Have You Thought of a B2B Podcast?
What do you listen to as you drive home at the end of the work day? Drive-time radio? That CD you’ve had in the player for months because you don’t keep any others around? Most likely, you’re listening to something through your phone — streaming music, an audiobook or, if you’re like a growing number of people, your favorite podcast.
In case you’re out of the loop: A podcast is an audio file that can be downloaded or streamed and functions similarly to a radio show, often with hosts directing conversation. They usually specialize in one or two categories such as comedy, news, finance, science… the list goes on as long as you can imagine.
For years, podcasts have been an arena left to entertainers and hobbyists. Recently, though, more businesses have clued in to the myriad benefits offered by this up-and-coming marketing channel. If you’ve never given any thought as to how a podcast might figure into your marketing strategy, consider the following.
Podcasts don’t have rules.*
*OK, so there’s one rule: They do need to be listenable and engaging. But beyond that, the sky’s the limit.
If you’re wondering about how you’re going to fill X minutes with decent content, you’re thinking too inside the box. Unlike a radio program, there is no allotted schedule to stick to or minimum amount of programming time to meet. Whether you’re offering a two-minute recap of industry news or a 30-minute deep dive into one topic, you have listeners waiting to hear it.
Podcasts are great for showing off.
So now that we’ve established the possibilities, consider what you might do with them. Maybe your business made a list of leading companies in diversity, or maybe you’ve been recognized as an innovator in your space. Sure, those look good on a press release, but how about an interview with your head of diversity and inclusion or director of marketing? Podcasts bring a human element that cannot be matched by any piece of writing.
Maybe your general counsel has some thoughts on a recent court ruling that other companies can’t afford to not listen to. Maybe, like above, you earned an accolade and want to proudly display it. Maybe you’re over the moon about your employees and want to spend a little bit of time showcasing what they bring to your business. All three of these examples are perfect podcast fodder — and more importantly, they highlight what makes your business special: your people.
Podcasts have a low barrier to entry.
There was a time when a podcasting setup might resemble a full-fledged recording studio, but things are different now. As technology advances, studio-quality microphones can now be found for $100 or less, and audio editing software like Audacity is available online free of charge.
If the nuts and bolts of audio recording are too much, note that for a relatively small fee, one can hire a podcast consultant, many of whom offer editing and sound engineering services as well as a studio space to record. Yes, that’s a little bit of an investment, but it’s a worthwhile one when you consider the next point.
Advertising opportunities are limitless for podcasts.
If you’re a frequent podcast listener, you’ve probably heard of brands like Squarespace or Audible, both of whom are prolific podcast sponsors. That’s because they know something many other companies are beginning to wake up to: Podcasts are an excellent way to get your name in front of listeners’ eyes (or at least in their ears).
This means that, in addition to advertising your own solutions and services, your business podcast can become its own source of revenue by showcasing naturally connected companies. For example, if you provide advice for small businesses on your podcast, you might partner with a local recruiter for a mutually beneficial sponsorship deal. How many other marketing channels exist out there that allow you to get paid while promoting your own company?
Market research company eMarketer estimates that 73 million Americans listened to at least one podcast per month in 2018, a number that is expected to surpass 80 million in the coming years. Your target audience is out there, and they’re waiting. Why are you?