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How and when to start a B2B podcast

Podcasts. There seems to be one about everything nowadays, including a podcast about PR. The consumer space is rife with weird and wonderful podcasts, covering subjects from ghost sightings, to cats, to Twilight. But what about B2B podcasts? Is there scope for you to start a podcasting venture for your business? Here Ian Bolland, account manager at Stone Junction, explores.

Podcasting and streaming boomed during the pandemic and many consumers are now hooked. As of January 2024, Apple Podcasts hosted nearly 90 million podcast episodes, a 40 per cent increase on three years earlier. Unlike TV, streaming and reading, users can still actively listen to a podcast while doing other activities, filling a gap that traditional media has been unable to. The growth has been mirrored in B2B marketing, with many businesses starting their own, or contributing to other creator’s podcasts.

Considering your position, objectives and format

Your objectives for starting a podcast might include reaching a wider audience, boosting SEO and web traffic, generating leads, or finding a way to create content that lends itself more naturally to audio. It’s important that your podcast delivers value to your audience. Being too general, treating it like a hard sales funnel, not doing it consistently, expecting immediate return on investment, are all bad reasons to start a podcast. Instead, focus on delivering insights and value to your audience that aligns with your strategy and values.

It may sound obvious, but make sure that your podcast and its episodes have a precise message and aim. Although the best podcasts are those where the conversation flows freely and naturally, rarely are they truly unstructured. This doesn’t mean you need to follow a rigid framework, but should balance a natural, insightful conversation, while achieving your objectives.

Answering a specific question through anecdotes, insights, or data that your business has generated can make you stand out in your sector. For example, look at PEI Genesis and it's offering. The electrical connector manufacturer focuses each episode on a specific question, which is answered through the course of the episode. For example: “Is AI the missing piece in revolutionising connector automation?” and “From bikes to planes, what's next for the EV e-mobility market?”

A great way to grow your own podcast audience is by appearing on other shows. This broadens your appeal and is a vehicle to hone your presentation/speaking skills. The MedTalk Podcast, or The Manufacturer Podcast, are popular in their respective niches for example, and are open for contributions.

Appearing on existing shows is an opportunity to position yourself as a thought leader in your sector in a way that other media platforms don’t necessarily offer. Putting your point across in a way that might not be done otherwise can lead you to being considered for other opportunities - whether that’s as a guest speaker on another show, or at an industry conference where you can position yourself as a leading voice in your niche.

Overcoming the barriers to entry

In the past, once you had decided you wanted to start a podcast, there was the technical barrier and investment involved in producing the show. Thankfully things have changed. Today, platforms such as Zencastr and Riverside allow remote recordings that cater for potential drop in internet connection - so the episode is uninterrupted. 

There has arguably never been a better time to start a podcast. The barriers to entry have never been lower and you don’t need a studio or journalistic training to get started.

Article written by Ian Bolland, account manager at Stone Junction

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