When you decided to start a podcast, how did you envision your episodes? Were they filled with amazing stories from exciting guests? Did you imagine listeners hanging on to every word and sharing snippets with friends and family?
This is the dream of any podcaster, whether the project started for business or personal reasons. Now, getting there can seem just like that — a dream. But it doesn’t have to be.
There’s a lot you can do to make your B2B podcast enticing to listeners. The key is to find ways to evoke emotion and instill value in every episode. Not sure how to do this?
Not to worry — we’ve got you covered. Here are five ways you can make your podcasts engaging.
1. Let Passion Drive Your Podcast
Have you ever watched a movie or heard a poem that brought you to tears? Was it the words, tone, scenery, or story that made it heartfelt? All of these play a role in evoking emotion, but only if the actors/speakers can capture the passion behind them.
Without passion, words, stories, and scenes can miss the mark, especially if you’re trying to make viewers/listeners feel it.
And this is what you have to do with your podcast. If you lack passion for your podcast, it’ll show in the content you produce.
“I would say, of course going back, have a purpose, but even before that, you have to have passion for whatever the topic is. If you don’t have passion, you’re going to come off like a robot; you won’t sound authentic. I mean, you won’t be authentic, and it’ll be very apparent
for your listeners.
“So I think step one, understand what the show is about and ask yourself, am I passionate about this to the point where I’m going to dedicate time to it? Because it does take time. It’s like a little baby you have to nurse and make sure that they’re breathing all the time,” shared Megan Collins, former Product Marketing Manager at Salesforce.
You can instill passion in your episodes by talking about topics that matter to you and your audience. And bring on exciting guests with amazing stories.
“I think first and foremost; the most important thing is that the person really, really wants to do it. Just like anything, if you’re not excited about it, it’s going to be a drag, and that’s going to come through for all the reasons we were just talking about. If I’m not excited to host a guest on my podcast from the first 10 seconds, no one’s really going to be particularly excited either. So it’s like the experience is in part the transfer of emotion. So someone needs to be excited to do it,” explained Ethan Beute, Chief Evangelist at BombBomb and host of The Customer Experience Podcast.
If you use passion as the energy force fueling your podcast, listeners will feel it in your conversations. They’ll hear it in your voice — the smile, the exclamations, your waving hands or nods — all of that will be reflected in your voice and will draw your listeners in.
2. Know the Who (Your Audience)
When you get on the mic to speak to your audience, who is it you’re talking to? Who do you see in your head? Having a good idea of your core audience makes it easier to find ways to connect with them. Think of it like talking to a group of friends vs. a room of complete strangers.
In the latter, you wouldn’t know the right words to say, stories to tell, or jokes to crack (if at all). It’s a matter of comfort — when you know your audience, you feel confident in yourself. And through that confidence, you can relate to your audience, making them feel like close friends sharing ideas and aspirations.
“I believe very, very strongly that before you can make a show, you really need to understand the who, who are you trying to reach with this show? And the why, why are you making a podcast in the first place? What are the goals of the show, and how are we going to measure those goals? You have to answer the who and the why before you can begin to answer the what, and the what is the fun, creative challenge, right?
“I think you really need to nail those fundamental questions of what is the audience that we’re trying to serve, how can we offer them something that they can’t already get? What is the show that only we can make, and why are we doing it? What is the business imperative behind that? And that’s the really tricky balance, I think, for anybody who works in audio for brands.
It’s nailing the balance between the business reality that underlies the funding of the show and the genuine need to create an audience-first show that people are actually going to voluntarily listen to. Nobody is going to voluntarily download and spend time with an infomercial. The strongest shows are built on a foundation of loyalty and how that’s an ongoing opt-in relationship. So we try really hard to make shows that live those values,” said Dan Meisner, Head of Strategy and Audience Development at Pacific Content.
3. Turn Each Episode into Cornerstone Content
People listen to podcasts to learn, laugh, and live. If you’re providing information that can add value to their lives (bonus if it’s in an entertaining way), then chances are you’re going to earn long-term listeners. This requires treating each episode as cornerstone content that’s not only worth consuming but sharing as well.
“That's the other power of podcasting. It's not only a great way to reach a new audience, to grow an audience, to expand your brand. But it's a great way to also create demand gen, customer marketing type of materials and content that really can unify the story across your content, your customer experience, life cycle,” said Drift’s Mark Kilens.
You can take part in the sharing by creating content around your episodes. Building that flywheel of content we always talk about is key to driving traffic from various channels. For example, if you host an episode that features a guest sharing insider tips and steps to take to build a business, you can then:
● Grab the key takeaways and write a blog on each
● Take the tips and create a slide deck or infographic
● Highlight clips and turn them into audiograms
● Take the juiciest tips and write an email series around them
● Or take them and do a video series around them
Using the episode as a cornerstone piece of your content strategy helps to amplify it. But this is only possible if you’re creating shareworthy episodes. Something meaty and packed with facts, insights, and stories will keep listeners coming back.
“We just wrapped a season where we did stories of companies that pivoted during, after the crisis hit. And those stories, I have resurfaced and reused in scores of different ways, on blog posts, in speeches, in just lessons out of that for our own company and team. And so it just creates this conduit for exposure to really exceptional ideas.
“… one of the big mistakes I think people make, and I always encourage my team to remember is: it does not have to only exist in the podcast world. We can then repackage that across social, across blog content, etc. And that is real magic because it creates a real fodder for a multimedia marketing team,” said Meghan Keaney Anderson, former VP of Marketing at HubSpot.
4. Always Be Learning
The minute you stop learning in your personal life is the moment you stop evolving. And it’s the same for your podcast. The best podcasts are those that continue to dig deeper into topics and branch farther into industries. This is what it takes to discover the golden nuggets your audience will find valuable. So the idea is to always be learning — whether it’s through conversations with guests or from your own experiences. Our newsletter is a great place to keep on top of what we’re learning about in the B2B podcast sphere.
5. Build a Community Around Your Podcast
Podcasts are intimate — this is why so many people enjoy this format. Listening to the voices of brands and experts they know and respect is welcoming and even anticipated. Listeners regularly consume your content and even share it with others they know. So turning your audience into a like-minded community isn’t all that far-fetched.
“I think podcasting is a pretty amazing opportunity to earn an audience’s time and attention. I think all of the metrics that I care about tie back to engagement, right? And I think we live in a world where a lot of marketing is measured in clicks and impressions, and a lot that is what I would call drive-by. And I think podcasts are really an opportunity to drive deeper engagement, to tell stories, to explore ideas, to do that in a really engaging way.
“So I think the opportunity is that time spent listening, not just as a metric, not just as a measurement, but the cumulative number of minutes of attention that you have earned by making something worth somebody’s time. So I think engagement is a huge opportunity for brands. I think what I was talking about a minute ago around loyalty and habit and opting into a relationship with the show is a huge opportunity and very different than a lot of other marketing activities,” said Dan Meisner.
When you create a community around your podcast, you’re humanizing your brand. So rather than hosting interviews, you’re having conversations. Instead of sharing information, you’re telling stories. And this is what helps you to connect with your listeners on a more personal level. And it goes beyond when they listen to your episodes. Communities will form within social channels, like Facebook Groups, or gather at events, and talk to each other in the chats. Or when we can host live events again, and you see attendees bond over common passions in the audience.
Learn How to Make Your Podcast Episodes Craveable
Passion, learning, and community. These are the critical elements of making your podcast relevant, engaging, and entertaining. You can do this by focusing on conversations and stories. As long as you have plenty of these, you’ll continue attracting your core audience with valuable, cornerstone content.
If you’d like to learn more about creating a podcast worth listening to, then sign up for our newsletter today!
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