April 9, 2019 / Technology

The Podcast Takeover

Approximately 67 million people listen to podcasts – around the same number that uses Twitter on a monthly basis. Google has plans to double the global podcast listenership within the next 2 years, which means that 2019 is the year to seriously consider incorporating branded podcasts as part of a wider marketing strategy.

Brands are no strangers to the podcast world. Involvement has often stopped at sponsorships, but with branded podcasts (also recognised as audio storytelling) deemed as being the next big thing in marketing, consumers are seeing brands increasingly creating their own. Delivering on-demand content that audiences actually want to listen to, that aligns to the communications and business objectives, will be a win for every brand.

“In today’s 140-character world, audiences have a yearning for a deeper examination of issues”

PR Week

The impact of Netflix means consumers are accustomed to absorbing content in an episodic format, creating a massive opportunity for brands to deliver a larger message in a way that brings value to a consumer and creates a much deeper connection; hard to come by through any other avenue of marketing communications.

The most engaging brand podcasts are the ones that thematically support the brands positioning and values. There are three common types of branded podcast: the first is based on building awareness through showcasing expertise, the second correlate the subject with the brand values and the third sponsor’s others creativity which resonates with like-minded consumers.

Trader Joe’s podcast explains exactly what is behind product development and sourcing offering an authentic look into the brand and complete transparency; a great way to turn listeners into consumers.

Other brands are using podcasts to branch out and show a different side to itself; McDonald’s have a podcast called ‘The Sauce’ which is all about the company’s promotional run of the Szechuan sauce. Although unexpected, the content often doesn’t have to adhere to the brand’s traditional voice. Users will still be getting one on one time with the brand, which is an extremely valuable proposition for any company.

Podcast growth is expected to continue to soar. Advancements in technology such as voice recognition systems like Alexa and Siri, new cars having Internet connection, and synchronising devices mean that listening will become an easier and more seamless experience.

Despite previous concerns from companies surrounding effectiveness, metric measurements are improving in conjunction with increased audiences and higher quality production, giving brands much more confidence to invest in the platform.

Key Insights

  • Upon introduction, consider how the branded podcast will help to achieve business and marketing objectives
  • Consider the story of the brand / surrounding the brand, and how this could be a theme throughout episodes to offer brand transparency.
  • Don’t use it as a platform to sell. Listeners will become consumers through engagement and a relationship that is built on the value offered
  • Podcast listening is habit-forming; the average listener listens to 5 a week. Publish continuously enticing content, perhaps even unexpected to encourage regular listening and sharing.

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