August 22, 2019

Podcasts: a cornerstone of 21st century employer branding

42% of 18-34-year olds around the world listen to podcasts. And among 12-17-year olds, the numbers are even higher! 

At the European level, too, podcasts are a force to reckon with. 28% of those surveyed said they’d listened to at least one podcast episode within the last 4 weeks. That figure ranges from 40% in Spain to 18% in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

The reason behind this success? How easily podcasts blend into our daily lives. Podcasts respond to a growing demand for access to on-demand content. Totally mobile and accessible on our smartphones, podcasts integrate seamlessly with our free time and everyday lives.

Despite their obvious success among the younger generations, podcasts are still massively under-utilised by companies. While some use them to communicate with their market, and others use them as an internal communications tool, few companies use them to feed into their employer branding.

And yet, podcasts make it easy to reach out to today’s new generation directly with quality content. It’s a perfect medium to help you demonstrate your company values and communicate your employer branding authentically. 

🔎 Deep-diving into your story

Podcasts can be consumed on-the-go, meaning all you need is a pair of ears! Unlike articles or videos that require your full attention, people can listen to podcasts as they go about their normal day. Once an episode has been downloaded, you don’t even need to be connected to WiFi to enjoy them.

Listeners can therefore double their time. They can listen whilst doing tasks that require minimal attention (like washing the dishes, walking to work...) but also while commuting from place to place. On average, Europeans spend 90 minutes a day commuting, which makes podcasts the perfect way to reach out to people during their free time!

Because listening to a podcast blends so seamlessly into everyday life, the length of podcasts really poses no issue: episodes typically last 43 minutes on average - sometimes more, sometimes less! Podcasts therefore allow you to delve as deep as you want into the subjects being discussed. Interviews, reviews, narrated stories… your audience is captive so, as long as you’re offering quality content, people will listen to episodes from start to finish, even if they have to take several breaks along the way.

Finally, podcasts are relatively easy to produce. While videos require lots of planning around which shots to get and different formats to use, depending on the platform you’re using (Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and Instagram Stories/TV), podcasts only come in one format.

🏄🏻‍♀️ Immersing audiences in your company's world

Although there’s only one format podcasts can take,their content can vary widely, illustrating the many different facets of your company:

  • Interviews with leaders on their strategic vision for the company, managers on the organisation and operations they’re responsible for.
  • Your organisation can also provide content that focusses on specific topics or values, such as CSR, transparency, internal mobility.
  • You can even offer expert analysis on issues in the news. For example, the future of TV in light of new players like Netflix and OCS, use of data in the luxury industries, in short, sharing knowledge on a sector your staff are experts in. 
  • You can also incorporate special formats for today’s new generation, such as focussing on interns and recent graduates and their career paths, their daily lives and their advice and feedback for future candidates.

In their podcast series, the Spark, Philips leverages storytelling to captivate audiences. The Spark tells the stories of the unique individuals working for Philips, and their take on everything from home, to to hospitals and world hunger. 

Storytelling can be a very powerful tool. It allows listeners to identify with the characters in the story, while also getting a ‘feeling’ of the company. Much more than just talking about values, it’s about making them come to life and showing how they’re a fundamental part of everyday life within your organisation. This makes it possible to attract good candidates by ensuring there's a real cultural fit.

👭Leveraging authentic and human conversations

As any podcast fan will tell you - what they love most is the ‘naturalness’ that emerges. Just like on radio, spontaneity is a key part of the very nature of podcasts.

You don’t have to be an expert in public relations to work on a podcast! The most important thing is that you’re willing to discuss and share your opinions and/or your story. Podcasts are also a great opportunity to include any employees who have previously been reluctant to be filmed. As a result, they can be real assets for valuing - without creating too much stress - your in-house talent.

Podcasts are also a great way of creating a community, a way of getting in touch with similar people. The most popular shows have legions of fans who chat online in forums, listen to live episodes and discuss the series on social media - podcast listeners are 94% active on (at least one) social network(s).

Any content shared can then be reused by the creators to deepen a topic, start a whole new discussion or simply provide answers. For example, this could take the form of a question & answer episode on a given topic. Exchanges between producers and listeners through this content can then form a real conversation.

Podcasts are an accessible, convenient medium that allows you to delve deep into the topics you want to cover. At the same time, they remain accessible and dynamic because they take the form of a conversation. The communities that form around podcasts can also generate enormously loyal audiences. Giving your employees a platform to speak from also allows you to demonstrate how you value them internally, and also show the reality of a career within your organisation.

Posted by
Sara Chatterjee
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