You achieved one of your biggest feats—starting a B2B podcast. It was a challenge to do, but if you planned well, it’ll be well worth it in the end. The only problem is, you’re not over the hump yet—there’s still a chance of your worst nightmare coming true: Not getting enough (or any) listeners.
It’s a fear every B2B podcaster has when first starting out, but unless you are looking to put out a mass market show, your fears are likely unwarranted. Instead of being laser focused on garnering hundreds of thousands of listens, focus on creating a show that will actually educate or entertain your target audience.
Of course you want to grow your reach and bring in new brand fans through your podcast, which is why it’s critical to know who your audience is and who you are trying to reach.
Remember, your B2B podcast is a great tool to build your brand, authenticity, and trust with your audience. But if you’re focused on the wrong audience, you might be missing the mark to actually enhance your target audience’s experience. So how do you go about doing this?
There are two vital steps you have to take:
1. Identify who you want to attract (your audience’s avatar or buyer persona)
2. Choose a niche that’ll attract this group of people
When you have these two things figured out, it becomes easier to design content that’ll attract them specifically. Trying to talk to and connect with the masses will have your B2B podcast all over the place. This will spell disaster for your subscriber-building efforts.
How to Identify Your Target Audience
First steps first – how do you know who your audience is?
You likely already know who your target audience is (unless you’re a new brand just getting started). When you’re creating any piece of content, what do you think of first? Your audience. Starting a podcast should be no different.
Your podcast will be able to fuel a lot of other things outside of just audio content. We think podcasts can fuel entire content strategies - the expertise on shows, the topics covered, the human-to-human format is a goldmine for engaging content for your audience.
So when thinking about who your show might be a fit for - think about it from a content perspective.
Think about who you’re creating the podcast for. Think about who these listeners might be– where they are in the lives, what position they may be in at work, and what pain points they might be experiencing in their jobs. Also take a second to think of their personalities, and think of how that aligns with your brand. Is your brand all about humour? Are you more sarcastic in your brand voice? Or are you warm and friendly? Think about these characteristics for your audience, and you’ll be able to create a picture in your mind of those target listeners.
And second, take a look at your current audience. If you’re not already, take a bit of time to reach out to them and get to know them (unless it’s your Mom… because let’s be honest, she might be a huge fan of your brand, but she’s likely not the ideal audience for your content). Go check your social media channels and see who is following or engaging with you. Private message them and ask them a few questions about the content you’re planning to create and get their feedback. But caution here – don’t be sales-y and don’t cross normal social boundaries. That could alienate your audience!
Building A Podcast For Your Audience Instead of Building An Audience For Your Podcast
Dan Misener, Head of Audience Development at Pacific Content, shared with us his views on target audiences and earning your audience.
“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?
“…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.”
Building your audience is key, but which should come first—the podcast or the audience? According to Misener (and we agree), you need to know your audience before developing your podcast. To really hit the point home… podcasts aren’t different from other content in the sense that you should think about your audience before anything else.
Here’s what he had to say.
“My job title has the word audience development in it, and a very, very frequent question that I get is how do I build an audience for my podcast? And I think that is a very natural question. I understand that question, how do I build an audience for my podcast? But in some ways, I think the brands who are doing it best have flipped that on its head. And they’re asking, how do I build a podcast for my audience rather than how do I build an audience for my podcast?
“And that’s a fundamental shift, and I think it’s a shift in the right direction, and it’s a question I wish more brands were asking. Who is the audience that we want to serve, and how can we build a show for them in a way that only we could do? What are the stories that only we can tell? What is the perspective or point of view that we have, that we own, that nobody else owns? Who are the guests that we have access to, that nobody else could get access to, or would be difficult to access? And what do we know about our audience and what they want and how they’re already currently served such that we can create something that is highly differentiated.”
Niche It Out
Once you’ve identified your audience, take a really hard look at what their pain points are, and where their interests lie. Really dig into what kinds of topics and questions you think the audience has. And don’t be afraid to go find the riches in the niches. The more you dig into your own expertise and drill into the unique information you can provide your audience, the more this will allow you to create content that will best resonate with them.
It might sound crazy when you first hear it, but you don’t need to have a show that has millions (or even thousands) of listens or downloads to be successful and effective. In fact, if you cast your net to wide, without the right knowledge, skill, and plan to move forward, you could end up falling a bit short.
You’ll find more success if you take the time to understand your audience’s pain points and interests. Once you do that, you’ll be able to create content that has a better chance of capturing their attention and keeping it.
Follow the example of our friends at Auth0–they made sure to identify their core audience and to use that as the “North Star” for their podcast content.
“We have really plugged into the identity audience itself. As a company, we like to focus on developers. We’re built by developers for developers. We’re still working on really bringing that technical level to a place where developers want to consume that, but keeping that as our guiding star, as far as making sure the information is digestible and communicable for that type of audience has been really important for us,” explained Rebecca Abram, Senior Global Conference Manager at Auth0.
Use Your Internal Team
And don’t forget to look within the company! After determining what content your target audience wants to hear about, take a look internally. You likely have a variety of experts within you company, who can speak on a lot of topics. Figure out what expertise they hold, what each person is qualified to talk about, and what unique angles and information you can talk about that will set you apart from your competitors and help you develop that niche in the market.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, it’s about making sure that your B2B podcast is a success. And how you can do that is by making sure you have your eyes set on a target audience, and you’re creating the content they want to hear and carve out that niche for yourselves.
And if you want to take you B2B podcast to the next level, and amplify it and really wring out that content, we’re here for you. Contact us, schedule a demo, and let’s see how we can help you make your podcast a success!