The State of Branded Podcasts | Echo Chamber

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Welcome to The Echo Chamber where James, Dan, and Benji throw in their 2 cents on what B2B marketers are talking about on the internet. Today the guys discuss a recent report released by Cohost, “The State of Branded Podcasts 2022 Report”. 

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Conversations from the front lines and marketing. This is B two B growth. Welcome back to the echo chamber here on B two B growth, where we throw in our two cents on what B two B marketers are talking about on the internet. And today, Dan James, I thought it would be interesting to talk about a report that came out from a company called co Host, and they came out with this report, the State of Branded Podcasts for two and UH. Let's discuss this for a few minutes. I'll set it up by just saying, clearly, we are biased in our love for podcasting, so branded podcasts, uh is something that you know, we do our work in this where we cut our teeth. So this is the stats that back up branded podcasts. They quote this in the report. I thought this was really fascinating. So BBC conducted and it's called an audio activated study on branded podcasts. I found that branded podcasts can help lift awareness by brand consideration by fifty, brand favorability by and purchase intent by I would love to dig deeper into those, but I think that obviously that's a why you're seeing so many brands get into the podcast space. And then this report and the reason for it is really to just help brands get a clearer picture on the landscape right now within podcast So they were reviewing I think four hundred branded shows that have been launched by small, medium and large both B two C and B two B brands. So it was an honor because we were on the list. Guys, So congratulations to all of us coming in number seven. That's right. And I gotta say when I'm looking at this list of shows, like a huge fan of Think Media and the Think podcast Robin Hood Snacks, listen to them on us every day, so it's pretty cool and ten happier,...

...which was the number one. Dan Harris also listened to that show regularly, so really cool. Right next Trader Joe's. So that's right, Robin Hood and Trader Joe's found our little spot in the neighborhood. We'll we'll stick our flag there. We're happy to be alongside these shows. But James, when you see this report, I know you've thumbed through it, taken a look. Just give me your initial takes as as you look at the state of branded podcasts. Yeah, so I think something you said actually before we started recording, Benji really resonated with me. There's reports like this, the companies are, you know, the state of whatever their category is, And we obviously resonate with this one because this is our space. As a report we legitimately could have done and co host did a really good job with it. But I think when you're looking at reports like this, it's good to kind of have your finger on the pulse knowing what's happening. But you said something, you were like, do you want your show to be an average of what everybody else is doing? And I think there are some things is I look at like the most popular branded podcast formats, it's interesting to see that there's only one point two percent of shows that are fiction or narrative in the B two B space. That makes a lot of sense. I'm actually of the belief that narrative shows and B two B I think it's their way too expensive to produce for the return that you're going to get from them. There's an article that we're passing around in our side channel, so it's not shocking to me that only one I think you're seeing the massive brands go that route and using it as like an experimental budget. But I'm not sure that there's going to be a whole lot of staying power in that format because they're so expensive to produce, and there's much more effective ways to resonate with your audience than doing these elaborate stories. But it requires the hard work of actually getting really clear on your points of view and making sure that your points of view...

...are resonant with the community that you're trying to engage in market that you're selling into. So interview slash discussion, interview discussion slash journalistic, which is like one interview slash journalistic five point four percent, So you see a lot of these are discussion interview type shows. And I think the story that this doesn't tell is that there is a lot of creativity that can be had in those formats. So even looking at what we're doing with b TWOB growth, we've got three kind of content franchises. My friend Benjamin Shapiro from the Martek podcast, I was talking to him yesterday and he called them like content franchises. So these different series that we're doing. We've got the Echo Chamber this series, we've got The Journey, we had our Original Research content franchise, and I think getting creative with like what angle are you coming at a particular discussion from and so he was thrown out an idea yesterday he was like, what have you guys added? You know, a content franchise could be called the audit where you bring on a guest and you have Dan just break down like some element of their marketing. So before the recording, it's like, you know, they tell Dan like, hey, we'd love feedback on this particular landing page for this new product, or I'd love your feedback on our nurture sequence. And the episode is literally just Dan talking to them live giving like Hey, I really like that you did this. I'm not as big a fan of this. Here's what I think you could do different here. That would be a really that's a different angle on just these meandering conversations that I think a lot of B two B brands. It's just a very lazy way to go into the show to just say, hey, we're just going to talk to experts and get their thoughts. And I'd be lying if I said that we didn't do that for years. I mean that was our that was for years. Yeah, it's take away from this look at this like being...

...interview discussion. It's because it worked like it was simple. It's the same thing with the early days of blogs, like this was what happened. You had a blog, and you stood out because you had a blog. Like when you were a podcast or five years ago, you stood out because you were a podcaster. That is long gone and now this is the age of show development. If you want to thrive and not just like barely get by or check off a box because your CEO said, oh crap, we're falling behind and now we need a podcast, you have to do show development at a completely different level, and you have to be intentional about why you do what you do. I listen to interview shows, so I am not going to knock interview shows, but the interview shows I listened to know how to do compelling interviews, have hosts that are compelling, ask deeper questions, and probably don't just throw out the conversation with minimal editing and just expect that people are going to find it, and then you can throw dollars behind audience growth, but those people don't stick long term if your content isn't compelling. So in my mind, you look at this and it's like, of course, most shows are going to be interview discussion because that is like what everyone's seen done, and people are like, well, I can get in the game if I just do that. Then it's like, okay, well how do I raise the bar from there to make it more compelling? Dan, We've kind of locked you out of this conversation so far, So get in jump in here. I gotta say, like, whenever I see a report, this is the state of I'm what, James, I'm like, this is gonna be a crappy report. I'm glad bbob growth got highlighted in this one. But to kind of give a visual of how these types of reports work, imagine if I took all the cover art from all the podcasts they analyzed, and I melted them down and blended all the colors of them. What color do you think I'm gonna get? Like a gray? Brown? Like a tope, Because all the colors blended together. If you melt them down like paint is gonna give you brown. That's all the data is going to...

...give you. Does that tell you anything about what kind of cover art works? No, it tells you nothing. It tells you nothing. It gives you. Oh, the average color across all these cover arts are brown. Huh, because we melted them down and now you end up in the middle. It's just not helpful. If anything, it just kind of gives you a baseline of where you need to break away, because if you're the same in all these different data point categories, you're going to fail. The problem is I do find that they have a lot of power, because there's certainly a lot of people that come to me in different marketing categories and they're like, well, everybody else says to do it, and this date because that's when everybody says to do it. I'm like, that's exactly why we should do the opposite. Yes, everybody sends email on a Tuesday morning, everybody's read that report, so we should probably send it on a Thursday night because that's when they're not getting the email. So these reports, I guess are somewhat helpful and that they show you where the wide path is the well worn path. So you should take a queue that on one of these different segments, whether on length or on type of show or on the way they did this show, you need to go completely left field and go into complete opposite direction. Everything else can be close to the same, and if you take too much creative liberty. You end up but just a weird mess. But on one or two of these data points, you need to go in the complete opposite direction that everybody else is going. It is helpful for that. There was one takeaway that they noted in the report that I thought was really interested that since launching, the majority of brands are still producing and releasing podcast content to date, with active branded podcast releasing content for an average of three and a half years. The SUPs that brands are finding success in the medium. You don't do something for three and a half years, it's not working. Now. That was a really good point. Yeah, this is obviously we're bias. This is supporting, you know, the case for for our business. We're not marketing to you suddenly getting into your brain. Yeah.

I think these kind of reports can definitely be interesting. Love seeing us between Robin Hood and Trader Joe's. That's fun to be called out in that. But I do think, you know, going back to what I was saying earlier, you've got a zig where others are zagging, and a lot of these reports, depending on how many times they get seen. I think this one, I've seen it marketed a few different places, so probably got a lot of eyeballs on it. So look through it figure out like, Okay, what's the best practice that that we want to stick with. But if we're doing everything like this report is saying, then we probably need to mix it up. Benji. If we if we talked about video yet B two B growth will be right back, Benji, if we if we talked about video yet, Nope, no video. Yeah. I do want to bring that up because I think it's interesting that in this whole report video was not mentioned. And in podcasting, the shift that's happening right now is everyone's discussing the discover ability problem. How do you find a new show? Right? You could put ad dollars behind it to get in front of people, But other than that, I would say the best way to organically grow your show is using video, whether it's just micro video content. Like right now, for B two be growth, we're not giving you our entire show in a video format, We're just cutting micro clips from it. That's an easy way to start if you feel like the production value is going to be low for producing a twenty minute thirty minute video on YouTube, to start with micro clips is a great way to get your podcast discovered. But then also that long form video I would like to see because we're not there yet. That's actually a report that would be interesting to me. I would like to see, you know, what's working for video podcasts right now. And then, like we said, I think of you know, seventh grade doing a science fair and you have your hypothesis right, and you're only gonna change like one thing, and then you're going to figure out what makes us unique what like, Well, let's test within the video space as we go there. Here's what averages. Here's how we're gonna differentiate off of that. So I would like...

...to see more on the impact video. That's a big thing. And the other piece that I wanted to ask you guys about before we just close out on this is if you were starting a show from scratch, where would you differentiate, Like what would be the thing that you're like, this is what I would do with the knowledge that I have Now, Dan, what's your thought when I ask that? My instant reaction is like, I would make it more video, except I would make it audio first video, and I would be distributing video to all the platforms YouTube, Apple podcast supports video, Spotify, supports video. The trick is there's not a lot of hosts that can syndicate video well right now, even our own host that Sounder, does not syndicate video content because the storage cost the video is a lot higher for them, and we're still trying to figure that out even on the back end. But I did find a host that is doing it. Zen casters doing it, and I think that's going to be a continued trend. Even Spotify anchor does it. But Spotify's big host, Megaphone, does not do video. I found out yesterday they can't support video. So this is going to be a thing where people are going to like, like, say, Joe Rogan Show, for example, has a video component to it. You can watch it on Spotify, and I've listened to an episode because the headlines are like, oh, Joe Rogan did this. I don't. I'm not a regular listening to the show because yeah, but I'll go and listen to it to see what the headlines about, and uh, every once in a while I'll be like, oh, I wanted to see like I just wanted to watch it. I wanted to see what they were talking about, or I wanted to see their facial I just wanted to see it, and so I opened up the app because usually I'm multitask and then I open up the app and take a rewatch that section. So I think there's a component to video, and because it's getting easier and easier to record video by things like Riverside, like we're on now, it's going to get easier to syndicate with video, but right now it's still early, so people who can do it are going to be have an early advantage in that way. I think it's just an easier win. YouTube keeps evolving too with video, like their ad platform for video podcasts they just launched, i think within the last week, and then also getting micro clips straight from full episodes, like getting easier and easier...

...on YouTube, and like that's how shorts is gonna win. That's literally what we both showcase for and ended up just lighting a hundred thousand dollars on fire. It's it's where the space is going, I mean, the automatic clipping of video. I would say so in my experience Benji recently, because we just launched a new show with my friend Anthony Kenneda over an audience plus and it's been an interesting experience because Sweet Fish doesn't own that show. It's it's audience plus to show. But it was a premise that we developed and I essentially pitched to them and said, hey, what if we did a podcast called owned where we broke down really popular consumer media brands and talked about the lessons learned for how that can be applied to B two B companies. And so I think j Kenzo helped us develop a similar premise for another show we were going to do the Sweet Wish was going to own and that we ended up deciding to go a different direction with that, but premise worked really well in this use case, and and knowing that you can ride the wave of popularity. So our first episode was on Barstool Sports. Well, because we are talking about Barstool Sports, we get the borrowed credibility of the brand that they have built. I don't know, credibility is probably not the right word there, but the attention or affinity that that brand has us commenting on it now all of a sudden make somebody want to pay attention to what we're saying because we're talking is similar to this echo chambers stuff, right, Like you know, we do an episode about Nick Bennett getting roasted on LinkedIn or something that Kyle Lacey said, Well, a lot of people know Nick Bennett and Kyle Lacey, so us talking about them automatically makes the content really interesting. Our episode on Drift, I had a lot of people on LinkedIn. I went to the episode about Drift coming out. What happened to Drift? We happen to Drift. We are literally coasting. So I think there's to go a little bit more nuanced on Like what I would do if I were to start a show tomorrow is like figure out what's an episode format or or a...

...premise for a show that allows me to coast on the brands, on more iconic brands that people are going to be interested in. And so I think that's one angle. Another thing I'm learning about doing the show with my buddy Anthony. Anthony, you know, with the CMO at Gain site, really designed and built the customer success category, which is a massive freaking category. And so Anthony is really prolific in the world of B two B marketing, So me co hosting a show with him, I would consider him to be an influencer in the B two B marketing space. Now he's promoting audience. Plus they're out of stealth mode. They're talking, He's talking about it publicly, and my face now is like front and center on their website because I'm co hosting this show with him, and so I think that it's been interesting. Like I never really considered co hosting media properties even if I because I at first I was like, man, Sweetest doesn't own the show. Is this worth my time? It's a no brainer that it's of my time. I mean being associated with Anthony in this way one just the relationship is going to go much deeper obviously having the show, but then the combined influence of us both talking about this media property. It's going to help audience, plus that I'm talking about it. Not that I'm as prolific as Anthony in any way, shape or form, but it certainly helps grow my profile as somebody who wants to be known in B two B marketing because it helps our business. So those are the two things, like how can you capitalize on a concept and idea a brand that people already love and how can you integrate that into your premise so that every episode is going to be interesting to a pocket of people based on work that's been done that had nothing to do with you, and then the other one is really thinking critically about your co host. Yeah, it's interesting because last week on Echo Chamber we had discussed that important piece of talk, like being in the community right, talking to the community to figure out where you're product fits. When I think of podcasting, like...

...what you're getting at, James is like, there's brands that are already important to your community. There's people that are already important to that community. So when we create content that's about those people. That starts the flywheel that Dan had brought up, and that's how it works in the podcasting space. So if we were getting at anything here, it's like knowing your community well enough to know the content that resonates. That also goes back to show development and how much time you put in. So when you look at a report that shows you the average of everything, just a reminder that you get to choose what your show is and do the development for yourself to mold that thing. And then the last thing is I'm gonna walk away with an image that I just remembered as Dan was talking about mixing all the paints, because I remember going to McDonald's and I don't remember what we called it, but you'd get every soda on the whole thing. They would dare you to do this. Yeah, it was called the Suicide. That name probably doesn't work in that's okay. Here we are saying, don't do that because it is suicide, right, Like, don't get everything in your cup and mix that together and think that that's gonna work for your show. So all right, that's it for today's Echo Chamber episode. If you are enjoying this, we would love to hear from you. If there's a topic that you want us to talk about on one of these Echo Chamber episodes, hit up James Dan myself over on LinkedIn. We would love to chat with you, and uh, we will be back real soon with another one. Thanks for listening, everybody. If you enjoy today's show, hit subscribe for more marketing goodness. And if you really enjoy today's show, take a second to rate and review the podcast on the platform you're listening to it on right now. If you really really enjoyed this episode, share the love by seeing it to a friend who would...

...find it insightful. Thanks for listening, and thanks for sharing. M.

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