Tell stories your customers give a damn about
Nobody owes you their ears. At least – nobody owes you the attention it takes to listen to your brand message. Sorry about that. Attention is precious (as are ears). You’ve got to make it worthwhile. You’ve got to make it great.
These days, every brand wants to be part of the conversation. They want to talk with their audiences of today and their audiences of tomorrow. Chances are, though, the things they want to say are not the same thing audiences want to hear. Products, price, range – this is all important stuff. And you can drop a cookie and chase consumers around the internet trying to make them agree.
Or you can find ways to be what they’re interested in. Join a conversation they’re already having. Find that mid-point on the Venn diagram between your interests and theirs. Create some really powerful content that people want to listen to. Make a podcast that tells stories they really want to hear.
Branded podcasts work because our brains are wired for storytelling. People willingly lend their ears for a listen. And when it has purpose, when it creates emotion, when it’s just a bloody good story – it fires up neurochemicals that make us feel motivated, connected, uplifted. Podcasts reshape the way people think about the world, and the way they think about brands that take them on that journey. Audiences remember, audiences care.
Also, audiences feel. 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.
Audiences feel. Research shows that brand stories told just audibly inspire an average 50% more positive emotional peaks than brand stories told just visually.
As a brand, grabbing those ears and giving people something good to listen to still feels like a new and audacious thing to do. There’s something a bit brave in moving on from a brand’s central talking points to collaborate on storytelling through audio. The idea is to develop content that creates value outside of products and services, but can still drive people towards a brand. Something like 63% of podcast listeners have taken some type of action based on advertising or sponsorship, so it’s a powerful motivator.
And brands that step up and join the podcasting movement aren’t going it alone. Some of the world’s most iconic companies already understand the power of branded podcasts:
Facebook’s ‘Three and a Half Degrees’ talks to entrepreneurship.
Slack’s ‘Work in Progress’ explores the meaning and identity we find in our jobs.
Tinder’s ‘DTR’ shares deep dives into relationships and dating with celebrity guests.
GE’s ‘Decoding Genius’ features young minds grappling with being the smartest person in the room.
eBay’s ‘Open for Business’ covers starting a business from the ground up.
These brands succeed in business because they’ve learnt to give consumers what they want. Now they’re doing it in the podcast universe, too.
And that’s the takeaway: finding out what your target audience is interested in, creating great content around that – podcasts that make them think better and feel good – and giving it to them for free. It’s a down payment on a long-lasting relationship that inspires not just awareness and consideration, but trust, loyalty and advocacy, too. Turns out the way to win hearts and minds starts with someone putting headphones on their ears and hitting ‘play’.