It’s safe to say that 2020 has been a year filled with change and uncertainty. And one of the biggest challenges that marketers have faced across every industry is the elimination of live events.
For many businesses, live events are a huge part of their strategy for engaging and connecting with their audience. So what happens when these events are no longer a possibility?
For many brands, they turned to virtual events. And while we’ve seen some pretty impressive, immersive experiences, we’ve also seen A LOT of them. As the business world has shifted to remote-first, the virtual events space, just like all other digital channels, has become crowded.
So how does a brand stand out and give their audience an engaging way to interact with them?
In a Zoom-first world, podcasting offers a unique benefit to brands. Podcasting is a medium that allows the audience to interact with a brand away from the confines of their computer, tablet, or phone screen. Your audience can listen, learn, and connect with your brand while folding laundry or taking a walk. It’s a great medium for engaging your audience on their terms.
Rebecca Abram and her team at Auth0 quickly realized the opportunity that podcasting offered their brand. And when events shut down across the globe, her role shifted to focus on bringing a podcast to life that could bring the human element back to their brand that would be missing without meeting their prospects and customers in person at events.
So why did Auth0 decide podcasting was the right direction for them and are they finding success? Let’s dive in and find out!
The Pivot to Podcasting
As live events came to a screeching halt, Auth0 knew they needed to find a new way to get their message out to their audience and engage with them in a way that still felt personal. While many brands turned their attention to virtual events, Auth0 opted to look into podcasting.
Luckily for Rebecca and her team, she had a key internal thought leader who stepped up to the plate to be the host (and brainchild of the operation as she calls it). Vittorio Bertocci is a Principal Architect for Auth0 and a well-known speaker, educator, and published author. As a subject matter expert at Auth0, Vittorio was already on the speaking circuit at live events, so he had a great platform for getting out and talking to their audience.
When that ended, they decided to take his expertise and turn it into a podcast, Identify, Unlocked.
“With our host, Vittorio, he was on the speaking conference circuit as well, so he had this great platform where he could go out and talk to our audience in person, and that also went away. So, out of that bubbled up this idea to play around with podcasts. And we were pretty skeptical at first honestly, because our initial impression was people listen to podcasts on the way to work, when they're at the gym, and now people aren't commuting anymore. They're not going to the big gyms. Are people still listening to podcasts? I think what we found in that is people are so sick of screen time that they turn to podcasts where they can go and fold laundry and still get their information. They can go on a walk in the neighborhood and just have that as kind of that break while still getting the content that they want. So, we've kind of latched onto that to build the podcast out, and it's been a fun journey honestly to kind of learn something new that's not event- related.”
Focusing on quality first
When planning out their show, they knew that they wanted to create a high-quality show first and foremost. So instead of focusing on getting shows done and published quickly, the stepped back and planned out exactly what they wanted their show to look like for their audience. Because they opted to focus so heavily on high-quality production, music, and partners, they opted to only commit and focus on 6 episodes to begin.
Perpetuating engagement by supplementing with content
The team already views content as an important part of their strategy, so being able to reuse their podcast content in the form of blog posts, social media content, and more was also an important part of their strategy.
Because the nature of what Auth0 does and talks about on their show is very technical, they realized that it would be helpful to supplement their podcast with complimentary content. This gives listeners an additional resource to digest with the episode, but also allows Auth0 to introduce their podcast in different ways to their audience. For example, by embedding clips into their content, they offer their blog readers a unique way to interact with the podcast.
The team also looks for ways to use social media posts, audiograms, and other channels like YouTube to drive further engagement with their audience.
Like any new marketing initiative, goals and objectives are an important part of understanding performance. But as Auth0 turned their focus to podcasts, they knew that this new channel wouldn’t be an apples to apples comparison to events when it came to measurement.
It was important to Rebecca to clearly set expectations for what ROI of podcasting looked like. Podcasting wouldn’t have the same journey as their events, and it was important to be explicit in what they were expecting out of the show.
For Auth0, their focus was first on seeing if the podcast would be a viable brand play for them. Would it bring in listeners? Would it drive engagement with their audience? They knew podcasting wouldn’t be a low funnel mechanism for them, but they knew it could take their expertise in the form of Vittorio and build their brand through thought leadership.
They set that expectation up front and quickly realized (after just two episodes) that podcasting was something they wanted to invest in.
The podcast payoff
Auth0 is proof that podcasts are a beautiful medium for connecting with a very niche audience. They went into the podcast game as a way to further connect with their audience in a time when real-life connection just wasn’t an option. And it paid off.
After just four episodes, Auth0 saw 3,000 listeners in a very short amount of time with a very technical podcast. For them, this was the assurance they needed that they were giving their audience content that they craved and a new way to connect with their brand that suited them.
This newfound success in podcasting has encouraged Rebecca and her team to continue down this path and consider other ways they can continue their podcasting momentum through new channels and content.
Interested in listening to Rebecca’s full interview? Listen below!
Ready to engage your audience in new ways with podcasting? Let's talk!