Podcasts are now the fastest growing medium. In India alone, over the last year, the listener base for this medium has grown by 45% to 60% depending on the source you look at. Catering to such a segment can be beneficial. Unlike videos which requires visual presentation, podcasts lets companies bring out powerful voices and stories that otherwise would not be possible. For the audiences, as branding experts have long figured, the explosion of video content has shortened the average viewing length to just couple of minutes. The rush to create and produce content in less than 2 minutes coupled with the rising cost of producing videos is making brands look for alternate avenues and podcasts is primed to fulfill that slot.
Podcasts are not a recent creation. In fact, radio programs have been the standard over the last many years. It is only recently with the access to smartphones which has seen a growth of visual content that radio programs have been pushed to backseat. However, with audience demanding knowledgeable content and willing to pay a premium in terms of their time, podcasts have become very popular.
A question often asked by brands is "Why podcasts?". Advertisements carry a story often to be told within 30 seconds. Given that ad space rental are ever increasing in TV channels and video platforms, there is no way to tell your audience that YOU are the EXPERT on the product you are selling. Why would the audience believe your authority through just a 30 second ad?
Brands need to tell its audience that when it comes to the product, it alone is the expert. Show the audience that amount of research and knowledge that you have put in for developing the product or running the service. Demonstrate that your authority on the product and knowledge is why the product is the best and top of the line. And importantly, make the audience care for this!
Podcasts are an excellent way to build communities and give a call to action. While TV ad campaigns tend to give moving images, podcasts get out powerful voices. For instance, a sports icon describing her journey in depth on audio would be huge boost to menstrual health campaigns.
A popular route for financial consultant or organizations to gain their clients' trust is by educating them. A prospective client would be impressed by the consultant's knowledge and ability to educate the concepts and technicalities driving certain phenomenon. This also by and large aids the audience in general to accept the speaker's authority.
How to do it?
Podcasts cost lesser when compared to video ads or even imagery. The downside is the time spent in narrating the story. People find their own way to deliver a podcast. However, there are the following main methods:
1) Interview with a single host- Usually a good host with a natural ability for narration will bring the best out of the speaker. The speakers could change with each episode.
2) Firechat format- Often, two hosts, discussing the subject or topic. This is very popular among sports podcasts.
The result of such efforts is for you to weave a powerful story with evocative narration with the result that you get closer to your audience. After all, thats what branding is about, isnt it?