How to Grow a B2B Podcast: 6 Best Practices
By: Amy Collins
Demand Generation, Content Marketing, Marketing
Who doesn’t love a good podcast?
Whether it’s on our favourite TV shows, true crime, or even food, there’s something for all of us.
And the B2B marketing podcast space is no exception. It’s really taken off over the last few years. 🚀
Meaning if you want to make waves in B2B podcasting, you’d better jump on it quick
And we’ve got you - we spoke to Fernando Amaral, the VP of Marketing at Landbot. He shared the secrets behind the success of his podcast Ungated.
Scroll 👇 to find out how to grow your own chart-topping B2B podcast. 📈
Why podcasts are good for brand awareness
Lots of B2B brands have started including podcasting in their strategic planning - but why?
Fernando shared his thoughts:
“While revenue is the ultimate objective, podcasting is a brand awareness play. It’s a great way to increase brand awareness and trust.”
Most marketers will understand the importance of increasing brand awareness - today, podcasting is a key part of that.
Why should B2B companies invest in podcasts?
Consider it like a funnel. You can only capture demand at the bottom if you’re making sure there’s a healthy flow coming in at the top.
A podcast is a great way to:
- Get in front of potential future buyers and create demand at the top of the ‘funnel’.
- Give an inside view of the brand, values and personalities within the business.
- Educate listeners with lessons from your team.
- Stay top of mind and grow mental availability.
If you’ve decided to include podcasting in your B2B marketing strategy for the year ahead - then stay tuned. We have some top tips, coming right up! 🚀
1. Find your niche
As with any smart business decision - you want to try to stand out from the crowd and do something no one else is doing.
That means finding your niche topic or unique way of delivering your podcast that makes your audience tune in every episode.
For example at Cognism, our marketing podcast, The Loop, aims to speak to senior marketers and leaders about what tactics work in the modern landscape as B2B buyer behaviour changes.
And with any content we produce, we want to deliver value-led actionable advice that marketers can take away and apply today.
Finding your unique take on podcasting might take a bit of ideating. But it’s well worth taking the time to define your concept; you want to ensure you’re creating something that people actually want to listen to.
Fernando makes his podcast different from the rest by opening his podcasts with a specific question, ‘What do you love about marketing?’.
He explained why:
“We’re trying to run away from the typical introduction. It’s an opportunity for the guests to introduce themselves, but in a different way. It’s a bit more engaging. And I find it a bit boring when someone goes on and on about their previous jobs.”
2. Devise a strategy
Here comes the age-old question:
What should come first, the guest - or the topic?
And the answer lies in your podcasting strategy.
The Loop podcast aims to engage senior marketers. Therefore it’s vital to have senior marketers as guests to discuss topics that are of interest to this audience.
So we choose our guest first and then find a relevant topic within the Cognism narrative to discuss.
However, if you have a very specific message to communicate that not all guests can speak about - then you may wish to approach this the other way around.
“For us, it started with the guests. Because we did have some people we knew we wanted to have on the podcast, via networks.”
However, Fernando decided to change tact, instead focusing on one specific topic to add value for the listener:
“It’s good to focus on a specific topic for the podcast. Because for the listener, it’s what they’re going to learn from the episode. And then once you’ve chosen the topic, choose the relevant guest.”
3. Research your episodes
Preparation prevents poor performance - and that’s no different in the podcasting world.
We don’t mean scripting out the episode to the letter. But research is a key element in making your episode go smoothly.
Here are some tips:
- It’s only fair to make sure you know a bit about your guest (should you be including external guests on your podcast) or topic you’re talking about.
- Your questions and conversations are going to be a lot more interesting if you’ve taken the time to develop a storyline. No boring, standard, expected questions are going to impress.
Fernando shared his tip for preparing interview questions:
“We use an agency to manage some of the podcast process and they’ve shared a cheat code on their website.”
“They have a guide that’s available online that tells you how to research the questions. And the main takeaway from it is to identify the guest’s unique point of view.”
Fernando also stressed that:
“An amazing conversation starter will help the guest to be passionate.”
The better you know your guest, the more you’ll be able to ask them the questions that get them to open up.
“We listen to other podcasts that the guest has been on, read their articles, stalk their social media accounts and see what they’re currently talking about.”
4. Lead with value
You might be rolling your eyes at this as it’s a magic phrase us marketers love to use!
What does ‘value-led’ really mean?
To us, it means really knowing the audience you’re trying to serve.
- Who’s your ideal listener?
- What’s their role title?
- What industry are they in?
- What size of company do they work for?
- What kind of processes do they use?
- How easy is it for them to influence decision-making in their company?
- Are they looking for content to educate themselves? Be entertained? Both?
The more granular you can get on your podcast’s audience, the more tailored you can make your content.
This will better serve them the ‘value’ as you can offer specific examples that they can relate to. Guests that they’ll tune in for. Advice they can actually use.
Or even just entertainment value they can share with their colleagues!
5. Create a new brand
You might be thinking that branding your new podcast might be overkill - you can just rely on your company brand, right?
Well, you might want to reconsider. Fernando attributes a lot of the success from The Ungated Podcast (that achieved 10,000 listeners in just 30 days, by the way..!) to the way they branded it.
“We moved away from the Landbot brand and purely focused on the content. It was completely separate from Landbot - visually we created a new brand.”
They then used this new brand image to make visually appealing snippets to promote the new episodes.
“We decided to do 3 micro-videos for social media, for each episode. We wanted to maximise the opportunity to get some hits both on our own social media profiles and also on our guest’s own social media profiles.” 📹
6. Track the right metrics
Once your B2B podcast is up and running, you’ll want to know how it’s doing.
Well first off, you need to set clear objectives and goals. Fernando said:
“To begin, we were only making sure we were consistent with our publishing of the podcast. 8 episodes in 8 weeks was the only goal.”
Because in the early stages of a new podcast, getting a regular cadence is the most important thing to establish. Consistency is key.
But as time has gone on, the metrics he tracked changed:
“The metric right now is downloads. Because the main objective is creating an audience. And not just [an audience] of any people. We look at the country and the type of people that are engaging with the content.”
Similarly, for Cognism’s The Loop podcast, we are more concerned with whether the people engaging with our podcast are in our target audience, rather than with sheer volume of listeners.
Other examples of metrics you can track are:
- Consumption rate - how many listeners are staying engaged the whole way through the episode?
- Number of unique listeners - the number of individual devices listening to your episode.
- Ratings and reviews - are you getting positive qualitative feedback? Is your podcast rated highly?
Should you use an agency?
You might have noticed earlier in this article that Fernando mentioned he’d lent on the support of an agency.
And this is absolutely an option for B2B companies with the budget to start a podcast, but who may not have the resources in-house to manage the process for themselves.
The agency you use is up to you - but Fernando found success with Sweet Fish Media as they specialise in B2B tech companies.
This meant the podcast team and the agency were on the same page and he could cherry-pick from Sweet Fish Media’s expertise 🍒
“We chose the ideas we liked, and then didn’t pay as much attention to the ideas that weren’t necessarily a good fit for us.”
“We also still needed a team for the technical aspects of the podcast. For example, the audio engineers, because there’s a lot of time-consuming work there. And we didn’t have anyone in-house, so the agency was really important for us.”
Growing a B2B podcast: the last word
Starting any new marketing activity is a trial and error process.
It’s about finding out what works for your business. You can’t copy what another company is doing and have it guaranteed to work for you.
The only way you’re going to learn what works is to start testing and iterating.