Harnessing the Power Of Podcasts to Give Your Brand A Voice
When it comes to content strategy, very rarely do brands think about including podcasts in the pool of content formats to invest in. If you aren’t quite familiar with what a podcast is, here’s how we would define it in simple terms:
A podcast is a digital audio file that is available for listeners to stream online.
Similar to the way you would have a radio broadcast with weekly shows or episodes, podcasts are designed for fans to subscribe in order to gain automatic access to new episodes of an audio programme all on their mobile device.
While podcasts are known to be relatively inexpensive, brands are yet to fully take advantage of the many ways they can reach and connect with their audiences through weekly/bi-weekly podcasts. Although we would agree that audio content can enable audience closeness and eventually increase loyalty, brands need to carefully assess how relevant a podcast would be for them. Before jumping on the podcasting bandwagon, it is important to decide if it’s the wise choice for your brand.
Brand such as Microsoft, GE, McDonald’s, Sephora and even popular online dating site, Tinder have all been somewhat successful at creating podcasts that tie in with their brand voice and resonate quite well with their audience.
Before you decide to delve into podcasting, you will need to consider these 5 things:
1. Your Why
Any great marketer or creator knows that it’s never about what platform is new or seems “fun”. Whether you’re a start-up or well-established brand, you need to recognize that you simply do not have the luxury of vaguely experimenting with your digital content.
The easiest way to gain the trust of your audience is by being assertive from the get-go. You need to be confident about what activities/platforms work for your brand instead of just testing the waters. With so much content competing for your audience’s attention, the window of opportunity gets a little narrower each day. It pays to have a goal and a STRONG message in mind! Without knowing ‘your why’, it will be difficult to consistently create and produce episodes that are relevant to your audience. Here are a few questions to help you get started:
Why do you want to talk to your audience? Why do you feel the message you want to deliver is relevant? Why do you feel it is important to do it through weekly/bi-weekly podcasts?
Consistency and longevity are essential elements for establishing your brand voice. Your overall message has to stand the test of time and you have to be consistent with what you’re feeding your audience.
You can’t start out with a thought-provoking/ inspirational podcast and then veer into comedy all of a sudden. One thing you must keep in mind is that podcasts are probably the easiest way for an audience to get a feel of your brand voice; so delivering your audio message effectively and consistently is crucial. Find your voice and stick to it! GE and Microsoft have both been consistent in delivering audio content for technology enthusiasts. Microsoft’s Future podcast explores topics such as cybersecurity, gaming and how certain aspects of our lives evolve as digital technology evolves.
3. Choose Your Host Carefully
Who you select as the host of your podcast can make or break your project. The voice and persona of your host should be closely aligned with your brand voice.
Are you trying to connect with stay-at-home moms, technology enthusiasts or young adults looking to join the workforce? Your host should be able to easily connect with the specific group you’re trying to reach. Never fall into the temptation of selecting a host based on social clout or influence; it should always be about who can deliver your brand story and engage with your target audience over a long period of time.
Considering partnerships with existing podcasters can also be another way for brands to go. With #LipStories, beauty giant, Sephora partnered with Girl Boss Radio to share interesting everyday stories told by female founders, creators and thought leaders. This works well when you’re trying to push a specific campaign or drive awareness about a new product offering. In Sephora’s case, the partnership was based on the release of Sephora’s lipstick line under the Sephora Collection brand.
4. Stand For Something
If you’re trying to build an online community, you have to stand for something! Before the audience thinks of your product, they will remember what you stand for. It could be a problem of theirs that you’re trying to solve or a passion point for both you and your audience. Whatever the case, your audience wants to know what you stand for from the very beginning.
Take Tinder, for example, their DTR (Define the Relationship) podcast was all about defining relationships in the digital age. Not only is Tinder as a product focused on helping young men and women navigate the dating world, but they have also taken it a step further by creating a highly relevant podcast to address challenges and solve the dating related problems their audience deal with on a daily basis.
5. Avoid Over-selling
Beyond building community, the end goal of all marketing activity is to increase brand loyalty and of course sell your product/services. The difference between a podcast and a radio show is that more often than not, your audience will go out of their way to find you and then subscribe. Hardly will a subscriber randomly come across your show during a ride home from work.
You cannot afford to waste the opportunity by overselling your products or services. Gain the trust of your audience by offering them something valuable – tell them stories, educate them and watch their loyalty grow. Whenever they think of that problem or pain point, guess who they’ll think of as the solution? – That’s right, YOU!
Wondering if a podcast is the right thing for your brand, but not quite sure how to go about it? We’re here to help. Talk to our team!