Dabur, The Man Company and EaseMyTrip are all giving podcasts a shot.
Two weeks ago, actor Aamir Khan took on the role of a podcaster to promote his upcoming film Laal Singh Chaddha. Through the 17-minute podcast, he shared some interesting behind-the-scenes anecdotes and how the songs of the movie were conceptualised.
Khan joins several brands that have jumped on the podcast bandwagon. In fact, brands now are increasingly taking the podcast route to reach out to their consumers. Podcasts already enjoy a massive popularity in markets like the US and China. India is now warming up to it.
A recent RedSeer report states that there was a 34 per cent jump in monthly active users (MAUs) during 2021 - capturing 20 per cent of the potential market in India. The popularity of smart gadgets like Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod and Google Home, has made it easier to find, and listen to, podcasts.
Another industry report states that podcasts are now a mainstream entertainment format in many markets. Even the COVID pandemic did not slow its growth, as people sought more entertainment, while stuck at home.
Recently, direct-to-consumer (D2C) men’s grooming brand The Man Company rolled out its podcast, called The Gentleman Show. It is hosted by influencer Ankush Bahuguna, who has been vocal about male grooming needs and calls out gender stereotypes.
FMCG major Dabur uses a storytelling format for its first podcast series, titled Let’s Rock Zindagi that is created to reach out to digital audiences. The two fictional characters Millennial Maya and Gen Z Shanaya will take the listeners through the various challenges in their lives over eight episodes.
Adding to the list is online travel platform EaseMyTrip’s podcast series, called Decoding Unicorns with Prashant Pitti. Through the show, co-founder Pitti shares insights on what it takes to become a pioneer in today’s technology-driven business. Pitti has interviewed founders of unicorn brands like Zerodha, Groww, Moglix, Ather, boAt, Droom, among others.
Audio streaming app Gaana’s business head Rishi Sharma informs that there are two ways in which brands can leverage podcasts for promotions. One is when they want to ride on some content that their target audience may not directly relate to. Another is where a brand wants to create specific content that caters to its target audience.
“Depending on the use case, and how a brand wants to get integrated with a podcast, Gaana helps brands to create their podcasts. According to a brand’s need, we connect it with our podcasters and create a script to enable it to leverage podcasts as a medium of connecting with its audience,” adds Sharma.
Important to brand’s larger content strategy
Unlike video content that requires active attention, podcasts can slip into a person's exercise routine or even become a travel companion. Speaking about how its podcast will help the brand’s overall content strategy, Pitti of EaseMyTrip says, “Podcasts are an attractive way to communicate with our key audience. It allows one to multitask and is convenient from a content consumption point of view.”
The Man Company’s podcast uses Hinglish so that people, irrespective of age group or geographical differences, can understand it. Rumi Ambastha, director - brand marketing, The Man Company, says that the podcast's format is relevant and accessible for a teenager in Chhapra, Bihar, and also to a middle-aged man in Thiruvananthapuram.
“Our expectations from the podcast are simple and straightforward. The brand wants to make close-knit conversations more mainstream. It aspires to push the society into self-awareness mode to analyse what is often considered taboo or not manly enough. It is imperative to have such open and needful chats for a progressive society.”
Trending podcast genres
According to IVM Podcast’s founder & CEO Amit Doshi, banking and financial services, fintech, technology and tech services, D2C brands, etc., are currently bullish on investing in podcasts.
While BFSI brands have been working with creators to develop podcasts for a few years now, FMCG brands and other traditional advertisers have just started experimenting with podcasts.
“Podcasts are a great support medium for large campaigns, and brands recognise that now. When it comes to creating content for a niche category, there is no better way than podcasts to reach that category. Among brands, comedy, storytelling, self-help and business are the biggest genres. Sports and fiction may also become popular in the coming year,” adds Doshi.
As per Sharma of Gaana, motivational, devotional, mythology content has been doing well on the platform. However, he mentions, rather than considering a particular genre or type of content, brands these days are more concerned about putting the relevant message across and figuring out the best way of doing so through podcasts.