“Their stories combine passion and tenacity, and highlight the extraordinary effort, resilience and innovation it takes to work in the industry,” Hicks told Inside Retail.
“We hope listeners feel inspired by the series and empowered to learn a little more about regional Australia and the Aussie farmers who work incredibly hard behind the scenes to supply fresh produce to their local stores.”
It was particularly important for the retailer to shine a spotlight on Australian farms after a recent study by Woolworths revealed a large percentage of Australians have never visited a crop farm.
“The aim is to connect [shoppers] to the businesses and families that supply the food that they can then put on the table,” Hicks said.
“We’re excited to share these stories with our customers, but also Aussies who have an interest in farming or are curious to know more about where their food comes from.”
Audio was the preferred platform to tell these stories because of the convenience for customers and because of the power of Edwina’s voice in leading the conversation.
“Podcasts are an easy to access platform for our customers or listeners who already lead busy lives, and can be enjoyed while they commute, do their weekly shop, or while on their walk,” he said.
“Podcasts also provide a human element to the content listeners are engaging in, and Edwina does an incredible job helping bring these stories to life.”
Podcasting has become an increasingly popular medium for retailers and brands to communicate with their customers in an authentic way. Liquor brand Tia Maria recently announced its return to podcasting platforms following a successful run of its ‘One of a Kind’ podcast last year. The new series, Two of a Kind, marks the release of Tia Maria Matcha Cream Liqueur into the Australian market and will be hosted by TV presenter and recent SAS Australia contestant Erin Holland.
The podcast will feature unique stories from Australians such as South Australian actor and former Neighbours star Sharon Johal who will discuss her work supporting minority groups .
It’s not surprising that brands are creating more podcasts themselves given how fruitful podcast advertising has been, particularly for retailers. According to a 2020 report by consumer insights company Claritas, podcasts can lift brand awareness by up to 30 times as much as other mediums such as digital, print and TV, The study found that retailers had the highest average podcast campaign lift of 79 per cent, ahead of B2B (77 per cent), consumer goods (63 per cent), pharmaceuticals (37 per cent) and automotive (30 per cent).
Today, Australia’s first podcast studio network, PodSpot Studios, announced its expansion into the Gold Coast and Sydney. It’s a collaboration between breakfast radio host Dave Matthews’ production company PodSpot and flexible working company, WOTSO Property, which owns co-working spaces across the country. Equipped with microphones, headphones, a mixing console and flat-screen TVs, the new studios are available to WOTSO members, content creators and businesses to hire.
Building a community
Not only are podcasts a great way to help brands spread a message, they are a valuable tool in building a community of customers. Beauty brands and retailers are well positioned to take advantage of this because of a thirst for knowledge among beauty shoppers.
Adore Beauty has had much success to date now with three highly rated shows. Chief executive Tennealle O’Shannessy told Inside Retail in March that its leading Beauty IQ podcast had passed 1 million downloads and ranked the number one fashion and beauty podcast in Australia. The brand also launched a Youtube channel in March last year, which has had 1.5 million views and now has over 20,000 subscribers.
Mecca followed in its footsteps earlier this year with the launch of Mecca Talks, which aims to shine a light on its team members and in-house experts.
Recently, Sydney’s Blow Bar Co hair salon launched The Blow podcast where founder Leigh Dole sits down with entrepreneurs, executives, local providers and members of the Blow Bar team for a chat over a wine. Dole said it’s about bringing the in-salon community experience to its digital platforms.
“Blow Bar Co. is more than a salon, and The Blow Podcast aims to give our clients the inside scoop. The laughs, the banter, the fun… and the wine! We sit down with some local businesses to give our audience an insight into what they do (and how!) whilst providing an engaging and entertaining way to connect with our existing community, and potentially a new community of women,” Dole told Inside Retail.
“What happens behind closed doors is, let’s say, very interesting!”
Among the businesses to be featured on the podcast are the local bridal couture house, Philippa Gilasso, Tan Temple and Florid Flowers.
“We’re offering a mix of talent, businesses and industries,” Dole said.
Not only in podcast form, videos of the interviews can be viewed on other social platforms too, all recorded in the comfort of Blow Bar’s very own studio located at the Bronte salon.
“We’re fortunate to have the fully-equipped in-house Blow Bar Podcast and Photography Studios (and yes, they’re available for hire!) – and as such, it was an easy decision for us to launch our very own podcast.
“Behind the scenes, we have a team of content editors that help bring the content to life and re-purpose it across all our platforms – from YouTube and Instagram, to TikTok and Facebook.”
The podcast is just one element of the brand’s expansive content strategy. This month Blow Bar Co will launch its very own print publication.
“We’ve been busy behind the scenes in lockdown, finessing our marketing channels to extend our content offering for the Blow Bar community. We’re connecting with our audiences across Instagram reels, TikTok, YouTube, and always implementing new and engaging ways to connect via Facebook and Instagram,” Dole said.
“We’re launching our first magazine, The Blow. The quarterly print publication brings together the latest hair and beauty trends, tutorials, interviews and location snapshots to captivate our clientele across our Bronte, Balmain, Sydney CBD and Coogee Pavilion venues.”