A few years ago there was a debate over whether podcasting would last. Some said it was a passing fad. Today, podcasting is still one of the most progressive trends in marketing. And it’s a growing trend in B2B marketing.
Any B2B company can start its own audio-based podcast show and have it added to major podcast directories like Apple Podcasts, Google, and Spotify.
If you watch YouTube, you’ve probably seen lots of video shows. These are B2C podcasts. B2B podcasts are created to serve a practical business purpose. This does not include promoting sponsors.
I launched my own B2B podcast in 2019 and another in 2020. When I first launched a show, I thought it would be a simple undertaking. After all, you’re just talking to people. My goal was to interview Marketing Directors and share their advice. And in the process, I hoped to learn what services they needed I could help them with.
But as I published more episodes, I realized there was more to it than I thought. I kept running into one challenge after another. This caused me to make a number of mistakes that held me back.
When I started my second podcast show, I analyzed what I’d done in my first show. To simplify the process, I developed my 7-part podcast development system. It organizes all the work into a sequential process. The diagram helped me review what I was doing to avoid repeating my mistakes.
If you’ve never created a podcast, you may not understand the value of step #1 – having a podcast strategy. So, rather than explaining why at the beginning, I’ll share it at the end in more detail so it’ll make more sense.
Mistake #1 – Uncompelling Content
It wasn’t until I had done over fifty interviews that I fully began to grasp the challenge of interviewing. If you don’t have an interview plan, your guest will go off on a tangent about whatever topic strikes them as interesting at the moment. This leads to a ton of editing work.
As the interviewer, it’s your job to structure and lead the interview. So, I needed to ask the right questions. This meant setting aside time to do guest research before the interview. This was especially important if the topic was a complicated technology or book. Then the research could take ten times longer than the interview.
Further, I needed a topic to center the conversation around and the interview needed to follow a logical journey. There needed to be a destination for the guest and the audience. Otherwise, they’d both be unsatisfied.
One of my favorite TV series on Netflix is the show, Breaking Bad. If you’ve seen the show, you may have noticed each episode has a format. It opens with a curious event that happens later in the show, like a teaser. There is a structure to the story throughout the middle of the show that ends with a cliffhanger. This keeps you coming back.
It’s wise to provide a point, or a “lesson,” at the end of the interview. This would help create audience value so they’d keep them coming back for your next episode.
Mistake #2. – Attracting the wrong guests
Once my podcast was a few episodes along, I started wondering what I could do to attract more guests and listeners. This got me thinking about the brand impact my show was having.
I knew the name of my show could be working harder to attract guests. This brought up made me question what I was trying to achieve. Because I wasn’t too clear on this, I ended up changing my show name and the logo I created for my show, several times.
And I had to guess at other parts of the branding, too. A podcast needs theme music to set the mood. It also needs a logo for posting on your hosting platform and in directories like Apple Podcasts. You may also want to have customized cover art for each episode. But without a strategy, I had no direction for making these decisions.
Mistake #3. – Poor Sound Quality
Preparing for each interview became a lot easier once I had a standard interview outline to follow. I could confidently ask my prepared questions with fewer parts to edit out.
My first microphone was a basic Microsoft headset. I used this and Skype to record my shows. It soon became clear that my sound quality wasn’t good enough. The upgrade I made to a better microphone for $150. It made a big improvement.
My next challenge was learning how to use audio editing software – no small task. Editing software let me cut out the parts I didn’t want in each episode. I could even add parts I had missed such as questions I should’ve asked.
There were plenty of Ums, Ahs, and other strange noises to remove. Video is a lot more complex because you have to deal with issues like lighting. Few of my B2B guests were prepared for coming on video.
Audio editing included steps like noise reduction, sound leveling, mixing, adding ID3 tags, adding the intro and outro. Then adding the interview recording and merging all these parts together into the final production.
Editing didn’t help much if the planning wasn’t done right. So the work I had done at the planning phase really paid off.
Mistake #4. – Lack of Distribution
Once I had submitted my show to the big podcast directories, like Apple, Google, and Spotify, I could reach millions of potential listeners. Each episode was automatically distributed to these by my podcast hosting platform.
It also provided detailed analytics and transcribed each episode for SEO optimization. This increased my chances of having my show ranked in Google.
I then decided to create my own podcast microsite. This is probably not a step that everyone needs. But it let me an email newsletter with my own member’s list. And I could add paywalls for certain content if I want to go that route.
My podcast platform let me embed each podcast into my micro-site or anywhere in seconds. I could grab the embed code and put it wherever I wanted.
Mistake #5. – Ineffective Promotion
I started uploading each audio podcast as a video to YouTube until I realized it was a waste of time. The audience I wanted was on Linkedin. Linkedin also lets you create your own podcast newsletter, too. Only Linkedin gives you the tools you need to reach out to your most profitable prospects.
Another thing I did was turn my podcasts into Q&A articles and quotes that I could post on social media. I could get as many as 10 good quotes out of a single podcast. So I got plenty of repurposed content from each episode.
Everyone I interview shared their interview with their network. This “network effect” greatly increased the reach of my show. And each show carried Outro message at the end which promoted my business. Even if my guest never hired me, it was still a big win for me.
Mistake #6. – Poor Management
When I was only producing a few episodes, I could do everything myself. I treated my first 10 shows as unique projects. But when I started to publish one podcast show per week, I saw this long list of tasks ahead of me.
I suddenly realized I was doing eight different jobs – Outreach Manager, Show Host, Writer, Editor, Voice-over Specialist, Audio Engineer, Graphic Designer, and Project Manager. The interview itself was the least of the work. Here are some (but not all) of the tasks involved:
Outreach Manager – Source and research guests.
Outreach Manager – Identify the guest topic.
Outreach Manager – Book guests and into the calendar.
Writer – Conduct research, prepare topic and interview questions.
Writer – Write the show notes.
Writer – Write a unique guest intro for each episode
Writer – Write the episode headline.
Writer – Convert podcast into an article
Host – Conduct the interview
Editor – Edit the audio using editing software.
Audio Engineer – Mix and produce the episode.
Graphic Designer – Create episode cover image.
Administrator – Post new episode to podcast platform.
Website Manager – Embed podcast on my website, add show notes.
Social Media Manager – Post guest content on social media
Project Manager – Make sure every little thing got done
I could do all the work myself. So I was able to find the best people to help me with some of the work. I was ready to scale up my operation at any time using project management software.
Tune Up Your B2B Podcast for Better Results
B2B podcasting is a powerful way to establish your authority and build relationships. And you don’t need to have thousands of listeners to get great results. Reach a small highly targeted audience can provide an excellent marketing ROI.
If you can over come these 6 mistakes and focus your B2B show on what your guests are passionate about, it will be easy to attract them. And if you interview the right guests, some of them will surely turn into sales.
Contact Derek Little at Trailblazerwriting.com for more information about launching and growing your own podcast.