How to make a branded content podcast that's worth listening to.
As audiences increasingly watch content without audio, our ears are left wanting... Could podcasts fill the void left behind?
Podcasts offer a purer consumption experience, which can be immersive while still allowing you to get stuff done, a gift to multi-taskers. For brands, podcasts perform in a world which, unlike most platforms, is not over saturated by branded content. Die hard fans of podcasts are hooked on series, and binging on a series as if it was a Netflix original - #podcastandchill. Brands getting involved in podcasts are placing themselves closer to the people and movements who influence culture than many other formats.
British subculture icon Don Letts presents a series of branded content podcasts we've been commissioned to make for a footwear brand size? focusing on the roots of style in culture. He says this in the first episode of working on 'branded content'...
"As an old school guy coming from punk rock, it seems to me that working with brands is a more honest relationship than working with record companies and TV stations. [Brands] will fund my work and give the kind of freedom I don't get from TV stations and record labels. That relationship is there and it's down to the artist to maintain their integrity."
It is early days, but I believe podcasts could be a useful way to reach consumers who are more than ever likely to gravitate towards ad-free or ad-light experiences. There is certainly space to play with for brands using this medium. If brands truly act as enablers in providing content that has value, consumers will actively seek it out, and in turn we will start realise the potential that branded content has to make a difference. This is evident in the first iTunes reviews of Don Letts podcast:
"Amazing. Not usually one to leave a review, but I've been waiting for a podcast like this for years."
Research from Edison reveals that monthly podcast listeners are growing 24% year on year, are affluent, educated consumers. They also highlight that listening to a podcast is an 'active' and often spontaneous experience, with most people clicking on a podcasts to listen to it immediately, whereas only 27% subscribe. Audiences are also highly engaged when they choose to listen, with the majority of people listening for the duration of the podcast, and listening to most of the episodes they download.
So, next time you are forming a content strategy, consider the podcast as a willing friend, who can punch well above its weight for your brand. My top podcast binge recommendations:
- This American Life - The people behind Serial (also a must listen), an award winning show that looks at American culture from the ground up.
- The Tim Ferris Show - Tim breaks down the habits of world class performers so that you can cherry pick things that can make you better at what you do.
- Join the Dots - A great example of a branded entertainment podcast looking at culture from those who are making it. For more information on this campaign see here (Disclaimer - we make this)
- Truth and Movies: Little White Lies movie podcast - the movie show we produce each week, which has achieved 300k listeners in 2 months from launch. (Disclaimer - we make this)
- PNR: This Old Marketing - content marketing podcast that tracks global branded content marketing trends and comments on them (skip the first few minutes as it's waffle).