The framework to successfully market your brand and products on podcasts

The framework to successfully market your brand and products on podcasts

I’ve been an avid listener to various podcasts for years. As the medium grows in momentum I’m delighted to find even more shows to subscribe to from famous profiles, coaches and even celebrities. As more and more people dare to start their own podcast and try the waters for themselves.

Podcast is a new treasure throwe for me for knowledge, satisfy my curiosity, helps me see the world from another perspective but also keep me updated that requires no effort at all while I’m doing other things. Such as preparing my lunchboxes for the week or other usually quite mundane tasks.  


I enjoy noting the progress over the years from the sidelines and its become quite a powerful medium for sharing and distributing knowledge. From a holistic perspective I think it’s absolutely beautiful that we now have a way to create shows from one’s own bedroom and connect with people all over the world, share both perspectives, experiences and knowledge. It’s another one of those magical “internet enabled things” that I think makes the world a much better place to be. 


Today I stumbled across a post from one of my favourite authors on life hacks and productivity, Mr Tim Ferris, who has a podcast I’ve listened to for years. 


He recently introduced an experiment, going from an ad-supported podcast to a subscription supported model, where fans subscribe monthly through donations. 


True to form, Tim Ferris always communicates eloquently in terms of why he was making this change/experiment, and so forth in the most impeccable manner. (If you go a couple of episodes back and listen to that message alone, you can take away a great lesson in regards to effective and elegant communication alone.) 

Anyway. First I thought perhaps that this was a trend towards going more the Patreon route, that both large and small influencers can crowdfund creative endeavours without a large corporation getting involved in any way. Thus cutting out the middle aged white man and enabling artists and fans to interact on their own terms. That benefits them both.


However, I’m happy to see that Tim Ferris is scrapping the fan supported donation model (despite being successful) and taking back the ads, as a result of a massive wave of feedback from his fans wanting the ads back. It turns out that many others with me enjoy the ads that Tim Ferris creates to the products and brands that he chooses to collaborate with.

Here are my two cents on why that is: 


He is trustworthy – because Tim Ferris has huge credibility in his personal brand. 


They are personal – he has used, tried or tested the products or service and talks about the value they add to his life. 


The products are interesting choices – as one of the comments that Tim Ferris highlights in the post are that he has a large audience that wants to know about new products for effectivity, productivity, business and optimum health. To live their best life and they are often not mass market products, that are easy to find. Which brings me to the next point. 


Relevancy – the brands and products are selected are highly relevant to Tim’s audience and instead of being “ads” in their true meaning, many people view this as a way to find new products for them to try that they otherwise (myself included) may never have heard of before. That is curated by Tim Ferris. 


(As soon as I heard that Chaga and Lionsmane are available in convenient beverage sachets and that the brand was Finish, of course, I placed an order. Instead of having to cook lumps of Chaga for hours in my kitchen to make tea, I don’t have time for that!) 


I immediately draw the conclusion that in today’s attention economy that this phenomenon will only grow but will only be successful for personalities such as Tim Ferris. Personalities that have huge credibility associated with them. That is crafted over the years. 


Of course this is no silver bullet for marketing, however, if you want to reach people that are inspired by Tim Ferris and what he stands for, this will work. But it has to be highly relevant, a quality product and so forth and delivered with a personal endorsement.


I don’t believe that mass-market brands can achieve the same effect advertising on podcasts in quite the same way. Especially not the brands that take “radio commercials” and add them through the podcast app. This is both incredibly lazy and irrelevant. 


Instead, if I was a CMO I would do the following: 
  1. Identify suitable profiles that your target audience truly are inspired by and look to for advice, inspiration and knowledge.  Podcasts that delivers high value towards their audience. 
  2. The product needs to be relevant high quality for the individual/s in question, audience and the podcasts overarching theme.  
  3. The collaboration needs to have an authenticity to the audience and also in terms of the profile who creates the ad. (To illustrate my example – Would Seth Godin make or have an ad for Coca-Cola on his podcast? I deem that as highly unlikely)
  4. The person who hosts the podcast should be able to create an “ad” of the product with full creative control that suits the podcast format, personality and the listeners. 
  5. Use a specific link, code or similar to track the results because the best ads will most probably yield a high amount of conversions if done right. 
  6. Avoid irrelevant radio commercials at all costs. Podcasts are an entirely different medium. You talk to specific people in a specific way. 

I highly recommend to read the entire post made by Tim Ferris here and note the interesting conclusions and results he and his team have assembled from this experiment. 

Photo by Alphacolor on Unsplash