Remember “audioblogging”? The first audioblogs, or podcasts, were introduced more than 20 years ago. In the decades since, podcasting has evolved from these clunky first recordings into a billion-dollar industry. In the past five years, it’s ramped up even faster, with podcast listenership doubling worldwide since 2016.
A large number of podcast listeners are young professionals: a survey of 1,000 people conducted by US-based EX-IQ, a learning platform company, found that one-third of millennials listen to podcasts each day. The survey also found that those earning higher wages (34% of those making $50K to $75K USD per year, and 32% of those making $75K to $100K USD) are also listening to podcasts daily.
So what’s behind this surge in popularity for podcasts?
A lot of it is due to advancements in the technology, which have made it a lot easier to create and distribute podcasts. And part of it is our unstoppable craving for content, whether it’s to entertain or inform. Of course, one major advantage of podcasts is that they can be listened to anywhere – in the car, while doing chores at home, or when out for a walk. (Interestingly, the EX-IQ survey also found that many people listen to podcasts at work. Of the 1,000 people surveyed, 42% of millennials, 36% of Gen Z, and 25% of all other generations reported listening to podcasts in the workplace. )
Podcasts are emerging as a powerful marketing tool for B2B.
The same things that make podcasts so attractive to consumers – they’re entertaining, portable, and informative – can be just as compelling for B2B audiences. In fact, B2B organizations are uniquely positioned to create great podcasts. You’ve got the experts and expertise that is of value to your audiences. With a little bit of effort, you can turn that expertise into podcasts that highlight your experts, and help you build awareness and thought leadership.
These are some things to think about if you’re considering launching a podcast series:
Decide what the focus of your podcast series will be.
If you’re a tech company, you could cover technology trends as they relate to your industry, choosing your guests from inside and outside your company. A hospital could create podcasts on medical conditions, to help educate patients with diabetes, for example, with interviews with doctors and other specialists. An engineering company could focus on technology and projects relating to green energy. Choose a focus area that’s broad enough to allow you to come up with multiple topics – and experts – to last through a podcast series.
Build an editorial schedule with episode topics and guests/experts. Decide how many podcasts you want to include in your series, and choose the topic and guest for each episode.
Choose an engaging format.
The best format is to have a regular host, who interviews experts from your organization, or invited guests. A good host keeps the conversation lively and on topic, ensuring an enjoyable experience for listeners.
Invest in recording equipment.
Your phone will not provide you with an adequate recording quality. At a minimum, you’ll need a microphone that can deliver a high-quality recording (these start at about 300 euros), and an interface to connect it to your computer. This will allow you to use separate microphones for the host and the guest. You’ll also want to have headsets for those who will be speaking, and a sound absorbing screen for the location you record in.
Organize multiple recording sessions on a single day.
Maximize your time, and the schedules of your guests, by grouping multiple recording sessions together. Or record multiple sessions with a single guest, each on a different topic or angle.
Maximize your content.
Once you’ve recorded a podcast, you can use and re-use the content in multiple ways. Transcribe it into one or multiple blogposts, turn it into a thought leadership article, or use audio clips on your website or on social media.
Work with an agency to produce professional-quality results. When it comes to a podcast, you want top-quality production standards. If you don’t have the time or inclination to do the production portion yourself, you can partner with an agency to organize everything from providing a professional host to managing all production, including adding music intros and extros, and editing. Your agency can also handle distribution for you, uploading your podcast to key podcast platforms (Spotify, Google, Apple and others).
And last but not least there’s the content.
What will you talk about, which message do you want to cast, who will convey the message? Developing the right theme for a podcast programme is key to an attractive concept. Do you want to invite KOL’s to increase the impact of your programme?
Want to learn more about launching a podcast? At Living Stone, we support multiple clients who have introduced podcast series, providing hosts in some cases, and full production services. If you’d like to find out how you could add a podcast to your marketing lineup, contact Anne-Mie, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call at +32 (0)55 59 10 01.