Still considering whether you should start a branded podcast or not? This question was answered as far back as 2014 by the experts at Harvard Business Review. They predicted that podcasting was about to enter its golden age, moving from niche to mainstream. Even at that point in time, it was evident that podcasting is about to enjoy a meteoric rise from which businesses can deploy to tell their stories and engage customers.
If you are still at the juncture of deciding whether your business should start a branded podcast or not, here’s where we’ll lay the confusion to rest. We believe in the end, you’ll understand why the number of businesses launching branded podcasts is on the rise, and why they are killing it.
Think about it, there are about 118 million podcast listeners in the US, and by 2025, this number would have grown to 144 million monthly podcast listeners. That’s a lot of new customers you can reach with your brand’s message, allowing you to position your business positively and strategically.
At Disctopia, we want to help businesses take advantage of an untapped goldmine in building a relationship with their audience. We believe that that there’s a massive opportunity in podcasting and brands are yet to come to its realization.
What is a Branded Podcast?
There’s no better description of a branded podcast than the way Fast Company put it; “the ads that people want to listen to.” The HBR thought of branded podcasts as an incredible tool for building trust, long-term engagements, and giving a human face to a business.
All of these gives credence to the same message; that branded podcasts are a powerful way for businesses to reach their audience.
In a study titled Audio: Activated conducted by the BBC Global News, it was reported that branded podcasts are a compelling form of advertising and a great addition to the marketing mix. What stands out the most in the study is how branded podcasts is able to reach ad avoiders effortlessly. This implies that if your business has committed a massive budget to ads without results to show forth, podcasting might be your best option.
What Are The Success Stories of Branded Podcasting?
The potency of branded podcasts is not in doubt. However, let’s take a look at how three brands deploy podcasting in reaching their critical audience;
1. Slack: Slack Variety Pack
Today, Slack is used in about 550,000 companies globally, growing to about $630 million in revenue in 2020. Slack grew from a Tiny Speck (Slack’s name at inception) in 2015 to what it is today, and branded podcast is one of the tools deployed. It started a podcast called Slack Variety Pack, where it attends to the needs of its audience in a 20 to minute episode.
2. Shopify: The Shopify Podcast and Vanguard
These are two branded podcasts being run by Shopify. Before these two, there’s Thank God It’s Monday (TGIM), which Shopify described as a podcast for people who can’t wait for the week to start.
In 30 to 40 minutes, TGIM interviews high-powered business individuals. According to Shopify’s content marketing manager, it is best to create what people want to consume rather than what they want to avoid and the goal is to boost its brand image through branded podcast and not traditional ads.
3. Sephora: #LIPSTORIES
In the cosmetics and make-up retail business, Sephora is a major player. At a point, the retail giant launched a Sephora Collection brand, of which a branded podcast titled #LIPSTORIES was floated.
The branded podcast intends to tell the stories of the view of influential female founders, creators, and thought leaders.
Why Your Business Should Consider Starting a Branded Podcast
Right now, podcasting is one of the fastest-growing content formats, and there’s no sign of showing down. It’s not even about the ease and cheap cost of starting a podcast, but a lot of opportunities branded podcasting has availed businesses;
1. Building a Deeper Bond With Your Customers
Email and social media marketing are good, but none compares to podcasting. While all forms of marketing attempt to connect to your audience, branded podcasting brings this to reality.
Branded podcasting allows you to speak directly into the ears of your customers. Maybe you don’t know, but the human brain is sensitive to the voice and the emotions it exudes.
There’s individuality and personality that branded podcast gives a business, establishing an intimate relationship with your customers.
2. Increased and Improved Traffic To Your Website
Of the numerous benefits of a branded podcast is increased traffic to your website. Notably is the average time spent on your website and can generate backlinks to your website.
There’s an opportunity to publish a transcript, blog, or show note for every episode of a branded podcast. All of which can be indexed by search engines, boosting your ranking chances.
There’s a lot of SEO potentials from a branded podcast for your business. According to Neil Patel, podcasting is a new way to get more organic traffic from Google.
3. High-Level Engagement and Commitment of Podcast Listeners
Anyone who listens to a podcast is likely to be committed. An average podcast is between 15 to 60 minutes, and 80% of the listeners listen to the end or almost to the end.
For a blog, the readers read about 60% of the text before losing interest, and according to data, 55% of blog readers spend 15 seconds on an article before jumping onto something else. When compared to blogging, branded podcasts beat it hands down.
This is the reason why ads revenue is building up in podcasting.
4. You’ve Got Your Customer’s Audio Attention.
Your audience finds themselves with divided attention due to screen time throughout the day. If your brand intends to compete for this screentime, it’s a lost battle. Why would you want to compete for screen time when you can have their audio attention on a platter of gold?
There are numerous instances when your customers are not preoccupied with screen time; at the gym, on a walk, doing laundry, dishes, on the commute to work, etc. This is the perfect time to listen to a branded podcast.
With your podcast, you can become a part of your audience day without competing for attention.
5. Podcast Are Supplements To Your Existing Marketing Strategies
We believe you have a marketing plan in place, and podcasting can help you nail it. Let’s say you have a blog and maybe TikTok marketing in place; that’s enough reason to start a branded podcast.
If you can get it right by curating complementary content via your branded podcast, that’s a lot of potential customers you are about to convert.
6. Become Your Industry’s Leading Voice
A branded podcast is more like starting a podcast in a field you are passionate about. This way, you can establish yourself as an expert and attract new customers who trust your expertise, knowledge, and experience in the industry.
While there’s a lot a branded podcast can do for a business, becoming an industry influencer will help build valuable trust for your business.
We believe that every business should start a branded podcast. The power of podcasts is potent, intimate, and creates a lot of awareness that drives sales. The return on investment in starting a podcast for your business cannot be compared to any other medium.
Our world is full of distractions; there’s an information overload everywhere. However, podcasts’ immersive and interactive nature is an untapped resource for businesses.