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Podcasts are more popular than ever. With an increasing number of listeners, more and more businesses are using this medium. B2B marketing teams are looking for ways to communicate with customers and prospects and drive targeted brand awareness. By 2021, more than 40% of the 100 Cloud 100 companies have their own branded podcasts. But with so much competition out there, a business podcast can have a hard time standing out. A strong story, useful and believable information, A-list guests, and high production value are necessary for podcasts to attract and retain listeners.
Here’s a rundown of what marketers need to know about creating B2B audio file.
How do people listen? Interactions mostly happen across apps and on the go
Apple Podcasts and Spotify combine for 50% to 65% of all podcast listens (reports vary on these numbers). The rest of the listeners use a variety of podcast apps on their mobile phones, web players, desktop browsers, or YouTube.
Podcasts are a Ideal way to reach customers and outlook because people tend to listen to podcasts during downtime, on the way to work, at the gym, or when doing housework.
94% of listeners use podcasts while performing other tasks.
Podcasts serve as a great companion to existing marketing campaigns that often target potential customers while they to be working (cold email, paid search, LinkedIn ads, or webinars).
What are B2B podcasts?
A B2B podcast (or branded podcast) is an original audio series created by a company as part of their content marketing initiative. It is usually published as weekly episodes or seasons.
It is specifically designed for a business figure at a B2B company, which means podcasts are more targeted. In a B2B podcast, you’re looking to provide specific information to a niche audience, and your goal is to educate, inspire, and entertain your listeners.
B2B podcast series are often more than just audio. You can record both audio and video, turning each episode into multiple pieces of content for your website and social media channels.
Think of your company’s content marketing as a portfolio – you want a variety of written, audio and video content so your audience can opt in to the type of content they like (long form, short form, tutorial, how-to, instructor-led or deep dive). The key here is to create high-quality options that are consumable the way we use media in 2022 (mobile first).
Do B2B podcasts work?
According to one research by the BBC, organizations with branded podcasts watch:
- 89% higher awareness
- 57% higher brand consideration
- 24% higher brand preference
- Purchase intent is 14% higher
- 16% higher engagement
- 12% higher memory encryption
Original podcasts are rapidly expanding to become part of a B2B marketer’s toolkit. Many corporate companies create multiple podcast series targeting different individuals or industries. For example, big B2B companies like VMware and Dell have a variety of programs.
High-growth startups are also investing heavily in trends. Example: Eligible (recently raised $95 million) has three original podcasts and series, and creates Eligible+ to contain original content.
What are the types of B2B podcasts?
- Interview style An interview-style podcast is typically a free-to-play conversation between the host(s) and the guest(s). They have segments or audio cues that delight the listener. Content is typically for a target individual, topic, industry, or vertical (e.g. CMO, retail, cybersecurity, data) and they can be 20 to 60 minutes long. For example: People with a vision of need, Data Cloud Podcasts, Is in! and CIO classified.
- Combined story – Combination of guest interview and scripted narration. Stories are usually 50% scripted and driven by personal stories or news. The story is pre-scripted by a writer, made by a producer and editor, and the sound design is created by a sound engineer. For example: Often imitated, Datasets or Master of scale
- Narrative according to the script (non-fiction or fiction) – 100% scripted complex story, no published interviews used. These can be multiple episodes (standalone episodes) or serials (connected together as a Netflix Series). The story is written by a writing team and the elements are put together by a producer and editor. The sound design was created by a sound engineer. For example: Hackers Chronicles, Message or Hypnopolis.
- Server only – Host-only podcasts featuring conversations between two (or more) hosts discussing specific topics, diving into research or studies, or sharing thoughts on the latest news. They often have segments or repeating audio cues to capture the listener’s interest. Example: Advanced Sales Podcast.
What is the goal for a B2B podcast?
Every company has different goals for their podcast, but it’s usually a combination of the following ten. The beauty of creating a podcast is that you can leverage it to drive impact in many areas of your business.
- Brand: Drive brand awareness to your target market. As Chandar, CMO of Coupa told me while talking about awareness on the Needy Visioners podcast, “I want to paint the sky blue Coupa.”
- Attract target accounts (ABM): Help your sales team who are highly focused on key accounts. This is the perfect way to ensure that you can co-create content with targeted accounts.
- Content Machine: Create a high-quality content engine. The content of a particular episode can then be converted into shorter audio or video clips, thus generating more revenue.
- Pipeline: Target key prospects and accelerate the pipeline.
- Community: Build and own a community.
- Type: Define the category and assert the market leadership position.
- Relationships: Connect with key customers, prospects, and influencers.
- Customer stories: Tell more customer stories with high quality audio/video.
- Thought Leadership: Make your CEO/CXO a thought leader.
- Society: Create a video-first approach to engaging social content
Podcasts are longer content where speakers can discuss more in-depth about complex topics. If you’re selling a business product with a large buying committee, podcasts are a great tool to get the group involved.
Focus on the audience
A successful podcast can be a highly effective tool to boost your company’s growth, but it’s not easy to create one. not just about you. The first step to creating a successful podcast is identifying your overall business goals. Choose from one (or more) of the examples above. But then what? Focus on the audience.
Your identification audience goals. What do they want to know? How can you provide it? Want something very niche for a specific demographic or something a little broader? In creating your content, the most important thing to consider is the needs of your audience. While you want to align your content with your brand goals, understanding what customers need to know and putting these concerns first is key to creating a successful podcast.
Focus on customer experience
As they say, the customer experience is brand new. The way you treat your podcast guests is one Very close represent your brand. Are you setting up a prepare call? Submit a question ahead of time? Did you share the episode draft with their PR team before the episode went live? Are the guest’s name, title, and company spelled correctly?
These are just some of the things to consider when inviting guests to your podcast. You want your podcast guests to feel comfortable throughout the interview process. They should be excited to share the episode with their team members and on their social media channels. Guests who have a positive experience with your show can be great advocates for your podcast and your overall brand.
Sourcing guests and building a consistent pipeline are two big challenges for many companies just starting out building their own podcast series. Making sure you have a source of quality visitors can make this process a little easier.
Have a clear and consistent format
Next, you’ll decide on the specific format and content of your podcast. In a crowded podcast market, you’ll need every possible edge to make your episodes stand out. After all, marketing must be remarkable.
The most important way to help your podcast get attention is to establish a unique, authoritative voice and an engaging format. You want people to follow your podcast because it gives them something they can’t get from other podcasts. This “emotional personality” is a combination of the authority of the host, the guest, the sound design, the quality of the recording, and the way the stories are told. Balancing informative and entertaining content is hard work – don’t get bored!
Consistency is key. You should have a similar format for the majority of your volumes and publish the episodes on a consistent cadence. Your format, quality, and content create the “promise” that you need to fulfill in each episode. Weekly podcasts often outperform programs published on a random, inconsistent schedule. Creating a compelling story is hard work, so you want to get yourself the best shot.
Distribution is important
Just because you’ve built the podcast doesn’t mean the audience will come. You must have a strong marketing and distribution strategy. In addition to getting your podcast on the right platform, effective strategies to raise awareness about your podcast can include targeted distribution, cross-promotion, and smartly placed ads. I could write 1,000 more words on this, but you have to market your content – it’s non-negotiable in my opinion.
A winning strategy
Whatever form or approach you take, podcasts have become an essential tool for B2B companies in disseminating their message, establishing brand awareness, influencing the process, earning Attract new customers and tell customer stories. With the format proven to be more popular than ever, now.
Ian Faison is the CEO and founder of Caspian Studios.
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