and value in listening — whether it’s through original features and documentaries, or branded content for clients like Smart with ‘Philippinerds’ and Asia Society Philippines’ ‘A Better Normal’.

In this article, I’d like to share with you some of our best practices to help your brand break into the podcasting space.

To start things off, let’s talk about why podcasts are so popular and why you should care about them in the first place.

Why are podcasts popular?

There are over 2,000,000 active podcasts and over 48 million episodes worldwide, with people tuning in during their commutes, while they do their chores, or even as they go to bed. Not only that, but there also seems to be a podcast for everyone.

So whether your audience is interested in education, pop culture, religion or news, you’re bound to find a place for your brand, no matter how niche you think you might be. For example, if you’re involved in the sports industry and speaking up about the gender equality issues that plague it, our podcast ‘Go Hard Girls’ is a space for you.

Or, if you’re in the music industry and marketing guitars specifically, then you fit right into ‘Chino and Carl’s Guitar Picks’ – a podcast that focuses on that one instrument.

Chino and Carl’s Guitar Picks:

The most popular form of podcast

Is what you would call a “hot mic.” That’s when people just talk into the mic, like live radio. I know I enjoy a few, and it’s pods (short for podcast) like ‘Smodcast’ or ‘How Did This Get Made?’ that got me started listening, and producing.

In podcasting, as in business, creating a good product begins with identifying a gap in the market and what unique value you could provide to your customer or, in this case, listener.

These podcasts formats are popular, because people enjoy listening in on other people’s conversations. And sometimes, when people hear about hot mic podcast host Joe Rogan – hailed the most listened-to podcaster – this may lead you to think that all you need is the gift of gab: I’ll make a podcast. We’ll talk about anything and everything under the sun.

However, this misses out on a key insight: Joe Rogan was already a massive celebrity before podcasting. 

Growing a podcast that talks about “anything and everything under the sun” when you’re not a celebrity is harder. With hundreds of podcasts just like yours – some of which are run by famous personalities – what is your edge?

In podcasting, as in business, creating a good product begins with identifying a gap in the market and what unique value you could provide to your customer or, in this case, listener. 

Otherwise you might just be adding to the noise.

What is enterprise podcasting?

Enterprise podcasting is a process of podcast production that utilizes strategy, creativity and high production values to create an effective means of communication with your target market. This empowers companies by:

  • Giving them the ability to communicate their brand value, and;
  • By establishing thought leadership with their customers and industry peers.

Podcasts will not replace your billboards or TVCs, but they are becoming an important part of an integrated marketing ecosystem.

In a world where everyone is talking, people need to listen. 

Large businesses have fewer and fewer ways to authentically communicate their values to their customers. There has been a growing distrust and disinterest in traditional advertising, making retention very slim. And in the age of streaming and on-demand content, people can bypass this altogether by merely changing the channel.

Meanwhile, advertisements in podcasts see more hope, with listeners acting on an ad, after hearing it mentioned in a pod.

how podcast listeners react to ads

Figure 1. Actions are taken from podcasts. In a recent market study on podcasts published by Nielsen, it was shown that 62% of Heavy Users of podcasts visitied a website to learn more about a product mentioned in an episode. Not too far from that figure are those who actually completed a purchase, with 40% of those Heavy Users actually ending up buying the product advertised. Data from Nielsen. Photo by Propelrr.


Social media can be like shouting into the void, being mostly one-way communication. Unless you count chatbots, which aren’t the best conversationalists. It’s also very difficult to cut through the noise, with comments sections of posts, videos, and other content filled with angry people posting complaints. They can probably hear you through the noise, but are they listening? 

The challenge for you and brands now is finding new ways to engage audiences. Podcasts will not replace your billboards or TVCs, but they are becoming an important part of an integrated marketing ecosystem.

Enterprise podcasts sets itself apart from traditional means because it is:

  • Expert-driven, expertly produced. Speakers in podcasts are thought leaders and experts in their field – not a company’s marketing team.
  • Has a specific, defined audience. Knows, defines and reaches a target audience, free from all noise and distractions.
  • Replicable, scalable and sustainable. Enterprise podcasting is about the story being told and not the personality telling it. It doesn’t rely on the power of celebrity for success. Evergreen stories can be re-distributed infinitely and can remain relevant for years after publication.

But for us to clearly establish the advantages enterprise podcasting holds over traditional formats, is by looking into its production. And, in this case, let’s measure it up against the current popular format: vlogs.

Advantages and benefits of enterprise podcasting

Here’s a quick rundown of their key differences for you. Further down, we get into detail about why these differences prove to be advantageous not just for you, but for your audiences too.

podcasts versus vlogs

Table 1. Measured against vlogs. Podcasts, while they do entail costs too, are far more low-maintenance than vlogs. If you’re a business that’s can’t scale up to a vlog yet and want to explore a more cost-effective and similarly (if not more) engaging option, podcasts may just be your go-to solution. Photo by Propelrr.


Brand building

Can you sell a product in a podcast? Maybe. But that overlooks the real strength of podcasting. 

“The format…might not necessarily drive direct customer conversions, but it certainly helps to cut through the noise and allows consumers to discover a brand in a different, refreshing way. Like all other brand building activities, results might not manifest in the short term – but this investment might just pay off in the long run.”  — Alexander Wei, Editor of Luxury Society

The trust and personal connection people have with their favorite podcast shows means these are better used in brand-building. This natural emotional resonance in content is leveraged for public relations; communicating your brand’s values and giving audiences new means to interact with your brand.

For example, the ‘Dior Talks’ podcast features conversations with female artists and photographers about topics like the female gaze, feminism in media, and women in leadership. These are all in line with the brand’s overall push towards the same values since Maria Grazia Chiuri became its first female creative director.

The publication Luxury Society talked about how brands are not using podcasts to drive sales:

“The format…might not necessarily drive direct customer conversions, but it certainly helps to cut through the noise and allows consumers to discover a brand in a different, refreshing way. Like all other brand building activities, results might not manifest in the short term – but this investment might just pay off in the long run.”  — Alexander Wei, Editor of Luxury Society

Versatility and cost-efficiency

Here’s what you’d need to create a professional-looking vlog for your brand: 

  • a production crew;
  • tech and equipment (e.g. cameras, lights, microphones, tripods, editing software);
  • a celebrity host with on-cam experience (may require higher talent fees);
  • an understanding of the Youtube algorithm, and more.

Creating a professional-looking vlog can take quite an investment, simply because it costs a lot to make things look nice. Plus, when working with video, you’re catering to both the visual and auditory senses, which can tighten up your margin of error. In circumstances where you can’t film in optimal conditions, sacrifices to quality are made that are difficult to remedy at the editing bay.

Podcasts are more versatile in terms of equipment and location. At its simplest, you could make do with a recording app on a smartphone and a quiet room. ‘Honda Stories’ by American Honda Motor Company is just one example of being able to podcast from anywhere – in this case, inside a Honda CR-V. 

High production values in audio still requires some investment, but you can build a fully realized soundscape at a fraction of the cost of doing the same in video. Podcasting affords you the ability to interview anyone from anywhere in the world even if they don’t have a good camera setup. Take for instance what we did for ‘Give a Hoot’, a podcast on communication for social change.

For this episode, our hosts in the Philippines were able to interview communication strategist Thomas Coombes who was in Europe at the time. For our true crime podcast Super Evil, the show’s producer and audio engineer was able to visit locations relevant to the episodes with just equipment that could easily be carried by two people.

Some brands have chosen all of the above – which you absolutely could do if you’re working with a big budget. But if you’re just starting your foray into the world of content creation, podcasts allow you to enter the space at a lower price point. 

Which is not to say that podcasts are only for brands on a budget. Global brands like Gucci, Ben and Jerry’s, Hermes, Ferrari, and Kraft Heinz all have highly produced podcasts that they use for brand-building and other strategic communication goals.

How to start your own enterprise podcast

An author I really admire once wrote about his work. People felt like he was publishing so many good stories that he couldn’t write a bad one. Eventually, he revealed how he had such a high quality of stories. 

That secret is that he wrote one story every day of the week. On most weeks, he would junk six of them. Sometimes he would junk all seven. He only ever let other people read, let alone publish, the ones that he felt were great.

This kind of thinking inspires our process for podcasts, too: acknowledging that your first ideas are rarely the best ones. 

That’s why it’s important that you iron out the details in pre-production. 

It’s not easy to start something knowing that you’re likely to junk it at any point of the process. But that’s an important part of it, and will ultimately lead you to The One (podcast, that is).

Pre-production

As the name suggests, it’s the process of deciding an overarching theme, title, tone, and format of your message. This should also take into account how you want your podcast to sound before you start recording it. 

At this phase, ask yourself: 

  • What does my brand stand for?
  • What do I want to leave my listeners with?
  • What can I do to stand out?

It’s the answers to questions like these that can guide you to figuring out how you want your messaging to sound to the people listening.

Pro tip: Perhaps the first and best tip to starting a podcast we can offer you now is that you must acknowledge the fact that you’ll be junking a lot of your ideas. 

And we know; it’s not easy to start something knowing that you’re likely to junk it at any point of the process. But that’s an important part of it, and will ultimately lead you to The One (podcast, that is).

At PumaPodcast, we’ve tested all kinds of gear, formats, approaches, processes, styles. For our own editorial content, we explore many spaces and verticals. While we’re best known for our news content, we have so many more titles, and we’re always trying to find and tell new stories in as many spaces as we can.

It’s a lot of work, and your company may not have a large enough communications team, nor the capacity and expertise to create a podcast with high production values. Which is why, among the international brands who have created podcasts, most work with audio-first production companies for development and production.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t try it out on your own. So we urge you to read on to learn our process for the end-to-end production of award-winning podcasts.

How to brand and produce

After our clients brief us about their communication goals and work on a concept with us, the PumaPodcast team then takes it to the finish line. This process for branding and producing outlined below is something you can model after, and once the podcast is polished and packaged, all you have to do is market it in the ways you best know how.

More than the process, there are two key elements you need to consider in podcast branding and production you should note. One is that your podcast should have a strong visual identity, and second, production of excellent auditory experience.

Strong visual identity

While podcasts are an audio product, a strong visual identity is essential to success. Ask yourself: “What is the unique voice and value of my podcast?” Let the answer direct your:

As you can see, a lot of product development know-how applies to podcasts, too. Think of how people use color theory in branding. Many news agencies use deep blues and reds in their visual materials, and those colors let a viewer know what they’re in for. 

With that in mind, for our news podcast ‘Teka Teka’, we use teal and dark salmon – still shades of blue and red, but with a twist. This way, it still harkens to how we traditionally think of news, but the difference in shade can clue listeners in to our unique way of telling the news.


podcast branding requirements

Figure 2. Branding the pod. Remember that branding helps tell the story about your business. So even if a podcast is mainly an audio experience, we still make sure that elements like your logo design for the preview cards, episode descriptions, and show descriptions all help tell the story. Photo by Propelrr.


We use market differentiation a lot in deciding the branding of our shows and those we develop for clients. Another case for this is what we did for our music show, ‘Musikalikot’.

Your visuals speak to your listeners as much as the podcast itself does. Our visuals alone could tell you that our podcasts are for thoughtful young people, while the content itself can show what values we hold dear. 

There’s really so much more that you can communicate about your brand through a podcast that these examples are just barely scratching the surface.

Luxury brands have also gotten behind this audio-only format to communicate their own values.

‘Tips to the Top’ produced by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton interviews female talents from within the group about their careers. The podcast is a good way to show audiences, whether they’re fans of the brand or not, that this group of companies is committed to women empowerment.

Production of excellent auditory experiences

Now let’s talk about production. If you want to make something that matters, focus on creating an enjoyable experience.

And there are a lot of steps you need to take before you actually begin recording and achieve that. The Philippines’ first serialized true crime podcast Super Evil, which PumaPodcast produced for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, was a year in the making. 

It’s host Pam Pastor, producer Tricia Aquino, and audio lead Marc Casillan, did incredible amounts of work. It involved hitting the Inquirer archives, going out in the field, conducting interviews, and everything else needed to create something so rich and complex, that the podcast eventually won an Anvil Award for PR Tools.

Do you have a standard spiel per episode? How long will your interviewees and guests’ segment be? What mood do I want to put the listeners in? These are all questions you can and should ask yourself during the production process.

Apart from detailed research, a well-written story, and the accuracy of your work, production also requires auditory experiences. But don’t let us tell you that in a written piece. How about listening to it, here:

How to ideate for podcast topics

Remember that bit above where we told you that you have to be comfortable with scrapping your ideas? But that’s not all there is to it.

Now that you have a show – branded, and ready to say hello to your public – it’s time to fill it with engaging episodes. Here are a few tips from the PumaPodcast team on podcast episode ideation:

  1. Write as many titles as you can.
  2. Collaborate with experts and thought leaders.
  3. Embrace that fact that there will be revisions.
  4. Don’t be afraid to pull the cord on a project. It could lead to better things.

1. Write as many titles as you can.

Every good podcast starts with an idea: the “what?” You could fill entire hard drives with just endless lists of potential podcast topics. 

Now that you have your long list of “whats,” shorten it by asking what you can do with them with a “so what?” You’ll find that you might not even like half the items on your list. If you can’t find an intention for a title, toss it. It’ll be lucky to end up with a handful, but it’s not all that bad to be left with one that you’re really sure about.

You’d be surprised to find that for each of the titles we’ve developed, we could probably fill a whiteboard with concepts that we thought about and killed. We could probably fill another whiteboard with concepts we actually started development on and then trashed. 

And there are many many more whiteboards, notes, and other spaces we have filled with dream projects and ideas we want to develop but haven’t even started on. It’s a long road before an idea can be transformed into a story. That’s why another technique we do is writers’ rooms.

2. Collaborate with experts and thought leaders

We may be passionate about a topic, but we will always be limited by our own perspective. A huge part of why we enjoy creating documentary or narrative-style podcasts is the flexibility it gives us to weave together select quotes from interviews with industry experts, academic researchers, advocacy groups or organizations advancing important causes, and more so that we can tell great audio stories together.

Other people’s passion is contagious. The plethora of their bank of knowledge is inspiring. And in these partnerships, we find that our own relentlessness is matched by our collaborators. They have podcasts they aspire for, podcasts that are in their heads, and we are striving to get those out into the world. 

Just look at Usapang Econ’. The team of young economists already had an existing blog where they explain economics in terms of real life application. But by turning their content into a podcast, they’ve expanded their reach and now their materials are being used in schools to teach young people about economics.

And without the expertise of former Supreme Court spokesperson and human rights lawyer Atty Ted Te, we wouldn’t have had the right to produce a podcast explaining law and governance like we do in the podcast Te Talks.

3. Embrace the fact that there will be revisions.

Before we get to the best possible podcast, there’s a lot of junked tape, way more trashed drafts, and too many unsuccessful pilots to count.

It’s a long, sometimes painful, often frustrating road to launch, both for us and the client. But it’s a process that gets us to the standard that we aspire to.

So we embrace that there will be revisions. We embrace that even as we make extensive preparatory and developmental documents and drafts, we will probably have to calibrate and re-calibrate as we bring a pod to life.

4. Don’t be afraid to pull the cord on a project. It could lead to better things.

When I tried to make my first podcast it was great on paper. I thought I could do it because I had produced so many episodes already. 

I’d produced, edited, or in some way or another guided enough podcasts that I felt that I could try my hand at taking the lead on this one episode. Even with all that, it was horrible.

We did maybe two or three audio drafts of it before I finally put it (and myself) out of its misery. That wasn’t the first, nor do I expect it to be the last time I would put episodes on the chopping block because they weren’t up to muster. But trashing those projects did open a new door.

Fast forward to a year later, I’m now co-hosting my own podcast, ‘Chino and Carl’s Guitar Picks’, alongside my lockdown guitar teacher, Chino Singson of The Itchyworms. Looking back on the old pods that could have been, I’m glad I didn’t force the concepts that didn’t work, because it wouldn’t have given me the room to pursue this one.

How to promote your podcast

Promoting a podcast is like your usual product or content promotions. It’s all about having and following a great content marketing strategy

You have to put in the work to find your ideal audiences – who and where they are and, of course, market to them. What channels are currently available to you? And do you have a marketing strategy framework that guides the how of your overall digital promotions?

If you’re already present on social media platforms, you can very well leverage it to promote your podcasts, but don’t assume that social media is the end-all, be-all of success. We have seen podcasts that do well in terms of the number of listens, but don’t have active social media pages.

And it’s not just about speaking to the audience you already have, but putting yourself in a position where you can be discovered by new listeners.

Public relations practices, like press releases and word of mouth, can be power tools in engaging a new audience, not just for one show. It can serve as listeners’ gateways to the others you have on your roster.

Creative enterprise podcasts to be inspired by

Now that we’ve said our piece and laid out our process for you to be guided, now it’s time to just allow yourself to be inspired by some of the most creative enterprise podcasts out there.

1. ‘Ten Percent Happier: Kindness Ted Lasso Style’

Ted Lasso is a fictional American football coach on the TV show of the same name. He gets hired by a struggling UK football team despite his lack of experience. 

The podcast produced by meditation app Ten Percent Happier, adapts the character’s philosophy of a positive attitude as a guide, showing potential synergy across media products

2. Hermès: Penelope’s Pursuits

Presented as an audio drama, Hermès highlights the rich history and craftsmanship behind their designs by following 29-year-old Penelope as she travels the world investigating clues to mysteries hidden within the patterns on the iconic scarves. 

The format and story lends itself to be discovered by art and fashion enthusiasts while also allowing younger audiences who might not be able to afford the brand’s high-end products yet to engage with the brand and build a relationship that may pay off in the future. The French version is available on most podcast apps, while the English version is available through the Hermès website.

3. Ben & Jerry’s: Who We Are – A Chronicle of Racism in America

Who would’ve thought that an ice cream brand would produce a podcast on social values? 

It may seem out of the blue, but this topic is well in line with the company’s values, and the co-founders have donated to and been very vocal about their support of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

The podcast looks back on America’s history of white supremacy that served as foundations for their legal, social, and political systems. Shedding light on such controversial and timely issues allows listeners to align themselves with the brand’s values and opens the possibility of customers patronizing a brand that shares their advocacies.

4. Kraft Heinz: Table Stakes

A podcast that looks at what food tells us about history, science and culture. It takes the listener all over the globe to uncover unique stories with experts from the Kraft Heinz group. 

Presenting their brand’s history in a format that is discoverable by all age groups across the world allows them to expand awareness to areas that may not be familiar with their range of products. 

Key takeaways

  • Podcasts will be an increasingly valuable way for brands to communicate with targeted audiences in the years to come.
  • Enterprise podcasting requires a different approach to podcasting as that of an individual hobbyist. As the podcast market becomes more and more saturated, brands must invest in creative approaches and high production values that are consistent with their company’s overall identity and values.
  • If a company will not invest in an in-house podcasting arm, or does not have the expertise to do this internally, brands can turn to enterprise podcast production companies who offer end-to-end production services—much like how TVCs are created with the help of ad agencies and productions.
  • Creating a great enterprise podcast starts with a clear strategy that is followed through at every step of production. While it may take more work than just turning on a mic and talking, doesn’t your brand deserve it?

 

Do you already have a podcast going? Or if not, are you beginning to think that you would want and need to explore enterprise podcasting for your brand? Tell us about it in the comments, or reach out to the PumaPodcast team. We’re found on your ususal social media platforms Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

About the Author

Carl Javier of PumaPodcastCarl Javier is the CEO of PumaPodcast, the award-winning podcast production company from the Philippines. To learn more about PumaPodcast, visit their website or find their curated feed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen.

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