By Vernon Ross
It’s no secret that podcasting is more popular than ever. Because of popular podcasts like Serial, Slow Burn and several other pop culture shows, podcasting has gained mainstream acceptance. However, it’s not just consumers that have embraced podcasting, but business is also taking full advantage of the medium.
Businesses across all verticals are now using both private and consumer-facing podcasts to train, educate and inspire their listenership. Some examples are sales enablement content for just in-time learning, communications for internal meetings / all-hands meetings. Some companies are using podcasts for onboarding and pre-interview preparation. Businesses are taking full advantage of the portability that podcasting gives for employees to learn on the go. Companies are also using podcasts to educate consumers in entertaining ways that not only inform them about the companies products and services, but to create advocates for the brand at the same time.
By interviewing experts, companies are leveraging these influencers to provide extra value to their customer base, or even their sales forces. For example, the insurance company Aflac has an internal podcast that’s designed to educate and communicate trends to their broker/dealers that sell their products and services.
Aflac launched a podcast three years ago and retained me to train their staff on how to craft episodes and use the Hero’s Journey story structure to engage with listeners and tell compelling stories. In addition to storytelling techniques, they also reviewed and learned about the equipment that was recommended for recording quality episodes.
Based on budgets and the need for quality microphones that could be used in several environments they went with the Samson Q2U. The Q2U was perfect because it was a simple, had a USB interface and could be used in their highly regulated environment as no software drivers had to be installed. They also needed equipment that allowed for portability, since they would be shipping them around the country for leaders to record podcast episodes in different divisions.
As their podcast has grown and moving equipment around is no longer an issue they’re considering the Samson G-Track Pro and Q9U (coming Q1 2021) as there’s a desire to get an even more professional sound from their podcast. One of the most important things when recording a business-focused podcast is the quality of the recording. It’s one of the top complaints that corporate podcasters share. Making a quality recording can be a challenge in a business environment so the quality of the mic can be a game-changer when recording in conference rooms or other challenging sound spaces.
If a B2B podcast is a public-facing podcast, the goal for companies can be to gain subscriptions and increase listenership. The larger listenership, the more they’re able to influence their market and position themselves as a trusted resource for information. In a recent study by IAB and Edison Research, it was found that 65% of fans are more likely to purchase products or services they learn about on a podcast. An internal podcast host should also consider the amount of influence they may have over internal audiences.
One example of how brands are using podcasts for external communications is a podcast created by a major Agriculture brand that focuses on technology and issues that face the modern farmer. Because podcast stats can track listenership via region, city, and state they were able to track trial sign-ups and correlate those signups to where their listenership is by region.
As you consider how a podcast can relate to B2B needs, also consider how you can optimize communications to consumers to inform and entertain as well as to internal audiences for brand building, team building, and training. Now that you know more about how podcasting can revolutionize B2B sales make sure you set your company up for success with these three considerations.
- Quality equipment for recording. Quality doesn’t mean expensive, but it does mean something that is flexible and can be used in a studio or directly on a computer.
- Have a plan for measuring the effectiveness of the podcast which can include location information and downloads by region or state.
- Decide if your podcast will be interview-based with experts and influencers or a solo monologue podcast.
Lastly, keep in mind that if you’re launching a podcast (whether internal or external), it’s essential that you have a dependable podcast media host to store and distribute your mp3 files to the various podcast directories. If your audience is internal there are several options for securing your podcast and distributing those episodes to your audience via custom apps. Some companies have recently developed technology that can securely deliver podcasts over public podcast apps.
About the author:
Vernon Ross is an author, speaker, and podcast strategist with a current focus on corporate podcasting. His areas of expertise are podcasting, content creation, sales training, and branding. Find Vernon at https://EnterprisePodcaster.com and https://vernonross.com or connect with him on LinkedIn https://Linkedin.com/in/Vernonross