“I’m just not sure people in the (INSERT BORING INDUSTRY) will think a podcast about what we do is interesting.”
This is the most common response I get when I tell people that we produce podcasts for companies of all types, many of the B2B variety.
They’re not wrong.
The truth is that on its face, a show that discusses how trucking and logistics works, for example, is a pretty dull podcast topic. Nobody is subscribing to that show for their next family road trip.
But, shippers/buyers in the logistics space will no doubt subscribe to a show that discusses the talent management and career development problems existing in the Supply Chain space. They’ll undoubtedly listen to experts from across industry explain how to build a culture that nurtures and retains the best talent a supply chain (or any) company has. It isn’t really a podcast about the supply chain industry. It’s a conversation about people.
So, when Scott Auslund came to us to make a podcast as part of Gulf Relay’s growth strategy, I knew it was something that could be executed successfully. (Sidebar: go check out episode 0 of his recently launched show “Strengthening the Chain“)
companies achieve success when they weave the solution to their customers’ problems (both visible and hidden) into a narrative for easy consumption.
The success or failure of a podcast isn’t reliant on the excitement of the industry or products sold by a business. Instead, companies achieve success when they weave the solution to their customers’ problems (both visible and hidden) into a narrative for easy consumption. Your ability to meet your customers where they are already spending time can lead to a successful podcast production.
What kinds of shows are available to businesses who are considering producing a branded podcast? While there are many different types of shows and concepts you can leverage, there are generally four we recommend for the aspiring podcaster.
1. Interview or Guest-Driven Podcasts:
Guest driven shows are the bread and butter of what most branded podcasts look like in 2020, and for a good reason. Many companies are looking to podcasts as a method to grow their brand while also cultivating their direct network for business development or partnership opportunities. Hence, inviting your prospective customer or partner onto your platform (the branded podcast) to share their ideas with your audience is a nearly fool-proof way to create value up-front for the relationship. Additionally, this type of show provides a plethora of opportunities to create downstream content together that further extend your collaboration.
Best in class example: The Future of Supply Chain
2. Industry News Podcasts:
News shows have become much more common as branded podcasts are becoming more prevalent. Marketers are finding that being a pure news play as opposed to an educational or informational sales product is a beneficial way to build a wider audience within a given industry. This is an unusually massive opportunity for those industries that are devoid or lacking of quality news publications at the moment. Industries like Finance, Entrepreneurship and even Supply Chain (example below) have seen huge results from providing a news platform for their respective industries.
Best in class example: The Freight Waves Podcast Network
3. Narrative-Based Podcasts:
Narrative driven shows are newer to the branded podcast space, but are nearly guaranteed to be a massive success as they continue to proliferate. We’ve seen these types of shows explode on the general consumer marketplace, and the ideas and intrigue that make them successful extend to the branded content arena. The idea here is to tell a story, narrate a sequence of events, or explore a specific idea with the effort and integrity of an investigative journalist. Doing so adds complexity and typically requires the creator to think in terms of seasons or stories. With that said, the majority of industries have untapped potential to use this type of device, and we’ll continue to see more of these as businesses invest real effort into their podcasting presence.
Best in class example: Containers by Alexis Madrigal
4.Talk Show Podcasts:
Related to the interview-driven show concept is the talk show concept. In this format, hosts are themselves the main attraction and source of information more so than the guest they may have on any particular episode. These shows are particularly successful when several topics are layered on top of one another to create a unique platform for conversation. This style is also the most heavily dependent on the show host’s talent and ability to bring energy and entertainment to the audience.
Podcasting isn’t a one-size fits all tactic that automatically succeeds (or fails) for any industry or business. The success of a podcast has less to do with the confines of an industry and more to do with the creativity and planning that goes into a specific show’s creation.
Companies who are seeking to leverage a podcast to reach their audience in a new and intimate ways should think critically about how their show can vary from the status quo, and what concept best fits their personality and desired outcomes.