Why B2B Marketers Should Be Podcasting
The podcast craze is gaining speed, with series like “Serial” and “This American Life” winning over the ears of millions of listeners across the world. But why haven’t business to business (“B2B”) marketers learned the value of podcasting? What’s the inherent value, if any of creating podcasts to get your business’s message into the ears and through the minds of other businesses? The founder of a highly popular podcast that surveys the Israeli startup scene “Startup Camel,” Itamar Zur (firstname.lastname@example.org) gave us some pointers on how to make the most of podcast media, with these podcasting tips for B2B marketers.
What you will learn in this Oktocast:
-What is a podcast and how you can use it in your B2B marketing?
-The HUGE opportunity that too many marketers are missing out on.
-How do you reach your first 1000 listeners with zero paid media?
-How do you build a story that will fascinate both listeners and potential interviewees?
-How to define a target audience for your podcast?
-Bottomline: What are the 3 elements of a successful podcast
-What is the BEST way to start?
What is a podcast and how can I use it?
If those titles above sound completely foreign to you, you may not know what a podcast is. Basically, a podcast is a radio show that can be found on the Internet – be it on YouTube, the iTunes, Stitcher or other media channels. Podcasts allow anyone to listen to any kind of content that they are interested in, at anytime, whether they are in their car on the way to work or fixing dinner in the kitchen.
The fill of podcast listeners in constantly growing, with iTunes, the largest platform for downloading podcasts, reporting over 100 million podcast download each month. With so many people looking for accessible content that they can relate to, podcasts present an excellent opportunity for marketers to tell their story to millions of podcast listeners. Some companies have realized that the diversity of content available on podcasts opens up a valuable marketing opportunity, but there are still many who have yet to take advantage of its customer reaching potential.
The HUGE opportunity that too many marketers are missing out on:
The importance of podcasting comes into focus when you compare it to how much time a person spends reading an article they see on social media. Unless the article is very well written, most people won’t spend more than two minutes engaging. However, when you listen to a podcast, you really listen to it, and even for 30 minutes. At this time, the listener is paying full attention, making them more responsive and presenting a great opportunity for marketers to present their story.
For B2B marketers, the ease of podcasts, as opposed to written content, is another huge plus. Podcasting doesn’t involve too many resources: a good microphone, speedy Internet access, and of course good ideas for content that makes the listeners think. It’s relatively easy to learn how to podcast from articles on the web, there are free platforms to upload podcasts like Stitcher and some companies even podcast it over Skype!
How do you reach your first 1000 listeners with zero paid media?
Of course, anyone can buy media on social media channels to gain traction for their podcast, but often the resources aren’t there for B2B companies. That means B2B marketers need to get entrepreneurial, making sure that the content broadcast on the podcast is high in quality by introducing interesting and engaging interviewees that can become their partners in building the show. Eventually, when you are able to build up enough credential to bring on high profile interviewees, this helps the brand gain traction with other businesses that too see the invaluable opportunity to tell their company’s story on your channel.
Once the channel attracts attention and the content variety and quality grows, it’s worthwhile recommending the channel to a publisher for introduction on their platforms. With your channel published in a number of locations, you’re bound to gain more listeners and reach way more than one thousand listeners. Ultimately, the goal is to have your channel reach the “New and Noteworthy” tab on the largest platform for podcasts, iTunes. This can sometimes take two to three months, but that time is critical for building up good and consistent content that will make your channel reach and appeal to more podcasters.
How do you build a story that will fascinate both listeners and potential interviewees?
For many companies, the story is already there and marketers are those that know how to tell it best, but how do you translate your story in content for a podcast? Quality content lies in understanding what your listener is looking for and this means two things: knowing your story and targeting listeners who you think will be interested in your content. Some of the most successful podcasts like “Cracked” have episodes that are 90 minutes long and some that are 15 minutes long. Podcasts are all about tweaking your content to keep your listeners engaged and remaining consistent with telling your story. Podcasters look for a storyline to follow.
It may sound daunting, but thinking up diverse and rich content for your podcast is really all about organization; setting goals for your progress and making sure that you are getting content out on a weekly basis. There’s the entire process of finding an interviewee, sending them the questions, conducting the interview, editing the podcast, writing up additional content and posting it. One way that I find best to manage the tasks on my team is with a platform called DaPulse that allows you to visually view your progress, to manage progress, the status of each step and to communicate with your team about what needs to happen next. Even if it’s not DaPulse, set up a schedule for who will do what on your team of podcasters to make sure that your content is consistent weekly.
How to define a target audience for your podcast?
Targeting your audience is key if your want your podcast to gain traction so you have to market it in the right places at the right times. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are important for getting your content out there, and on a consistent basis. If you post your podcast with a picture and an interesting headline once a day, potential listeners will most likely miss it. However, you if build up enough content to post three to four times a day, that could really boost your marketing exposure to potential listeners and in even in specific geographic locations.
This is where the benefit of target social media advertising comes into play, and one platform that really helps with that is Oktopost. On my own podcast “Startup Camel”, we saw a 500 percent increase in the number of listeners using Oktopost’s platform which basically helps you target the best potential listeners on all the social media channels. From Facebook, LinkedIn to Twitter, Oktopost is the back office I set up once a week for all of my posts, giving me the opportunity to continue thinking up great content for next week’s show. Basically, all of the social media marketing for your podcast is taken care of.
Bottomline: What are the 3 elements of a successful podcast
Zack Cutler, a writer for “Entrepreneur” came out with a post not too long ago entitled “5 Steps to a Successful Post”. According to him, the five steps where:
- Start with a mission: Cutler actually mentioned our podcast “Startup Camel” in the article, noting that the passion of our mission, sharing the stories of Israeli startups, held true to the podcast rule of “being underlaid with a specific purpose”.
- Craft a clever name: The name of the show should catch the attention of your target audience, so make it creative.
- Secure interesting interviewees
- Produce high-quality audio
- Attract sponsors: After you have enough listeners, you can monetize the show with company sponsorships and other partnerships, like with publishers.
Top three key elements Itamar suggests are:
- Sound quality
- Know your story
- Master the production process
What is the BEST way to start your podcast?
Like Omer Perchik, the founder of Any.do, once said in an interview with Startup Camel to aspiring entrepreneurs is two words–“just start.” Don't wait to learn, just start, learn on the way, and be lean.