Case Study: IABC Gold Quill Award Of Merit 2020 – Aurecon: Engineering Reimagined
Aurecon is an international engineering, design and advisory company with a presence in more than 10 countries across Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Middle East. The company launched a podcast called Engineering Reimagined that explores how, just like engineers, people from all walks of life are reimagining the future and their roles in it. In one year the top-rating iTunes podcast has helped Aurecon strengthen its brand as a thought leader in the ever-evolving professional services industry.
Business Need and Communication Opportunity
The role of engineers is rapidly changing in today’s world. Aurecon needed to position its organisation as forward-thinking and future-focused to win work plus attract and retain talent in a competitive engineering market. In 2018 they identified an opportunity to leverage a new medium – podcasting – to further position Aurecon as innovative thought leaders.
With 36% of global consumers listening to podcasts, the rise of podcasts – coined the modern era of radio – shows no sign of abating. The ability for audiences to consume podcasts while exercising, commuting, or cooking is unparalleled and Aurecon’s research also identified that podcasting would:
- Diversify Aurecon’s marketing strategy by increasing engagement and web traffic to other content, improving their SEO and domain authority, and strengthen their brand
- Raise employees’ personal brands and profile through interviews/commentary on key issues and trends, leading to other opportunities including conference speaker invitations, media and other podcast interviews
- Generate new audiences as brand advocates and build value with existing clients, business partners and communities
- Story tell via long-form content that provides time for multiple, complex points of view to be communicated
Engineering Reimagined set out to:
- Position Aurecon as a leading innovator in the professional services industry, increasing awareness of its ability to help solve society’s complex issues; securing interest from organisations in key industries for Aurecon
- Launch a podcast that attracts a loyal, growing international audience; attracting more than 5,000 downloads from across 10 countries within 6 months and securing a top 10 rating in Apple’s iTunes podcast chart.
- Create a podcast that attracts a STEM audience; securing a top 10 rating in Apple’s iTunes podcast chart in Aurecon operating countries, and securing ratings on Apple’s Technology, Design and Science lists.
- Strengthen Aurecon’s brand and raise the profile of Aurecon’s eminent professionals to attract and retain talent in the tight recruitment market; featuring 10x Aurecon professionals on episodes and target 5000 social interactions about the podcast.
Aurecon developed an integrated marketing and communication plan to launch the podcast and ensure reach and impact with its key audiences by:
Creating compelling content
After assessing the brand opportunity and creating a compelling business case, they formed an advisory committee to secure wide-ranging input across the business into suitable interviewers and interviewees.
Aurecon developed a short minute trailer (available to listen here) to create buzz around the podcast ahead of launch. All episodes are available here, or via searching for Engineering Reimagined on your favourite podcast player.
A go-to-market launch
This included developing artwork for website and social media promotion, creating a dedicated website page and copy, YouTube channel and show notes for SEO optimisation, plus social media content across Aurecon’s social networks with a specific focus on LinkedIn given their audience demographics. They also developed a promotion kit for sharing with each episode’s interviewer and guest to share across their network.
Engaging employees as brand ambassadors
Aurecon utilised employees to raise awareness of the podcast through CEO email communication, monthly emails to announce each episode drop, intranet articles and invited Aurecon employees to publish a review of the podcast on iTunes as part of a competition to win headphones and at the same time improve the podcast’s chart performance.
Integrating the podcast into existing content marketing programmes across omni-channels
Aurecon learnt how to navigate new systems and platforms, including publishing episodes onto Omny’s hosting platform and optimising timing for accurate release dates across podcast directories.
Running a competition and giveaway
Aurecon created a competition and giveaway encouraging listeners to rate and review Engineering Reimagined on iTunes. Winners received a branded pair of wireless headphones. Aurecon ran one competition at launch targeting employees, one competition six months post launch targeting external social media followers, and at 10 months post launch held a branded headphone giveaway targeting the engineering industry who attended the World Engineers Convention in Melbourne, Australia. This encouraged a steady stream of new listeners throughout Season 1.
Increasing awareness and engagement through live event activation
In November 2019, Aurecon hosted a three-day broadcasting session at the World Engineers Convention, creating an onsite studio experience for 3,000 international delegates where eight experts were interviewed on topics ranging from flying cars, why engineers of the future will be philosophers and renewable energy. This live brand activation showcased the podcast on a broad scale, enabling Aurecon to connect and engage with significant numbers of STEM influencers. The podcast received a significant increase in listenership.
- Throughout history, engineers have been leaders in inventing and creating some of society’s most ground-breaking developments. But what role do engineers play today, and what does the future hold?
- Technology is disrupting our world at a faster rate than any other change in our history and humanity still depends on engineering to help solve the wicked problems our world faces.
- Engineering Reimagined will explore how, like engineers, people from all walks of life are reimagining the future and their leadership roles in it.
- What can we learn from podcast guests’ compelling and inspiring stories to help us reimagine engineering and lead the world to a better future?
Overall Engineering Reimagined far exceeded expectations in terms of audience engagement and sharing of the podcast. It achieved 22,000 downloads from 151 countries in less than 12 months, 132 reviews, 121 ratings and a 4.9 iTunes rating. It also ranked #47 overall for Australian podcasts (iTunes charts).
Engineering Reimagined was named on Apple’s ‘new and noteworthy’ home page list and recommended lists for Technology and Science, topped Apple’s iTunes Design charts at #2 for Australia, New Zealand and across Asia, and #3 on the Apple Design charts for South Africa and the UAE.
The podcast was key to securing Aurecon’s number 8 ranking in LinkedIn’s #BestOfPages content campaign (a great feat considering there were +12,000 nominations for 2,000 companies across 111 countries). LinkedIn praised Aurecon’s leveraging of the podcast to promote other Aurecon content to create engagement. Anecdotal feedback from Aurecon stakeholders was positive in terms of positioning with clients with many external people visiting the booth at the World Engineers Convention saying they had never seen an engineering company do anything like this before.