You are the medium of the hour. Podcasts are exciting for companies because they create closeness. And that is more important than ever now that physical meetings are still restricted.
They are being touted on every digital corner, in every medium: podcasts that should be heard now – either to be entertained or to educate yourself. Now, these are the times when everyone knows the term social distancing and, for many, the end of the day means to close the laptop on the dining table and then to fall with the tablet in the living room one and a half meters away on the couch.
The corona crisis has turned our society, our working life and our social structure upside down. And our listening habits also seem to have changed: Spotify reported in March that the number of people who listen to podcasts on their way to work has fallen significantly. Not surprisingly, many people have been working from home in recent months. But there, in your own four walls, there is a great need for on-demand audio broadcasts. In addition to news podcasts, all those formats that deal with the topics of household, cooking, health or meditation, in which the private is in the foreground, are particularly popular.
Podcasts are clearly more popular than ever. A trend that companies can also use to strengthen customer loyalty. Companies can create closeness with podcasts – and in addition to digital workshops, remote sessions or digital press conferences, create another touchpoint for their target group.
The human voice creates closeness
To get started, you have to clarify what makes a podcast so attractive. It’s about more than just consuming it on the side, for example while jogging or cleaning up. We just like to listen to others. The digital thought leader Tijen Onaran recognized it and described it on LinkedIn: Social distancing has made us long for social connecting, i.e. connecting with others. In addition: the human voice is incredibly honest. She is approachable. Anyone who listens to a podcast not just casually, but in a concentrated manner, feels close to the speaker, as close as if he were watching it. And no wonder: those who record a podcast have to be closer to the microphone than the protagonist of a video to the camera. Listening to a podcast also means, in a way, hanging on the speaker’s lips. That connects. As a result, many listeners develop a proper relationship with their favorite hosts and feel connected to them.
Authenticity and humor can also convince
Choosing the right host is also crucial for the proximity factor, because good moderators make the all-important difference. He or she is curious, takes time for the guests, is genuinely interested, digs deeper, and sometimes disagrees. In addition to a pleasant voice, moderators must also have a personable, competent and authentic manner. Is there someone in the company who has the necessary qualifications or even already has experience? Alternatively, it is possible to involve an external specialist who, however, must first familiarize himself with the topic.
Interaction is of course difficult at first in a linear medium, but not impossible. For example, it is conceivable to collect listener questions which are then answered at the beginning of each question. Or encourage users to participate by hosting the podcast on a website that also visualizes the things being talked about. The Guardian, for example, experimented with this.
In 2018, McDonald’s already proved that you can not only respond to questions but also to customer criticism in a humorous way. After the fast food chain underestimated the demand for a limited sauce, many customers expressed their frustration because of long queues online. McDonald’s apologizes – including in the form of a podcast: The sauce (the episodes are now offline again), the question of how the faux pas could come about, in the classic True Crime Style, based on the mother of all True Crime Podcasts, Serial. And announced in the last breath that I would offer the sauce again. In larger quantities. Humor can also create closeness!
– dylan (@dylanjt) February 26, 2018
Which podcast is still missing in your own industry?
In general, proximity is strongly related to the content of a podcast. The basic consideration here is to offer relevant content in order to address users emotionally and intellectually. As a starting point, it helps to put yourself in the position of the listener. What content on the chosen topic would you like to hear yourself? Companies should consider what kind of podcast their own industry is missing. Building on this, you can offer specific help for a problem that many customers are struggling with.
There are a few things to consider and prepare for starting a podcast. But it is just as important to have fun on the project. Those responsible should not try to control and plan every second of the recording in advance. Podcasts get their charm from a certain amount of spontaneity. This makes the host look more authentic, which ultimately benefits the closeness to the listener.