How to make your B2B podcast stand out
“Podcasts can work really well for b2b brands, as they’re often targeting smaller audiences interested in more niche subject matter,” says Jess Pike, Head of Content, Spoon London. “It can also help them tick the thought leadership box too…”
If you are a senior exec in a content agency chances are that at some point in the last six months you have considered starting a podcast. b2b podcasts are all the rage at the moment. In almost every sector, from finance through to construction, b2b brands are using podcasts as a tool to increase brand awareness, show off their human side and most important of all drive new business.
And if you creating content for a living then shouldn’t you really have a podcast bearing your company name? We at the CMA certainly think so. For starters we see b2b content as pivotal – which is why we are hosting the b2b Bigger Breakfast in early June – you can get your tickets here.
We are also frequently asked by our members for help in producing podcasts. So we have already run several workshops which take newbies through the basics of podcasting. The next one is here.
So if you are thinking about creating a podcast, you are probably wondering how you make yours stand out – there is a lot of content out there. After talking to several of our members (Archant Dialogue, TCO London, News UK, Lansons and iProspect are all podcast producers), as well as some industry experts, we have come up with a list of ways in which you can make your podcast one that people will want to listen to.
Find an interesting topic
The classic mistake is to think ‘as an agency we need to do a podcast’ and then deliver one that simply highlights your clients and case studies in an unimaginative way. The key is to be creative and come up with an idea for a series – maybe six to eight episodes – that reflects your core messaging, but is a little more tangential. A really good example of this is Humble Pie by the Don’t Cry Wolf agency. Rather than simply talk about integrated communications (their core work) they have focused on humility as a topic, something that they see as being part of their DNA. Surely it is far better to create interesting content that reflects well on your agency but isn’t too salesy than something that is very upfront that no one will ever want to hear. And don’t be afraid of being personal. “Longer-form audio content allows brands to express what’s less obvious about themselves or their touchy-feely side much better – providing the content is compelling enough for the user of course,” says Howard Wilmot, Content Strategist, Dialogue.
Make sure you have the right people on board
“When it comes to podcasting, I think two hosts are better than one – but chemistry is key,” says Charlotte Ricca of Freehand Podcasts, which produces a number of b2b podcasts for agencies. “There is nothing worse than listening to two people who clearly don’t want to be in a room together. Make sure the people you choose to present your podcast are enthusiastic, entertaining and happy to bounce off each other.”
Choosing the presenter wisely is a view that’s echoed by Steven Arnoldi, Senior Producer, Lansons. “If brands are looking to create something of their own to support brand cut-through, or strengthen their thought leadership positioning, then they would also do well to invest in an entertaining and experienced host,” he argues.
Ensure it sounds professional
There are many ways of recording basic podcasts. One obvious way is by using Anchor, a podcast company that was recently acquired by Spotify. You simply fire up its online software and start chatting. However, podcasting is often a very intimate experience for the listener. They might be hearing your voice through headphones. So you need to make sure the quality is good and that volume levels are the same no matter who is speaking. Invest in some decent equipment. The Tascam DR-05 is a good basic starter if you are recording on the move, but if you intend to record in your office plump for something like this. Two other things to remember. Firstly if you record in your office, find a room that has a warm sound. Spaces with very little furniture in them such as an office pod can often end up sounding echoey. Also if you record interviews remotely at the very least use a product like Zoom which enables you to record the call and is consistently high quality.
Don’t expect an audience overnight
The podcasting world is pretty crowded and chances are that the only place Apple is likely to feature your podcast on its front page is in your dreams. First, you need to ensure that your podcast is widely distributed, so iTunes and Spotify are musts, but there are also lots of other platforms which will help extend your reach. Secondly, it takes time for podcasts to find their audience. You will need to plug away on social media, promote the podcast through your email marketing and a whole lot more before you begin to get any listeners. But keep plugging away. Word of mouth is still the main way that people find new podcasts to listen to.
Be prepared to invest
One other way people discover new podcasts is when they learn about them from other podcasts they listen to. So it might be worth taking an ad slot on a podcast that you think already has the ears of your target audience You can also do a podcast swap and speak on a complimentary podcast as their host appears on yours. The usual digital ad methods are also useful – so advertising through Google and LinkedIn might be appropriate.