By Jen Spencer
Although podcasting (originally known as “audioblogging”) conceptually began back in the 1980s and then solidified as an entertainment medium in 2004, it’s really been within the last few years that the company (or industry) podcast has beautifully matured as a marketing staple in many B2B organizations. Always on the hunt to engage as many senses as possible, marketers have sunk their claws into this opportunity to engage audiences. And, with these audiences living in an on-demand world, marketing magic is happening. According to Edison Research,
- 112 million Americans have listened to a podcast, which is up 11 percent in the last year;
- 48 percent of monthly podcast consumers follow companies or brands on social media;
- and 85 percent of listeners will hear all (or most of) a podcast.
In short, Americans are listening to podcasts, and you have their full attention. So how do you capitalize on this attention and get more inbound mileage from your company podcast? Here are five tips to better engage your podcast audience and drive inbound conversions on your website:
Carve Your Niche
There are hundreds of thousands of podcasts on iTunes alone, so what is it about your company’s podcast that’s special? Just like any other inbound marketing activity, your podcast must speak to your buyer personas. Much like your blog content, podcast episodes should strive to educate your buyer personas, should help them solve problems, and (generally) should speak their language. Should you worry about competing with the top charts? No. Instead, focus on being the top business podcast for your ideal customer.
Solve Real Problems
While it can be entertaining to listen to celebrities share their backstories, you don’t need the A-list of your industry to deliver great content and solve real problems for your buyers. Interview real people who are dealing with the same challenges and triumphs your listeners face. In fact, if you adopt a philosophy that any ideal listener could also become a guest on one of your upcoming podcast episodes, you’ll stay true to the helpful, inbound marketing-style nature of your series.
Transcribe and Post Content
You’ve elicited audio gold from one of your buyer personas, so don’t leave that valuable content on SoundCloud and Libsyn. By investing in audio transcription, you can take that audio content and convert it into a written blog post. My advice: Wait a few days to give your podcast subscribers the first taste of your podcast content. Then take just a sample from the episode and post as a Q&A-style blog post. Be sure to tag, link, and socially promote both your guest and his or her company. After all, they’ll want to spread the word about their brand and their brilliance, which will drive more traffic to your own website.
Compile, Categorize, and Repurpose 10x
Once you’ve recorded and transcribed a handful of episodes, you’ll start to see trends in topics and issues. Categorize your podcast content by those issues, and look for quotes from your past guests that can serve as stand-alone sound bites. This is the point at which you’re only limited by your own creativity, your brand guidelines, and, well, time (nasty time always getting in the way of so many great ideas). One-liners can be turned into tweets … graphics can be created and shared on Instagram … the best of the best can even be compiled into a downloadable guide that solves problems for your buyer persona while converting website traffic to leads that can be nurtured through behavior-based workflows.
Share with the Sales Team
Inbound sales is all about meeting buyers where they are on their journey and helping them personally—understanding their pains, their frustrations, their goals—and then seeking a way to help. What better way to provide helpful expertise to your buyer than by sharing the advice of someone who has also experienced those same pains firsthand? Your podcast content has the power to be your secret weapon in sales enablement, truly helping your buyer while also building credibility for that salesperson.
Like anything done well, podcasting can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, but if you weave your podcast into your other inbound marketing and sales campaigns, you’ll start to see a lift in both inbound activity and opportunity conversion.