The sizeable reach of sports media company Footballco’s LinkedIn newsletter doesn’t have a significant impact on converting readers to listeners of the podcast that it’s based on, according to the brand’s PR manager Paul Rayment.
The Footballco Business Newsletter, which is published bi-weekly on LinkedIn, is created based on highlights from The Footballco Business Podcast and published to almost 12,000 subscribers. LinkedIn is the brand’s strongest social media channel, with over 43,000 followers on the platform. However, Rayment told PodPod on the latest episode of the podcast that this reach doesn’t meaningfully transfer to the brand’s podcast.
“They don't have a massive impact on the audio version,” said Rayment; “some impact, but not a huge impact - but it does then just offer us another way to get value out of this product that we've created.”
Although the newsletter doesn’t convert all its readers into listeners of the podcast, he said, it is used as a way to distribute the content of the episodes to Footballco’s audience in a way that’s different from just appearing on podcast feeds, as well as offering a chance for the guests to share it to their own network.
“It was something I just kind of did on the off chance... It was actually during the close period where we didn't have many shows going out, and I was basically recycling old show content, turning it into written content and seeing how they did, and the numbers were doing good,” said Rayment. “Reads, depending on the topic, you're talking maybe around the 4,000 to 5,000-plus mark - which, as a fraction of it, is very good.”
Other ways that the LinkedIn newsletter has benefited Footballco is by using the highlights from the podcast to cross-promote other content on its website, with one example being an episode with Jane Fernandez, FIFA Women’s World Cup COO in Australia, which was then used to promote a report on the Footballco website on the women’s football fandom.
During the episode, Rayment also stressed that monetising the Footballco Business Podcast is not a priority for the brand - besides running pre-roll programmatic ads - and that the goal instead is to grow its audience and brand awareness, as well as speak to potential partners that they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to pin down and have a conversation with.
“There's no secret that it helps us sit down with somebody for maybe 45 minutes to an hour, and have a conversation. Sometimes it's hard to have those conversations, if you're in a commercial environment, which is kind of very formal.,” said Rayment. “...The idea of it is that it’s a branding exercise, if people do want to come on, if people listen to this and would like to get involved and kind of sponsor in some way, then they are more than welcome, but there's no commercial pressure on me to do that.”