There are over 48 million published podcast episodes today and it’s more than any one person could possibly consume. And yet, people are still hungry for specific and timely content shared through the podcast format.
Every company in B2B benefits from running a podcast. It helps the company learn from customers, connect with influencers and provide a perspective on what’s happening in the industry.
But most companies struggle to narrow in on their audience, especially when their organization provides products or services to a variety of different personas. Organizations often fall into the trap of creating a show for a more general audience instead of really diving into what specific groups of customers really care about.
In this episode, Jacob Miller, the Marketing & Brand Manager at Headway, joins host Tristan Pelligrino to talk about the inspiration behind the company’s three branded podcasts. During the conversation, Tristan and Jacob talk about how to build a podcast as you go, how to decide whether or not to focus generally or narrow in, and how systems and collaboration can help you and your team get the most from every episode.
“If you’re not famous, you don’t have leverage. So the leverage is then speaking to specific people with a specific problem.”
Marketing and Brand Manager
Storytelling is so much more than just writing content
“A lot of people throw around the word storyteller. I think a lot of people don’t actually take the time to understand what that means and how that actually applies to their customers, their business.”
According to Jacob, one of the best ways to do this is to deeply understand your customer. Doing interviews, learning the person’s story, and learning how to ask better questions can all set business owners up for better success around their messaging and storytelling.
“You can create better content that they actually care about and want to read or listen to, or watch a video.”
You don’t need to niche by industry; you can niche by process instead
Jacob points out that Headway gets new customers from industries they’ve never worked with before, but it’s the process that the overall knowledge that makes the sale for them. He says it’s about that company having the expertise in the industry, which allows the company with the process offering to thrive by serving a broad audience with a specific process over and over.
“They have the expertise in the industry, but we have the expertise in building a business, not just a product that actually makes money.”
Embrace the journey as a podcaster
There’s a lot of pressure to wait to launch a podcast until you’re the proven “expert” on a subject, but Jacob points out that leaning into the lack of all knowledge builds a more authentic connection with his audience of founders.
“Nobody really knows what they’re doing when it comes to innovation. And that’s okay.
We’re here together to talk about it.”
They even took that same exploratory concept towards launching their second and third podcasts. Since the company had already given themselves creative freedom, they used their existing processes to give them some flexibility in terms of what the finished show looked like.
You can’t just evaluate; you’ve got to execute, too
Speaking of perfectionism holding you back from launching, Jacob also discussed how you can learn from your own clients when it comes to releasing something new in the world.
It’s far too easy to end up overthinking and over-evaluating your possible projects, but you need the momentum to carry forward before you get sick of a project or bogged down in the details.
“Move slowly. We need to follow the mindset that we give to our clients in that approach. What do we know we can do? How can we get that out and improve it after? Sometimes we forget about that for ourselves because we’re so personally attached to the business. We all like to have really great ideas and we all get excited.”
Create a faster feedback loop
To avoid spending too much time in the wrong direction, use a faster feedback loop.
“So instead of assigning tasks and separating for a few days….we’re sharing the Figma file or sharing a loom video. Hey, here’s some feedback on what I think about this. What do you think they’ll reply with a loom video? Because not everybody can meet at the same time sometimes.”
“I actually really like working with all these different types of people. It can feel chaotic at times, but again, the way that we’ve made it less chaotic is actually having a clear process that we’ve documented. Everyone understands their responsibilities. Everybody understands the timelines and the workflows of how it all works.”
Their team built templates for the podcast process, like reaching out to guests or sending gifts after the fact as a few examples.
Choose the right channels… it’s okay to delete
Consider this your official permission to not be active on all the possible social media channels. This doesn’t mean you have to abandon certain ones, either. You can pick and choose what makes the most sense for your business.
They’re breaking down shorter clips of bigger presentations to repurpose them and make it easier for their audience to digest. Someone who doesn’t have time to watch a 45 minute recording might still get value out of a two minute clip from it instead.
“If you want to make a show important, that means stop spending time elsewhere.”
Niche down for better listenership overall
These days, there’s no shortage of podcasts to listen to. Trying to keep your content too general might drive people to unsubscribe when they hear that one podcast episode not relevant to them.
“If you’re really specific about a certain topic or problem, somebody will care, and that somebody is hopefully the segment that you’re going after.
So I think for us as much as it can sound like a little overwhelming to have like multiple shows,you will learn about how it works. Then, document it. Then the focus becomes ‘Let’s make this better. This feels like it takes too long. How can we fix this? Or maybe this person isn’t the right person for this thing? Who else can do it?’”
Since your podcast process is iterative, you might have to rely on the expertise brought to the table by others. As a new person with no following, you can use this strategy to grow your brand.
“If you aren’t famous, you don’t have leverage. So the leverage is then speaking to specific people with a specific problem.”