Did you know that branded podcasts are one of the most underutilized digital marketing strategies out there? Consumers are falling in love with audio shows that are available on demand. Let’s look at the benefits of creating a branded podcast for your business and how to get started.
Podcasts are essentially talk radio shows made for on-demand listening. Episodes can be found on various podcasting platforms — such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other platforms — which allow podcast fans to download the audio files to their mobile devices. Most podcasts are free. While some podcasts contain ads, others
Podcasting is a great way to connect with your consumers on a deeper level and create a community around your brand. When done correctly, podcasting can humanize your brand and make it more relatable to customers. Additionally, podcast audiences are more likely to see your brand as a thought leader within your industry. Best of all, business podcasting is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing!
The Rise of Podcasting
In recent years, podcasting has experienced a surge in popularity. Edison Research’s annual Share of Ear study shows that podcast listenership has exploded in the past few years (1). Inside Radio reports, “It is not just reach that is expanding. So too is the amount of time people are spending with podcasts” (2). This is confirmed in Edison Research’s The Infinite Dial study, which estimates that 177 million Americans have listened to a podcast:
This relatively new form of media offers listeners a convenient way to consume content on a wide range of topics. Whether you’re interested in politics, sports, pop culture, or anything in between, there’s likely a podcast out there for you. What’s more, podcasts are typically free to listen to and available on-demand. This means that you can listen to them whenever and wherever it’s convenient for you. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that podcasting has become so popular in recent years.
What is Podcast Marketing?
In a nutshell, podcast marketing is the process of using branded podcasts to promote and sell products or services. The best podcasts are a powerful marketing tool because they offer a unique way to reach and engage with potential customers. Unlike traditional advertising mediums, podcasts allow you to tell stories, build relationships, and create an emotional connection with your target audience. When done right, podcast marketing can be an extremely effective way to boost sales and grow your business.
There are a few different ways to use podcasts as a marketing tool. One popular method is to create a branded podcast, which is a podcast that is directly related to your product or service. For example, if you sell health supplements, you could create a podcast about healthy living tips. Another podcast marketing strategy is to use existing popular podcasts to promote your business. This can be done by sponsoring an existing show or by creating guest appearances on popular podcasts.
Note that creating a branded podcast is different than promoting your business through podcast ads. While both are a form of podcast marketing, the former involves creating your organization’s own podcast, while the latter involves reaching podcast consumers through pre-roll ads or mid-roll ads in shows created by other people.
What is a Branded Podcast?
A branded podcast is a podcast that is produced by or on behalf of a brand. While branded podcasts can be used to promote a brand or product, they are most effective when they provide information and entertainment to potential customers. Branded podcasts are distributed through existing podcast platforms such as Apple Podcasts and Spotify, as well as the brand’s website or app. Branded podcasts can be either scripted or unscripted, and may feature interviews, round table discussions, or other formats. They are a great way for a brand to answer questions that customers in its target audience might have. While branded podcasts can be produced by marketing departments, they are often created by outside agencies or freelance producers.
What are the Advantages of Branded Podcasts?
There are many benefits to branded podcasts, including the fact that they help to humanize the brand.
1. A podcast can put a face (or a voice) on your brand.
By producing a podcast, companies and organizations can show their ideal audience that they are more than just a faceless entity — they are made up of real people with real stories. Additionally, branded podcasts can help to build trust with the podcast audience and create a sense of community through a personal connection. When podcast listeners feel like they know and trust the people behind the brand, they are more likely to do business with them.
2. Podcasts deepen relationships with customers.
Another advantage of branded podcasts is that listeners tend to return to listen to multiple episodes, which keeps them engaged and deepens the relationship. This is especially true if the podcast offers listeners valuable content that they can’t get anywhere else.
Branded podcasts offer businesses an opportunity to connect with their customers on a more personal level. By sharing their stories and experiences, businesses can create a deeper connection with their customers that will last long after the podcast has ended.
3. Branded podcasts build trust.
Branded podcasts can feature trusted experts who, in turn, raise the authority of the brand. For example, if a branded podcast features a doctor who discusses health topics, the branded podcast will be associated with expertise and authority. This can help to attract new listeners and build trust with existing podcast listeners.
4. Branded podcasts enable businesses to stay connected with their customers.
A branded podcast is a great way for businesses to keep in touch with their customers, even when they are not in the business’s physical location. Customers can listen to branded podcasts while they are commuting, working out, or doing chores around the house.
This is particularly effective for businesses that customers visit infrequently. For example, people may only visit a museum or amusement park once a year; a podcast allows these businesses to stay top of mind throughout the rest of the year.
5. Podcasts help brands connect with customers that are hard to reach through traditional advertising.
Branded podcasts are much less intrusive than other forms of advertising. Customers can choose when and how to listen to them, which means they are more likely to be receptive to the message.
Additionally, branded podcasts can reach customers who are difficult to reach with other methods. Research by Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights found that podcasts are an “ideal medium for reaching ad-free streaming audiences [because] 88% of weekly podcast listeners used an ad-free video streaming service in the past month” (3).
The Limitations of Branded Podcasts
Of course, a branded podcast isn’t the right marketing tactic for all businesses. Edison Research’s The Infinite Dial study shows that 38% of Americans have listened to a podcast in the last month (2). If your organization’s goal is to reach the most people, creating a branded podcast may not be the right strategy.
While not everybody listens to podcasts, research shows that the people who do are very passionate about the medium. They tend to return over and over again to hear more episodes. So while a branded podcast may not be the proper tool to build new relationships, it’s a fantastic way to deepen existing relationships.
For this reason, branded podcasts work best for established organizations that already have a customer base or following. This following can take many forms, including:
- An email database
- A social media following
- Regular foot traffic through a physical location
- A mobile app installed on many phones
For businesses that already have a following, creating a branded podcast is a great way to stay top of mind by transforming your customers into a loyal audience.
By contrast, if your business is brand new and needs to raise awareness about its existence, it may want to consider advertising in other podcasts instead of launching its own.
Examples of Branded Podcasts
A number of different companies have used branded podcasts to engage with their customers, including:
Trader Joe’s Podcast
Trader Joe’s is a popular grocery store chain with a unique history and culture. Inside Trader Joe’s goes behind the scenes of the store, providing podcast listeners with an inside look at how it operates. The podcast features interviews with employees from different departments, ranging from the people who choose the products that are sold in the store to the managers who oversee the day-to-day operations. In addition, the podcast covers topics such as the store’s history, its environmental sustainability efforts, and its plans for the future.
Rise and Grind is a popular podcast produced by ZipRecruiter. The podcast features interviews with successful business people, entrepreneurs, and other professionals who share their insights on what it takes to succeed. The guests on Rise and Grind often have inspiring stories to tell, and the podcast hosts do a great job of keeping the conversation engaging. In addition to hearing from successful people, listeners also get to learn about ZipRecruiter and its mission to help connect people with their dream jobs. Overall, Rise and Grind is a great listen for anyone who is looking for inspiration or advice on how to succeed in business.
John Deere’s Podcast
On Life and Land is a John Deere podcast that explores the stories of people who work in agriculture. In each episode, the podcast host interviews different guests, ranging from farmers and ranchers to scientists and ag industry leaders. The goal of the podcast is to give listeners a behind-the-scenes look at the many different aspects of agriculture and the people who make it possible.
The #LIPSTORIES podcast by Sephora offers an inside look at the world of beauty. Each podcast episode features a different guest, ranging from makeup artists and cosmetics executives to models and influencers. The guests share their personal stories and insights on everything from lipstick to skincare to self-image.
Houston We Have a Podcast is a show by NASA that covers all things space. Each podcast episode features an interview with an expert on a specific topic related to space exploration, such as the search for life on Mars or the dangers of space junk. The show also includes interviews with astronauts and other people who work at NASA, giving podcast listeners a behind-the-scenes look at the organization. In addition, the podcast discusses the latest news from NASA and covers upcoming space missions.
Incorporating a Podcast Into Your Company’s Marketing Strategy
A branded podcast can be a great addition to any digital marketing strategy. Here are a few ways to combine a podcast with your other digital marketing channels:
- Use email campaigns to drive listening: Email campaigns are a great way to promote a podcast. By sending out regular emails to subscribers, you can remind them to listen to your latest episode and keep them up-to-date on new releases.
- Use the podcast to generate content for social media channels: Share excerpts from the podcast on social media along with branded hashtags and images. An audiogram is a video file that has been created from an audio recording. It typically includes a visual representation of the audio track, along with captions and/or a transcript. Audiograms are effective at promoting audio content on social media, as they can be easily repurposed for platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
- Use bonus podcast episodes to build an email list: Bonus episodes of podcasts are a great way to capture email addresses from listeners. By putting the episodes behind a form, you can require listeners to enter their email addresses to access the content. This ensures that you have a database of interested podcast listeners who can be notified when new episodes are released.
- Record live in front of a podcast audience: Your organization can host live podcast recording sessions as part of its event marketing strategy These can be standalone events, or they can be part of a larger industry conference or trade show. This is a great way to reach customers and potential listeners who might not be familiar with your podcast. It also provides an opportunity to build relationships with people in your industry.
- Use a podcast to generate leads: A podcast can be a great lead generation tool for businesses. By inviting potential customers on the show as guests, businesses can create an opportunity to build relationships and establish trust. This in turn can lead to improved sales and conversions.
By using a branded podcast as part of your broader digital marketing strategy, you can reach new audiences, generate leads, and create useful content for your other marketing channels.
How to Launch a Branded Podcast
When it comes to launching a branded podcast, one of the key decisions you’ll have to make is whether or not to hire a podcast production company. There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches, so it’s important to weigh your options carefully before making a decision.
Hire a Podcast Production Agency or Do It Yourself?
One of the biggest advantages of hiring an outside podcast production company is that they can handle all of the technical details for you. This includes everything from recording and editing the podcast to uploading it to popular podcast directories. If you’re not particularly tech-savvy, this can be a huge relief – and it can also help to ensure that your podcast sounds professional and polished.
Another advantage of hiring a podcast production company is that they often have established relationships with other businesses in the industry. This can be helpful when it comes to booking guests for your podcast or finding sponsors. Additionally, many podcast production companies offer additional services like social media promotion and help with developing show notes.
If your company decides to go the DIY route, you’ll need to invest some time in learning about podcasting and acquiring the necessary equipment. This option is often more affordable than hiring a podcast production company, and it allows you to put your unique spin on your podcast. However, it’s important to remember that producing a high-quality podcast takes time and effort, so make sure you’re prepared to commit before moving forward.
- Edison Research, Share of Ear, https://www.shareofear.com/
- Inside Radio, “Podcast Listening Soars, According To Latest Edison ‘Share Of Ear’ Data,” https://www.insideradio.com/free/podcast-listening-soars-according-to-latest-edison-share-of-ear-data/article_3d68afba-566a-11ec-8a5c-5364b48fefdb.html
- Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights, Podcast Download: Spring 2022 Report, https://cumuluspodcastnetwork.com/cumulus-media-podcast-download-spring-2022/
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