B2B Marketers: Gearing Up For Podcasts?
Hey B2B marketers, sorry about the hiatus in blog postings of late. My new year’s resolution is to post more often. The other thing I’m going to try in the New Year is to take a closer look at the impact of emerging technologies on business marketing.
In keeping with the theme of the previous post, I plan to team up with my Forrester colleague, Brian Haven, and look at when podcasting may be better suited for B2B marketing. For a preview, watch for Brian’s soon-to-be-published research called “Making Podcasts Work For Your Brand” where he highlights 9 techniques for creating successful podcasts.
As I look down the list, the vast majority of his advice applies equally to B2B marketers even though his examples are oriented toward companies that sell to consumers. I would expand on his advice to start by immersing yourself in existing podcast content with the modifier “industry content” – and actively follow who and what your target audiences may be listening to or watching. Instead of iTunes, Odeo, or Yahoo!, B2B marketers should look to partners like TechTarget or KnowledgeStorm to build broader reach. Again, your choice will depend on your industry and audience.
While B2B marketers may be eager to hone their podcasting skills, I think the real challenge lies in understanding which of podcasting’s many forms will boost business marketers’ ability to reach and engage their prospective buyers. B2B marketers sometimes overlook how people – not companies – make buying decisions and fail to establish emotional connections with their buyers. They push features and capabilities in their marketing communications, not stories about how their buyers succeed and feel like heroes by using their products.
This is where podcasting – the use of rich, interesting, but easy-to-digest audio and video content delivered over the Web – can help build or reinforce those connections with customers. But only if the B2B marketer understands where to apply podcasting in their buyer’s typically long and complex buying processes.
Besides internal communications, training, and product demonstrations, what innovative uses of audio or video have you seen business marketers use successfully? What makes for a truly compelling customer testimonial when it’s produced in a podcast versus carried live in a Web seminar or teleconference? Let us know what you think because Brian and I will be back later with some interesting research findings and advice.