Podcasts can be a powerful tool for brand building

In the last 20 odd years, we have seen a huge transformation in the way marketing works. The year 2000s were all about traditional marketing- huge spends on ATL (Television and Radio being absolutely essential), big hoardings and a lot of BTL activations, so as to grab the customers’ eyeballs and ensure consistent brand recall.

It was towards the second half of 2000s and early part of the second decade of the 21st century that we saw the rise of digital and social media. The rise of the smartphones and the increasing penetration of social media fuelled the change in customer behaviour. As brands realized that more and more customers are spending time on social media, digital and social started becoming an important part of the overall marketing mix.

Over the last 2-3 years, we have seen the rise of OTT platforms. Videos have emerged as the preferred medium for customer connect, in this age of Whatsapp and social media. The content strategy has transitioned from being text heavy to video heavy.

The rise of podcasts

Podcasting is another marketing medium that has become popular amongst marketers over the last couple of years. Podcasts first became a known offering in 2014 when Apple rolled out a standalone ‘Podcast’ app in iOS8. After this, there was only one way for them- upwards.

Globally, podcasting revenues have risen constantly, and the industry is expected to generate $1 billion by 2021, according to a report by PwC. In India, the podcast boom is very much visible, driven by the rise in smartphone adoption, increased affordability of mobile data and the Millennials and Gen Z’s affinity towards on-demand content.

The pandemic has only contributed positively to the growth of podcasts. Media houses have launched podcast channels, even amidst the lockdown. A lot of individuals have started their own podcast channels and are getting great traction. Even companies have started launching dedicated podcast channels for their employees.

Podcasts are increasingly being seen as a powerful, versatile and informative medium. They can help brands establish instant connect as they are high on repeatability and engagement.

From a business standpoint, podcast is a new and innovative way of reaching the customers. As people spend more time in front of their laptop screens, there is now an increased interest in audio content. It is being preferred more by people as audio content can be consumed by them when they are on the move, or driving, in the gym, or maybe making dinner. People prefer listening to interesting conversations more than reading the content when they actually find time. Companies are also exploring the option of transforming some of their text based content to audio, as they believe it will get more engagement.

Going regional

In India, podcasts is not only an urban phenomenon. It has found its way to the tier-2 and 3 towns and cities. There is a huge demand for Indianised and localized content. There are millions of listeners for different forms of podcasts- ranging from motivational to entertainment-led.

Benefits of podcasting

There are numerous advantages of podcasting that make it a perfect option for marketers. First and foremost, they help brands have a more diversified content strategy. They also help to drive website traffic. Here are some other key benefits of podcasting:

Unique content

The best thing about podcasts is that they are unique, in the way that companies can create content and connect with the listeners. If the podcast series has an interesting storyline, or is designed in a way that it helps solve customers’ problems, it can help drive high engagement and a build a set of regular listeners. With podcasts, the brand has the opportunity to share its USPs with the listener and keep him/ her updated about the latest developments. The beauty of podcasts is that it gives brands the opportunity to present themselves in a unique manner!

Building relationships and brand awareness

With marketing, companies aim to increase brand awareness and also focus on building relationships with their customers. Podcasts are extremely impactful in building customer connect. While one may argue that podcasts do not give an option to the brand to have a conversation with its listener, the fact is that it does help in establishing a sense of connection, trust and brand authenticity. This is because the listener gets to know the speaker on a personal level and also know more about the brand’s ethos and overall vision.

Convenience

Podcasts are preferred as they find a place by the listeners’ side, irrespective of whether he/she is driving, cooking a meal, jogging or burning calories in the gym. The listener can multi-task: do his/her work and also listen to the latest podcast. This sense of convenience is a great driver of the adoption of podcasts across the world.

Affordable and easy to create

Podcasts are not an expensive marketing tool. To create a simple podcast, all one needs is microphone and an editing program. The podcast software and equipment are inexpensive. Also, there is no need to have a defined script. A topic and a basic structure can do the trick since podcasts need to be in a relaxed conversation style. Hence, podcasts are cost-effective and easy to create as compared to some other marketing mediums like videos.

To conclude, podcasts are a great medium for brands to market their products, or to build brand reputation and trust. Companies can use this medium to communicate and be transparent with their customers and their employees. Also, podcasts help with higher engagement levels and more targeted marketing. And to top it all, they can be great tool for brands who want to differentiate themselves from competition, carve a niche for themselves and attract eyeballs.


The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Akanksha Jain
Akanksha is a seasoned brand communications professional with over 15 years of experience in working across global/digital public relations, corporate and brand communications, crisis communications, brand and market communications domains.

In the past, Akanksha has successfully planned and executed public relations/brands campaigns across India and over 30 other countries. She is a start-up specialist and has extensive experience of working with emerging brands. She has been associated with brands like Pine Labs, MobiKwik, VLCC and Power2SME and spearheaded their PR/brand/communication campaigns.

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