Podcasts have surged in popularity, boasting a staggering 464.7 million listeners globally in 2023, a number expected to climb to 504.9 million by 2024. This trend shows no signs of slowing down, as new content creators, including influencers, YouTubers, and B2C brands, are embracing podcasts. Even major corporations like Johnson & Johnson and McDonald’s have joined the podcast wave. This raises an important question, can B2B brands harness the power of podcasts for their benefit? And if so, how?
We interviewed Amy Woods, CEO and Owner of Content 10x – who specialise in producing, repurposing, and distributing content for B2B brands, including video and audio content, as well as blogs, reports, whitepapers and more.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
As an owner of a creative agency, I have quite an unusual background. I worked in management consultancy at Accenture for over a decade, specialising in mergers, acquisitions, and large-scale transformation programmes but I always wanted to have my own business. I was making videos and redeveloping them into graphics and blog posts when I spotted a problem solution. I noticed that many businesses create content, but don’t repurpose it because they don’t have the time and resources to do so. So, wouldn’t it be amazing if that great content could be turned into lots of additional, great content? That idea resulted in the creation of the agency.
Do you think that the market has changed recently?
The industry has grown massively. We have seen investment from big players such as Amazon, Spotify, and Apple, resulting in the growth of exclusive podcasts that can only be found on the individual platform. Other platforms like YouTube have provided the opportunity for video podcasts to increasingly grow in popularity. Short visual snippets are shared across other social media platforms, such as Instagram and Tiktok, where they go viral and draw people into finding the longer form content on YouTube. Without visuals, this isn’t something that would be possible for audio podcasts, so we are seeing the industry embracing video more. It’s fair to say if you want real recognition for your podcast content, videos will help your podcast travel further.
How do you publish a podcast and what are the best platforms out there?
To run a podcast, you need a podcast hosting platform, distinct from listener apps. Similar to website hosting, these platforms host your audio files and episode notes. Through an RSS feed, your episodes are sent to various podcast apps like Apple, Spotify, and Amazon, making your content accessible. Hosting platforms like Captivate.fm or Buzzsprout are essential for managing this process. Choosing the right platform is crucial; for instance, we prefer Captivate for its user-friendliness. The key is to submit your RSS feed to as many apps as possible, ensuring maximum visibility, unless exclusivity is a deliberate choice, which is rare in the B2B realm.
What pain points do you think podcasts solve for B2B brands compared to other forms of content?
Utilising podcasts not only addresses the need for long-form content but also serves as a content engine for various platforms. You can repurpose podcast content into social media posts, LinkedIn articles, and video snippets, expanding your reach to diverse audience segments drawn to different content types.
Particularly for B2B businesses, podcasts offer a unique opportunity for the audience to connect with you on a personal level, allowing your personality and organisational culture to shine, a challenge that is more complex to tackle in other forms of content, such as articles and blogs.
Why do B2B brands think they can’t pull off a podcast?
When first venturing into podcast creation, businesses often face several challenges including time, resources, and expertise. A significant concern is the ability to generate fresh content consistently. To help overcome this, it’s crucial to define your podcast’s purpose and target audience clearly. Brainstorming sessions are essential, as they are a highly efficient way to generate a wide array of topics. By creating a pool of, say, around 20 ideas, you can create nearly a year’s worth of content. With practice and research, ideas tend to flow more effortlessly, and hosts become more natural at steering conversations, reducing the time needed for editing. While challenges like audio editing may initially seem daunting, experience equips hosts with the skills to streamline the process over time.
What metrics are key to success?
Podcast success metrics include download numbers, listener demographics, and reviews. Repurposing metrics, like website traffic, keyword rankings, and social engagement, also gauge content success. These metrics are crucial as podcasts often require patience to gain traction. By tracking blog visits, comments, shares, and other content derived from the podcast, businesses can stay motivated during the slow growth phase.
In B2B, lead generation, inquiries, and collaborations are key metrics. Additionally, networking opportunities and business growth are equally as vital.
What are your five golden nuggets of advice to share?
- Setting up a brand podcast requires consistency and patience. Commit to a regular schedule, even for a limited season, and be patient, as results take time.
- Create a well thought out strategy. Lack of a clear strategy leads to confusion about purpose, audience, and goals, which can be disastrous.
- Quality content is essential; podcasts serve as valuable content fuel, driving various content engines.
- Invest in good quality equipment. Many B2B businesses rush into podcasting without investing in basic equipment, resulting in subpar sound quality.
- Assess your skills and time. Consider investing in experts, from audio and video editors to full-service agencies, especially if you have significant goals for your podcast.
Taking these steps seriously ensures a successful podcast venture.