If you’re thinking about producing a radio show or podcast – just for fun or for business purposes – you’ll want to make sure it’s branded in a way that aligns with your vision, values, passion and purpose!
While the area of branding is both vast and deep, here are some simple ways you can brand your program:
- Show title
- Types of guests and content
- Intro and Outro
- Key phrases, words and taglines
1. Show title. Your show title is of critical importance as this is the best way to attract your target listeners. Use keywords that relate to your topic and which would be compelling to the audience you want to reach.
Make sure your title is obvious – not cute. If it’s too esoteric, people will miss the point and move on to something else that relates exactly to what they’re looking for. The more memorable your title, the easier it will be for others to spread the word – both online and offline.
Shorter is better and you can always include a tagline that explains the purpose in more detail. That being said, the title needs to stand strongly on its own. Avoid making up words or using strange spellings as these make it frustrating or impossible for interested others to find you online.
For example, my television show is titled Michigan Entrepreneur. It communicates a great deal in just two words. It focuses on Michigan and entrepreneurs –that’s it! It’s short, it’s obvious and it utilizes keywords that convey a great deal both quickly and clearly. I also use the tagline, “Featuring businesses from startup to stellar” since that is exactly what I do.
Similarly, my radio show is branded as Teach Me Law. This title construction was more challenging since I wanted it to be short and obvious and not more than three words in length. And, it wasn’t going to be any old type of law program. Specifically, the focus is on guests teaching me about specific things related to law. Note: I actually started this show to supplement and speed up my learning process while studying law! I combined my love of producing a radio show with learning law from experts – a perfect combination!
2. Guests and content. Your guests and the content you feature are the foundation and substance of your brand. It’s critical they be highly aligned with your overall vision, goals and objectives so they convey a consistent message to your audience. If you veer off course and include people and content different from originally intended, your message will be diluted and your audience will be confused.
Strong brands align with a vision and all decisions must be made with that in mind. That means you’ll be saying “no” to any guests and content that takes you off course.
With my TV show Michigan Entrepreneur, I’ve outlined specific requirements about who qualifies in terms of my overall vision, goals and objectives as originally designed from the outset of the program. I communicate that message to prospective guests both on my website and through media postings to outlets like HARO (Help a Reporter).
My guests must align with not only the title of the program, but also with its specific objectives and requirements. For my radio show, my guests and content are focused on one thing – teaching me about law. It’s simple, straightforward and focused. It’s on brand.
3. Music. A third way to brand your radio show is through the selection of music used for your intro, station breaks and outro. Music is a powerful sensory experience that communicates great amounts of information to the listener. If you don’t realize just how influential it is to your brand, listen to a radio broadcast without music – if you can find one.
Music energizes and moves things along. It keeps listeners engaged. The music you select is highly dependent on the topic of your show. The theme, tempo, tone and other musical qualities will play an important part in supporting and sustaining your show’s brand. And, by sheer repetition, it will embed itself in the minds of your listeners and will be virtually indistinguishable from the show itself.
Think about the music from one of our culture’s most popular sitcoms ever – “I Love Lucy.” When people around the world hear that characteristic music (without actually seeing anything), they know exactly what follows it – the zany antics of a beloved redhead!
Notice how many brands you can distinguish by hearing only a few notes of music –without seeing the product, show or person! The music becomes integrated with the brand and ultimately represents the brand.
4. Show intro and outro. Your show intro and outro represent important opportunities for including your distinct branding. While the intro music is trailing off, you’ll be speaking your first words of introduction as you welcome listeners.
It’s critical that you continually remind them of two things throughout the broadcast — who you are and the name of your program. Keep in mind that listeners are depending solely on their auditory sense and you never know at which point in the broadcast they tuned in.
When you listen to professional broadcasts, notice how often they brand themselves. Make sure your intro and outro include your personal touch. The show name, your name and other identifying information are crucial as are any legally-mandated show or station identifiers. Beyond that, it’s your time to be creative.
I have specifically branded intros and outros for my radio and TV shows. I say the same thing every single time. For example, for the introduction of my radio show Teach Me Law, directly after the intro music, I include a short welcome, my name, the name of my show and a legal disclaimer about the content as notice to listeners to seek their own legal counsel for their specific legal issues.
Throughout the show I continue to identify myself, my guest, the topic and the show name. Again, you never know who is tuning in and when. You don’t want to leave listeners wondering about what’s going on. If they’re confused, they’ll tune to another program. Consistent branding not only makes it easier for you to design and deliver the program, it delivers out a strong and on-brand message to your audience.
5. Key phrases, words and taglines. There are many instances within your show’s program where you can integrate key phrases, words or taglines to build and support your overall brand. One key opportunity is with the show title. For example, you can create a tagline that accompanies the main show title.
For my TV program, Michigan Entrepreneur, my tagline is … From startup to stellar! In my intro, I specifically say this: “Hello, my name is Tara Kachaturoff and I’m the host of Michigan Entrepreneur where we feature businesses from start up to stellar!” I’ve said this same exact phrase on several hundred TV shows during the past 10 years and will continue to say this well into the future. (On a very happy note, as of January 2015, I just started my 10th year hosting and producing this show!)
I also have a “branded question” that I ask each guest during the last 60 seconds of the interview –“What’s your advice to entrepreneurs?” This creates the perfect opportunity for my guest to sum up their most important piece of advice in just a couple powerful words. It’s one of my favorite parts of the show and it’s always touching and inspirational.
I follow a similar format for my radio show, however I use a branded question that is more subtle and is usually a summary or reiteration of a few key points from their interview.
Creating, producing and hosting your own program takes a lot of focus, determination and resources. Creating a program constructed from “on brand” elements will help you attract great guests and interested listeners. Start with the easiest elements which include your show title, guests and content, music selection, your intro and outro and any other characteristically-branded phrases. By ensuring everything you do is aligned with your overall vision, you’ll be well on your way to sharing your message with the world in a fun, exciting and engaging way.
To your success!
Tara Kachaturoff is the creator, producer and host of Michigan Entrepreneur, a weekly television talk show and Teach Me Law, a radio show she started to help supplement her law studies. She’s also a Reach™-Certified Personal Brand Strategist and a Reach™-Certified 360Reach Analyst. Tara provides consulting and online project and business management services to clientele in a variety of industries. Cross posted at radioshowproducer.com and tarakachaturoff.com