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(By Matty Staudt) All successful podcasts include three things for the listener. Empathy, Education, and Entertainment. These three E’s are not just important for traditional podcasts, but they are also vital for brands who are launching their own podcasts. For brands, they are even more important to help build their brand value and build relationships with customers. Here’s why:
This is a big one. A recent study found that 90% of podcast listeners are alone when they listen to a podcast. That’s an incredible fact when you think about how rare it is to get in front of someone for such an exclusive and intimate period of time. This also speaks to how important it is that your podcast elicits emotion and is crafted with care. A great podcast should feel like an old friend. Listeners want to feel at home and comfortable with the podcasts they listen to. Just like they are hanging out with friends. For brands, this is important because:
- Customers want to feel heard by a brand and that the brand gets them and their life experiences. That ah-ha moment where they say, “that is just what I was thinking or feeling.” Podcasts give them many opportunities to have those moments.
- Brands need to be trustworthy. Podcast listeners over and over again say they trust the shows they listen to and the advice hosts give. A podcast gives a brand the chance to really show they care and create a community of trust with their customers.
- Younger customers demand this. Millennials and Gen Z don’t like being sold to. Podcasts are not sales tools in a traditional way. They are a way to show brand values and build community, something these generations really crave.
Every podcast teaches the listener something. Listeners feel like when they walk away from a podcast they have learned something about a topic or an interesting person. And listening to content helps people learn it better. In a study way back in 1977 The Journal of Educational Psychology found that found students who read a short story versus listened to it showed nearly identical comprehension of the story. For the roughly 30% of the population who are primarily auditory learners, audio does even better. For brands, this is important because:
- A podcast gives the brand a chance to show off what they know, that is why thought leadership podcasts are so hot. You have experts, you know things others don’t, podcasts give you a chance to show that off.
- Podcasts give you a chance to not only teach customers about your brands, but internal podcasts can teach people in your own company about what other employees do there. For large companies, this is vital to help build community and keep everyone feeling connected. You can make each division its own star with an episode about them and what they do.
- There are very few times in life you can get 20–40 minutes of a person’s attention to teach them about your brand. Not only can a podcast do this, but the evergreen nature of them makes them available for months and years to come.
Podcasts need to be entertaining. We do this by making sure shows have a story arc, excellent sound design, and that the hosts are engaging whether they be internal or external hosts. Nobody likes a boring, bad-sounding podcast.
- When thinking of advertising brands have no problem considering that the ads they do need to be entertaining. For some reason, this isn’t always the case with the podcasts they produce. You have one chance to hook a listener, so making your podcast entertaining is vital.
- Customers judge you based on your podcast and its production. It’s important to put the best product in front of them each time.
- Aligning a celebrity or influencer as a host can really help up the entertainment factor for a brand’s podcast, as well as bring in that person’s fan base to your brand.
The Three E’s are not something we just talk about at Amaze. They are how we grade everything we do for our clients, for each episode, of each podcast we make. If your brand is thinking of starting a podcast, make sure to keep these in mind.
_Matty Staudt is the Chief Developement Office at Amaze Media Labs, creating podcasts and live experiences for brands like Ford, MAC Cosmetics, Vistaprint, and Hewlett Packard. Formerly Director of Content at Stitcher and VP of Podcast Programming at iHeartRadio. _