8 Benefits of Podcasts for B2B Organizations
There's a glaring falsehood in marketing; clients make decisions based on rational, logical, and economic thinking. But, nothing could be further from the truth. People aren't looking to buy from companies anymore. Instead, they want to buy into them. The way businesses can do that is to break away from traditional, toneless public relations methods and speak directly to clients. And when we say "speak," we mean literally.
Let's look at the advantages of creating podcasts for b2b organizations.
Benefits of Podcasts for Business
In today's multi-channel marketing environment, leveraging and dispersing a marketing budget can be challenging. Of course, you want to be generating the best value for a business, and often the best ways to do that is through SEO, content, partnerships, paid advertising, sales (SDR), conferences, and networking events. The beauty of these channels is that they seem to benefit each other consistently. For example, SEO mapping defines content topics, attending networking events helps to form lucrative business partnerships, and paid advertising data can guide your SEO strategy. But, when it comes to investing in a B2B podcast, where exactly does it fit within your overall marketing strategy? Isn't it just maximum hassle for minimal ROI?
Downloads are notoriously tricky to track with any degree of accuracy. Plus, it seems everyone and their mom is creating a podcast. And, do you even have the in-house talent to get it off the ground?
Well, a B2B podcast is easier to create than you think, and in terms of ROI, it can interweave itself within several marketing channels.
Partnerships, connections, and long-term relationships can be formed by having quality guests on the show. Podcasts also create deeper engagement compared to other avenues. For example, over 90% percent of people who start a podcast listen to most (if not all) of an episode compared to just 12% for video.
SEO can be uplifted through repurposing your audio into written content and publishing it across multiple channels. Sales and deals can be initiated through the relationships that are formed with your podcast guests and the audiences that tune in. The audio format and portability of smartphones allows you to reach people where you couldn't before; on their commute to work, at the gym, doing chores, etc.
You are essentially sitting right at the very top of the funnel by building brand awareness and affinity. It's such an intimate format, and because of that automatically projects an air of authenticity.
With today's constantly changing content demands, running a business has become far more complex. And, B2B podcasts is certainly a quickly developing technological and content creation avenue that can bring a worthwhile modification to any marketing strategy.
Is a Podcast Right For Your B2B Business?
For most marketing aficionados, you will already have a deep understanding of the value that typical content channels hold. Videos, blogs, and social content all have their place in the overall marketing strategy. But what about podcasts? Can podcasts be the missing puzzle piece in your B2B marketing strategy?
Podcasts pose an opportunity to generate qualified leads and brand advocates, but before you jump into producing a B2B branded podcast right this minute, there are some aspects that need to be considered.
What are your business goals and objectives?
Standard podcast measurements such as subscriptions, downloads, and Apple Podcast chart rankings are less important for B2B podcasts, and here's why. While these statistics can be used to show the growth and influence of a regular podcast, for B2B shows, the ROI objectives should be the same as any other content marketing avenue; to create an overall positive impact on your business.
- Goals establish where you intend your podcast to go in terms of metrics and results. Are you looking to generate deeper connections with prospective partners? Or, do you want to establish brand awareness and thought leadership? Goals help improve your overall effectiveness as a company.
- Objectives are the individual steps you and your company need to take in order to reach each of your ideal podcasting goals. They specify what you must do and their deadlines.
Stats and data are great. We know this. You know this. They're what can help you tweak and adjust your content and push you through the right doors to get to the people your business needs to be reaching. But, with B2B podcasts, the numbers shouldn't matter so much. It's the quality of the leads you generate and how your messaging bolsters your brand that should be the aim of the game.
Are your competitors doing it?
Are your competitors creating a podcast? Well, the short answer is, probably, yes. Or, at the very least they're considering it.
We all know that podcasts are exploding in popularity- we've seen the headlines and looked at the stats. And while to an outsider looking in, the industry seems oversaturated with thousands of like-for-like shows, the truth is, it isn't.
For a business ready to start a podcast, your primary focus should be on identifying your Unique Value Proposition (UVP). Your UVP is a statement that describes the benefits you offer, how you solve a prospect's needs, and what uniquely sets you apart from the competition.
- Relevancy. How can your podcast solve problems or improve a listener's situation?
- Quantified value. Deliver specific benefits through unique industry knowledge
- Differentiation. How you'll tell your ideal listener why they should invest in you and not from the competition.
Speaking of competition, programs like Rephonic are ideal for scoping out your competitors. By using their "Audience Graph," you can search for any podcast and view all the "Listeners Also Subscribed To" data displayed in an interactive 3D map.
A tool like Rephonic provides you with an overview of the podcasts your target audience is already listening to and offers you an opportunity to do some quality market research to help direct your podcast's content.
Does your ideal audience listen to podcasts?
According to an Edison's Infinite Dial report, most podcast listeners fit within the younger age brackets, with over half of all listeners ranging between the ages 12 to 34. Within that range, 42% claim to tune into at least 3 podcasts regularly. But you mustn't think that podcasts miss the more senior-level listeners entirely. In fact, almost 25% of consumers 55+ listen to podcasts on a monthly basis.
44% of senior-level decision-makers including department heads, VPs, owners and C-suite executives, specifically make time to listen to podcasts.
Audio has some major advantages over written content. For key decision-makers, reading information is a one-task-at-a-time affair. Whereas listening to podcasts is great for multitasking. It saves them time, energy, and brain space.
When it comes to ideal audiences you have to also take into account that it's not only about the who, but also the where people are listening to podcasts. Statistica revealed that a total of 90 percent of surveyed podcast listeners in the US reported listening to podcasts during their leisure time at home, in the car or at the gym.
However, competition for the B2B podcast space is starting to gain traction. The Content Marketing Institute found that over a fifth of surveyed B2B marketers are beginning to incorporate podcasting as part of their content marketing efforts.
So, does your ideal audience listen to podcasts? The short answer- yes.
Statistics on b2b podcasts
In a world of uncertainty, having the data at your fingertips is essential. So, here are some statistics that could help convince you that creating a B2B podcast might be a worthy marketing option.
- A Nielsen study found that 45% of podcast listeners more likely to have an household income of at least $250k, while also being 51% more likely to be working in a management.
- Edison Research saw that 74% say they listen to podcasts to learn new things.
- Neilsen found that 52 million households listen to business podcasts.
- 54% of podcast consumers say that they are likely to consider the brands they hear advertised on podcasts. (Edison Research)
- Millennials and Gen Z are 5% more likely to listen to podcasts for professional reasons than older generations.
In a report commissioned by the BBC, organizations with branded podcasts saw:
- 89% higher awareness
- 57% higher brand consideration
- 24% higher brand favorability
- 14% higher purchase intent
- 12% higher memory encoding than other forms of content
- 16% higher engagement
Benefits of Podcasts for b2b Organizations
B2B podcasting is swiftly catching up to where content marketing was at years ago. As a result, we're seeing new tools on the market that make launching, promoting, and monetizing podcasts easier. While the numbers of branded podcasts are steadily rising, there's no sign that this emerging marketing discipline is about to overflow. So, here are some of the benefits of podcasts for b2b organizations.
1. Thought Leadership
A thought leader is someone with real expertise on a specific topic who strives to share it with the world without asking for anything in return. It's someone who goes out of their way to create genuine pillar content- the kind of consumables that could be considered as "flagship content." Not just throwaway blog posts for the sake of churning out content.
And this is what podcasts can achieve for most B2B podcasters. About half of B2B decision-makers say thought leadership content influences their purchasing decisions. With a podcast, brands gain the opportunity to showcase their expertise in an easy to consume format. Personally answer questions, interview other industry experts, pre-tackle any objections and build a stronger sense of trust amongst prospective clients.
As you may know, prospects in B2B spaces are notoriously harder to bring on board than say those in B2C.Often, it can take longer to complete the overall sales cycle. Then actually acquiring those clients can take even more elbow grease.
But developing a "knowledge-first" orientated podcast will help to instill trust in their minds before you've even had the first conversation.
2. Brand Awareness
One of the biggest hurdles any brand strives to overcome is generating brand awareness and getting in front of their ideal audience. In layman's terms, brand awareness is the measure of how memorable or recognizable a brand and its content is.
Fancy a coffee? You head for Starbucks. Have a burning question? You Google it. Need some new sneakers? You probably go for a pair of Nikes. All these brands are the epitome of brand awareness and recognizability.
For most businesses, they're not close to that level of visibility. But branded podcasts are a new way forward for those of us who aren't within that multi-billion-dollar company bracket. Research shows that podcasts can drastically impact brand awareness with an uplift of 24% to 79%- 30x more than other traditional channels.
It's because podcasts interact with listeners on a deeply personal level. Even if a consumer isn't looking to buy, they may just be searching for information or guidance – something that you may be offering. By delivering that information in an engaging and personable way, that consumer will have your name, voice, and podcast at the top of mind as the go-to within your industry.
3. Create Scalable Content
When it comes to B2B marketing, a sound content strategy is critical.
Ask any content professional, and they will tell you how labor-intensive it is to produce just one piece of high-quality content. But what if a single podcast episode can do all of the legwork for you?
Recycling and repurposing podcast episodes is one of the easiest ways to get the maximum return on your content investment- and then some! You could generate long-form blog content, show notes, email newsletters, and social media captions from transcripts from a single episode.
Or, for more aesthetic content, convert segments of your audio into audiograms, quote images, shareable infographics, YouTube videos, slide presentations, or even webinars.
Repurposing your podcast also helps with your SEO efforts. Google hasn't quite got a handle on indexing audio (yet), so having optimized written content is a must. By ensuring your repurposed content is in alignment with your targeted keywords and incorporates backlinks, internal links, imaging, transcripts, and video, you'll undoubtedly see an overall uplift.
4. Good for an on-the-go audience
If you're a marketer, how many times have you heard a client, a lead, or even a team member utter the excuse, I didn't have the time? Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, people's lives are busy- that's just a reality marketers have to try and overcome.
However, 65% of podcast consumers are most likely to listen on a mobile device. This offers consumers the opportunity to consume audio content during a period of downtime. For example, during the work commute, washing the dishes, walking the dog, or getting our sweat on at the gym.
Users just need to download an app like Castbox or Apple Podcasts, find a podcast that interests them, and press play. By and large, podcast platforms are searchable, with podcast directories typically categorizing shows by genre or topic. That means listeners can potentially stumble upon your podcast without any prior knowledge of your brand.
5. Grow a network of ideal customers and clients
Ideally, your podcast should target high-level decision-makers, senior influencers and experts in your industry or niche. Meet and build relationships with your ideal buyers through a B2B podcast. Your podcast can become a new method of networking that allows you to reverse-engineer relationships with the exact people you want to know.
So, instead of relying on chance encounters, you make it happen. Podcasts are a great low-friction way to build an audience within your target market, and the same can be said for the internal network aspect.
Seek out your ideal clients, someone who has expertise and insight into your industry, and ask them to be on your show. So, what’s the benefit of that?
For your guest:
- Exposure to a new audience of podcast subscribers with similar industry interests.
- Getting a FREE highly produced piece of shareable audio content.
- The opportunity to refine their ideas and thoughts relating to a specific topic.
- Look like an industry superstar-legend
For your brand:
- Fresh insights and incredibly useful content that your audience will value.
- Industry wisdom you may not understand or be aware of.
- Building genuine relationships (and dare we say friendships) with decision-makers within companies that could eventually purchase from you.
6. Amplify voices from within your company
Behind most successful businesses and brands are a few unsung heroes helping to make the cogs move so that the machine keeps moving. Branded podcasts can provide the opportunity to give your crew the shout-out they deserve. Asking team members to speak to a broad audience on their expertise presents a positive internal and external company culture. The best part about it, it offers listeners a chance to get to know and relate to the people behind the brand.
If the team has experienced a successful product launch, interview the team members who made it happen and give them space to outline their part in the success story. In addition, if there are specific initiatives aimed at celebrating diversity and inclusion within the workplace, give those groups the chance to speak. When people are excited to share their work, and they're given the platform to do so, you can help forge a productive, inspiring, and loyal workforce that will radiate to your target audience.
7. B2B podcasts humanize brands
A baby can form an immediate bond with its mother in the womb, just from hearing her voice. When it comes to marketing a business or brand, the similarities between fostering infant affection and customer relationships are uncanny. It's all about voices.
Paul Cash, the co-author of Humanizing B2B, believes that B2B marketing has lost its humanity. Speaking about the past, Paul says, "B2B marketing was done by knowledgeable, expert salespeople who made real connections with their customers." Whether you consider that statement true or not, there's hope for us yet.
Authentic voices from those in the business trenches are what bring your organization to life and create emotional connections. Because let's face it, after a while products or services within similar industries can start to look the same. Therefore, the decision-making often comes down to price.
But a voice can change all that. People want to buy from brands when they feel an emotional connection, because we trust people more than we trust companies or products.
8. Simple to Create & Cost-Effective
Podcasts can be cost-effective and (relatively) easy to produce. Therefore, from a marketing strategy standpoint, they are often hailed as a more affordable way to reach customers than other advertising channels. All you need is a good microphone, headphones, editing software, and a hosting site. Depending on your time and budget, outsourcing certain elements could be an option. Multiple agencies can assist with everything from booking guests, high-production editing and publishing to transcription, and promotional strategies. But, if you are stretched in terms of budget, you shouldn't discount your existing staff. The diversification of your team's skillset could be put to great use, especially within areas such as editing, design, and publishing.
B2B podcast marketing can be a great way to reach a highly targeted audience, and build trust in a way that few other forms of content can achieve. But it's a timely process. Slowly integrate podcasting into your overall marketing strategy. The growth of this industry and media format, plus the recent improvements in targeting at competitive CPMs make it an option for reaching niche audiences. It's currently not a question of if a podcast will fit in your B2B digital marketing strategy, but how.