Do B2B Marketers Finally Have Their Go-To Podcast Technology?
I have a confession: I kind of have a love-hate relationship with podcasts. (Don’t tell Jay.)
From my past perspective as a content and communications executive, podcast episodes that featured our team were, on the one hand, incredibly juicy pieces of content. In casual conversation, interviewees brought the brand to life with simple, relatable eloquence. Each episode often featured several nuggets of highly quotable content that showed, rather than told, true thought leadership — as well as humor, personality, and passion. I immediately wanted to repurpose these nuggets across our company’s various media.
And therein lay the problem.
Extracting chunks of the “good stuff” from a 20 to 30-minute episode was time-consuming. And turning those quotes into usable content — a snazzy graphic, or a follow-on blog post, or a series of Tweets — took more time and coordination.
Frustratingly, each episode was full of good stuff. But accessing that stuff, incorporating it seamlessly into an overarching content strategy, and demonstrating its ROI? All that sometimes felt like more trouble than it was worth.
As it turns out, I am not the only one who has felt this way. Lindsay Tjepkema faced similar frustrations when interacting with and, even more so, creating her own podcast as VP of Brand and Content at a global SaaS company. Fortunately for me (and for B2B marketers everywhere), Lindsay decided to do something about it.
More Podcasts, More Problems
When she launched her podcast for her former employer, Lindsay was excited. She was speaking to customers, partners, and industry influencers, and she was getting great feedback. “But then,” she told Marketing Showrunners on a recent phone call, “I’ll never forget — I was in a meeting. It was the first of many where I went into a meeting with my CEO and was excited to give a rundown of how things were going. And he was like, ‘OK, I see that you’re spending a lot of time on this podcast, and I know you’re really passionate about it…but what’s it doing for our brand? What’s it actually doing for our bottom line?’”
Lindsay — loquacious, incredibly articulate, data-driven — was stumped.
“I didn’t have real numbers to share,” she said. “I had to do a song and dance about brand awareness. And that listenership is growing, and our number of downloads is growing. And he’s like, ‘Yeah, OK Lindsay, but what does that actually mean? What does that translate to? How can you attribute sales to this? Is it shortening our sales cycle? Is it driving any kind of revenue?’ And I had no numbers to show for it. And so, I was under pressure: could we even keep this show that I knew in my heart was something we needed to be doing?
To top that off, I had no way to get it in the hands of my sales team. I knew that we were leaving a lot of value…We had no way to unlock the content in every episode. It was, you know, publish it, onto the next. There was no real way to wring it out and get more out of it.”
The frustrating disconnect between podcasts’ potential and their practical challenges led Lindsay to start Casted, which she proudly, succinctly calls “the first B2B podcasting platform. Period.”
Why Podcasts, Anyway?
To back up: why did Lindsay and her Casted co-founders feel the opportunity was ripe to unlock potential for B2B marketers with podcasts?
It will come as no surprise to you, oh reader of a blog about marketers making shows, that there are a lot of people in this country who listen to podcasts: as of 2019, an estimated 91 million per month, according to Edison Research’s Infinite Dial report. According to this same report, today more people have listened to a podcast than have not.
To put it simply (and Lindsay did): “Where the audiences go, so too go the marketers.”
Lindsay felt that tug personally when she started her company podcast in her last job. “I felt in my gut that something was missing, even though we had this really rich content strategy,” she said. “And that thing that was missing was really our actual voice — it was the voice of our brand. And since podcasting is growing, and that’s where the listenership is, that’s where the audiences are, we had a unique opportunity to be able to get out there and reach those audiences in a new way.”
Solving the Podcast Puzzle
The Casted team helps B2B marketers tap into podcast-hungry audiences in a way that allows them both to maximize value from their podcasts and to demonstrate that value to company leadership and sales.
“We know that [when you create a show] you’re going to face three challenges,” said Lindsay. “You’re going to have a hard time unlocking that content, really wringing it out and getting more value from it by being able to use that content across other marketing channels. Right now, a podcast is a really siloed piece of content…It’s kind of locked up, because it’s this audio file that’s kind of trapped in an RSS feed that you can’t access unless you share the whole show.”
It’s a siloed piece of content for marketers, certainly — and even less accessible, in Lindsay’s experience, for sales teams that could ostensibly rely on the content embedded within an episode to engage with their customers and prospects.
“How do you get it into the hands of your sales team? How do you get it in front of them in a way that they can use…throughout the buyer’s journey to make that a two-way conversation and a real, meaningful interaction with the brand?” In Lindsay’s experience — and I doubt she’s alone — leveraging an entire episode was a lot to ask of a salesperson. “Let’s be honest,” Lindsay said. “They weren’t going and listening to the whole 30-minute show with their notebook, thinking, ‘How could I leverage this and how could I use this and tell someone: OK, 10 minutes in, this thing that we talked about today is really relevant in today’s show.’ That doesn’t happen, and then you’re asking again a lot of that salesperson — and a lot of the listener.”
And the third piece of the podcast puzzle: proving its value. “How can you get data from your podcast that’s relevant to you — metrics that matter for your B2B brand, for you as a marketer. Things like engagement, and brand interactions, and attribution, and ROI?”
Casted helps marketers tackle all three of these challenges.
99 Problems, But a Podcast Ain’t One
Once a marketer has created his or her show, Casted wants to help them maximize the value of that content. Every show published via Casted has an accompanying searchable transcription. What’s more, marketers can use Casted to create clips, which they can then leverage across their brand channels.
“For me as a marketer, I remember I had to go to my podcasting production agency and say, ‘Hey, can you cut a clip for me?’” Lindsay said. “And then that would take hours and hours, maybe a day or two, and then they’d send it back to me, and it wouldn’t be quite right, and I would have to have them clean it up. Instead of going through those cycles as the marketer myself, I can just get into Casted and highlight the transcript, and that’s a clip. And it’s done.”
The efficiency this creates is exciting — but so is the potential reach a single clip can have. “I can use that clip in myriad ways,” Lindsay explained. “I can share it on social media, I can embed it in a blog post, I can put it in my BDR and SDR sales cadences.”
Casted allows marketers to do more than share their podcasts. It also enables them to analyze podcasts beyond the typical vanity metrics — namely, downloads and listener dropoff rates — which many marketers feel don’t tell the full story of the show’s success.
“We are developing metrics ourselves about [questions like] how can I prove ROI, how can I show attribution, how can I show that this podcast is making an impact on the brand in a way that really, really matters for me as a B2B marketer?” said Lindsay. “And then also, how can we show through integrations with things like Salesforce and HubSpot and things like that, ‘Hey, sales team, this is the impact that a podcast is making?’ Over time, perhaps showing that the overall LTV [lifetime value] of a customer who listens to a podcast goes up, or the sales cycle is shorter, or the retention rates are higher, because they have more of a relationship with us.”
[Editor’s note: We at MSR have previously written an extensive analysis on why podcasts should be measured for their ability to “straighten the funnel” — not purely generate passive awareness or reach. This includes studying how the show increases an audience’s lifetime value to a brand and decreases customer acquisition costs via word-of-mouth referrals. Find the full writeup from MSR founder Jay Acunzo here.]
Creating Resonant Podcasts with Casted
At MSR, we’ve scanned the podcasting industry for tools that can serve the specific needs of marketers. And we’ve come up rather empty, as many platforms serve hobbyists and/or traditional media. It’s exciting to see a tool emerge that can help quantify the elements that matter most to marketing showrunners specifically: rewarding marketers with more permission and budget better serve their customers through the show. Ultimately, those elements will help uncover the kind of content that drives engagement and, in turn, transforms a casual listener into a brand advocate.
“The best way to create engagement is to create really, really, really great content,” said Lindsay. “And then leverage something like Casted — which, right now, is the only thing like Casted…so leverage Casted — to wring it out and use that conversation.”
Admittedly, Casted is just getting started, but Lindsay and team are excited to see both how early adopters use the platform and how they create a community that allows them to learn from one another. “We started an online community…called ‘Marketers with Mics,’” Lindsay said. “We’re inviting every marketer who has or is involved in a podcast to joint and to share best practices.”
The community aspect is just one of Lindsay’s many new initiatives as she looks to the months ahead for Casted. “What my hope is for our customers and what we’re absolutely doing is we’re saying, ‘Let’s put the podcast at the center of our content strategy; let’s put conversations at the center.’ And instead of having it be this auxiliary, siloed thing on the side, let’s start with a conversation and wring that out to be a blog post, and graphics, and social media content, and, and, and. Let’s start with a conversation at the center.”
We’re ready to get this conversation started. Are you?
A somewhat accidental marketer, I’m first and foremost a writer. I’ve spent a decade working with global brands to craft on-target content and streamline complex ideas into clear (and even…exciting?!) language. Now, I get to spend every day immersed in content and strategy here, as Managing Editor of Marketing Showrunners, at my company, Molly Donovan Content & Communications. I’m thrilled to be a part of this community of eager next-generation marketers and marketing showrunners.
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