At the start of Xero Hour episode 15, co-host Saul Colt jokes that he’s run out of guests to interview for the show because everyone is either busy or not answering his calls these days. In this installment of the show has no recourse but to interview his co-host, Bob Knorpp.
Such a move works because Knorpp is a consummate expert in podcasting. Through the 44-minute long show he sheds wisdom about how to create a podcast that engages listeners, and how to thoughtfully position podcasting in your B2B marketing plan.
Colt presents the notion that we are in the midst of a golden age of podcasting because there are so many podcasts out there covering such a broad range of topics. Podcasting is indeed on the way up these days according to a recent study by Edison Research which found that 39 million Americans listen to at least one podcast a month. Knorpp disagrees, however, and says that while there are a lot of podcasts, there isn’t a big groundswell of breakout shows happening just yet.
That being said, Knorpp goes into the virtues of podcasting over traditional broadcast. With podcasting, you don’t have to create content for a massive audience because it’s more directed to specific niche interests. Podcasting is for small audiences and made on a small budget, which is different from a big radio show where you might have millions of listeners.
But podcasting isn’t for everyone. Using Howard Stern as an example, for him podcasting seems like a waste of time because he wouldn’t be able to reach as many people as he needs to. But with filmmaker Kevin Smith, it’s a different story. For Smith, podcasting allowed him to reconnect with his creative side and gave his audience access Smith never allowed before.
If you do want to start a podcast, Knorpp says you need to first consider your metrics for success. If you’re creating content for a business-oriented audience, think about what you’re trying to achieve and build up from there. But the most important factor that determines podcasting success is entertainment value. Facts and info are all well and good, but listeners need more to be engaged.
“When you’re (putting a show out there), it needs to be about the entertainment value first and you need to consider that even before you get to the information,” says Knorpp. “Sure, you want to make it as informative and helpful as possible if it’s a business-oriented podcast, but people don’t just listen to podcasts for information. They listen to it to be entertained while they drive, or run, or go for a walk, or sit at their desk, and you need to think about that.”
Talent acquisition is essential as well. The right host will inject fun and witty banter into a show, and that goes a long way in developing an audience (think Marc Maron). Once you have the right talent and a structure for the show, then you can move on to deciding which topics you want to cover that are relevant to your audience.
The biggest takeaway that Knorpp shares relates to commitment. How committed are you to the medium? Do you have what it takes to deliver engaging and useful content on a regular basis for the long haul?
“If you’re going to go out there and get an audience to commit to your show, you need to pick a format, you need to pick a timeframe, and you need to pick a basic idea and commit to doing it,” says Knorpp. “If you’re not willing to commit to all those factors, don’t even waste the audience’s time. They’re not going to commit to you if you’re not going to commit to them.”
For a B2B company, podcasting can be a great way to reach out to your customers because B2B firms often do fall into specific niches with narrow audiences. Engaging that niche audience with a mobile-friendly format such as podcasting can be another important prong in your marketing strategy.
Listen to Xero Hour episode 15 yourself to hear to the full interview.
Photo of Bob Knorpp via Beancast website