15 Essential Tips for Starting a B2B Podcast Series
Make your business podcast series shine
Why you should have a business-focussed podcast
What’s the first thing you think about when you hear ‘B2B or business podcast’? Is it ‘Oh no, it’s just going to be a hard sell of their products’, or is it ‘a bunch of suits talking shop, and I’m not going to understand it?’ So a business podcast might not be about a crime drama, a French lesson, or a comedy show. But a well thought out B2B (business to business) podcast can be a great place for listeners to skill up, gain insights or feel more in touch with the industry.
Many people working in B2B companies have immense skills, experience, and insights. Podcasts are their chance to share those experiences and skills to help audiences in their sector.
A podcast made by a business does not mean the content is all ‘sell, sell, sell’. The majority of podcasts are about sharing information, educating, and storytelling. There is no reason why a business podcast cannot contribute to these categories and shine.
As with all great podcasts, the quality of the production, including the audio recording and editing, and the topic and guests, are vitally important to creating a polished and audience-friendly podcast.
If you are thinking of starting a business-focused podcast for your company, these key points must be considered before your start:
Who is your audience? — map out your audience personas to clearly visualise who your listeners are. This will help you come up with topics and set the right tone.
What is your topic or niche? — look through your website and blog posts and look for any themes which come through; perhaps your business has a cause it is passionate about, such as the environment or helping young people in the arts, maybe you have access to interesting people who could be guests.
Why would audiences be interested in what you have to say? — think about what your B2B podcast is contributing to the Podcast World. Is it insightful interviews with leading entrepreneurs, is it sharing technical skills or insights into your industry for beginners? Again identifying the answer to this will help you mould your content.
Make sure the podcast is aligned with your brand — the content and topic should be relatable to your brand. This doesn’t mean that your podcast has to have your logo emblazoned all over it or mentioned every 5 minutes in the recording, but there should be a clear connection between your brand and what you are talking about. This will help you to be an authority on the subject area and drive audience familiarity with your brand and drive brand confidence.
Do you have the time and resources to pull this off? — this is an important area to think about. You may have all the best intentions to create a podcast series, but if you do not have the resources (time, money, equipment), then it will most likely flounder after one episode.
Now you are ready to put these ideas into action and launch your B2B podcast.
15 Essential tips for starting a B2B podcast series:
1. Create a style guide. This will act as a reference manual for your podcast. This can include time length of recording, intro text, the show's format, when and which music to use, topics that fit the niche and audience. It’s great to include text, references and images, or links in the guide to use as resources. This can take the form of a PowerPoint/Keynote presentation, word doc or Google sheet.
2. Develop a publishing schedule. Be realistic! How often do you think it is realistic for you to select a topic, research, contact guests, record and allow time for post-production? Is this weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or perhaps two seasons each year of 6 episodes? I recommend using Google sheets/Excel, Trello boards or another type of project management tool to help you get an overview of your schedule and what needs to be done for each podcast so you can keep things on track and on time.
3. The team. Create a team of enthusiastic and reliable colleagues who are excited about the podcast and eager to participate in the planning or execution process. Split up tasks to individuals to give them a sense of ownership and responsibility. You may have several people who would like to act as hosts or people who are more comfortable researching and finding guests, or people who are more interested in distribution and promotion. A clearly defined team and tasks will help your podcast to succeed!
4. Design a logo and podcast cover. If you have an in-house designer, then great; otherwise, you can find a freelancer from Fiverr or Upwork. It’s important not to skip this part as even though podcasts are audio led, there are still visual elements on the audio platforms you choose to distribute your podcast to. It’s important that your logo is relatable to your overall brand but is distinctive and eye-catching, so it stands out from the crowd.
5. Jingle. To help give your podcast that professional and polished feel incorporate a musical jingle at the beginning and end of your podcast. You can also include some sound effects which you might use at important moments within the recording. You can either find a freelancer to create a short recording for you, or you can purchase a jingle pre-made from sites such as Pond5 or Epidemic Sound at various prices to fit your budget.
6. Intro/Outro. It’s a great idea to top and tail your podcast with an intro and an outro. Your intro can consist of two parts; the first is your standard intro which appears at the beginning of each podcast, giving the name of your podcast and its theme. The second part is tailored for each podcast. This can include the guest’s name, topic and scope.
7. Format. You need to decide on a regular theme for your podcast. This could be a panel conversation, a 1–2–1 interview, solo episodes, or reportage style. You should pick one format to act as the main theme of your podcast, and you can always do one-off specials or a mini-series in a different format to add some variety.
8. Equipment and recording tips. Recording your podcast can actually be relatively simple. You need to make sure you are in a quiet place or have a good internet connection. Equipment can range from as simple as recording on your phone, to hiring a soundproof room with a microphone and recorder, to using video conference systems such as Zoom or Squadcast.
9. Bring in the experts. If you have a budget that allows for an audio editor, then please get one! They can seamlessly removed background noises, interruptions and beautifully mix your jingles, sound effects and talking to give the podcast a really professional finish. It really is worth it if you can stretch to it. If not, you can use some free editing software such as Audacity, which is simple to use, or if you have the Adobe suite, Adobe Audition is a good bet!
10. Select a podcast distribution platform. These are where you upload your MP3 file edited podcast to a platform that then sends out your podcast to a whole range of podcast sites. This will reduce your time having to upload your recording to every platform manually. Platforms such as Podbean or Anchor have both free and paid elements to them, and you can select which platform works best for you. The other important thing about them is they provide an RSS feed for your podcast. You can easily embed the code into other podcast aggregators who might not otherwise automatically receive the podcast from the platform. These platforms usually feed into Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google podcasts, Amazon Alexa, and Pandora. You should also ensure that sites such as Deezer and Soundcloud receive your RSS feed as these sites have big users bases.
11. Other Distribution channels. Using the distribution platforms, you should make sure that your podcast is embedded on your website and appears in your newsletters. You can also use a tool called tunestotube to import your podcast to YouTube and attach an image. This app will turn your MP3 into an MP4. YouTube has a huge audience and should not be missed out on. You can also add a link to the latest recording into your email signature or mention and link to it (if relevant) in an email you send to colleagues to raise awareness.
12. Blog article with transcription. Sadly Google can’t read audio, so we need to help Google organically find your podcast by adding it as a blog article to your website by including a podcast transcription. Not only does this help Google and your website SEO, but it also makes your podcast accessible for disabled people. A great app for transcribing your recording is Otter.ai.
13. Social media. If you have a social media channel, use it to promote your new podcast to your followers. You can use tools such as Canva to create quote cards (either static or with some movement) or create Instagram info sliders with guest quotes or key information captured from the recording. Another fun thing to make is an audiogram where you have a card with a moving soundwave and a voice-over from one of your guests. As a B2B company, you should definitely utilise your company’s LinkedIn profile to promote the podcast and perhaps even create a Showcase page so followers can see it is an important service and element of your business.
14. Guest network. Make sure to let any guests know that the podcast is now live! Send them the links so they can share them with their network and on their social media. Help them even further by making a social media card for them to use if they wish.
15. Patience. Finally, it will take some time for your podcast to reach huge listeners amongst all the hundreds of thousands of podcast out there. But keep producing new content, be consistent, keep sharing and eventually, you’ll get there.
The key takeaways from this guide:
- B2B or business podcasts are not automatically boring or without an interested audience.
- Be organised and realistic. Get a team set up, delegate tasks, and put a schedule in place.
- Decide who your podcast is for, why you are doing it and what it will be contributing to the podcast world.
- Create an engaging format that is also fun to listen to, edited and distributed well.
- Utilise multiple communication channels to make audiences aware of your podcast.
- Create an eye-catching logo and podcast artwork design that is in sync with your brand and podcast theme.