Engaging audiences with relevant content is one of the most difficult obstacles that marketers face today. The combination of entertainment and education found in podcasts has emerged as one of the best ways to do just that.
With close to 98 million Americans listening to podcasts every year, according to the latest Edison Research study, brands are paying close attention and getting in on the action. Often, brands are sponsoring podcasts that allow them to run one or two ads during a show. And as it turns out, those ads are proving extremely effective. Edison Research also reported that 67% of listeners don’t mind sponsorship messages. That’s a huge advantage over the 6% of television and radio listeners who stay tuned.
So, what are some of the podcasts that are attracting listeners and sponsors alike? I asked our team what they are tuning into.
Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations. As you might guess, Oprah and her guests cover off on a wide variety of topics that focus on self-improvement and how to make a positive impact on the world around you. When this podcast opened its doors to advertisers last October, space sold out for fourth quarter of 2017 in about 24 hours. That’s an expected result for Oprah.
Bon Appetit Foodcast. Interesting topics on cooking and dining out coupled with easy banter with the world’s best chefs and restaurateurs is what helps this series put you in the mood for recipes and reservations. It has also attracted some big name sponsors including Seattle’s Best Coffee, MasterClass and Campbell Soup.
Hang Up and Listen. As a weekly sports discussion from the online magazine Slate, Hang Up and Listen features the publication’s editor Josh Levin, writer Stefan Fatsis (author of A Few Seconds of Panic), and a selection of interesting guests from around the sports world. Their sponsors include Casper, HBO, Netflix and Harry’s Razors.
Brands are also finding that by producing their own podcasts, they are better able to connect with customers. They are creating something that people want to consume and telling longer human-interest stories which complements other short-form advertising vehicles. Of the brands that have produced their own podcasts, here are some that pioneered the genre.
The Slack Variety Pack. Having created the wildly popular work communication tool, it makes sense to produce a series about life, work, people and teams who create amazing things. Each episode features stories on work and office culture, teamwork, innovation in the workplace, and more.
Open for Business by Ebay. This podcast goes behind-the-scenes on how successful businesses are built from the ground up. The series covers everything from how to hire to finding out how to price your product. What makes this podcast stand out is the high production value and the narrative style story telling.
Hunt the Truth by Microsoft. This surprise hit saw Microsoft create a podcast for one of its releases of the Halo game. Based on stories that take place in the Halo universe, Microsoft released two seasons and many believe there will be a third.
Barbell Logic by Starting Strength Online Coaching. This is one of my current favorites. Every episode walks you through another aspect of how to be successful in strength training. The series focuses on interviews and tips for working the Starting Strength program to continually build monstrous physical strength.
The success of the podcast is doing more than just crushing content marketing strategies. It's adding a new dimension to both customer acquisition and retention. In short, avid listeners are active buyers. So, as you plan your marketing campaigns for 2018 and beyond, would you consider using podcasts to boost your brand and increase sales? Tweet us your thoughts @cbdmarketing!