Why does a B2B business need a podcast? How do you launch and grow a podcast? What does it take to be successful in the world of podcasts? Podcast guru James Carbary of Sweet Fish Media joins me in this episode of Content Callout to share the strategies he’s used to build successful B2B podcasts—over and over again.
Outline of This Episode
- [1:55] James’ background + Sweetfish Media
- [3:52] Why a B2B business NEEDS a podcast
- [5:59] Contextualized and niche-specific content
- [9:09] How to get started with a podcast
- [12:08] Mistakes to avoid with your podcast
- [14:47] PPC campaigns to drive subscriber growth
- [17:11] What analytics tools are helpful?
- [21:00] How to format your podcast for discoverability
- [25:00] Dedicate your time and put in the effort
- [28:50] How to connect with James Carbary
Why a B2B business NEEDS a podcast
James started his podcast because he wanted to connect with a very specific buyer persona. He knew that if he could have conversations with VPs of marketing at B2B SaaS companies with 50+ employees, he could build a relationship with those people. Those relationships could lead to them buying into what they offer. So you start by asking them to be a guest on your show. Podcasts are an amazing business development and sales tool.
James points out that the other benefit is creating contextualized content for the people you’re trying to reach. By interviewing VPs of marketing, they’re still producing great pieces of content for VPs of other B2B SaaS companies. It’s still a win, even if they don’t buy your product or service.
If you get them on your show and your sole interest is to sell to them, they’ll see right through it because it won’t be genuine. You want to go into the interviews with the intent to create great content. You want to learn all there is to know about being a VP of marketing? Interview hundreds of VPs. That’s what James did to build a seven-figure business in 4–5 years.
A podcast can elevate your brand—if done right
Podcasting is a thing that’s allowed James to elevate his personal brand because he’s developed a niche focus within B2B marketing, as it relates to podcasting. To be a B2B marketing expert would be next to impossible. People shy away from podcasts because they believe it’s limiting. So how do you get around that? Niching down is the way to go.
How do you choose a niche? James says to ask these questions: What are you passionate about? What do you care deeply about? What are you a practitioner in? They’re at about 1,200 episodes of B2B Growth right now. Between the other shows they do, he’s done close to 1,000 podcast interviews. He doesn’t have to try to manufacture expertise. It comes from doing it over and over again.
James’ friend Gaetano DiNardi is a genius when it comes to SEO. He doesn’t have to manufacture the thought leadership. He’s done it so much that it’s just a natural extension of what he knows. Figure out where your expertise is and drill deep into that.
How to get started with a podcast
James recommends tools like Anchor for beginners looking for a place to get started, especially as a low-budget option (it’s completely free). James does suggest investing in good cover art. Apple cares a lot about having a show cover. So hire a great designer, use Fiverr, whatever it is—just do it. He also points out that you should use solid-colored backgrounds for the shows because they pop more.
iTunes cares about the number of reviews and subscribers, but discoverability is hard right now. Sweet Fish has found that getting a video of the content you’re doing is important. You can then chop it up into 1–2 minute videos that you play on social. Put a call to action to subscribe to the show at the end of your clip. Once they’re subscribed, the likelihood of them unsubscribing is very low.
James cautions against only using audio clips. Why? He doesn’t believe audio plays well on social media. Most people will stop to watch a video or read the text, but many of the scrollers aren’t using social media with their sound on. But again—depending on who’s posting it—you can get engagement.
What mistakes should you avoid making? Listen to hear James’ take!
Podcasting takes time and effort—but the ROI is enormous
James notes that so many people are paralyzed by perfection. But he emphasizes that you should just do it, even if you don’t have a budget. You can download the Anchor app and start a podcast from your phone.
People have way more content in their heads than they give themselves credit for. James keeps a note on his iPhone and will take notes of any ideas that he comes up with for a piece of content. How else can you come up with ideas?
What about answering the ten most common questions that you get from customers? What’s something about the market that is a commonly held belief that you passionately disagree with? There is so much low-hanging fruit in terms of content creation.
James and I agree: You have time for what you make time for. You can’t argue that David Meltzer and GaryVee haven’t seen a huge business impact from their personal brands and thought leadership. You can’t ignore thought leadership and building trust through content. It doesn’t just come from a logo. It’s worth the effort. Hours of work go into producing a show, but it’s so valuable. It generates leads for your business.
People don’t spend that much time reading blog posts or watching YouTube videos. But they are spending that time listening to podcasts. James firmly believes it is worth capitalizing on the length of time people are spending consuming a certain medium of content. It’s worth investing in. You can slice and dice it in so many ways.
Create ten episodes that are just you. Then start interviewing people and ask questions that are interesting to you. Be interested, be curious, approach your podcast as a journalist. You will see results.
Resources & People Mentioned
- Podcasting for Business: A 26-Step Process
- The Crafting Culture Podcast
- The Breaking Brand Podcast
- The Brandwagon Interviews
- Ann Handley
- Jay Baer
- Gaetano DiNardi
- Rand Fishkin