The 4 B2B Podcast Strategies (& How to Pick the Right One)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Logan Lyles & Dan Sanchez discuss the 4 top strategies you can use to make your B2B podcast successful, how to pick the right strategy for your brand & how the different strategies do/don't overlap.

Also mentioned in this episode:

Kickstart Your Thought Leader Journey With the 30/30/30 Plan

Yeah, welcome back to be to be growth. I'm Logan Lyles with sweet fish media. I'm joined today by dan Sanchez. If you're a regular listener of this show, you know him, he's our director of audience growth and one of the primary co host of this show. I think this is the very first time he and I are together on an episode. Just the two of us dan. How's it going today man? Dude, I can't believe it's been, I've been working here and doing podcast episodes for well over a year and we, this is our first episode together. It's crazy. We need to make this more of a habit. We're kicking it off today with something I'm really excited about. You've been socializing this on linkedin. I've been socializing it with our team. You have been as well. We've been thinking about this idea where we've kind of been giving different advice or maybe sometimes even conflicting advice about your B two B podcast strategy and that's because there are, we haven't up until now really defined. These are the different plays. These are the different strategies you can use. So what we want to outline today are the four primary B two B podcasting strategies. Number one is demand jin number two, we're calling industry influence. Number three A B. M, which has a lot to do with content based networking is we've talked about a ton on the show and the number four is a customer success strategy for your podcast. We're going to talk about why you would do each one of these where they overlap and where they don't and how they compare on some different things like what should be your primary goal, What's going to be the audience size, that sort of stuff? So any other thoughts in kind of how we came to this and why it's important to outline these four a little bit more distinctly before we get into the nitty gritty dan. Yeah, I mean it kind of came as we kind of have like, we kind of knew about two. It's like, well you can emphasize audience growth or you can emphasize what we typically push customers towards his account based marketing. But after doing strategy sessions with, I don't know, dozens of companies over the last year, I started to find that customers were like, well we're gonna do it this way. And I'm like, well if you're going to do it this way, then I guess you would do it like this and that makes a lot of sense because then if you're working with customers can reduce turn, if you do it this way, you can gain influence. And I found a couple other use cases where I'm like, actually there's, there's a good blunt here, there's a couple other, quite a few ways to use a podcast is very flexible, but when I narrowed them down and kind of group them together of like types, it really came down to four. So after we started with five at the beginning of this week posted in length and got some conversations going, kind of debated it back and forth on a live chat and now we're here and I think we got it pretty well figure it out. So I'm excited to dive into the floor what they are, what they aren't and how, how they can work, some of them can work together. Yeah. And where they overlap, there are four main things we'll talk about similarities and differences between each of them, but the four things we definitely will touch on in each of the four will be what's the primary goal of this podcast strategy? What's the main content type? What is the time to impact? And then what is the expected audience size? Are you really aiming and measuring based on audience size even based on the strategy that you're going for? So let's kick it off. Number one is demand jin, where you're really prioritizing audience growth. Right? Tell us a little bit about those four criteria, if you will then first and what this play really looks like. What is it prioritize them? We'll dig in, yep. So demand jin is probably what most people think of when they think of a podcast, but demanding is by far the most common business or B two B podcast, you'll see out there. It's you and your subject matter experts usually sitting in front of a microphone. Sometimes it's solo, sometimes it's co hosted, so there's two hosts, but generally they're both subject matter experts sharing their expertise on the show in order to kind of share what the content type is, is thought leadership really, it's a thought leadership play, but you're using thought leadership in order to...

...generate demand about what you bring to the table. So we don't use this one if we did this podcast will be called the BdB podcasting show and it's not, it is a BdB growth show. We'll talk more about how B two B growth fits into the A. B. M. Play. Um as I'm thinking about it, I'm trying to think of like some popular shows around this of course are the state of demand gen of course is a demand gen play with chris walker, giving out lots of thought leadership and he has multiple formats that he does, but it generally him talking right, it's generally christmas ideas or him reacting to some questions or him consulting some customers, but everybody's listening to because they want to know what he's thinking about demanding and how he's applying it to different scenarios. The impact for this is long term. It does take a long time to build up an audience unless you have substantial audience somewhere else. Some other owned channel, like you have a large newsletter, then of course you're going to kick it off real fast. Have a friend. Um Austin Bell sack who had a huge lengthened following huge web traffic. So when he kicked off his podcast within like eight months he was getting 15 k downloads in an episode or whatever, but he had massive owned audience somewhere else. So naturally he could take that audience with him otherwise this is a long, long road you're gonna be doing to build an audience and have an impact here and then the expected size that you're shooting for is large. The whole purpose of it is to grow a large audience. You're shooting for a large one unless you have some kind of like really niche knowledge that so niche that only like a few people in the world want to hear it, but they, those people really wanted, you know, I don't know, maybe more than a few people, but you get what I mean. Yeah, absolutely. And this is this is the type of B two B podcast strategy, I would say most of our potential customers come in asking us about unless they've really heard about content based networking and they want to go with strategy number three, we're going to talk about in a bit which is the primarily a B. M focused play. But this one is the goal is audience growth. The content type is thought leadership good example with chris walker just because you're doing a demand jin strategy with your BdB podcast doesn't mean that thought leadership, content has to be just solo episodes. That might be a big part of it and likely it will be, but it could be this sort of episode, right, where you have two people from one company riffing on something within their realm of expertise, you could interview some customers and prospects and industry thought leaders as well, but the primary focus is sharing the thought leadership from your team's perspective and just because you have internal people talking doesn't mean it's going to be crappy, I mean that just depends on how actionable and how much thought leadership they actually have versus they're just plugging the product or the service or, or whatever before we go on to 23 and four dan. You know, we talk a lot about what should the premise of your show be? What should the format, how should you name your show, how close to your company or your product versus your Baier's expertise. What are some of those things that you think about if you're going with podcast strategy number one, which is a demand in play, I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about like how premise complain to these though. I know premise could absolutely, once you lock down the strategy, it actually makes the premise development a lot easier. I do think if you're going to demand jin side an audience growth premises probably most important in this category because your goal is audience growth and having a powerful premise, a reason that mixes it up and has a different angle on it, or a journey or some kind of mash up of a different content in order to keep it interesting is only going to matter the most on the demand gen side because premise development shines the most would to capturing people's attention and keeping their attention so they have a reason to show up to your podcast over and over and over again. Even when competition becomes more fierce your premises, what's going to keep people engaged? That's really good advice. Okay, let's step to number two. This one was the hardest one for us to name.

Um we went through a few different ones and this might have been one where we act number five and marched in, I can't remember, but right now anyway, we're calling it industry influence, what is this strategy before we get into the four criteria, if you will the breakdown. This is the one that actually kicked off the whole conversation because I had a customer recently. First, they were kind of unhappy. I felt like they were unhappy with the podcast. They're like, well we haven't seen sales grow when I actually asked them like, oh, like what have you been doing with it? Who have you been interviewing? How has that been going? What the ceo started telling me, he's like, actually we've been using it to meet and greet lots of people in the industry and break into the american market from the UK and now we're making traction because like all of a sudden we're able to kind of open the door for all the gatekeepers. We're actually meeting with thought leaders where I'm meeting with some customers, but I'm building relationships with them getting by in. Like all of a sudden I have a much stronger industry influence because I'm able to get time with the people who matter in the industry, the gatekeepers. And so that's a powerful play in and of itself without demand, gen without account based marketing. He's not meeting with ideal buyers at all, but he is using it to break his company into a competitive market in a place in the US where it's there, it's very competitive for security. And so that's what kicked off the whole thing is, I'm like, wow, there's really a play here and it's not the first time I've heard about it, I've heard of other people using this play to quickly go from, nobody knows who they are, they just entered and they know nothing about this industry to quickly lining up 30 40 people interviewing them all and quickly learning about the industry's he's talking to the top dogs and then everybody knows who he was. I can't remember the exact industry and I won't say who it was, but like, it was a quick way to become known in the industry in a relatively short amount of time without having to like go to a conference and shake everybody's hands, which you're not gonna get an hour with all those people anyways, they're usually speaking on stage and hard to get a hold of. But to get them on the podcast isn't that hard? So it goes well. Yeah, exactly. So I would say strategy is number two and three are really going to be about what people have heard us talk about the most content based networking right? Where you're creating content with the people you want to know and the people you want to know you as opposed to creating a podcast and hoping that they listen to it or trying to get it in front of them through typical digital marketing just going straight to them. So strategy number two is content based networking, even though you're not going directly to potential customers to have them on his guests, you're going to industry influencers, you're going to maybe potential resellers, potential partners, right. For us, we can do content based networking in this strategy of industry influence and build relationships with chris walker at refined labs and matt Heinz Heinz marketing and other folks in the B two B marketing space. And we've had them on this podcast and we've partially executed uh this strategy because we're creating good content. And so what's interesting here is the first three strategies have some overlap. So you can see we're already talking about how this overlaps with the A. B. M. Play because it's about the relationships more than the first strategy. But if you're interviewing people that you want to get to know in the industry, they're probably going to have some thoughts that your potential customers want to hear as well. So it overlaps with number one as well because you may be able to build a good audience and develop some thought leadership even though you don't have thought leadership to share yourself yet. Right? You did a great episode on like a 90 day action plan to thought leadership. We should link to that in the show notes on on this one man. So the goal is really first and foremost, building relationships with industry influencers, partners, referral partners, folks like that. The content type is probably going to be more heavily focused on outside interviews because you're interviewing these people, you want to build relationships with. The impact is more midterm. So maybe not as long as...

...the demand gen play because the relationships can start to make things happen and then the audience sizes maybe medium, right? Because like we said, it overlaps with number one, but the audience size isn't really what you're optimizing for. It's not your primary goal. So you shouldn't expect to go with strategy number two of industry influence and measure the success just based on downloads and streams. They miss anything there, correct me if I'm wrong on any of that man, I just love how this one blends like this one is so common and you should be doing this to some degree whether you go to the demands inside or the A B. M side because it is a really great way to build influence. Like I was just talking to Logan like we're in podcast agency. So like he's already talking to some people at Descript right? The podcast editing company or uh tech company. And I'm like, but if we didn't have relationships already, it wouldn't that be that hard to find them on linkedin and shoot the medium and be like, hey, come talk to us on our podcast, tell us about what you're thinking about podcasting. And I bet the content would actually be really, really good. Right? And we should probably have them on anyway just to build a relationship even more. Right? Yeah, well in case in point, if we were going really with strategy number one, which has never been our primary goal with with GDP growth, stay tuned for more on that. We could still have them on this show because podcasting is part of GDP growth. But then if we also had a show that went with strategy number one and this was the BdB podcasting show or meta the podcast about BTB podcasting, we could also have Descript on. Right? And so again, strategy number two overlaps really nicely with one and three in a couple of, of different ways. We've already kind of given a taste of what number three is going to be, the third one is a B. M. Or account based marketing, Pure content based networking with potential buyers. I mean we've explained this a ton, but for folks that are new and for consistency here, let's outline what's important here. What's the goal? What are you doing if you're going with strategy number three dan? Yeah, for this one, the goal is to build relationships specifically with buyers or potential buyers. The main content type is interviews. The impact is about short to midterm as far as when it's going to impact your revenue and expected audience size is going to be small to medium sized. This will never be probably have the same potentials. Audience sizes demand gen because you're optimizing for audience growth there, but it does have the potential to be fairly large. I mean this shows fairly large and it's an A B. M. Based show within that though, I wanted to outline like there's really three different approaches you can even take within this one, Double um 1 1 cir here is that you, there's three different types of ideal buyers that you can use the show to reach. one is reaching just prospects who don't, who don't even know who you are, you reach out to them cold and be like, hey, so you're doing great things. Your company would love to have you on our show to talk about it right? And you walk through pre interview to a P. O. V. Discovery, you unlock some great nuggets that they have to share, You share it on the show. You build a relationship, you do not pitch them ever, but trust me relationship, people are smart, they'll check you out, right? So that's one play and that's probably the most common place what we're doing. Oftentimes with this show, not always, but often um the second one is bringing someone onto the show who's already in your pipeline, some a lot for a lot of B to B companies, people in their pipeline can be in there for like months to year sometimes, like it's a long pipeline, sweeten the deal, like bring them onto the show, building a relationship that way. Not only do you build a relationship with the key stakeholder, but they're probably excited to be on the show. They share it out to their social media, multiple people within their account are seeing it and also becoming more familiar with who you are and what you do with your show. So it's a great way to kind of like accelerate the deal. Again, it's not through pitching them or strong arming them or uh like bait switching that switch, but it's about building genuine relationships because we tend...

...to do more business with the people we trust and more time spent talking and making adding value to them by giving them audience is great. Now the third one is fun and that is finding current customers of larger accounts that might have different divisions that you want to get to know right if you're working with one division, you know, you'd be just as equally effective at producing some good results for the second division, a great way to get an introduction is to ask them for an introduction and say like, hey, I'd love to have so and so on the podcast, could you warm introduction me to the person to the customer you're already working with. If you're doing a great job in providing value for them, that's an easy introduction for them to make because now they get to extend the value themselves and you get to build a relationship with that other division and do what we've already been doing with ideal fires, who don't know us. So those are kind of like the three different avenues that we've seen. A B M can work at building revenue for BTB company Strategy. No three, the goal is all about building relationships. The, the content type obviously is interviews because of its relationships. You need someone to interview to build the relationship with. The impact can be short because those can map really quickly. And I love that. # three has three kind of subsets and that's the way I've always explained it to our potential customers that want to use this strategy is you can use it to engage and get to know people who don't know, you. people who already know you. So like you said, number two people who are in your sales pipeline and you could say, hey, could we have your boss on the podcast to have them speak to this industry trend or something like that. So it could be even within type number two, within strategy, number three, there could be multiple people, you could engage the person you're talking to their boss, someone else. And then number three, um we have some customers that are using this strategy and it is strategy number three A. B. M. But they're not interviewing any prospect accounts from their target account list. They're interviewing current customers where they have expansion Upsell and cross sell opportunities. So the focus is still on relationships, but there are three types of people you might want to build relationships with within this strategy. People who don't know you, people who already know you and people who are already buying from you. So I think there's also some overlap as we, you know, talked about in industry influencers and folks that you might want to build relationships because of the how you name the show and how you set up the premise that will allow you to go there too. Anything else there, man, before we go to number four, I think before we go to number four, it's important to specify that just because we're saying the goal of industry influence and a B. M is building relationships. It's not like we're not developing audience for them and it's not like they're not developing relationships with the demand inside their developing relationships there too. You're doing all these things. It's just like what some are optimize more for one thing versus the other. And if you try to really go at both, they kind of get in the way, it just becomes a problem. So you really have to optimize for one and no, you're still building audience in A B. M. You're not like have an audience of your just your mom and you're inviting them on being like, yeah, we're gonna make you look really good. And then you have an audience of like two and then you don't even release the episode. It's not on Apple, it's not on Spotify. And you're like, I gotta, that's not what we're saying here, right? We're saying what is the top priority because what we found is that if you're not tracking the right things like your conversation with our customer based in the UK, you may think that you're failing when you're actually not or if you try to prioritize all of them, you may hit a ceiling and you might get frustrated. Which candidly we've been talking about internally, we've tried to do all four of these with me to be growth and it's put us at a point where we're like, we got to optimize for one, right? And then you can have a secondary. And you can maybe get a little bit from one of the others as a third piece, but you really got to choose what's your top priority out of these four, which one does it most naturally overlap and then optimize for those and I love what you said. They're like, don't just make the content crappy, don't just phone it in like...

...content based networking, they're still content as part of it. And so you still need to make your guest look good. You should be trying to grow the audience so that you can legitimately say, hey, I'm going to share this with our listeners and your listeners shouldn't just be your mom. Although if you get a customer and the only listener is your mom, you should send her a thank you ambassador. Something nice. All right, we're going to talk about number four. This one was interesting. So I was talking to Olivia Hurley, who's another host of this show podcast strategist on our sales team and she said, hey, this company came to me and said they only want to interview current customers and this is part of what led me to come to you and you are already kind of thinking about how Logan, we need to outline these four specific strategies, five slash for it's for now it's for and I kind of walk them through. Well if you're only interviewing existing customers, you need to realize some things that what your podcast is going to be and what it isn't, this one kinda sits over on its own. So if you're viewing all four of these as like circles side by side with the first three overlapping is like a Venn diagram. The fourth is kind of over by itself and we'll talk about some of the things that you could pull from the other ones. But it's a it's a different strategy and I like the way you summed it up the other day dance. I'll let you kind of laid forth strategy out customer success strategy with your podcast. So the goal of the customer success strategy is really to reduce churn. It's not for audience growth, it's not to necessarily build relationships. So you will build those, it's really to reduce churn and just help your customers become more successful that way. The main content type is interviews, impact is going to be medium. I don't know like it couldn't depending on how much you reduce your and it could be a really big deal. If it's one of the best ways to deliver good stuff to your customers, it could have a big but I'm going to say medium and you're expected audience size is going to be small. It can only be as big as your customer. Your customer base. If you only have 30,000 customers Then don't expect to have 40,000 listeners. All right, Having even 10,000 listeners would be really, really good if you have 30,000 customers. Right, it's probably less than that most of the time. But my favorite thing about it and I've, I've been on some been a customer of quite a few tools where I was so hungry, I wanted more. And I'm like, my favorite thing to see from, especially from some sass providers was seeing customer case studies, like who else was using this tool in creative ways to unlock success and what were they doing differently than how I was using it? Right. I would have loved. That would have killed for some more stories. Only stories I ever got to see was like, maybe a competition between some customers at their annual event. That was hardly enough. I wanted to see more who was doing the best with this and that's what this could become, is use cases interviewing your best customers in trying to tease out the tips, the tricks, the rhythms they've gotten into using your service or your tool so that other customers can become more like your best customers. This will probably only ever be a weekly show, right? Because you can't do that many episodes about it, but people want to consume audio content. It's easy to consume that can consume it passively. And while you probably already have blog posts like that, you maybe you should turn some of them into podcast episodes and have it stripped comes straight through the customer's mouth. Not only that, but you get to reward your best customers by getting them in front of all the other customers and make them look like like a rock star for being for being one of your best customers, reward them. And like you said, there's relational benefits here because having those customers on your investing in that relationship, there's some equity gain there, there's some brand affinity, but that's not necessarily the goal. So what we're talking about in this fourth strategy is interview your best customers about what they're doing, how they're using your product or service. Again, we tried to do this a little bit within B two B growth. At times we've had to separate series that we've called, why podcasts work and how to podcast, right? And at times there we've interviewed customers to say,...

...let's talk about guest booking, let's talk about um interviewing and hosting skills. Let's talk about podcast promotion strategies. Now, that doesn't mix real well when you're trying to do some of the other types, the first three strategies, because it's so narrowly focused. So I would say here, if you've heard us say like don't name the show after your expertise or don't have it tied too closely to your company. That kind of goes out the window here because if it is aimed at people that already know like and trust you, you can name the show after your company, you can name it after a better way. Might be if you have a nickname for your customer base, you know, kind of like Taylor Swift has Swifty's right. Name it after them still. So actually still kind of falls in line with our general thinking about naming right? But the goal is not a huge audience size. It's, you might measure success, not based on a number of streams per episode, but hey, we have 500 customers and we've got 300 people listening to the show. How do we get that to 400 maybe that's really the ceiling. Right And how is that impacting turn? There's some other useful things that you could do with this type where you're interviewing customers, you're doing sort of audio case studies as well as tips and tricks for other customers that could be used by your customer success team as added content. You could also provide this to your sales team. You probably not going to give this to your marketing team to go do brand awareness with this sort of content. But when you have people at decision stage with your sales team, they could absolutely use this as sales enablement content. Like we've got someone we're talking to and they're concerned about guest booking for their podcast. If we have an episode with this sort of strategy where we've interviewed customers, we could give that to our sales team and they can share it at that point in the sales process. So it's still going to have an impact on sales, but it's more sales and customer success More so than broader marketing with strategy number four with a customer success focus on your podcast, man, I just feel like we unpacked one of the best pieces of the year. I'm like, what else should we should we talk about here? I mean that's so we've got the four types. Okay, let's sum it up. We've got demand jin we've got industry influence A. B. M. And then customer success. So if you're thinking about a podcast, think about these what you're really trying to optimize for because we've talked about the goal, the main content type the time to impact and then the target audience size, small, medium or large, based on which way you're going to go demand jin and industry influence overlap pretty nicely. Industry influence overlaps with A B. M. As well as, you know, back to number one and then number four kind of stands on its own but still has some impact on on sales. And it's not just something that your customer success team would have to do, you know, by themselves. It might be something that marketing and customer success do together and then it impacts sales and CS and marketing gets a little bit of something out of it, man, I I just think we have so much clarity here so that if you have a show and you're kind of hitting a ceiling or you're not sure if it's working, you might be measuring the wrong things or you might be trying to do too many things with one show because we've talked before about like don't have multiple shows because it's hard enough to grow an audience for multiple shows, you know, push it into one. But I think candidly that's where you know, we have run into some issues trying to shove all four of these plays into one show. So more coming on that soon from, from dan and I for sure. But if you're thinking about a podcast, hopefully this was helpful for you connect with dan and I on linkedin. You can search dance hashtag. I don't have a hashtag yet. His is cooler than mine. Uh dan Chaz D A N C H E Z. Or you can just find us dan Sanchez Logan Lyles. Pretty easy to find on linkedin as always. Thank you so much for listening, dan. This was good. We got to do it again soon. Mhm At sweet fish. We're on a mission to create the most helpful content on the...

...internet for every job function and industry on the planet for the B two B marketing industry. This show is how we're executing on that mission. If you know a marketing leader that would be an awesome guest for this podcast, shoot me a text message. Don't call me because I don't answer unknown numbers, but text me at 4074 and I know 33 to 8, just shoot me their name may be a link to their linkedin profile and I'd love to check them out to see if we can get them on the show. Thanks a lot. Okay. Mm hmm. Yeah.

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