Podcasting is picking up more traction as a medium for brands looking to reach highly-engaged audiences, but for most advertisers, it’s going to form one arm of a wider multi-channel campaign, rather than running in isolation. However, while this is an effective strategy, it can be difficult to know where to start.
This week, Adam Shepherd and Rhianna Dhillon sit down with Vicky Handley, brand communications lead for Lloyds Bank, and Spotify’s head of sales for UK and Northern Europe Ed Couchman, to talk about how advertisers and media owners can collaborate on effective campaigns, why podcasts are perfect for brand-building, and how to meaningfully tie podcast campaigns into a wider media plan.
You can’t rely on visual branding
“Obviously we have an incredibly iconic horse that delivers beautiful storytelling,” said Handley. “So from a video and print perspective, it does absolutely brilliantly on all our metrics. Linear radio also delivers on that because you've got not only Imelda Staunton, who has been our voiceover for a long time, delivering that kind of strength and stature for the brand, but you've also got the music that then links with all of your other channels.
“Whereas with podcast, you don't have any of that. You have the presenter talking about something that a brand has asked them to talk about, but the way that you differentiate that is do it in such a deep and meaningful way, that is important to the presenter, which will then naturally flow through to the listener.”
Personal connections are important
“I definitely see some of the best work when there's that authenticity with the host reads,” said Couchman. “As Vicky said, you know, the brief is really important, so we get a really good understanding of the audience and then potential host reads. And then if the host of a particular show does have an affinity or a personal experience, then I think it just works so much better.”
“One example we might have is from the hosts of The Rest is Politics, Rory Stewart and Alastair Campbell. Airbnb were looking to attract new hosts, and it just so happens that Rory Stewart is an Airbnb host… it was really authentic, he had a bit of fun with it, and as Vicky said, I think listeners are much more likely to pay attention to that, because it feels really real.”
Choose your partners carefully
“When we heard [the Philip Schofield story] was coming, we essentially looked at what other brands were doing… Are they pulling out of This Morning totally? Because we advertise a lot in This Morning.”
“Obviously, the big one was when they dropped Philip from the sponsorship deal with WeBuyAnycar. That was quite big, but given that viewers were still increasing, there's that balance of, actually, we're still getting a lot of reach versus the amount of PR, versus actually what the right thing to do for us is, and for our customers. So we didn't end up pulling anything, and I don't think many brands actually did.”