What makes a good podcast with SCA’s Kim Norman

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 2 June 2021
Kim Norman

A good podcast has unique, intriguing and engaging content with a clear idea or topic and promotes an emotional reaction or shows us something new, says Kim Norman, SCA’s head of commercial, podcast and partnerships.

“A good podcast consists of unique, intriguing and engaging content that centralises on a clear idea or topic and promotes an emotional reaction or lets someone learn something new,” she told AdNews.

“It should leave you thinking more about what you’ve just heard or have you in fits of laughter or bouts of tears. A good podcast will have you telling your socials groups about it – or telling your friends when you catch up with them.”

Podcasts are an increasingly attractive platform for advertising, leading growth in audio.

People are spending more time consuming audio content and media agencies are paying more attention.

“The level of engagement that a brand can generate within a podcast and an audience is very high and the effectiveness studies are showing some of the highest levels of brand recall, brand engagement and even purchase,” says Norman.

“Audio in general is a brilliant cost effective medium to drive brand awareness, build trust and ultimately result in action. You can do this at scale, or you have the ability to be hyper-local.

“Radio offers brands mass reach, tactical integration and can resonate at a both a national and community level, speaking to many people at once. That is the unique power of radio.

“Podcasts offer a brand the opportunity to speak one-on-one to a listener, the environment offers brands longer ad lengths and the ability to execute in many different ways.

“It allows brands to connect with a hard-to-reach audience via the podcast hosts own community, building trust for the brand. The low duplication between radio, music streaming and podcast audiences gives brands the opportunity to build incremental audiences.”

SCA in February launched LiSTNR, a curated and personalised free app offering radio, podcasts, music and news.

LiSTNR has been three years in development and follows extensive research into consumers’ evolving audio habits and needs.

The app consolidates all of SCA’s existing digital audio plus a huge range of new premium content.

Branded podcasts now open a door for brands who want to engage audiences differently. Whether it be a full-length episode within an original podcast with an established audience, or an entire series built especially for a brand.

“SCA’s new platform LiSTNR can do both and we can even monetise it back for a brand if the content is right and the client works with us to establish and build an audience base,” says Norman.

The ads on podcasts are different to those on radio. For the listener the experience is more intimate, just them and the podcast. With radio they can keep that in the background, doing other tasks as they listen.

“Brands should take advantage of an un-uncluttered ad environment,” she says.

“They should respect the audience's ear, remember the audience has chosen to press play on a piece of content. There is no need to disrupt the listening environment, you have their attention already.

“This is your chance to engage them via effective storytelling, or interview style ads. Or even better still, allow the podcast host the freedom to deliver the ad in their way, they know their audiences and how they will engage.

“Give them bullet points and a guide on your do and don’t say, your legal must say – and let the host and the producer work their magic."

SCA’s LiSTNR has been securing high-end blue chip global and Australian brands, a combination of both direct and agency-based clients.

“We are seeing volume come in directly from US and Europe, these markets are quickly realising the growth of the podcast market in Australia and all of the reasons why they should engage our audiences,” she says.

“Platforms like LiSTNR have the ability to offer advertisers a digital addressable audio solution across radio, in-stream, podcasting, branded content and social – this means we are quickly becoming the one-stop solution for many brands who can achieve integrated engagement at scale.”

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