Podcasts can be an incredible marketing tool for any B2B business. Often misconstrued as a consumer channel, podcasts (when done right) can actually grow your customer base and increase sales. We look at three ways B2B brands can utilise digital audio.
Do podcasts work for B2B marketing?
Podcasting and podcast advertising has proven to be an incredible marketing tool for any business – B2B being no exception.
- Edison Research, Super Listeners 2021 survey, found 69% of respondents said podcast advertising increases their awareness of brands.
- HubSpot states, 82% of marketers plan to continue investing or increase investment into podcast advertising
- Edison says 54% of podcast consumers say that they are more likely to consider the brands they hear advertised on podcasts.
As a result of the above-mentioned stats, it’s easy to see how audio can give B2B brands an opportunity to build awareness and grow a customer base.
Sure podcasts are a great way for people to be entertained, relax, and pass time. But also, people are going to podcasts to be educated. Edison’s research found 74% of podcast listeners tune in to “learn new things”. There are a number of B2B podcasts out there, like ‘Work in Progress’ by Slack, HubSpot’s ‘The Growth Show’, and ‘Masters of Scale a Business Startup’ show.
HubSpot research tells us there is a great demand for business shows – which we identify as untapped potential!
- There are avid fans of business podcasts in 13 million households.
- There are casual fans of business podcasts in 52 million households.
How to use podcasts in a B2B marketing strategy
Now we know why B2B brands should use podcasts, and how big the opportunity is. Let’s examine 3 different ways to use podcasts to drive business success. This includes podcast creation, podcast sponsorship, and dynamic podcast ads.
1 – Dynamically inserted ads
As we learnt earlier, audio amplifies your brand, driving awareness sky-high (69% of listeners said podcast ads increased their awareness of brands) – a priority goal for most B2B brands. This is significant because, as you know, the majority of B2B buyers visit a website first. With increased awareness gained from the lean-in engaged environment of podcasts, your brand is more likely to drive up website visits and build trust.
It is also worth noting, a good benchmark for audio ad completion is 85-95%. This means almost all those that hear the ad, hear your entire message, embedding your brand in the mind of your audience even further.
Programmatic podcast ad buying includes detailed targeting options allowing you to reach a specific audience based on location, language, genre, and demographics.
2 – Show sponsorship
HubSpot research found the majority (71%) of B2B marketers plan to increase their investments in influencer marketing. Podcast sponsorship falls within this wheelhouse. Like social influencers, podcast influencers are similar in essence. But, research shows sound triggers much richer emotions, feelings, and trust than visuals – making it a more persuasive tool.
It is essential to choose the right podcasts and hosts. Look for shows that are relevant to your industry and target the right audience. When we partner brands with shows we also consider the size and engagement of the podcast’s audience – as well as content and geographical relevance.
Show sponsorship is a higher investment than programmatic advertising, but is proven to be an effective strategy to establish thought leadership, build credibility, and attract new customers.
3- Show development
With this strategy, you’ll be creating a branded podcast of your own. It’ll be part of your inbound marketing/content strategy. So for that reason, you should take a similar approach to show development as you do blogging. Share valuable, educational content for people who are searching for information on what your business does best. Most B2B customers are focused on ROI, efficiency, and expertise.
There is a significant untapped market for helpful, informative business podcasts. You could even start by converting your existing blog posts to audio!
THE BOTTOM LINE
Podcasts are assumed to be a consumer marketing channel. This association is not only wrong but could be costing B2B businesses valuable leads. Fundamentally podcasts are proven to increase awareness, grow a customer base and establish brands as thought leaders. By carefully selecting the right strategy, B2B companies can effectively use podcasts to drive business growth.