The best way to capture a millennial's attention is through her ears.
At least, that's the prevailing thinking among brands that are recognizing major changes in the way that people are consuming content (it was one of the most buzzed about topics at Advertising Week New York, which my team recently attended).
There's good reason podcasts are supplementing blogs as a major marketing tool. Around 67 million people ages 12 and over listen to podcasts each month, according to a study by Edison Research. And a whopping 85 percent of people who start a podcast listen to all or most of it.
It's that last part--huge completion rates--that makes podcasts such a desirable marketing vehicle. Not to mention, podcasts are less expensive to create than videos and let you share an authentic voice (literally!) with your audience.
As you start to consider whether or not a podcast would be a strong investment for you and your brand, consider how some of major players are approaching audio. These 5 are all well worth the download.
GE: The Message
You can't talk about branded podcasts without talking about GE's The Message. It took risk and more than a few visionaries to pull off this award-winning sci-fi podcast. The world of cryptographers decoding alien messages is fictional, but the GE products integrated are real. Consider this a case study for out of the box thinking.
eBay: Open for Business
Targeting budding entrepreneurs and small business owners alike, ebay's Open for Business gives entrepreneurs a platform to talk about building their businesses. Tune in for startup lessons, key issues businesses face, and true stories about how business owners made their brain-children realities.
Basecamp: The Distance
I've raved about Basecamp before, and this podcast has given me yet another reason to love them. While eBay's Open for Business gives serves up some startup inspiration, The Distance is all about business longevity. Interviewing owners of businesses that have been open for 25 years or longer--ranging from basement waterproofers to jewelry stores--it provides a truly fascinating look at what it takes to survive as a small business. Coming from a business tool that strives to help businesses do just that, this podcast idea is nothing short of brilliant.
Tinder was one of the driving forces that made swiping right synonymous with a pickup line, and the brand gets it. Tinder's limited run DTR (Define the Relationship) podcast explores "the good, the bad, the hilarious and awkward, the wonderful and bizarre aspects of defining relationships in today's world." The podcast contributes to owning and normalizing the type of swipe right romance the brand is known for, sharing some Tinder etiquette, and doing it all without sounding like a commercial, thanks to a straight talking host. After a successful first season, DTR is setting up for Season 2 in the coming months.
Spotfiy takes podcast marketing a step further by actually providing the casting platform. The music juggernaut launched its first podcasts earlier this year, and you can find them--you guessed it--on Spotify. Unpacked is your inside look at music, film, and tech festivals (or all three--hey SXSW) with interviews with influential creatives at each festival. Also worth checking out from Spotify is Showstopper, which gives a fascinating look at how music supervisors connect songs with television.