Demand Gen: How a Podcast Grows Your Audience

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It’s nice to feel wanted. Some organizations — maybe even yours — love to feel wanted so much that it’s one of their primary goals. And that’s okay.

You’ve probably heard of this before. It’s called demand gen. It’s the strategy some businesses use to build awareness and drive revenue. A podcast, actually, is a great channel to generate demand for your business.

That’s what we’re talking about today:

How do I generate demand and grow an audience through a podcast? To grow an audience with your B2B podcast…

  1. Identify your target audience.
  2. Find your place in the podcast marketplace.
  3. Be strategic about your branding.
  4. Create thought leadership content.
  5. Promote your podcast.
  6. Measure your audience growth.

Keep reading for the deets. 👇

B2B Podcast Strategy: Demand Gen

Demand gen is just one of five B2B podcast strategies your company can choose from.

If you choose demand gen as your podcasting strategy, your goals should be tied to…

  • Audience growth
  • Thought leadership
  • Industry authority

Your biggest priority is to grow your brand’s audience by positioning yourself as a thought leader and authority in the space. Unlike content-based networking, you’re not trying to book your ideal customers as guests on your show. You’re concerned with building up demand for your product or service.

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Additionally, you know the importance demand gen has on your business as a whole. You see the value in potential customers interacting with your content on a large scale. Your priorities are not to meet industry influencers or to build relationships with ideal buyers on a one-on-one basis. However, those might be subsidiary goals of yours.

Your #1 concern is building up an audience. That’s why you’ve chosen the demand gen strategy for your podcast.

If this doesn’t describe your business’s goals, take a look at the table below to find out which strategy you should go with.

STRATEGYGOALCONTENT TYPETIME TO IMPACTTARGET AUDIENCE SIZE
1. Demand GenAudience GrowthThought LeadershipLong TermLarge
2. Industry InfluenceBuild Relationships w/ Industry InfluencersInterviewsMid TermMedium
3. ABM (Content-Based Networking)Build Relationships w/ Potential CustomersInterviewsShort to Mid TermMedium
4. Customer SuccessReduce ChurnInterviewsMid TermSmall
5. Internal UsePass On Organizational InformationThought Leadership, InterviewsShort TermSmall

Once you know for sure that you want to take the demand gen route, follow these next steps.

1. Identify Your Target Audience

The idea here is to build up your brand’s notoriety for a specific subject — not to capture leads. That means your target audience will be made up of potential customers as well as peers in your industry.

You’re not exactly targeting your ICP when it comes to demand gen. It may sound counterintuitive, but that’s how you grow an audience. You want to generate a large enough demand for your product or service so that your ideal buyers eventually filter in.

Passive Media

Many marketers worry about cannibalizing their existing channels if they start a podcast. That if their podcast is successful, it will steal demand for other media. This just isn’t true.

Because podcasts are consumed in a different time and space than other media, they don’t take anything away from separate channels. A podcast can be consumed passively as you walk the dog, mow the lawn, or drive to work.

So, it actually fills up time that people wouldn’t be spending on reading blog posts or watching videos anyways. It helps your audience optimize their time.

There’s an Audience for That

If anything, a podcast adds to your market share. There are people out there who vibe with your ICP who might never know your brand if it wasn’t for your podcast.

50% of U.S. homes are podcast fans. That’s over 60 million households. It’s safe to say that there’s someone who builds a relationship with your brand via your podcast.

All you have to do is talk about the topics your audience is interested in.

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2. Find Your Place in the Podcast Marketplace

You probably have an idea of what your podcast is going to be about. Ideally, it’s a subject your potential customers are into. (Because why would they listen otherwise?)

Now it’s time to see where a show like yours might fit into the existing podcast marketplace.

Get an idea of where your podcast could fill a need by…

  • Searching for similar podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google
  • Thinking about what could make your show unique
  • Searching for industry related topics that haven’t been covered yet
  • Asking customers about the podcasts they listen to
  • Creating a poll on LinkedIn to learn about shows your network listens to

This way, you’ll have a better understanding of the audience you can target. You won’t be investing time and money into something that already exists.

3. Be Strategic About Branding

You know where you fit into the marketplace. Now, create branding that reflects your unique position.

Choosing a Name

The name of your podcast should reflect the audience you want to target. It’s about them — not about you or your company.

[READ: Thinking about launching a B2B podcast? Avoid these 6 common mistakes.]

Take, for example, Sweet Fish’s flagship podcast, B2B Growth. We named the show after our target audience — B2B marketers.

We could’ve called it the Sweet Fish Show. But then who would want to listen? Maybe Sweet Fish employees. That wasn’t the goal, though.

The goal of B2B Growth is to build relationships with potential customers. We’ve also been able to build a substantial audience, even though that wasn’t our primary goal.

Plus, people trust a podcast more that isn’t branded after an organization. Find four podcast naming formulas here that we recommend trying out.

Visual Identity

In addition to your show’s name, you need to decide on a visual identity.

Your podcast’s visual branding includes…

  • Cover art
  • Website design
  • Video frames
  • Social profile pics
  • Quote graphics
  • Slide decks

The visual elements should appeal to your target audience and reflect the feeling of your show. The feeling — or vibe — of your podcast can be a lot of different things. Conversational. Professional. Lighthearted. Serious. Funny. It all depends on your audience and the subject matter you typically cover.

4. Create Thought Leadership Content

Because your primary goal is to build an audience, it works best if you create thought leadership content.

This means that one or two people connected to your company should host. You want to use the thought leadership from your own team to drive demand.

Typically, a co-host conversational or solo episode format works best for thought leadership content. You don’t necessarily need to interview other industry authorities because you’re positioning yourself as the expert. People should be able to gain expert advice and insights from you or your host(s).

Discuss topics that your audience cares about. What are their goals or challenges? What’s a controversial subject you could take a stance on?

Talking about things your audience cares about makes your show more visible from an SEO perspective too.

5. Promote Your Podcast

Building an audience means that you need to meet some people on their own turf. Luckily, podcasts are made to be repurposed. You can use this repurposed content to reach more future fans of your show.

A podcast episode can be repurposed into…

  • Optimized blog posts
  • Shareable micro videos
  • Full-length YouTube videos
  • Quote graphics
  • Audiograms
  • LinkedIn carousels
  • LinkedIn written posts
  • Instagram posts
  • Tweets

All of that content from just one episode. It’d be silly not to promote your podcast with all of these opportunities.

6. Measure Audience Growth

Lastly, you need to measure the success of your podcast.

Since your main goal is to grow an audience, you’ll want to watch the number of downloads per episode.

[READ: Downloads aren’t everything. Here’s how to measure 8 key podcast metrics.]

Building an audience is about being in the long game. The number of downloads per episode hopefully grows over time. However, you probably won’t see major growth until year one or two of your show.

Once you do establish an audience, though, it’s absolutely worth it. As long as you stick to it, demand for your product or service will grow exponentially. It’s a commitment.

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Generate Demand, Build an Audience

A B2B podcast is one of the best ways you can generate demand and build an audience for your business. You’ve got to be strategic about it, though. You also have to be committed to the process.

Building an audience isn’t ever easy. Your B2B podcast makes it possible.

For more B2B podcasting knowledge nuggets, subscribe to B2B Growth on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Emily Kingland

Lead Writer at Sweet Fish Media

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