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Visual Identity: How to Develop One for Your Podcast

We are living in the middle of a marketing revolution. Everyone and everything has something to sell. Having a cohesive visual identity has now become essential for any business or individual’s success. 

As individuals, our CVs have become visual masterpieces. We are selling ourselves to prospective employees, making slight changes for each proposed job. We no longer send out simple pieces of paper with our employment history on them. Now, we also include visual elements that help to convey our personalities. This helps to set ourselves apart from the hundreds of other applicants. 

Big companies know the importance of having a clear brand identity that is in sync with a visual identity. The trend we are seeing now, however, is that even the smallest of businesses need to have the very same.

Podcasting & Visual Identity

With podcasting being an audio medium, it’s easy to forget about the visual aspects of the brand. We are so focused on making sure our content sounds perfect that we forget that the first interaction with our podcast is a visual one. 

It’s more likely that a person will first see your podcast before they hear it. Whether it is on your own website or via a streaming platform, your podcast’s logo and information will be its first advertisement. What the audience sees and reads about your podcast could ultimately determine whether they listen to it…

…or not. 

Therefore, having a visual identity is as important for podcasters as it is for any other business or brand. We consume first with our eyes before anything else. I’m more likely to try a meal if the picture on the menu is appetizing.  So, for the audience, if it’s good enough to look at, then it must be great to listen to. 

Creating a Visual Identity

You should have developed your brand identity before launching your podcast. This is everything that your podcast is about: From your mission and vision statements and products/services to your marketing strategy, among others. If you’ve already launched without a brand identity then you need to have one in place before building your visual identity. A strong visual identity is a reflection of your brand identity.  

Your visual identity is all the design elements that are in place to show people what your podcast is all about. It is the first interaction that the audience has with your brand so it must be spot on! What you are conveying in your brand identity should be brought to life by your visual identity.

Related read: Spreaker has a riveting read on why your podcast needs a visual identity.

Our focus in this article, then, is to show you how you can develop a visual identity for your podcast. We will take you through 4 easy-to-follow steps that will help make your podcast beautiful and enticing to look at. 

And once you have caught your intended audience’s attention with your flashy visual identity, you’ll keep them hooked when they listen to your thrilling podcast.

1. Develop Your Brand Identity 

Your brand identity is everything that makes your podcast different from the rest. It is how you’ve situated your podcast within the podcasting world. Your brand identity is how your podcast, as a brand or business, engages with everyone else. It will determine how your audience feels about you whenever they hear your podcast’s name. 

So, your brand identity needs to tell people who you are. You need to say why you are different from the rest – what makes you unique? What are your values and what do you stand for? What is your podcast’s personality? All these questions need to be answered in your brand identity. 

Having a brand identity is vital for your audience to know who you are. Once they know what you stand for and your goals and ambitions as a podcast, then they can relate to you as a brand. It builds a personal connection between you and your audience. This intimate connection is the foundation for growing a larger audience base.  

Once your brand identity is established, you’ll be able to work on your visual identity. It is very difficult to conceptualize a visual identity without first cementing what your company is all about. So, make sure that you have a solid brand identity from which to base your visual designs. 

Seeing as we’ve already covered brand identity in a previous article, let’s move on to the next step in building your visual identity.  

2. Know Your Audience

Imagine getting into your car at three in the morning. With bags packed and the car fully loaded, you reverse out the driveway. You turn on the radio and turn up the heat. You look down at your GPS but there is no destination. Now you’re sitting in your car wondering where the heck you’re going at 3 am with a car stacked to the brim!

That’s what it’s like when you do not have an intended target market. Your brand has no direction or purpose. You have all these amazing ideas but no way to channel them constructively. 

Knowing who your audience is will determine how you can make your brand visually appealing to them. 

Ascertain the demographics that you are targeting. What age groups do you want your podcast to resonate with? Are you targeting specific geographical locations? 

What are some of the common habits amongst your intended audience? Do you know why your audience is attracted to certain things and not others? How do you want your audience to interact with your podcast?

If you can answer all the above questions then you will have a better understanding of who your intended audience is. Once you’ve solidified that, then you can begin working on a visual design that is appealing to them. 

Your visual identity will thus be focused on attracting a certain group of people. Not everyone will love your podcast. So, focus on appealing to those that are in line with your own brand. You will then be able to attract like-minded people to your podcast when the visual stimulus of your brand is clear and succinct.  

3. What is Your Mission? 

You should have solidified your vision and mission statements whilst creating your brand identity. As a business, your brand should have clear goals that it wants to achieve. Your visual identity is one of the methods used in how you will go about realizing those goals.

So, the ‘mission’ we are talking about here is the one that is directly linked to your visual identity. What do you want the audience to know about your podcast through your visuals alone? 

It’s also worth taking a look at how you can widen your audience base through your visual identity. Again, your target audience should be clear to you at this point. What does your audience want to see? Do you want to give them something new and innovative? Or would you rather have them comfortable with imagery that evokes nostalgia?

Analyzing emotive responses to your visual identity is a great starting point. As humans, we often make decisions that are based on emotions. Your visual identity needs to be aligned with the emotional response that you are trying to achieve from your audience. 

Emotions play a major role in building trust between you and your audience. If your audience feels as if you are catering to their needs then they are more likely to remain avid listeners of your podcast. 

It’s all about being relatable. You can forge strong connections with your audience by giving them things that they can relate to. And you’ve already done the research for your brand identity, so you know exactly what your audience is looking for. 

4. Consistency is Key 

You now have a distinct brand image. A target audience has been identified and you know how to appeal to their emotions. The motivation behind your vision is clear and well-thought-out. Now, you need to bring it all together and keep it consistent. 

It reminds me of Simba from Disney’s The Lion King. There’s a point in Simba’s journey where he is encouraged to remember who he is. After years away from home, he has lost track of his identity. Once he remembers his heritage, he is able to help bring his family from destruction to prosperity. 

As a brand, it can be easy to lose track of your identity. Especially if you have been in the game for a while. 

On the other hand, if you are new to podcasting, you may want to keep changing your logo and other designs, or even your podcasting style, to keep up with your intended audience. As a result, you’ll lose track of your initial vision and mission statements and this could cause you to derail. 

Throughout the creation of your visual identity, remember who you are as a brand. 

Everything you set out in your visual identity must be aligned with your brand identity. What people see must correlate to what you say and how you, as a brand, promote yourself. Your brand should come across in every design element of your visual identity. 

The themes and styles of your brand should also translate into your visual identity. The way you communicate should be uniform across all aspects of your design. Your podcast artwork should have the same feel as the images you use to supplement it. 

The way you communicate on your website should be the same as in your marketing and should also mirror what we hear in your podcast.

Make sure that you stand out. Your brand should be instantly recognizable to your audience and prospective followers alike. Once you have established that “wow factor”, maintain it. Every visual element you put out should match the amazement of that very first image. 

Try and take a simple approach. Simple always works. It does not have to be boring, merely easily accessible. It will also make it easier for you to make minor tweaks to your design as you keep up with your audience’s needs. 

Things to Remember

We hope that by now you have a better sense of how to form your podcast’s visual identity. Here are a few things to remember for a winning visual identity recipe:

  • Your brand identity needs to be clear and well-defined. This will be your template from which you base all decisions regarding your visual identity. Make sure your vision and mission statements are set and that you have distinct goals that you are trying to achieve. 
  • You need to know your audience and understand their needs. If you know what your audience wants then you’ll know what to do to give it to them.
  • Set your objectives and find ways to achieve them. Understand what you want the audience to gain from your visual identity. Play on emotions to build trust and make yourself more relatable. 
  • Be consistent. Everything from your brand identity to your visual identity to your podcast itself should all be aligned. Do not be complacent when it comes to being uniform across all aspects of your podcasting. Keep it simple and make minor adjustments to keep up with the needs of your audience.  

With these four simple steps, you will be able to create a concise visual identity for your podcast. The end goal of a strong visual identity is for those who see your podcast to immediately identify with it as a brand. They are then compelled to give it a listen. And, if you’ve aligned your visual identity with what your podcast offers, your content will keep them hooked. 

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