More than 2 million podcasts and 48 million episodes are currently available online. These are numbers expected to significantly grow in the coming years, thanks largely to podcast investments made by players like Apple and Spotify plus through greater accessibility from smartphones and smart speakers like Amazon Echo. For those thinking about podcast marketing and becoming podcasters themselves, consider how to stand out from the crowd and grow an audience.
Read further to learn the Top 13 tactics to help you grow your B2B podcast audience:
1. Offer value right from the start | Podcast Marketing
Ted Talks Daily, one of the most downloaded podcasts of all time, is perhaps a textbook example of how to build a start-to-finish engaging podcast . Each episode starts with a message of urgency and conviction - telling listeners, “here’s what you need to know and why you must hear what I’m about to tell you.” During an approximately 15 minute session, listeners gain knowledge that educates and helps them. It’s a great example to follow. If you want to build a strong, loyal base of listeners then every episode needs to include a strong message of urgency at the start, actionable advice along the way, and, of course, always relevant to your audience. Here are things you may want to consider while creating an episode:
- Start with a vital message that serves as the central theme of your presentation - something that an audience needs to know or understand
- Determine your target audience and what are their pain points
- Seek to educate and provide actionable advice and information
- Make your content unique and valuable so they’ll come back to hear more from you
Perhaps, at the end of a podcast, you may want to ask your audience what topics they would like you to take up.
2. Strategize publishing frequency and time | Podcast Marketing
Consistency is the key, when it comes to marketing. Usually, it takes five to six months of consistently produced podcasts to begin attracting listeners. You may not reach your audience immediately, but keep the flow going, and eventually you will.
B2B podcasts might typically be one episode a week, but there are marketers like Gary Vaynerchuk who publish one episode daily. Let your audience know when they can expect to hear from you next. Start with a podcast frequency that you can reasonably manage and ramp up to more episodes later. But, don’t miss producing an episode because doing so will appear unprofessional and may not sit well with the audience.
When you publish your podcast can directly impact the engagement rate. If you are new to podcasting, search for other podcasts that are similar to yours and consider modeling your publishing time of day similar to theirs. It’s likely experienced and successful podcasters have based their time-of-day publishing on data and trends, so you might want to follow that schedule until you gather enough data to determine what works best for you.
Generally, the top B2B podcasts show that publishing weekly episodes either on Wednesdays or Thursdays works best. People typically listen to podcasts while they commute, so new episodes are largely posted at around 5 am when listeners are beginning their commute. Thursdays are known to have the highest number of podcast downloads.
3. Attract super listeners | Podcast Marketing
According to Edison Research, super listeners are those who consume at least five hours of podcasts weekly. They are highly valuable because 96 percent of them recommend content to friends and 44 percent pay more attention to ads on podcasts. Here are few things you can do to attract them:
- Add depth to your content: Super listeners love details, and they tend to listen to longer episodes that provide in-depth coverage or analysis on a topic. Build 50-minute-long episodes as they are most popular among super listeners.
- Build trust: 33 percent of super listeners say they trust podcast content, so look to create well-researched and verified content.
- Offer exclusive ad-free content: 61 percent of super listeners say they are interested in premium content, so offer meaningful, exclusive content through Patreon or a paywall.
4. Request reviews | Podcast Marketing
Reviews are a powerful tool that you need to utilize to gain popularity. Always ask listeners at the beginning and end of each episode to share, subscribe, and provide a review of your podcasts. Be authentic and explain how these actions will help you grow and produce better-quality content. Also, always respond to reviews and build deeper connections with the audience.
5. Be a guest and invite a guest | Podcast Marketing
Being a guest on another show may increase your popularity as listeners there may start following you if they like what they hear. Networking groups like Radio Guest List and Facebook groups like Podcast Movement are great avenues to look for collaboration opportunities. You may also want to design cross-promotional strategies with other podcasters so that you introduce each other to your respective audiences.
Consider inviting experts to your show who offer a unique point of view to your listeners. Always look for thought leaders as guest speakers and be mindful of the expertise they have for your audience, says Colleen McGrath, the managing director of Conquer Local at Vendasta. She adds that it’s a good idea to pre-interview guest speakers and make sure their content is aligned with your brand and show.
However, recruiting guests can be challenging if you are a new podcaster with a limited audience base. In this case, look for authors and experts with upcoming books who are keen to promote their work. Ensure the subject matter of the book aligns with your niche and target audience. You might also find willing guest speakers through conferences and trade shows.
6. Brand your podcast | Podcast Marketing
A robust brand will give credibility to the value you offer to your audience. And it starts with cover art. “You need creative, well-executed cover art for your podcast ... your goal is to stand out. So put real effort into the artwork that accompanies your content,” says podcasting expert Jeff Haden. Your listeners should know what the show is about from the cover art itself.
You need to establish a brand voice and personality, then use it consistently. Consider recording your show’s tag lines with celebrities and influencers in your niche.
7. Focus on Apple Podcasts and Spotify | Podcast Marketing
Apple and Spotify are the two most prominent players in podcasts, and most of your listeners will access your show from those two platforms. So you need to design a strategy to rank high on these two platforms. Here are few things to consider:
- Identify the categories for your podcast
- Create eye-catching cover art
- Submit your shows to the apps
- Use an elevator pitch to describe your episodes
8. Build a podcast website | Podcast Marketing
Take advantage of Google’s search engine to recruit listeners by building a website and optimizing it for search engines. One way to offer an outstanding user experience on your website is to upload posts for each episode with an embedded player, transcripts, and show notes.
Always have dedicated landing pages for potential listeners to explore. An ideal landing page would include:
- A simple and concise benefits-based headline for your show
- Value the show offers to listeners
- Positive reviews from super listeners
- Links to featured episodes
- A call-to-action (CTA) to subscribe
Submit your website to aggregators and directories.
9. Optimize for mobile | Podcast Marketing
Research shows 65 percent of podcast listeners in the United States use smartphones to hear podcasts, so having a mobile-friendly website is crucial. You need to optimize banners, landing pages, and episode posts for smartphones and other mobile gadgets like tablets and iPads.
A great example of a mobile-first website is The Friday Habit. It clearly states the benefit for listeners in the headline, value offered, and a CTA that’s hard to miss.
10. Use multiple channels for promotion | Podcast Marketing
Today’s listeners love convenience. This means being on every platform. Though it sounds daunting, you can simplify the distribution process by following these steps:
- Submit the show to podcast directories like Google Podcasts and SoundCloud
- Publish the show on YouTube
- Submit the show to radio networks
- Share the show on podcast networks
Remember to promote your podcast on social media, especially LinkedIn, as it’s the most popular platform for B2B networking. Research shows posting on weekday mornings - Wednesday through Friday in particular - will likely gain maximum engagement rates with your audience.
You can learn more about effective social media marketing strategies here: Social Media Marketing: The Fundamental Guide.
11. Use YouTube | Podcast Marketing
Not using YouTube, the world’s second-largest search engine, to post your podcast means you are potentially not reaching a large part of your audience base. If you are low on budget, consider converting your podcast episode’s MP3 audio file into an MP4 format with a brand image and uploading it to YouTube. However, if you have cash to spare, film your episode specifically for YouTube because 93 percent of brands get a new customer from a video posted on social media.
To boost the exposure for each of your episodes, cut videos into shorter 1-3 minute soundbite-worthy clips and promote them on various social media platforms. These clips are perfect for attracting new viewers by giving them a peek into your show to determine if it’s something they would be interested in subscribing to.
12. Utilize email marketing | Podcast Marketing
Email marketing offers the best return on investment compared to all other digital marketing channels: $42 for every $1 spent. It’s a simple-yet-effective way to connect with your audience. The first step is to collect email addresses. Here are few ways to do it:
- Use popups on your website to encourage visitors to subscribe for newsletters
- Run social media ads with podcast clips and ask viewers to sign up
- Host live contests on your show, giving away cash prizes to listeners who subscribe and share it on social media
To simplify the process of collecting emails, look into software tools like OptinMonster, SumoMe and Sleeknote.
Once you gather subscribers, you need to begin promoting your episodes through newsletters, and create exclusive content or events for email subscribers.
To learn how to create effective email campaigns, read 5 steps for effective email campaign marketing.
13. Create paid marketing campaigns | Podcast Marketing
One of the most powerful ways to attract eyeballs is to create multi-channel paid advertising campaigns. You could either run campaigns for your show or for specific episodes. Facebook and LinkedIn are powerful platforms for reaching primarily B2B businesses audiences, and marketing on these platforms is relatively simple as you can narrow down your target audience through geographic location, age group, target industry and other factors. To learn more about audience targeting on these platforms, read B2B Audience Targeting Tips for LinkedIn and Facebook.
For Instagram, influencer marketing would be the best tool. However, for this tactic, you will need to find an influencer in your niche and convince them to promote your show. Design a compelling value proposition for them to promote and explain the benefits you can offer to them.
Do not forget Google Ads if you want to reach a broader audience. Buy ads on Google for keywords people might typically use to search for your show, and you will appear on the top of the first search page. Here are the Top 7 tips to help you get the most out of your Google advertising campaign.
Lastly, always direct the traffic from these advertisements to your podcast’s landing pages for the best results.