If you’re one of the 46 million Americans who listen to podcasts every month, you’ve probably asked yourself whether or not your business should start one. Could this help your business? After all, if a significant percentage of the population listens to podcasts monthly (17%) and weekly (10%), a B2B podcast could be a viable opportunity to promote your business and attract new customers.
But before you jump in, let’s take a minute to look at the facts. Podcasts have enjoyed a cycle of popularity since its invention in 2001. However, that popularity has gone down, too, most notably with the widespread podfading epidemic of 2009.
Unfortunately, B2C and B2B companies alike sometimes fail to consider how much they’ll need to invest in a recurring podcast program, which explains why so many podcasts start with a bang and fade out with a whimper.
Does that mean podcasting is a bad idea for every business? Definitely not. Even now, many companies are showing us that B2B podcasts can contribute to marketing and customer acquisition efforts.
Here are four questions you can ask to can figure out whether or not your business is well-positioned to get value out of podcasting.
1. Are your customers likely to listen?
According to research from Edison Research, podcast listeners are split between men (50%) and women (50%). Age demographics are also almost evenly split among age 12-17 (15%), age 18-24 (15%), age 25-34 (20%), age 35-44 (17%), and age 45-54 (15%) with slightly fewer users in the age ranges of 55-64 (12%) and 65+ (6%). The median income of podcast listeners is $75,000, and podcast listeners are also more likely to own a smartphone, more active on social media, and more likely to follow brands.
If your customers aren’t likely to listen to a podcast, your efforts might not pay off, so it’s important to consider the demographics for podcast listeners to see whether or not your customer persona aligns with people who are already listening to podcasts.
2. How does your target audience prefer to receive information?
Consult your sales team to find out which education strategies work best with prospective customers. For example, if your team reports that prospects prefer to read reports and brochures quickly and quietly, they might not be a good fit for a B2B podcast. If, on the other hand, prospects tend to enjoy live webinars, or spend a lot of time in their cars or public transit, they might enjoy a podcast that provides a similar audial experience.
3. Can you commit to one year of monthly or weekly episodes?
Unlike videos and blog posts, which provide an educational or SEO benefit by themselves, B2B podcasts exist as a part of a whole to build a long-term relationship with the listener. If a listener gets the sense that the podcast won’t be updated regularly, or worse, that there’s no way to know when new podcasts will be added, it directly impacts their ability to connect with the information.
The top three reasons businesses fade out of podcasting is a lack of time, lack of interest, and lack of materials. If you can’t commit the resources to putting out regularly scheduled B2B podcasts, this medium might not be an asset to your company.
4. Do you have a qualified and willing team member?
A professional podcast requires a professional host. Some companies choose to hire out the production of the podcast, but if you’re trying to keep expenses low and put a personal face on the content, you will want to identify a qualified and willing team member to take the lead.
Take a look at your current team. Does anyone stand out as a good speaker and interviewer who would also be willing to take on the podcast duties? This person should be a committed member of the team with leadership potential so that he or she is invested in delivering the best possible podcast result.
Let’s hear from you! Consider these requirements from the perspective of your company, and let us know in the comments whether or not a B2B podcast would be a valuable tool in your content marketing toolbox.