In Part 1 of Mastering Audience Growth, we looked at all the ways you can improve the quality of your B2B podcast to retain the people listening to and viewing your show as well as attract a whole new audience.
Now we’re going to look at another big aspect of Stage 3 on the B2B Podcast Maturity Curve where marketing gets more intentional and strategic about promoting every episode of your show to reach a wider audience.
First, you need to wring your show content out into other formats, and then you’ll document a show promotion strategy for how you’ll use repurposed content to amplify your podcast through multiple channels, like your blogs, ebooks, social media, paid advertising, email, and more.
And if this sounds a little daunting at first, and you don’t know where to start, remember why your podcast exists. As Casted CEO Lindsay Tjepkema says in How B2B Podcasts Grow Up: Grow Your Audience, Grow Your Brand:
“The good news and the bad news for us as marketers is that there's no surefire way to grow your podcast audience. It's a mix of a million factors, just like everything in marketing to be honest, but I choose to see that as a good thing for that exact reason. Think of it this way, turn it around. Almost nothing you can do, no single thing is going to tank your show. So, you should be experimenting at this stage. You should be trying new things, new messaging, new promotional tactics, as long as you're anchoring it back to the most important thing. Any guesses? Your audience, who they are, where they are, and what they care about. Never lose sight of who it's for and why you're doing it.”
And if you don’t know where your podcast fits on the maturity curve, take our quick assessment:
Amplify Podcast and Video Content for Promotion
Before you start substantially promoting your show, you need to build a couple things to fuel your channel strategy. The really good thing is that you don’t have to start from scratch. Your show is the raw material for all the content you’ll need to begin broadcasting your brand’s message to a larger audience.
The most powerful way to do this is by wringing out your content across the channels your audience prefers. That means taking the content from your episodes and converting it into other formats, including:
- Numerous blog posts
- Social posts (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok)
- Paid ad campaigns
- Videos (YouTube)
- Website landing pages
In many cases, you’ll create audio and video clips that you can place in these other content formats that will drive audiences to your show.
Here’s how the conversational marketing powerhouse Drift wrings out content into other formats and channels, as Molly Chill (Sloan), Senior Manager of Content Marketing, shares on the How B2B Podcasts Grow Up podcast:
“We talk about it all the time,” Molly says. “We're getting to be actual spacesters, but we call it solar systeming our content. So at Drift, this is my spiel, at Drift, the center of our content world is Drift Insider, which is our members-only content experience. There's classes, courses, lots of education, but all the planets that surround Insider are the media — and so for me, blog, podcast, newsletters, but we also have more of our content offers, which is ebooks, reports, webinars, and so there's so many other channels that kind of are in this solar system of Drift...
“So we have this brand new episode, the first episode of Pipeline, we launched it, then we turned it into a blog post, already did that, check, and we also promoted it in the newsletter. So it's really just like, Lindsay, you've said this a lot, bringing the value out of one piece of content and then refreshing it or reusing it or finding new ways to reinvent it as opposed to recreating the wheel and being like, ‘Oh shoot, we have to create a brand new offer.’ We don't have to create a brand new offer every time. That's not the goal of content marketing. We have a limited amount of resources and obviously a limited amount of time. People like to sleep, whereas solar systeming your content is really just making sure that we're also integrated across the team.”
While we'll get into the specifics of wringing out your content in much greater detail in the B2B Podcast Maturity Curve Stage 4: Multichannel Expansion, here are a couple things you can do here in Stage 3 to both grow your audience and begin to expand into other channels.
Improving SEO with Transcription
Sure, content marketers deal in podcasts, blogs, videos, and social media every day, but sometimes we forget about the benefits of transcribing podcast episodes. Believe it or not, some people in your audience may still prefer to read the transcript, especially when something catches their attention in the episode and they want to go back for specifics. You can then make the transcript available on your website.
But transcribing your podcast or video series episodes serves another outstanding promotional purpose: It greatly improves content searchability. You can optimize your show for search by using keywords in your episode titles, descriptions, and show notes to make your content more visible to search engines and audiences looking for topics.
You can also use the transcript to create a written blog post, and if you’re doing an audio podcast, the transcript can become a script for a video version of the whole episode or just the key takeaways.
Create Audio and Video Clips
A huge part of wringing out your content (or amplified marketing as we call it here at Casted) is taking small bite-size pieces of your episodes and turning them into audio and video clips (just ask our friends at Cheetah Digital). Then you can embed these clips into all the other channels you’ll use to promote your show and grow your audience.
This can have a tremendous impact on your show:
- You can bring your brand’s social media audience to your show.
- When Casted uses audio and video clips in our social feed, we tend to see 3X more engagement with our posts.
Stage 3 of the B2B Podcast Maturity Curve is the time when you should start looking at your podcast or video series as a content flywheel full of the best brand awareness and thought leadership material your brand has to offer (check out how James Gilbert at Flip is doing this to grow the audience for his show Spamming Zero). And you’re not just building up your show; you’re building up your brand.
Once you wring out your podcast content into other formats, you’re ready to plot out a full multichannel promotion plan for every episode of your B2B podcast to draw in audience members who have not discovered your show yet. And by the way, when you document the promotional plan, you can then use that as a template for promoting all future podcast content.
Remember, you’re trying to engage your audience and drive traffic to your show and website, so you want them to:
- Listen to a clip or episode
- Share a clip or episode
- Click through to related content
- Listen to more than one episode
- Subscribe to your podcast
- Subscribe to a related newsletter or podcast fan group
And if they’re not already subscribed to your show, you have a plethora of channels to help you get your audience’s attention.
Blogs and Other Written Content
Blogs are a proven way to drive organic traffic, improve your brand’s SEO, and grow an email list. Spin-off blogs are also a tried-and-true way to get the word out about your B2B podcast. Ideally, you already have a content hub populated with blogs (from high-level top-of-funnel topics to long-form deeper-down-the-funnel thought leadership), ebooks, whitepapers, and infographics. Each of these kinds of content are perfect for embedding a couple of key takeaways from your show plus a link to the full episode the takeaways come from.
You can also give your show more prominence by embedding the entire episode within a blog using a podcast player. This way blog visitors can access all that content right there as they’re reading your post. Again, this serves your brand’s overall business goals in the following ways:
- Drives traffic to your podcast
- Gets your podcast (and your brand) in front of a new audience
- Improves dwell time on your blog (which is great for SEO)
- Promotes social shares
Sharing your podcast on social media is a key strategy for growing your audience. The channel allows you to connect with new audiences and get your brand and show noticed. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are all effective platforms, but you’ll need to tailor your content to each for maximum benefit.
For example, Sam Balter, Director of Media Content and host of the Talk Data to Me and Pretty Big Deal podcasts at ZoomInfo, has found great success in defining his brand’s social-first approach. Instead of broadcasting the exact same message through every social channel, Sam knows that each channel performs differently, because each channel’s audience is a little different. By tailoring content to meet these different demands, Sam has learned that nailing the right tone for each channel is the most effective way to connect with and grow his shows’ audiences.
“I think the thing is people inherently, a lot of the times, are fighting against their intuition,” Sam says. “They have the intuition and the knowledge that the channels are different. The vibe on Twitter is just fundamentally different than LinkedIn. And you can see it, like when LinkedIn goes down, they go on Twitter, and everybody's making fun of people on LinkedIn, like, ‘Oh, what are they going to do?’ And vice versa. Tones are different, what is shared is different, how it's shared is different.
“And then the other thing is, you're noticing a lot of the time some content on LinkedIn is just Twitter content, but a picture of it. You don't even try and recreate Twitter content on LinkedIn. You take a picture of Twitter content and put it on LinkedIn and see how that performs. And so when I think about the channels, it's like our audiences are different for different channels. I think we have slightly more on the marketer side on Twitter versus LinkedIn, where we're more on the predominantly sales side. The information people want is different on different platforms…
“And so I think for me, I'm often like, ‘Okay, well, let's just see what is actually performing well and then just do that.’ And so I think it's like, ‘Oh, it's a social-first strategy.’ Yeah, but it's really just like I look at what posts are doing well, and then I try and do more of those and less of the ones that are not doing well.”
In terms of the content of your social posts, there are several promotional strategies you can use:
- Include teasers and clips from your show.
- Beyond including links to your show’s episodes, you should also post on anything related that your audience may find interesting.
- Keep evergreen content in mind. For example, you can use a previous podcast episode on a relevant topic as a starting point for a conversation.
- Engage your followers by asking questions and sharing other related content.
- Whatever you do to build your social media strategy, it has to align with your brand’s business goals.
Email marketing is another traditional marketing channel that continues to serve B2B brands in many ways, in particular for using content to create connections and for broadcasting your brand’s credibility.
Your newsletters should have sections that highlight your podcast or video series. Include links to your full podcast episodes and embed audio and video clips (typically, the key takeaways from the episode) within the copy.
Other ways to build out a podcast newsletter around your show is to link to relevant blogs, checklists, and related podcast episodes or even other shows your brand produces. A guest spotlight is another great way to promote your show to your audience.
You can also leverage your podcast content in targeted emails to your subscribers as well as including links and clips in your sales outreach and nurtures.
To increase the open rates on and engagement with your emails after your audience subscribes to your show, try leaning into video content. Studies reveal that when you include video in your email, open rates can go up by 7% to 13% (and conversions by 21%). Be sure to include “video” in the subject line. Once your audience opens the email, click-through rates can climb by up to 300%, 96% higher than emails with no video. Emails with video also can reduce your unsubscribe rate by 75%.
It feels like YouTube was made specially for video podcasts, and what’s great is that it’s often a channel where people who have never tuned into your show (new audience) are engaging with video. Wring out your podcast content here the same as you do through blogs and social media, and publish full-length episodes, whether audio or video, and create additional short videos with key takeaways.
Besides the high engageability of video in the channel, YouTube is also used by many B2B companies as a standalone search engine. If a person needs to research and purchase a new digital tool, many B2B buyers will begin with a search in YouTube, even over Google in some cases.
If you’re doing an audio-only podcast, consider shooting video in addition to recording the audio. It can be as simple as just recording your Zoom meeting. The podcast can still be something the audience listens to, but video will give you extra pieces of content that are perfect for YouTube and other social channels where they’ll get your brand more shares and listens.
As a demand generation channel, paid advertising provides exposure in places your other channels don’t and often enables you to track the individuals engaging with the ads so you can connect with them later. Sponsored social media posts and Google AdWords are terrific strategies for driving new traffic to your website, and these ads can be built around short clips, key takeaway videos, and relevant keystone content.
In addition to making your show available on all the major podcast directories, your show should be prominently featured on your website and should be easy to navigate to. Publishing your podcast on your own website gives you extra benefits:
- It’s free (as opposed to having to pay for hosting).
- You’ll draw in local traffic that a hosting platform won’t.
- You can ensure a great user experience for your visitors.
- You can direct visitors to related content on your site.
You can also collect and analyze engagement behavior and data, such as:
- How are users interacting with your content?
- Where else on your site are they going?
- How long are they sticking around?
- Where are listeners coming from?
- Are they sharing and how?
Another great thing about video podcasts and the clips you can create from them is that video appears in 70% of the top 100 searches. 87% of video marketers say video boosts their website traffic, and 81% say it also increases the average time visitors spend on pages.
One of your strongest promotional channels are your networks. Whether they’re your brand network (consisting of your fellow employees, your brand’s partners, and your customers) or your guest network, these relationships are typically built in a more personal or connected way than through social media and other content marketing channels.
All the guests you have on your show have networks of their own, and it’s not a big ask for guests to share their appearance on your podcast with their extended networks. It promotes their own brands and messaging foremost, but it also gets your show’s name out to new potential audiences.
You can make it easier for your guests to share by creating co-marketing materials for them to repurpose across their own networks. Key takeaway clips, quotes, and full or partial transcripts are great pieces of content that allow guests to promote their own brand while also attracting new audience members to your show.
Don’t forget about the greater community of B2B podcasters and marketers in your industry. That’s also a great network of like-minded people to promote your show through.
Joshua Wales, Senior Marketing and Events Coordinator at Janes, shares the experience he had as he launched The World of Intelligence podcast.
“If you just look at it in general, there are all kinds of people on Twitter, et cetera, who are using this open-source information that we have and sharing it,” Josh says. “And that also applies to podcasting within OSINT, or open-source intelligence, because these people who have podcasts in this area, they’re not very competitive in that way, but they’re actually helping each other to share information on podcasts. And it’s a really friendly community in that sense because if there’s a good podcast, then it will be shared. And if there’s information within that podcast, then that will also be shared.”
Of course, when you combine your own brand’s network with that larger community, your podcast or video series gains exposure to a greater audience.
“It was a bit new to me,” Josh recalls. “But I had help from our podcast host, who basically has a large network of people that he knows within the OSINT community. So they’re able to reach out and then become guests on our show, and that’s been really helpful to showcase the kind of guests that we can get and also just promote that as well. So it really helps with the growth of the podcast.”
One of the easiest ways to promote your show is to include it in all your employee email signatures. Every email your employees send is an opportunity to market your show. Like the blogs and case studies you already promote, add your podcast to the mix and introduce new audiences — customers, prospects, partners, vendors, and investors — to your powerful content.
In addition to all the great content you’re promoting on your own website, don’t ignore a great content marketing tactic: You can promote your show through other relevant brand blog sites with a content swap. You provide a blog for your co-marketing partner, and they provide one for your content hub. Both you and your partner can then leverage backlinks and direct readers to related content you want to highlight. Both brands get exposure in a different channel with a potentially new audience, and your show’s audience will grow even more.
Appear on Other Branded Podcasts and Video Series
When you’re a guest on somebody else’s show, you not only get your message out, promote brand awareness, and build credibility for your brand, but you also introduce your podcast or video series to a whole new audience in a related field. In addition to this, you also forge relationships with other B2B podcasts, companies, and industries.
If you don’t feel comfortable inviting yourself onto other shows, just reach out to the showrunners of other shows, and let them know you’re open to the possibility. Being an active part of the podcasting community is a big part of circulating your show.
Don’t Forget Events
Appear at industry events and conferences! Even better, go on stage, give a presentation, and participate on live panels. And while you’re there, use these opportunities to promote your show and network with these potential listeners and viewers.
Grow Your Audience Through Strategic Promotion
Mastering podcast audience growth begins with understanding your audience — not just their behaviors around engagement and content consumption and what they want from your show, but also WHO is listening to and watching your show. This knowledge determines how you refine the quality of your show and how you reach new and existing listeners and viewers wherever they are.
Strategic promotion of your show brings all of that creative work together and attracts more people who can benefit from both your podcast and your brand. Once you document your promotion plan, it becomes a consistent and repeatable process that will get even better over time.
For more on Stage 3: Audience Growth of the B2B Podcast Maturity Curve, check out our How B2B Podcasts Grow Up episodes:
- Episode 4: The 3 Keys to Audience Growth
- Episode 5: Grow Your Audience, Grow Your Brand
- Episode 6: Making Your Podcast More Than Just a Podcast