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Set Up a Podcast: A 5 Step Guide for B2B Businesses

Content Marketing
Podcast mic and headphones

Podcasting can be used as a potent tool to enhance brand visibility, engage with a professional audience, and position oneself as an industry thought leader. Planning and executing a successful podcast, however, goes beyond just hitting the record button. This guide provides a step-by-step roadmap for B2B businesses looking to leverage podcasting as an effective inbound marketing program. 

Step 1: Define Podcast Goals and Audience Insights

Whether it’s lead generation, brand awareness, or establishing authority, defining your goals shapes your content strategy and success metrics, defining goals are fundamental to success.  Goals will not only shape your content strategy but also help you measure the success of your podcasting efforts.

Equally crucial is crafting a detailed listener profile, considering factors such as industry, occupation, interests, and challenges, to ensure your content resonates and adds value​​​​. Creating a detailed listener persona involves understanding their industry, occupation, interests, and challenges. Knowing your audience allows you to tailor your content, making it more relevant and valuable to them. 

For example, if your target listeners are SaaS sales teams, your podcast could provide actionable insights and strategies to help them boost revenue, using a mix of solo and interview-based episodes to tap into diverse expertise​​.

Step 2: Plan Your Content Strategically 

Your podcast should mirror your brand’s expertise and ethos while offering fresh insights. Conducting a competitive analysis can unveil your unique angle in the crowded podcast space. Deciding on a theme, format, and episode frequency upfront will help maintain consistency and listener engagement​​​​.

  • Set a Clear Format:
    Begin by defining the type of podcast you want to create, such as an interview-style or roundtable discussion format. Establish clear goals for each episode, including the desired outcome and how you’ll measure success. Consider the attainability, importance, narrow scope, measurability, and time limit of your goals to ensure they are well-defined​​.
  • Study Competitors:
    Analyze your competitors’ podcasts to gather ideas on topics, publishing frequency, guest types, and overall positioning. Listening from a neutral perspective can help identify what works well and where there may be gaps in your content strategy​​.
  • Choose the Right Distribution Channels:
    Select the right platforms to distribute your podcast, such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. The choice of channels can significantly impact your podcast’s reach and audience engagement​​.
  • Develop a Content Plan:
    Outline your content plan, including episode topics, formats, and promotional strategies. A well-structured content plan ensures consistency and helps manage the podcast creation process more efficiently, preventing burnout and ensuring resourceful use of your time and effort​​.
  • Invest in a Creative Strategy:
    Researching and speaking to your target audience can help you define a unique position for your podcast in the market. Decide on your podcast’s unique hook, scope of content, publishing cadence, and style to make your show stand out​​.
  • Utilize Visual Platforms:
    Consider publishing your podcast on YouTube to attract listeners who prefer visual content or are more likely to discover podcasts through video platforms. YouTube also allows for easy embedding on websites and social media, increasing visibility and potential revenue through ads and sponsorships​​.

Each step, from understanding your audience to developing a content plan, contributes to a coherent and impactful podcast strategy that resonates with listeners and supports your business goals.

Step 3: Invest in Good Production Quality and SEO Optimization

Whether produced in-house or with a professional team, ensuring high audio quality is non-negotiable for maintaining listener interest. 

Investing in good equipment, such as a high-quality microphone, headphones, and possibly a camera for video podcasts, is essential as your podcast career grows. Professional recording software is also important for capturing high-quality audio and video, ideally offering features like separate track recording for more editing control and at least 1080p video resolution and 48kHz audio for recordings​​.

Optimizing your podcast for SEO, with strategic keywords in titles and descriptions, enhances discoverability across platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts. 

YouTube can serve as an additional channel, with video chapters and playlists further boosting your content’s reach​​​​. YouTube’s search benefits, alongside improved user experience with video chapters and playlists, offer another channel for your podcast to be discovered and engaged with by a wider audience​​.

Google now indexes audio content, which means podcasts can appear in search results, providing a significant opportunity for increased visibility. Always remember to create separate pages for each podcast episode on your website, incorporating keyword-rich texts to describe the episode’s content, which can help individual episodes rank for specific topics​​​.

Enhancing the production quality and SEO optimization of your podcast leads to better listener experiences and increased discoverability of your content across various platforms.

Step 4: Plan Your Launch and Distribution Tactics

A robust launch with multiple episodes can captivate listeners and encourage subscriptions, presenting your podcast as a credible resource from the outset. Launching with multiple episodes, for example, can provide immediate value to your listeners, encouraging binge listening and increasing the likelihood of subscriptions. This tactic presents your podcast as a well-established resource from the start. Experts often recommend launching with between five and ten episodes to maximize listener engagement and retention​​.

Here are some ideas on distribution tactics:

  • Company Website:
    Integrating your podcast with your company’s website not only centralizes your content but also strengthens your SEO efforts. Regularly updating your website with related blog content can further attract a broader audience and support your podcast topics, creating a symbiotic relationship between your written content and audio content​​​​.
  • Social Media Channels:
    Developing a robust social media plan tailored to your specific audience and choosing the right channels can significantly increase awareness for your show. 
  • Email Marketing:
    Building an email marketing plan can engage your most dedicated listeners by providing updates directly to their inboxes, enhancing the listener experience, and keeping your audience engaged over time​​.
  • Influencer Engagement and User Ratings:
    Additionally, collecting ratings and reviews early on can accelerate your podcast’s growth by leveraging social proof. Engaging influencers in your niche and optimizing your calls to action can also drive significant listener engagement and growth​​.

Step 5: Work on Engagement and Growth Strategies

To build engagement with your podcast audience and foster organic growth, implementing a variety of interactive strategies can significantly enhance the listener experience and expand your reach. 

Here are some effective engagement and growth tactics:

  • Incorporate clear calls to action (CTAs) within your episodes, guiding listeners on what steps to take next, whether it’s visiting your website, signing up for your mailing list, or engaging with your content on social media. Ensure these CTAs flow naturally within your content to maintain coherence and storytelling integrity​​.
  • Utilize your podcasting website not just for hosting your episodes but also for providing additional value through related content, community forums, and exclusive offers. Landing pages can be particularly effective for promoting specific episodes or resources mentioned in your podcast, and enhancing conversions and listener engagement​​.
  • A mailing list is a critical tool for maintaining direct communication with your audience. Offer incentives for signing up, such as free content upgrades or exclusive insights, to encourage subscription. This allows you to engage with your listeners outside of the podcasting platforms and keep them updated on new episodes and developments​​.
  • Inviting guests to your podcast can expose your show to their audiences, providing a natural avenue for growth. Ensure you provide your guests with all they need for promotion, such as social media copy, images, and trackable links, making it easy for them to spread the word about their appearance on your show​​.
  • Listener Interaction Strategies like running “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) sessions, especially on platforms like Instagram Stories, can significantly boost engagement by allowing listeners to submit questions and interact directly with you. Additionally, incorporating listener questions into your episodes fosters a sense of community and involvement​​.
  • Live streaming episodes can offer real-time engagement with your audience, allowing for immediate feedback and interaction. This approach can build a stronger community and drive the show forward by integrating instant listener input into your content​​.
  • Engaging with listeners through replies, especially to voice messages, can deepen personal connections and turn casual listeners into loyal fans and promoters. Addressing listener feedback and questions in subsequent episodes or through direct communication shows that you value their input, enhancing the overall listener experience and fostering a sense of community around your podcast​​.

Remember, the key to successful engagement and growth lies in consistent effort and genuinely valuing the input and participation of your audience.

Examples of Successful Company Podcasts:

McAfee’s “Hackable?”: This podcast cleverly turns the niche subject of cybersecurity into engaging content, demonstrating how to make specialized topics accessible and entertaining (Outgrow).

TEDTalks Podcast: By extending its brand into podcasting, TEDTalks continues to captivate its audience with thought-provoking content in an easily consumable format.

“The GaryVee Audio Experience” by VaynerMedia: Hosted by entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, this podcast covers a wide range of topics, including marketing, business, and entrepreneurship, reflecting Vaynerchuk’s expertise and experiences in building his own company, VaynerMedia​​.

“Masters” The Shopify Podcast: Targeting the e-commerce sector, this podcast by Shopify offers actionable business tips through interviews with successful e-commerce entrepreneurs, sharing lessons that listeners can apply to their ventures​.

In Conclusion:

Launching a podcast can significantly elevate a B2B company’s brand presence and connect with the audience on a more intimate level. By setting clear objectives, understanding your audience, delivering quality content, optimizing for SEO, and employing strategic distribution, your B2B podcast can become a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. Remember, the essence of a successful B2B podcast lies in its ability to consistently provide value, insights, and engagement to its professional listenership.

Get in touch if you need help to set up a podcast.

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