When it comes to content marketing, it isn’t simple math
By Jen Moss (Chief Creative Officer)
It’s natural to add 1 +1 and expect 2.
We’re all taught this in school. It’s why many media companies traditionally measure the overall value of the content they create by doing the obvious math: They look at what they spent making and marketing their podcast series, film, art exhibit… whatever — and balance that against direct revenue that piece of content earned. Voila – the realpolitik of making (and valuing) art.
But this equation falls apart when you step into the complex environment of brand marketing.
Steve Pratt, founder of The Creativity Business and branded podcast pioneer, puts it this way in his recent article for Indie Media Club:
“Directly monetizing the content is not the business model. Instead, the content is being “hired” by the brand to do a particular job that benefits the company. And there are a lot of different jobs that brands can hire content to do.”
Steve does a great job in this article of categorizing the kinds of “jobs” that content can do for a brand. He mentions things like building trust, educating customers, brand positioning, internal communications, and business development, all of which help drive revenue.
But what I would like to do here is give you a couple of concrete examples from my experience as Chief Creative Officer at JAR Audio, working with leading brands to create podcasts.
How can making great content help your brand? Let me count the ways:
Example # 1:
Content can make you younger – ask Genome BC
Genome BC wanted to capture the attention of a younger audience and educate them about the field of genomics. They wanted optimistic, “sciency-y” content that wasn’t boring – and that increased their reach, with a limited budget to expand their audience. Through hyper-targeted creative development and a specific marketing campaign, Nice Genes! was born. The podcast highlights stories of how genomics is advancing issues that youth really care about, like fighting climate change and promoting racial justice. It features a fun scientist host – Dr. Kaylee Byers – aka the “rat detective” and many exciting examples of genomic scientists in the field. We also revamped the artwork to be quirky, comic-bookish, and slightly rebellious. Above all – the show is FUN. And Genome BC has received lots of positive feedback from its target audience.
Content can make you smarter – ask RBC Capital Markets
Staggering investments are being made in the biopharma space. Although RBCCM had no shortage of opportunities for savvy investors, its profile was underexposed. Their podcast, Pathfinders in Biopharma, addresses this challenge head-on. Their host interviews researchers and thought-leaders on their work and insights, resulting in dynamic conversations exclusive to the show. It positions RBCCM “at the cutting edge of biotech and pharma” and allows them to
appeals to this traditionally hard-to-reach audience.
Example # 3:
Content can Save Lives… ask BC Children’s Kelty Youth Mental Health Resource Centre
Mental illness can be a key risk factor for teen suicide. As parents, caregivers, or other trusted adults, it can be hard to know how to support a youth who is struggling with a serious mental health challenge. This challenge is amplified if you live outside a city centre and far away from direct access to care. The BC Children’s Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre’s podcast, Where You Are, provides peer support, information, and resources remotely, to help people talk to and guide the youths in their life toward the services and supports they may need.
I hope by now you’re beginning to get the message:
The ROI on branded content exists in a myriad of ways that aren’t always easily measurable under any single accounting column
In visual art, it is said that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” I’d argue that in podcasting – it’s in the ear of the listener.
If listeners aren’t getting what they need from your audio content, they will leave, and you lose the opportunity to earn a place in their hearts and minds. This means that — to successfully capitalize on their content, brands need to spend time understanding who their audience truly is – and how the needs of that audience intersect with the business goals or organizational mandates of the brand. Then, and only then, does the equation for success get truly simple.
Want to explore other ways to get the best content out of your branded podcast? Check out this post.