Brian Carroll

Lesson’s learned from Podcasting

If you plan on entering the world of podcasting or want to make yours better, you can read what I’ve learned in my MarketingProfs article, "Lessons Learned from Podcasting."

Similar to blogging, podcasting is a medium that B2B marketers remain on the fence about. Are they worth the time investment? Should you start a podcast to generate leads? I would say probably not, at least if that’s your only motivation.

Podcasts work because they have an appeal of authenticity. There is power in the human voice. And that’s why they are a great way to positively inform and educate your audience. If that’s a goal you have, then read on.

Think of podcasts as content pieces to use as part a lead nurturing program. If you’re going to start podcasting don’t just do one and see what happens. A good podcast requires a commitment to do more than one to build your audience.

Here are some podcast ideas you can try:

  • Ideas or tips of the day, week or month
  • Talk radio complete with topic and call-in listeners
  • Short interviews with thought leaders and industry experts
  • Recording speeches, webinars or teleconferences for later distribution
  • Promote an upcoming event by giving a preview of the speaker or content

I’ve done a number of podcasts and learned that my listeners don’t have time for 20 minute podcasts. For future podcasts, I’m going to break them into shorter bite sized segments. Also, I’m exploring some technologies that allow smart tagging of audio so people can skip ahead or click into the specific audio content they believe is relevant.  Any suggestions here would be welcome.

Did you know that most people don’t listen to podcasts via MP3 players? The majority still listen from their desktops instead. That’s a good thing if your using them for lead nurturing. We’ve found that sending links to the podcast audio file via email (as part of a nurturing program) along with a short message is an effective way to reach more listeners.

Ultimately, your reasons for podcasting may be to use your content for lead generation, but I urge you to begin with a heart to make a difference with your audience. If you begin with that in mind, your efforts to inform and educate will be obvious and you’ll increase the odds that your audience will keep listening.

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Lead Generation, Lead Nurturing, Marketing Strategy, Podcasting, Sales Leads, Thought Leadership



  1. November 16th, 2007 at 14:21 | #1

    We’ve also had a great response from podcasts, in particular as a part of campaign specific nurturing programs. For example, we did a webinar where we had a lot of questions that we didn’t have time for, so we did an “After the Show” podcast with our speakers to address some of those questions. Or for another webinar on ROI, we followed-up with a podcast on how other marketers are addressing the challenge of metrics.

    A good place to start is to continue the conversation on topics that prospects have already expressed interest in, be it downloading a white paper, attending a webinar, etc.

  2. November 16th, 2007 at 14:31 | #2

    Those are great ideas! Thanks for sharing.

  3. November 17th, 2007 at 17:28 | #3

    I think some of your ideas are dead on but some are not.. We been doing a show for one year and your right you have to build your listeners some of them like what we have to say but some choose to come to the site and listen to just the interview of the guest we have on that week.

    Breaking up a podcast is stupid if they want to listen then have them listen to the show the whole show..

    I have one more tip GO LIVE and do your show this was your fans or listeners can comment on your show, getting a 800 number is cheap just have it fwd to your home phone and take calls this way.

    You said posdcast don’t bring in leads well your wrong on this one our show has sponsors and lots of cool guest on it. I would say if you’re going to do a podcast 1 or 2 shows a month will not work you have to give them something once a week if you don’t your listeners will drop off and you will be talking to yourself.

    Submitting your show is the key find podcast sites that will let you post a RSS feed of your show.

    And this is the key make it fun don’t just do a random rant and say i’m done you have to have topic’s news, sports, or current events..

    Getting back to breaking up your show in 20 min deals don’t do it that’s why it’s called a podcast you can always download it or listen when you have time or take it with you or if you have a iphone you can listen from it if you have a itunes feed…

  4. November 19th, 2007 at 11:55 | #4

    I know that Paul Dunay of Buzz Marketing for Technology (buzzmarketingfortech.blogspot.com) does a podcast program that includes chapters. I believe he uses veotag (www.veotag.com).

    In addition to lead nurturing/lead generation, couldn’t the podcast content help from a SEO perspective, especially if all the podcasts focus on a particular topic?

  5. November 30th, 2007 at 09:31 | #5

    I think that the main thing here is to remember that authenticity is essential. B2B customers are cynical and pretty good at detecting anything that looks like an attempt to sell to them. In the end it’s about providing some value with the content. A podcast doesn’t have to be overly complex, it just needs to be interesting and provide some worthy insights. If consumers are coming to your site to listen to your podcast, a good web site should take care of the selling for you…

  6. December 4th, 2007 at 03:34 | #6

    Thanks for sharing it with us. Podcasting is a new way to generate lead. Through podcast we can educate customers more about the product. The reach should be very specific. May be it is useful, when company releases new product, the existing customers can be reached trough podcast.

  7. December 10th, 2007 at 07:36 | #7

    While it seems like podcasting is everywhere on the Internet, I think the world has yet to catch on. But you present some great ideas to at least get started. Personally, I like the first one about ideas or tips of the day. It’s something a little more practical and something an ordinary person might give attention to.

  8. January 1st, 2008 at 17:52 | #8

    I go back and forth as to whether I want to podcast as the written word holds a different romance to the spoken word. At the same time, live casts and vocal explanations hold a power that cannot be set in type.

    I have thought about podcasting on three of my blogs.

    For sales coaching and training coaches a series of sales trainings would really benefit from a vocal presentation.

    On my Wine Blog I was thinking of doing a series on Wine Club parties and people tasting wine and commenting through the cast. I also thought I might challenge the audience to interact via a conferene line live, having their own clubs taste the wine at the same time.

    On my cooking blog I thougt it would be fun to post recipes for a meal, then have a podcast of the preparation for a dinner party and get feedback from the guests as they ate the food.

    Anyways, as far as a lead generation tool, I think it is more of a branding tool for marketing. While leads can come in, and all marketing tools should generate leads, I would not consider it a consistent source anymore than a commercial or an advertisement.

    All the best in 2008,

    Karl Goldfield

    Coaching Sales Champions
    http://karlgoldfield.blogspot.com

    Karl and Aisha’s Excellent Wine Adventure
    http://excellentwine.blogspot.com

  9. January 2nd, 2008 at 13:18 | #9

    Dear Brian,

    Timely and very nice post. Funny, but I just posted on the same topic but was a bit more critical of business podcasts based on our client base experiences in 2007. If interested, check out:

    http://www.pacifica-group.com/2008/01/podcasting_lower_priority_on_t.php

    I do agree with you the they’re best suited to lead nurturing and not customer acquisition.

    All the best.
    Sridhar

  10. January 3rd, 2008 at 03:00 | #10

    I agree with you when you say that the human voice has some appeal on it that draws in people. It’s the authenticity that a human is behind the site and everything makes it of interest. Podcasting has come a long way and many marketers have utilized it in their online ventures and for sure, it’s here to stay.

  11. January 3rd, 2008 at 16:36 | #11

    I was just watching a video blog of an MIT professor that can automate voice tones and moods. The tone of your voice is the ultimate sales tool or the demise of the sale. I am new to blogging and just now learning the tool used for B2B networking. Podcasting should be a great tool if you have that radio voice that is interesting and people enjoy listening. But majority of the time people don’t have the voice. http://hotcookies.net

  12. January 11th, 2008 at 14:12 | #12

    If done correctly, podcasting can be incredibly successful. You must have 2 main ingredients: commitment to an ongoing series with feedback from listeners and great audio presence.

    With these in place, podcasting is a fantastic and inexpensive way to reach your audience. We launched our podcast series, “Sales Warrior,” eight months ago in conjunction with an online community. It’s a great way for us to stay engaged with existing clients and gives prospects a way to “sample” our content.

    At the end of the day, you must provide great content that people find valuable. If you do that on a regular basis in a dynamic way, you will be successful.

    Cheers!
    Renay Picard

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