Tech and engineering-based companies are just a couple of examples of the types of companies that can benefit immensely by using a podcast to reach their B2B customers.
By producing a podcast, you will not only set yourself apart from your competitors, but also establish yourself as a thought leader and effectively create an umbrella of content around your podcast.
I present five reasons why you should dive into the world of podcasting to take advantage of the spoken word, and how to do so.
Technically, you could whip out your phone at this very moment and start recording and it would qualify as a podcast.
The boundaries for starting a podcast, also a high-quality one, are relatively low. It only takes a small room, a couple of microphones and little to no editing.
Obviously, if you represent a company, you want to exude professionalism. So, you might pick up a microphone, but that is it.
Minimal Effort Needed Before you begin Your B2B Podcast
While you truly can use your smartphone to start your podcast, you might want to do a little extra to really hit the nail on the head.
This is the bare minimum:
- We have microphones with an XLR three-pronged connection, which is plugged in to the mixer. This provides high-quality sound but requires more equipment.
If you want a simpler setup, you can settle for a microphone with a USB port which can be connected directly into a computer.
No matter the microphone you choose, it will need to have a pop filter or windscreen. This is the small afro on the microphone which reduces noise exponentially.
2. Record in a relatively small room with no smooth surfaces. It sounds weird, but having a carpet on the floor, a bookshelf on the wall and maybe some curtains reduce resonance, which makes the listening experience way more pleasant.
You don’t need a studio but, to avoid too much editing, you should make sure that it is somewhat soundproof.
3. Audacity is a free program which is commonly used by beginners and provides the basic tools needed for anyone who might want to start a B2B podcast.
If you have an Adobe Creative subscription, you can use their programs. Both Audacity and Premiere Pro work well when it comes to editing sound.
If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of equipment, just rent a podcast studio which is relatively cheap.
Who Should Host Your B2B Podcast?
Should you host your podcast yourself or should you hire someone to do it? Here are the pros and cons of each choice:
- Internal host:
Pros: It’s simply easier to make the schedules fit together, and you have more control over the process. It might be easier to adapt as you go, because you have direct contact with a trusted employee. Also, you’re sure that your host knows their stuff about the topic at hand. And obviously, it’s cheaper and provides a more stable base for the podcast to continue in the long run.
Cons: You need an employee that either knows how to host or is willing to learn. Also, being an expert in the field might not always be good. If you know too much, you might miss obvious questions for which the listener might want an answer.
- External host:
Pros: You can hit the ground running. You get expertise and knowledge straight from the get-go, and don’t get dragged down by questions and doubt. Also, in the short term, it might lead to a better podcast.
Cons: You must schedule with an external person, which is a hassle, and these practicalities might slowly drain the entire production. Also, it’s expensive, and the host might not have the necessary knowledge to ask the right questions.
But is it even going to be interesting you might ask? And what should the podcast even be about?
Well, that leads me to the second point.
2. You Already Have the Content
Whatever company you work at, you can always share your knowledge within your field. You’re specialized within something and, no matter how niche it is, there will always be listeners.
It might not be a top 10 trending post if you talk about supply chain management or producing specialized engineering tools for very specific machinery, but there will always be people interested in your topic.
People like to hear other people “nerding out”. The podcast doesn’t have to be about true crime, news, or comedy. There are hundreds of niche podcasts that have a small but loyal following, and you can be one of them.
Sharing your knowledge within your field will also help establish you as a thought leader. People will turn their gaze toward you. If you’re interested in learning more about thought leadership, I suggest you read this article.
Examples of Topics for Your B2B Podcast
You might be reluctant to share knowledge that might give up your competitive edge in the market, but I’m not telling you to share everything.
Here are a few podcast topic ideas:
- You might introduce a new technological advancement that solves a problem. Interview someone with knowledge regarding this new solution and understand how this might affect the future.
- Talk about a structural challenge within your field. This might be a political issue which restrains advancements. Explore the topic and try to understand why those restraints exist and how they can be changed or circumvented.
- You might talk about some of the new changes you’ve made in your company to try and better yourself. Be extremely careful when doing this. People don’t want to hear a 30-minute sales pitch.
You would be surprised if you knew how many people seek new knowledge within many science-related industries.
People are eager to learn, and they look for teachers.
Share your knowledge within your field and take advantage of their thirst for a thought leader.
If you are a B2B science company that operates with complex and heavy content, chances are that articles are very time consuming to produce and difficult to make attractive to people.
You need an external writer, and they need to interview one of your employees. After that, you face a long revision process going back and forth. Suddenly you’ve spent countless hours on a somewhat small project.
The spoken medium has a very different effect. A 20-minute-long podcast takes (you guessed it) 20 minutes to make. Obviously, there is preparation, but nowhere near the same as when writing a blog post.
If you have two knowledgeable people, they can simply dive into the subject at hand.
3 Examples of Knowledge Heavy B2B Podcasts
Here are three examples, which you can use as inspiration and insight, when it comes to sharing complex knowledge with people through a podcast.
- Lockheed Martin: Inside Skunk Works. A glimpse into their work process and innovations within their field.
- Perito Consulting: S&OP Masterclass. A podcast exploring supply chain management and how to streamline a complex business.
- NASA: Houston We Have a Podcast. Exploring the world of human spaceflight.
How long should your B2B podcast be?
Many podcasts are very long and allow a deep dive into the topic of choice. Podcasts seem to be one of the only mediums where length isn’t a problem. The most popular podcast in the world right now, The Joe Rogan Experience, is often several hours per episode.
People listen to a podcast when they do household chores, or go on their daily commute, which means that they listen to podcast as long as they have something else to do.
Obviously, the time these tasks take can vary greatly, but generally this means that people are willing to listen for longer periods of time (even up to hours).
If you’re rather inexperienced in making podcasts, starting out with a shorter format such as 20-30 minutes until you have a good grip on the media and the interviewing techniques might be a good idea.
Furthermore, the host plays an important role when it comes to keeping the listener engaged. As the representative for the listener, the host is supposed to predict questions the listener might have.
Here preparation might come in handy, and a small talk with the guest beforehand might improve the podcast drastically.
A little goes a long way.
Securing a good dynamic between the host and the guest keeps the listener engaged and makes for an overall more enjoyable experience.
4. Niching Down to Find Your B2B Customer
You won’t have many listeners if you talk about a very niche topic, but that shouldn’t be your goal anyway.
If your podcast is about a very niche topic within your B2B field, you probably already know every company who could have an interest in this topic.
Obviously, they are interested in something that could possibly make them better within their field, and you can tailor your podcast to fit their exact needs.
You don’t have to create the next Joe Rogan Experience to make a successful podcast.
Let’s say you work for a knowledge-driven engineering company that produces solutions B2B.
A podcast which discusses the newest technology within this specific field would probably be a most-listened-to podcast because there probably isn’t anything like it.
Simply being the first to do something can make you interesting.
Examples of People Who Should Be Guests on Your B2B Podcast
- You can invite current customers onto the podcast. Ask them about their challenges and how they overcome them. This way you also affiliate yourself with them and create retention with your customers.
- Potential customers who have solved a typical industry issue. This way they get to get their name out, and you get a potential selling opportunity.
- Scientists who are specialized within the field. They give you credibility and provide good content, which people are interested in.
If you facilitate the podcast, it’s usually easy to get people to join a podcast. People are often intrigued and flattered to be considered of interest.
A podcast is basically an interview that contains so much value that it can easily be turned into many pieces of content:
- If you record your podcast on camera, you can make short videos of the most interesting parts and post them on your social media.
- You can write articles either explaining the main point further or use them to explore related content.
- You can make show notes where you transcribe the whole interview. This creates value through transparency and SEO.
- You can make graphical social media posts with the best quotes.
- You can even make evergreen content to use for an E-mail funnel, inspired by the topics from the podcast.
There are plenty of potential ideas. The podcast is simply an entry to an entire universe of content which will establish you as a thought leader, reach your desired audience, and convey complex matter more interestingly.
This is what we are specialized in here at Montanus, and why our customers keep coming back. We can create large amounts of differentiated content all stemming from podcasts which we produce, edit and facilitate.
We have been working with tech- and engineering companies for years. If you need help to kickstart your journey, feel free to reach out.
If you’re still not convinced that producing a podcast is an efficient and smart way of producing content, check out this article, which explains how podcasts create intimacy, and why that relationship with your customers matters.