Over the years, I’ve immersed myself in the world of podcasting, hosting hundreds of episodes, appearing as a guest on numerous shows, and leading the strategy for the largest B2B podcast agency for three years. Through these experiences, I’ve witnessed firsthand how podcasts can significantly impact businesses and drive revenue growth. In this blog post, I’m going to share with you the various ways you can leverage podcasting to enhance your business.
Before we dive into the myriad opportunities podcasting offers for business growth, let’s clarify one thing: when I talk about a profitable podcast, I’m NOT referring to podcasts that function as standalone businesses, generating revenue solely through sponsorships and ads. While that model can be lucrative, I’m here to discuss using podcasts as a tool to enhance an existing business.
Your podcast should complement your business goals, acting as a versatile Swiss Army Knife that can assist you in achieving multiple objectives within your organization. Now, let’s explore the various ways you can harness the power of podcasting for business success.
Table of Contents:
- What is a Podcast These Days? 🤷♂️
- The Podcast Tools You Need 🎤
- 5 Business Podcast Strategies 📈
- Podcast Formats & When to Use Them 🗣️
- Podcast Tactics For Each Strategy 🤹
Now, let’s get this podcast party started. 🎤 🥳
What Is a Podcast These Days?
Podcasts have evolved significantly since their debut in 2003, becoming a powerful tool with a profound impact on industries.
So, what is a podcast today? Podcasts are audio files, and occasionally video files, distributed via an RSS feed.
Podcasts stand out from other content formats in several ways:
- Platform Flexibility: Unlike YouTube videos or tweets, podcasts are not confined to a single platform. They can be hosted on various platforms and distributed to multiple podcast apps, offering content creators unparalleled reach and flexibility.
- Audio-Centric: Although podcasts now incorporate video elements, their primary focus remains on audio. They are designed for listening, ensuring that content remains accessible even without visuals.
- On-Demand: Podcasts prioritize convenience. Listeners can access and download episodes at their convenience, whether for immediate streaming or offline listening, catering to today’s busy audiences.
Businesses have been leveraging podcasts for decades to accomplish a variety of business objectives like marketing, customer retention, training, and culture-building.
The Podcast Tools You Need
Starting a podcast may seem like a daunting task, but I’m here to tell you that it’s both affordable and easier than you might think. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the essential hardware and software tools you need to launch your podcast successfully, and I’ll even share a bonus tip for those looking to dip their toes in the podcasting waters for free.
Podcast Hardware (Aka The Microphone)
To kick things off, let’s talk about the hardware you’ll need. The most critical piece of equipment is your microphone. I highly recommend the Audio-Technica ATR-20 dynamic microphone. This mic is a game-changer. When positioned close to your mouth, it effectively eliminates background noise, giving your podcast a professional sound quality. It’s user-friendly and virtually foolproof, making it an excellent choice for podcasters of all levels.
Accompany your microphone with some essential accessories like a tabletop stand. This stand provides convenience by allowing you to position your microphone at the perfect height without needing to hold it throughout your recording session.
Now, let’s delve into the software you’ll need to bring your podcast to life. There are three key components: recording, editing, and hosting.
- Recording: You’ll need a reliable recording software. While there are various options out there if you want to streamline your podcasting process, consider using a platform like Zencastr. Zencastr offers a seamless experience for remote recordings, allowing you to record both audio and video separately, ensuring the best possible quality for your podcast.
- Editing: Editing your podcast is crucial to make it sound polished and professional. Zencastr can also handle editing tasks, saving you valuable time. It provides features like picture-in-picture editing, simplifying the editing process and reducing the need for complex video editing software like Premiere. It also does all the audio leveling for you automatically so you don’t sound like you’re screaming at your guest.
- Hosting: Once your podcast is recorded and edited, you’ll need a hosting platform to distribute and syndicate it across the internet. Zencastr makes this easy as well, as it can seamlessly publish your episodes to popular platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more.
- Marketing: Getting your podcast off the ground is only the beginning, you also need to market your show by producing small video clips to post on social media. This is currently one of the most effective ways to promote your podcast. Zencastr just added a whole new tool into the mix to make this part a breeze. Check out their clips tool »
(Pssst… if you use promo code “DANCHEZ” you’ll get 12% off your purchase of Zen Clips 😁)
Zencastr is the only all-in-one tool that allows you to speed up production and make the process easy to promote your show. Check it out »
Bonus Tip: Starting for Free
If you’re looking to test the waters before committing to a full podcasting setup, you can get started for free with your smartphone using Spotify for Podcasters (formerly Anchor). This user-friendly mobile app allows you to record and publish episodes directly from your phone. It’s a decent way to experiment with podcasting without any upfront costs.
5 Business Podcast Strategies
As someone deeply entrenched in the world of B2B podcasting, I’ve witnessed the transformative power of this medium. A well-crafted podcast can be your Swiss army knife for business growth, capable of achieving a multitude of objectives. However, much like trying to wield every tool on a Swiss army knife simultaneously, attempting to blend all podcasting strategies can lead to inefficiency and missed opportunities.
I’ll outline five distinct podcasting strategies that, when implemented correctly, can help you not only advance your business but also significantly boost your revenue.
1. Thought Leadership
Thought leadership in podcasting revolves around establishing yourself or your organization as an authoritative voice within your industry or niche. It’s about sharing unique insights, expertise, and innovative perspectives on relevant topics. Through your podcast, you aim to become a trusted resource that educates, inspires, and guides your audience.
How it drives revenue: By consistently delivering valuable content that educates and resonates with your audience, you can build a loyal following. This audience, now primed with your perspective, is more likely to convert into paying customers.
- Revenue Vitals: A podcast dedicated to providing step-by-step solutions to common problems faced by its audience.
- B2B Growth: This show thrives by dissecting and reacting to trending ideas in the B2B marketing space, offering clarity and value to listeners.
2. Industry Influence
Industry influence podcasting is a strategy focused on building relationships with key figures, influencers, and decision-makers in your industry or niche. Through your podcast, you offer a platform for these influential individuals to share their insights, experiences, and expertise, thereby shining a spotlight on their contributions and expertise.
How it drives revenue: By establishing connections with influential figures, you gain access to their networks and expertise. This can lead to partnerships, earned media opportunities, and, ultimately, increased revenue.
- Attention Podcast: My own podcast, where I interview influencers to build relationships and grow my brand.
3. Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) podcasting is a targeted approach aimed at building meaningful relationships with key decision-makers within specific companies or organizations. Instead of casting a wide net, you tailor your podcast content to address the unique needs and challenges of these high-potential accounts.
How it drives revenue: By nurturing relationships with decision-makers within target companies, you increase your chances of winning high-value deals.
- The Purpose-Driven Entrepreneur: Timmy uses his podcast to connect with entrepreneurs interested in his kid book writing services.
- The Innovative Agency Podcast: A podcast by a lawyer specializing in creative rights for agencies, building relationships with agencies and winning business through genuine connections.
4. Customer Success
Customer Success podcasting focuses on highlighting the achievements and success stories of your existing customers. It goes beyond traditional testimonials by delving into how customers are achieving their goals and maximizing the value of your product or service.
How it drives revenue: Happy customers who learn to get more from your offerings are more likely to stay with you longer, leading to increased customer lifetime value.
- High-Level Podcast: High-Level software users share their success stories, educating other customers on how to excel with the product.
- Blazing Trails by Salesforce: Educating Salesforce users on optimizing their use of the platform, enhancing their experience and loyalty.
5. Internal Comms
Internal comms podcasting involves using podcasts as a means to communicate and engage with your employees. It serves as a dynamic internal communication tool, allowing you to share company news, updates, culture, and training materials.
How it drives revenue: Keeping your team informed, engaged, and aligned can lead to improved productivity and better execution of business strategies.
- Sweet Talk: An internal comms podcast at Sweet Fish that fosters camaraderie and understanding among employees.
Podcast Formats & When To Use Them
The success of a podcast often hinges on two key elements: a well-thought-out strategy and a carefully chosen format. In this section, I’ll walk you through the five most common podcast formats, shedding light on their individual strengths and how you can leverage them to create engaging and informative content.
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1. Solo Episode
The solo episode is the podcasting equivalent of a “talking head” video. It’s just you, the host, speaking directly into the microphone for the entire episode. This format is incredibly versatile and easy to produce. You can share your insights, tell stories, or provide valuable information without the need for multiple participants or scheduling conflicts. Solo episodes are perfect for showcasing your expertise and building a personal connection with your audience.
In a roundtable format, you gather multiple individuals from within your organization to have a conversation about a specific topic. This format offers a more casual and conversational tone compared to solo episodes. Listeners appreciate the dynamic interaction between participants, making it an ideal choice for content that requires diverse perspectives or insights from your team members.
The guest-based interview format is a podcasting staple. It’s the go-to choice for many podcasters because it’s relatively easy to execute. All you need to do is invite a guest, ask questions, and let them share their expertise. This format is excellent for building relationships with industry influencers, saving time on content creation, and providing fresh perspectives to your audience.
Listen to an example here:
When you take the guest-based interview format and invite multiple guests to participate simultaneously, you have a panel discussion. Panel episodes are informative and engaging but can be challenging to moderate. To help your audience identify speakers, consider recording a video version alongside your audio podcast and referring to it in your episodes. This format is perfect for in-depth discussions involving multiple experts.
5. Narrative Style
The narrative style is the most complex and resource-intensive format. There are two versions: the audio documentary and the cinematic story.
- Audio Documentary: This format involves highly edited content with music, sound effects, voiceovers, and interviews, all crafted to tell a specific, compelling story. While it demands significant investment in time and money, it can yield impressive results if done right.
- Cinematic Story: This format is like a mini-movie created purely through audio. It often includes sound effects, dialogue, and narration to immerse listeners in a captivating story. While it’s challenging and expensive to produce, it can be incredibly rewarding, especially for fiction or historical fiction podcasts.
Podcast Tactics For Each Strategy
Podcasting is a powerful tool for businesses and individuals alike. It allows you to connect with your audience, share valuable insights, and build lasting relationships. However, to make the most of your podcasting efforts, you need a well-defined process. In this article, I’ll share five tactical strategies that will help you streamline your podcasting journey, whether you’re aiming for industry influence, account-based marketing (ABM), customer success, or thought leadership. Let’s dive in.
Pre-Interviews for Deeper Relationships
Applicable Strategies: Industry Influence, ABM
Proper pre-interviews are the foundation of successful podcasting. Instead of diving straight into the details of your podcast episode, take the time to build a rapport with your guests. Engage in some small talk to establish a connection. This not only makes your guests more comfortable but also creates an opportunity for deeper conversations.
Building relationships with industry influencers or ideal buyers is the ultimate goal here. The more time you invest in getting to know your guests, the more you’ll accomplish in terms of relational equity while producing great content.
Set Up a Scheduling System
Applicable Strategies: Industry Influence, ABM, Customer Success
Time is precious, and scheduling interviews can be a logistical nightmare. To streamline the process, implement a scheduling system like Calendly or Tidycal. This ensures that your guests can easily find a suitable time slot on your calendar. It’s not only a time-saving tactic but also ensures that everyone shows up on time, thanks to automated reminders.
Whether you’re scheduling interviews with industry influencers, key accounts, or customers, a scheduling system is a must to keep everything organized.
Reacting for Relevance
Applicable Strategies: Industry Influence, Thought Leadership
Keeping your podcast content fresh and engaging can be challenging, especially as you produce more episodes. To combat content fatigue, embrace the strategy of “reacting for relevance.” Stay attuned to industry trends and breaking news, and incorporate these topics into your episodes.
Reacting to current events not only keeps your content interesting but also positions you as a thought leader in your field. It’s a highly effective way to maintain the relevance of your podcast.
Applicable to All Strategies
Podcasting has evolved beyond audio. Video podcasting is gaining momentum as it offers better discoverability and engagement. Platforms like YouTube provide an excellent opportunity to expand your audience.
Start by recording your podcast episodes on video platforms like Zoom, Riverside, or Zencaster. Enhance them with editing, intros, and outros. Sharing your podcast on YouTube can significantly boost your reach, given its extensive search capabilities and recommendation algorithms.
Repurposing Episode Content
Applicable to All Strategies
Your podcast should be a cornerstone of your content marketing strategy, not a standalone effort. Repurpose your episodes into different formats to reach a broader audience. Convert your podcast into written content, shorter video clips, blog posts, or social media updates.
By repurposing your podcast episodes, you maximize their impact and accommodate various preferences in how your audience consumes content. It’s a smart way to get the most mileage out of your hard work.