Looking for a Podcast Agency?

21% of Americans are podcast listeners . . . which doesn’t sound like a lot.

But as Jay Baer has pointed out, 21% is the exact percentage of Americans who use Twitter.

That number is rising, too. Monthly podcast listenership is 75% higher than it was in 2013. And as mobile devices continue to grow in usage, so will convenient, on-demand audio.

At Sweet Fish, we’re a podcast agency focused on producing interview-based podcasts for B2B brands and HR teams.

Businesses are embracing podcasts to establish thought leadership, feed their content engine, create strategic relationships with their guests, and recruit and retain talent.

In this post, we’ll not only explain the biggest benefits of a podcast for a brand—we’ll also explain the process we use to produce podcasts for our clients.

4 Benefits of an Interview-Based Podcast

Thought Leadership

Thought leadership is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot, but what does it really mean?

The answer is a bit hazy, but one thing is crystal clear: content is the gateway to thought leadership.

To establish thought leadership in an industry or niche, you’ll need to position your podcast as an in-depth resource for a specific audience.

For example, we established thought leadership in a very crowded space (B2B marketing) by producing a podcast for our brand titled “B2B Growth.” Within 10 months of launching the podcast, we were seeing over 30,000 downloads per month, and we had established hundreds of strategic relationships with the guests that we featured on our show.

(Note: Our podcast is a daily show, so we saw results much faster than most weekly podcasts.)

Content Creation

It’s hard coming up with content ideas. Coming up with ideas that are both relevant and actionable for your target audience…well that’s even harder.

With a podcast, you don’t need to come up with ideas. Instead, you can get the ideas from your guests. And if you follow our model, your guests and your ideal clients are one and the same.

When your podcast guests are your ideal buyer, and your guests are choosing the topics for each episode of your show, you’re guaranteed to produce hyper-relevant content that other ideal buyers will want to consume.

The benefits don’t stop with the episode, either. Audio content can easily be repurposed into a variety of content.

A few of the ways your audio content can be repurposed are blog posts, quote graphics, and video (Facebook Live, Snapchat, Instagram Stories).

Repurposing Podcast Content

Strategic Relationships

Most marketers think that the primary benefit of a podcast is in its distribution.

Growing an audience is obviously important, but we’ve found that the biggest benefit of a podcast for a B2B brand is the relationships you form with each guest that you bring onto your show.

As an example, I’ll share a quick story about how we closed a deal with one of our prospects after featuring them on our podcast.

Our co-host, Jonathan Green, found the guest on LinkedIn. The guest was the CEO of a company that matched our ideal customer profile.

Jonathan sent a short email, asking the CEO to be a guest on our show. The CEO happily said yes, and Jonathan went back and forth a few times to set up a time for the interview.

On the day of the interview, Jonathan logged into Skype to record the interview with the CEO. The interview went great, and the content that the CEO shared was excellent.

Then the magic happened…

After the interview, Jonathan and the CEO started talking about Chicago (the city where the CEO lives, and where Jonathan went to law school).

After connecting over their mutual love of Chicago, Jonathan started asking the CEO more details about their business…the type of clients they liked working with, the specific services they offer, etc.

Then the tables turned, and the CEO started asking Jonathan about Sweet Fish.

Jonathan explained the value of our service, and talked briefly about how we execute the service on behalf of our clients.

The CEO was intrigued, and told Jonathan that he’d be talking to his marketing team about possibly working with Sweet Fish to produce a show for their brand.

Jonathan followed up with the CEO later that day, giving the executive all the information that he needed to share with his marketing team.

And just like that, 3 days after Jonathan’s interview with the CEO, we closed the deal. The CEO that was featured on our show is now one of our best customers.

This obviously won’t happen with every guest that you feature on your podcast. But depending on your average deal size, it only needs to happen once. The revenue from this one client has covered our costs to produce an entire year of our daily show.

Also, keep in mind that prospective clients aren’t the only strategic relationships that you can create with a podcast.

In addition to connecting with potential clients, you can also connect with industry thought leaders and potential referral partners by inviting them to be a guest on your show.

As a result of the guests that we’ve featured on our podcast, we now get quality referrals for our service and we’ve been featured on several popular publications (including Inc.).

Recruit & Retain Talent

When we first started our podcast agency, we focused exclusively on helping B2B sales and marketing teams.

But we realized that there was another way to leverage a podcast to grow your brand . . . not by growing your client base, but by recruiting and retaining talent for your team.

If your company has 100 or more employees, pay close attention here.

Retain

Employees don’t want to leave a work environment where they feel connected. A podcast that features the stories of its employees does exactly that—at scale.

When you document the stories of your employees in a podcast, it allows the entire team to feel connected to someone that they would have otherwise never connected with.

Recruit

Finding incredible talent is really hard. But what if, as you’re recruiting your next big hire, you could give them a perfect taste of your culture?

Imagine being able to send prospective employees a link to a podcast that shares the stories of the heart and soul of the organization: its people.

You can be strategic with the episodes, as well. If you’re hiring someone in operations, send them the specific episodes that feature the employees that they’ll be working next to every day.

Our Process

When We Work with B2B Marketing Teams

The process outlined below supports this simple system: Our clients host the show, and we do everything else.

Month 1

Questionnaire

We send a questionnaire to each client so we can understand their business and the profile of their ideal clients.

Podcast Name

We work closely with our clients to develop a name for their podcast. This is a crucial part of the on-boarding process, because the positioning of the show hinges on its name.

Design

Once the name is locked in, we design a logo and other design assets for the podcast.

Podcast Agency Graphic Design

Podcast Agency Graphic Design

Equipment & Software

We purchase a mic, pop filter, and sound shield for each of our clients.

In addition to sending them all the equipment they’ll need, we also set them up with all the hosting, analytics, and workflow software that we’ll use to produce the show on their behalf.

Scripts

We write scripts for our clients’ ad spot at the beginning of each episode, as well as the scripts for the intro and outro.

Then we record professional voiceovers for the ad spot, intro, and outro, which gives the show a professional sound.

Email Outreach Scripts

We write scripts for the guest request email sequence, i.e., the series of emails that goes out to prospective guests.

We also write scripts for the sales initiation email sequence, i.e., the followup emails with our client’s guests in order to connect them with our client’s sales department.

Music

We determine the background music for the podcast, which plays below the intro and outro.

Coaching

We coach the host(s) on best practices for hosting a great show.

Episode 1

We record an intro episode during month 1, to establish the host’s background and set the stage for what listeners can expect from future episodes.

Set up Podcast Hosting

We pay for a podcast hosting service and configure it to send each podcast episode to the various podcast directories (iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio).

Webpage

We create a webpage for the podcast on the client’s WordPress website.

Copy

We write podcast description copy with a focus on keywords. This copy is optimized so the show can easily be found in iTunes and other podcast channels.

Launch

Finally! The last order of business in Month 1 is to launch the show in iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and TuneIn Radio.

Month 2 & Beyond

Month 1’s tasks are focused on launching the show, while we accomplish the tasks outlined below on an ongoing, month-to-month basis.

Prospecting

We send emails to potential guests, asking them to be on the show. (We do this with an email address that looks like this: [email protected].)

We go back and forth with each potential guest to determine the topic for each episode. The topic is based on the background and experience of each guest, so it takes a few email exchanges to determine.

Interviews

We work with each guest to schedule the interview. Our clients host the interviews, then send us the audio file.

Audio

We do the audio editing and engineering, including attaching the music, ad spot, intro, and outro to each episode.

Written Content

We write episode summaries for each episode.

We also write 750-1,000 word blog posts for each episode. These are not just transcriptions, but an actual well-formatted blog post.

Uploading

We upload each episode to iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and TuneIn Radio.

Graphics & Formatting

We create custom headline and quote graphics for each episode. Then we format and schedule every blog post in WordPress.

Guest Outreach

We notify each guest when their episode is live.

Days later, we initiate a sales conversation with each guest.

According to the results we’ve seen with our own show and the shows of our clients, sales conversations happen with over 80% of guests.

When We Work with HR Teams

This model is a bit different. Instead of relying on our clients to host the podcast, we host the show on their behalf, interviewing each of the employees that they want to feature on the podcast.

Month 1

Featured Employee List

We start by getting a list of names and emails of the employees that the company wants to feature on the podcast.

Podcast Name

We work closely with our clients to develop a name for their podcast. As an example, a great name for this type of podcast is “Working at <company name>.”

Logo

Once the name is locked in, we design a logo.

Scripts

We write scripts for the company’s ad spot, and for the intro and outro, just as we do for B2B marketing teams.

We then record professional voiceovers for the ad, intro, and outro.

Music

We determine the background music for the podcast.

Episode 1

We record an intro episode with the CEO to introduce the company and let listeners know what they can expect from the show.

Set up Podcast Hosting

We pay for a podcast hosting service and configure it to send each episode to the various podcast directories (iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio).

Webpage

We create a webpage for the podcast on the client’s WordPress website.

Copy

We write podcast description copy with a focus on keywords. This copy is optimized so the show can easily be found in iTunes and other podcast channels.

Launch

Finally! The last order of business in Month 1 is to launch the show in iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and TuneIn Radio.

Month 2 & Beyond

Interviews

We schedule each podcast interview directly with the employees.

Someone from our team hosts each interview, based largely on a pre-determined set of questions that is approved by our client.

Audio

We do the audio editing and engineering, including attaching the ad spot, intro, and outro to each episode.

Written Content

We write episode summaries for each episode.

We also write 750-1,000 word blog posts for each episode. These are not just transcriptions, but an actual well-formatted blog post.

Uploading

We upload each episode to iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and TuneIn Radio.

Graphics & Formatting

We create custom headline and quote graphics for each episode. Then we format and schedule every blog post in WordPress.

Conclusion

Right now is a unique time for companies to embrace the podcasting medium.

On one hand, podcasts are clearly on the rise, based on annually increasing listenership numbers.

But as a marketing and HR tool, podcasting is largely untapped. Brands that embrace podcasting today (instead of years from now) will be seen as trailblazers leading the way.

Warning

So now that you understand the strategic benefits that a podcast can have for your brand, and you understand our process for producing podcasts for our clients, I’ll leave you with a warning:

Podcasts are insanely hard to produce on your own.

John Lee Dumas, host of the popular podcast “Entrepreneur on Fire”, says that 90% of podcasts never make it past episode 7.

That being said, we don’t want you beating your head against a wall trying to launch and maintain a podcast for your business.

So here comes the shameless plug:

We’re a podcast agency.

We live and breathe podcasts.

It’s all we do…day in, and day out.

So click here and let our team produce your podcast for you. : )

James Carbary
James Carbary is the founder of Sweet Fish Media, a podcast agency for B2B brands. He’s a contributor for the Huffington Post & Business Insider, and he also co-hosts a top-ranked podcast according to Forbes: B2B Growth. When James isn’t interviewing the smartest minds in B2B marketing, he’s drinking Cherry Coke Zero, eating Swedish Fish, and hanging out with the most incredible woman on the planet (who he somehow talked into marrying him).

Posted on November 21, 2016 in Account Based Marketing, B2B Podcasting, B2B Sales, Content Marketing, Relationship Marketing

James Carbary

About the Author

James Carbary is the founder of Sweet Fish Media, a podcast agency for B2B brands. He’s a contributor for the Huffington Post & Business Insider, and he also co-hosts a top-ranked podcast according to Forbes: B2B Growth. When James isn’t interviewing the smartest minds in B2B marketing, he’s drinking Cherry Coke Zero, eating Swedish Fish, and hanging out with the most incredible woman on the planet (who he somehow talked into marrying him).

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