A few days ago we participated as viewers and voters in “IlPod” , the first edition of the Italian award for the best podcasts. From there we took the opportunity to do some reflections on the matter.
Let’s start with a few questions.
Do podcasts still work? Or after the boom of the last few years, the passion is waning a bit?
Consequently, is it still worth investing in a new podcast?
How much can it serve for the promotion of your brand or digital project?
Once again, we believe it is not so much about the format itself or the fashion of the moment that makes the difference, but the quality and care with which it is made.
But let’s try to analyze it better.
IlPod, the first Italian Award for the best podcasts
IlPod, organized by philosophers and writers Andrea Colamedici and Maura Gancitano (founders of the TLON), was undoubtedly a great success. The evening of the awards ceremony at the Carcano Theater in Milan was in fact sold out, after an afternoon of meetings and panels with the authors of the podcasts in the competition.
The jury made up of 20 experts from the world of audio and digital content, has declared them as winners of the coveted Morning by Francesco Costa (Il Post); Cashmere by Edoardo Ferrario (Tamago) and Things very human by Gianpiero Kesten (Indie, distributed by Vois).
A Morning by Francesco Costa (a daily appointment with Italian and world news) also received the public award with an audience of over 40,000 voters.
Many other podcasts were also awarded for each of the 20 categories in the competition: from Comedy to Disclosure, Fiction and Green, Society, Sport, True Crime and many others. The category that attracted our attention the most (and from which the reflection below started) is certainly the Branded Podcast that saw Beyond Sound by Vois for WeBuild, followed by Les Diaboliques by Chiara Tagliaferri produced by Storielibere for BPER Banca and Generazione Covid by Ilaria Potenza and Luigi Lupo produced by Editoriale Domani for Banca Etica.
The Branded Podcast, what is it?
A Branded Podcast is an editorial product in audio / digital format used as a Storyelling lever by a specific Brand. The primary objective is not to advertise as much as to tell one or more stories suitable to convey company values and capture the attention of new potential customers. In fact, in most cases, it does not have a direct commercial function (sales purpose) but rather entertainment, education and involvement of the audience.
Often the Brand is the publisher but not necessarily the protagonist of the Podcast. A clear example is the winner of the best Branded Podcast de IlPod award, Beyond Sound by Vois, produced by WeBuild a global player specialized in the construction of complex infrastructure works for sustainable mobility, hydroelectric energy and green buildings.
Beyond Sound never goes into the merits of the company’s work, rather it tells about the changes and transformations on several fronts (territory, economies, people) that large infrastructures bring with them. From the high-speed train, to the motorway connections and the Green Buildings, a way to make the Brand known to the general public, telling quality stories.
Why should a brand invest in a podcast?
But why a Podcast in particular? What is different, more, than a YouTube channel or a newsletter? Why does it work so much?
By now you will all have noticed that since 2020 the Podcast format has literally exploded. Some argue that his season is almost over, that after the boom of the early years, the passion is waning.
The participation in sector events such as IlPod or the huge participation in training courses such as the Chora Academy (which received more than 4000 applications in its first edition), would suggest instead not.
The truth is that podcasts seem like a format that will last for a number of reasons:
- You can listen to it anywhere. Unlike video or newsletter formats that need to be followed very carefully (a user can only do that) podcast usability is much more multitasking. In fact, many listeners claim to listen to podcasts while carrying out other activities (cleaning the house, jogging, cooking, etc.).
- You can also listen offline. A podcast is a very light format, being audio-only, the track is more easily downloadable or usable
- There is still poor quality competition (for the Branded Podcast) and good organic reach from distribution platforms (eg Spotify, Apple Podcast, Spreaker).
Where to start to create the perfect Podcast for your Brand?
It seems trivial but it is the simplest and most effective thing to do: start with a question. What interests your audience? What needs do you have? Why is he looking for your company beyond his purchasing needs? What are the stories behind your work?
It’s a different and not necessarily complementary approach to the sales funnel – your goal is not to convert but to nurture your audience.
When you have an idea that you think will work, we recommend that you contact a professional (there are many freelancers that we recommend!) Who can help you both with the development of the concept and with the technical realization of the audio product.
Podcasting is an interesting world with a very high potential. Do you think it can be right for you? Write to us and let us know, we can’t wait to hear your story!
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