If your brand were a person, what would they sound like?
Anytime BF media are briefed on a potential podcast project, this is the first question we ask. Budget, content, strategy – they can all come later but if you want to make a podcast, the most important consideration is, who your brand would be if they could talk.
Like a human.
Not a product.
It’s a similar approach we take when briefed on a broadcast day. Forget the information you want to communicate, where’s the conversation?
If you’re not sure, our job as a broadcast agency is to help you figure that out.
So as a company that works with brands and traditional PR agencies to secure interviews on TV and radio stations, why did we create and host an event on podcasts last week? Well two reasons, we don’t define broadcast as just TV or radio – we believe video production, research that creates on air debate and, over the past 3 years podcast production, sit within broadcast as a category and as a result all form part of the BF media offering.
Over the past 3 years, podcasting as an industry has grown exponentially – to the extent that if you don’t host your own podcast show are you even alive? Over this time I have had so many inquiries from contacts at brands and agencies asking what the routes into podcasting are, how much it will cost, what sort of kit they should invest in and how much time it will take to create.
Valid questions but not the important one.
Perhaps that’s why, during the same period, 70% of all enquiries we receive regarding radio/broadcast days end up going ahead, whereas with podcasts the number sits at a low 5%. The most important consideration had not been figured out yet…..either that or I am awful at giving clear advice when it comes to podcast strategy…whichever it was, whoever was holding onto the marketing/PR budget wasn’t convinced in the value in podcasting.
Given how many people tuned in for our live event When a podcast should & shouldn’t be part of your comms strategy I would assume falling at this final hurdle, is something we have all experienced at some point.
The second reason we wanted to do an event on podcasts is because they are here to stay – and are going to feature more and more frequently in communications strategies over the coming years.
The way we work and live our lives has changed forever and as a result so has the way we consume media. Recent data by YouGov shows that the proportion of us that listen to podcasts increased to a third during the pandemic (33%) while print magazine consumption halved between 2019 and 2020 (41%, 26%). Established habits are hard to kill off and over this past year we’ve had no choice but to fall into very basic habitual routines – walking, running, driving to work – which means we find ourselves more and more in situations where we were previously unreachable to brands. And often, sitting at the heart of those spaces – doing mundane tasks around the house, going for a walk, doing some form of exercise, are podcasts.
According to Kantar, podcast listeners are more receptive to brand messaging than most media – second only to influencer-endorsed branded content and when it comes to Brand Favourability and Purchase Intent, podcasts see lifts of up to 37% higher than other media channels.
Sponsorship: The host of a podcast creates a read on behalf of your brand that sits inside their episodes.
Editorially: Treat a podcast the way you would a media platform. Target podcasts as you would specific media lists and pitch in spokespeople and products.
Branded content (Create your own): You become the platform. You create the content. You launch your channel. You build your following.
Branded Content (Collaborate): Team up with an established podcast series to reach their audience.
I also believe there is a fifth option which we discussed during our event so if you would like to receive the on demand version, drop us an email at email@example.com
Do you know how to write scripts, conduct interviews, edit audio content and book guests? If yes, then perhaps you don’t need outside help. But unless you also know how to get a show in people’s ears and stand out in a noisy marketplace it’s probably worth investing in someone to support you from inception through to publishing.
According to one of our speakers, Amanda Redman, don’t stifle creativity by being too involved in approving every single thing – this holds-up creativity and time.
Initial talks are of course crucial as is guest approval etc, but when it comes to editorial, don’t get too hung-up in the details that will be ironed out when the records take place.
Amanda also recommends that you don’t put things like artwork and music for the show on the back burner – these are just as important as the actual content.
And finally, give time to breathe. Too many times people haven’t taken her advice, they rush into the launch with no time to build anticipation – getting the word out in the press and on socials. Crucial if you want to build a following.
Our other speaker, Josie Colter, made an obvious but crucial point during the talk….
“If you can make a strategy for your podcast, it will improve your results. Unless you really map out the impact you’re trying to make, you’re unlikely to achieve it”.
Josie pulled together a useful checklist with good reasons to create a podcast.
- Build a community for your brand
- Feed people’s passions and interests
- Address stigmatised topics
- Share well-informed views to an underserved audience
- Build reputation / authority
- Champion certain speakers / views
- Create evergreen content
Once you have a reason you need to get buy-in, Josie recommends picking one goal and focusing on it. This could be brand extension, reaching a new audience, building a community, an editorial theme you want to campaign around, or boosting brand love.
Once you have that, scope out your production budget so you can decide how sophisticated and complicated your format can be, plus talent, design, music, etc. As Josie points out, this can be done simply, so don’t be scared. Just be realistic.
But don’t forget to answer the most crucial question.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog but would like to hear about some of the reasons to avoid getting into podcasting or a bit more detail on how to measure success or secure internal buy in, then drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the on demand version of the event where we cover all those points.