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B2B Podcasting: 20 Stats that Make the Marketing Case

20 Compelling Statistics About B2B Podcasting

20 Compelling Statistics About B2B Podcasting Good grief, Josh, why can’t you shut up about B2B podcasting? Does the world really need another think piece, blog post, or webinar about the potential? Don’t people get it already? I hear you, theoretical reader. And yet, I persevere.  B2B podcasting today is where content marketing was a decade ago. It’s emerging as a marketing discipline. People are starting to get sophisticated about deploying and measuring podcasts. We’re seeing new tools to make it easier to launch, promote, and monetize. And despite the thousands of hours of audio out there already, there’s no sign that the market is satiated.  I believe that if you’re not already thinking about podcasting for your B2B brand, you should be. But if my beautiful words can’t convince you, let the data tell the story:

B2B Podcasting: 20 Stats that Make the Case

These statistics come from five different reports, all released in the last year. When you look at all five together, the picture is clear: We’re nowhere near peak podcast, and brand content is the next frontier.

Podcast Listenership Just Keeps Growing

Podcasting is a growth medium. More people are listening now than ever before. But what’s truly impressive is how many listeners are new to the medium. Even though podcasts have been around since the early 2000s, they have only reached a mass market audience in the past couple of years.

1: Nearly a quarter of all listeners started in the past 6 months. (2)

2: Globally, 36% of the sampled population has listened to a podcast in the last month. (1)

3: 51% of the U.S. population over 12 has listened to a podcast. (2)

4: 32% of the U.S. population over 12 has listened in the past month (90 million people). (2)

5: 22% of the U.S. population over 12 listen weekly (60 million). (2)

6: 62.6% of respondents said they listen to more podcasts now than they did a year ago. (3)

7: Only 3.1% said they listen less than they did a year ago. (3)

In summary: Podcasts continue to attract new listeners to their existing audience of 90 million people monthly. And, most promisingly, those who listen are far more likely to add new podcasts than cut down. [bctt tweet=”Podcasts continue to attract new listeners… And, most promisingly, those who listen are far more likely to add new podcasts than cut down. @NiteWrites #B2BPodcasting” username=”toprank”]

Podcast Listeners Are Demographically Valuable

Okay, so millions of people are listening to podcasts. But are these people a worthwhile target audience for B2B marketers?  The answer may vary depending on your most valuable audience, of course. But most B2B marketers are interested in targeting millennials. A recent survey found that at least 73% of millennials are involved in product or service decision making at work, with 33% reporting they’re the sole decision maker at their company.  Basically, if you’re trying to influence B2B purchases, millennials matter. And podcast listeners are disproportionately affluent, social media savvy millennials:

8: 50% of listeners under 35 have listened to a podcast in the last month. (1)

9: 41% of podcast listeners make $75k a year or more, compared to 29% of the general population. (2)

10: Podcast listeners are more likely to be active on social media across channels and more likely to follow companies and brands. (4)

Podcast Listeners Are More Likely To Follow Companies and Brands on Social Read: How to Promote Your B2B Podcast

Podcast Fans are Devoted Listeners

According to Google’s 2018 benchmarks, the average time on page for content from most industries is between two and three minutesMarketers can certainly make an impression in that amount of time. Even fifteen seconds is valuable to a savvy marketer with a good hook and strong CTA. But podcast listeners spend a great deal more time with audio content:

11: 76.8% listen to podcasts more than 7 hours a week. (3)

12: 61.2% spend more time listening to podcasts than watching TV. (3)

13: 52% of monthly listeners listen to the entirety of each episode. (2)

14: 70% of listeners say that, at least sometimes, they do nothing else while listening to podcasts. (2)

As that last statistic shows, podcast listeners aren’t the distracted, multi-tasking folks we might have imagined they are. If the material is engaging, they’re willing to devote their attention. Speaking of which… [bctt tweet=”Podcast listeners aren’t the distracted, multi-tasking folks we might have imagined they are. If the material is engaging, they’re willing to devote their attention. @NiteWrites #B2BPodcasting” username=”toprank”]

Podcast Fans Want to Learn (In a Fun Way)

Back in the early days, podcasts were — in the best sense of the word — geeky. They were for highly techy types to share knowledge, teach and learn. While purely entertaining podcasts have seen plenty of success, at the root of it podcasts are an ideal medium for learning.  People don’t just listen to podcasts for fun. The overwhelming majority want to feel smarter at the end of every episode.  Think of all the subject matter expertise in your company. Now multiply that by the influential guests (e.g. your customers, prospects, and industry experts and peers) you’ll invite on to share their expertise.  It’s easy to see how a brand podcast can bring educational value to an audience that’s ready to learn.

15: 74% say they listen to podcasts to learn new things. (2)

16: 71% say they listen to be entertained. (2)

17: 59% say they enjoy podcasts because they make them feel smarter. (2)

74% of Podcast Listeners Listen to Learn New Things

The Business Podcast Market Is Ready for Lift-Off

There’s still a massive untapped market for helpful, informative business podcasts — exactly the type that B2B brands could develop, produce and promote. In fact, we can see that the ad revenue model for podcasting is expanding to include branded content. Right now, branded content is still a small percentage of overall podcast advertising, but it’s growing fast. 

18: There are avid fans of business podcasts in 13 million households. (4)

19: There are casual fans of business podcasts in 52 million households. (4)

20: Branded content has increased from 1.5% to 10.1% of podcast advertising since 2016. (5)

What’s more, podcasts offer a range of content marketing benefits, which can inform and bolster your broader digital marketing strategy.

Don’t Be (Pod) Cast Aside

The podcast boom continues unabated — and it’s grown from a strictly amateur platform to a sophisticated content marketing medium. B2B marketers who are creating any kind of audio content should consider podcasting as a channel to earn attention, deeply engage an audience, and ultimately drive measurable business results. Ready to produce your own podcast? Check out our webinar on the 4 P’s of Podcasting.

Sources:

  1. Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2019
  2. The Podcast Consumer 2019
  3. Podcast Trends Report 2018
  4. Nielsen Marketers Guide to Podcasting
  5. IAB Podcast Ad Revenue Study for 2019

The post B2B Podcasting: 20 Stats that Make the Marketing Case 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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5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers

Traits B2B Influencers

Traits B2B Influencers

Marketers are still asking, what is B2B influencer marketing? Here’s a definition I’ve been using over the past 5 years or so:

B2B influencer marketing is activating internal and external subject matter experts with engaged networks to advocate and co-create content of mutual value that drives measurable business goals.

As the groundswell around influencer marketing rises and becomes a normal part of the B2B marketing mix, the volume of information and misinformation on the topic also increases.

One of the most popular questions people also ask about B2B influencer marketing focuses on what makes a good business influencer? By now we all know that popularity alone does not make someone influential. It’s certainly important, it's just not the only thing.

As B2B marketers mature in their understanding of the role influence plays and how the dynamic of brand content co-created with industry experts plays out with customers, they begin to realize that other factors matter. Topical relevance matters of course as well as resonance of the topic amongst an influencer’s community.

B2B Marketing Influencers

The intersection of individual expertise, how well that expertise resonates with followers and the size of network creates a baseline of characteristics when evaluating whether a certain influencer might be a match.

But there’s more than that. Understanding what makes a great influencer is both art and science, soft and hard skills. The success of identifying, qualifying and engaging influencers is also directly tied to how they will be engaged and to what end.

Some people reading this might think that influencer marketing isn’t the magic pill some are playing it up to be. There’s a reason for that, because it’s not magic. It’s more like alchemy.

The reality is, there’s no one formula for the perfect B2B influencer, but there are some common characteristics that B2B brands should look for in varying proportions according to what’s important to a program or activation. I call those characteristics:

The 5 Ps of B2B Influence

Proficiency - In B2B marketing, the vast majority of those considered influential possess deep expertise in the field they work in. This is a significant difference from many B2C influencers who are often self proclaimed as influential with clever media creation skills.

As B2C influencer content and engagement tactics evolve, some are crossing over into B2B with a trickle of opportunists successfully creating influence amongst B2B audiences not solely for their expertise, but for a combination of adept social media content creation skills and some expertise. B2B marketers who do their due diligence will be able to filter accordingly.

Popularity - While network size is not the only thing, nor is it the most important thing, it is definitely a metric to consider. Some marketers swing in the direction of ignoring audience size altogether because of lower engagement rates with popular influencers. This is simply foolish. All things being the same, I’ll take 2% engagement of an influencer with a million followers over 2% from someone that has 1,000 followers.

What matters is how network size factors in with the type of influencer you need. For example, popular influencers aka “brandividuals” are often best for top of funnel content. Niche domain expert influencers are better for middle and end of funnel content. Engaging a brandividual and expecting conversions is just naive.

Personality - If you’ve worked in B2C influencer marketing and been exposed to all the characters there, B2B is going to seem a bit dry. Now there are some colorful characters in the B2B influencer community, no doubt. But personality is often a trait that needs to be uncovered when you’re working with some types of business influencers.

The good news is that savvy influencer marketing practitioners know how to plant the seeds that can grow and blossom within an otherwise introverted influencer. You don’t need them to be a colorful character, ripe with personality per se, but you do want them to connect with the passion they have with their craft and how their expertise can help others be successful.

Publishing - Content is the media that conveys the ideas of influence and while B2B influencers are not expected to produce the same types and quantity of content as in B2C, it is ideal when there’s a platform where the influencer publishes. At a minimum, that would be social networks but to be a B2B influencer, it’s most likely that also includes articles contributed to publications if not research, books and presentations.

Promotion - The value a B2B influencer brings beyond adding expertise and credibility to brand content is the ability to share what they helped create with their network. Trust of brand content is at a low, especially with advertising. Customers yearn for authentic content and the right kind of influencer collaboration can give them that, delivered via the influencer’s own distribution channels. That means social networks for course but also potentially blogs, email newsletters, podcast, LinkedIn Live, contributed articles or columns in industry publications.

I know some people reading this are thinking there could be even more P’s like being Prolific, Persuasive or Passion. Yes, there could be so many more but we have to draw the line somewhere! It's important to be able to manage the data and insights necessary to factor these characteristics into selection, qualification and engagement.

Some of these traits will not fully reveal themselves until you work with an influencer on a few content activations. Others will fluctuate over time and that is normal. It's important to understand that influence is a temporal thing. It is not fixed or permanent. It’s important marketers realize that before they disengage an influencer in the short term due to lower performance. The same goes for high expectations after great performance.

Organic influencer engagement is a little dynamic and what you don’t spend on paid influencers like an ad buy you will (in part) need to invest in relationship management, education and even tips that will help the influencers be more effective.

B2B brands with high influencer churn or low performance often apply “ad buy” perspectives to a what is actually a relationship driven effort. Mismatched expectations are not helpful for anyone, so think about the 5Ps as you evaluate and nurture your influencer community. Consider where of each your ideal influencers need to score on the 5 Ps in order to be a good match for the kind of activation you have in mind.

When there’s 5P alignment, there's happiness: for customers, influencers and your B2B brand.

The post 5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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