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Nature Centered: Wild Birds Unlimited’s New Podcast Takes Flight

To keep customers connected to nature during the pandemic, Wild Birds Unlimited began a new podcast, and it's already a hit.

By Sarah Baumann1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSORED 4:16PM 09/23/20

Wild Birds Unlimited was founded on the commitment to keep people connected to nature. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and more of its customers were exploring the wildlife in their own backyards, Director of Marketing Bo Lowery saw an opportunity.

For months, she and her co-worker, Chief Naturalist John Schaust, had discussed the idea of developing a podcast. Until the arrival of COVID-19, however, it was merely an idea — not a definitive project. Seeing a chance to reach current and potential customers, Lowery and Schaust put the podcast on a fast track and published the first episode of “Nature Centered” in mid-April. Schaust, now the host of the podcast, recently told 1851 that getting the podcast off the ground was easy because Wild Birds Unlimited is so rich in content.

“We always felt we had the content,” said Schaust. “With the pandemic, there were even more people stuck at home who were looking out their windows. We picked the podcast up to help people raise their awareness even more for what they’re seeing; we’ve been bringing more birds into the conversation and solving problems for our customers. It’s that type of content and expertise we want to share.”

Lowery shared the sentiment and noted that “Nature Centered” is just one part of an overarching marketing strategy, adding, “We have the right channels to reach our customer base, and the podcast is just one more source they can seek out for the wealth of information we can provide. It’s been very well received so far, and we plan to make it even more integral to our overall marketing strategy.”

Does the world need another podcast? This was one question that initially held Lowery and Schaust back from the launch. But if the success of the podcast in its first three months has answered anything, the answer to that question is a resounding “yes.” The topics discussed are witty, informative and designed to engage nature-lovers of all ages. More specifically, the episodes complement an already robust service provided by Wild Birds Unlimited and bring tangible, educational information to listeners as they observe nature at home.

“We work with Bo and marketing to come up with topics that will match where we’re doing for the rest of the year,” said Schaust. “We line up each recording about every two weeks, and we have an editorial calendar where we track what areas of education we want to cover next. We’ve started a new segment called ‘Stump the Naturalist’ that I think will be a hit. We try to keep it light and informational.”

People seem to be responding well to the content, according to Lowery “We thought, ‘Oh we’ll get a few hundred people,’ but we’ve got a couple of thousand. More specifically, we’re reaching 10K followers,” said Lowery.

“Nature Centered” is already proving to be a lucrative investment for the Wild Birds Unlimited marketing team; according to Lowery, every time a new episode is pushed out on their email and digital marketing channels, the listener numbers go up. Though the conditions of the pandemic have created challenges, Lowery said it was the push they needed to get the podcast up and running.

“If we had stayed in the office,” she said, “we might have found ninety other projects to accomplish first. Our customer base seems to be clamoring for this kind of information. It wasn't on our radar to happen this year, but here we are! We’re very excited about the initial outcome.”

Schaust agreed that the right message at the right time made the difference: “Content is everything. We as a company have 40 years of experience and expertise that has developed a treasure-trove of content that can be useful to a number of folks just learning about what’s in their backyard. This would be more daunting if we were creating everything from scratch, but instead we’re building off of knowledge and existing stories. It keeps the time for production going steady, and I look forward to seeing where this goes.”

Interested listeners can find “Nature Centered” here on Wild Bird's Unlimited's website.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.

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