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Why B2B Podcasting, Why Now?

It seems like everyone is jumping on the podcast bandwagon these days. People and companies alike are finding that recorded audio, especially in podcast form, is often more effective in reaching your target audience than blog posts – and far more engaging. With a podcast, you can suddenly reach people in new ways, like as they drive to work, log miles on the treadmill, or take their dog for a walk. What’s not to love? Shouldn’t everyone be flocking to this new medium?

That’s exactly what we wanted to know when we sat down with Jay Baer, Host of one the Social Pros podcast (among other impressive roles) on our inaugural episode of The Casted Podcast.

His answer? Not necessarily. There isn’t much of a point in throwing together a podcast just for the sake of having a podcast – you don’t want to be just white noise. But, when done correctly and thought through – a podcast can be a huge engagement driver for brands. Tune in to find out how you can avoid the common pitfalls associated with new podcast-goers!

Digging into Key Takeaways

In each episode, we like to highlight the key takeaways from each show. Why? Well… we like to think of it as a podcast outline or live show notes. Instead of trying to jump around and find the time stamps listed in show notes (if you’re interested in diving right to a topic listed there), we want you to be able to find that clip and play it instantly. Plus… it makes it easy to share your favorite moments with others or embed your podcast into the rest of your content. So for the first episode, here are some of the takeaways that really stood out to us!

Have a fundamental understanding of who you are and who your show serves, it’s irreplaceable 🧠

Choose your message and audience and stay true to your game plan. Don’t change how you do the show to try to appeal to everyone – know your audience and grow that listening base organically. Or else you might run the risk of watering down your message and alienating your core listeners.

You must market your show aggressively 📊

Be sure to devote resources into turning that content into social media posts – graphics, audiograms, blog posts, etc. Get as much value as you can out of the content you worked so hard to create. You aren’t done once you publish it, do whatever you can to expand your listenership!

Be clear about what you’re measuring… because you can’t pay your employees with downloads. 🔎

Set your goals and understand what you’re trying to get out of it. Downloads and listens don’t tell the whole story. Look at signals beyond the basic metrics and evaluate things like SEO spike and mentions on social media. Lastly, be patient; it takes time to get a podcast running and to curate an active and growing audience.

Interested in more from Jay Baer?

Jay Baer’s Social Pros Podcast dives deeper into leveraging your brand to the forefront of the industry in his episode discussing the importance of social media for professional services.

Interesting in skimming through the entire episode? Access the full transcript below.

LINDSAY TJEPKEMA: To podcast or not to podcast, that is the question. At least it’s the question a lot of marketers are asking, because, let’s face it, podcasting is popular. It’s growing and it’s booming fast, especially when it comes to brand podcasts. While some people feel like everyone has a podcast these days, others, like me, got excited to see podcasting gaining more traction in the B2B space. Depending on how long you’ve been a marketer, or okay, how long you’ve been around on this planet and how old you are, you may remember the same situation happening with blogging and other marketing channels.

LINDSAY TJEPKEMA: It all starts with something for hobbyists, it gets adopted by brands, and before we know it, suddenly everyone had a blog, and most of us still do. But what eventually we all learned with blogging will quickly be learned with podcasting. Yes, it’s a really great way to connect with your audience, but you’ve got to do it really well. It’s far too easy to launch a podcast as a way of checking a box. That’s how we get bad shows that no one wants to listen to.

LINDSAY T.: So back to my original question: to podcast or not to podcast? And how do you know when the time is right for you? Hello everyone. I’m Lindsay Tjepkema, CEO and co founder of Casted, the B2B podcast platform, and this is our podcast. Let’s look at what it means to have a really great podcast. And who better to start that conversation with than Jay Baer? He’s the founder of the marketing advisory firm Convince And Convert, but you’ve likely heard him speak at an event, read one of his several books, including his most recent release, Talk Triggers, or maybe even heard him on a podcast like you’re just about to hear today.

LINDSAY T.: Jay is a great friend of mine, and he actually serves as an advisor of sorts here at Casted. Today he’s going to give us a story that you probably haven’t heard before. A behind the mic, so to speak, glimpse at his foray into podcasting, as well as what advice he has for you as you get into it too. Jay’s journey with podcasting began in 2012, but it wasn’t his idea at all.

JAY BAER: It would be incredibly disingenuous, although that may not stop me, but no, it would be disingenuous to suggest that I had some great podcast epiphany. It was not that at all. In fact, it wasn’t even my idea. Eric Boggs, who is a fantastic digital strategist, B2B sales genius, runs a company now called Rev Boss, at the time he was the CEO of a company called Argyle Social, which was an early stage, early days, social media analysis software tool. Eric and I were friends and he said,” We should do a podcast together.” And I said,” Should we?” And he said,” Yes, and here’s why: because it will give both of us an opportunity to interview our future customers.” And I said,” Well, that sounds like a good idea.” And that was literally the full amount of consideration that I gave to my podcast entry.

JAY BAER: We started a show and we called it Social Pros, and Eric and I co- hosted it. And that’s exactly what we did. We found people that we thought, you know what, I would love to work for that company someday. And instead of making a sales call, we made a podcast guest call. We said, we already have this amazing podcast, could we talk to you for an hour about what you’re doing in social media? And we did.

JAY BAER: The first thing we figured out was what is the show and why should the show exist? And frankly, and that’s something that is still undervalued is, there’s no law that says you have to have a podcast. And there’s certainly no law that says anybody needs to listen to your podcast. So now with so many more shows out there, you can’t skip that step. What our big idea was is that, look, there’s shows out there about social media, but there’s not shows out there about social media that celebrate the actual practitioner. It’s a lot of shows about tactics and that still is the case.Our show is not about tactics necessarily. It’s to celebrate and tell the stories of the people who were doing the work. So the tagline has always been real people doing real work in social media. It’s all these unsung heroes who are leading social media efforts for big companies, but nobody ever tells those stories, right? They’re mostly anonymous. So they’re delighted to be on the show because they finally get to get some recognition for it and it makes for an interesting listen to say,” Oh, well how does this big company do social? How do they deploy their resources? How do they measure success? How do they train their staff, etc.One of the only smart things I think we’ve ever done, is to say we’re going to do a show that nobody else has done and then stick to our knitting, right? Not try and make it broader or acceptable to small businesses or everybody else. So what happens is that we have a lot of listeners, and we’re grateful for each and every one of them, but we don’t have as many as we could if we wanted to make a show for all people who do social media. But we don’t. It’s a show only for people who are in big companies who are doing social media at scale. We’re perfectly okay with that. That sort of fundamental understanding of who you are and who your show serves is irreplaceable.Lindsay:We, you said that kind of the core of the show, what it is and who it’s for has remained consistent. When do you know it’s time to evolve something? What have been some of the triggers for you along the way to say, okay, maybe we need to pay attention to this or maybe this is no longer enough or maybe it’s time to take a closer look at this other thing.

JAY BAER: We have, in the past had more bits in the show, right? There’sconversation,but then there’s, we did a thing for a couple of years called the number of the week, which was some sort of a statistic about social media and we’d talked about the number or we’d have kind of the really interesting case study of the week. So we used to augment the conversation with the guest with some set pieces, with some kind of call outs and little segments in the show.We’ve moved away from that. We got a lot of feedback from listeners anecdotally just being out there on the road and meeting listeners that what they really prefer is the conversation. They want to hear from the guest. And to that end, we also have very much minimized the kind of pre-show banter between myself and now my cohost for many years, Adam Brown from Salesforce. Adam and I don’t do a lot of,” Hey, how are ya? What’s going on? How you been since last week,” kind of pre show pre-show because people, they just want to get into the meat of the show. So as some podcasts have sort of added whistles and bells and segments and stuff, we’ve actually kind of stripped it down, right? Where we say,” All right, here’s what the show’s about and it’s really great and here’s why and thanks to our sponsors,” and then the show.The other thing that we do now, which we never used to do, is we record video at the same time. So all three of us, Adam, myself, and the guests are on camera on Zoom. We do not publish it as a video podcast. For a while, we were taking the full-length shows and putting them on YouTube as an actual YouTube video episode. But we didn’t get a lot of traction there and it’s not hard to see why. I mean, watching somebody talk for an hour is just not that great.So what we do now is we take the video and then our post-production team essentially creates a five-minute highlight reel of the most interesting statements and questions, et cetera, from each episode. Then we use that highlight reel on YouTube and then we cut it down further and use it for more visual, social media marketing, like Instagram stories, et cetera.So we just figured, hey, if we’re using a platform that allows for video, we might as well grab video, and we can use it as a promotional asset. We also are on occasion doing live shows, not out of home, but where we’ll actually record the show on Facebook Live and LinkedIn Live, which allows listeners to ask questions of the guests in real-time. It’s just a little different way to reach the audience. So we don’t do it always, but every once in a while we do a live show and it’s fun to break format a little bit.One of the things that’s changed the most is that you have to market the show more aggressively. So, when we take each episode and turn it into social media assets, the time and care, and frankly resources that are devoted to that now versus even three years ago is extraordinary. Because if a show gets published and nobody listens to it, did it actually exist?So, we spend a lot of time and a lot of money on graphics and audiograms and little snippets for Instagram, and then one for LinkedIn, and then one for this and one for that, and the show notes and all those things. It’s become, it’s not burdensome, but it’s something that you can’t just, well, we did the show and congratulations. It didn’t work like that.

LINDSAY T.: As content marketers, we all know the work that goes into a project, but we also know the value that’s wrapped up within it and all the richness that makes up a piece of content. Or in the case of podcasts, all the value locked up within an episode.

JAY BAER: Yeah, it’s an episode. But what is an episode? An episode is a series of great moments that all just happened to be recorded at the same time. If you think of your episode as just that, not as one thing, but as six, eight,10, 15 things, all of a sudden the way you merchandise the value of your podcast changes dramatically.

LINDSAY T.: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. There’s so much there. Go have a great conversation. Start with a conversation and then pull every piece out of it.

JAY BAER:Yeah. I mean, I think it’s just like music, right? So, artists still create what I would call an album because I am old, but they still create in many cases and release a collection of songs. It might be eight songs, it might be 14 songs, but it’s a collection of songs. That has always been the case. It is still the case in most of the time, and that’s great. But amongst that collection of songs, there’s always one or two that are better, that just stand out. Those are the singles if you will. Whatwehaveto do is stop thinking of podcasts as an album and start thinking of a podcast episode as a series of singles. What’s the hit single in this conversation? And then use that to merchandise the show and your brilliance and what have you.

LINDSAY T: Why B2B podcasting? Why, if you are representing a brand and you’re thinking about a podcast, or you have a podcast, why now? Why now and where should your head be? If you already have a podcast or you’re thinking about doing one, what should our listeners be thinking right now?

JAY BAER: Well, there’s no replacement for the intimacy of podcasts. We talk so much about thought leadership in B2B and a podcast is the epitome of thought leadership. Because you can do a webinar and some will tune in for that or you can publish an ebook and somebody will download that, but listening to you, or you and your guests, or whatever your show format is for 20,30,40,50,60 minutes a week, that is a level of relationship and authority that cannot be created in any other venue or platform. If I said to you,” Hey, here’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to have a blog, and we’re going to try and get people to spend 45 minutes a week on the blog.” There’s literally no circumstance by which that will happen. It is literally impossible, yet that happens withB2B podcasting all the time.

LINDSAY T: All the time.

JAY BAER: All the time. So, you think about, hey, how do we build kinship with current and prospective customers? Podcasting in my estimation is by far the best way to do that. Also, podcast listenership and podcast consumption overall continues to go up and up and up, especially in B2B because it is the only multitaskable medium. You can drive your car and listen to the podcast. You can run and listen to the podcast. You can use a snowblower or a lawnmower, your climate may vary while listening to a podcast. You can do a lot of things while listening to a podcast. You cannot run the lawn mower and watch YouTube videos.

LINDSAY T: At least you shouldn’t.

JAY BAER:Yeah right. You may be able to,but I don’ t recommend it. And that being the case, ina B2B environment, many of your customers, prospective customers, listeners, potential listeners are busy. Everybody’s busy, busy, busy, busy, and so they think, oh well I could be listening to a podcast while I’m doing this other thing, and so consumption is going to continue to rise. And now with all your smart speaker devices, Amazon, Google, et cetera, make accessing podcasts much easier. Spotify has a podcast directory, much easier. In-car podcast access much easier. So the ability to say,” Hey, play this show,” has gotten manifestly simpler than it was even two years ago. That will continue to increase podcast consumption as well. I think all arrows point up, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should do a podcast. You should do a podcast if it’s good and if the audience needs what you have and can’t get it anywhere else.

LINDSAY TJEPKEMA: Absolutely. So how do you know that? What’s your advice to someone who’s like, yeah, but wait, but I want a podcast. How do you get there?

JAY BAER: My team produces B2B podcasts for clients, and so we’ve had this exact same conversation many, many times. Here’s the thing, it always flummoxes me, and I’m difficult to flummox.

LINDSAY TJEPKEMA: It’s a good word.

JAY BAER: Thank you. People will come to us and say, we want to do a podcast. Great. I say, okay, well what of all the other shows that are already out there on this topic do you like best and why? Then there’s always silence, and they say,” Oh, there’s other shows like that?” I always think, okay, well if you’re going to make a motorcycle, you might want to know what other motorcycles are for sale because what if you create a motorcycle that nobody wants because there already is one like that? And podcasts are the same and not doing a sort of environmental scan on what is out there on that topic, and not only just doing a look up, but actually listening to three episodes. That’s what we require of every client. We say,” You must listen to three episodes of every show that conceivably covers the same topic and then give us a book report essentially on what you like and don’t like about those shows.” Unless you’ve done that, you should not start a show ever.

LINDSAY TJEPKEMA: I love that. I love that.

JAY BAER: You’re walking into a machine gun nest unless you have done that.

LINDSAY TJEPKEMA: It’s so true because… And I thinkalot of podcasting is actually starting to get a little bit of a bad name in some spaces because it’s like, oh, everyone has a podcast. Everybody wants a podcast, everybody’s starting a podcast. And that’s beautiful, it’s a beautiful thing. It wasn’t that long ago that that’s where we were with blogs, right? And everyone can and should have the ability to do this thing, but set your expectations accordingly. If you just want to have a podcast for the sake of a podcast, fine. But if you expect it to make any significance on your brand, just like anything else, any other content strategy you have, what’s in it for your listener? Why would they listen to you instead of literally anything else?

JAY BAER: Yeah. You’ve got to have a better mousetrap, not just a mousetrap. And with so many more podcasts coming online, this sort of average quality of a successful podcast is going to go up and up and up. So you’ve got to have good audio. You have to have a good host. You can’t just take Bob and make him your host because Bob happens to be in charge of product marketing. Being in charge of product marketing and being a good podcast host is not the same job. Now, you might be lucky and Bob happens to be incredibly loquacious and great at the microphone and so Bob is the right person, but I see this all the time.It’slike, well, we’re going to put a podcast host based on job title. That doesn’t make any sense. Or we’re going to have a different host every week because somebody different from the company is going to talk about each topic each week. I’m like, no, that is terrible for the listener. People have to realize fundamentally that podcasts are of course very informative on the B2B side, but it’s still entertainment. Even YouTube couldn’t be like, yeah, the new album is just us playing cigar boxes and kazoos. This is our kazoo album, and it’s going to be fine because-

LINDSAY TJEPKEMA:People just really liked kazoos now and crosstalk what we want to do.

JAY BAER: Yeah, but I feel like a lot of B2B podcasts are essentially a kazoo album, right? It’s just like, yeah, we have a podcast, ergo, we’ve succeeded. No. If you don’t have a good podcast, you will have no listeners.If you have no listeners, you have no value. All you’ve done is wasted money. What I see, especially in B2B, is people start a podcast because they feel like they should. As you mentioned earlier, it’s sort of like the new blog.

JAY BAER: Like, we’ve got to have a blog because everyone else has a blog. And now it’s we’ve got to have a podcast because everyone else has a podcast. Okay. And I think yous should have a podcast, but be really, really clear on why and how you’re going to measure success. It can’t just be listens. It can’t just be downloads because you can’t pay your employees with downloads.

JAY BAER: So, understand what you’re really trying to achieve. And then measure the podcast and your satisfaction with it after a while, based on that. What I see a lot is people start a B2B podcast and they do it for six months, and then they kind of reassess it and say,” Well, we’re not really sure whatit’s doing for us, so maybe we should stop doing it.”

JAY BAER: Number one, it takes a long time to find an audience, so if you’re out in six months, you’re doomed to fail. And number two, understand what it’s really doing for your business. Look at your spike in SEO. Look at your spike in people mentioning the show to your customer success team. There’s all these other signals that indicate that the show is doing something for your brand beyond just how many people downloaded the show.

LINDSAY TJEPKEMA: For the show slash for your guests. What has it done for convince and convert? Whathas the show meant to your business and to your brand?

JAY BAER: It’s hard to say definitively what the show has done for convince and convert and the company, partially because of the anonymized nature of podcast listeners. But there’s no question that convince and convert is very much associated with social pros and vice versa. It is almost inconceivable that a client of ours wouldn’t listen to the show at this point. It’s almost hand in glove. And it also allows us and me in particular to get insights on how other companies are doing enterprise social media and then think about, huh, that’s interesting that they’re doing that. Maybe we should explore that for our clients. It’s almost a conversational sounding board for advanced social media strategies, which is the workthat we do for companies. It’s almost like a living focus group one week at a time.And so the learning element for meand for our team is something that I definitely don’t discount.

LINDSAY TJEPKEMA:So, not thinking of convince and convert, but for you personally, what have been some of the highlights, whether it’ssomethingyoujust really enjoy or something that you’ve gotten out of podcasting?

JAY BAER: It’s one of my favorite things to do because very rarely do I get to just have aconversation with somebody where there’s not some kind of agenda or outcome or structure or circumstance. And the way Adam and I treat the show is let’s just ask smart questions and let people answer them. It’s a real pleasure. I’ve gotten to know so many incredible leaders in the social media space who have been on the show, some of whom have become clients, most of whom have not.

JAY BAER: But it’s a real joy to get to meet some of those folks. And sometimes people come back on the show after years and years and years and you can kind of refresh the story. I’ll tell you this, I’ve written six books. I do 60 some keynote speeches a year. I’ve written thousands and thousands of blog posts.

JAY BAER: The thing that I get the most comments on, the thing that people come up to me and say,” Hey, I love it,” is the podcast. More than everything else. Because there is no replacement for the intimacy of talking into somebody’s head for 45 minutes a week. There just isn’t. And so the Social Pros listeners are by far the group that’s much more likely to actually come up to me at an event and say,” I listened to the show, I loved the show, I loved this guest.” And that is incredibly rewarding and continues to be.

LINDSAY TJEPKEMA:That’s it for today’s show. Thanks to my friend Jay Baer for being today’s guest, our very first guest. To learn more about Jay and to see Casted in action with clips of this episode and related content, visit casted. us. Thanks so much for listening.

About Season 1 of The Casted Podcast

Welcome to our first season of The Casted Podcast! This podcast is a podcast about podcasts. How meta, right? Each season we will focus on how podcasts can better your business, the place of podcasts in your marketing strategy, and advice from podcasters and marketers who are finding success with their own brand podcasts. In season one, we’re talking with your favorite podcast hosts to get their perspective on why podcasting is such a crucial part of their own strategies.

Hear more from The Casted Podcast:

Experience Casted for Yourself

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