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10 Crucial Steps for Launching Your B2B Podcast Into the Wild

Hey, friend, have you heard the good news about podcasts?  Given the most recent stats, it’s highly likely you have. Over half of all Americans over 12 years of age have listened to at least one. Podcasts have well and truly hit the mainstream. In other words, the gold rush is on for brands looking to connect with a highly-engaged, long-attention-span audience. However, getting a podcast up and running isn’t as simple as publishing a blog. We recently published an entire B2B podcasting webinar to walk you through the entire process, from conception to publication. This post will zero in on the choices you need to make and the steps you need to take to release your podcast into the wild.

B2B Podcasting Launch Checklist: 10 Steps

Sure, you could just upload your audio to your web server, add an RSS feed, and call it good. But if you want people to actually find and listen to your podcast, there are a few extra steps you should take. This checklist will help your podcast find an audience and start building a subscriber base. via GIPHY

#1: Choose Your Hosting Platform

A podcast syndication platform makes it easy to publish your podcast and get listed in directories. Think of it like WordPress is for your blog — it hosts the files, makes them look pretty, and makes it so people can find them. Most platforms will also give you embed codes for embedding episodes in blog posts or on a landing page. You’ll also get stats on how many people are downloading episodes, and on what program they’re listening. We prefer Libsyn as our hosting platform. Podbean, buzzsprout, and Blubrry are also solid options. They all have a free tier of hosting, but you’ll want to pay a few bucks a month for bandwidth and analytics.

#2: Upload Your First Three Episodes

Podcasting is all about establishing a regular cadence (more on that later). But for launch, you’ll want to have at least three episodes ready to go. There are a few reasons for publishing multiple episodes for your debut:

  1. One episode may not be enough to convince people to subscribe. 
  2. Multiple episodes show you’re committed to keeping the content coming.
  3. Most importantly, Apple podcasts requires at least three episodes to qualify for their “New and Noteworthy” section. 

So before you publish, have at least three episodes completed, and be ready to follow up with more at your promised publishing cadence.

#3:  Register with Podcast Directories

Podcasts are peculiar in terms of content delivery. Your hosting platform makes the files available, but most people will listen to your podcast on their chosen podcast app. Each app maintains its own directory — think of it as a search engine for podcasts.  Your podcast needs to be listed in their directory, or people won’t be able to find you. I recommend registering with at least these six:

  1. Apple Podcasts
  2. Google Podcasts
  3. Stitcher
  4. Podbean
  5. Spotify
  6. TuneIn

Each of these sites will ask for the RSS feed of your podcast, which your hosting platform will generate for you. I created a podcast tracker to keep track of all these directories — sign up for the webinar and you can download it for free. B2B Podcast Tracker

#4: Promote Internally

Gaining visibility on a podcast directory is tricky business. Apple and Google are where the majority of your listeners will be, and each employs an algorithm to promote podcasts in search results and feature pages. How do you get an algorithm’s attention? Engagement! Start by promoting your podcast to all of your employees. Encourage them to subscribe on Apple or Google, give a rating, and write a brief (and honest) review. What’s more, draft some social messages and encourage everyone to promote the podcast to their networks, too. That base level of initial engagement will help your podcast start finding its audience.

#5: Activate Your Influencers

Most podcasts are Q&A-style interviews with influential guests. If your podcast includes influencers in your industry, make sure they know as soon as their episode goes live. Give them the tools to promote the podcast easily:

  • Sample social messages
  • Social media images in the correct sizes
  • Embed codes

If your podcast doesn’t feature influencers, it’s worth re-evaluating your strategy for your next season. Influencer content not only is more valuable to your audience, it’s an indispensable channel for promotion.

#6: Publish Blog Posts

The one downside of audio content: It’s not super crawlable for SEO purposes. Granted, Google has started to auto-transcribe episodes and add them to search results, but the technology is still in the early stages. To truly get some SEO juice from your podcast, we recommend embedding each podcast in a blog post. This example from the Tech Unknown Podcast by SAP* shows how simple it can be. All you need is an introduction, a few pull quotes, some key takeaways, and a transcript.

#7: Add Paid Promotion

As with any content, you want to use every tactic available to make sure it gets seen by your target audience. That’s especially true with podcasts, since podcast search engines are incredibly competitive. Targeted, paid social promotion can help establish your subscriber base and get your new podcast some much-needed visibility. It’s also worth considering cross-promotion on other podcasts. Consider both paid advertising and trading guest spots with a podcast that shares your target audience. 

#8: Solicit Listener Feedback

Ratings and reviews are essential to your podcast’s success. They’ll help provide social proof for new listeners and boost your search visibility in podcast directories.  The best way to get ratings and reviews? Ask for them. Make it part of each episode’s sign-off. You can even encourage thoughtful reviews by reading the best ones on future episodes. You will engage your listeners and solicit more reviews at the same time.

#9: Keep Up Your Cadence

As with blog content, there’s no single “right” frequency to publish a podcast. Some of my favorite podcasts publish weekly, biweekly, or even monthly. The best cadence for your podcast is “However frequently you can reliably, regularly publish quality content.” Choose your cadence with an eye to long-term sustainability, and tell your listeners explicitly how frequently you’ll publish. Whether it’s “See you next week,” or “PodcastTitle is a monthly podcast that…” listeners will find it easier to make your podcast a habit if you stick to a schedule.

#10: Repurpose, Repurpose, Repurpose

In my last post on the content marketing benefits of B2B podcasting, I mentioned that podcasts are a content machine, and I’ll say it again. It’s easy to finish an episode, publish it, then forget it and move on to the next thing. But don’t do that!  Pull snippets of audio content for social media. Turn them into short videos, too: Add a still image or a simple looping GIF for visual interest. Use your transcriptions as fodder for future blog posts, quotes for influencer marketing, or even a stand-alone asset.  Any way you can reuse that content can help bring more listeners to your podcast. What’s more, putting the content in a different medium can reach an audience who might not be into podcasts (yet). 

Check, Check, One Two

Launching a podcast is a little trickier than launching a new blog, especially if you’re new to the format. But if you follow this checklist, you can make sure your podcast is available on all the right channels and is ready to start attracting an audience. Need more podcasting help? Check out our B2B Podcasting Webinar. In addition to learning the Four P’s of podcasting success, you’ll see me make this face: B2B Podcasting Face *Disclosure: SAP is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post 10 Crucial Steps for Launching Your B2B Podcast Into the Wild appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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Break Free B2B Series: Brody Dorland on Creating Long-Lasting Content Marketing Strategy

An Interview with Brody Dorland of DivvyHQ

An Interview with Brody Dorland of DivvyHQ

We're ready to release another insightful interview as a part of our Break Free B2B series, this time with Brody Dorland, co-founder of the popular content planning platform, Divvy HQ. Brody is a self-described data geek. He believes data is a crucial component of successful content marketing.

The platform that he co-created is all about bringing data, structure, and strategy into content marketing. We feel that he's a practitioner who is uniting that data side with the creative side within B2B content marketing. That's why we were so excited to sit down with him for a few minutes and pick his brain.

We not only spoke about what B2B content marketers can start doing to boost the success of their content marketing initiatives, but also gain insight into where B2B content marketing is headed in the future.

See the full interview below so that you don't miss a single insight from our friend, Brody Dorland.

Here are a few of our favorite moments from the interview with Brody.

Sue: So you've been in the content marketing industry for quite some time. Over the years, what have you seen as the biggest improvements?

Brody: I've really been pleasantly surprised to see the evolution of just how smart companies are getting with their strategy. Actually, this morning [at CMW 2019], they talked about the latest data from Content Marketing Institute's, saying that 41% of marketers now have a content strategy in place, which is up from last year, which I think was 34%. So we're making progress.

Part of the onboarding process that we go through with companies is to bake in their content strategy into our tool so that we can help them manage it going forward. The thing that we've seen from an evolution standpoint is that it's getting easier for them to get that content strategy baked in. When we ask them questions, like, "Okay, what are the topics of content that you typically cover?", they're able to plug that in easier. When we asked, "What audiences are you targeting with your content?", they're able to plug that list in easier because they've thought about it. They have a documented content strategy in place, so it's easier to plug into that area of our application and we can get them set up faster.

Sue: Let's talk about something less positive. What's not working in the industry?

Brody: I think one of the things that we still see and we preach every day, but we still see it, is the campaign mentality. There's still a large focus on very business-focused campaigns and obviously, they need content. So, a lot of times, the same content team that is doing all of the content efforts are also going to be responsible for creating assets for this campaign. But there's a mindset shift that needs to happen to get away from just "campaign, campaign, campaign" and filling our channels with these time-bound things.

[bctt tweet="There's a mindset shift that needs to happen to get away from just 'campaign, campaign, campaign' and filling our channels with these time-bound things. @brodydorland #B2BContentMarketing" username="toprank"]

Certainly, if there's a good content team, they should produce results. But it's never going to be the long-sustained content, the true content marketing play, that needs to happen within many organizations. Obviously, different channels are going to lend themselves to that—like a blog. It's never-ending; we always need to have a solid content strategy for that. We always need to be optimizing for Google with that blog content. It's not a campaign.

So a completely different mindset in terms of how we tackle that channel versus email, which tends to be more campaign-centric. I feel strongly that companies really need to try to continue to get out of the campaign mentality and just leverage their channels for ongoing, good content that's going to serve their audience.

[bctt tweet="I feel strongly that companies need to get out of the campaign mentality and leverage their channels for ongoing, good content that's going to serve their audience. @brodydorland #B2BContentMarketing" username="toprank"]

Sue: What do you think are the drivers for that? Why has that happened?

Brody: I think it just comes out of the traditional marketing world. However, the holistic content marketing world, which is non-campaign focused, continues to proliferate. It's going to get better, but most agencies out there that still so campaign focused—that's what they've been doing for decades. Getting out of that mindset, even from a logistics standpoint, is harder for an agency to do. Not to say that agencies can't continually be involved in longer-term content marketing engagements, but it's just it's a different beast, a different animal than the typical world that they've been in for decades.

Stay tuned to the TopRank Marketing Blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Break Free B2B interviews. Here are a couple interviews to whet your appetite:

The post Break Free B2B Series: Brody Dorland on Creating Long-Lasting Content Marketing Strategy appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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