Podcasts and webinars can take your B2B business to the next level. With these brand assets on your side, you’ll be approaching thought leadership ground in no time.
Connect with your audience and build a community around your expertise. By sharing (some) of the secrets to your success, your brand will appear more personable, knowledgeable, and approachable. As people’s lives become ever more complex and supported by a web of apps and devices, podcasts and webinars can help you reach people on the go. By making your content more snackable and convenient for your audience, you will be killing two birds with one stone. Whether it’s driving, working out, or cooking: your content can accompany people on their journey.
Running podcasts and webinars takes some setting up, but they will allow you to elevate your content marketing strategy to a level you would never have been able to reach before. And once you’ve got your head around it, they are not really that hard to launch and host. Just get the right tech on your side and you will be fine.
Here are some tips for anyone looking to break into leveraging podcasts and webinars as part of their marketing strategy for the first time.
Why do it?
Pretty much every company these days has a blog to try establish themselves as thought leaders. By looking outside written content, you have the opportunity to set yourself apart in an entirely different light from the rest of the competition and attract a more engaged online audience.
First of all, think about how podcasts and webinars are generally consumed and delivered:
- Podcasts are audio programs that are available for people to pick up and listen to at their leisure.
- Webinars tend to be live web-based video conferences, connecting a host to an audience from across the globe, usually with a training or mastermind element.
Both tap into the concept of immediacy, but webinars tend to be a lot more ephemeral (and potentially expensive). Think about your current content and sales goals, and try to figure out which format most aligns with your current targets.
The secret to his success?
Attracting big names to his podcast show.
Nathan’s (initially) grassroots podcast has attracted some of the biggest, and most elusive, names in the business world — something which helped him instantly gain credibility. At the same time, he never let his podcast become overly commercial, keeping it 100% real and virtually ad-free. It’s a great example of how community and content curation can help you succeed.
Already got a great brand? Podcasts and webinars can help you create your own product or service tribe. If you sell e-commerce software, perhaps you’ll start a podcast talking about the latest entrepreneurial trends? Shopify nailed it with their TGIM podcast and free webinars, which have helped solidify their position as a helpful and thoughtful brand in the e-commerce space.
Anyone new to building a store on Shopify, feels instantly reassured about their choice of ecommerce software when greeted by all this data.
Podcasts definitely aren’t just a strategy for big multinationals — they work for a wide range of sites, including digital-only publications, even ones just starting out (like Foundr).
Take a look at Lifestyle Business—their business podcast helps them drive traffic to their website, get more people subscribing to their emails, and more people downloading their digital magazine! They provide valuable information from industry leaders, helping further elevate their brand.
Pro-tips to get you started
Hosting your first webinar or podcast show shouldn’t be stressful or taxing — but you need to get a few tech things right first. You will also need to think carefully about your branding and potential guest strategy, as you’ll only succeed if you commit to creating some truly stellar content.
There are plenty of services that will help you host a professional webinar. GoToWebinar is a popular choice and has a 30-day free trial. After that, it costs $89 per month with up to 100 attendees. Alternatively, if you don’t want to pay, you can use a tool like MyOwnConference which is free for up to 20 attendees.
For starters, aspiring podcasters need a great mic, and some simple editing software (usually free). For a complete readymade podcasting package, you can try the likes of Podbean, but you can also easily manage without.
Like TGIM, consider branding your podcasts or webinars with something that’s distinct from your core brand. This will help your listeners support you, and encourage new listeners to get involved, whether or not they’ve heard of you before. It’s your chance to be more experimental with your messaging, without being tied down by usual corporate considerations.
And be classy and subtle when it comes to product or service placement — no one will listen to content littered with ads and self-serving statements. Seek sponsors and partnerships, but keep the focus on quality content and knowledge.
Posting webinar videos
Hosting and running a webinar shouldn’t just be a one-time thing. Make the most of your webinar within your marketing plan and be smart about how you recycle and reuse your webinar content. The videos, comments, feedback, and social media content produced by your webinar are ideal for sharing again. Post webinars on YouTube if you want, but be careful about giving away content for free you’ve asked others to pay for.
Webinars are a good match with Facebook ads and posts, but Facebook may prefer you to keep video content to their platform only. Social media analytics provider, Quintly analyzed content on Facebook, and found that videos uploaded directly could be seen 10 times more than content shared from other sources. Take this into consideration — you could always post a super quick Facebook Live with a link to your full webinar.
Market your podcast on as many channels as possible, and don’t forget to somehow gamify the listening experience. You have to get people excited about tuning into the next episode.
You may want to consider a platform that will allow people to get involved even if they are late to the party. iTunes is one of the most popular places to find podcasts and once introduced to a podcast people can search through the previous episodes and listen to as many as they want — starting from the very beginning if they choose! Other options include SoundCloud and MixCloud. Think about branching out to more niche podcast sharing sites, and try to get featured in any relevant roundups.
The best podcasts have strong listener communities. Marketing goliath Seth Godin’s new podcast has a really cool feature — people can actually upload audio to Seth with any questions or comments, which makes for an excellent personalized user experience.
The Akimbo podcast is a super inspiring and great example of how to do podcasting…and be different about it. You don’t have to fit a mold in order to succeed.
Make the most of it
With the time and effort it takes to make podcasts and webinars, you want to make sure you’re using them to their full potential.
Firstly, your recordings need to be of impeccable quality. Take some time to research decent equipment. A good smartphone is always a good start, but you may also want to invest in a microphone or separate lens. You don’t want grainy picture quality, laggy upload speeds or crackly audio.
Secondly, plan out your topics well. Research the market to see what people want to hear about, advertise what you plan to discuss in advance, and make sure you stay on topic for the duration of your podcast or webinar. People like specifics, not wishy-washy generalizations. Target your content to a well-defined audience.
Finally, make sure you mention your business and what you do, but not too much. Audiences are smart and will lose interest if your content is too advertorial. Take a couple of minutes at the beginning and end of your podcast or webinar to explain what you do.
As with any new project, you need to do your research in order to succeed. Take a look at a range of popular podcasts and webinars to see what works. Once you’ve got a good grasp of what is expected of you, start creating your own content. Make sure it’s good quality, and you’ll soon be proving to people that you are trustworthy. Your podcasts and webinars can help spread the word about your company to a wide range of people. We know you’ll absolutely smash it!
Victoria Greene is an e-commerce marketing expert and freelance writer who likes to help great businesses get noticed. You can read more of her work on her blog Victoria Ecommerce. Big fan of podcasts — always got one on the go!