As marketers seek to connect with their audiences in meaningful ways, B2B podcasts have emerged as a powerful form of outbound marketing every business should consider. And though there’s no barrier to entry, quality content matters. Remember, B2B podcasts serve a business purpose, so offering up a compelling reason to listen is critical.
Amplifying brand presence and authority
Podcasts can be an invaluable platform for companies to establish and enhance their brand presence. Or, put another way: They allow businesses to infuse their brand with personality with easily digestible content. With their unique tone, style, and content, companies can create a podcast that embodies their values and resonates with their target audience.
Podcasts are also an excellent vehicle for demonstrating thought leadership and influence. By delivering valuable insights, education, and entertainment on industry-related topics, companies can position themselves as go-to sources of information. Showing off your industry knowledge and innovation can make your business stand out and attract potential partners and clients.
For example, IBM’s Think Leaders podcast features interviews with technology thought leaders, solidifying their reputation as an industry steward. In contrast, Red Bull’s The Red Bulletin show combines sports, culture, and lifestyle content to reflect their adventurous brand identity.
And, of course, podcasts can also make your company and its leadership seem more relatable. Featuring key executives and employees as hosts or guests can make the brand more approachable and authoritative to customers.
Engaging and nurturing target audiences
While they’re generally lumped in with infotainment, the true power of B2B podcasts lies in their ability to engage audiences and build relationships. It’s all about how you deliver the content.
Podcasts thrive on storytelling and authenticity. Creating content that addresses the needs and interests of specific customer segments is crucial — and you’ll need to make it compelling. When you find a successful formula, you’re more likely to retain your audience and expand your reach. The benefits of that include:
- Repeat engagement. Loyal listeners are more likely to tune in to every episode and engage with your brand consistently. This repeated engagement increases brand exposure and the chances of converting engaged listeners into customers or advocates.
- Word-of-mouth marketing. A dedicated podcast following can become enthusiastic advocates for your brand. They are more likely to recommend your products or services to others within their community or industry, leading to organic word-of-mouth marketing.
- Customer retention. For businesses, retaining existing customers can be as valuable — and a lot less expensive — as acquiring new ones. Loyal podcast listeners who are also customers are more likely to remain loyal customers over time.
- Amplified reach. When listeners feel a sense of belonging to your podcast’s community, they are more likely toshare your content on social media or recommend it to their colleagues or friends.
Boosting thought leadership and industry influence
When done well, hosting an industry-specific or niche-focused podcast can boost a company’s reputation and make it a go-to resource for the audience. That can surface new opportunities for your brand, including:
Positioning as a thought leader. Podcasts allow for in-depth discussions on industry topics. When you provide valuable insights, analysis, and opinions, you showcase your expertise. Thus, podcasts are an ideal medium for sharing educational content, whether it’s explaining complex concepts or breaking down industry trends.
They also provide a platform to showcase your company’s innovation and forward-thinking ideas. When you discuss emerging trends, new technologies, or cutting-edge strategies on your podcast, you position your company as an industry mover and shaker. By consistently providing valuable content, listeners come to rely on your expertise — and trust your insights.
Collaboration and cross-promotion. Partnering with well-known experts or complementary businesses allows you to tap into their established audience and vice versa. When they promote your podcast to their followers, it extends your reach and exposes your brand to a wider audience of potential customers or partners. In short, hosting or participating in podcasts often leads to valuable promotional and networking opportunities.
Audience interaction and feedback. Actively seeking audience input can help you tailor your content to address specific listener questions, interests, and pain points. Answering listener questions or addressing their concerns on your podcast further highlights your expertise and willingness to engage with followers.
Audience feedback can also serve as a valuable source of real-time industry insights. By staying attuned to your listeners’ concerns and questions, you can identify emerging trends or challenges and position yourself as a timely and relevant expert.
Five podcast approaches that work
It must be said, though, that the benefits of a podcast accrue only if customers want to listen. That takes skill and know-how — but a strategic approach can serve multiple business purposes as well as generating good audio. Here are five approaches to consider.
First, feature dialogues with customers and prospects not to pitch but to platform. Practitioners have industry insight and wisdom your audience wants to hear — in addition to a career, personal brand, and business to promote. Meanwhile, the podcast generates relatability, credibility, and rock-solid social proof to your audience.
Second, think about keeping the podcast short and highly focused. Ten or 20 minutes is often plenty of time to examine a topic, and more than an hour is too much — especially when you’re in the beginner phase.
That may not seem like much time, but a bite-size podcast is necessarily focused on core content for that audience. Good content turns listeners into subscribers, and subscribers listen to the back catalog. Your back catalog supports brand awareness and keeps prospects on the customer journey track to the buy. Plus, maintaining a time budget for your podcast means you don’t have to wrack your brain for material.
Third, consider keeping the podcast internal, just for your employees. Many big companies are taking this approach in order to inform their internal teams about the business, investor relations, clients, wins, losses, market movement, and the industry as a whole. Some companies put their leaders on the mic, some have employees run the show, and some internal podcasts feature a mix of both.
Fourth, regardless of the lineup, internal podcasts give employees a much richer understanding of the business environment, their coworkers, and their part in the company. That breaks down silos and trains employees while deepening their trust in you — crucial attributes to employee performance, with downstream impact on customer service. And because anyone can listen to the podcast, you broadcast an authentic employee brand (which customers take seriously) to the labor pool.
Fifth, build relationships with other influencers. There are leading voices in even the most niche industries, and each of them has a valuable perspective and a core audience that includes your potential prospects. At worst, an authentic relationship with influencers broadens your outlook. At best, they appear on your podcast and bring their constituents with them.
Content is currency
Podcasts are a great vehicle for marketing exposure that costs virtually nothing — but content is currency. Give customers good information, a real differentiator, and genuine personality, and you’ll reach them on a meaningful level.
And it goes without saying that a business has to stay top of mind and provide value to keep its market share. Content is currency, and this is an attention economy. Ultimately, podcasts are a dynamic B2B marketing tool. When executed with quality content and strategic planning, podcasts can be a game-changer in your promotional arsenal.