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Are Podcasts the New Frontier of Brand Storytelling?

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The digital age produced a paradox for business. Technology made brand discoverability much easier. Yet getting in touch with customers today has actually ended up being significantly difficult. In the just recently released podcast revenue study by IAB and PWC, host-read advertisements controlled other classifications, representing more than two-thirds of podcast advertisements in2017 “The secret here is that I veterinarian the sponsors really thoroughly and personally utilize them,” states Tim Ferriss, New York Times very popular author and host of premier service podcast‘The Tim Ferriss Show’ While a nascent medium, podcasting is making its case as an automobile for companies to communicate credibility and, eventually, impact client understanding of why their brand matters.

There are roughly 550,000 active podcasts in 100 languages. In the United States alone, almost 33 million listeners make more than $75,000 every year. Largely, the podcast market is wealthy, informed and ethnically varied. But these elements alone cannot corroborate a significant financial investment in a well-produced program, which might go upwards of 6 figures. What makes the medium preferable is its capability to magnify affective resonance, or exactly what some scientists would call psychological contagion, within a brand neighborhood.

A great story, in whatever format, can leave us with a variety of feelings. For this, brain researchers credit the release of oxytocin, a hormonal agent typically accountable for boosting compassion and trust among human beings. As stories we hear resonate with us, we experience affective resonance or being “affectively aroused by others’ emotions“. Through tone and feeling, podcasts are able to humanize brand names for their audience.

If we were to trace the origins of podcasts that integrate journalistic and home entertainment worth like ‘Serial’ and ‘This American Life’, we may discover ourselves checking out radio ballads. In 1957, British folksinger Ewan MacColl and BBC radio manufacturer Charles Parker tape-recorded 40 hours of tape to produce a significant restoration of the brave death of steam engine chauffeur JohnAxon The account would become carried out by stars and artists. While paying attention to the product, MacColl recognized:

“It wasn’t merely that the speech had the ring of authenticity: there was something else — the excitement of an experience re-lived and communicated without additive and without dilution. … At its best, the actuality had something of the quality of the traditional ballads — it moved with the same deliberation, combined words into phrases which had the familiar ring of clichés, but which, at the same time, demanded all of one’s attention(.)”[1]

Similarly, if one had to recognize parallels of audio storytelling with music, the closest would probably be that of anarrative folksong It’s a category that talks kinds of stories– from daily heroes and hooligans to the disasters of the working class.

Inthe case of podcasts with an interesting story, the spontaneous sharing of impact or compassion in between people can develop a self-selected, non-geographical brand neighborhood Two academics Albert Muniz,Jr and Thomas C. O’Guinn officially presented the idea in a 2001 short article that studied customer habits in face-to-face and computer-mediated environments. Muniz and O’Guinn observed elements that affect customers to end up being connected to a brand in a cumulative setting. Their research programs the value of storytelling as a method to produce and keep neighborhoods where, “stories based on common experiences with the brand serve to invest the brand with meaning, and meaningfully link community member to community member.” Other studies on this phenomenon reward strong brand neighborhoods as reproducing premises establishing client commitment and dedication.

Whenthe sci-fi podcast ‘The Message’ released in 2015, the cooperation in between Panoply Media and GE, a century old commercial and digital corporation, appeared unknown– similar to the program’s category. But almost 5 million downloads later on, the job turned into one of GE’s current victories in brand repositioning and reaching new audiences. ‘The Message’ brought listeners into the world of Nicky Tomalin, a podcaster dealing with cryptologists to translate a message sent out by aliens from 70 years earlier. In the end, the grasping story was simply a sensible and psychological chauffeur for customers. What GE ingeniously achieved was develop a marketing funnel to its development, sonic recovery innovation, without turning the podcast into one huge advertisement.

Treading behind The Message’s huge success, ‘Open for Business’, is eBay’s effort at signaling brand credibility. The reveal motivates self-questioning as it follows the lives of genuine business owners who share lessons in growing their small company. There is a reasonable share of doubt from listeners who believe they’re simply being offered eBay’s service, however some evaluations are more favorable than others. “Relatable” is a word typically utilized. One listener shares that hearing these stories makes them“feel less alone” Based on memory or experience, character recognition caninvite empathy In the context of light-hearted subjects like dating in the modern-day age (example, ‘Tinder’ s DTR podcast’), relatable stories trigger listeners to mentally react to exactly what’s occurring with particular characters. Subliminally, the business has the ability to share brand worths to its audience.

Other reveals like ‘Inside Trader Joe’ s’ are more obvious with marketing. The podcast shares longed for tricks about items in grocery store chain. One ‘Inside Trader Joe’ listener, currently a routine purveyor of the supermarket, admitted that she attempted 2 new products “Mandarin orange chicken and sticky rice and mango wraps” after an episode.

Contrary to the viewpoint of cynics, the podcast renaissance is not relative to blogging in the mid-2000 s. Virality is foreign to the medium and production requirements, more plainly in audio storytelling, are high. NPR calls this the “audio truth killer“. It’s when modulation, psychological tone, accents and other types of inflection cannot transportation the listener into a state of connectedness. Combined with discussion and shifts that are unclear and credible, bad audio quality can deteriorate any editorial message.

Building a faithful podcast audience likewise takes some time, fairly longer than platforms like YouTube, Instagram and other online channels. Unlike social networks, podcast analytics are still simple and there are no automatic development tools offered to improve listenership.

These obstacles are confessed. But up until prominent media takes shape in another kind, maybe within the world of robotic voices showing affective qualities, brand names and organizations can bank on podcasts to communicate some reality and genuine messaging in a society that has the tendency to dilute it.

[1]Ewan MacColl, “The Radio Ballads: How They Were Made, When and by Whom.” Retrieved 18 June 2018 from http://www.peggyseeger.com/ballads/how-the-radio-ballads-were-made

This short article initially appeared in Business 2 Community

Aboutthe Author

CamilleLaurente is an acclaimed podcaster, digital media and public relations strategist, and author. She is the creator of Hueman Group Media, a business that influences individuals to do great through the power of audio storytelling. Her podcasts Sincerely, Hueman and SHE Innovates take on social great concerns and assistance the United Nations Sustainable DevelopmentGoals In 2016, Camille finished from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs where she concentrated on innovation, media, advocacy and interactions.

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