In the last decade, podcasting has created new ways to tell stories and disseminate content, from educational programming to documentary and news media.
Now, there’s a growing sector of podcasting among companies, whether their product is blue jeans, beauty care, or footwear.
For the past five years, Todd Mansfield, an audio consultant in Portland, Oregon, has been working with his wife Laura, a brand catalyst, to produce podcasts for companies – in virtually an untapped market.
They say podcasts are about exploring the culture around a product, not necessarily selling.
“I really go back to educating and cool storytelling content, because that is what’s going to be the differentiator and actually going to position companies to really shine,” says Laura.
Clif Bar is a former client of Todd and Laura’s. Its podcast, called Clifcast, is a nutrition show for runners and endurance athletes.
“These are not considered advertisements, we are very conscious of creating content that’s unbiased,” says Ricardo Balazs, Sports Marketing Manager at Clif Bar and the host of Clifcast. “We’re sharing our expertise.”
Levi’s, another client of the Mansfields, created a podcast about the sustainability of its product.
“We went ahead and did an interview with an English gentleman from Levi’s who unveiled this entire story about ways to take better care of their jeans,” explains Todd.
Senior copywriter John Vieira of Nemo Design in Portland, says getting podcast subscribers is important for a company, because it creates a brand following.
“For a brand, that’s tremendously helpful, because you’re looped in,” says Viera. “But for a person, the reward has to be pretty big. So it has to be something you wouldn’t learn about otherwise.”
The key is creating exclusive content – because for most products, there’s an audience that wants to know every side of the story.