Traditionally, podcasts are an audio-only medium.

They exist around the concept of providing value through conversation, storytelling, information-sharing and discussing events and opinions — whether serious or less so. Because this medium has such low entry requirements, large amounts of shows have popped up in the podcast realm.

So, how do you make yours stand out?

media update’s Joreke Kleynhans gives the tell-all on the benefits that visuals hold for podcasts.

Branding your podcast like a product

While it can't be held in your hand, a podcast is still a product you need to sell — and products need branding. You wouldn’t want all of the hard work you put into your craft to disappear into the digital abyss. Visual branding can make your podcast memorable.

Podcasts can be branded with the help of consistently using certain:

  • catchphrases
  • jingles, or
  • even background music.

These elements, though, will only be associated with your podcast by current or loyal listeners.

Visual branding, however, can establish your podcast presence in the minds of past, present and potential future listeners. Think of different car brands: Even though you might have never driven a Ferrari before, it’s easy to imagine Ferrari’s logo right now because of its effective visual branding strategy.

The first step is to determine brand colours and designs. Once you have decided on these, you can build your visual branding with these elements. Visual branding should include:

  • a visually pleasing recording studio to feature in content
  • clickable cover art
  • promotional content in your on-brand studio
  • podcast merchandise, and
  • freebies to hand out as marketing.

Improving performance on social media

Any brand that doesn’t have social media in 2024 seriously needs to get it. With so many different platforms available, there’s truly a space for every type of brand with any type of goal — your podcast included.

Most social media platforms, however, have one thing in common: Their algorithms and users require, or at least favour visual content. Video footage of your show can be clipped and distributed on social media to create more shareable content, which helps with your marketing.

Photos, graphics and videos will therefore play a vital part in your podcast’s social media accounts. Your podcast can only benefit from using visuals for marketing on social media.

Connecting better with your audience

Not many presenters can captivate an audience using only their voice. That’s why radio hosting is a notoriously difficult career to establish. Most of us use our hands, facial expressions and body language to further express the way we feel about a topic of discussion.

If your podcast is a solely auditory medium, you run the risk of not keeping your audience engaged long enough due to a lack of human connection.

Including video footage of the audio-based show, however:

  • gives your audience a peek into your body language
  • allows them to associate a face with your voice, and
  • ultimately facilitates a higher level of audience-host connection.

Your video footage doesn’t just need to be of the show itself, though! Even using behind-the-scenes footage of preparation, filming and editing can help listeners connect with your podcast better.

Your main objective when connecting with your audience should be to convince them that you know each other and that you are, in some way, friends. 

And I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember the last time I had a friend without knowing what their face looked like!

Visuals contributing to good impressions

Cover art for a podcast is often the first impression audience members have of your brand. Your cover art can be compared to the first sentence of a brand-new book or the trailer of a movie you want to watch.

Each of these aims to capture the attention of an audience without giving away too much of what the end product will be. With your cover art, you want to stimulate thought and get your audience to start asking questions.

We often think that logos and cover art only need to be visually pleasing. But in reality, their visual aesthetic is no more important than their ability to stimulate intellectual interest in your podcast.

Visual elements making podcasts more accessible

Podcasts, being mostly single-medium information distribution, are less accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Someone with difficulty hearing audio needs to take more steps to access audio content, for example, having it transcribed.

Even with transcribes of an audio recording, it can be difficult to gauge the emotion and interaction taking place on the show.

When video recordings of podcasts are available, people with hearing disabilities can:

  • lipread
  • read automatic closed-captions on platforms like YouTube, and
  • use visual cues in hosts’ body language to experience the content similarly to audience members who are hearing. 

Podcast hosts can even employ sign language interpreters to increase accessibility.

Ultimately, if you care about the message you want to send in your podcast, you’ll want as many people as possible to be able to access it. 


Are you a podcast host or a listener? Let us know which side of the mic you’re on in the comments section below.

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New to content creation? Check out our article, Ethical content creation in the digital age, to help prevent slip-ups in your journey.

*Image courtesy of Canva