When asked how to create a successful podcast, we always point to our recipe for podcast success: Creative Bravery plus Commitment. Creative Bravery means creating an awesome show that people actually want to listen to — a show that people will choose over all the other podcasts available. Commitment means promoting the podcast to the right audiences and coming up with a smart marketing plan that exposes the show to new listeners.
In other words: make a great show and promote it well. It’s a simple formula, but very hard to execute.
Today, I want to focus on the commitment part.
At some point when we’re talking to clients, we’re always asked, “but how do we as a brand compete with all those podcasts already out there? How can we possibly find an audience?” The truth is that brands have an unfair advantage over most other podcasters. Big companies have assets and channels that are invaluable for promoting podcasts, and large organizations are perfectly set up to find their audience to make the impact they are looking for. Most podcasters would love to have access to the powerful tools that most brands have readily available.
We call these unfair advantages superpowers. Here are some of the most common superpowers we see with our clients.
Many brands don’t realize they have large potential audiences that are ready to listen to their podcasts and waiting to be engaged. These audiences include customers, partners, employees and suppliers. This is a huge advantage over most other podcasters, who often have to build their audiences from scratch over time. If you’re a brand and already have an audience, you don’t just have a sizeable group of potential listeners to engage; you also have potential ambassadors for the podcast that can help bring the show to new audiences. We spend a lot of time with our clients to figure out how to best activate existing audiences in an authentic and impactful way.
One good example of how we’ve done this is with our recent For The Love Of Work podcast that we created with Rogers. They were incredibly successful in activating their internal audiences to create a podcast that became #1 Careers show on Apple Podcast Canada.
Incredible internal marketing expertise
All our clients are amazing marketing professionals and have significantly more marketing experience and expertise than the average podcaster. Although promoting audio comes with its own quirks, this expertise is invaluable when it comes to the job of promoting a podcast. We work closely with our clients’ marketing departments to maximize the impact of any podcast and collaborate with our clients’ external agencies.
Existing content ecosystems
Most of our clients are already active in the content marketing space: they have blogs, create videos, and are active on social media. A new podcast can fit perfectly into an active content marketing ecosystem and allows for amazing cross-promotion.
We have seen a lot of success in brands running what are effectively podcast networks that allow different podcasts to promote each other. Charles Schwab created an amazing ‘audio funnel’ that helps them reach different audiences or the same audience in different moments of receptivity.
Budget for paid campaigns
It’s not always necessary to spend money on promoting a podcast, but it can help accelerate audience growth. Many of our clients choose to invest money into smart paid media campaigns that help them find new audiences quickly. We have recently started executing media buys and have seen amazing conversion rates for well-executed campaigns by targeting key demographics smartly and using creative engagement methods. Measuring campaign success, historically hard to do in audio, has come a long way over the last year.
A brand that people care about
Perhaps the biggest asset that big companies have is that people are already invested in them and care about what they have to say. There are already people out there that want to hear the stories they bring to life and to find out more about their values.
When we launched Bring Back Bronco with Ford, we were reminded that a passionate fanbase, together with a smart marketing strategy, can create incredible results. Bring Back Bronco was the #1 Automotive podcast on Apple Podcasts shortly after its launch.
How we help activate superpowers
We create comprehensive audience development strategies that are tailored to the audio space with best practices from 6+ years of branded podcast experience. We work with other agencies to implement tactics and create measurement tools that allow us to track success in close to real-time.
Recently, we’ve also started offering audience development services that are independent of podcast production. We’ve started working with brands that have already produced podcasts to help them figure out how to use their superpowers to find new listeners.
We’d love to hear from you to see how we can help you use your superpowers to drive more results from your podcast.
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