In the crowded B2B marketplace, companies need to find creative ways to stand out and connect with their target audience. While traditional marketing methods like email and advertisements can work well, there’s a new tool that more and more B2B companies are starting to use – the branded podcast. In this article, we’ll explore what exactly a branded podcast is, the different types of branded podcasts, and some examples of how B2B companies are using branded podcasts to connect with their audiences. By the end, you’ll see why your company should seriously consider starting its own branded podcast.
What is a Branded Podcast?
A branded podcast is a podcast that is produced by a company to promote its products, services, or values. Branded podcasts allow brands to engage with customers or clients in an intimate and immersive way that traditional advertising just can’t. According to research from MarTech, “podcasts are now a top channel for B2B content”.
Generally, the goal of a branded podcast is to build brand awareness, establish thought leadership, and create deeper connections with customers or clients. Because podcasts are typically consumed in a more relaxed and attentive setting, listeners are often more receptive to brand messaging and storytelling. Podcasts allow brands to cut through the noise and connect with past and potential customers in an immersive way.
Many successful branded podcasts are produced by B2B companies, particularly those in the SaaS and IoT spaces. It’s important to also remember that many B2C companies are also using branded podcasts to great effect.
The 4 Most Popular Types of Branded Podcasts
Branded podcasts can take many forms, including interview-style shows, narrative storytelling, educational or instructional content, and more. Through these disparate styles, branded podcasts can be used to tell stories about the company, its products, or its industry, as well as to provide information, insights, and entertainment that is relevant to the target audience.
1. Interview-Style Podcasts
An interview podcast consists of a recurring host or hosts interviewing a new guest or panel of guests each episode. Interview-based podcasts are generally hosted by a senior leader within the company or outsourced to a professional podcaster. These shows usually focus on a topic relevant to the company and or its customers.
Podcast guests can include subject matter experts, peers within an industry, customers, employees, and most importantly potential prospects.
An Example of a Branded Interview-Style Podcast
2. Narrative-Driven Podcasts
Your company’s podcast could be a well-written narrative that unfolds over a season or many seasons. With a story-driven branded podcast, you have the chance to take your audience on a gripping journey that has them on the edge of their seat during every single episode. Narrtive-driven shows rely most heavily on the creativity of the team working behind the scenes that are coming up with the podcast’s story. These story aren’t limited to certain genre or even a single planet. For example, in 2022, Mercedes-Benz lunched a branded science-fiction podcast that takes place in the future of and features lots of inter-planetary travel. With a good enough story you can hook a large audience and have them invite your company into their headphones when each episode is released.
An Example of a Branded Narrative-Driven Podcast
3. Industry News Podcasts
These shows focus on breaking down the latest changes and biggest headlines that are relevant to a particular industry. The release frequency for branded industry news podcasts can fluctuate depending on the rate of change within an industry. Some of these shows come out daily while some are weekly. Either way, they pair wonderfully with an email newsletter to make sure that industry professionals get the news they need straight in their inbox. If your show provides your audience with enough value, these podcasts are fantastic for building thought leadership within your company’s niche.
An Example of a Branded Industry News Podcast
4. Educational Podcasts
Just because “education” is in the name of this type of podcast does not mean that your company is restricted to covering traditionally academic topics. A new study from the Pew Research Center found that the major reason why 55% of people listened to podcasts to learn something new. Educational podcasts should focus on whatever your company has expertise in that your audience wants to learn about. Teaching others about topics that are adjacent to your product or services with an educational podcast can be hugely successful. For example, if a CRM like HubSpot had an educational podcast they could cover how to create an effective sales funnel and track leads through it.
An educational podcast can feature a single host, multiple hosts, or a rotating lineup of subject matter experts.
An Example of a Branded Educational Podcast
The Benefits of Creating a Branded Podcast for Your Company
1. Raising Brand Awareness
One of the biggest impacts that companies see from starting a branded podcast is a massive increase in brand awareness. According to a study from the BBC, companies with branded podcasts saw an 89% increase in brand awareness. In their latest State of Audio report, Audacy shared that, “[a]udio holds the title as the undisputed leader of brand-building channels.” The report also found that listeners tend to have an emotional connection to branded podcasts. With regular episodes, the audience becomes accustomed to the host’s voice, topics, and perspective, and they start to identify with the brand on a personal level. This emotional engagement lays a foundation for growing trust and ultimately leads to the listener becoming the brand’s advocate. Creating a branded podcast provides B2B companies with an opportunity to communicate directly with their audience without sounding promotional or sales-driven, thereby enabling them to build a connection based on authenticity, trust, and value. With increased brand awareness and emotional connection, branded podcasts help B2B companies find loyal fans and followers, driving leads, and increasing conversions in the process.
2. Building a Community
If your company’s Go-To-Market motions include building a community around the company or its products, a branded podcast is vital. By creating engaging and informative content around industry topics relevant to the audience, your company can encourage interaction and engagement with listeners through discussions, feedback or participating in polls and surveys. Additionally, regular episodes give B2B companies a consistent way to connect with their audience on a personal level and build a relationship.
By forming a community of followers, a branded podcast can provide significant value to the company, giving a platform for word-of-mouth marketing and referral growth. Many branded podcasts have Slack or Discord groups associated with the company for users to discuss industry topic and recent episodes. The community around a branded podcast can become powerful advocates for the brand, driving leads, and increasing visibility through social media shares, reviews, ratings, and recommendations.
3. Generating New Leads
A branded podcast can also be a powerful tool to generate new leads from the guests a B2B company talks to, especially when they are potential ideal customers. By inviting industry leaders, experts, and potential customers to participate in a podcast, companies can establish relationships with them and position themselves as valuable partners in the industry. As these relationships grow, the guests become more comfortable doing business with the company. Additionally, guests on a podcast can become invested in the company and share the podcast and website with their own network, which can increase the company’s reach and visibility to potential new leads.
4. Engaging with Prospects
A branded podcast is an excellent platform for B2B companies to engage prospects along their buyer’s journey. Companies can invite prospects to participate in the podcast as guests, which provides an additional touchpoint in the buyer’s journey. Through the podcast, companies can build a rapport with the prospect. They can also highlight their own solutions to industry problems and discuss how their offerings can benefit the prospect. As the guest participates in the podcast, they become more invested in the company, and the engagement may move them further down the buyer’s journey. Additionally, creating content for the guest provides opportunities for follow-up conversations and interactions, creating a stronger relationship between the company and the prospect.
5. Creating High-Quality Content
A branded podcast provides B2B companies with a wealth of high-quality content that they can repurpose throughout their entire funnel. From industry insights and trends to interviews with thought leaders, podcast episodes include a range of valuable and engaging content. B2B companies can use snippets of podcast episodes to create social media posts, email marketing campaigns, and blog articles, among other things. They can also use the entire podcast episode to create gated content that website visitors can access by providing contact information. By repurposing podcasts into other forms of content, B2B companies can leverage the expertise of their teams or thought leaders, provide value to their audience at every stage of the funnel, and ultimately drive leads to their website.
Large B2B SaaS Companies Using A Branded Podcast
Here are ten large B2B companies that are currently using branded podcasts in their marketing mix, however, these are far from the only such shows from B2B companies.
- Google: Google Cloud Platform Podcast
- Google: Cloud Security Podcast
- Amazon AWS: AWS Podcast
- Cisco: Cisco Champion Radio
- Oracle: Partner Perspectives
- Red Hat: Compiler
- Intuit: Grow & Thrive: A Call to Action
- Intuit Mailchimp: Three Minute Masters
- Adobe: Wireframe
- Shopify: Shopify Masters
Ok, you might be saying that those are all huge companies and that your mid-sized SaaS or B2B company couldn’t afford to have a branded podcast. Well, I think you’ll find the next section particularly interesting.
Which Mid-Market B2B Companies Have A Branded Podcast?
Below are 25 great branded podcasts from mid-sized B2B companies that are heavily involved with SaaS.
- Salesloft: No Nonsense Sales
- PandaDoc: The Customer Engagement Lab
- ServiceTitan: Toolbox for the Trades
- ThoughtSpot: The Data Chief
- Lookout: Security Soapbox
- Medidata: Clinical Minds
- Mindtickle: Ready Set Sell
- Innovaccer: The Innovation Accelerator Podcast
- Wistia: Talking Too Loud with Chris Savage
- Atlassian: Work Check
- Drift: Revenue Talks With Justin Keller
- Zendesk: Sit Down Startup
- Databox: Metrics & Chill
- Weights & Biases: Gradient Dissent
- Workstream: On the Clock
- LogicGate: GRC & ME
- FormStack: Practically Genius
- Infosec: Cyber Work
- Firstup: Cruising Altitude
- Drata: Compliance Uncomplicated
- Cribl: The Stream Life
- BigID: BigIDeas On The Go
- Ramp: Recession-Proof
- Intercom: Inside Intercom
In conclusion, a branded podcast is a valuable tool for B2B companies looking to connect with their target audience, establish authority in their industry, and ultimately generate leads. With its engaging format and flexibility, a branded podcast can provide B2B companies with a platform to showcase their unique expertise and insights, establish a community of loyal followers, and connect with potential customers in meaningful new ways. By exploring the different types of branded podcasts and the examples provided in this article, B2B companies can gain inspiration and insight into how they can create their own successful branded podcast. With the benefits of a branded podcast clear, it’s time for B2B companies to dive in and start creating a podcast that will bring value to their audience and drive leads to their business.