Major brands are taking big bets on self-produced and sponsored podcasts. And so far, it’s really paying off.
That could be because 46 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly, 17% of the U.S. population. Or that the average listener tunes in to about six podcasts per week.
Studies show that we’re listening on our commutes, in the gym, while doing household chores… and beginning to choose podcasts over evening TV. (Evening TV? Say that again?! Sorry Bachelor.)
It’s not difficult to understand why this is happening, either. As consumers and listeners, podcasts allow us to be more in control of the messages we consume and when we consume them. It’s the content we want, when we want it and it’s incredibly specialized to our interests—an un-blockable stream of coverage on the topics we love.
So it’s safe to say that the world of spoken podcast is enjoying a massive boom, as a potent sales and marketing tool for brands, and customizable educational / entertainment resource for consumers.
Let’s check out some of the brands doing big things with this media format:
GENERAL MILLS (Cheerios, Haagen-Dazs, Betty Crocker, etc.)
General Mills produces a podcast under its blog banner, A Taste of General Mills. The latest topic, ‘A fresh look at convenience store food’ is the most recent podcast and covers the fresh food options at your local convenience store, while its other content provides much the same helpful and educational food topics we all crave.
Prudential sponsors a podcast called 40/40 Vision, hosted by actress Faith Salie. 40/40 dives into some of the tough conversations about being in your forties, like aging and longevity, workplace changes, and how the modern 40-something experience is so much different than that of previous generations. For a life insurance, retirement and investment firm we’d say this is a spot on strategy for developing brand awareness and loyalty.
What’s more, our friends at Prudential are getting ahead of the game by continuing to sponsor and co-produce original content that’s relevant to their future consumers. Namely, a show called ‘Girlboss Radio’ with Nasty Gal Founder and #Girlboss Author Sophia Amoruso. This show interviews Women whom have made their mark in creative, cultural and business ventures to speak to Women of the same mindset and drive. Again, spot on.
GE took a big risk on doing something very different, and it worked. ‘The Message’ is an eight episode co-produced science fiction story brought to life by award-winning screenwriters, real actors and incredible talent. It’s a real story, not a traditional advertisement—though undoubtedly marked with the GE brand. It connects listeners with what the GE brand is about, without selling itself too hard. Brilliant, GE. Brilliant.
According to Andy Bowers, Chief Content Officer of Panoply, “podcasting… is kind of where the film industry was in the 1910’s.” Meaning, we’re still at a very young stage in podcast history and only recently have brands become more comfortable creating branded / sponsored content.
For our business readers, it’s a very important tool to consider in your future marketing strategy. Whether it’s aligning with content relevant to your audience and sponsoring a show or producing your own. The next five years will be a peak time to lay the foundation of your podcast and develop a podcasting foundation.
Alright, we’re signing off here. We think it’s best that you switch over to your Podcast App tonight.