5 Popular Formats For A Failproof Branded Podcast

The tried-and-tested concepts that help real shows find their audience, boost awareness, and make big waves in their field.

No two podcasts are created equal. 

This isn’t a copy-and-paste medium, and the choices you make during production will play a huge part in your ability to reach your content marketing goals.

You already know you’ll need a killer production team, an effective promotional strategy, and an A-grade host

But one of the earliest, and most important phases of this entire project is finding the ideal format for your corporate show.

This is a decision that can and should be dictated by your target audience, your niche, and the topics you choose to cover. 

That said, for most brands, several different formats could work.

Below, we explore five popular (and effective) options… 

Let’s get to it. 

1. Solo Interview 

When you think of podcasts, a solo-interview series is probably the first thing that springs to mind. 

This format features one host, one guest, and a single one-on-one interview within each episode. 

Many of the world’s most popular podcasts, including On Purpose with Jay Shetty and The Joe Rogan Experience, have opted for this approach.

It’s also very popular among podcasting brands.

You can tune into The Sound Bath — created by Lush Cosmetics and the team at JAR Audio — to hear how this pans out.

Solo-interview episodes will generally include a scripted intro, midpoint segment, and outro, along with an interview that’s recorded with a live-to-tape approach.

This means that your interview is treated like live recording in terms of the style and process, but isn’t actually aired in real time.

Generally, your live-to-tape recording will also be edited by your production team for an episode that’s free of filler and dead air, but still feels natural.

Your process for this type of series will generally include…

  • Your interview
  • Recording of scripted segments
  • A rough cut
  • A fine cut with music
  • And a final cut of each episode

2. Panel

The panel format is very similar to a solo interview, but will include more than one guest in each episode. 

Many popular podcasts choose to alternate between solo interview and panel discussions, depending on their topic or angle. 

For this type of show, it’s especially important to choose a qualified, capable, and well-trained host.

Why? Because a multi-person conversation can be tricky to navigate, and your host will need not only killer moderation skills, but the ability to handle conflict if it pops up.

A qualified production agency should be able to help you find, and effectively train your ideal host. 

To hear how a panel show sounds, check out this episode of Out Travel The System, a series created for Expedia by the team at JAR Audio — or the teaser clip below.

3. Script & Clip

While a script-and-clip series will also include dialogue, they are generally less structured, and draw from organic conversations as opposed to cohesive interviews.

With this format, you may also choose to include…

  • Field recordings
  • Audio diaries 
  • Or “streeters” (question-and-answer content recorded on location)

Because you are working with loosely structured content, and several moving parts, you will rely heavily on your production team for a cohesive end product.

They will create a paper-edit — including scripts for your host to read — that will tie together each segment, and form enjoyable, structured episodes. 

Sometimes, a producer will “present” the pre-gathered clips to the host, and their conversation gets recorded and integrated into a show. This is called “tape talk.”

Ready for examples? We have you covered. Check out this episode of Nice Genes (created for Genome BC) or this episode of Mobile Diaries (backed by T-Mobile). 

4. Hybrid

Much like a script and clip, a hybrid podcast may include several types of content, but a “standard” interview is usually the backbone of this type of show. 

Your production team will write supplementary voice overs your host will read to introduce the interview, and any supporting content you choose to include. 

The production process will be similar to panel and interview shows, but depending on your approach, your hybrid series may require additional in-studio or on-location recording sessions.

Ultimately, the idea with both hybrid and script-and-clip shows is to dive deeper into your topic, and tell a more representative and comprehensive story for your listeners. 

This is a great approach when dealing with complex or sensitive subjects, but can also make for a fun and engaging series in popular genres like comedy, tv and film, or society and culture. 

If you’re ready to hear how a hybrid podcast sounds, check out Disruptors, a series created for RBC by the team at JAR Audio. 

5. Documentary

Also sometimes described as “unscripted” or “in the field,” you can find this popular format across several genres — but it’s especially popular in the true crime space.

With an audio docuseries, there is no concrete plan for how an episode will pan out. 

Instead, your production team will take a journalistic approach, and watch central themes, crucial scenes, and a real-world story unfold.

To create a cohesive episode, your team will use in-the-field recordings, supplementary ambient sound, and a paper-edit script that weaves all of your content together.

While this is true for all branded podcasts, this really isn’t something you should do without a team of professionals. 

Journalistic storytelling requires a certain level of experience and, depending on the subject matter at hand, can cause serious damage if it goes wrong.

For an example of a well-executed documentary podcast, check out this show.

Endless opportunity 

While all of these are great formats for the right team, it’s important to remember that your options here are virtually endless.

Check out this post for four fresh and out-of-the-box formats that we don’t often see from corporate shows. 

In it, we cover… 

  • Narrative Nonfiction
  • Narrative Fiction
  • Nonlinear
  • And Mini-Episodes

One of these concepts could be the key to smashing your goals!

Ready to try your hand in the video world? We’ve got you covered. Learn how to prep your corporate podcast for YouTube.


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