How to Include Niche Podcasting Into Your B2B Marketing Strategy
Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably noticed that audio has been enjoying a bit of surge in the last few years. Here's how to include podcasts in your B2B marketing strategy...
At the moment, there is no shortage of virtual assistants such as Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and Google Assistant, and even though they are powered by AI technology, they are propelling voice search into the spotlight. But, one can argue that podcasts have been an even bigger influence so far.
The main caveat with text and video content is that you have to be glued to the screen in order to consume it, which is not the case with podcasts. People can listen to podcasts on their way to and from work, or while they are doing stuff around the house, which makes podcasts incredibly convenient. And on top of that, they are relatively cheap to produce and easy to distribute.
According to Podcast Insights, 51% of the US population listens to podcasts, which is impressive by all accounts, but it gets even better, because podcast audiences are extremely loyal, with 80% of them listening to all or most of the podcasts episodes. Furthermore, there are currently over 700,000 podcasts. Those numbers are more than enough to get you to think about including a niche podcast into your B2B marketing strategy.
We say niche because you don’t need to go wide or be as popular as Joe Rogan in order to generate leads and potential revenue with your podcast. In fact, most of your competitors don’t have a podcast yet. With that in mind, here is what you need to do.
Plan Your Podcasts
Because they are so cost-effective and easy to produce, podcasts have a low barrier to entry, which makes them an essential digital marketing strategy. However, despite their accessibility, you need to do more than just wing it, which is why you’ll have to come up with a short checklist which should at least include:
Subject - this is where your knowledge of your B2B customers kicks in since your choice of niche needs to be relevant both for your target audience and their preferences, as well as your products and/or services. For instance, if your niche podcast is about digital marketing, you can divide that overarching topic into more specific subjects which will be covered in different episodes, such as content marketing, social media, email marketing, video, and trends, just to name a few.
Title - here you need to have two things in mind. First, make sure that the title of your podcast is able to grab your audience’s attention. Second, you need to think about SEO, and include your keywords into your title and each of the episodes, much like you would with the title and subheadings of your blog post.
Format - the length of your podcasts depends on a lot of factors, but what we can tell you is that the median podcast duration across a 10 million podcasts is 38 minutes and 42 seconds. Apart from choosing a standard length (which can vary for some episodes), you should also decide on a schedule, format (step-by-step guide, interview, debate...), visuals, and hosts. Provide your audience with something consistent, so they know what to expect from you.
Invite Guests to Your Podcast
Whether you decide to make your podcasts average in length or to turn each one into a three-hour marathon, keep in mind that in both cases you have more than enough room to present your ideas and to establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche in the process. Let’s be honest, very few readers would spend that much time reading through your blog posts in one session. But, as important as it is to demonstrate your knowledge and provide valuable information to your B2B audience, not being a mic hog is even more crucial.
Invite guests as often as you can, because that approach works like a charm. For starters, it creates a discussion, which is far more interesting than hearing a single person speak. Also, when you invite an expert over, they get to share their knowledge of the subject which might exceed your own, which provides additional value to your audience. Then there is also the fact that your guests might have their own audience, which can mean additional exposure for your business.
But, you can also use your podcast to boost your lead generation by inviting high-value prospects as guests. This way, you can get some of the key figures in your industry on your podcast and engage them in a way that is very organic and non-salesy. And there are plenty of such potential guest out there since 44% of senior-level managers in LinkedIn check out podcasts when deciding on products and services for their companies.
Choose a Publishing Platform
After you have recorded your podcasts, you will need to find an appropriate service to which you will upload your audio file, such as Buzzsprout, or some other which provides enough features and which will serve you well in the long run. When it comes to actually publishing your podcast, you should not have any qualms about going with several different platforms, such as iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Google Play, among others. If you are recording video as well, going with YouTube is also a must.
Multiple platforms will enable to reach more of your target audience since they aren’t likely to hang out on just one platform. Finally, you need to create and submit an RSS feed for your podcast.
Promote the Hell out of It
This is where you can leverage the power of your existing marketing channels. Promote your podcast by using your social media, your official website, blog, as well as by using ads. Another good idea would be to set up separate social media accounts for your podcast, not just to keep your existing social media presence more streamlined, but also because you can produce additional content and claim your brand. You can also get all of the guest, experts, and influencers you’ve had on the show to mention you to their audience in order to promote your podcast even further.
You can even use your podcast to increase your revenue. Apart from obvious choices, such as featuring ads, sponsors, and tooting your own horn, you can include a call-to-action inside each of your episodes, and promote a specific landing page or a section of your website where your listeners can find more content and subscribe to your mailing list.
Monitor the Results
Tracking the results will enable you to gauge the level of traction your podcast has achieved with your audience. However, you will need to keep an eye on several different metrics, neither of which will tell you a complete story about your podcast. For instance, while unique downloads are a pretty clear measure of success, it can be tiresome to keep track of them across different platforms. Another metric which is important is the number of subscribers, even though some platforms might not be able to give you the most accurate subscriber data.
Also, it is important to identify the most popular channels through which your audience is finding and tuning into your podcast. That way, you can direct more of your time, effort, and resources toward those which have shown themselves as more effective. Finally, you can track user engagement on social media, which may be a bit more subjective.
The Bottom Line
Although producing a podcast takes time, you would be hard-pressed to find another marketing method through which you would be able to keep your audience engaged for such lengthy periods of time. And the longer you have their attention, the more you will be able to promote your business, generate leads, and grow your reputation inside the industry. Sounds like a nice trade-off, right?