Going Business-First With Your Podcast Is A Smart Business Move [Episode 169]
Do you know why so many business-focused podcasts are interview-based? For the same reason that the tire ads are in the sports section of your Sunday newspaper. Not because people who read the sports section are more likely to buy tires. No, it's because that's where the tire ads go. After some 50 years of advertising, that's where the tire ads go. It’s become a habit, and businesses are keen to capitalize on ingrained habits of consumers.
But back to podcasting for your business or brand. I promise to you that there is a lot more to podcasting than interview-based show. Consider for a moment what having an interview-based show say about your brand. Think about the story each episode tells about your brand? Even if the conversations you brand and your guests are having are on-point and wonderful that the audience seems to enjoy… those episodes may not be telling your brand story in an effective and meaningful way.
In this episode, I’ll share three ideas for content-generation that will make sure your podcast’s episodes are business-focused by making them business-first. And no, that doesn’t have to mean boring.
Before I list those, forget everything you know (or think you know) about podcasting for a moment and think about your business or brand overall. What kinds of content are you generating? What are you publishing and promoting that shares the story of your brand?
Social media posts are likely. But podcasting isn't social media.
Maybe you’re producing videos and publishing them to YouTube. It’s often touted as the second biggest search engine, so it’s an obvious content play for most brands. But people watch business-focused YouTube videos for very different reasons than they do when listening to a podcast episode from a business or brand.
But there are three types of business-focused content that work really well in podcast form.
People want proof. Especially in business, where talk is cheap. But a well-crafted case study shows how the products or services offered by your business caused a meaningful change on or more of your clients.
If you’re saying to yourself “I don't read those case studies”, then you’re making the classic blunder of using yourself as a sample size of one. Businesses case studies are popular. No, centering your podcast around case studies isn’t going to get you a Webby award. But treating your podcast episodes more like case studies will get potential clients excited about your solution, your business, and your brand.
Again, you probably are saying “Evo, I don't I don't really read white papers.” But once again, I promise you that in the business world, white papers are consumed. A lot! White papers showcase one or more aspects of your business in a deep-dive. It’s not casual. It’s an on-purpose and a rather exhaustive rundown of one or more aspects of your business. And it’s often times just what a potential client needs to get them to commit.
Businesses spend a lot of money to fly employees to conference all around the world. Much of their time is spent in the audience, listening to (or getting inspiration/advice/etc from) people on stage. The person on the stage has not only a captive audience of dozens, hundreds, and sometimes even thousands of people but a highly qualified audience who are choosing to hear what this business/brand has to say.
Scoff at this idea as “PowerPoint in podcast form” if you like. But then think about all those people in the audience at those conferences, many of them paying serious attention and taking copious notes. For them -- the ones that matter -- it's not a boring experience at all. It's exactly what they want to hear.
But I’d be remiss if I didn’t give you a bit of a harsh reality check on the above advice.
Taking a business-focused approach to your podcast’s content will likely not get your podcast to the number one placement of any podcast chart.
Taking a business-focused approach to your podcast’s content is a lot more work than just doing a casual interview show.
But unless you’re in the business of selling ads against your content, neither audience growth nor speed-to-market is your top priority.
Instead your top priority is simple: attaining measurable business outcomes from your podcast content, either directly or indirectly. Those outcomes should be commensurate with the effort you put into making each episode of your show. Those episodes must appeal to a very specific audience, with ample opportunity for them to easily respond to your content.
Take a business-first approach will result in a very different type of show than you may be used to listening to. And that’s OK. The people who listen to your business-focused content are hungry for something different. Your acknowledgment of this and commitment to making content that appeals to this need will be seen as rewarding for them, which in turn rewards your business or brand. Because you're giving them exactly the kind of content they need to hear to be successful.
Let them be entertained somewhere else. Let that need to just keep listening filler content every week (or perhaps four times a week) be scratched somewhere else.
If you want to be serious about podcasting for your business, you must make sure that your brand is adequately represented in your podcast.