If you’re a B2B marketer, launching or featuring on a podcast therefore presents an excellent opportunity to grow your business – and build your authority while doing so.
Best of all, you won’t have to do extensive research to join the bandwagon. If you reach out and engage with the right podcasters, sharing your knowledge and experience will be enough.
But if you’d like to start a podcast of your own and are reluctant to do it solo, an interview podcast is very likely to do the trick! It’s simple to run and highly effective as a lead generation tool, since most people love sharing their stories.
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By building relationships with your guests and listeners, you’ll create a strong, consistent influx of leads.
B2B Lead Generation: Quality over Quantity
You may be tempted to try and reach as large an audience as possible, but successful marketing is about staying focused. It’s always better to target individuals who are most likely to convert into leads.
Quality Is Persuasive
A high-quality lead is someone you can convince with relative ease to make a purchase. There are a few differentiating qualities that people find persuasive:
- Authority: People respect those they perceive as knowledgeable. This will depend greatly on their views, but fortunately, like seeks like. If you can get people to consider you an expert and start talking about you, your leads will gradually convert their friends and acquaintances into leads as well. Never underestimate the power of consensus.
- Personality: Everyone has a unique voice and style, so the challenge is to make your audience familiar with yours. It’s a given that you should try to be likeable, but you also need to be consistent. You want people to know and trust your brand, which means it must be recognisable at all times.
- Scarcity: Whatever you’re selling, there probably are others selling it too. You must distinguish yourself from the competition, which means offering a unique value proposition – something that can’t be found anywhere else. The more effort you put into making or delivering something, the more you’ll impress your clientele.
Knowing what makes people tick is good, but knowing how to apply that knowledge is better.
Persuasion in Practice
Attracting high-quality leads requires high-quality content. Keeping the three aforementioned differentiating qualities in mind, you must do two things:
- Find a niche
- Target a relevant audience
You don’t need to do this in any particular order. The important thing to remember is that high-quality content is specific. This is why we recommend that you specialize in any given field – if you only have general or broad knowledge of a topic, it’s impossible to produce detailed and valuable content.
Similarly, you can’t target a general or broad audience and expect to have much success. Why bother with specializing if you’re not going to play to your strengths? Instead, find an audience that will clearly benefit from whichever product or service you’re offering.
Once your niche and target audience align, don’t try to produce as much content as you can to satisfy every possible need. Doing this could be counterproductive.
Start by analysing the market to see what type of content would be the most valuable. Find your potential clients’ pain points and determine which they most badly want addressed. They have a problem, so you’re going to offer them a solution.
For example, let’s say you’re a life coach and your target audience are small business owners. You may be dealing with people who lack the confidence and experience of larger business owners. They will likely be stressed about growing their businesses and may neglect things in their daily routines like sleeping properly and maintaining good posture. You could appeal to their desire to succeed by informing them how their poor habits are influencing their energy and motivation. You can then proceed by offering them simple yet effective techniques to improve on these – at a price within an affordable range, naturally.
Because your target audience can’t pay you as much as larger, more established business owners, you’d likely depend on a higher frequency of clients to make up the difference, emphasizing how accessible and valuable your services are.
In the context of using interview podcasts to promote your business, you can host your own podcast or appear on someone else’s as a guest. You can even do both! But before you reach this stage, it will be a good idea to have a lead magnet in place to attract more customers. That’s the foundation of this strategy.
1. How to Create a Tentpole Lead Magnet
Make Your Download Enticing
People often limit their lead magnets to newsletter subscriptions or account creation, but because it’s so common, it probably won’t cut the mustard. People tend to be more responsive to calls to action (CTAs) when they receive something in exchange – who doesn’t like freebies?
Your download should preferably be something that adds value, which people can use right away. Some of the most successful examples include:
In fact, you could even combine some of these.
To continue with the life coach example from earlier, you could write an eBook detailing the importance of enough sleep. Your eBook can also include a scorecard to quantify the value of a night’s sleep and keep track of sleeping patterns.
Content marketing is a highly effective way to generate leads, but there are alternatives. Instead of creating content, you could also offer discounts, free membership trials, complimentary consultations, and so on.
Choose what is best for your business. As long as you’re offering something of value, it will do the trick. For the purpose of this article, we’ll proceed with a scenario where the lead magnet is a download of some sort.
Set up an Email Capture with the Download
Lead magnets exist to identify your leads, but you need to take further action to capitalize on their success. Regardless of what you’re offering, you want to collect the emails of those who answer your CTA, since this will give you access to their inbox and allow you to market to them directly.
The most efficient email capture systems consist of three parts:
- Landing page: You need a dedicated page for offering your download and convincing leads that it’s worthwhile giving you their email. The best way to do this is explaining what people can expect and describing how they would benefit from following through with the process. This page can be static or you can employ a chatbot to conduct the exchange.
- Thank-you page: You appreciate it when someone supports your business by downloading your content, so show them some gratitude! A thank-you page doesn’t need to be complex, though it still offers an opportunity to engage with your leads even more. Share the links to your social media and ask if they would be interested in arranging a meeting with you. If you haven’t already offered something like a discount or once-off free service, it’s good to do it at this point. People are more likely to see this as a sign of your genuine gratitude – which it is – than another marketing tactic.
- Delivery email: While it’s not uncommon to provide the download on the thank-you page, it will be very helpful to send an email that provides it as well. If you offered a discount, it could be a code that they must now redeem. And since you can now reach them directly, be sure to follow up with a series of emails to keep them engaged. We’ll elaborate more on this later.
2. Starting a B2B Interview Podcast
Now that your lead magnet is up and running, you can focus on driving leads toward it by starting work on your podcast. The more specialized the podcast, the more planning and research is required to generate topics for their episodes. Interview podcasts are so alluring because of the relative ease it takes to run them.
This is not to say interview podcasts require neither planning nor research, but since you’re interviewing guests, they will generate your topics for you. Each interview is a unique conversation, which means each new episode will be original and interesting.
Furthermore, conversations let people bond and learn more about one another. By inviting someone onto your podcast to have a conversation, you’ll build your relationship with them and their followers. This is an excellent method of expanding your network of contacts and growing your business.
Perhaps the thought of hosting a show with interviews unnerves you.
Well, if you can ask someone questions and respond naturally to their answers, you can conduct an interview! As stated previously, an interview is just a conversation, and we have conversations with people every day. Prior podcasting experience would obviously be useful, but it’s not a train smash if you’re new to this.
A better thought for concern is what role you want your guest to play:
- Do you want to interview potential leads?
- Do you want them to help convert your listeners into leads?
Guests as Leads
Inviting prospects for an interview is a fantastic way of getting them to trust you. It provides you with an opportunity to display your expertise in real time by discussing their problems and how you can help them. And while many business owners arrange meetings to discuss the solutions they offer, how many of your competitors would go as far as to invite potential clients onto a podcast?
Your interview will be an intimate setting, so don’t just work on landing the sale – try to get your guests to confide in you. By learning more about their wants and needs, you may also learn more about your target audience. Even if you don’t, you’ll confirm that you know your market well, which will reinforce your authority.
Your guests will likely have connections with other members of your target audience, so ask them for referrals to others who would be interested in an interview. If you successfully do business with a guest after their interview, their enthusiasm will serve as a boon to you. If not, then you still get access to more prospects anyway. There are no failures; every episode aired is an accomplishment that counts in your favour.
Listeners as Leads
Although interviewing potential clients will display your authority enough to generate some leads from within your audience, it won’t be enough if converting the listeners is your main goal. To truly impress your following, you must make the show as authoritative as possible. This means convincing well-known experts in your niche to appear as guests.
These experts will provide the best opportunities to hold in-depth discussions on specialized topics, which is the most compelling content you can create when running an interview podcast. What’s more, these individuals will lend their authority to your podcast by virtue of association. In other words, their appearance is an indirect endorsement of your authority, since they hold you in enough esteem to spend some of their valuable time talking to you.
The showcasing of your considerable authority combined with the reputation of your guests will convince your audience that you’re a true expert. That’s exactly what you want, as it will make the listeners so much more likely to seek out your products or services to satisfy their needs.
Note that your guests don’t need to be directly linked to your niche to be effective. The life coach in our earlier example could naturally interview other life coaches for their podcast. The resulting conversations would certainly be engaging, especially if different approaches and experiences are discussed. However, any expert that offers relevant insights, such as a personal trainer or psychologist, would be appropriate.
3. Guesting on Other People’s Podcasts
Statistics from Edison research show that more than half of all podcast listeners in America spend in excess of three hours listening to podcasts every week. This makes podcasting an outstanding marketing opportunity – and not just for the host!
How to Become a Podcast Guest
Featuring on someone else’s podcast requires a simple process that can be broken down into three general steps:
- Find relevant shows: There’s no point being a guest on a podcast that’s unrelated to your niche. You can do tailored searches on podcasting platforms to find appropriate podcasts yourself (analytical tools would allow you to search even more narrowly), but you can also try asking your existing clientele what industry-specific podcasts they are listening to.
- Prepare for your appearance: Improvising a guest appearance is rarely a good idea. In fact, the best way to impress any host with your professionalism is to use a media kit. Media kits contain all the information that a host would need, such as your biographies, contact details, and potential topics.
- Reach out to a host: Unless you’re famous in your industry, you probably won’t receive frequent invites to appear on podcasts. As such, it’s up to you to pitch yourself to a host. You’ll want to write a concise, well-crafted email – make the subject line interesting, start with an introduction, and comment on a previous episode. This commentary shows that you’ve made an effort to learn more about the podcast. It also gives you the opportunity to share your opinions and then segue into your actual pitch. Be sure to provide several topics as options, since this will improve your odds of being successful.
Promote Your Tentpole Download
One of the most important things to remember about guesting on a podcast is that your goal is to generate leads, not make sales – that only comes later. You’re there to display your authority in your niche and subsequently gain new followers.
Promoting your lead magnet is acceptable and even expected, but keep the mention brief. Your website and the download’s URL should be easy to say and remember, since you won’t have many opportunities to share it. You can ask the host to provide the link with their episode.
Just understand that the listeners will visit your website if/once they’re interested. Your job should rather be to ensure that those who do visit and download your content don’t slip through the cracks.
4. Following Up
Previously, we explained the importance of having an email deliver the download. This will give you access to someone’s inbox, so make the best of it. After all, a lead in itself means nothing without a follow-up!
Stay in Touch via Email
You got people’s attention, but now, you have to keep it. This is where an automated email series comes in, which you can create with any email marketing tool. Have an email sent frequently enough that you won’t be forgotten, but maintain intervals no smaller than three days between each to avoid annoying the recipients.
Here is an example of a basic email series you could use:
- Some time after your delivery email, ask your lead how they’re experiencing the download. Encourage them to ask any questions and share any feedback they have;
- Later still, share more relevant information, be it a useful case study or a report from a satisfied client. Ask if they’d like to connect with you on social media. (You can send as many of these between the previous and following suggestions as you like.)
- Proceed to the next step in your sales funnel. This could be something like suggesting a consultation, offering a workshop, and so on. You can also link to another lead magnet, since you know there’s a good chance the individual will be interested.
Connect on LinkedIn
You invited your leads to connect with you on social media, and LinkedIn is the best place to continue building your relationship with them.
Your company page should be personalized so that your leads can easily find you. Sharing any content your business has created and promoting your lead magnets will reinforce your brand presence, leaving no room for doubt about your involvement with the platform.
Naturally, you also want to communicate with your leads. Initiate conversations when you think someone may be interested! You can also use hashtags and mentions to share your business’s views on certain topics and to update your leads on important developments.
5. Getting Listeners Engaged
Even though you have an excellent lead magnet and have made yourself known to your target audience (irrespective of whose podcast you used), it never hurts to capture interest in as many ways as possible.
Offer Rewards for Engaging with Your Business
When you’re offering a reward to your target audience for interacting with your brand, two ways of doing this come to mind, giveaways and contests.
Naturally, a contest’s viability will depend greatly on your niche. A life coach may have difficulty coming up with something appropriate. On the other end of the spectrum, a graphic design company could offer a free design in a certain category, like a logo or user avatar. This can serve as a prize to the individuals who submit the best concepts based on a prompt, or the best representations of a given theme.
The basis of the contest is that getting people to participate makes them care about your business. Since you’re showing that you value their input, it will also make them feel like you are similarly interested in social interaction. Stoking enthusiasm is fantastic for building brand loyalty, which makes contests particularly marketable.
The giveaway is the more generally applicable option. Any business can hold one, where a number of randomly selected participants will receive a prize for completing a set of requirements. Most frequently, a giveaway will entail that people comment on and share a specific post across various social media platforms.
Giveaways are much easier to organize and run than contests, and they also draw a wider pool of participants. Although they depend on opportunism more than passion, the exposure a business enjoys as a result makes them very appealing and widely implemented.
Gauge Your Audience’s Opinions and Dedication
Polls are a popular way of getting your audience to share their opinion – something people typically enjoy doing – and showing them that you care about their views. Besides that, they’re genuinely useful for optimizing blogs and article titles by revealing what appeals to your audience the most.
Surveys offer an even more in-depth opportunity to study your audience’s thoughts and feelings. They’re best used to determine your clientele’s needs and satisfaction, as well as offering the opportunity for suggestions for improvement. Surveys can be as long as necessary, but the more time-consuming they are, the fewer people will complete them.
Quizzes require more specialized contexts than either polls or surveys, and for this reason, they aren’t as commonly used. Despite this, they can be very entertaining to those who enjoy a challenge, though a quiz should avoid being overly difficult as much as it should avoid being frivolous.
All three of these options lend themselves well to being incentivized by a giveaway. In fact, many giveaways include some manner of poll or survey that needs to be completed or shared. The more you engage with your listeners, the more effective your lead magnets will become.
B2B lead generation benefits from quality more than quantity, and interview podcasts truly are an effective means of generating high-quality leads. Whether you’re running one or simply featuring as a guest, you’ll find your tentpole download yielding more results than you initially thought possible.
Of course, you do still need to invest time and effort into your endeavors to ensure they succeed. If you want to streamline the process of implementing an interview podcast in your marketing strategy, Call for Content’s B2B Podcasting Playbook can guide you along.