People talking to people about people

Could your podcast marketing use a bit more humanity?

. 3 min read

Could your podcast marketing use a bit more humanity?

Early in my radio career, I worked with the late, great David Candow.

He had a saying: “Good radio is people talking to people about people.”

I think about this all the time.

At their best, podcasts use human voices to tell human-scale stories to an audience of human listeners. For brands, this is an enormous opportunity. A well-executed podcast is an amazing way to humanize a brand.

But here’s the thing: this focus on people applies to every part of your podcast, not just the audio. It also applies to your show’s product packaging and marketing.

Let me show you what I mean.

Humans are wired for faces

Babies process faces before they can recognize other objects.

We see faces in everyday objects.

Look at TV and movie marketing. Faces are everywhere.

So then, it’s not surprising when Apple Podcasts regularly highlights podcast promo artwork that includes faces (both photographs and illustrations):

Moreover, Apple Podcasts now includes host and guest headshots in its show listings (though this feature is “only available for a subset of shows”).

To be clear: I’m not saying every podcast’s artwork must include a human face. Obviously, this visual treatment isn’t universally appropriate, and photographs can present scaling challenges for artwork. But if your podcast includes “people talking to people about people,” it’s worth asking yourself how those people are represented in your podcast’s packaging. That means artwork. It also means metadata (titles, author fields, descriptions, etc.).

Show humans in your podcast marketing

Recently, Pacific Content helped Ford Motor Company launch Bring Back Bronco: The Untold Story. As part of the show’s paid marketing campaign, we promoted Bring Back Bronco in the Inside Transportation newsletter.

The team at GTB created two different visual treatments to A/B test in the newsletter. One version featured a Bronco all by itself. The other version featured host Sonari Glinton standing next to a Bronco.

Which one performed better?

When we measured both CTR and resulting downloads of Bring Back Bronco… the version with Sonari won.

This is just one example, and your mileage may vary. But if you’re a brand promoting a show full of deeply human stories (like Bring Back Bronco), consider depicting some of those humans in your marketing materials.


  • Good podcasting is people talking to people about people
  • Podcasting can help humanize brands
  • If your show is full of human stories and human voices, consider highlighting those people in your show’s product packaging and marketing materials

Where are the people in your show’s packaging?

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