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What finance brands can learn from mainstream podcasts

Lend me your ears

Research from April 2019 indicates there are 29 million podcast episodes available online. Whether they are telling chilling tales of true crime, making us laugh through storytelling or giving us access to expert advice, podcasts are a must-listen for over half of all Australians. In fact, 44% of podcast listeners immerse themselves in more than five hours of content per week. Equally popular in the US, 32% of Americans listen to a podcast monthly, while in the UK the number of weekly podcast listeners has doubled in the past 5 years to 5.9 million.

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The power of the podcast to sway popular opinion and capture a nation is undeniable. Take The Australian’s true crime flagship – ‘Teacher’s Pet’ as an example. The podcast dives into the story of the disappearance of Sydney mother, Lynette Dawson. Interviews and evidence gathered during the recording of the podcast were sufficient to spark a reinvestigation of events. Even this is small fry compared to Serial, perhaps the world’s most popular true crime podcast, which has already attracted more than 250 million downloads.

What makes for a good podcast?

There are three key things that make for a great podcast: structure, storytelling and marketing. While finance marketers might not be able to capture the nation with emotive stories of true crime, there’s plenty to learn from mainstream viral podcasts, and plenty of space for informative finance podcasts that offer expert advice on topics of consumer interest. The following three principles apply to any podcast, regardless of the topic.

  1. Structure
    Consistency is key with podcasts. Find a way to divide your content into episodes and release each one at the same time on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Create regular features that can become ‘fan favourites’ and use surveys amongst a selection of your listenership to establish what they enjoy listening to. By creating a regular offering and setting listener expectations, you are more likely to build a loyal base of subscribers.
  2. Storytelling
    It might sound counter intuitive, but storytelling doesn’t always require an actual fictional story. It’s all about the narrative that you create through your podcast – you must decide on one thread that will run through all of your episodes that unites any features or discussions you might have. For example, your podcast might hinge off the broad premise of ‘how to be smarter with your money’ or ‘how to invest without fear.’ It’s also important to find a great host for the show who can put your message across clearly and in an engaging way, and compelling guests that inspire and interest your listenership.
  3. Marketing
    Marketing a podcast relies a lot on word of mouth, however, there are things you can do to promote yourself. Encourage listeners to rate and subscribe to the podcast as this will push it further up the Apple lists, use social media to promote each new episode and consider how you can use your existing marketing channels, like email, to inform your customers about the podcast and encourage sign-ups.

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Rachel Lobley
A specialist in marketing strategy, Rachel has worked on consultancy, content and PR projects for a number of international finance and insurance brands out of London. Now in Australia, Rachel enjoys producing strategic content for the Aussie market and getting to know her new surroundings. When not at work, she's out enjoying restaurants and attempting to do some exercise.