If you’re old enough to remember the era of the iPod — we know, we’re showing our age here — you can likely attest to how much of a game changer it was. Suddenly, you didn’t have to haul around your favorite CDs or tapes. It was all in the palm of your hand, which made listening to music and other forms of audio simple and portable. In fact, the iPod became such a cultural phenomenon that it helped spur the term “podcast,” which is a portmanteau of “iPod” and “broadcast.” Fast forward a couple of decades, and now we’re using our phones and other devices to listen to our favorite music and podcasts anywhere and everywhere.
But what is a podcast, actually? From a technical standpoint, a podcast is a collection of audio files that are available to download or listen to via the internet. Like TV shows, podcasts are designed to be serial, with multiple episodes and often multiple seasons, too. Listeners can subscribe to their favorite podcasts and tune in on platforms like Spotify, Apple, Google, and Casted.
Since their beginning in the early 2000s, podcasts have been produced on just about every topic imaginable. From news to true crime to science, health, business, and your favorite cult-classic TV show or movie, if it exists there’s probably a podcast about it. And the numbers don’t lie; the growth has been truly explosive. Consider this: In 2006 — just five years after the release of the first iPod — fewer than a quarter of US adults were even aware that podcasts existed. That number hit 79% in 2022, according to Statista. By 2024, it’s estimated that over 100 million people in the US will listen to podcasts. And that’s just in the United States. Podcast statistics worldwide predict that the number of listeners will grow to over 500 million by 2024. To put that into some perspective, that’s more than the entire population of the US.
In other words, podcasts as a media genre have become a staple in society. Love ‘em or hate ‘em (we might be biased, but we certainly think they’re worth loving), they’re here to stay. In a world where we’re constantly surrounded by text, audio content and podcasts are a great break for our brains and our eyes.
But are podcasts simply for entertainment purposes? Or, is there something about this particular kind of media that can work in a business’ overall marketing strategy? If you’re here, we probably don’t have to convince you that yes, podcasts can be a marketing tool — one that can be quite powerful — especially when you pair your content with a podcast marketing platform that drives results. And, if you still need some convincing, we hope the rest of this article illustrates that the podcast ROI (return on investment) is real.
Keep reading to learn more about B2B podcasts and how to market them, including:
- What a B2B podcast is and why it matters
- The importance of a podcast in digital marketing
- How a podcast marketing platform can superpower your podcast marketing strategy
- How you market a podcast to make it stand out
- How to measure and quantify your success
What Is a B2B Podcast?
A B2B podcast is just what it sounds like — it’s a podcast produced by a B2B company that aims to share information and build relationships with current and potential customers. Marketers develop podcasts, and an associated podcast marketing strategy, to help build connections and sell their brand, products, and services through audio and video content.
To put it another way, B2B podcasts are created largely for promotional purposes. Yet, the best B2B podcasts embrace authenticity and storytelling to create content that’s truly educational, fun, and engaging to listen to. Just like your blog and website shouldn’t be exclusively filled with sales collateral, there’s no room for straight sales pitches in your podcast.
So how do you go about creating a podcast? Whether you’re just starting out or you’re refining your podcast process, the steps all look fairly similar:
- Decide on the topic(s) for your podcast. What will you cover? What will your individual episodes look like? Who will host and will you bring in guests? What are your goals?
- Record your podcast. Be sure to use high-quality microphones and video recording equipment, if you’re going that route. Video is definitely a podcast trend for 2023, so if you’re able to film your podcast, it’s absolutely recommended. Remember, keep your podcast authentic and informative. And, of course, have some fun, too!
- Syndicate your podcast. Once your podcast has been edited — either in-house or by a podcast agency — you need to host the file and use an RSS feed to send it out to podcast directories like Apple and Spotify.
- Amplify your content. Wondering, “How do I market my B2B podcast?” You don’t have to anymore. With amplified marketing, you can quickly and easily distribute your content across the channels, formats, and teams that matter most.
- Measure and track your results. Using a podcast marketing platform (more on that later), you can track key data points about how your podcast is performing, who is listening, and so much more.
Looking for some podcast marketing examples to get your wheels turning? From topics like marketing best practices to sales, specific industries, and even podcasting, there are a ton of great B2B podcast examples out there. In fact, our own customers are creating top-tier podcasts that we can’t help but gush over — find out more about them here.
It all sounds fairly straightforward, right? Create good content. Make it educational. Share it out on social media. Maybe even bring in guests or current customers to take your podcast to the next level. But do podcasts work for B2B marketing, really?
What Are the Benefits of Podcast Marketing?
Well, it’s hard to argue with the wealth of B2B podcast stats available. MarTech.org reports that podcasts have become one of the top B2B marketing channels. 43% of decision makers report that they use them to get business-relevant content, beating out industry-specific newspapers, national newspapers, virtual events, and in-person conferences. In other words, there’s a pretty good chance some folks from your target audience are turning to podcasts for information.
Now, couple this with the fact that most listeners fill a lot of idle time (doing dishes, picking up the kids, working out) with podcasts. You wouldn’t expect those same folks to read your latest blog post or whitepaper while doing the same activities — or, at least, we hope you wouldn’t expect them to. But, if your podcast is fun, thought-provoking, and valuable, you’re going to be able to capture your audiences’ attention during their downtime. And if you don’t, one of your competitors just might.
There are a number of other reasons why podcasts are good for marketing a B2B company too, including:
- Increase Brand Awareness: It’s probably not a surprise that higher levels of brand awareness are usually associated with higher revenue generation. When someone is shopping for a product or solution, you want them to know your name so they’ll turn to you for answers. When you develop and publish a podcast, you’re releasing your brand’s name — and your authority — out for your target audience to see and listen to.
- Build Effective Relationships: At the end of the day, almost everything we do — inside and outside of work — is about creating and improving relationships. We’re social beings. For businesses, that means authentically connecting with customers, prospects, partners, and other stakeholders is mission-critical. Podcasts are effectively organic conversations, even if there’s some scripting or talking points involved. Not only can this help you build relationships with your listeners, but with any guests you invite onto your show, too.
- Improve Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO): In 2019, Google announced that they would begin surfacing relevant podcast episodes on search engine results pages (SERPs). This was a huge win, particularly for B2B companies, as buyers spend roughly 27% of their time researching independently online, according to Gartner. To take it a step further, podcast marketing platforms like Casted provide you with automated transcripts to give you access to a written version of your podcasts. Using this for blogs and social media can help you improve your SEO, too.
- Establish Your Authority: Are podcasts a good marketing tool for establishing your authority as a brand? You bet. This is especially true when you use your podcast to establish yourself as a trustworthy thought leader in your space. As humans, we put a lot of value in trust. In fact, a recent PWC survey found that 91% of customers said they’d buy from a company that gained your trust — and 14% of that group said they would buy significantly more. You need to become a trusted voice in your industry to begin reaping these benefits, and putting out insightful, innovative podcast episodes is a great start.
- Boost Conversions and Revenue: Of course, there’s no magic potion to guarantee an increase in conversions. But the truth is that podcasts can play an important role in increasing sales or marketing qualified leads (MQLs). A recent BBC study found that branded podcasts lift brand considerations by 57% and purchase intent by 14% — numbers your sales team will be thrilled about!
- Develop Reusable Content: If you’re a marketer, we get it. You’ve got a lot on your plate. There’s social media, email marketing, community management, whitepapers, blogs, tracking metrics, paid ads… we could go on and on. The good news is that podcasts are a great way to create evergreen, reusable content that you can turn into social media posts, blogs, and even paid ads. No more guessing on how to promote a podcast on social media or any other channel. Simply use a podcast marketing platform like Casted to create sharable clips in just a few clicks — saving you precious time out of your day.
What Is a Podcast Marketing Platform?
A podcast marketing platform empowers your team to access the tools you need to market your podcast in a single space. Gone are the days of switching back and forth between several different tools to upload your content, create transcripts, pull soundbites and clips to share on social media, and track and manage analytics. Podcast marketing platforms combine these functionalities, and more, into one easy-to-use solution that minimizes your tech stack and saves your marketing team time and money.
Think of a podcast marketing platform like a friendly, skilled extension of your marketing team. It takes care of some of the more time-consuming, tedious, or technical aspects so you can get to everything else on your to-do list.
So what can you really do with a podcast marketing platform? You can:
- Publish Podcasts and Videos: Podcast marketing platforms make it easy to host, syndicate, and distribute your audio and video content to players like Apple, Spotify, and YouTube. And, the best platforms even allow you to create customized landing pages that meet all your brand standards.
- Increase Your Content ROI: With increasingly tight budgets, maximizing the return on investment of your content is the only option. For podcasts, that means not only ensuring that it’s distributed far and wide, but also that you can repurpose your content to get the most out of it. Look for a podcast marketing platform that offers transcription services and easy, sharable clip creation.
- Know Your Audience: Do you know who is engaging with your content? Up until recently, it’s been guesswork at best. With innovative podcast marketing platforms, you’ll have access to data about who your audience is, how they’re finding your podcast, and what content they’re engaging most highly with.
- Search Existing Content: When you publish a podcast, you’re creating a ton of great usable content and soundbites. But sifting through it all is time-consuming. Look for a podcast marketing platform that not only transcribes your content but also allows for easy one-click searching so you can make the most of it.
- Integrate with Existing Tools: Of course, no one tool does it all. The best podcast marketing platforms allow for integrations with your CRM and CMS so you can give your team everything they need to execute a better sales and marketing strategy.
At Casted, you can do all this and more. As the only podcast and video solution that was designed for busy marketers by busy marketers, our platform is designed to streamline how you publish, distribute, amplify, repurpose, analyze, and measure your content.
What Is the Best Way to Promote a Podcast?
Along with using a podcasting marketing platform to amplify your podcast quicker and more effectively, there are a lot of great ways to go about marketing your podcast. Here are three tips that can really make a difference.
- Plan Your Release Strategically: One of the best ways to maintain and grow your list of subscribers, listeners, and viewers is to have a consistent release schedule for your podcast (like bi-monthly or monthly, for example). On top of that, if you’re just beginning, it can be helpful to launch with multiple episodes at once — think three or more — to give your audience a better view of what you’ll cover. All of this means that it’s important to have several episodes filmed or recorded before launching a new podcast or a new season so you don’t have to worry about your production schedule.
- Promote on Social Media: Love it or hate it, a lot of folks spend a lot of time on social media. In fact, about 82% of the US population age 12 and over was on social media as of 2021, according to Statista. The best social media to promote your podcast is the one your target audience spends time on. LinkedIn is a big one for B2B companies. A lot of folks turn to YouTube to do research or learn new things, so that can be a great channel as well. If you’re targeting Gen Z in particular, TikTok is certainly one of the places to be. Once you decide what channels to focus on, create compelling written, video, and audio content that’s engaging and informational.
- Repurpose Your Content: While the original podcasts were audio only, some of today’s podcasts offer both audio and video options for those who are looking for visual storytelling elements. Whether you’re capturing audio, video, or a combination of the two, all that content is pure gold — currency that can be repurposed. With podcast marketing platforms like Casted, you can easily create shareable audio and video clips in multiple sizes and formats, perfect for sharing on different social media channels. What’s more, with transcriptions, you can even turn sound bites into written blogs or sales collateral.
How Do You Measure ROI on Podcasts?
Marketers know that analytics and metrics that illustrate the value of your work are everything. Of course, it’s not enough to simply create, publish, and market your podcast — that would be too easy, right? Up until recently, subscriptions and downloads were some of the most tracked metrics for podcasts. And don’t get us wrong, these numbers can be helpful. But they shouldn’t be your end-all be-all numbers — there are more metrics out there that can help you understand how your podcast is performing and how you might maximize it.
So what should you be tracking? And how do you measure your podcast’s success? The first step should always be to set goals. The best goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely). Let’s break down what this really means.
- Specific: You’ve got to do more than simply say you want to grow your audience. Do you mean subscribers? Listeners or viewers? And how much are you hoping to grow? Writing it all down clearly can help you develop a plan to get there.
- Measurable: Ensure what you want to achieve is actually measurable. Below, we’ve listed out available metrics you may be able to track in your CRM or your podcast marketing platform.
- Attainable: If you’re just starting out, it may not be realistic to set a goal to have 100,000 followers in the first six months. Think through what’s doable. And if need be, break down your big goals into smaller ones so you can track and celebrate your progress along the way.
- Relevant: Think through what goals actually apply to your brand and to your company’s long-term objectives. Align your podcast goals to your business goals.
- Timely: Always set a timeline with your objectives. Whether it’s quarterly or yearly, it’s important to have a guidepost for when you want to meet your goals. And, as always, set aside time to review your goals and adjust them as needed.
Now about those measurable metrics. Here are a few categories you can use to help you define and track those goals you set.
- Number of mentions to sales or customer experience staff
- Number of podcast merchandise purchases
- Number of social media mentions, broken down by channel
- Average length of listen and where listeners start and stop
- Episodes completed
- Number of episode comments or reviews
- Number of surveys taken or resources downloaded
- Podcast rating
- Responses to questions, quizzes, or contests
- Sponsor ad clicks or promo codes used
- Top audio clips
- Number of shares of related content (podcast transcripts, blogs, clips, etc.)
- Number of show or episode shares from hosting platform
- Number of subscribers
Along with these metrics, Casted’s Measure feature allows you to access behavior data, demographic information, and traffic metrics about episodes, seasons, series, and even individual clips. Think Google Analytics, but for your podcast. Essentially, this information lets you discover what content performs best so you can realign your goals and strategy to make the most out of your podcast.
Casted: Take Your Podcast Marketing to New Heights
You put a lot of time and energy into your podcast. It’s time to make your podcast work for you. As a B2B podcast and video marketing solution, Casted provides all the tools you need to market your podcast, grow your audience, analyze your performance, and impact your business’ bottom line.
With Casted you can:
- Search to quickly and easily explore your wealth of podcast and video marketing content.
- Publish to distribute your podcast and video content to all the major players.
- Measure to analyze your podcasts and videos with the metrics and KPIs that matter.
- Create themes to visualize how all of your content works together.
- Gain insights to get to know your audience to create better content that converts.
Ready to experience Casted for yourself? We’d love to show you. Reach out today to schedule a demo to find out about the Casted difference.