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Sticky Listening: High-end Podcasting in Business with Susi O’Neill, Head of B2B Brand Content at Kaspersky

Susi O'Neill, Head of B2B Brand Content at Kaspersky

PodBean connected with Susi O’Neill, Head of B2B Brand Content at Kaspersky, to find out more about their success in connecting to new target audiences with their novel take on high-end podcasting. Susi gave us her top 5 tips for creating best-in-class, pre-recorded podcasts – while managing a budget.

Even in a new medium such as podcasting, it is already noisy out there. If you are not going to simply be shouting in the crowd, then slick, high-end production can help you stand out. The math is simple; most businesses are small to medium businesses. They are not sitting with a top-100 budget. So, if you have a small to medium budget, what can you do to ensure you spend it wisely? 

1. Set the Bar High 

When Kaspersky entered the podcasting space using PodBean, they did so with accolades and awards for their video productions. It is no surprise then that they were determined to innovate and aim for the same high level with their pre-recorded audio documentary, Fast Forward. This audio documentary was developed to expand Kaspersky’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) message.

Podcasts in Business - Kaspersky's podcast "Fast Forward".
Kaspersky’s Audio Series, “Fast Forward”.

Susi O’Neill would have been aiming high anyway, even without such award-level standards to uphold, because as she says: “How do you reach people if you are not in the top 100 broadcasts?”. Her answer: “Be better”. This is not just an assertion; the rest of her tips tell you exactly how to do that.

2. Know your niche

Susi challenges you to target your approach. Your high-end content must be entertaining, educational, or informative; else, why should people listen? 

3. Hire people that know what they are doing!

Kaspersky’s Brand Activation Studio has a commission budget, meaning that, while the team did all the coordinating, they hired the best talent they could afford to do the implementation. Susi is clear that Kaspersky’s success relies in large part on their outsourced talent:

  • High-value presenter

For their audio documentary, Fast forward, Kaspersky commissioned a well-known British radio presenter. This provided the podcast with a level of gravitas and kudos from the outset.

  • Excellent post-production

Susi comes from a music background herself, so here is an insider’s tip for budget management. Your musician who is creating your jingle or supporting your listeners by immersing them into the audio journey with music also has excellent knowledge of post-production. Your budget may not have to be as large as you think, once you start thinking! Kaspersky’s production team and music team were one person.

  • Brand-aware visuals

“What visuals?” you say. Susi was committed from the outset to effectively launching Kaspersky’s audio documentary. So, one of the first tasks was to identify the creative talent to match the visuals to both the audience and the brand, which leads us to tip 4. 

4. Advertise by Channel

Those brand-aware visuals were a vital component of the podcast’s success. There are several vital considerations when you are considering the channel to advertise within:

  • Consider what works on different mediums. Even if all you have is one image or logo, it is essential to consider pixel side and aspect ratio for each platform.
  • Consider the branding of the channel you use. A large part of the creative investment made by Kaspersky was used to commission animations and identify stock footage for short video advertisements. These items did not just fit the brand of the podcast itself but were matched to fit the brand of the channel it aired on also.
  • And, of course, advertise to the converted! Kaspersky’s CSR campaign included identifying existing podcasting channels to promote their own podcast on.

5. Advertise Judiciously

Susi’s British audience is particularly sophisticated; this is part of why Kaspersky wanted to leave the interview style of podcasting and evolve into a more audio-documentary, story-telling approach. Like salt for a meal, too much brand pushing can ruin the consumers’ enjoyment. Instead, Kaspersky contented itself with a light brush of a “brought to you by” at the end of their audio documentary.

Does it work?

It is outcomes that prove to us whether or not our strategies were effective. So, how did putting these 5 tips into practice work out for the Kaspersky Brand Activation Studio? Thanks to PodBean’s user analytics data, Susi’s team was able to drill down and give us that answer. Their listener’s average dwell time on each episode did not drop below 5 minutes. To put that into context, this was a significant improvement on Kaspersky’s video engagement time, and this from a team that creates award-winning video!

Podbean's analytic tools give podcasts in business the best tools to track their results.

Scared your Budget won’t Stretch?

As a last piece of advice for those sitting on the small end of that budget spectrum, Susi says: “don’t feel that you need to commit to high-volume”. Focus on quality over quantity, and complement your existing standards and brand. Are you ready to go create some high-end podcasts?

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’s podcast hosting services!

5 comments on “Sticky Listening: High-end Podcasting in Business with Susi O’Neill, Head of B2B Brand Content at Kaspersky

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