Podcasts aren't only for B2C companies. In 2023, they will become a top channel for B2B content.
Almost half of B2B decision-makers say they use podcasts to get business-related content that influences their purchasing decisions. Podcasts are among the most preferred channels for buyers now, along with newsletters and webinars.
Such popularity in the B2B niche mirrors overall trends: During the COVID-19 pandemic, podcast audiences diversified and underwent growth. Over one-third of Americans listen to podcasts regularly now. That's more than those who have Netflix accounts.
This article will demonstrate podcasts' value and cover B2B podcast creation, submission to directories, and promotion.
Why Podcasts for B2B?
Because listening requires less effort than reading or watching educational content (using fewer channels for information processing), podcasts are much easier to grasp. That accessibility makes podcasts perfect for personal narrative content in which experts share their insights and case studies.
Podcasts can also be repurposed into whitepapers, blog posts, power pages, and other information you want to share with your audience.
What's more, informative and educational podcasts present creators as experts in their niche. Organizations with branded podcasts have 89% higher awareness, 57% higher consideration, and 18% higher purchase intent than organizations that do not. That is especially important when you consider that prospects in the B2B space are more challenging to engage and pursue than those in B2C.
If you still don't have a podcast, 2023 is the year to start one. The number of podcast listeners is growing, and it's expected toreach 464.7 million by the end of 2023 (and 504.9 million by the end of 2024). It's a mistake to miss out on such a broad audience—especially because 69% of listeners claim to learn about new brands and products from podcasts.
So, it appears that podcasts generate demand, turning into a tool to acquire prospects and influence customers. Plus, they're an alternative revenue stream. Ad revenue from complementary sponsorships, subscriptions, and branded contentcrossed the $2 billion mark this year, and it's expected to reach $4 billion by 2024.
For B2B marketers, a podcast is an opportunity to strengthen the omnichannel experience because they can use podcasts for partner communication programs. The B2B niche can also benefit from podcasts because its target audience—business leaders, managers, and other decision-makers—prefers listening to information rather than reading or watching it. Whether they listen on their way to work or during exercising, those leaders save time. And because podcasts have such a low barrier to entry and a recent popularity boost, they bring in high ROI.
Podcasting is worth trying in 2023 because your audience is ready for it. For many listeners, podcasts turn into a daily habit: A full 80% listen to all or most of each episode.
Many B2B brands have proven that podcasts work:
- B2B Growth from Sweet Fish Media gets 300K+ monthly downloads, proving that its hosts are experts in what they offer to their customers.
- The Customer Engagement Lab from PandaDoc has dozens of positive ratings and excited comments from listeners wanting to learn about creative sales and marketing.
- The Brutal Truth About Sales & Selling from B2B Revenue Leadership is an example of how consistency matters in podcasting for audience engagement.
Preparing for B2B Podcast Creation
B2B podcasting is catching up to other forms of content marketing. There are new tools that make a podcast launch and promotion less challenging than before.
Still, the process takes effort and time. Your B2B podcasts will work only if you pay precise attention to their quality and release them regularly. It's a long game.
Also, according to listener feedback and reviews, a professional and charismatic host is among the must-haves for a podcast's success. So keep that in mind when planning the content for your B2B podcast episodes.
1. Choose a topic
Come up with compelling and relevant issues for your podcast. Then listen to other podcasts in the same niche to understand what authors talk about and how they speak.
Consider every detail. Make notes, pay attention to voice and tone, and keep your desired recording length in mind.
Don't languish in finding the "perfect" topic, and don't plagiarize from competitors. If your B2B brand genuinely has something to say, make the message original.
2. Set goals
Think about what you want to achieve, and then set specific marketing goals for your podcast.
Do you want to reach and engage a broader audience? Do you plan to build your brand authority and trust, promoting the reputation of a reliable company?
Or maybe you want your podcast to share business results, promoting your company's authenticity and transparency to build customer loyalty.
3. Make a plan
Next, think of titles for several episodes—and outlines for each episode—to keep a congruent thread throughout recording.
Last but not least, make sure you have all the necessary equipment for podcast creation.
Creating a B2B Podcast
Start with intros and outros of your podcasts. Those are short recordings with music and an off-screen voice announcing your topic, subtopic, episode number, and guests. You'll need to create them for each new episode to provide takeaways and calls to action.
When you're ready with those two parts, start recording the body.
1. Record the first episode
Don't get scared of your voice, and don't imitate other speakers you know. Keep recording even if you forget some words or make bloopers—you can edit it later.
Introduce your B2B brand and product and announce the podcast's release schedule. Make it promotional and call it Episode 0.
Tip: Don't read from paper. It sounds artificial, and listeners sense that. They want to hear a live dialogue or monologue, not an audiobook.
Also, decide on your podcast duration. Don't make episodes too long or short: 20-30 minutes are OK, as people can set aside some time for listening and won't get bored.
2. Edit and save your podcast
You'll need to edit out bloopers, erase background noises, and adjust the audio to an optimal volume level. Once that's done, save the podcast in MP3 format and add ID3: the title, episode number, cover, and speaker's name. These tags give audiences valuable information before they start listening.
Submitting a B2B Podcast
First, publish the podcast on a website or blog. In some cases, it's best to start a new one to distinguish podcasts from your other content assets.
Next, consider listing the podcast in a directory. Consider those where your target audience "lives" to ensure fair coverage and enhance your podcast promotion.
As of October 2022, the No. 1 spot is Apple Podcasts, which boasts 39.7% of all podcast listeners and 49.5 million podcast downloads. In second place is Spotify, with 26.4% of podcast users and 32.8 million downloads.
Google Podcasts (2.6%) and Apple iTunes (1.9%) are alternative options to consider.
Promoting a B2B Podcast
So, you've created and submitted a podcast. Now it's time to promote it.
- Ask listeners to leave feedback and subscribe. The more subscribers you have, the easier it is to attract a new audience.
- Share your podcast on social media channels: Twitter and LinkedIn are the best to engage B2B audiences.
Promote podcasts where your prospects are active, and be consistent. If you plan to release podcast episodes weekly, then do that at a particular time and on a weekday.
When promoting, network with other podcasters in your niche. Follow experts. If you leave comments and help your fellow experts with promotion, they'll do the same for you.
Another great way to grow your audience is by interviewing guests from related fields. Their followers might be interested to hear what you have to say.
Also, involving new subscribers by growing your email list can be a part of your promo strategy. Ask listeners to join the email list rather than to just keep listening. Once they've subscribed, start sending your podcast updates to listeners via email, inviting them to the website and promoting your website content.
Ready to Hit REC?
Podcasting will help you attract a new audience—people who prefer listening to reading or watching content. It's a godsend for B2B marketers willing to build brand awareness and trust, and it ultimately increases conversions.
With the right people, strategy, plan, and commitment, a B2B podcast can enhance your content marketing campaigns. Give it a chance, and the results may surprise you.
More Resources on B2B Podcasts
You may like these other MarketingProfs articles related to Content:
- How Being Strategic About Content Development Can Boost Results and Save Time and Money: Ahava Leibtag on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]
- Five Serious Content Marketing Mistakes You Need to Avoid
- Your First New Content Marketing Tool for 2023 Should Be Your Sales Team
- Eight Graphic Design Trends That Will Dominate 2023 [Infographic]
- A Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content: Ann Handley on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]
- The Content Roadblock: How Inefficient Workflows Affect Creative Teams