Authenticity Key for Brand Effectiveness

With the introduction of podcasting, we have seen a momentous change in the media landscape. We have seen individuals increasingly desire authentic, human-like connections and truly appreciate the art of being able to listen to their favourite podcaster’s innermost thoughts and feelings.

With many users stating that podcast hosts “feel like their friends”, the listener and host relationship is not one that can easily be replicated by other forms of digital audio. This intimate interaction between listener and host holds intangible importance.

Brands are increasingly tapping into this and incorporating it into their new business models (reflective of  statistical evidence), calling for a greater transparency and an increased use of authentic tones and voices within advertising.

With mass audiences having grown tiresome of the ‘mono-tone voices in social media’ – the authenticity in podcasting couldn’t have come at a better time. Early-adapter brands are now utilising this knowledge in building their own personal voices to authentically reach their audiences with sounds that resonate beyond the rest of the industry audio-noise.

The team here at AudioPlus recently explored this area of authenticity, with podcast host Anthony Walsh, from the Roadman Podcast. Our in-depth conversation with him explored why it is important for both brands and hosts to ensure that they are organically aligned before working together.

Anthony highlighted the Discovery+ campaign that we worked on with him earlier this year and discussed the importance of working with brands that feel natural to him.  The campaign was centred around the Giro di’Italia which was available to watch live and on demand through Discovery +. With Anthony’s podcast being focused on cycling and the world surrounding this, the partnering of his podcast with Discovery+ was effortlessly seamless. We achieved some pretty impressive results amongst the 162,000 unique users (97% LTR), reflecting this perfect brand match.

Both the content and tone of messaging were a great fit, given that this brand was one that Anthony would have otherwise, already been talking about.

Authentic reads by hosts hugely increase brand engagement

Podcasting holds a unique value unlike any other digital format, it not only offers brands a great reach regarding ‘width’ but offers invaluable ‘depth’ that allows the messaging to resonate deeply with an audience in a unique and meaningful way. The creative freedom that a podcaster is given when delivering a host read is crucial as it allows the ads to be as authentically blended into a podcast as possible. This entangled with listeners returning week-on-week (similarly to the patterns previously experienced with broadcast television) allows for an unparalleled air-tight, ecosystem, with a committed and hyper-engaged audience.

With such a vast and varied amount of content in this space (from cycling to parenting to cooking to travel) it’s clear there is so much opportunity for brands to find the perfect partner and tailor their sponsorships for even the most specific of briefs. When done right, the value in these partnerships and in tapping into such engaged audiences is such a powerful tool for brands and advertisers, and brands should really focus on tuning into these authentic connections.

Finally, as Gen Z become a bigger segment of the consumer market for podcast audio, it is important that this avenue, that intrinsically pushes past the scepticism that can surround social media ads, is tapped into. Particularly due to the deep focus and authentic connection that Gen Z are eager to procure.

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