How To Tell A Brand’s Story Through Podcasts
By Olly Hutson
For the fifth year in a row, podcast consumption has grown in Australia. 40% of Australians now listen to a podcast at least monthly, with those consuming podcasts listening to a notable seven per week (The Infinite Dial 22). With this impressive penetration, there has never been a better time to tell your brand’s story on podcasts. But where to start? Should you record your own ad or get the podcast host to read it? What about sponsorships or even a whole series of branded podcasts focussing on your product or service? Who is doing it best? How can you measure the impact? Read on to find out how to harness the most immersive medium to tell your brand’s story in a new, compelling way.
Why tell your story via audio?
With more brands, creators, celebrities and media competing for your attention than ever before, we are living in the age of the attention economy. As we consume more, we forget more. This means that to achieve true cut through in the endless scroll, you have to make a story great. As long as it’s a bloody good story, it fires up neurochemicals that make us feel motivated, connected, uplifted.
Doing this via audio rather than visually drives meaningful results. This is because our brains are wired for audio storytelling. Research shows that brand stories told just audibly inspire an average 50% more positive emotional peaks than brand stories told just visually. This means podcast memories are likely to sustain over time, given their strong emotional component. Furthermore, in an age where we are all glued to a screen for most of the day, putting on headphones and focussing on one story audibly can be a welcome respite.
Top tips for successful podcast ads
Think audience first
Fish where there is fish. Ads that are personalized to the listener see higher engagement. Know what they care about and how they consume podcasts. Prioritize what they get out of your content, rather than what you want to say.
Keep it simple
People have short attention spans. Get to the point in a clear, concise way.
Remember to entertain
It shouldn’t be sell, sell, sell. Make sure it is engaging and there is a benefit for the listener.
So now we know that we need to tell a compelling story via audio - how can you go about that exactly? One option is to leverage the relationship between the podcast host and listener through creating a host-read ad. Host-read podcast ads achieve 72% brand recall, compared with 62% for non-host-read ads. Additionally,
host-read ads on podcasts produce an average of 50% increase in purchase and recommendation intent among listeners when compared against non-host-read ads
Having the host give their personal take on a brand helps to take the listener on a journey that is seamless, not jarring like a digital banner. As the average podcast listener will often listen to most or all of the podcast, that’s a lot of time spent allowing a bond of trust to form with the host. You can listen to some examples of successful host-read ads here to get inspired.
Branded podcasts have been around for some time, with varying levels of success. Not every brand will have a rich enough narrative to fuel entire podcast episodes, but if you do, they are a very effective option to go deep. Slack pioneered in the genre creating an entertaining branded podcast that focuses on why people do the jobs they do. Work In Progress first launched in October, 2016 and is still a benchmark case study in seamless and powerful contextual and commercial alignment. It explores the daily complexities facing workers, which ties into the company’s key aims and services.
The content isn’t geared at sales conversion, but more around building brand personality and adding value. The success of the podcast lies in creating a supportive, engaged audience first, a customer base second.
Listen to Slack’s “Work in Progress” here.
Australian-based online publishing tool Canva has had rapid growth, with over 15 million users in over 190 countries, since its inception in 2012. They have achieved this success through clever marketing, including SEO, social media, content marketing and podcasts. Canva was matched to The Junkees with Dave O'Neil and Kitty Flanagan due to its appeal to niche audiences. As most effective customer acquisition for Canva is by recommendation, their spots on a much loved niche show like The Junkees is a natural alignment, essentially extending the word of mouth around the service.
This quirky, niche podcast (which also has a lively Facebook group) is the perfect environment for a service like Canva, reaching creative professionals with strong networks who could benefit from the service for their jobs, side hustles, bands and art projects.
You can listen to an example here.
Measure and understand to optimise
We recently partnered with Veritonic for end-to-end measurement and analytics capabilities that allow us to gain actionable insights that further the ROI on our client’s advertising dollars. A key component of Veritonic’s suite of Campaign Performance tools includes Brand Lift and Attribution that enables brands to understand the impact of their audio creative across any app, hosting platform, or listening device.
The solution allows users to glean actionable insights on how audio is driving action on a given landing page, including site visits, cart activity, transaction data, and more. The attribution data can also be enhanced with benchmarks, norms, and unparalleled second-by-second engagement and brand lift data to provide the industry’s most comprehensive set of lifecycle audio measurement analytics available today.
This means that we can provide unparalleled insights to understand and optimize the performance of our advertising campaign investments, ensuring increasing ROI for our clients.
Now we’ve discussed the why, where and how of podcast storytelling, the only thing left is to start. To explore your own ground-breaking podcast ads and branded opportunities, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org