23.8.2019 | Marketing Automation
Podcasts are becoming more and more appealing for many marketers. But it is rare to create a podcast that captivates a demanding audience to spend nearly half an hour on branded content - and one that rises among of the most listened ones in Spotify and iTunes. Veikkaus succeeded in doing so.
In the beginning of 2018, Veikkaus (the State-Owned Finnish Gaming Company) created a comprehensive content strategy for all their beneficiaries for 2018 and 2019. A decision was made to bring the Veikkaus brand closer to young adults. Veikkaus wanted to tell them what gaming revenue is good for and what it enables, and how important work the beneficiaries – about 4,000 clubs, organizations and associations do in all parts of Finland.
Veikkaus’ content mission “Opportunities for a better tomorrow” was sharpened by surveying the target group’s aspirations and ideas for the future. Based on the survey, positively resonating themes of 18-29-year-olds were picked up to stimulate discussion. A podcast was chosen as the medium, currently representing a trending and engaging Lean Back content for the target audience.
The podcast content concept was formulated in a workshop with experts from Dagmar Stories. The team also included Basso Media, who was responsible for podcast production. In line with the creative idea “from the target group to the target group“, young authors were encouraged to formulate the content they would like to listen to. Topics of interest were addressed boldly to provide honest and compelling discussion. Primary goal was to get young adults to listen and enjoy each and every episode as long as possible.
– The internal goal was also to unify various inhouse activities in marketing communication by implementing a specific theme in different channels of Veikkaus. By doing the groundwork properly, ie by studying the target group’s media consumption, values and attitudes, we were able to discover the most interesting themes to them and have the concept approved by internal stakeholders, says Veikkaus’ Marketing Planner, Tommi Viitala.
The co-operation created an edgy, straightforward and engaging podcast. Selected themes were unlocked and discussed in advance, for example in Jodel and in Basso’s channels. The recaps of these discussions were used to encapsulate catchy themes so that the target group would find the content over and over again. Veikkaus and all the beneficiaries were challenged to stand behind the bold, live studio-like content.
Ronja Salmi, a known writer and a presenter was invited to host the podcasts. Ronja interviewed interesting studio guests on various friendship related topics such as Friends with Benefits relationships, sex, therapy, workplace camaraderie, jealousy and envy for a friend. The aim was to stimulate a very open and honest discussion and provide the audience with concrete advice. The set of guests included Finnish rapper and songwriter Pyhimys, actor and sing-songwriter Elias Gould, vblogger Mansikka, author Miki Liukkonen and representatives from the Finnish Association for Mental Health, the Family Federation of Finland and Save the Children Finland.
According to Mr Viitala, the studio guests were selected as a result of a tight screening:
– We wanted the people attending to the podcast to have real experience and say about the topic. It was a pleasure to see that almost everyone invited to the programme immediately responded with their willingness to participate. Organizations’ experts were excited about promoting their services in this new format.
With its questions, the “Opportunities” podcast deep dived into the world of the young, demanding target audience. The listeners were so captivated that episodes lasting approximately 29 minutes were listened as long as for 25 minutes per episode on average.
In Spotify, many people pay for not having to listen to branded content – now they wanted to hear so much about the branded content of Veikkaus that the podcast rocketed to Spotify’s Top 4. Likewise, in iTunes, the podcast rose among to the top. Until now, the episodes have gathered almost 70,000 downloads.
The campaign survey indicates that for those people who saw the podcast advertisements, the image of Veikkaus improved in many ways. In particular, the brand attributes ‘approachable’, ‘humane’ and ‘responsible’ were strengthened after the campaign.
– The podcast exceeded our expectations – this was a new opening for Veikkaus and we couldn’t have hoped for any more positive feedback and performance for this new concept. We created a solid base for creating similar types of concepts in the future and gained valuable data on how to make good and relevant content marketing, Tommi Viitala summarises.