What makes a great branded podcast?
It has been incredibly exciting to hear how many brands are interested in podcasting this year. We know this from research that intent to enter the medium is increasing, but even just from speaking to clients, it's clear that companies are now taking the impact podcasting can have on their business seriously. The one area of podcasting I've found people are still trying to figure out is branded content.
And don't worry, I know there will always be one person in the company that suggests you should start your own podcast, and to those people, I salute you. But it isn't enough to just have two people sitting in a room chatting about your product and think that's going to have any kind of real impact.
So what are some examples of great branded podcasts?
I’ve chosen three of my favourite to explain some of the different approaches to branded podcasting and their benefits.
Bring Back Bronco asks, “What happened to the Ford Bronco?” and although I have certainly never asked that question when I parallel park my Toyota Hatchback, I have found this is the branded podcast I am speaking about the most with clients lately.
It explores the Bronco’s troubled beginnings, whether it is really analogous of the American Dream and Motorcity Detroit, and if OJ Simpson driving a white Ford Bronco down an LA highway had anything to do with the Bronco’s demise.
This podcast epitomises why branded podcasts are great for a brand in transition, and in this case, a re-brand of the Ford Bronco. By revealing what happened "under the hood" (sorry, not sorry) of the old Bronco, Ford is able to touch on two benchmarks of a great podcast: to tell a powerful story and provide companionship, or in this case, engage with a community of Ford Bronco/automotive lovers.
Now here are some numbers for the nerds:
Since launching, Bring Back Bronco has been 1, 2 or 3 on the charts in the automotive category on apple podcasts. They are able to re-launch a beloved brand while tapping directly into an audience of potential customers. From BBC's 2019 study on branded podcast's "The intimate and conversational nature of the podcast environment creates an elevated state of engagement for brand mentions. This also drives brand metrics across the board, helping to generate lifts in awareness (↑89%), brand consideration (↑57%), brand favorability (↑24%), and purchase intent (↑14%)."
Wireframe is a conversation about design with a focus on its impacts for the user. Season one asks some of the broader questions on good and bad UX/UI designs and its impact on our lives, while season 2 dives a little deeper and asks questions like "Why can't dad unmute himself on zoom?" Too real.
Wireframe is hosted by Khoh Vinh who is the principal designer at Adobe. He also happens to make a great host and is a prime example of having a branded podcast team integrated with the business.
Occasionally, brands will prefer to have a podcast made for them with their branding slapped on so they can focus on the business while they leave it to the experts. Adobe however not only wanted their brand associated with being the leading experts on UX/UI design, but they also wanted everyone to know their employees were part of that vision too. If these are the experts, well then you should be using the same tools for design as them.
Did you ever watch those 90's films when people didn't know a lot about computers and a young person in a hoodie would "hack" into the system in a matter of seconds? Did you ever wonder if that were possible?
For me, that film was Goldeneye (dammit Borris) but no amount of pen clicking was going to give me the answer.
Hackable? was the podcast that would answer those questions. How vulnerable are we really? It put McAfee front and centre as the leading expert on cybersecurity.
Wanna sell a lot of your computer security software? Make a podcast about all the ways your information could be stolen. Genuis.
Hackable? has over 2.3M Downloads, 100k subscribes and #1 In Apple’s tech News Podcast Category for over 5 weeks along with winning a handful of awards.
These brands didn't just have their creative teams whip up an idea and hit record. They went to the experts like they were, but for podcasting.
If you want to know if your brand should be making a podcast, then get in touch with Ranieri & Co. to find out.