While the popularity of podcasts continues to rise, many B2B companies are jumping on the bandwagon. And for good reason. Podcasting is an excellent way to build thought leadership and drive awareness, engagement and trust in your industry. In 2022, 109 million Americans were listening to podcasts every month, and 44% of C-suite executives listen to them.
But B2B companies should carefully consider a decision to start a podcast of their own. If you’re interested in podcasting, know that it requires commitment, resources and a clear understanding of the objectives you aim to achieve.
It’s crucial to evaluate the fit of podcasting within your broader marketing strategy and assess whether the investment of time, effort and resources aligns with your desired outcomes. With the right objectives and resources in place, venturing into podcasting can be a strategic move that opens up new opportunities for B2B companies.
If you’re wondering if a podcast is right for your B2B business, read on to learn what opportunities podcasting offers, the different options available for your business and what it will take to get started.
The advantages of podcasting for B2B
According to a BBC report, branded podcasts result in:
B2B podcasting is a highly effective marketing strategy for businesses seeking to strengthen their brand presence and engage with their target audience. Through the use of audio content, your B2B company can establish itself as an industry leader, boost brand awareness and promote meaningful connections with your audience.
- Increase brand awareness and reach: Podcasts offer a unique opportunity for your business to deliver valuable insights, thought-provoking discussion and industry trends directly to industry decision-makers. Professionals tune in to podcasts during commutes, workouts or while managing daily tasks, providing a flexible and accessible way to reach your audience.
- Thought leadership: By creating captivating podcast episodes, your business can position itself as a trusted authority in your field. Engaging in in-depth discussions, conducting interviews with industry experts and sharing valuable knowledge allows you to display your expertise and establish credibility. This thought leadership not only enhances your brand’s reputation but also attracts a loyal following of listeners who perceive your company as a reliable source of industry insights.
- Increase site rank: Demonstrating industry expertise, authority and trustworthiness through thought leadership will help your B2B website rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). Moreover, your company can improve site discoverability by leveraging relevant search engine optimization (SEO) keywords within the podcast and publishing the transcripts on your website.
- Flesh out an omnichannel strategy: Podcasts add an audio component that complements existing channels, such as websites, social media, email marketing and content marketing. The audio format becomes an additional avenue to connect with your audience, convey valuable information and strengthen brand messaging.
- Humanize your brand: B2B podcasting enables you to forge genuine connections with listeners. Through storytelling and authentic conversations, such as sharing experiences, insights and anecdotes, podcast hosts can engage and activate your target audience.
- Increase leads and customer loyalty: High-quality and authentic podcast content creates a deeper emotional connection with your audience, fostering brand loyalty and increasing the likelihood of converting listeners into customers. Moreover, strategic calls-to-action within podcast episodes, such as subscribing, visiting a website or accessing additional resources, offer additional means to effectively generate leads and drive conversions.
How to leverage industry podcasts (without starting a podcast)
Don’t worry if your B2B company isn’t ready to start a podcast of its own. It’s still possible to tap into the power of podcasting without managing and producing your own podcast. Instead, you can leverage existing podcasts as effective marketing avenues to expand your reach and connect with your audience.
Guest speaking: Securing interviews for your leaders and subject experts on industry-related podcasts helps your business to demonstrate expertise, share valuable insights and reach a wider audience. Podcast appearances are usually pitched by a public relation (PR) professional in the same way radio, news and keynote appearances are arranged. A guest-speaking strategy leverages the established audience and credibility of the podcast host to enhance your brand visibility and reputation.
Sponsored content and native advertising: By strategically partnering with podcasts that align with your audience, your B2B company can seamlessly integrate your brand messages into episodes, reaching a highly engaged and targeted audience. This approach uses digital advertising and media buying to leverage the influence of the podcast host or hosts, establishing trust and driving brand awareness.
How to get a B2B podcast started
If your business wants to harness the full potential of a B2B podcast, there are a couple of ways to get started. One option is to produce your podcast in-house, maintaining full control over the content, messaging and scheduling. This allows for a personalized approach and ensures alignment with your brand identity. Alternatively, partnering with a podcast production agency can streamline the entire process. This option enables your business to leverage the experience and resources of a specialized team, so your team can focus on core aspects of your business.
Whether you choose to build an in-house team or collaborate with an external agency, both approaches offer unique opportunities to create a successful B2B podcast that effectively engages your target audience and drives your marketing objectives.
No matter where your podcast is produced, planning an effective B2B podcast involves several crucial steps:
- Define podcast objectives: The very first step to developing an effective B2B podcast is to clearly define its objectives. This means determining whether the goal is to establish thought leadership, generate leads, foster brand awareness, etc.
- Choose your podcast team: The specific roles and responsibilities of your team members will depend on whether you’re producing the podcast in-house or externally. With a production agency, you’ll likely need a small in-house team to plan and write content, host and schedule guest speakers—however some producers may help you develop a content strategy, train hosts and even facilitate guest booking. If you’re doing it yourself, then you’ll also need a technical staff to produce, edit and market your podcast.
- Set up a suitable studio: If you’ll be recording your podcast in-house, you’ll need a studio space. When planning the area, consider the acoustic treatment and equipment such as microphones, headphones and audio interfaces as well as recording and editing software and a platform to host and distribute your podcasts.
- Develop a podcasting workflow and schedule: To maintain a consistency and ensure timely delivery of episodes, you’ll need to decide on a reasonable publishing schedule. This will depend on the bandwidth of your podcast team and account for the time it will take to create an episode format, craft scripts, prepare interview questions and schedule guests. If you’re doing the heavy lifting yourself, you will also need to account for the technical and marketing work, including recording, editing, publishing, transcribing and promoting your podcasts.
Practical tips and best practices
Now that you understand what goes into starting a B2B podcast, let’s discuss how to get the most bang for your podcast buck:
- Don’t make it about your business: Similar to blogging, a successful podcast is not about self-promotion but rather about providing value and building a relationship with listeners. Instead of promoting products or services, offer insights, advice, industry trends or entertaining discussions that foster a genuine connection with your target demographic. Along the same lines, don’t name your podcast after your business.
- Consistency and frequency of episodes: How frequently you publish episodes will depend on your goals, your audience and your resources. Many podcasts air weekly or bi-weekly to keep listeners engaged. A monthly or bi-monthly schedule may work better for a longer, more in-depth podcasts that require extensive research. Whatever schedule you decide on, consistency is key to building your audience.
- Incorporate storytelling and narratives: Stories and narratives build personal, emotional connections and drive engagement. Moreover, stories help listeners conceptualize and remember your key messages.
- Use multiple show hosts: If you have the resources, two hosts encourage banter, provide greater expertise and offer different points of view.
- Get to know your guests before the show: Collaborate with guests via email, phone or video conference to get to know them, discover their unique perspectives and set them at ease.
- Extend your ABM efforts: If your company is involved in account-based marketing, invite target accounts to be guest speakers. Doing so will help you learn more about the decision-makers in these accounts, and it will help you to get their attention and build a relationship.
- Optimize your script, title and description: Carefully craft your podcast SEO in mind, to increase podcast visibility in search engine results, podcast directories and platforms. Write your script with relevant keywords, transcribe each episode and publish the transcript to your website to leverage SEO.
- Encouraging audience interaction and feedback: Foster audience engagement by reading feedback during your episodes.
- Join a podcast network: Get to know your fellow podcasters by joining a community or network where you can share insights, trends and cross-promotional opportunities.
- Promote your podcast with your podcast: Pique curiosity during each episode by offering a recap and sneak peak of last and next episodes. You can also use podcast sound bites to promote your podcast across social media channels.
Bottom line: Podcasts are a strategic way to amplify your brand
Podcasts aren’t a one-size fits all solution and may not be suitable for every business. Successful podcasting requires extensive planning and persistence. But with the right objectives and resources in place, podcasting can be a strategic move that opens up new opportunities to engage with your target audience and strengthen your brand presence in today’s digital landscape.
If your business is interested in promoting your podcast, pitching a guest appearance or advertising on an existing podcast, contact us. Our PR, digital marketing and advertising experts would be happy to share their insights with you.