How do you create a B2B marketing podcast with a passionate fanbase? When producing a podcast, how do you get a point where loyal listeners write detailed blog posts and offer feedback after listening to an episode.
B2B martech powerhouse Yaagneshwaran Ganesh has good insights on the topic — write-ups from listeners and regular audience feedback are some of the reactions he’s accustomed to as the host of ABM Conversations, a popular B2B marketing podcast with 60+ episodes.
Though ABM Conversations has a strong following (and almost 140 ratings on Apple Podcasts), Yaag doesn’t see podcasting as a numbers game.
“Our podcast is not about getting a million downloads. We like to build one-on-one relationships with our listeners,” Yaag says on the premiere episode of Recorded Content, our new show all about launching and growing a successful B2B podcast.
Tune in to hear about Yaag’s journey from novice to experienced podcaster who says that 90% of guests come from inbound requests (and he’s quite selective about who he has on the show).
On this episode, you’ll uncover the inner workings of a hit niche podcast, including:
- Why Yaag waited until he was about 15 episodes in to introduce guests on the podcast
- How he does research ahead of the episode (and why inside jokes don’t have a place on a podcast)
- Where he distributes the podcast and his approach to podcast marketing
“Until about 13 episodes, we never even had a guest. It was just me and Manish.”
Crowdsourcing niche podcast ideas from your LinkedIn network
“I posted content on LinkedIn asking people — ‘Hey, we’re thinking of starting a podcast, what do you think about it? … What are the topics that we should speak about?’ Then we got roughly 100 different responses and there was a common pattern: everybody said you guys should deep dive on ABM because that’s one area you guys are well known for and you can dive deeper. Then, when I looked at the ABM arena within the podcast community, there were only a couple of them that were doing well.”
View your podcast as your personal ‘university’
“The best part about this podcast is it let me deep-dive into certain topics … and it has become a university where, for every episode, we go back and do so much research and work and get to know that specific domain so that we can ask the right questions. Right now, the very goal of our podcast is not to make money out of it or be aligned to a brand or anything. The idea is to make it the best repository of B2B marketing content out there.”
Selecting the first (and future) podcast guests
“Our very first guest was somebody called James Spurway, who is a big-time VC in Singapore, but he has experience across the world and he’s someone who has like 40 to 50 years of experience. [He has] such a great personality, coming out and saying, ‘I’ll be your lab rat’ … the majority of our podcasts have really grown because of relationships and because either they have known me or they’ve known [co-host] Maneesh … but 90% of our guests have been mostly inbound.”
Ask the unanswered questions
“The way we do our podcast is we don’t spend a lot of time building up the topic. We actually get into certain specifics and then ask the deeper and better podcast interview questions. For example, yesterday we had a guest — he’s a VC from a company in Canada … Nobody really goes in and asks them things like, ‘Hey, what if a company fails to keep up with the accountability that they promised? What happens after that?’ So those are some unanswered questions. Typically, when you look at any topic, the nitty-gritty of how things really work never get answered, so those are the kinds of things we wanted to really go in and tackle.”
Focus on a vision — not on download numbers
“The aspiration is, five years down the line, we want to be the biggest repository of the best B2B marketing content out there. We want people to think, Alright, I have this question, where do I go? Maybe let me go out and check if this topic is being discussed on the ABM conversations podcast. That’s the vision we have in mind. We don’t think about, ‘If we bring these guests, how many views will we get? If we tackle this topic, how many views will we get?’ We are not playing that game.”
Repurpose your podcast into meaningful blog content
“The third piece [of distribution] is also about repurposing our podcast into different formats. One is we do small snippets of certain things that are interesting and post those videos on LinkedIn, Instagram, and places like that. Apart from that, I also write a blog and, one of the key pieces I would like to communicate through this podcast is don’t just use transcript assets because that’s not going to really help. It’s going to look like you have done a lot of lazy work and you’ve just republished it. So we spend a good amount of time rewriting it and making sure that it’s very topical and very meaty — it’s a good 1,500 to 2,000-word blog. When you read something, you get something out of it.”