Creating intimacy and getting to know people is crucial when it comes to marketing, sales, and business in general.
Whether you sell used cars, Google ads, laser technology, or supply chain management systems getting to know your customers is alpha and omega.
It’s a gamechanger if people like you and, when that happens, they will naturally feel like they can trust you. That’s the reason you should utilize podcasts. Think of them as an on-demand listening experience — not just a radio that is turned on in the background.
The reason conversation and face-to-face meeting is so efficient is that we are social beings. When we meet people, we get a sense of what type of people we’re dealing with, as well as how trustworthy they are.
A podcast has the same effect. It creates intimacy.
Let me explain.
Podcasts Let You Create Intimacy from a Distance
If you listen to a podcast, you most likely use headphones. This means, quite literally, that people whisper directly into your ear. It is almost as if they are talking to you, or you are eavesdropping on the table next to you at a café.
In other words, people are listening closely. The closeness of the sound invokes a strong presence in the listening experience.
This is fully fledged attention.
Listening to a podcast is a choice made by the listener, and it’s often consumed in an attentive manner.
Another thing that makes podcasts quite intimate is that they are solely an audio experience.
This might sound counterintuitive. How would having no visual component make a podcast more intimate?
I mean, watching people and seeing yourself in their situation is quite a strong tool, right?
Maybe – but a podcast does something else that is equally as powerful. When you listen with no visual stimuli, you automatically create your own visualization of whatever it is that you’re listening to.
The brain just starts working – it’s very human.
You visualize what the hosts look like based on their voices. You might imagine how they’re sitting, and you might even see the scenarios discussed play out in your mind.
This means that every single listener creates their own unique image of the podcast, the participants, and all the scenarios discussed. And, because everything in the listener’s mind is created based on prior experiences and thoughts, it becomes highly personalized.
This might sound a bit like mumbo-jumbo but think about it. You have heard of people who are disappointed when they really liked a book but hated the film adaptation.
And, obviously, your own visual adaptation of Harry Potter may not always align with the reality envisioned by those who made the movies (causing a clash between your idea of something and reality).
The lack of visual stimuli forces listeners to create it themselves. Listening to a podcast creates a highly personalized experience that is easy to immerse themselves in because it is of their own making.
The Power of Informal Communication
In conversation, whether it’s professional or private, cracking a joke and lightening the mood is always welcome.
The podcast is a medium which truly embraces the laid-back feeling. It works well without a rigid structure or carefully written manuscript.
Its power lies within its ability to create genuine and authentic human moments – even when it comes to a professional environment.
Many successful podcasts are characterized by informal language, which often is highlighted by the dynamic between the people participating.
You might wonder how this will help you reach your B2B customer.
Podcasts have been proven to foster a “parasocial” relationship between the listener and the host.
What this means is that when people listen to a podcast, they feel like they get to know the people on the podcast (to such an extent that people consider podcast hosts as friends).
This creates a feeling of getting to know one another; cracking a joke and sensing the other person, as a professional and as a human.
Obviously, you can’t make a podcast about just having a casual conversation about your weekend, but the internal banter and dynamic between the people in the podcast is a crucial tool – which is what people often respond to.
Even when it comes to professional matters, people tend to favor people they know and like.
Therefore, creating a serious podcast about a topic within your field while maintaining an informal edge will prove an effective strategy.
If you take anything away from the article, this might be the most important point.
Podcasts are supposed to be informal and work well when concentrating on down to earth conversation about interesting topics.
A podcast is not a highly curated experience, nor is it a talkshow. It just rarely works when it comes to podcast, and it requires immense amounts of effort and skill to make it work.
The podcast is a medium of conversation.
Fewer Listeners but the Right Listeners
So, having established why the podcast is such a unique medium in terms of creating intimacy, we now turn to something more marketing related.
Creating a podcast on a niche topic at your company is not going to land you in the top 10 podcast list. And that should not be your goal.
The podcast is an amazing medium when it comes to reaching a very specific niche.
There are some strange podcasts out there for coin-collectors, supply-chain-management or Disney-film enthusiasts.
If you’re interested in a field, chances are, there is someone else just as interested. This means that you might gain a small but loyal listening crowd.
At Montanus, we have made podcasts for Supply Chain Management software, Concrete Mixers and a space and defense tech firm.
At first glance these might sound like odd topics, but every podcast has always managed to gather interested listeners.
So, gather your fellow nerds (or the experts within your field or organization) and discuss the topics and challenges that you would normally talk about on your lunch break.
The podcast is probably the medium which requires the least editing of any kind, because the authentic human interaction is one of the main driving forces of it.
If you edit too much, you might end up losing what makes your podcast attractive for people.
You can, for example, check out our podcast in which we ask experts and scientist difficult questions about the universe, but also incorporate Star Wars and lightsabers.
All our episodes are shot in one take. We don’t edit anything but the start and the ending. It’s basically just two people having a conversation, and it works.
Have a listen and decide for yourself.
Insert Yourself in the Daily Lives of Your Primary Target Group
A podcast is often used to spice up otherwise dull activities. Going for a jog, cleaning the kitchen, picking up groceries, traveling to and from work — you name it.
These are all tasks that don’t require any mental capacity, but they keep you from reading a book or watching television.
This means that you quite literally get invited into the homes of your listeners. They open their door for you and let you into the most sacred place – their everyday life. What gets more intimate than that?
You’ll be in their ears every morning when they go to work; the rainy ones and the sunny ones. You’ll be there when they pick up their kids and when they go through the car wash.
In a time when the attention span of everyone is shrinking by the minute, a podcast is unique in that it holds the attention. When listeners sit in the car and put on the podcast, it’s rare that people stop listening because they are occupied by what else they’re doing. They’ll probably just listen to the podcast until they reach their destination or are done with their household chore.
If it’s a 30-minute drive, people will most likely listen for 30 minutes.
This means you have quite a long time to impress people. It’s not a social media post, where you must catch their attention within the first 2 seconds.
Over time people spend countless hours listening to podcasts featuring people they’ve never known in real life but feel like they have built personal relationships with.
I’m not saying that this should be your goal, but it’s a fact that emphasizes the immense power of the podcast and the structures around such a seemingly ordinary medium.
Podcasting is a tool, which allows you to draw on the advantages of social interaction and its integration into people’s everyday life.
Respect Your Audience
All the prior points only stand if you try to create an interesting podcast.
You can’t just make a 30-minute sales pitch. You can’t just list reasons why your product or service is superior to everyone else’s.
It doesn’t work like that.
Your audience deserves respect and if you’re ingenuine people will notice that within minutes.
You must want to share knowledge.
Even though it might seem counterintuitive, sharing knowledge within your field is a way of creating attention around your brand. This will benefit your company the most in the long run.
A podcast is rarely about getting customer’s short term. It’s about establishing your name, creating trust, and positioning yourself as a thought leader. You might pick up customers on your journey, but it’s not the same as making a Google ads account and getting people in from day one.
So, resist the urge to plug your newest product or class, but always mention your brand and who is providing the content.
Make sure your brand is associated with knowledge, power, professionalism, and people who are approachable and potential business partners.
If you’re hoping a podcast will be a short-term solution to acquiring new customers, you’re betting your money on the wrong horse. A podcast is a long-term investment.
An investment worth making.
If you need help to get your B2B podcast on the air, feel free to contact us here at Montanus, so we can discuss the possibilities with you.
If you’re intrigued in general and are considering making a podcast, here are 5 steps to consider before making a podcast.
Also, if you want to know how podcasts can serve as a tool to create differentiated content across a variety of platforms, expand your knowledge here.