Want to kickstart your B2B podcast? We’re here to help you get that baby running as smooth as a Tesla in as little time as possible.
So, this page is filled with literally everything you would ever need to know about launching and producing a business podcast. (Use the Table of Contents to get to relevant areas quicker.)
The information you’re about to take in is not hypothetical. The Sweet Fish team has produced over 1,500 episodes of our flagship show, B2B Growth (which gets 150k downloads a month).
Table of Contents
- B2B Podcasting Definition
- B2B Podcasting Examples & Format Types
- How to Brand Your Show
- How to Host
- Audience Growth & Content Distribution
- Metrics to Measure
B2B Podcasting Definition
Everyone talks about the why, but has anyone actually defined what a B2B podcast is? Maybe, but I’m going to do it here anyway.
What is a B2B podcast? A B2B podcast is a podcast produced by a B2B company with the goal of content marketing, content-based networking, and building industry authority.
While there may be loads of B2B podcasts out now, it is not too late to start yours. Half of America is listening and the landscape is still wide open.
B2B Podcasting Types, Format, & Examples
What we’ll cover in this section:
Examples of Epic B2B Podcasts
Here are some examples of B2B podcasts we 💗.
Length: 20 to 30 minutes
What people think: 5.0 stars from 433 ratings
Length: 25 minutes to an hour
What people think: 5.0 stars from 49 ratings
Length: 5 to 20 minutes
What people think: 5.0 stars from 292 ratings
Length: 10 to 30 min
What people think: 5.0 stars from 13 ratings
For a full list, check out: 26 B2B Marketing Podcasts Every Marketer Should Listen To
Go Solo, Panel, or Interview-Based?
We recommend business podcasts stick to solo, panel, and one-on-one interview formats. However, there are eight popular podcast episode formats you might want to flip through.
We don’t recommend doing a purely solo podcast because you will experience way more success from an interview-based show.
[RELATED: 4 types of interviews you should have up your sleeve.]
That being said, you should still mix in solo episodes to talk from your own experience.
Occasional solo episodes will be way less stressful than a solo podcast. You can sprinkle them in instead of relying on them.
We strongly recommend interviews. If you’re not doing interviews, you are missing out on the greatest benefit of podcasting: the relationships.
A panel-based podcast is a show where the episodes are regularly hosted by the same group of people recording together.
For the same reasons as solo podcasting — and for the sake of not missing out on the power of interview-based podcasting — we recommend you use this method once in a while, but not as the main format.
Once you’re ready to mix in a panel episode, gather up your Chief Evangelist, Head of Marketing, and Head of Sales. Get on a call together and talk about a topic you each have differentiated, helpful points of view on.
We do this all the time on B2B Growth. Like this episode:
The benefits of panel episodes are:
- Opportunities to piggyback on ideas
- Healthy debates
- Less pressure than a solo episode
- Richer, more diverse content than a solo episode
Because you get so many benefits from interview-based podcasting, and you can and should absolutely still do solo and panel episodes, the majority of this article will assume your show is interview-based.
A lot of people believe that podcasting is a great audience-building platform. The reality is that podcasting shines as a relationship-building platform.
In the Content section, I demo question frameworks we use to encourage original thought leadership in any guest you have on your show.
By far, the two best things about interview-based podcasting are:
- It’s a reliable relationship machine
- It’s a way to generate original content without having to be the source of that content
You should have multiple co-hosts
I talked about doing panel episodes, but there is actually a much better reason you should have multiple co-hosts for your show.
B2B Podcasting Goals
As a B2B podcaster, you have 3 primary goals:
Reaching Your Ideal Buyer with Content-Based Networking
The best strategy for reaching your ideal buyer with your show is called Content-Based Networking.
To harness the power of Content-Based Networking, you…
- Invite your ideal buyer to be a guest on your show.
- Make the content all about their expertise.
- Shine the spotlight on them.
- Ask thought-provoking questions that make the guest feel like a rockstar.
- Build a relationship with the guest by creating killer content from their interview.
- Continue to engage the guest post-interview (send them the episode, links to other content that features them, engage with their posts on LinkedIn, etc.)
- Keep nurturing the relationship — it might turn into something in the future!
Basically, your show is the stage, you’re the drummer, and the guest is the lead singer. If the initial performance goes well, you’ll probably jam together again.
Sometimes, size matters.
The number of downloads your show has per month is a pretty accurate metric for measuring the size of your listenership. Our team has thought this through and come up with 14 organic and paid ways to grow your B2B podcast audience. Those include…
- Be strategic with your show’s name.
- Plan your content out.
- Create a launch promotion plan.
- Set up cross-promotions with other shows in your industry.
- Pay to promote your show on other industry podcasts.
- Plan a podcast tour for the host of your show.
- Leverage SEO.
- Post consistently on LinkedIn.
- Repurpose interviews into micro-videos.
- Repurpose interviews into slide decks.
- Leverage the second biggest search engine: YouTube.
- Create funny videos to promote your show.
- Promote via your team’s email signatures.
- Get creative with email.
Now, we’ll get more into this in the Audience Growth & Content Distribution section, but you have a good idea of what Sweet Fish does to promote our flagship show, B2B Growth (which has over 4m downloads, btw).
The goal of your B2B podcast should not be to establish yourself as an authority in the industry of what you do.
In other words, if you’re a company that sells software to CIOs, you SHOULD NOT brand your show around:
- The software
- Why it’s needed
- Your company
- Your expertise
- Anything else they’re never going to subscribe to
Your buyer isn’t listening to that show. Your buyer isn’t going to be a guest on that show. You’re not going to reach your buyer. 🤷
Your podcast should be the go-to resource for the industry you serve. So, if you sell to CIOs, this is about you becoming a go-to resource for CIOs. This is about you becoming a CIO’s favorite podcast.
You might say…
“I don’t know a whole lot about how to serve CIOs outside of the product I make.”
No problem. The guests on your show do. This is why your show needs to interview your ideal buyer.
All you need to do is highlight their expertise and draw out of them the helpful content that you can repurpose for others like them. By doing this your show becomes the center of the helpful content hurricane.
What is it:
Interviewing hundreds of people in a specific demographic asking original research questions with the goal of creating an information product.
Why do it:
You already have the demographic captive. The only thing you’re missing is the questions.
After using the data to form valuable industry insights, you can sell the information product, use it as a magnet, or keep it public on your sight for industry-leaders to cite int heir articles.
How to do it:
Ask each guest “If you could ask 100 of your peers one question what would you ask?”
And “As a [job title] what kind of data would you love to have access to?”
The first 10 questions become your first question set.
Use the data you’ve collected to form valuable industry insights and package that into a visually appealing information product.
How to Brand Your Show
What we’ll cover in this section:
Naming Your Show
If you get this right, almost everything else will fall into place. Your show’s name is the launchpad for its brand (which should be focused on the listener, not you).
It’s also the main thing podcast players use to pull up search results for listeners looking for a show. Type “b2b” into Apple Podcasts and B2B Growth is the first podcast to come up.
[RELATED: Hear about the best strategy for naming your B2B podcast.]
Your name’s always there, and people will use the title to make rapid decisions about whether or not to listen.
The 6 Commandments of B2B Podcast Naming
- Thou Shalt Be Authoritative
- Thou Shalt Be Concise
- Thou Shalt Be Clear
- Thou Shalt NOT Use the Word “Podcast” In Your Name
- Thou Shalt NOT Name the Show After Your Company, Personal Brand, Core Values, or Marketing Tagline
- Thou Shalt NOT Name the Show Around YOUR Expertise
4 Naming Formulas That Just Work:
- IDEAL BUYER’S INDUSTRY + IDEAL BUYER’S ROLE
- The Healthcare CFO
- The Hospitality Executive
- The SaaS Founder
- The B2B Sales Leader
- The PRIMARY ACTIVITY that your IDEAL BUYER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR
- Selling Homes
- The Customer Experience Show
- How to Lead Engineers
- Crafting Culture
- ASPIRATIONAL IDENTITY of YOUR IDEAL BUYER
- The Innovative Agency
- Titans of Talent
- Masters of Events
- The Intelligent Marketer
- VILIFYING THE ENEMY OF YOUR IDEAL BUYER
- Churn Sucks: A Podcast for Recurring Revenue Businesses
- Flip My Funnel: The ABM Podcast
- Stop the Noise: The Content Marketing Podcast
- No More Forms: The Conversational Marketing Podcast
You can reference everything on B2B podcast names in this handy slide deck.
Creating Podcast Cover Art (& Other Graphics)
“The most important part of marketing your podcast is its cover art.” — Leonardo da Vinci
(We were surprised by this quote too!)
Questionable quotes aside, podcast cover art makes up a huge part of the success of your show. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind when designing your show’s cover art:
1. What’s the Purpose of Your Cover Art
The “vibe” is the way the cover art makes the searcher feel. It is incredibly important to nail this.
For example, we wanted to avoid the “business suit vibe” at all costs for The B2B Sales Show.
2. Create a Mood Board
Start by going onto Dribbble or Pinterest and saving everything that matches the vibe you want.
This was our Mood Board for The B2B Sales Show:
To ensure the responsiveness of your cover art on all platforms, it can’t be smaller than 3,000×3,000 px.
4. Choose an Effective Background Color
When you’re contemplating a background color, here are some things to keep front-of-mind:
- It should jump out to the eye of the person scrolling through podcasts.
- There needs to be strong contrast between the font color and background.
- When the art is being displayed at 50×50 px, the background color is what identifies your show.
- Do NOT use a white background unless there’s a *really* good reason for it.
- Give the background some texture to make it more visually interesting.
5. Limit the Copy & Content
More words = more weak. It’s basically impossible to read any of that text when looking at the 50×50 px version on a phone.
Pre-recorded Audio for Your Podcast
Dun-dun. Dun-dun. Dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun!
Pre-recorded audio can be powerful. It can also be poopy. We suggest you aim for the former.
Intro with theme music
Here’s an example of an intro with theme music:
Many people like having an intro with theme music not just for the aesthetic but so every new listener gets a brief explanation of the show.
- It will get annoying.
Your regular listeners will get into the habit of hitting play and immediately hitting the fast forward 30 button to jump past the annoying intro they have to listen to every single time.
This is NOT an opportunity for you to brag about how great you are. How forward thinking your company and content are. How much you stay on the cutting edge of blah blah I can barely keep typing it. 💀
If you have an intro, use it to demonstrate empathy to your audience and keep it short. Let your listeners know how your podcast intends to serve them in as few words as possible.
Here’s the other thing… We actually steer people away from intros with theme music.
So just play nothing?
No, we get it, aesthetics are part of good design. Here’s an example of what we recommend:
We recommend you use a trailer and put everything you would say in a themed intro into the trailer. (Again, refer to the me-me-me-ism caution. No one cares about you as much as you do.)
Your listener clicks the trailer to get a good idea of what your podcast is about and whether they’re into it or not.
What I love about the trailer is it sits on top of the episodes for anyone who finds your podcast.
To make a trailer, head to premiumbeat.com, get some bumping music, and voiceover what your show is about.
While they sound great, and we won’t recommend against them, we’ve built the #1 B2B podcast without using them at all. So we’re not convinced they’re that important.
Similar to written advertisements, recorded ads need to cast the customer as the hero, not the advertiser. How does the product/service change the customer’s life? Why should they care? How does it relieve a pain point?
Sometimes you’ll record ads yourself a la Joe Rogan style.
Sometimes your sponsors will send you their audio and ask you to do the whole, “The opinions expressed in this show do not necessarily represent yada yada yada… “
But most likely, in the beginning, you’ll be recording ads for your company’s product.
Be careful not to make your ads sound like… ads. Use a narrative style to make your advertisements sound like a story or — at the very least — an intriguing testimonial.
Additionally, opt for host-read ads. They perform way better than an outside hire.
A great headline is like a bomb appetizer: It gives you a taste of what the rest of the meal is going to be like. Better make it good!
How to Write Great Headlines
To write intriguing headlines takes practice. There are, however, several best practices to guide your way.
- Don’t be vague
- Focus on the most interesting part of your episode
- Think about your audience and what they want to know
- Don’t get too complicated
We recommend using these two formats for headlines:
ep. #: Main Point from the Episode w/ Guest’s Name
458: 4 Foolproof Headline Formulas w/ Sarah Titleboss
#SeriesName ep. #: Main Point from the Episode
#HowtoPodcast 13: The 7 Steps We Use to Book Podcast Guests
Have Multiple Series-es (Series’? Serieses? Seriously?)
Series enable your listeners to cherry-pick the content that applies to them.
As you create content, you’ll start to notice you’re talking about certain categories often. That’s a good indication you should make it a series.
Some series from B2B Growth:
Creating a series is as easy as slapping the series’ name on the front of the headline. Boom, series’d.
How to Host (for the Content & the Relationship)
Hosting skills need to be refined for two reasons: building relationships and uncovering great content from the guest. In this section, we’ll cover both.
Here’s everything we’re going over:
- Who Should Host
- Be a Skillful Host
- Guest Outreach
- Pre-Interview POV Discovery
- Questions That Uncover Amazing Content
- The Path to Friendship
Who Should Host
Often companies see hosting the podcast as something to outsource.
Let’s take a deep dive into the pros and cons of hiring an outside host.
Should you Outsource Hosting?
Professionalism – A host outside of the company will typically have all of the equipment, software, and radio training to make a state-of-the-art podcast with impeccable sound.
Lost Relationships – Building relationships with your ideal potential customers is one of the largest missed opportunities from this list. This is the holy grail of podcasting. It is a platform perfect for relationships that will fill your calendar with meetings with your ideal buyers.
Added Cost – Typically a premium is paid to have an outside host with experience and often costs more than finding someone internally to host. This means less money allocated to advertising, promotion, and content creation.
No professional development – Hosting a podcast internally provides opportunities for those within the company to grow personally and professionally. An outside hire means a missed opportunity for you and your team.
Lost Relationships – (Yes, again.) If you are striving to reach ambitious goals you NEED the right relationships that will help you achieve more.
Can’t connect with logos – People connect with people, not logos. A familiar face from your company behind your podcast means customers can engage directly with an industry expert. You lose this added touch when you outsource the host.
Lost Relationships – (One last time.) Outsourcing your host means a stranger gets to collaborate, create content, and build a relationship with someone you want to connect with. I host several client shows. Those clients miss out on a pipeline of potential customers because after creating content with me, those guests become friends with me, not someone at the company.
Who we recommend hosts your show
Sales Leader – If you’re doing B2B podcasting right, you are regularly interviewing decision makers of companies that match your ideal buyer. When the question is, “Can I feature you on a podcast” instead of “Can I have 20 minutes of your time,” your sales team has a much easier time getting meetings. Sales leaders already possess so many of the same skills required to be a great podcast host:
- Asking great questions
- Active listening skills
- Making people feel at ease
Marketing Leader – By regularly interviewing your ideal buyers, your marketing team is getting valuable insight into buyer personas and how to best market to these folks.
Typically, companies are already investing in data collection on their ideal buyer. In this case, you are able to podcast with guests (ideal buyers) and gather data as an offshoot of creating content.
Company Evangelist – We believe you should be turning members of your organization into evangelists by investing in the personal brands of those individuals.
[RELATED: How to Build an Employee Evangelist Program]
They become distribution channels of your company’s content. By investing in personal brands of those at your company, you are then able to have a new, fresh, and relevant face of your company.
They’ll be a great storyteller – The new face(s) of your company can tell a great story not only on your podcast, but for your company and across the industry. Whether it be for press releases or speaking at a conference, this person has the potential to grow much larger than what they may have originally been set out to do.
They’ll be a great representative – People connect with people, not logos.
Be a skillful host
As a host, you’re like a miniature version of Oprah. She’s made a living shining the spotlight on other people and their incredible stories.
Your show is your spotlight, your guests are the experts.
To shine the spotlight on the guest doesn’t require outstanding speaking skills or a radio DJ voice.
- Be a great listener
Let your guest be the star of the show. Make it your mission each episode to have them unpack their expertise. This requires little talking on your part.
- Be naturally curious
How did that work? How did that feel? Why did that work? Why didn’t the first thing you tried work? What was that like?
Almost everything about getting great content from a guest comes from the skill of being curious.
- Equip yourself with great questions
Combine curiosity with strategy to ask questions that will always pull amazing content from guests. We call these POV Discovery questions. More on that further down.
- Learn over time how to steer the conversation
As a listener, tangents that have nothing to do with why I clicked Download. Avoiding this is as easy as:
Guest goes on tangent -> host does NOT ask questions about the tangent -> host says “Joe, the next thing I want to ask about is…”
Don’t Do this:
- Try to sound fancy
This will turn listeners off. You’re in our kitchen, gym, car, etc. — talk like you would in those places. Keep things simple and down to earth. Laugh when you screw up.
- Try to sound smart
The best thing to say when the guest says something you don’t understand is, “Sara, for anyone listening who’s less familiar, what did you mean when you said…”
- Make it about you
Don’t try to take the mic from the guest. Don’t repeat everything your guest says just to hear your own voice. Don’t go on long monologues.
When I first started podcasting, this was the scariest part. I learned so quickly how much people love being featured on a show.
The 3 Commandments of Guest Prospecting:
- Thou shalt keep your emails short. More than 3 sentences is too much.
- Thou shalt make your emails personal. Name the person, mention a piece of content they’ve made or an organization they’re a part of.
- Thou shalt NOT drone on about your show and why they should care about it.
Here’s a sequence we recommend.
- Email #1
Make sure to remove all images and links from your email and email signature. By doing this, you are able to move past any spam filters and your email is more likely to be seen by a human.
Hey <Professional’s Name>,
I love the work you’re doing with <Compliment/Recent Event>.
Would you be interested in being a guest on my podcast <Podcast Name>?
Host, <Podcast Name>
- Email #2
Both of these cold emails will be the first way you reach out to a potential guest and should only be 30 to 40 words in length. Make it short, simple, and easy to read. No one has time for a 5 paragraph pitch! Repeat, no one wants a pitch.
Hi <Professional’s Name>,
Any interest in being a guest on my podcast, <Podcast Name>?
I would love to have you share more about <Compliment/Recent Event>.
Host, <Podcast Name>
- LinkedIn Follow
Follow them before connecting. This will put you into their notification feed and gives you some viability without you asking for anything.
Step 1 – Go to the desired LinkedIn profile
Step 2 – Click ‘More…’ on the right hand side of the LinkedIn profile
Step 3 – Click ‘ + Follow’ from the dropdown menu
- LinkedIn Engagement
Thoughtful engagement is what will make you memorable. Look for pieces of content that spark your interest and leave a thoughtful comment or message.
This increases visibility for both the person who posted and your network.
[RELATED: Not using LinkedIn for ABM yet? Here are 5 tactics you can use today.]
- LinkedIn Connection Request
Now it’s time for a personalized LinkedIn connection request that sounds like a human.
You will pop up on their notifications and be positioned to leave a lasting first impression. Make it about them and not you.
Step 1 – Go to the desired LinkedIn profile
Step 2 – Click ‘Connect’ on the desired LinkedIn profile
Here you should be prompted with an option to “Add Note” as you connect.
TIP: If you are not prompted with the screen above, click ‘More…’ and click ‘Personalize invite’
Step 3 – Add up to 300 characters to your personalized invite. Here is an example:
Hi <Professionals Name>,
Today I came across your <Media, Article, Interview, etc> about <Topic>, and I was blown away! You really got me thinking about the idea of <taking action on Topic Detail>. I would love to stay connected and keep up with your awesome content.
Step 4 – Hit ‘Done’ and wait! At this point you will see ‘Pending’ on their profile until they take action on your connection request.
- Video Email
Send a personalized video through LinkedIn messages, text, or email. In less than a minute express why you’d love to have them on your show and just ask.
Record a video or use a tool like BombBomb. It’s a platform with a Gmail plugin that allows you to seamlessly record, publish, and share videos with a short GIF at the front before you even have to hit play.
The touch of having a GIF before playing the video allows you to be creative and have another outlet where you can capture their attention.
- The Respectful Last Try
Hi <Professional’s Name>,
I never heard back from you on my last two emails, so I’ll assume you aren’t interested in being a guest on our podcast <Link Podcast>.
If you change your mind down the road, let me know. I think our listeners could learn a lot from you.
Host, <Podcast Name>
You’d be surprised how many guests you’ll book off that last email.
Pre-Interview POV Discovery Instead of an Editorial Calendar
Let’s be real with each other — creating and maintaining a traditional content calendar is a time-consuming job. A way more repeatable process is to draw the content from the guest.
Everyone has specific, helpful, experience-based content to share. They don’t all know it (and sometimes they think they have something profound to say when really it’s pretty generic).
We can draw out of them the experience-backed content they have with simple question techniques.
Here are the top 3 POV questions for interviews:
- What is a commonly held belief [about expertise] you passionately disagree with?
- What should everyone [in guest’s role] stop doing?
- What should everyone [in guest’s role] start doing?
Here are 3 more POV questions that work
- What’s something everyone is trying to do that you’ve discovered a better way to do?
- What’s a failure you’ve experienced that you think many are headed for?
- What’s a resource/tool/channel people aren’t using correctly or to its fullest?
Here are 2 last ditch questions:
- What’s a recent thing you tried in your company that you were surprised by the result?
- What’s something you or your team have recently achieved that you’re really proud of?
Pair them with your guest’s experience to make them more niche:
“So Sarah, what’s a commonly held belief about ABM for mid-tier accounts that you passionately disagree with?”
“Laura, what’s a commonly held belief about diversity and inclusion at medium sized companies you passionately disagree with?”
The more you interview, the more you find subcategories.
In the Sarah and Laura example, Sarah is obviously a marketer, and Laura is obviously in HR.
I could have asked the questions off those job functions (and it works!).
But the more I do that, the more I discover subcategories like ABM for mid-tier accounts or diversity & inclusion at mid-sized companies.
In other words, you can start doing this with almost no knowledge of the field your show is about and learn all the categories through doing this.
Another way to discover subcategories is through original research.
Original research questions warm up the guest and often get them talking about sub-categories, experiences, pains, discoveries, etc.
Questions that Uncover Amazing Content
Once you’ve pulled from the guest their distinct POV in the pre-interview, the episode itself is as simple as journalistically what/why/how-ing the guest’s POV.
These are the types of questions we use:
Focus on actionability: A lot of guests will live in theory, talk in circles, or just focus on their own experience. Ask questions that make your guest tell the listener what to do and how to start.
Don’t lengthen stupid stuff: You’ll be tempted to ask questions or comment off everything they say. If they are talking about their cats, move the conversation on.
Don’t worry about sounding smart: You represent the listener. When the guest says something you don’t understand just go “for anyone less familiar, what did you mean by ____”
Don’t be afraid to interrupt: Your guest may stumble upon something where you can stop them & ask, “What’s a recent example of that?”
Here are those questions but specifically tailored for our 3 top-performing POV questions:
Commonly Held Belief Passionately Disagree Template
Everyone Should Stop
Everyone Should Start
Closing the show can be as simple as asking the guest these two questions and signing off.
- What’s the one big takeaway you want listeners to get from this episode?
- How can listeners connect with you?
The Path to Friendship
The most powerful thing about podcasting is its use as a relationship tool. When you create content with somebody, it is a powerful bonding experience.
Our entire business has been built by using our flagship shows to build relationships with our ideal partnerships.
Along the way we’ve learned a lot about going from nobody to friend with the exact people we want to know. We call this The Path to Friendship.
- Ask them to be a guest on your show
Really simple, we covered in the guest outreach section here[jump to link]
- Get their phone number as early in the process as possible
Right after they say yes to being a guest, you want to get their phone number.
There are two ways I do that:
- Calendar link. I say something like:
“Would you mind grabbing a time slot for our pre-interview? Send me your link, otherwise, here’s mine [link]”
Most people use my link instead of sending one, and the way I get the phone number is it’s a required field in my link.
- Ask for a specific time for the pre-interview. This is a good option as a follow up to the link attempt if they didn’t reply.
“Sarah – Can’t wait to nail down what our episode is going to be about. Can I call you Tuesday afternoon? 3pm eastern work?”
Usually they’ll respond with their phone number and a time that works better for them. Sometimes they just say “Yup that works!” and then I’ll say “Great, what’s a good number to call you on?”
- Start texting them
Once you have the number, text it. Almost always you will get their actual cell phone. Almost always it turns the sweet sweet blue of iMessage as soon as you go to type the text.
“Sarah! Can’t wait to talk on Tuesday, I’ll text you when it gets closer. Tty soon!”
Then send a gif. Don’t skip that.
- Pre-Interview as a relationship tool
We’ve already talked about how you use the pre-interview for content, let’s talk about how you use it for relationship building.
If you’re doing original research questions they are GREAT for warming up the guest.
Sneak in questions that will make your guest laugh. I was interviewing a guest who was a professor at a college, and in the middle of POV I asked, “Do you realize you have one of the highest scores on RateMyProffessor.com?”
It had nothing to do with what we were talking about, but it made her laugh and feel awesome.
Ask questions that will get the guest talking about themself, what they like/hate, their home life, etc. Try to do this in a not-creepy way.
Text them you had an awesome pre-interview, something you’re still laughing about, and the info to book the recording time.
“Sarah, loved our chat today, can’t wait to do our episode. Still dying over your story about the girl scouts. I told my wife. Anyway, here’s the link to book our recording time!”
- Add them as a friend on Facebook and stalk their interests. Stalk!
- Download a relationship app like Fabriq and load all the info you’ve learned about your guest into the app
- Start your interview with a question that will make them laugh or double up and make it a question that will make them laugh and give you more relationship fuel
A question I love is “Hey everybody. Welcome back to Books for Kids, today I’m talking with Jeremy Bowls; Jeremy, what’s the current background wallpaper on your phone?”
- They laugh.
- They’re like, “wait what.”
- They often end up having to tell me something a little personal.
- Something I like to do next is use Sweet Fish’s design team to make a funnier version of that background and send it to them as a gift. If you have the resources for that, it’s killer.
- Our episode is live!
- Giftology 101 and examples
“Jeremy, I have a gift I wanna send you, what’s an address I can use?”
- You guys are friends now
- You’re friends on Facebook
- You have their phone number
- You’ve been texting gifs and memes and inside jokes back and forth
- You have their address
- You’ve built up a lot of goodwill.
- You could probably invite this person on a road trip at this point.
For more ideas, check out 23 Ways to Nurture Relationships with Your Podcast Guests
Audience Growth & Content Distribution
In this section we’ll cover:
- Organic Audience Growth
- Paid Audience Growth
- Domain Name & Podcast Website
- Content Waterfall
- LinkedIn Evangelism
- Community Building
Organic Audience Growth
Organic audience growth is easier than it sounds. It all starts with the name!
- Your show’s name
Landing on the best name for your podcast is a great concern to us because we’ve seen the most success with B2B Growth due to its name. No, seriously.
It’s straightforward, there’s no cutesy fluff, it’s named after what our ideal audience gives a crap about, and it makes it super easy to find on podcast players. All you have to do is type in “B2B” and *poof!* there’s B2B Growth.
- Plan out your content
The second way to grow your podcast audience organically is simply to plan out helpful content. Determine the industry topics your audience is into and start matching topics to experts you can interview.
Furthermore, avoid choosing sales-y topics. No one wants to listen to an infomercial. They want to know how to get better at their job.
- Prepare a launch promotion strategy
Our team suggests having a queue of 8-10 episodes ready upon launch. This increases the likelihood of listeners choosing your show and subsequently bingeing all your episodes.
It also helps to have some listener ratings especially on Apple Podcasts. Encourage people on your team to go in and rate your podcast. This increases the validity and social proof of your show.
- Cross-promote with other shows
The awesome thing about podcasts is that listeners aren’t devoted to only one show per industry. In fact, when people hear quality content, they’re probably going to look for more material on that subject.
Therefore, cross-promoting with other shows in your space is a tactical move. They plug your show, you plug their show. Easy as that!
- Set up a podcast tour for your host
A fifth way to grow your audience for free is to schedule your host to be interviewed on other similar shows. With most interviews happening virtually, this shouldn’t be too hard to swing.
The more industry podcasts your host is featured on, the more exposure your show will receive.
- Go, go SEO!
When you map your content out, plan to create blog posts based on your interviews. We use Google alphabet soup to turn podcast episodes into ranking articles.
Paid Audience Growth
Paid media is a tried and true way to grow your podcast audience. There are several ad platforms that make it easy to target specific audiences. Here are our top three recommendations:
- Podcast Advertising: There’s no better way to reach new ears than advertising on another podcast. Advertising on a show that’s similar to yours is extremely effective (particularly when it’s a host-read ad). To get the most out of podcast advertising, check out these podcast advertising agencies.
- PPC Retargeting: Facebook and Google (for the most part) have ad platforms that make retargeting simple. With Facebook, you can boil your campaign down to super-niche segments.
- YouTube Advertising: If you’re not using the world’s second-largest search engine to advertise yet, get goin’. You can choose from skippable and non-skippable, video discovery, overlay, and banner ads.
When you create a paid advertisement campaign for your podcast, it isn’t all that different from writing an optimized article.
Get into the mindset of your ideal listener/customer with these questions:
- What are they searching for?
- Why now?
- What are their top priorities?
- What problems do they need solutions to?
- What responsibilities do they have?
The answers can be shaped into some snappy ad copy.
Domain Name & Podcast Website
Use Branding in Your Domain Name
Owning a website domain name that includes your podcast name is important. It gives the podcast room to grow.
The page should redirect to your company’s website, where your podcast will actually be.
The ideal is to match your domain name to your podcast name, but if it’s a no go, try adding “show” or “podcast.” Be as close to the podcast name as possible, with whatever works.
BooksforKids.com was taken.
No worries! BooksforKidsPodcast.com was not taken.
Sweet Fish uses GoDaddy to buy domain names, but there are tons of great options out there. Use what you like and what works for you.
Building a Podcast Page
Once you’ve got the podcast domain name, you need the page for it to redirect to your company’s main website. See #23 on Podcasting for Business: A 26-Step Process for details.
This page is the center of the universe for your podcast (but not necessarily the most important part of the universe for your podcast. That depends on how you use it).
You want to have everything essential, but nothing more. Clutter ruins functionality.
Be sure to use your podcast logo so people receive continuity and you get recognition. Also include your podcast description to help new visitors.
Don’t forget a subscribe button! If you’re generating any traffic to this page, chances are you’ll get some hits from non-subscribers. This is a great chance to convert them!
Including a podcast player with all of your old episodes can be super smart and super handy, too. It helps listeners find what they want without leaving the page and getting distracted.
Plus, everything in one place means you have a great way to see everything available or published for the podcast at a glance.
Just because you’re available on multiple platforms doesn’t mean you can’t have everything organized and accessible in one place.
Words of Wisdom on Website Design
Ok, so you’ve got that fantastic podcast page up and running, and now you’re ready to boost search traffic and kick butt with conversions through that handy subscribe button.
300% Increase in Search Traffic to a B2B Website: How They Did It is a not-too-long podcast episode with a great case study for boosting search traffic and reaping the benefits.
Maybe you’ve got plenty of click-throughs. Or, maybe you’re just ready for a website refresh.
Before you cross your fingers and take a risk, give 4 Lessons from a Recent Website Redesign a listen and see if it’s inspirational or helpful. Extra knowledge rarely hurts!
There’s a basic test I like to use to make sure any website page, but especially a home page, is functional as well as beautiful. See what you say for these three questions.
- Can somebody find your name quickly? If they can’t, you’re in trouble.
- Can people tell what you do at first glance? In the podcast world, that means can people tell that a) this is a podcast and b) get a sense of the podcast space you’re in?
- Is it obvious what people should do if they’re interested or intrigued? If your subscribe button is buried or hidden in text, you’re losing potential listeners.
If you don’t have the important and relevant information where it needs to be, it doesn’t matter how pretty the page is. It’s worthless.
Once you’ve got the essentials on your website, give a closer look to your visual design. There are some key pitfalls you definitely want to avoid.
Skip the image slider. It distracts from everything else you’re trying to convey and worse, it can be annoying.
Don’t give your whole background story. People are busy, and most people won’t bother reading it. It just adds clutter, and more text to sift through could lose visitors’ attention.
Ok, these I hate. And I mean h-a-t-e. They’re always annoying and rarely wanted. Trash the pop-ups. They’re aggressive and distracting, and if it’s important it shouldn’t be a pop-up.
Here’s another reduce-the-clutter one. See the trend? Don’t have too many calls to action. You need to lead the visitor to what they need, not lose them when they’re too confused.
Outdated design definitely won’t help. This isn’t the 2002-era DMV website. Site visitors have other options and they know it. Make them enjoy their time on your site.
Website Hosting & Protection
Website protection is always a good idea. And, thankfully, it’s not that complicated. If you use a domain host like GoDaddy, you can buy great protection through them.
Protection detects and removes malware, and gives you a security firewall to protect your website and content. Heads up, though: it can be a bit pricey.
Besides GoDaddy, popular companies for website protection are SiteLock, SiteGuarding, and cWatch.
Syndication (Submitting Your Podcast to Podcast Directories Apple, Spotify, etc.)
Setting up your podcast, you have a few different options. For all-in-one, super easy recording, editing, hosting, and publishing, Anchor is amazing. It’s super simple.
If you want more functionality and room to grow, Sounder is the ultimate professional podcast hosting platform. Other great options are Blubrry, Buzzspout, and Podbean.
Whichever you choose, make sure you have your podcast’s cover art in at least a 3,000 x 3,000 pixel format ready to use to launch your podcast.
Also have your podcast description ready and then get your first episode ready to launch!
Once you’ve got hosting set up, you’ll need to submit an RSS feed to Apple Podcasts for your show to be accepted and available on the platform.
Launching on TuneIn Radio, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts also requires some extra steps. For what to do on all of this, look at #25 on Podcasting for Business: A 26-Step Process.
If you’re using Anchor, all of that is as simple as hitting publish and waiting on the podcast players’ respective servers (usually a day or two).
For Libsyn or most other hosts, once you’ve filled out your show information and uploaded your first episode, you have to get your podcast information to the podcast player. With Apple Podcasts, this means you have to log into Apple Podcasts’ Podcast Connect site (with your Apple ID).
[RELATED: Wanna start selling subscriptions on Apple Podcasts? Here are 5 critical things to know.]
Then you need to find and copy your RSS feed from the host you’re using and enter it on Podcast Connect along with the right information.
Once you submit, it can take a week for your podcast to be approved and then another week to show up in iTunes search results, but from there each episode will automatically appear when you publish.
Transcribing a podcast can be made easy with technology and in turn make your podcast more accessible to those who may be deaf, hard of hearing, or English language learners.
Doing this opens you up to a larger audience, makes you more discoverable and overall increases the value of your podcast. Not to mention it may even boost your SEO!
Here are a few services you can try:
- Descript – Offers a free trial then packages starting at $12 dollars a month. Offers automatic transcription, human transcription, video editing and more!
- Otter.ai – Otter is what we use at Sweet Fish. It transcribes whole episodes within minutes and offers a freemium subscription model.
- Temi – Offers a free trial and then transcription services using software for $0.25 per audio minute. Temi features o subscriptions, minimum, or any additional charges.
- DIY – Obviously the cheapest option and the one that will take you the most time. You will have to pay close attention to typing while listening to your podcast. Creating a transcript can be done on YouTube (great UX/UI) or in something as simple as Word.
Each of your podcast interviews is the source of a raging content waterfall. If you aim to attract new listeners, creating a content waterfall is pretty much a necessity.
One interview can be repurposed into…
- YouTube videos
- Snackable micro-videos
- Informative blog posts
- Social media posts
- Slide decks or carousels
- Quote graphics
- Authentic case studies
- Engaging emails
So, no matter which channels your brand lives on, you’ll have at least one piece of content to promote each episode. Outlining your episodes makes the content splintering process a breeze.
This is something a lot of companies are starting to do. Rather than marketing through the brand’s social media account, they’re using the real people from their team to get better access to other real people.
This performs especially well on LinkedIn: especially since that’s the platform most B2B companies’ audiences go to for work-related content.
How to do it:
Building community is one of the most powerful ways to leverage ABM. Some marketers get community and audience confused, though.
To be clear, community building IS NOT audience building. A community for ABM purposes is an intimate group of about five professional peers. These people are dedicated to learning more about their field together.
As the facilitator of professional communities, you can build long-lasting relationships with your ideal buyers as they build relationships with each other.
At Sweet Fish, we’ve just onboarded a full-time community developer. You could say we’re pretty serious about it. There’s a ton to gain by giving people community. And, eventually, it should support your overall audience building.
James lays it out clearly in this LinkedIn post.
In this section we’ll cover:
- Guests to Customers
- Your Podcast’s Past Benchmarks
- Podcast Data vs. Other Channels
- Your Podcast vs. Other Podcasts
Guests to Customers
Measuring your podcast’s ROI isn’t always a simple task. However, it helps to remember why you started your show in the first place — to land more customers.
That being the case, it makes sense to figure out how many of your interviewed guests have become your customers. Guests to customers is the metric that you should base the majority of your podcast’s success on (not the number of downloads).
This is an easy metric to analyze if you have a list of all the guests you’ve interviewed. Go through your list and compare the number of customers against the number of guests who have yet to convert.
Then, calculate the time and money spend on creating your show. If it’s less than the revenue you’re earning from guests-turned-customers, you’re on the right track, my friend.
If you find the opposite is true, check out these examples of people who generated a positive ROI with their podcasts:
- How This Host Generated $700k in Revenue from the Guests on His Podcast
- How to Achieve Positive ROI in 28 Days w/ a B2B Podcast
Your Podcast’s Past Benchmarks
Number of downloads, although not as revealing as guests-turned-customers, can help you get an idea of your show’s success rate.
Basically, you’re just looking for an upward trend in monthly downloads. In the short run, the number of downloads is a vanity metric. But over time, it can be very telling.
Comparing your newly-launched podcast’s downloads every week isn’t worth your time. It isn’t until around the 1-2 year mark that you’ll see the number spike. This explains why a lot of new podcasters give up before they see any real growth.
Analyze your podcast’s previous download benchmarks but keep in mind that it’s not a very accurate short-term metric.
Your Podcast vs. Other Channels
Comparing the success of your podcast with that of your other marketing channels might sound like comparing apples and oranges at first.
But it’s actually a really useful way to make sure your marketing efforts are going to the right places.
For instance, say you got 10,000 views on your last LinkedIn post. Then, think about how long it takes someone to read your 150-word post — maybe a couple of minutes.
Now, say your latest 30-minute podcast episode received 800 downloads. That’s 800 people keeping their attention on your content for at least 10x as long as a LinkedIn post.
Keep in mind the quality of the “lead,” too. Someone listening to every one of your episodes is likely a higher quality lead than someone scanning through your post.
Even so, it probably took you five minutes to write that LinkedIn post. It took a lot longer to produce your podcast.
This metric is all about weighing the effort against the effectiveness of your marketing channels over time.
Your Podcast vs. Other Podcasts
Just like with the number of downloads, don’t get too hung up on comparing your show’s success with other shows’. This metric is only really valuable if you use a podcast analytics report.
First of all, podcasts aside from yours have different goals, target audiences, and formats. Plus, none of you started from the same starting line.
In other words, comparing your podcast’s benchmarks to those of Joe Rogan’s isn’t going to help anybody.
If you wish to find this metric, use an analytics report like Chartable. They collect data on billions of downloads, so you’re looking at the averages of an immense sampling.
If you’ve made it this whole way, you deserve a puppy. Since I don’t have a puppy to give, here’s a gold star. ⭐
There’s a ton that goes into a successful B2B podcast. That’s why we have a whole team to make all of the content for our customers. And with your help, together we can make a kick-ass business podcast that attracts ideal buyers like squirrels to a squirrel party.
If you have any more questions on the B2B podcasting process, give us a shout.
‘Til then, peace, love, & Swedish Fish.