The face of content marketing and content consumption has seen a shift, with audiences showing a rapid increase in preference for video and audio content.

We spoke with Logan Lyles of Sweet Fish Media in this episode to discuss the various ways in which B2B marketers can use podcasts to enhance their content marketing efforts. Have a quick listen!

Key Takeaways from the episode:

  1. A lot of folks in B2B sales are finding it very tough to break through the noise to connect with their target accounts. Having your own podcast gives your team the unique ability and often times the ability for sales too to break in to new accounts starting with the aim of interviewing your ideal clients on your podcast.
  2. The big reason we see audio content  gaining attention is because of the nature of the way that we live and do work these days. 
  3. The timing for podcasting is really really good as we touched upon. But the thing I would encourage folks to think about is this idea of content based networking where you collaborate with your ideal clients and potential referral partners to create content.

Here’s the complete transcription:

Paroma (00:13): Hi Logan, I am Paroma, welcome to DemandMatrix podcast series  titled Sunny Side-up.We are really happy to have you here today. How are you?

Logan(00:21) : I am doing fantastic Paroma,thank you so much for the opportunity to join you on your podcast.

Paroma(00:26) : It is a pleasure for all of us here and what we want to begin with is  getting the audience to know little bit about you, so could you take a moment and tell us about yourself and also what lead you to your role at Sweet Fish Media.

Logan(00:40) : Yes! Absolutely! I graduated college in 2008. It wasn’t a great time to hit the job market with a journalism degree, when that industry was going through a lot of changes. I had my eye on marketing because I felt like a marketer living in a sales person’s body because of my journalism background and with my background in creating content over the last couple of of years, James the founder of Sweet Fish Media and i struck up a friendship and it was through a mutual connection that we got connected. I saw the way Sweet Fish Media was growing as a podcasting agency and the timing was right in the last few months for me to jump on as both a co-host of our podcast and to drive partnerships for the agency.  I head up our partnerships with marketing agencies that we have. What kind of led me to it is you know, I saw the business model and this seemed to make a lot of sense. It was just a very good fit so it was a combination of things and like i said, kind of interesting right to go from journalism to sales but then a podcast agency obviously was good and this is the B2B marketing space…this is kind of how I got here. 

Paroma (02:40) : So that’s been an interesting ride for you. And could you elaborate on the core problem that your company solves? 

Logan (02:47) : Absolutely. So the way I explain podcasting is it’s really a double edged sword. We’re helping our clients both with their content marketing efforts because it takes both quantity and quality these days to stand out in a crowded market. The other side of it is from a sales perspective, a lot of folks in B2B sales are finding it very tough to break through the noise to connect with their target accounts. Having your own podcast gives your team the unique ability often times for sales to break in to new accounts with the relationship of interviewing your ideal clients on your podcast. Marketing can reap the benefits of a system that helps them produce more content that is of quality because you’re interviewing folks from your ideal target profile from within your audience that you’re trying to sell to. So we help with sales and marketing alignment and help both of them to get the benefits out of having their own podcast for their brand.

Paroma(03:52) : Okay! So that’s interesting. There also has been a rising preference for audio and video content ,you know. And the next question revolves around this. Where do you see this trend evolve over time?  So where you see entire video and audio trend move to?

Logan(04:21) : So the big reason we see audio content  gaining attention is because of the nature of the way that we live and do work these days. You know when I was a B2B sales rep for an office equipment dealership I oftentimes found myself consuming audio content whether that was podcasts or audio books because I could consume that content passively. You know I spent a lot of time driving and traveling and there are a lot of instances like that where whether you’re in sales or you’re a busy executive travelling or you’re just like all of us in Europe. You’re doing a lot of different things every day. There are a lot of opportunities where you could consume audio content, where you wouldn’t be able to watch a video or read a blog post. You know I mentioned driving, you can even listen to one while walking the dog or going for a run. And my favorite – washing the dishes as I’m trying to gain a few brownie points around the house getting some stuff done for the family but also being able to consume content that’s both good for professional and personal development at the same time.

Paroma(05:26) : Tha’ts interesting ,so when it comes  to podcasts for specially B2B companies, how would you say it helps overall content marketing efforts and goals in content marketing for any B2B sales & marketing team. How can a podcast help more. 

Logan(05:47) : Yeah so I think it’s twofold. The first is, it creates this flywheel of content. You know a podcast is an audio content oftentimes if there’s a lower barrier of entry to create that content both from a time perspective you know 30 minutes oftentimes is plenty of time to produce a podcast interview where you know creating that same amount of content in an engaging format in video would take a lot more time. It would also typically consume a lot more of the budget because you know it kind of goes back to your last question on you know where things are going with audio and video. There are a lot of folks who haven’t yet been putting out video content and now they’re kind of rushing to put video content out. But oftentimes it’s not content that’s really suited for that format. I don’t know about you but I have trouble sitting in front of a screen for 30 minutes just watching video, maybe the audio content is engaging but the video doesn’t really add anything to it. So I think there’s that trend as well. But with the podcast you know because audio interviews can be very very approachable. It allows for you to know that core piece of content that can be created quickly and easily. One thing we help our clients do as you know is repurpose that content into written content that can be distributed in channels that you own and in channels that you don’t own. You know that one conversation can be turned into a long form status update on LinkedIn. It can be turned into a 1000 word blog post both of which could link back to your podcast. Obviously sharing each episode on social. If you have an interview with someone where they break down something pretty technical or or go through some stats it’s an easy way to get that content out. And now that can become  an infographic or some other piece of content. So you kind of start in the middle with this core piece of audio content which is growing in listenership but then it can be customized into multiple different ways and morphed for different channels. The other benefit is that you know with an interview based podcast we help our clients with this idea that we call content based networking and basically we define it as collaborating with ideal clients, potential referral partners and industry influencers to build meaningful relationships by creating content together. So when you approach it this way you’re actually getting the one to many of content marketing benefits, as you mentioned there’s no B2B brand or modern marketing department or agency that isn’t doing content marketing. But when you pair that with collaborating and creating content not in a vacuum, not with your marketing department in a conference room trying to think of what is going to be relevant content for your buyers but going out to your potential buyers interviewing them on your podcast, your crowdsourcing, your content strategy, but you’re also getting a one to one relationship that you might not have had otherwise. That’s the other aspect and I think that’s a part this content based networking idea but a lot of folks aren’t necessarily thinking about that as a benefit of producing audio content as well.

Paroma(09:20) : Yeah! So you know I have a quick question right about here. So you know over time what we saw is that every brand’s started maintaining a regular blog on the Website. And that’s sort of become a given all over the world. So a quick question. Do you see podcasts taking the same route eventually?

Logan(09:58) : Well absolutely, I just saw a post someone tagged me on in on Twitter this past week that alluded to that same fact and that’s something that our founder James and I have been talking to a lot of folks about, that podcasting feels a lot like blogging did 10 years ago. You know not  everyone was doing it, HubSpot led the charge by showing you know if you put out a lot of content what can happen. Now blogging is a lot more crowded. And I think in the next 10 years maybe even in just the next five years podcasting is going to follow suit. You know some marketers say that you know we as marketers ruin everything so maybe that will happen with podcasting. There will be a podcasting overload. But that tends to be you know the case with anything anytime there’s new waters. Eventually it gets crowded but the good news for marketers right now is that the space isn’t overly crowded yet, there’s room for you to kind of tread out to those open waters and claim some space in your niche in the market that you’re trying to own. When it comes to podcasting, because it’s not crowded yet. So the timing feels really great. So that’s why we’re encouraging marketers to take advantage of that opportunity of the timing because you’re right, it is going to likely follow suit with blogging and video content. But if you look at other platforms like YouTube and content creators that were early who have gained and maintained a large following. So if you want to build and sustain an audience over the long haul, oftentimes being the first to a given platform or a given medium really gives you the leverage. So I think there’s an opportunity here for a lot of marketers.

Paroma (11:51): That’s an interesting insight. So let me ask you next what according to you should content marketers  exploring the idea of podcasting keep in mind when they are setting up their shows? And also what are some of the common falls you probably observed because you are in this space and you help to B2B brands setup a podcast channel, and you know that probably a lot of the common struggles and obstacles they are facing in terms of not only setting up the channel but how to reach out to the people they want to. So what is your take on all of this.

Logan (12:22): There are a lot of things I think we could break down there Paroma. The first is you mentioned what’s a mistake that folks make when thinking about their podcast. And I think the biggest one is you know thinking about the theme and the direction and even the branding of your podcast. And I think you are going to build an audience much more readily if you focus less on your company and less on your product and focus more on your ideal buyers and theme, a show around what’s important to them. For instance we are a podcast agency but we don’t have a podcast about podcasting. We have a podcast about the name of our show – B2B Growth. It is all about challenges that B2B marketing and sales leaders are facing in growing their companies so we kind of went one level above our service to look at the category and the buyers that we serve and what do they care about. Does podcasting come into that conversation. Sure it does sometimes but our show isn’t just about our  service. And we’ve been able to build a great audience there. Your other point about you know what what folks can do early on. I think if you, if you follow this methodology of thinking about a podcast that could be really geared toward your ideal buyers. Think about theming your show around your buyer and then you’ll be able to connect with the right audience as well as the right guests that you that you want to build relationships with.

Paroma (14:15):That’s very interesting so you know you did mention before that you also very comfortable with content marketing through linkedin as a channel. How can  one optimize the channel and do something different?

Logan (14:31): Yeah, So I think what a lot of folks do with their podcast, with their webinars, with their blogs is they go to promote it on social. Right. And LinkedIn is a big part of that because B2B buyers are there every day scrolling through that feed. And so a lot of folks are posting about this other content on LinkedIn. And what I see a lot of folks doing that they could make a small tweak that could bring a lot of a lot of benefit. Don’t just post a link to your podcast episode or post a link to your webinar and say check it out. And at best maybe tease the content. You know we interview so-and-so of this agency and they talk about these three things you can do to double your revenue in the next 12 months. A lot of times what people are trying to do is get those click-throughs as well one LinkedIn specifically doesn’t favor those posts actually post without links in in the update itself and text only posts get further reach on their algorithm because they’re favoring posts that aren’t pushing people off of their platform. And the other thing to think about is you know a lot of folks that see that post aren’t going to click through. So what we have done and what we’ve helped our clients do is actually share the value of your other assets. Be it a webinar or a podcast episode. Share the value of that in your LinkedIn post instead of just putting a link and teasing the content. If you break down these strategies, that can help double your traffic share. And some marketers will say well it will be tougher for us to get clicks if we don’t put a link in the post or if we put it in the first comment which is kind of a hack on LinkedIn that you can use. And what we found is that most people aren’t going to click through anyway. So you’re going to get more views by writing it in a way that ensures it does, in the way that people consume the content and link, you actually share the value. More people are seeing it, more people are associating that content and that value with your brand. So the long game works a lot more effectively so that’s one strategy for promoting your podcast or other asset specifically on LinkedIn that we’ve seen a lot of results with.

Paroma (16:52): Pretty interesting Logan and I think your insights were pretty useful too, especially the ones on podcasting. Is there anything else you’d want to share with our audience before we wrap up for the day?

Logan (17:10):I I think that like you said the timing for podcasting is really really good as we touched upon. But the thing I would encourage folks to think about is this idea of content based networking where you collaborate with your ideal clients and potential referral partners to create content.One- it creates better content for your audience because you’re crowdsourcing it from your ideal audience but it’s also giving you one to one relationships at the same time you know. Podcasting is a great tool for that. We’re big proponents of it obviously. But it’s something that you can work in to your content marketing whether you have a podcast or not. You can use content based networking with your blog, with webinars, with virtual summits or a video series. So think about ways that you can create content with people from your target market from your ideal customer profile to create content for more of your audience. Whether it’s a podcast, a blog, a webinar a video series there are a lot of ways that you can apply this idea of content as is. 

Paroma (18:17) :Thank you so much Logan for spending this time with us and it was great having you. I hope to catch you soon.

Logan(18:23) :Thank you so much. This has been a pleasure.

Logan Lyles is the Co-Host of B2B Growth on iTunes at Sweet Fish Media. The company helps B2B brands produce podcasts.

About the podcast

Sunny Side Up is a series of 15-minute podcasts. Leaders and innovators share what they’ve learned in the B2B tech sector on topics related to marketing, product management, sales, and leadership.

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