Despite its popularity, Trader Joe’s does no traditional marketing and doesn’t discuss internal issues with the media. Those seeking details about the inner workings of the company, however, can tune into its podcast. “Inside Trader Joe’s” shares information such as how often it turns around its products, and how it decides which food items go on the shelf.
Although most marketers know the company doesn’t advertise, what may come as a surprise is how popular Trader Joe’s podcast is; it ranks in the top 1 percent of all podcast downloads, regardless of genre. It averages more than 35,000 downloads within the first 30 days of an episode’s release, according to Libsyn, the largest paid podcast-hosting network, with clients such as Pandora, Spotify and Amazon.
An entirely different brand, Smead—which makes those manila envelopes found in nearly every office—has a podcast called “Keeping You Organized” that’s been running for five years, and ranks in the top 10 percent of all podcast downloads. Meanwhile, GE’s fictional show, “The Message,” is regarded by many as the most successful branded podcast ever, garnering more than 8 million downloads since its release.
While each are different in terms of subject matter and format, all are branded podcasts. And although many such brand expressions fail, these are among the standouts. Each has achieved success not typically seen in the branded-content arena, providing marketers with a playbook on how to launch their own.
According to Libsyn, podcasts with more than 3,400 downloads within the first 30 days of release rank in the top 10 percent, regardless of genre. To get into the top 5 percent, shows need more than 8,300 downloads in that one-month time frame.
“The ones that get it right are all doing a key thing: They’re not making a 30-minute podcast that’s basically a sales pitch. People want their time to be worthwhile,” says Rob Walch, VP of podcaster relations at Libsyn. Garnering 500 downloads within the first month of release should also be seen as a success; Walch compares it to talking to the same amount of people at a conference. But with a podcast, “people are tuning in every week.” […]