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How to Promote Your B2B Podcast

How to Promote Your B2B Podcast

How to Promote Your B2B Podcast Over 1/4th of the entire population of the United States listens to podcasts at least monthly. That’s over 81 million people. What’s more, the most avid listeners log six and a half hours a week of listening time. Eighty percent finish every episode in its entirety. There’s enormous potential here for engaging an audience. Think about how long someone might stick with a 1,000 word blog post (like this one). Five minutes? Ten? But they might listen to a 25-30 minute podcast on the same topic. Podcasting holds a lot of promise for marketers, especially in the B2B space. Our agency has helped multiple B2B Fortune 500 companies produce and find an audience for their podcasts. It takes strategy and coordination, but the barrier to entry is relatively low. Of course, “making” the podcast is the easy part. As with any content, the challenge is successfully getting it to your target audience. Here are a few things we’ve learned about B2B podcasting promotion through our production and amplification work.

How to Promote Your B2B Podcast

Some of the tactics you will use to amplify your podcast are familiar, but the channel does have unique properties that require new approaches. We’ll start with adapting traditional tactics, then we’ll finish with the podcast-specific ones.

Adapting Traditional Promotional Tactics for B2B Podcasts

#1: Start with Audience Demand As with any content, your podcast should begin with research. See what questions your audience has, what they need to know, and what they want to hear. Aim to generate a topic list that highlights your brand’s expertise and your subject matter experts’ insights to create something of value to your audience. Once your research is complete, it’s also well-worth documenting your findings, goals, and promotional plans in a creative brief. This will serve as a guide as you go forth and create. For Podcasts: Stay closer to top-of-funnel with your podcast ideas. It’s far better to educate, inspire, and entertain your audience than to try and sell them something. A 25-minute-long advertisement for your solution is likely to drive people away. #2: Add Influencers for Amplification We’re big believers in influencer marketing, and we have plenty of results to back that up. When you co-create content with influencers you get higher-quality, dynamic content that has built-in amplification. Here’s an example from 3M’s* Science Champions podcast, featuring the brand’s own amplification of a recent episode as well as the influencer interviewee’s amplification. 3M Science Champions Podcast on Twitter For Podcasts: We’ve often found that many industry influencers and experts would rather do an audio interview than a written one. So it should be easy to get experts whom you have a solid relationship with to commit to a 30-minute interview, which can be recorded and processed into a podcast. If you’re looking to work with new folks in the field, we recommend taking the time to nurture the relationship (e.g. like and share their social content, engage them in conversation on social or their blogs, or reach out via email to introduce yourself and let them know you’re a fan of their work) before reaching out cold. Another way to incorporate an influential voice and extend the potential reach of your podcast is to tap industry influencers to host or co-host the podcast. The Dell Luminaries* podcast is a great example of this, featuring two thought leaders as hosts: Seasoned marketer and author Mark Schaefer and marketing and technology strategist Douglas Karr. Dell Luminaries Podcast When it comes to conducting the interview, use a tool like Zencastr to make sure you get high-quality audio. Unsurprisingly, audio quality is absolutely critical for a podcast endeavor. #3: Use Internal Promotion to Boost Awareness If you’re at an enterprise-level organization, you have a built-in audience. Encourage your employees to listen to each episode and share it with their social networks. For Podcasts: The first 2-3 weeks after publication are a crucial time to get your podcast seen. In addition to listening and sharing, encourage employees to write a review on iTunes and other podcast platforms. Reviews, especially on iTunes, play a big part in determining which podcasts the platform recommends to its existing users. #4: Optimize for Search As with written content, you’ll want to make sure you’re including keywords, a compelling visual, and a descriptive title on each episode. Use keyword research tools, existing analytics data, and other appropriate tools and resources to determine a list of target words. Then, test them out on podcast platform search engines to make sure you’re hitting the right intent. For Podcasts: Since search engines can’t crawl your audio, it’s doubly important to make every word count on your podcast description and title, episode descriptions and titles, and what categories you choose in podcast directories.

Podcast-Specific Promotion Tactics

#1: Publish Transcripts as Blog Posts As I said above, search engines can’t crawl audio. And competition is fierce for visibility on podcast platforms like iTunes and Google Play. You can use your blog to help drive subscriptions, which will help your podcast gain traction. Make a post for each episode with a summary, key takeaways, and full transcription. Embed the podcast stream on the post, and make the CTA to subscribe to the podcast. #2: Commit to a Cadence Podcast promotion is all about building a habit for your audience. You want them to subscribe, stay subscribed, and listen to every episode. To make that happen, you need to publish consistently. It’s better to post an episode every two weeks for a year than to publish weekly and take a 6-month hiatus at the end. It’s best to start with at least three episodes available for download (required to make Apple’s New and Notable list) and several more to act as a buffer. Then you can determine the cadence that will enable you to publish without pausing. #3: Submit to Podcast Directories Much of your initial subscriber base will likely come from your existing audience, through your blog posts. But the goal is to build a subscriber base wherever people listen to podcasts, so you can capture a net new audience. To that end, it’s important to register your podcast with Apple Podcasts, Google Play Podcasts, Spotify, TuneIn, Stitcher, and Podbean. These platforms together account for the vast majority of podcast listeners. Registration on each of these services is free, and it makes finding your podcast a seamless experience for every user. Submitting a Podcast to iTunes #4: Look for Cross-Promotional Opportunities The majority of people who listen to podcasts don’t just listen to one. In fact, it seems the more podcasts someone listens to, the more likely they are to try out a new one. So you’re not trying to lure people away from someone else’s podcast to listen to yours — it’s not a zero sum game. Podcasting is therefore less competitive than other media might be. It’s worth checking with established podcasts to see if there are opportunities for cross-promotion. Subject matter experts in your company could appear on their podcast, or you could interview another host in a relevant industry for yours. Either way, both of your podcasts gain exposure to a new audience.

Rise of the Pod People

Podcasting is one of the biggest marketing opportunities for B2B businesses right now. Even as saturated as the B2C market is, there’s still room for new breakout stars. By comparison, the B2B space has even more room to grow. It’s a channel that has yet to suffer from fatigue or content shock. As a content marketer, much of what you already know about content applies to promoting podcasts: Be relevant, be valuable, work with influencers, promote on social media, etc. With a few new tactics combined with the old standbys, you can make sure your podcast has everything it needs to find a long-term sustainable audience. Want to find out more about B2B podcasting and whether it’s a fit for your B2B brand? Learn the what, why, and how of B2B podcasting by checking out my post on the subject. *Disclosure: Dell and 3M are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post How to Promote Your B2B Podcast 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 SEO Mistakes Killing Your Content Performance and a Fix for Each

Common SEO Mistakes

Common SEO Mistakes

Even the most seasoned content marketers make mistakes. In the world of SEO-driven content, with constant algorithm tweaks and changing search patterns, it’s nearly unavoidable. However, those same mistakes can often lead to discoveries that enable even better content performance.

The key is being able to recognize those easy-to-fix SEO mistakes and address them. As a result, your content will become an optimized, integrated network of metaphorical highways, leading searchers to best-answer content in a strategic and purposeful way.

So, what are the most common SEO mistakes, and how can they be addressed? Below, I’ve singled out the ‘usual suspects’ along with guidance on how to fix them while setting yourself up for long-term SEO success.

SEO Mistake #1 - Choosing Target Keywords Based on Volume vs. Relevance

How Keywords Affect Content Marketers: Great content isn't great unless people see it. But when content marketers overemphasize high-volume keywords, they miss out on meaningful engagement.

It’s tempting to plug into your keyword research tool of choice and select keywords with the highest search volume as your focuses for new content. But if the content you’re creating doesn’t match the search intent for that high-volume keyword, it’s unlikely to perform to your expectations.

The Fix: Google it! All jokes aside, evaluating the first ten search results for your target keywords can help you understand what searchers are trying to find, and what supporting content you should provide to truly be the best answer for that query.

While you’re analyzing those top results, pay attention to key factors that will shape your content creation and promotion strategy:

  1. What type of information is NOT included in top content, but is topically related? This can help you inform how you differentiate your content.
  2. What’s the content demand for that keyword? For example, are mostly top of funnel blog posts ranking, or are you seeing mostly product or service pages?
  3. How many backlinks and referring domains are pointing to the top search results? This can help you understand how competitive the first page of results is, and whether or not ongoing link building should be part of your content promotion strategy.
  4. How long is the top-ranking content for that keyword? This will help you determine ideal content length for your own post.

SEO Mistake #2 - Targeting the Same Keyword with Multiple Pages or Posts

How Same-Topic Targeting Affects Content Marketers: Pressure to create comprehensive content on a topic can actually result in dilution within search.

The conventional wisdom that more is better doesn’t apply universally — especially when it comes to SEO-driven content. Creating multiple pieces of content that target the exact same keyword is a surefire way to stand in your own way of success. There’s enough competition out there for B2B marketers without having to compete with your own content.

For example, a B2B technology company that wants to rank for B2B software consulting should optimize their service page for that term based on what is currently being served in search results. But, if they also create a series of blogs or resources that are targeting that specific term, search engine bots will be confused about which page is the best answer for that query. This could result in none of the content appearing in the top 10 results, in favor of competing sites with a more clear ‘answer’ to that query.

The Fix: Determine which of your pages or posts is the best answer for that particular query by analyzing ranking and analytics data. Which post or page sees the greatest amount of engaged organic traffic for your target keyword, and most closely matches the associated search intent?

Once you’ve determined your target page, it’s time to evaluate the remaining content targeting that keyword. Look for opportunities to:

  1. Remove or prune low-value or outdated content. Is there a blog post full of stats from 2009 that’s hindering your priority page’s chances of ranking? It might be time to consider removing that post and implementing the proper redirects.
  2. Optimize existing content for related, but different, keyword targets. For example, if you have a priority post for Chocolate Chip Cookies, and another post that more closely relates to ‘Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies’, consider optimizing that post for the latter and implementing internal links back to your priority cookies post.
  3. Combine closely related content. For example, if you have several blog posts around your targeted keyword(s), consider combining those posts into a longer, more robust piece of content.

SEO Mistake #3 - Ignoring Internal Link Structure

How Internal Linking Affects Content Marketers: Links are like electricity on the web, lighting up content for people and search engines alike.

Content is discovered by links. Your site’s internal linking structure tells bots (and users) which pages are most important, and which pages are most relevant to specific keywords. If you link to several pages from the same anchor text, for example, there will be some confusion about which page is truly ‘about’ that topic. Other times, you could have pages or posts on your site that are orphaned, with no internal links directing users or bots their way. This can confuse your site users, search engine bots, and even your own team. Confusion is not a ranking factor!

The Fix: Make sure you develop and continue to update your site’s keyword map. It can be as simple as a spreadsheet that lists your page’s URL and associated target keyword(s). This keyword map will help you determine what anchor text should be used to link to your target pages.

Next, conduct a site audit to determine:

  1. If there are orphaned pages that need internal links
  2. If you are linking to multiple pages with the same keyword-rich anchor text
  3. Where there are opportunities to create additional supporting content
  4. Where you might have opportunities to reduce and prune existing supporting content

Next, you’re going to want to crawl your site to find any orphaned pages. Then, map those into your overall keyword strategy and implement internal links.

SEO Mistake #4 - Ignoring Data from Other Digital Tactics

How Marketing Data Affects Content Marketers: Inspiration often drives ideation for many content marketers, but data drives optimization for ideal content performance. Marketing performance data can provide both.

Any data you can collect about how your audience engages with your content has the potential to be an SEO gold mine. For example, analyzing the keywords from your paid search campaigns can give you insight into which keywords are your best converters, and what content best suits searchers for those terms. Social posts that get the greatest amount of engagement can tell you which topics your audience is most interested in. Ignoring data from your other marketing and sales channels means missing out on an opportunity to better engage your prospects.

The Fix: Meet with different teams or departments to find out what kind of content performs best on their channels. Look at the data each platform or channel provides and compare that with your site analytics data for a full picture. And, be sure to share your channel performance data with the rest of your marketing team. The more information available related to content and marketing performance, the better equipped you are to optimize.

SEO Mistake #5 - Giving Up

How Persistence Affects Content Marketers: Content performance in search is a long game and persistence is essential for success.

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Sometimes a lack of results can feel demoralizing, but giving up is simply not an option. You wouldn’t stop building your house just because the nearest lumber yard ran out of wood, right? You’d find another lumber yard and keep plugging along.

The Fix: Take a step back. Re-evaluate the search landscape, your competitor’s organic presence, and your site’s overall health. Being able to remove yourself from the frustration can help you find opportunities you may have missed and additional whitespace to tackle.

Next, seek out advice from other SEOs. Ask questions on social media, in specific groups or forums, or send a question to your favorite SEO blog. If budget permits, enlist the help of a consultant or SEO agency that can help you break through your roadblocks.

Finally, we have two big SEO bummers that are tougher to fix, but absolutely necessary to address.

Bonus SEO Mistake: Migrating Your Site with No SEO Plan

How Migrating Without a Plan Affects Content Marketers: A bad migration can effectively undo your hard work, reducing content visibility and creating more user friction.

If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of SEOs cringing around the globe. A botched site migration can wreak havoc on your organic positioning and torpedo your results. It can take months, even years to recuperate organic visibility to pre-migration levels.

The Fix: Always, always consult your in-house SEO team or SEO agency when you’re considering a website migration. Before you move forward, it’s imperative you have a plan for technical, on-page, and off-page factors.

If you’ve already migrated your site and have experienced a loss of organic traffic and rankings, start with a site audit. Check for the basics, like whether or not your site is being indexed, first. Then start to evaluate technical factors like broken links, crawl errors, and duplicate content.

When in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Recovering from a site migration is a challenge for even the best of SEOs, and sometimes those big challenges call for a little teamwork.

Bonus SEO Mistake: Not Optimizing for Mobile

How Not Optimizing for Mobile Affects Content Marketers: Even the greatest content can’t stand up to a bad mobile experience. Users will bounce, reducing engagement and sending negative signals to search engines.

Mobile accounts for about half of web traffic worldwide. Knowing this, in March 2018 Google started migrating sites to mobile-first indexing. Providing a seamless mobile experience is no longer optional, especially when you’re living in the wild world of search.

Sites that didn’t properly prepare for this can and will likely see some declines in organic search traffic and rankings as a result. And, as more sites follow mobile best practices, more users will notice and become frustrated by poor mobile experiences. This leads to declines in other pivotal ranking factors like on-page engagement. In short, if not properly addressed, a poor mobile experience can wreak havoc on your search visibility.

The Fix: The first thing to do is to conduct a mobile audit on your site. Understanding your site’s mobile performance is step one toward making improvements. Look for things like:

  1. Mobile site speed. A couple great tools for this are Google Page Speed Insights and Pingdom. These tools can tell you where to look for issues like slow-loading code, images that aren’t optimized, and other technical issues.
  2. Mobile experience. Visit your site on your phone. Ask someone who doesn’t use your site regularly to do the same. Record your experience, take notes on where you get stuck and why. Click on everything. Turn your phone into horizontal mode. Try to think of every single way a user could browse your site. And, don’t forget to try a site search on mobile.
  3. Look at mobile analytics. This will tell you key metrics like mobile bounce rate, mobile time on page and pages per session.

These steps will help you build a hypothesis to test against. Is your mobile bounce rate crazy high? Does your site take a long time to load? Is your time on page way out of line with desktop traffic? Then, use A/B testing to root out the discrepancy. Use these same metrics to test if the fix is working. Then, repeat with another element.

So, What Does This All Mean for You?

Ultimately, following SEO best practices as a content marketer can reduce performance-related headaches and set you up for long-term success.

For example, when Innovatech Labs decided it was time to make major changes to their website, they worked with our team at TopRank Marketing to implement a safe website transition strategy, minimizing their risk of reduced content visibility on Google. This assessment involved avoiding many of the big risks mentioned above, including linking, use of data and keyword research which allowed us to act quickly post-migration to combat organic traffic declines. The result? Double- and triple-digit increases in organic traffic (and increased conversions, too!).

A best-answer content strategy focused on creating content with the most relevance to their audience was the ticket to better marketing performance for a martech SaaS company. Working with the team at TopRank Marketing, long-tail and hyper-relevant keywords were researched for a comprehensive content strategy to help the brand content become the best answer for those queries. The “best answer” approach and topics were applied across organic and paid efforts. As a result, the volume of both paid and organic MQLs increased, leading to better content performance and spontaneous proclamations of love from the client’s sales team.

Fixing these big SEO mistakes aren’t only for short-term wins. Our longtime partner Antea Group USA has achieved amazing triple-digit growth over three years by avoiding these big mistakes and implementing an ongoing commitment to SEO-driven, best answer content.

As I mentioned earlier, even the most experienced content marketers can make these common SEO mistakes. But, with the right SEO strategy driven by diligent execution and monitoring of results, you can get back on track. The key is to be intentional about your site’s architecture, as well as the content you create, and to never, ever give up.

Still feeling stuck? Or maybe your team doesn’t have the resources to take on this battle alone? Check out our SEO services, tweet us your thoughts @toprank, or drop me a line in the comments. We are here to help!

The post 5 SEO Mistakes Killing Your Content Performance and a Fix for Each appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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