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October 1, 2019

State of the Podcast: Do Podcasts Work for B2B Marketing? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 260)

October 1, 2019 | By | No Comments

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State of the Podcast: Does Podcasting Still Make Sense in 2020 (Thinks Out Loud Episode 260) — Headlines and Show Notes

With the growth of mobile, podcasting provides a huge content marketing opportunity for many businesses. In fact, we've found it very positive for our business here at Tim Peter & Associates. So, what lessons have we learned about using podcasts for B2B marketing? How can you build a successful podcast that meets the needs of your customers? And do podcasts work for B2B marketing?

The latest episode of Thinks Out Loud provides a "state of the podcast" update for you, along with tips, tricks and lessons learned from over 260 episodes of podcasting for B2B marketing.

Want to learn more? Here are the show notes for you:

State of the Podcast: Do Podcasts Work for B2B Marketing? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 260) -Relevant Links:

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Mic and a Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 15m 06s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes, the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

State of the Podcast: Do Podcasts Work for B2B Marketing? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 260) — Transcript

Well, hello again everyone, and welcome back to Thinks Out Loud, your source for all the digital marketing expertise your business needs. My name is Tim Peter. Today is Tuesday, October 1st, 2019 and this is episode 260 of the big show. Thank you so much for tuning in. I genuinely appreciate it, and I think we have a cool show for you today.

I'm going to do a follow up to a follow up to one of our very first episodes. It was international podcasting day the other day and I want to be fair, our episode schedule and actual international podcast day on September 30th don't really line up, so I'm posting this today on October 1st, but because I support international podcast day and especially because I'd want to support you, because I think podcasting does make a lot of sense for businesses, for many businesses, and that's really what I want to talk about today.

I have said since the day I started this podcast that I would always share information about how we're doing and whether or not podcasting makes sense for my business and whether or not it might make sense for your business. So think of this as sort of the state of the podcast episode, and an assessment of how is podcasting working in 2019 and how do I think it's going to work in 2020. So with that in mind, I want to get into a handful of reasons that I think podcasting makes sense, and the first goes back to an episode I just did last week, episode 259, where I talked about how mobile is a situation, not a device. One of the reasons podcasting makes sense for many businesses is because podcasts are a very mobile friendly type of content. They make sense because people use them wherever they are.

Again, it's a situation, not a device. They can listen to them in the car or they can listen to them on their commute. There's just a tremendous amount of growth there. And I'll share my own numbers. At least 58% of all of the downloads of this podcast happen on mobile. I would expect the odds are pretty good if you are listening to this podcast right now, you are listening on a mobile device, and you are likely listening in a mobile context, in a mobile situation. I'm going to be very candid. When I started this, it was a response to mobile initially. When you're a B2B services provider, when you work with businesses, mobile is not always the easiest thing to do. My firm is not going to create an app. That's not the the likely way most people are going to interact with my business, but what they will do is engage with content, and they will certainly engage with content that they can listen to, that you can listen to, wherever you happen to be.

That was a core consideration, the minute that I decided, or the minute that I considered doing podcasting as a way to grow my business. Now speaking of the growth side, so I talked about mobile a little bit, but speaking of the growth side, we're seeing tremendous growth, both from a consumption perspective and actually from a conversion perspective. So first on the consumption side, year to date listeners of this podcast are up about 43%. We should pass last year's total listenership probably by the middle of next month, possibly by the end of this month, based on some changes I'm making to the show, based on some changes we're making to the show, but we should actually cross last year's numbers by no later than mid November. Now I'll talk about this more in a minute.

December does tend to be a slow month, so we may fall off that 43% number a little bit, but we're moving in a very positive direction. December, because of the holidays and things like that, tends to be a shorter month from a listenership perspective. People don't tend to listen when they are hanging out with their family, and I know my content posting slows down a little bit, and those probably go hand in hand a bit, but I do expect we should finish up the year probably 35-40% up over last year.

July actually was the third biggest month ever for Thinks Out Loud, so thank you for that, and then from a conversion perspective, the podcast has directly led to several leads, several leads that have turned into sales for the company, for the business. So that's been really positive, and we can directly attribute that based on conversations we've had with those clients. The other thing that candidly I hadn't anticipated when I started the podcast was the retention aspect. Several clients, more than a couple of clients, have cited the podcast as one of the top sources of information that they enjoy, and validating what I was saying before about mobile, I've been told explicitly that they love the fact that they can engage with it in their car on their commute to work every day.

So again, that's a huge benefit of podcasting, that I don't know that I would have thought about when I started the show, but certainly has proved true going forward. It also has global reach, so we've talked about mobile, we've talked about growth, let's talk about global for a second. I get about 40%, just a little bit less than 40%, of traffic for the podcast from the U.S., and the rest is spread all around the world. We've got Western Europe, we've got Asia, we've got the middle East, we've got North America, countries like the UK, Singapore, Japan, Sweden, Germany, Canada, Israel, all big users of the podcast, big listeners to the podcast. There are no particular cities that dominate, though as you might imagine, they mostly come from high population centers, so cities in California, in New York, in Virginia, the city of London, Singapore itself. I suspect a lot of that has to do with we get lots of listenership from where there are lots of people.

That's pretty typical for most businesses. You tend to get lots of your business from people who are nearby, and then quickly you start to get feeder markets. You start to get lots of business from people where there are lots of people. Some of that's just a law of large numbers situation. In terms of distribution, a number of things. So iTunes and Apple podcasts are huge. Android less so, which that's surprising to me given how many mobile users there are listening to the podcast, though I want to be fair, I'm not an Android user and I don't know that I've done a good enough job, I don't know that we've done a good enough job optimizing for Android, so there's probably work there that we as the team, that I as a podcaster, need to learn how to do better. So I wouldn't say necessarily my experience on this one is a representative.

It's something that I need to look into and see if we need to do a better job to work on Android better. Obviously the timpeter.com website that we have for the business is a huge source of traffic and vice versa. The podcast actually generates a lot of traffic for the website. As you may know, I typically transcribe the podcast episodes using a service called rev.com, not a sponsor, but just something very handy to use, and that creates lots of rich content that then brings in a lot of traffic. The one real disappointment that I've seen is we started putting the podcast up on Spotify about six months ago, and so far the results have been underwhelming entirely. Again, that may be a learning opportunity. Maybe there's opportunities to improve there. To date, it hasn't proved to be that effective, but I suspect there's a learning opportunity there, how to do it better.

Now, since we're speaking about learning opportunities, some of the things I've learned: consistency matters. As you might imagine, the biggest months, the biggest shows for this podcast tend to be built around when we post episodes regularly. I went to a biweekly publishing schedule a year ago. The numbers fell off a pretty solid amount from 2017, so being consistent matters. At least for the type of content I do, posting earlier in the week also seems to work better, which if you think about it, makes a lot of sense. I talk to businesses, most of them are on a Monday to Friday schedule, so it does seem likely that that's going to have a real impact, being earlier in the week. Keyword research for the podcast seems to matter a ton. Again, that shouldn't surprise anybody, but it does matter, and if you think about the topics that have been really popular on the podcast.

We have episodes like Content is King, Customer Experience is Queen, episode 188 from over two years ago now, podcast episode 244, Hey Marketers, is 2019 Everything You've Hoped For, from April of this year, and Three Trends Driving Your Digital Strategy, Thinks Out Loud episode 185 from January of last year. All really big episodes where we'd done a lot of work around the keywords and around thinking about what mattered to the audience. So that shouldn't come as a big shock. Another lesson … and again, there's a timing thing here. I've found that summer works very well for podcasts. June, July, August, tend to do very well for this show. Now I'm digging into that a bit more. I don't know if it's because that's when more people listen or were we more consistent in publishing new materials during those dates, or were the topics just better? So as I learn more I will share that with you, but those are definitely all things that I would keep in mind as you think about whether or not you want to use podcasting for your business.

So what have we learned? Well, we've learned podcasting is about mobile. It's a great source of mobile traffic. It's a great way to connect with your customers on mobile. It drives lots of growth, both in terms of of interest and actual conversion. It's global. You have to think about your distribution strategy and then pay attention to what you've learned so you can continue to grow over time. Is podcasting right for your business? It's impossible to say to everyone I'm talking to, but it is certainly something you want to take a look at and see whether it works for your customers in those situations.

Now, looking at the clock on the wall, we are out of time for this week, but I want to thank you again so much for tuning in. I very much appreciate it. I want to remind you that you can find the show notes for today's episode, as well as an archive of all 260 of our past episodes, by going to timpeter.com/podcast. Again, that's timpeter.com/podcast. Just look for episode 260. While you're there, you can click on the subscribe link in any of the episodes you find there to have Thinks Out Loud delivered to your favorite podcatcher every single episode.

You can also subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio or Google Podcasts or Apple Podcasts, or whatever your favorite podcatcher happens to be. Just search for Tim Peter Thinks, Tim Peter Thinks Out Loud, or Thinks Out Loud. We should show up for any of those, and while you're there, I'd very much appreciate it if you can provide us a positive rating or review. It's incredibly helpful to help others find Thinks Out Loud, and it would mean a ton to me. You can also find Thinks Out Loud on Facebook by going to facebook.com/timpeterassociates. You can find me on Twitter using the Twitter handle @tcpeter, or of course you can email me by sending an email to podcast@timpeter.com. Again, that's podcast@timpeter.com. As ever, I'd like to thank our sponsor.

Thinks out Loud is brought to you by SoloSegment. SoloSegment focuses on AI-driven content discovery and site search analytics to unlock revenue for your business. You can learn more about how to improve your content, increase your customer satisfaction, and make your search smarter by going to solosegment.com.

With that, I want to say thanks so much for tuning in for the past 260 episodes. I look forward to talking with you again for the next 260 episodes, but in the meantime, I hope you have a great week, a wonderful weekend ahead, and I will look forward to speaking with you here on Thinks Out Loud next time. Until then, please be well, be safe, and as ever, take care everybody.

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