How Your B2B Podcast Can Grow Your Brand

Just another podcast might feel like unneeded noise in the sea of content that already exists today. That’s certainly what Tim Yeaton, CMO of Red Hat, initially thought when his team proposed they start an in-house podcast called Command Line Heroes. He was skeptical at first: “I’m there thinking, I’m not sure about podcasts as a form factor anymore because video is dominating.”

Despite his reservations concerning the medium, Yeaton gave his team the go-ahead, and since then, the podcast has become a huge success. After just two seasons and 15 episodes, the podcast had over 45K subscribers, over 800K downloads, and an audience retention rate of 75% per episode, snagging both a Shorty Award and a Webby nomination in 2019.

Numbers like that quite the accomplishment for a medium that many perceive as obsolete or unpopular, and they are a sure sign that podcasts are an incredibly effective content tool that B2B businesses can use to stand out as a category leader, grow a loyal audience, and ultimately generate demand down the line.

In fact, CMO Richard Jones of Cheetah Digital thought podcasts were so important that his growing marketing team has developed not just one podcast, but three: Thinking Caps, Uncaged Wisdom, and PULSE. Knowing that B2B marketing content is typically dry and lacking in variety, Jones is trying to flip the switch with podcasts and “B2Cify” their content mix: “There is no better tool in content marketing than having happy customers telling stories around how you were able to overcome challenges and deliver business outcomes.”

The first order of business for a B2B brand thinking of starting a podcast is to look at your audience. Next, brainstorm and explore category-specific topics, thought leadership, and look for success stories within your own customer base—essentially, you want each episode of your podcast to directly address and provide possible solutions to challenges that your audience may face.

For example, Workspan’s podcast, Ecosystem Aces, focuses on interviewing businesses leaders who manage partner ecosystems. Hosted by Workspan CMO Chip Rodgers, and with 100+ episodes (and counting), the podcast’s micro audience can benefit from hearing what’s worked for others and what hasn’t for others in the space.

On top of providing access to useful, targeted content, the podcast has also contributed to an interesting dynamic with guests that’s great for business: if the guest is a customer, Workspan gets to showcase their vision and thought leadership, and if they aren’t a customer, Workspan gets to have a conversation with them—one of the first steps of relationship-building.

“We’re very careful not to all the sudden turn it into a sales opportunity, that feels like a bait and switch,” Rodgers explains in an interview about cultivating customer champions, “but I think that, through that process, you learn about the company, you learn about the things they’re working on and some of their challenges so that then, down the road, there’s a chance for a conversation to say: ‘Oh, well, you talked about this, maybe it’s something that we can help with.’ It becomes a more natural conversation around ways that we can help each other.”

It’s possible to take this one-to-one approach at relationship building a step further and turn it into a community. On Renegade Thinkers Unite, the founder & CEO of marketing agency Renegade LLC, Drew Neisser, interviews a new CMO every week and they discuss all things marketing, from brand strategy to CMO superpowers. When the COVID crisis hit, Neisser reached out to his CMO guests and invited them to weekly “CMO Huddles,” virtual meetups where marketing leaders could gather to share their thoughts, challenges, and solutions in real-time, which have proven extremely valuable for everyone involved.

Building a community to share knowledge and showcase customer success is one of the best reasons to consider podcasting, there are a few more. The treasure trove of CMO insights on Renegade Thinkers Unite has served as a foundational research tool for much of Renegade LLC’s marketing content, including their recently published report that responds directly to the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic: 6 Ways to Drive B2B Demand Generation in a Downturn.

It’s also been useful for SEO purposes—with Google set to make audio crawlable in the near future, episodes will become crawlable and indexable, giving them even more punch than ever before as they are the natural, authentic conversations that Google’s evolving algorithm tends to reward.  

If anything, starting a podcast is a bold marketing experiment with low risk and the potential for great rewards. As Drew Neisser says in his interview with Tim Yeaton about the success of Red Hat’s podcast, “Just remind yourself to be experimenting, to have the courage to try new things. What was the worst that happened if the podcast didn’t work, really? You wasted some money. The risk was kind of modest.”

Dave Pascht Shares His Top Podcast Picks for Digital Marketers

Technology has embedded itself as a part of our everyday lives in a variety of great ways. From staying in touch with friends and family to having new knowledge at our fingertips 24/7, technological advancements can often cause us to feel like our options are limitless. It seems like every day we have a new, more advanced way to do something in a more convenient, effective way. One such advancement is in how we learn. While sitting down with a book or even looking up a concept on a computer can be difficult in our fast-paced lives, listening to a podcast has been an innovative tool to gaining new knowledge.

Dave Pascht knows the importance to continue learning throughout your entire career and how difficult that can be when you’re on the go. As one of the leaders in the digital marketing field, he finds it crucial to take every opportunity to learn. Podcasts are great because they allow you to otherwise unproductive time with an opportunity for growth. Whether you’re in the car, in the shower, or on a run, podcasts are a great way for experts to share knowledge to anyone interested in learning from them which is why Dave Pascht is sharing his top podcast picks for digital marketers.

Marketing Scoop

Marketing Scoop Podcast hosted by Laura Morelli takes a deep dive into marketing on a case by case basis. Ever wonder how big companies like Google, Ikea, and Uber have made a name for themselves? Explore how these brands and more grew from the ground up and kept their status through the highs and lows. Marketing Scoop is a great look at the true to life paths of marketing success stories.

The Marketing Companion

The Marketing Companion is an in depth look at digital marketing through the lens of Mark Schaefer and Brooke Sellas. Experienced in both marketing and comedy, the duo making learning how to expand your digital platforms more accessible and enjoyable. No one said that learning had to be dull and The Marketing Companion puts a fun spin on digital marketing!

ProBlogger Podcast

Blogging is one of the original and still widely used digital marketing platforms. ProBlogger Podcast looks at how to increase your brand’s exposure from the ground up, touching upon a variety of vital topics to the budding or established blogger.

CopyBlogger

CopyBlogger hosted by Tim Stoddart and Darrell Vesterfelt brings in rotating guests to give you a variety of viewpoints on how to best run your digital marketing campaign. With a lineup of professionals, you get a fresh take on digital marketing in every episode.

Online Marketing Made Easy

Hosted by Amy Porterfield, Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast goes into how to market your brand whether you’re new or simply looking for more sensical, simplistic ways to expand your brand. Online Marketing Made Easy is a great go-to podcast for anyone looking for the simple answers, fast!

Are you interested in learning more about how to expand your brand via digital marketing? Learn more about Dave Pascht and the 2020 digital marketing trends here.

How Your Podcast Can be an Engaging Research Tool

There’s quite a lot to be said for the informal tone of a podcast. The oft-conversational format resonates with most listeners and is easily consumed (without being too much of a burden on one’s schedule). Naturally, the format’s exploded in popularity—it’s not quite as casual or tune-out-able as music, not quite as attention-demanding as documentaries or similar visual mediums, but ultimately can still be an engaging and information-rich experience. Given the format, there are some interesting opportunities for secondary content generation in the wake of a podcast, such as white papers or various reports.

One example of this in practice is the comprehensive guide to B2B brand strategy recently published by Drew Neisser, CEO & Founder of Renegade, a NY-based marketing agency. The podcast in question—Renegade Thinkers Unite (RTU)—has been a project of Drew’s for a few years and, given the weekly release schedule, has resulted in a few hundred chief marketing officer interviews. Now, the biggest mistake one could make when sitting on a treasure trove of CMO wisdom such as that would be to just let it idle in cyberspace. That said, a core goal of the podcast is to help inform Renegade’s modus operandi—as such, with a little help from a few tools, something relatively informal can be distilled into research usually tied to more academic studies—highlighting that the conversational approach to understanding marketing belies how valuable the conversations of a podcast can be. To understand the process of podcast distillation, we’ll first take a look at the basics of setting up a podcast, successfully rolling it out each week, promoting it, and then converting it into actionable research.

Before breaking down at the “how” let’s take a closer look at the “why.” Recently, Drew & Renegade published the ’12 Steps to an Effective Brand Strategy in 2020’ special report. Though supplemented with a CMO survey, the RTU podcast was foundational in crafting this. The easiest way to get a sense of how a podcast can be broken down into vital information is through the RTU example. After spending time collecting information from the podcast, and organizing it (a vastly underrated step), Drew found that guests’ successes highlighted a few categories of productive behavior for marketers—this would be the basis of the report. For example, section 3 of the behemoth report focuses on purpose-driven marketing, and why it is absolutely crucial in the modern business era. Specifically, Drew cites the phenomenal example of Bank of the West’s purpose-driven marketing that was extremely risky, potentially financially draining, but ultimately wonderfully successful. That particular example, which serves as a thematic lynchpin for the section, was uncovered in a discussion with Ben Stuart, CMO, in an interview that predated the report by roughly a year. However, there was quite a bit more that went into forming this section than the sole, quoted episode. Drew’s fascination and commitment to brand purpose, while longstanding, picked up considerably in a separate podcast interview that occurred before Ben Stuart’s, with Leela Srinivasan of SurveyMonkey. Later on, Drew built on those first two discussions by exploring how purpose-built up a massively successful tech company through creating customer communities in a later interview with Tim Yeaton of Red Hat.

The point here is, a distillation of these interviews helps identify patterns, that can be factored in into later discussions, and can ultimately create multiple interviews that all provide relevant perspectives which can be plotted out to form a pretty amazing case (and how-to guide) for implementing purpose to boost your brand’s marketing efforts. If you’d like to get a better sense of how exactly it manifested, it’s worth taking a quick look at the linked episodes, and then taking a look at the fingerprint they left on the report—all the content is ungated as well. Now, let’s take a look at an overview for how the podcast is made, and how the information is organized.

First, the basics: a microphone (or two) for in-person interviews. A lavalier microphone that can be attached to a shirt collar can be quite helpful and can be found relatively inexpensively online. However, in-person interviews, especially when the guests are often busy, can be difficult to schedule. A simple solution is to employ an online conferencing software. A video chat service can be a huge boon when navigating stuffed schedules and can still create a face-to-face environment conducive to casual, candid conversations—which is crucial. Furthermore, most platforms allow for audio recording, making it easy to come away with clear, editable audio, even if you both aren’t in the same room mic’d up. For Renegade Thinkers Unite, Drew leans on zoom.us, which offers competitive video conferencing, clear audio quality, and cloud storage for recordings. Once you’ve got raw audio, some basic software (such as Garageband) will more than suffice for cutting out any extraneous bits of the interview. Once episodes have been edited, you can create basic graphics—Drew recommends creating an easily tweakable photoshop template where guest pictures and key episode information can be subbed in each week. Check out the visuals on their episodes here for reference. Then, following that, select a podcast syndication platform that can publish your mp3 to major channels each week. RTU uses Libsyn, and publishes to just about every major podcast platform.

Following the basic production of your interview itself, you’ll want to create transcripts. For Renegade Thinkers Unite, the audio from each episode is uploaded to Sonix, AI-driven software that creates rough, readable transcripts. Though somewhat tedious, the editing down of these transcripts is crucial, as it gives you a written, easily referenceable and searchable record of information. Each week, RTU cleans and edits podcast transcripts, then condensed them down to inform key takeaways. The distillation process reveals crucial thoughts and opinions from marketers, that can then be considered in the context of other interviews. This helps identify correlational trends in marketing that can be the basis of substantive research—this is really where the gold flakes start revealing themselves in the panning process. Another pro-tip: Drew’s portions of the transcript get edited down significantly and are rewritten to highlight the key question (and key topics) being discussed—this helps improve how quickly different answers from different podcasts can be connected (especially once you’ve accrued somewhere far north of 300 interviews, like Drew!).

Over time, you’ll develop a catalog of searchable interviews that will certainly contain a wealth of information waiting to be mapped out and organized. That is, provided you stick one overarching theme (such as marketing). Interviewing one guest about the subtleties of medieval political structures and another about the mechanics of Larry Bird’s jump shot, while certainly interesting, won’t do much to reveal any larger patterns about basketball or political systems. A data set needs multiple data points, after all. Now, you’ve got the basic skeleton of how to create and publish a podcast, and then how to organize it so you and your team can sort through and start pulling crucial business insights from engaging conversations. Now you’ve just got to select your subject and start messaging guests you’d like to interview.

Drew is notably reachable and eager to share his wisdom on marketing and podcasting—should you find yourself with any other questions about the podcasting process, or B2B marketing, you can find him on LinkedIn here.

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Photo by RodriUrU

How to Launch a New Podcast in 15 Minutes

Podcasts are one of the most popular forms of content these days and there are new podcasts being launched daily. Have you thought about possibly starting your own podcast but weren’t sure how to start or you felt that you don’t have the startup capital needed to get a new podcast launched?

Well, it’s very easy and you can do it with no out of pocket money. You read that correct. You can start a podcast for $0. Here is how you can start your very own podcast for free and in less than 15 minutes.

Setup an Anchor Account

There are so many different podcast platforms and most will charge you a small fee to use their system to host your audio files. Anchor.fm is a platform that will not only host all of your podcast files for free, but they will also distribute it to all of the other platforms like Apple and Spotify.

It’s free to setup and they also have a great mobile app that allows you to record episodes right from your phone. This means you can start without any additional equipment.

Create Podcast Artwork

You will need to create a nice cover for your podcast. You can use Canva, a free photo and image tool to create something that looks professionally designed.

it only takes a couple minutes. Make it 1,200 x 1,200 pixels.

Activate Sponsorships

Anchor.fm allows you to activate sponsorships with one click, and they will continue to offers you deals as your podcast grows. This gives you an immediate monetization source.

You can also try to secure your own sponsor deals. Look for industry relevant companies and approach them. A podcast that talks about mental health for example might want to approach manufactures of CBD products, as they are something the audience would be interested in.

how to start a podcast for free

Record Using Free Resources

As mentioned, the Anchor.fm app allows you to record from your mobile device. There is no need to buy an expensive setup in the beginning.

If your podcast becomes popular and if you make some ad revenue you can then use that money to buy a nice pro mic and audio setup to record better quality audio.

Promote Your Podcast

Once you have your first episode live make sure to share it on your social media. This is a great way to build an early audience. Your friends and family are likely to listen to support it.

Don’t worry about making a podcast that everyone loves. If you talk about politics then stay on track. If you talk about sports or sports betting, then a Ladbrokes review is on-track and will appeal to your listeners.

Start to Acquire Your Equipment

The first thing you will want to invest in once you have some ad revenue is a nice mic as well as a nice pair of noise cancelling headphones.

The ultimate goal of most podcasters is to get to a point where you built a dedicated podcast recording studio. Whether you set one up in your house or find a contractor to build one in your office, a dedicated studio just elevates the effort to a new level.

But, as you can see there is no rush to spend money. By following the advice above you can start a podcast for free and have it up in less than 15 minutes.

How Podcasting Stands Up To Other Types of Content and Its Creation

Podcasting is going to continue to grow in popularity as it has become a consumer favorite to tune into on the way to work or the gym. The form of content is not yet the most popular but below there are going to be pros and cons of podcasting when it comes to other forms of content. “Podcasting is the future of content for some niches,” according to website development company, “while other forms of content might still hold their place at the top in other industries.” The following are the positives and negatives of podcasting when it comes to other types of content and the creation of this content.

Written

Written content can be great for a resource for others trying to learn about a specific topic. There are some podcasts that can do just the same thing while others offer a diverse number of topics depending on the host’s agenda for the day. With this being said podcasts that are hours long can be tough to find a specific definition or discussing a very specific topic. Unless the podcast is transcribed by another party then written content is better for looking back to research specific things. Podcast transcription is becoming more prevalent but written content can have a more condensed amount of information as people usually do not speak naturally in the most concise terms.

Video

Podcasts versus video differ immensely when it comes to the cost as video content needs to be generated as well as edited. This can be quite costly especially when using animations as well as time consuming as far as getting everything correct the first time when it is acted out content. The Money Alert notes that while marketing should use different types of content ROI is the most important part of most marketing and ad campaigns.

Interactive Web Media

Interactive web media can be fun as everyone has enjoyed an online test or two. This can be very difficult as far as cost goes to design as no company wants an amateur looking interactive page. This also is very limiting as far as the subject matter that can be covered via this type of content. Podcasting is cheaper and can cover more with a fraction of the price.

Clickbait of Any Kind

Clickbait is generic content that might get a click or two but the content itself never lives up to the hype. Podcasting is the opposite when it comes to the title living up to what is covered or how good a podcast is. A podcast could have a random name but could be generating millions of people listening on a weekly basis.

Podcasting allows a company or individual to delve into multiple subjects in a very deep way. There is no time limit on podcasts so the more engaging guests a podcast has can go on for quite some time. Do not write off podcasting as a great way to drive leads, web traffic, and establish yourself or a company in an industry as it is a quite powerful medium.




How To Use Social Media To Increase Your Podcast Listeners

Podcasting is only going to continue to increase in popularity due to the fact that a podcast can get deep into subjects while a 30 minute show on TV has time limitations. Increasing your listener base during your podcast’s infancy can seem like an impossible task. According to one mobile app development company , “Spending money to advertise simply is not in the cards for many people just trying to grow their personal brand.” Social media becomes immensely important due to this fact as it is free promotion.

Social media also allows a podcaster to engage with their listeners by using a custom hashtag. Listeners can comment or ask questions on specific topics that are both relevant and irrelevant to what is being discussed. This can build a sense of community which boosts listener loyalty with a great example being Barstool Sports. The viewers of their site and fans of their associated podcasts affectionately call themselves “Stoolies”. Building this sense of community also opens up the chance to sell merchandise to diversify your income streams from the podcast. Take the time to engage on social media with followers and do not be afraid to defend your points. Not everyone is going to like your opinions or thoughts so stay steady as there are going to be plenty of people that love listening to you!




Why You Don’t Need A Verified Instagram Account to Be Successful at Podcasting

For public figures, celebrities, brands and influencers, having a verified Instagram account seems like the ideal way to establish credibility and further grow their following.

The blue check of verification immediately signals to other users that you’re a leader in your industry and are officially recognized by Instagram as such.

Instagram’s Verification Process

Initially, verification was created out of practicality. In 2014, Instagram started verifying accounts in order to reduce the risk of well-known users.

Since then, the process for verification has been secretive and highly exclusive, leaving brands wondering how to get a verified Instagram account.

For the past few years, anyone seeking verification would have to have a submission made through an agency in order to be considered for the process.

Today, says the team at ingramer, requesting verification on Instagram is easier than ever.

As of August 28, 2018, any user can submit the request themselves by going to the menu, settings, and clicking “request verification”. After providing a government issued ID and/or business documents, your request for verification will go through.

While this changes how you can apply for verification, it doesn’t make the process any easier. The secret to how Instagram decides which accounts to verify is still largely unknown.

Growing Your Instagram Without Verification

While being verified brings a stamp of approval and a sort of social exclusivity, brands and entrepreneurs don’t need a verified badge to have a strong Instagram following.

Your verification status on Instagram, or lack thereof, really holds no power if your audience isn’t paying attention to your brand.

Just as a large following doesn’t always equate to high engagement or the success of a brand, the same is true for verified accounts.

Focusing on the growth of your Instagram is much more important than figuring out how to get verified on instagram.

A brand’s ability to connect with their followers and build an attentive, responsive, and supportive following is arguably worth more than a status symbol of a verified account. A profile may have a verified badge with only a few hundred likes per photo, with virtually no comments or new followers. While getting verified can help boost your brand’s image, there are several things you can do now to grow your Instagram.

  • Analyze the Quality of Your Followers

If engagement is truly one of your priorities, you should take the time to analyze the quality of your followers. Accounts with fake followers or inactive users may be able to boast a large following without having any likes, comments, and the overall engagement to show for it. This is why it’s much more important for you to attract followers that find your brand and content appealing enough to engage with on a regular basis.

  1. Curate Better Content

Instagram is all about visuals. If you’re not posting quality content, it’s likely that you won’t be getting as many likes and follows as you hope. Take the time to beef up your posts by hiring a content creator or learning innovative design strategies to help you curate a better feed.

  1. Invest in an Instagram Marketing Service

Growing your Instagram can feel like a full time job–so why not invest in a service to help? An Instagram marketing service helps brands, influencers, and entrepreneurs grow their Instagram by boosting brand awareness, locating new followers, and growing a brands reach far better than anyone could do on their own.

Whether you get verified or not, putting real effort into making your Instagram successful is as important as earning the ever-so-elusive verification status.

As your Instagram continues to grow, you’ll be able to make the most of your account as authentically as possible.