With more than half the population listening to podcasts, this is a medium businesses can’t ignore. Every business assumes they need a blog; today’s businesses should also be considering what a podcast (or podcasts) can do for them. We’ll explore some of the ways businesses are using podcasts and how they’re helping with today’s business challenges to move companies successfully into the future.
Company Branded Podcasts: Telling the Story of Your Business
People learn from stories, not statistics. According to this informative piece from Harvard Business, “storytelling forges connections among people, and between people and ideas”. They open up people to learning and convey complex ideas well. This helps “solidify relationships in a way that factual statements encapsulated in bullet points or numbers don’t.” Most importantly, stories stick–with research showing facts are up to 20x more likely to be remembered if they’re part of a story.
What this means for your business is that if you want to convey a message or engage potential (and current) customers, build loyalty, and promote the why behind products and services, your most effective method is probably storytelling. And, stories told via audio have even greater “stickiness” and meaning. As humans, the words themselves are only a small part of our understanding. Tone of voice, inflection and audio cues tune us into so much more. And, they provide the intimacy and connection that reading does not.
Branded podcasts share stories in a way that advertising can’t capture. They help us connect with why the work a company does matters or what issues they’re solving. They give us a connection to their people, mission, etc. A podcast is quite different from a commercial as the “sell” is subtle. It is more about building connections and a long-term relationship as well as reputation and ethos. The company can combine this with other marketing efforts and direct calls to action to get the best results.
Another benefit of branded podcasts ties into our discussion below about internal teams. They are a way to not only share the business’ story to potential customers but also to prospective employees. They can serve to attract talent and give future employees a sense of company culture, mission and why they might want to work for this company.
A Branded Podcast Broadening Reach and Engagement: Kaspersky’s Tomorrow Unlocked
Kaspersky established Tomorrow Unlocked as a channel to reach new audiences with inspiring storytelling content about new technologies and cybersecurity. They had achieved success and multiple awards for creating high quality video documentaries, so we wanted to explore how audio could expand their audiences.
Particularly this year with the challenges of travel for filming, audio allows them to create content at pace, affordably, and to access a range and geography of speakers that wouldn’t be feasible for video documentary.
They recently launched Fast Forward, a 6-part audio documentary exploring the past, present and future of networked technologies. Partnering with Ken Hollings, tech author and BBC radio presenter, and experts from organisations including MIT and University of Cambridge, the series is a broadcast-quality documentary with immersive sound design and specially composed music, that audiences would want to seek out and spend time with. Particularly as branded content can be viewed with more cynicism than publisher-led content, getting the editorial quality right has been vital to their success.
A documentary distributed through audio channels has allowed them to reach new audiences and increase the time audiences spend with our content, helping to deepen engagement with our brand.
A Business Podcast for Showcasing Expertise
Another sort of business podcast is one in which the company more directly features their expertise. This is often an interview-style show. Perhaps internal experts, C-suite members, and team members from different departments come on to share their knowledge on various topics.
The audience might be other businesses in B2B companies and the topics can be pretty niche in those cases. Your business podcast can really stand out as it may be the only one out there providing this type of knowledge. For example, there’s a podcast called Potty Talk LIVE for plumbing entrepreneurs.
In the case of consumer-focused companies, this is basically a type of branded business podcast, but with a slightly more direct focus. For example, you might create episodes sharing different uses and tips for your product or service or answering consumer questions. A successful example is Tomorrow Comes Today by St. James’s Place. As they shared with us in a recent interview, this podcast helps establish them as “thought leaders” to their consumers.
Internal Podcasts for Employees: Developing Your Most Important Business Asset
A business podcast isn’t always geared externally. Your internal audience can benefit from podcasts also. And, we all know that our businesses cannot grow, let alone survive, without a strong team.
What are some of the ways companies can use private podcasts to support their internal team?
- Onboarding (and even recruiting)
- Sales enablement
- CEO updates or leadership fireside chats
- Team, product or service updates
- Employee or customer interviews/stories
- Role plays
- Leadership development
- Stories from leaders or different departments, to give employees a sense of the larger organization, rationale for decisions, company direction, etc.
- Just-in-time updates for fast-paced industries
- Preparation for a training session, reinforcement/companion piece to an eLearning course or in-person training
- Industry/subject matter knowledge: interviews with experts in the field (internal and external, partners, vendors, etc.), TED-like talks on key areas
- Repurposing existing content: replays of meetings, webinars, newsletters turned into audio form (or taking select pieces to reinforce or distill key information or distill information)
- Internal communications of all sorts, to keep teams connected and informed, with convenience and ease
Many of the benefits mentioned above for a public business podcast apply to your internal audience. And, even more so, companies need ways to keep employees connected, informed, engaged…and save time and hassle. Training managers know that though what they do is essential, employees often see attending training or completing an online certification course as a frustration. Podcasts offer a way to provide convenient, on-demand content. This doesn’t mean podcasts will replace all other mediums, but they can be an effective, efficient way to provide employee support in many areas. They might be used to reinforce learning or provide the updates teams need when things are moving fast.
Podcasts are particularly suited to getting information across with storytelling, helping employees feel part of the mission and understand company direction. Often, they enable the employee to communicate with customers more clearly.
Podcasts are ideal for supporting positions that have a lot of verbal interaction with customers. For example, role play podcasts enable support staff to model examples of ideal customer service interactions. This does so much more than reading a script or samples, as they can hear how they might use tone of voice, pauses, etc. to create a positive experience. Another example is sales. A sales training podcast might run through various sales scenarios, allowing salespeople to hear examples of how colleagues overcome objections and close deals.
With the growth of multinational companies and even small start-ups having dispersed staff, to say nothing of the huge growth in remote work as related to the pandemic, companies need to be creative with keeping their people connected. Podcasts do this in a way emails cannot. Audio podcasts also offer a break for the eyes from the endless staring at screens, while allowing employees to listen and learn at their own pace at their convenience. Podcasts are simply a smart way to boost communications and development so your team can succeed.
Podbean’s Business and Enterprise podcasting solutions provide all the features organizations need to create, manage, and distribute their business podcasts. Learn more about Podbean Enterprise for private podcasts and company branded podcasts.