If you are a marketing services firm or work with one, consider podcasting as a powerful brand boosting vehicle that is complementary to and oftentimes more impactful than traditional marketing media.
Advertising agencies, branding consultancies, and PR firms are increasingly turning to podcasting to boost their client’s brands. They’re facing headwinds with traditional marketing vehicles. TV? Getting more expensive. Print media? Ditto, and limited in terms of relationship and brand building. Digital marketing? Sure…if you want to fight the CPM/SEO battle with a weapon that only appeals to one sense (visual), and in a limited way. And the rate of growth is…getting…slower. Zzzz.
If you’ve worked hard to build your messaging for a client but need a more compelling and memorable channel to cut through the noise and hold the attention of the “messagee”, a branded podcast is one of your fastest growing alternatives.
How does a branded podcast match up against other marketing channels?
Builds a more intimate connection between your client’s brand and its customers
Traditional marketing generally focuses on short-burst communications. But with a well-constructed podcast episode, you have the listener’s focused and often completely undivided attention for, on average, 25 to 35 minutes. I’ve recently heard a phrase that captures the evolving philosophy among podcast marketers: Be Relentlessly Helpful. For a brand to really connect with customers, it must be associated with information that is critically important to the caller’s personal or professional development. How can this be done if the brand exposure afforded by traditional means is measured in seconds?
Many financial services podcasts focus on “financial wellness.” Here’s a great financial services podcast from Edelman Financial Engines. Here’s a link to their podcast archive. Note the number and diversity of the podcast topics. It can be strongly argued that listeners would find them very important to them personally, and worth the investment of time…time that translates into brand exposure.
Reaches people that your client finds hard to reach otherwise
The business world is filled with people who spend more time in places other than in front of a screen or behind a newspaper or magazine. Business executives who travel and like to blow off steam exercising, hiking, or walking. Field technicians who spend a good amount of time traveling from job to job. Ditto truck drivers and salespeople. People of walks of life who garden, fish, do laundry, try to escape their kids. How do you reach them? How long would they listen to you if you gave them Relentlessly Helpful content? How could they get that information otherwise, if they’re not in front of their desk, laptop, or TV? Podcast marketers know that there’s no remote-control button on their episodes, or a mouse attached to an iPhone, to quickly click away from what they’re listening to.
I listened recently to a podcast, The Grower and the Economist (listen here), targeted at the horticulture industry. The podcast features trends and tips that are Relentlessly Helpful to growers of various foods, plants, flowers, etc. Think about it: How many growers (and their suppliers) spend more time outdoors working repetitive tasks than in front of electronic and printed media? This particular podcast isn’t branded, in the sense that there’s no mention of the sponsoring organization, but companies marketing to growers would certainly reinforce their brand if they associated this kind of content with their messaging.
Satiates your client’s hunger for content that isn’t boring and one-dimensional
You may offer your clients content services, or you may not. Either way, they can never get enough of it. But even if the client is consistently churning out branded content, chances are high that it’s not memorable, substantive, or useful enough to be, again, critically important to the listeners personal or professional development – and hence not doing the brand the favor a podcast episode could.
Back to podcasts for financial services companies. Many financial institutions, such as those offering banking, investing, or insurance services, are offering their customers various tools to help them better manage their money – things like loan calculators, stock portfolio guidelines, budget planners. If you want to Relentlessly Help a banking customer actually use these tools to better their financial affairs, wouldn’t a compelling banking podcast about a like-minded person who benefitted from said tools be more valuable than…a blog post? Whitepaper? Webpage? TV ad?
Also, exposure to podcasting content tends to result in a higher open and click rate for social media and e-mail programs. I read recently about a branded podcast published by, of all things, a dairy collaborative, called the Milk Check which resulted in open rates of over 60% and click rates around 20% when actively promoted via these channels. No one can guarantee rates this high, but dollars to donuts, podcasting can get you out of the high single-digits and into the mid-teens.
“I have a client who would benefit from a branded podcast…where do I start?”
Most of your clients will have little or no idea how to create a podcast, or even develop a podcast concept. The best starting point is to help them define the role that podcasting should play in their overall business strategy, and how it supports the messaging you’re trying to help them convey through your services.
To help in this process, we offer what we call “Get Clear” podcasting strategy and concept development services. We can offer these podcasting services directly, in partnership with marketing services firms, or even directly to these firms without any direct involvement with the client. Feel free to schedule a consult with us, either on behalf of your firm or your client, or reach us at email@example.com.