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DIGITAL MARKETING

This section is dedicated for my Digital Marketing course where I have to listen to podcasts and create posts about it.

To be honest, the closest I have ever listen to a podcast before this assignment was radio talk show. For me, podcast sounded boring and its only aim is to educate instead of entertain. I asked most of my friends whether they listen to podcast, and they either raised their eyebrows or simply said 'no'. However, my perspectives changed after this assignment. I understand why popularity of podcast seems to skyrocket since 2017. This is when most articles regarding podcasts are published includes Buzzfeed, Techradar and The Guardian. Doesn't matter if you are currently an avid fans of podcast or have yet to listen to one, read on!

Enough of introduction, let me brief you on what these 8 posts are:

1. Video:  Introduction on podcast

2. Infographic: Content Strategy

3. Comicstrip

4. Quote

5. Case study on the quote

6. Infographic: Understanding different podcast style

7. Analysis on Brand Storytelling podcast style

8. Possible areas of improvement

I am trying to use multiple content format as I want to challenge myself! Furthermore, I am a visual person, so get ready to see loads of images!

Click to find out more about the podcast that I listen to 

I was browsing through Spotify’ podcast to look for any interesting type of podcast when I stumbled upon this. Apparently Spotify has a whole range of podcast topics from Kids, Lifestyle & Health, Business, and even Gaming! Upon further research, apparently gaming podcasts originally started in Japan and only start gaining popularity since last year. It is mainly made for gamer who does not have 18 hours a day playing games (Who does, anyway?).

 

Under gaming, there are different type of podcasts. For example, news on gaming, opinions, background story and even analytical view on design elements and user interfaces. There are over 100 podcast channel on Spotify including classic games such as ‘Nintendo’ and ‘Power Rangers’. For WoW podcast by Blizzard Entertainment presents audio dramas on WoW storyline.

Upon playing one of the track, I thought it was a compilation of audio from the games. I can almost feel the intensity due to the suspenseful soundtrack with dramatic narration. However, these audio dramas are written by Robert Brooks and narrated by Steven Pacey.

 

 I myself not anywhere near the term ‘gamer’. In fact, I enjoy watching people play since I feel that I do not have great sensorimotor skills a.k.a doing tasks that require fast hand-eye coordination. However, these podcasts are really entertaining as it is similar to listening audio book.

 

If you are interested in listening to any podcast, go browse to extensive podcast topic on Spotify!

CASE STUDY: Is

simple=better?

This is by far my favourite quote on marketing. The quote is said by Keeva Stratton, Director and Brand Strategist of Quip Brands, a company that help clients create impact in marketing and advertising campaign.

 

We often forget the most fundamental key in marketing= the art of being simple. As a marketer, we get caught up with creating the most sophisticated advertisement, utilising the latest technology and hiring the most popular actor. But is it always the best way? The quote reminds us that we simply create something simple that communicates the right message. Especially in this digital era where internet overloads us with advertisements and disruption messages, being simple allows our audience to digest our message easier and faster.

 

To start off, this does not mean that having complex campaign/advertisement does not work. An example of 'complicated' way of advertising is a campaign done by British domestic violence awareness organisation called Women’s Aid. By 'complicated', I mean that they utilises advanced technology and requires a lot of manpower. This example was shared by Charmaine Moldrich, CEO of Outdoor Media Association during one of our lecture. 

Women’s Aid aims to raise awareness of domestic violence and drive donations. The campaign combines technology and media, which is an interactive billboard. At the start, an image of beaten woman’s face is shown with two black eyes, swelling and cuts. The idea comes about with the ideas that ‘it’s all too easy to turn a blind eye to domestic abuse’ (Women’s Aid, n.d) and that thousands of women are domestically abused yet they are unable to tell anyone due to the social stigma around it.

The technology comes into play when passers-by stop and look at the billboard, the bruises begin to heal. Such that the more people look at the billboard, the more normal she looks. This is done using facial recognition technology where it detects exactly how many people are looking at the poster. A live feed of the street is streamed to pick out those who are looking at the ad. The technology does not stop there, everyone in proximity to the poster would receive a text message that encourage them to donate.

This is undeniably an elaborated campaign that does not only communicate the message, but also utilising technology for engagement. This is a complex advertisement because it requires people to stop and think about the campaign. Furthermore, the change in women’s face happens slowly which may result in passer-by not understanding the whole campaign. However, it was a successful campaign, generating mass awareness of domestic abuse in 20 countries, reaching 326.9 million people.

For comparison, I use a series of campaign poster 'Happy Never After' created by artist Saint Hoax. It is also promotes awareness in domestic abuse. He uses characters that are close to our heart and perceived as ideal females growing up, Disney princesses. Everyone knows that every story would end with a 'Happily ever after', or do they? Saint Hoax' uses twist that most of us would not imagine, that our beloved princesses are abused. With a little bit of graphic content, he shows bruised Disney princesses with caption ‘‘When did he stop treating you like a princess?’’. This proposes the idea that even the perfect woman is not safe from being a victim of domestic abuse. The series does not stop there, he uses different Disney princesses to convey the same message.This campaign is not related to any organisation, instead just an artwork by St. Hoax. Thus, there is no data on how many reach and impact it created.

Unlike the billboard campaign, this is a simple poster that communicates same message, which is to increase awareness in domestic abuse. While the billboard campaign is interactive, it appeals to the mass crowd rather than individual. Meaning, it could only work by placing it outdoor rather than each device. Taking into account that this campaign happened in 2015, such technology requires big budget and many manpower. Yes, the billboard campaign was well received. However, with today's environment where the world seems faster and busier than ever, is simpler = better?

 

As you can see, creating poster is a much simpler process. It gets to the point of domestic abuse through both image and caption. The usage of Disney princesses also offers familiar sight and emotional connection for us all. I am sure that all of us grow up watching Disney movies and the images of bruised princesses appeals to our emotion.

Both examples utilise emotional marketing and in my opinion, the latter creates stronger impact. Embedding technology in the campaign is useful but it comes with complication as well. With technology, people are being engaged. Especially in the case of mass engagement, it takes time for the technology to accumulate all reactions and ultimately, get your message out. I created a chart at the side. 

As you can see, it takes longer time for audience to comprehend the billboard campaign. I myself have a really short attention span and having to wait outside, wondering what actually happens to the woman in the billboard would not happen. Of course, this is just a matter of opinion and it depends on the business goal as well.  The digital era bombards people with constant disruptions and in those disruptions, marketers have to be quick by sending messages that is simple and impactful. Thus, back to the quote, marketers should work hard to get the right message out, with the right target market, on the right channel and at the right time. Sounds challenging? 

Upon listening various podcasts, I found that there are many variations of podcast delivery. Below, I outlined different aspects that play part in forming podcast style. To form a style, you can simply mix-and-match different aspects. For example, a monologue podcast that starts with a jingle, or it could simply be an interview podcast that start with a narration.

 

This list is definitely not exhaustive and would be useful for those who want to start their podcast or just exploring different podcasts. 

analysis: Brand storytelling podcast 

Upon understanding the various components that make up style of a podcast, I analysed whether the delivery method of Brand Storytelling by Newsmodo is the most effective or suit their content. It aims to brings audience the latest trends, tips,  insights in content marketing and brand publishing. To start off, Newmodo is content marketing agency that offer services such as written, video, design and social media production as well as strategy. Although they said the podcast aims to educate audience to become a better storyteller, I feel that their ultimate objective is to showcase their skill as content marketing agency. 

 

What makes me think that way?

The podcast series is not widely publicised in their social media platform such as website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. On their website, only 6 out of 140 podcasts are found. To listen to the full episode, you have to go to TuneIn or iTunes. Secondly, compared to other educational podcast such as Copyblogger and Content Warfare, Brand Storytelling covers a rather generic topic instead of focusing on a specific issues. For example, Brand Storytelling topic is on 'Knowledge Marketing' or 'Is Branding Really Important' compared to Copyblogger's '10 Quality Factors Search Engine Need to See on Your Site'. Lastly, Newsmodo uses many techniques to entertain its audience. For example, using an old radio advertisement followed by narration and jingle for podcast introduction. As such, in my opinion, the ultimate message that they want to deliver is how to utilise a podcast to attract more customer for Newsmodo.

The podcast is hosted by the CEO and founder of Newsmodo, Rakhal Ebeli and different guests every episode. It runs for approximately 25 minutes. To determine whether the podcast has deliver the message effectively, I will be taking into account 2 aspects, which is the podcast itself and the host.

The podcast style

It start off with an overview of the topic a background music to set the mood. For example, on topic on understanding human thoughts,  a cheerful song was played compared to suspenseful song on how to prevent marketing failure. This is a good way to start a podcast because it captures our attention by connecting through emotion. Apart from the music choice, the narration itself evokes audience’s empathy. For example, Rakhal begin with a rhetorical question, ‘‘Have you ever been apart of something that unexpectedly fell apart? A project, a company, a relationship?’’. Evidently, he tried to establish connection through mutual feelings and experience. Thus, both first time and current listeners develop trust on him.

In terms of content, the topic being discussed is light and easy to digest. There are no jargons or arguments in the podcast. This further emphasise the general topic being discussed yet still educating listeners. Examples on topics are ‘Getting Inside the Minds of your Audience’ and ‘ Digital Marketing’. Each podcast usually talks about three main points on a topic. Among all the podcasts available on the website, the most challenging podcast to understand is on ‘What is the Answer to Successful Marketing?’. The podcast uses term such as ‘Brand Pillars’, ‘Brand Persona’, and ‘KPI’. These keywords might not be familiar for those who did not learn marketing or business. Below is the breakdown of a typical Brand Storytelling podcast: 

As seen, most of the time is spent getting to know the guest. Things such as their education background, previous work experience and current work was asked. It still relevant to the overall podcast series on Brand Storytelling as guest is currently working as marketing consultant/ strategist.

The host

Rakhal Ebeli is a great host such that I enjoy listening to the podcast despite any topic being discussed. Being a host is important as they give the first and lasting impression of the whole podcast series. What makes him a great host?

 

Rakhal properly outlines his talking points. He tracks time and will stay on track with asking the right question. For example, when a guest spent too much time meandering around an idea, he quickly ask a question to get them back on track. Even so, the transition between topics are smooth as he interrupted the guest at the right time, with the right question. Furthermore, having background in media industry sure helps him in his marketing knowledge. He does not stop there because based on his opinion and comments, he research everything on the topic and his guest . For example, a guest was a former King Content brand strategist and Rakhal shows understanding on how the company eventually collapses and why it might happen. Another example, instead of asking open-ended question such as ‘’Tell me more about your education background’’, he asked ‘’Tell me why did you choose to study Master in Criminology?’’. This would make guest feels like he is genuinely interested in their work and ideas.

 

These concludes that both podcast style and the host effectively deliver their aim, which is to educate listeners on brand storytelling. Moreover, it also showcase their audio production and presentation skill which is great to attract customer to use Newsmodo' services. 

What could have been done better?

''Once you stop learning, you start dying'' is a quote by Albert Einstein. I firmly believe in this quote as an ongoing learning would not disadvantage you in any way. Even as a company, it is essential to keep improving your business. You might resist to change as there is a comfort in what we know. In business world, staying the same is no longer possible, especially in this globalisation which resulted in more competition than ever. I would be discussing on possible improvements suggestions on Brand Storytelling podcast. In points below, I consider that what they aim is to showcase their production skills. This is because they have achieved their objective to educate people to be better storyteller.  Furthermore, referring to article above on analysing the podcast, the did really well in aligning their podcast style with their aim. These improvements are purely my thoughts and does not take into account external factors such as budgeting/ time constraint. However, there's always room for improvement right?

reate supplemental resources

Providing files such as PDF, transcript download or related videos

Examples: Learn French by Podcast provides PDF download as learning material. Brand Storytelling could apply this by providing worksheet template/checklist according to the topic of podcast. 

Why? More traffic as your content is useful and actionable

iden range of podcast style

To create different podcast styles as all of the 140 current episodes are interview-style podcasts

Examples:  monologue, panel discussions, educational

Why? Current/ potential customer could browse through more samples and increase your skills portfolio

tretch platform choice

Be present in multiple channel. Currently, only 6 podcasts are uploaded on the website and full episodes on TuneIn and iTunes. 

Examples: YouTube and Spotify. Since Rakhal was a journalist, he could upload video podcast. 

Why? Increase social presence, awareness and traffic

That's all folks!

Thanks for reading and watch out for new content every month!