You won’t be surprised to learn that brand podcasts are becoming more and more of a thing. What may surprise you, though, are the themes some of these very popular shows are centered around. You might assume that most businesses focus solely on the niche they’re in or the services/products they offer up. But, that’s not the case as much anymore. Sometimes a brand’s podcast topic can seem somewhat distant from the focus of the company. But it's a strategic move, focusing on putting the brand's audience first.
For instance, Slack’s podcast, Slack Variety Pack, isn’t about conversations like you might assume — it’s about “work, life, and everything in between.” Sephora’s #LIPSTORIES won’t tell you much about makeup, but rather female leadership and empowerment. And (here’s the kicker) General Electric’s podcast, The Message, is actually an eight-part science fiction series. Say what?!
Here’s the thing: podcasts are not sales campaigns. They’re conversations. Specifically, conversations that get at the heart of what listeners want to know, building brand relationships and loyalty. And the brands that embrace that, are the ones who are finding huge success with podcasts. No one knows this better than Ethan Beute, author and Chief Evangelist at video email company BombBomb. Their podcast theme? Customer experience.
We recently sat down with Ethan to get his take on where podcasts fit in the broader marketing strategy and how personal brands give your podcast an authentic voice.
Use Your Podcast to Build Relationships
Despite its video-centric platform, video is not the central theme of the Customer Experience podcast. In fact, the BombBomb brand is only a small part of what they discuss on the show. So why does the non-product-focused podcast strategy work so well? To Ethan, it’s because not every listener is ready to have a sales discussion yet.
“So much of it is about building relationships and communicating more clearly,” he says. “It broadens how people think about us and allows us to think differently, act differently, and talk to the people who might not be in conversation with us otherwise.”
In this way, the podcast is at the top of the marketing funnel, providing value to serve a number of listeners in a unique way that isn’t necessarily core to the product.
Choosing a Host
Marketing mediums like emails, blogs, whitepapers, and even social posts can be written to mask the personality of the author in order to advance the corporate brand. But B2B podcasting is unique in that it gives brands more personality through the style and voices of the hosts and guests.
“If someone is connected to five BombBomb team members on LinkedIn, they know a lot more about us than they would ever learn from following BombBomb,” says Ethan. “Podcasting takes it to another level. It’s so much more open; it’s guard down; it’s just conversational.”
So how do you choose the right podcast host? Look for the person with passion and drive; someone who will generate excitement and engagement. In general, look for people who are:
- Natural conversationalists
- Avid learners
- Strong communicators
- Willing to put in the time to make it successful
Perhaps most of all, Ethan believes a good podcast host will be reflective and representative of the type of audience you want to attract. And you want someone who actually wants to do it. It’s not wise to put someone in front of a mic who isn’t enthusiastic about the task.
“The experience is, in part, a transfer of emotion,” he says. “If you’re not excited about it, it’s going to be a drag.”
Generating Shared Value
With authentic content in-hand, the BombBomb team can turn one podcast into so much more (from blog posts to video clips (obviously!), and social posts, just to name a few). Oftentimes, this is done by tagging the episode’s guest to 1) boost their social brand and 2) appeal to a broader network of visitors.
“It extends your appreciation and respect for [your guests],” says Ethan. “It allows your guest to be the superstar expert that they are. If you can make them look good, then you’re in a position to be successful.”
Ethan can also create internal value by sharing podcasts and snippets with the company’s Slack channels depending on the episode topic. By feeding the content to BDRs, SDRs, and even executives, they can create conversations that lead with value instead of pitches.
Authenticity Breeds Impact
Using the Customer Experience podcast as a top-of-funnel tool means BombBomb can create value for more listeners, no matter why they engage. Whether an episode is about video adoption or emotional intelligence, what stands out is authentic passion for the topic at hand.
“It’s the most fun and interesting thing I do. I love being able to carve out time to have conversations with smart, accomplished people who are doing interesting things.”
We think podcasting is fun too! And with Casted, we make it rewarding as well. As the industry’s first B2B podcasting platform, Casted provides a way to easily manage, activate, and measure your corporate podcast with easy-to-use tools for hosting, transcription, clip creation, social sharing, and much more. Let us show you how we extend the value of every authentic conversation you have with a quick demo.