A B2B podcast could work for your business to help engage new audiences and stand out from the competition, but it isn’t a guaranteed win.
Nearly everyone has a smartphone in their pocket these days and easy access to a variety of content. No longer are they limited to simply scrolling and reading when they find a moment to go online. Podcasts allow them to listen to audio content while engaging in other activities, like commuting or working out.
Podcasts can feel like a prime opportunity for businesses looking to engage new audiences in fresh ways. But is a B2B podcast right for your business? Here are a few things you should consider before launching one.
Podcasts are audio recordings of discussions, interviews or even musings from a single host. They are usually about a specific topic, with new episodes produced and released on a regular basis.
Current podcasts cover everything from business to entertainment. Any topic has potential. Listeners can find their favourite podcasts or discover new ones on iTunes, Spotify and other downloadable apps. Companies can also host podcasts on their websites.
Facts and figures about podcasts
By 2024, there will be 100 million podcast listeners in the United States, Semrush estimates. That’s an impressive number, but who’s listening? In 2019, 51 per cent of U.S. podcast listeners were women and 49 per cent were men.
The age group that listens to podcasts more than any other is relatively young: 12 to 24 years old. However, 17 per cent of monthly podcast listeners have a household income between US$100,000 to $150,000 and 28 per cent of them have a college degree.
Do podcasts work for B2B marketing?
B2B podcasts can be effective marketing tools, but they aren’t the best choice. They are growing in popularity and can help you engage new audiences. They’re also great for building thought leadership in your industry. But just because they can create positive outcomes for some businesses doesn’t mean they will work for your company.
When might a podcast be a good idea?
An excellent place to start is considering who you’re trying to reach and where they are in the buyer’s journey. In many cases, podcasts are most suitable for businesses that want to raise awareness and visibility, and can gain value from exposure to customers in the early stages of their journey.
For example, 60 per cent of marketers surveyed by the Content Marketing Institute felt podcasts effectively reached customers in the early stages of their journey. Only nine per cent thought they were appropriate for later stage marketing and getting people to a buy.
Benefits of podcasting for B2B marketing
Companies finding success with podcasting have marketing goals that align with the potential benefits podcasting can create. Let’s look at some of the positive things a podcast can help your company do.
A podcast can help you engage new audiences and create a platform for other projects. It could work for you if you’re looking to get the word out about a new brand or gain some visibility to help people understand what your company is all about.
Establish yourself as an industry expert
The best podcasts are thought-provoking and provide a unique angle on topics. If you can lead a conversation and show that you can share content that moves your industry forward, you could gain a competitive edge with a podcast.
Create valuable content you can use in multiple ways
Podcasts can help you create a waterfall effect with content that is first created during your podcast recording and then broken out into blog posts or articles on your website. These can be further repurposed into short social media posts or infographics, giving you a lot of impact for your investment.
How to start a B2B podcast?
It’s good to be aware of the challenges when you tackle a new marketing idea. Everything you try will affect your bottom line, so it’s essential to assess what you’ll need to launch and sustain a podcast.
What will it cost you to produce a podcast?
Podcasts might not seem expensive to produce, but you’ll need to consider the costs carefully. It takes time and effort to create great content, which means you’ll need people to do the work. So even if the platforms aren’t prohibitively expensive, it will cost you time to do the work or pay someone else to do it.
Who will host your podcast?
Like any other form of content marketing, podcasts are only worthwhile if the content is excellent. If you can’t add to the conversation in a meaningful way, you could be wasting your time. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t have someone on their team who can confidently host an engaging discussion. Even if you have someone who can host, you may still need to outsource the content strategy and planning to ensure it’s unique enough to be worthwhile.
Guests and programming
Great podcasts aren’t just about great ideas or engaging conversations. Someone will need to handle the administrative tasks such as booking guests, and keeping the recording, editing, production and distribution on track.
Is a podcast a good fit for your company?
Try not to be swayed by the temptation to jump on a trend just because podcasts, in general, are popular. Instead, look carefully at who is creating content in your industry. Evaluate your ability to compete. Then consider if the benefits above outweigh the challenges for your company.
Here are a few more ways to assess if a B2B podcast could help you grow your business.
Is your target customer listening to podcasts?
A careful review of your ideal customer is needed to see if the people you genuinely want to reach listen to podcasts. Large audience numbers aren’t helpful to you if they aren’t the people you need to engage.
Consider your resources
Be realistic about how much work a podcast will be and if your team can handle the extra workload. Start with an outline of what you want to do and see if you can plan out multiple episodes that will excite your target audience. Then map out the steps you’ll need to take to get from concept to launch and how much time you estimate it will take to produce each episode.
Does your team have the time, talent and desire to create a podcast? If not, who can you lean on to help you follow through and produce content over the long term?
Do any of your competitors have a B2B podcast?
Look at what’s happening in your industry. If your competitors already host podcasts, how will yours stand out? If you can’t offer something different, you’re better off finding another channel to reach your customers.
Podcasts are a popular choice for companies looking to lead conversations, establish thought leadership and raise awareness. If these are desirable outcomes for your business, podcasting could work for your b2b business.
However, launching a podcast is a big undertaking and one you’ll want to assess carefully before beginning. Marketing pros can help you weigh the pros and cons before pouring resources into a podcast. In addition, an experienced agency can help clarify your goals and strategy before you commit.