Podcasts have become a powerful marketing tool for B2B brands, with businesses spending close to $500 million on advertising during them.
And it works. Brands choosing to promote their products on business podcasts see a 14 percent increase in purchase intent (on average).
But businesses can go further than just advertising on podcasts. They can create their own — just like ZipRecruiter, eBay, Blue Apron, and many other international brands have chosen to do.
Sure, but for CMOs at B2B organizations with dozens of items on their plates, the prospect of adding yet another marketing channel into a complex strategy might be a little daunting.
But there’s a common misconception about podcasts.
The most valuable part of a podcast within B2B isn’t just that you’re adding premium branded content. Matter of fact, I could argue that’s actually the third-most valuable aspect of a B2B aspect.
In this blog post we’re going to discuss the four reasons to start a podcast for your B2B company:
- Immediate Demand Gen
- Market Research
- Thought Leadership Content
- Listener-Base Advertisements
1. Provides Immediate Demand Gen
Common situation that frustrates any marketer (even those with buying power):
Marketer: “Hey CEO, I’m thinking of starting X initiative”
CEO likely responds: “What kind of return do you expect that we’ll see?”
Well, for many, this is an extremely frustrating question. If the initiative is branded content for long-term SEO goals, you won’t see quick return even though you know it’s important. And without the proper strategy for a podcast, you’ll likely run into a similar wall.
However, podcasts, done the right way, will generate immediate results. Your podcast should feature your ideal customers as the guests. Or at least they should be the focus. We recommend that 70% of your guests are either current or prospective customers.
Easy. Think of the value of a 60-minute conversation with a prospect you’ve been trying to track down. You get to identify everything they’re working on and at the end of the podcast, once you’re off air, you can say, “Hey Prospect, I really enjoyed chatting with you and our time together. I know you mentioned that you’re really struggling with X. I’m not sure if you know, but our solution helps people with that. Any chance you’d be open to a more in-depth conversation?”
And boom. Your “branded-long-term-content-initiative” just generated a lead/demo/SQL/opportunity… whatever you call it in your organization. But a real result, that you can track and show to upper management that your podcast is generating demand.
*Note – if you’re wondering how you can use a B2B business podcast to generate demand, contact us to get conduct a discovery call. You’ll be surprised how much ROI a podcast can bring…almost immediately!
2. Conducts Market Research
Think about this question: What are you currently doing to talk to both customers and prospective customers for 1-2 hours in an organic, open conversation about what kind of things they’re struggling with?
Sure, I know what you’re going to say. “We talk to our customers and prospects all the time! When we get them on demos, when we’re onboarding customers, people tell us what they need or what they’re going through!”
But do they?
What someone tells you on a demo vs. what that person would tell you if you were two friends out to dinner, are very different things. By bringing customers and prospects onto your podcast in a low-stakes environment and having genuine conversations, you’ll really learn the issues and struggles your ideal customers are having. And you’ll be able to tailor messaging, solutions and collateral to that.
3. Provides Thought Leadership Content
Now we come full-circle back to what you thought a podcast was for. And yes, it’s definitely a very nice, premium branded thought leadership content asset. It can generate buzz in the industry, position you as a dynamic force within your space and maybe most importantly, help you to develop content throughout your distribution channels.
Heck, 60 percent of people spend more time listening to podcasts than watching television, with 76 percent investing more than seven hours into podcasts each week. And let’s not forget: podcasting is still a relatively young medium, so there’s room for this audience to grow significantly.
But furthermore, a podcast will help you create a wide variety of content. Blog posts, short video/audio snippets to distribute on social, you can have a premium content hub on your website. A podcast generates backlinks for SEO if the interviewee posts about you & links to your site.
It does everything and more that you could ask for from branded content.
Podcasts being a good thing for your brand-image is no secret. However, the sheer amount of ways that a podcast can service your content marketing initiatives, is B2B marketing’s best-kept secret.
4. Allows You to Advertise Specifically to Your Ideal Customer
Finally, the fourth and final way that a podcast helps is that, if your prospects are also your guests, they will also become your listeners. You’re making a podcast for your ideal customer by your ideal customer.
For many, business podcasts appeal because they are educational and entertaining at the same time. This is crucial when 59 percent of people listen to podcasts because they help them feel more intelligent, and 74 percent want to learn new things as they listen. So, people are going to come back to hear what others have to say and when they do, plug your product! You can do it during the show when you’re interviewing and then remind them again when they go back and listen to their episode.
And bonus! As I said before, they’ll probably keep coming back as part of the family to hear what others have to say, because the other guests are people just like them!
Written by Justin Brown
Justin is the Co-Founder of Motion. With a background in Marketing, Communications and Sales, Justin brings a wealth of experience working with some of the world’s fastest growing B2B tech companies. After steering a video production company into the Inc. 5000 as the Head of Sales and Marketing, he started Motion where he now helps build marketing strategies for some of the most innovative B2B tech companies in the country. You can find him on LinkedIn.