Why 2023 is the Year You Should Create a Branded Podcast
By Olly Hutson
Podcast consumption is at an all time high, with 40% of Australians listening to a podcast monthly, up from 37% in 2021. (The Infinite Dial 22). There are more podcasts than ever before and production sees no signs of slowing down. When most people think of a famous podcast, they probably think of a true crime blockbuster like Serial, or local favorites that riff on radio shows such as The Hamish and Andy Podcast. But did you know that more and more brands are creating podcast? This could be to explore the story behind their brand purpose, their passion points or ultimately produce ownable content that is hyper-relevant to their audience.
Can branded podcasts be as entertaining as editorial podcasts? Absolutely. Currently, there are podcast series ranked in the worldwide top 50 charts created by brands (read on for some examples we love). How can you get it right and produce addictive content that delivers powerful brand recall? Read on to find out.
What is a Branded Podcast?
In simple terms, a branded podcast is a podcast produced by a brand. However, this does not mean that they are a 30 minute ad for the brand or a podcast that delves into company history. The top branded podcasts stay true to what makes any good quality podcast: great storytelling, fascinating conversations, and valuable content people want to listen to.
No-one wants to hear how Seek.com.au created a website for job ads that people search and apply for. But how cool would it be to create a podcast with top interview advice from the best in the business, including discussions with Australia’s top CEOs and the stories of people who have risen from intern to MD? That’s how you take a brand’s purpose/key offering and spin it into an entertaining content series.
"Don't think of it as a sales channel, instead use it as a way to spend time providing value to your community" says Harry Morton, Lower Street Founder.
The Three Types of Branded Podcasts
Journalistic: Similar to a news or documentary style podcast, this format uses factual recordings that can be in-depth, like investigative reporting.
Educational: Using an instructional or informational approach. This can include tutorials, discussions of a product and the technical side of a brand, or the industry as a whole.
Editorial or narrative: Leaning towards entertainment and storytelling.
Why create a Branded Podcast Over a Podcast Ad Campaign?
In Q3 2022, ARN’S iHeart reported that spending on Australian podcast advertising had grown by 33% year-on-year. Research shows that listeners tend to pay more attention to, remember, and consider the brands mentioned in podcasts. They also pay more attention to ads that run on podcasts compared to other places (like TV, social media, etc.). Research from Spotify shows that 4 in 5 listeners have taken action after hearing audio ads during a podcast (Spotify).
Podcast advertising is proven to be effective. So why take on the larger, more complex (and more expensive) task of creating a branded podcast?
One reason is complete creative control. You’re not renting a spot in someone else’s show, or programmatically gambling on where your ad may be placed. There is less brand risk, as you are not associating your brand with a podcast host or celebrity who may fall into poor reputation.
Another reason is the opportunity to engage an audience for the whole show or even a series, not just 30 seconds.
The majority of people (88%) actively reduce distractions before they start listening to a podcast.
(Ad News). There is the opportunity to go deep on a topic or industry, establishing your brand as an expert in the space.
Finally, a branded podcast can give you an edge over competitors in your space. If no one in your niche has done it yet, you can gain the valuable first move advantage in the war for your customer’s attention. But don’t wait too long. Between 2020 and 2021 alone, Apple Podcasts saw an 82% increase in the number of new branded podcasts launched (Chartable). Companies have begun to appreciate the boundless marketing and brand recognition opportunities afforded by creating their own podcasts, resulting in positive ROI.
Best in Class Examples
Branded podcasts have the potential to draw in impressive audiences. Recent success stories include shows like Inside Trader Joe's, which was the #1 Food podcast in the US on Apple Podcasts; Choiceology from Charles Schwab, which has reached the Top 50 overall; and Duolingo's Spanish podcast, which consistently ranks in Chartable's global top 50 and is popular in dozens of countries worldwide.
Case Study: Sephora: #LIPSTORIES
This podcast is hosted by Girlboss Radio in partnership with Sephora. The episodes each feature a rotating lineup of influential female thought leaders who participate in discussions about self-image and their favorite memories in which they felt at their most empowered and beautiful.
Why the branded show works: This unique take on an interview format ties inspiring stories to the brand’s product. Each episode is relaxed, inspiring, and entertaining.
How Do You Measure the Success of a Branded Podcast?
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.
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.
A branded podcast is one of the best marketing tools to grow your brand in 2023 by lifting the business veil and offering a glimpse into the humanity and real-life voices behind a brand. They can also explore the issues that matter most to the consumer, giving the brand premium visibility within these issues. To explore your brand’s potential for ground-breaking branded opportunities, drop us a line here.