Hello from Portland, Oregon. For my first episode of 2022, I want to do something slightly different. I invited my team to be part of the podcast and the video. Yay!
Meet Gretchen Kilby, she’s a podcast editor and Iva Ignjatovic, my social media manager. Both of them are the invisible hands that put my podcast together. Today we talk about our content creation process, and how to start a B2B podcast. Gretchen and Iva, welcome. Glad to have you!
In this episode:
- What are the essentials for starting a B2B podcast?
- How to choose a podcast format?
- How to get a sound quality?
- What is a strategic process before starting a podcast?
- How to find a good podcast editor?
- What are the B2B podcast branding basics?
- How to do podcast rebranding?
- How to maintain quality for listeners and for SEO?
Quotes from the episode:
“And a big thing I will say is that not everybody can edit content. It’s a skill that takes a lot of time. Also, I’ve seen many relationships break up because it wasn’t clear either what the editor could do and was capable of or what the host wanted. So I think that’s an important conversation to have.” – Gretchen Kilby
“We looked at data. I don’t get the sense that people often look at data. They go with their guts, you know, like, “oh, I have a feeling that this is going to work.” We looked at that and made that composition of what you wanted to pursue in the next stage and what the data told you to pursue.” – Iva Ignjatovic
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To expand your knowledge about how to start your B2B podcast, check out some of my previous podcast episodes, and videos.
Hello from Portland, Oregon, and Happy New Year. And this is my first episode of 2022. I want to do something slightly different for my podcast and the video B2B Marketing & More. This time I invite my team to be part of the podcast and the video. Yay! So we have Gretchen Kilby, and she’s a podcast editor and Iva Ignjatovic. She’s my social media manager, and both of them are the invisible hands that put the podcast together.
I have been talking about marketing planning, and I never really do a deep dive into a specific channel. Given that I’ve been doing the podcast for about three years, Iva, Gretchen, and I have the process. And I’m not saying this is the best practice, but I want to share how we do the podcasting behind the scenes. There’s a lot of bits and pieces that you’re going to put together. So we will talk about our content creation process for the podcast channel. Gretchen and Iva. Welcome. Glad to have you.
Gretchen Kilby: Thanks, Pam.
Iva Ignjatovic: Thank you Pam. Kudos. I mean, you pronounced my surname well!
Pam Didner: Well, thank you so much. I’m not going to try that again! All right. So I want to talk about this podcasting process. Gretchen, just very quickly from the sound quality’s perspective. I know that you are always on top of it–the sound quality, sound, quality sound quality is so important. So do you want to provide some specific tips and tricks regarding how to have that good sound quality? Is a mic necessary, by the way?
Gretchen Kilby: I would say. Ideally, you have a microphone. The reason that I say that is because a microphone isolates your sound; it says, “oh, I’m only picking up this much of talking, or I’m only picking up this much of talking.” The challenge is that we’ve all gotten used to Zoom and other platforms like that during the pandemic. That’s what people are comfortable with. And so they are going with the sound that’s being picked up from their laptop or their computer. So, what happens with that is the speaker says, “oh, I’m grabbing everything that’s in this whole room.” So that means it’s picking up your voice bouncing off of walls. So often, people sound like you’re in an echo chamber.
So that’s where a microphone helps a lot, but if you don’t have that as an option, another thing that you can do is limit the bouncing effect. So I know some people who hang up a curtain on the wall behind their computer. Some people have seen pictures of people who record in their closets because they have all these clothes around them. Uh, you know, behind their microphones.
Pam Didner: Right. That actually will minimize the bouncing sound.
Gretchen Kilby: Minimizes the sound. So depending on whether you’re having to do a video like we’re doing right now, if you’re not, I will head to the closet. Yeah. Honestly, if you can’t afford a microphone, even if you do, because it’s just going to prevent your voice from bouncing around. So what will keep your voice having a nice warm sound and sounding present?
Pam Didner: Yeah. So, Gretchen, the biggest takeaway from what you just said is buying a microphone and a nice one. You know, would you agree? I mean, as a virtual communication in 2022, I know that many companies are still thinking about doing a hybrid or going back to the office, maybe sometimes even 2022 full time. Either way, you still need to have a microphone just if you’re doing a virtual meeting. And virtual meeting nowadays is inevitable. So actually have a good mic. I would say it is a minimal requirement.
Gretchen Kilby: Yeah, I would agree. And the only thing I would add–and Pam, you know, this pain–not every microphone is equal.
Pam Didner: I agree. I agree.
Gretchen Kilby: So, unfortunately–and I go through the same thing– you may have to try one to three microphones to see what suits your voice and suits your surroundings. So just be prepared for that. Not get frustrated by that.
Pam Didner: It’s a journey. Like for me to find that sound quality or find a different mic. I probably have five or six mics that I tried. I’m just lucky to have the podcast editor to work with me. And if you don’t have anybody, I still would suggest that you do the recording. Then you have someone else to listen to it, hear the sound quality, and determine that it works.
All right. Very, very good. And, um, before I get started, you know, talking about the process, I want to kind of sit back and talking about that, how we started the podcast.
You’ll have to kind of understand the objective, why you want to do this. Learning is very important to me if you want to do it just for me. Like I invite the guests, and I will learn from them. And another thing it’s very important to me, again, associated with learning is I want to understand how podcasts work. Then I can help my clients if they want to do something similar. I have some tips and tricks or even some processes to share. So my objective is not necessarily, again, a huge following. You know, if I got that, that would be great. So if you can subscribe now, that would be fantastic! (laughs)
But, uh, the key thing is to understand your objectives. When I started, Iva and I talked about the podcast’s title, the format and even the length and frequency of the podcast. So we then started like, “oh my God, we wanted to do a podcast. Okay. Let’s be authentic. That’s just the start. And then we’ll see how we go.” We gave a lot of thought, and Iva provided a lot of feedback about the title of my podcast? I think we started with Seven-Minute Marketing with Pam, right?
Iva Ignjatovic: Yes. That was the starting point. But the thing is, we went through several iterations. Still, every time we made a change, it wasn’t a chaotic decision. It was well thought through because, you know, you do something for six months or a year. You build your audience, and you don’t want to make a cut that will eventually confuse the audience somehow.
Iva Ignjatovic: We looked at data. I don’t get the sense that people often look at data. They go with their guts, you know, like, “oh, I have a feeling that this is going to work.” We looked at that and made that composition of what you wanted to pursue in the next stage and what the data told you to pursue.
Pam Didner: You know, you brought a very good point. The format dictates the title. I want to make it seven minutes, seven minutes and answer one marketing question at a time. And so we did not invite any guests, and that will be additional work for me. And also additional work for Iva to source, uh, who are the guests we want to invite. We want to make it simple, simplify it. And also, the frequency is once a week.
And then, over a period of time, we have realized that we probably need to make some changes. We feel that my expertise or my forte is B2B marketing. It’s much broader than just content marketing. So we decided to go with B2B Marketing & More. So it’s not just about B2B marketing, but he has so much more than that. Sometimes it’s about career development, sometimes about personal growth, right, of t marketer. So we changed the title to B2B Marketing & More. We started inviting guests. I think probably after like episode 120 something. That’s why we started inviting the guests.
Iva Ignjatovic: And we, of course, changed the design of the actual visuals
Pam Didner: True. True.
Iva Ignjatovic: We change how we position podcast episodes on your website. It’s a lot of tiny work-
Pam Didner: – tiny little elements you have to consider.
Iva Ignjatovic: And then the basic transcript changed over time. Once you introduce the guests, the transcript has changed. Then we added another layer, you know because here’s what people might find interesting. We do what we do for your audience to learn something new to provide value. But at the same time, we have to balance this with our organic search and Google. So we kind of balance those two things because we don’t want to stuff, you know, everything with keywords and leave our audience and, you know, It is some kind of limbo, like, what is this all about?
Pam Didner: You don’t want to do the, uh, the SEO for the sake of SEO. Exactly. That really,
Iva Ignjatovic: If you can fit something good and make it work right for you, do you come, you can never, ever forget about the audience and how they search for the content that they’re looking at.
Pam Didner: Yeah. So that’s another thing that Iva brought a very good point. I talk about the title, format, and images, which is your logo. That’s very important. And the frequency. And what Iva was talking about. Is in addition to all those elements being said and where you’re going to syndicate the content. For example, I sent a gate and syndicated it to many listening platforms. We also upload the videos on YouTube. Still, the podcast’s description is very important once you syndicate it. In addition to the title. Right? So the title and the description, you need to write in an SEO-friendly way, but at the same time, make sure that you take your audience into account.
You also write it from the perspective that your audience can resonate. And of course, SEO, the keyword search plays a huge factor, but make sure that you write it, you somehow balance with that. It’s not just writing for the sake of the keywords and search. Excellent. Love it. Love it. Another thing I kind of wanted to talk about, and this is back to you, Gretchen. I know that we did not work together initially.
I went through three editors. I found Gretchen, and Gretchen was in the public radio, uh, actually for 20 some years. Gretchen, can you talk to us about your editing process? What are the couple things that you usually look for that you decide what to keep and what to cut?
Gretchen Kilby: So that’s an interesting question because everybody has their preferences. So I sometimes get clients who will say to me, “I want every um and like, and, you know, out of there.” I just want you to clean those things up and then also make sure “I had a fan running in the background by accident or three minutes in. I bumped my coffee cup” or, you know….
Pam Didner: get rid of the background.
Gretchen Kilby: Extraneous things. Right? My client usually guides me in terms of what they want. Still, when someone asks me to do a content edit, which you were talking about, that involves content editing. You know, and it’s some of it, it’s hard to describe because I’ve done it for so many years that it’s kind of instinctual. Still, the things that you’ll start to notice are that some people talk and they’ll start an idea.
Pam Didner: And then you wonder,
Gretchen Kilby: Then they’ll restart or wander and then come back. For us as listeners, you know, sometimes, depending on the content, we’re willing to wander because they’re coming up with some interesting things. Still, sometimes that’s distracting, which keeps us from wanting to continue to listen. So those are things that I take out sometimes. Sometimes, you know, if I’m given a very hard, “this can only be 30 minutes.”
Pam Didner: or 15 minutes. Yep.
Gretchen Kilby: Then I have to weigh. You know what? The course of this conversation built from point A to point B to point C, and then we kind of went to F and then we went back down to D, so I’m going to take F out because I need to, I need to get five minutes out of there.
Pam Didner: Exactly. You want to make sure it gets to a clear flow, yeah
Gretchen Kilby: And that the conversation has a clear. So those are the things that are in my head. But again, I try as an editor. I think this is an important conversation to have. When you get an editor, be clear on what you want. I’ve got clients who hired an editor. They assumed that the editor was going to do A, B, C and D. And the editor was like, “Oh, okay, well you told me you needed it 30 minutes. And so I got you to 30 minutes, but I didn’t take out the ‘ums’ and the likes and the, you know, cause I didn’t know you wanted that.” So it’s important to be clear about what you want, but also be clear and be sure that whomever you get as an editor can do what you’re asking them to do
Pam Didner: I 100% agree.
Gretchen Kilby: And a big thing I will say is that not everybody can edit content. It’s a skill that takes a lot of time. And that’s another thing that I’ve found is I get clients. They’ll say, “well, the editor told me, you have to tell me what to take out”. That is, the relationship that they’re used to is someone giving them a transcript and saying, “take know this, take out this, take out this.”
If there had been a clear conversation from the beginning, then they would know, “oh, I need you to do that as the editor,” or “I want to do that as the host.” And so I think that’s an important thing. Also, I’ve seen many relationships break up because of that. It wasn’t clear either what the editor could do and was capable of or what the host wanted. So I think that’s an important conversation to have.
Pam Didner: I ran into this issue multiple times that I did not know what I wanted to start with. Initially, I did not give my first or the second media editor a very clear instruction because I didn’t know what I didn’t know. That’s the thing, but they think the key is that once you start working with your editor, you need to provide for you once you start listening to the am product.
And you have to, should provide that feedback regularly, you know, at least for the first several episodes. So the editor knows exactly what you are looking for and can improve as well.
Gretchen Kilby: The only thing I would add, Pam, is that when you were looking for an editor, there was nothing wrong with not knowing what you wanted to do. And there are some editors that, that is part of their skillset. They’ve worked on enough podcasts that they can say, “Hey, this is a style you could try. This is something you could try.” Again, some editors just like to cut things up and make them beautiful. And that’s, that is what is their jam.
That’s an important thing to be clear on again when you’re establishing a relationship with, uh, with a new editor is saying, “Hey, these are the things I need. Can you provide those or not?” And if not, “great, thanks, appreciate it, but I need someone who can do this.”
Pam Didner: Understood. Very good. Throughout this video and the podcast, we talk about a couple of things, right? Number one is – you need to think through if you want to launch your podcast. What is your objective?. And also, use that to determine your title, logo, format, and frequency. And, as I said, there are multiple different kinds of formats, and I’m going to name a couple of them and Gretchen, you’re going to see if I’m going to miss any of it. Number one is you can talk, which is solo. Or you can host an invite, a guest, or you can co-host, which means you have two hosts and you also talk to a guest.
Gretchen Kilby: And the order in which you presented those Pam is the order of ease or complexity.
Pam Didner: And then interviewing is probably the next level, and the yellow one, you know, the script is a drama that’s a completely different level.
Gretchen Kilby: Right. Once you add guests and have the complexity of recording more people and juggling more audio tracks. So you just want to keep that in mind too, when you’re making decisions about what kind of format you want to do.
Pam Didner: Depending on you doing this for your company, you do it yourself. If you do it for a company or even for yourself, there’s always an element of on-brand. Is this still aligned with your personal branding or align with your corporate brand persona. So that’s another thing that you have to think about, okay. So we touch on a lot, from thinking behind it to having a podcast objective down to the editing.
And, um, I know that Iva has a specific point of view regarding how to drive the traffic. Should we drive the traffic to a different listening platform? Or should we drive the traffic to say, uh, the website? Or do we even need, um, kind of like a website to host a different episode because everybody can access the podcast at different listening platforms anyway? So Iva, what is your take on that?
Iva Ignjatovic: This is the unpopular answer, but it depends.
Pam Didner: It’s okay. It’s okay. You told me about unpopular answers all the time.
Iva Ignjatovic: Here’s the thing that there are multiple questions that people need to answer or at least answer to themselves before they answer those questions. For me. Uh, I think it’s always really good to have your content on your hub, which is your website. And here’s why I think that it’s a must because we’ve seen plenty of social networks like Blab, if anyone remembers Blab right now.
Pam Didner: I don’t (laughs)!
Iva Ignjatovic: I don’t matter. It was a place like a Clubhouse but for video, and people loved it. I’ve seen many great videos and conversations, and people kept their videos there. Suddenly, practically overnight, Blab disappeared, and all their content disappeared with Blab.
Pam Didner: Yeah.
Iva Ignjatovic: So I don’t know. I don’t think anything will happen to iTunes podcast or Stitcher or Google Podcasts. Yeah. It doesn’t matter. But the point is, that’s the thing we don’t know. We might hope that they’ve last, but it’s good to have your content on your hub in some way. Yeah.
Pam Didner: Um, and your hub is your website.
Iva Ignjatovic: Yes. It is a website. And whether you send them to Apple Podcasts or Stitcher or iHeart Radio, or your website, it depends on what you want to accomplish with that specific content? Most of the people I work with are B2B people. Their website is a really good funnel, a lead generation funnel. So it’s more appropriate to push the website and push people there.
Pam Didner: Yep. I hear you. So, um, the reason I want to bring this question to everybody’s attention is that, uh, Iva and I, and, uh, before Lisa Loeffler, um, was also part of the team. We had a heated discussion, and I wanted to drive traffic to Apple Podcasts, but both of them said no. And from my perspective, I kind of want the viewership to go up. I want people to encourage people, leave a comment there, and give a review, you know, how it is, right. So for a long time, I was adamant, adamant. I said, “you know what, Iva, just going to drive traffic to Apple Podcasts.”
Iva Ignjatovic: Yeah, that was it.
Pam Didner: And grudgingly, she agreed. But then I come to realize they are right. You know, when you do this syndication to different channels. Hopefully, people can pick that up organically, and that’s why the title and the description of your podcast matter when people search. Hopefully, you know, your podcasts can come up organically, but really at the end of the day, it’s I want to have control of my platform.
Everything disappears, and they decide to kick me out for any reason, then I still have my content on the platform. I have total control, and that’s my website. So after a year of driving traffic to the Apple Podcasts, I switched everything Iva does to promote the podcast and drive traffic directly to my website.
Gretchen Kilby: Yeah, Pam, if I could just add to the short things too. Several clients that I work with are individuals. They have a little bit of a network, but they’re hoping that the podcast will help grow their network and their visibility and things like that. And, um, In those cases as well, I think that a website is a good idea because there are more opportunities for engagement there, which is what they’re going to need to do to build listenership,
Pam Didner: Kind of like you build the email subscribers.
Gretchen Kilby: Right. So exactly. So that’s where you can get the person to subscribe to the newsletter. Suppose that’s how you’ve decided you want to communicate with people. In that case, that’s where you can provide them with extra information about yourself, especially if you’re someone who is providing a service.
Another thing I’ve heard from people is, well, “I have to send people to Apple Podcasts or Spotify or whatever because that’s how they track the numbers. And that’s how I can tell how many downloads are.” You can do that on a website, too. And there were things that you can set up for that.
So don’t let that concern- cause I know the metrics are an important part of this whole equation for some people. You will still have ways to say or show a boss, “Hey, we got all these many downloads on the webpage. We got this many on Apple Podcasts. We got this many on Spotify.” So with that doesn’t negate that possibility.
Pam Didner: Excellent. So, the way I do podcasts, it’s not cheap. And I chose to go with that route to hire an editor, hire a social media manager, and have a platform. So Gretchen and Iva, you know, for small businesses, they may not have a budget. To sustain weekly episodes and make them very professional, do you have one or two things to share with them? How to make that economical for them that will not be huge bucks.
Gretchen Kilby: Well, one thing is planning. You don’t require as many edits if you have sort of mapped out for yourself, “this is the direction that I want this conversation to go.” Now, granted, I’m all for letting conversations flow naturally. Still, I have had clients map out and plan how they want their conversation to go. They talk with their guests before their interview to find out. Preparation, preparation. So that’s, that’s one thing that I have found with different clients that can help. The other thing is don’t bite off more than you can share it. Don’t be afraid to start with a 10-minute conversation with someone.
Pam Didner: Maybe short to start with. Don’t make it long. Yeah. Right.
Gretchen Kilby: Just like you did Pam, you know, you started with the seven minutes. I know that you wrote scripts for that.
Pam Didner: I wrote a script, literally word by word. How should I say it nicely? I sucked. And it was just not very good! And then it was- my voice was very uptight, and I was kind of like reading a script. Oh my God.
Gretchen Kilby: There’s a learning curve for everybody. But because there can be so many elements and it can get overwhelming, I do think that it’s best to start simply. Or, if you do have a little bit of budget, find an editor or a producer that you can say, “Hey, this is what I have in mind. What do you think it’s going to take to produce this and make it happen?” That’s going to cost you an hour, an hour to two hours of consulting, and then you get a better idea of, okay. “Oh, so this is going to take me like six to eight hours a week. I don’t have that kind of time. Okay. What is more manageable?”
Pam Didner: Get additional intelligence in terms of how the production works.
Gretchen Kilby: Right.
Iva Ignjatovic: Podcasting takes commitment.
Pam Didner: Oh, so true.
Iva Ignatjovic: That’s one thing. And if you don’t have a budget and don’t have the resources, but you still want to create something that you are certain that will be creative or innovative or different, then, by all means, go with it. But then apply a format that you are comfortable with. And if it’s, um, sort of a grungy style, then go for it; take a try, you know, do few testings.
Um, because frankly, you know, if you’re doing five episodes and every time you’re trying something– no one will notice. I mean, yeah, that’s the truth. I need to get million and gazillion listeners on your first try. So. I think that people should not be too hard on themselves.
Pam Didner: Just, just give it a try.
Iva Ignjatovic: Just give it a try and see what works, you know, and maybe if you want to try and do your podcast with your phone or just a regular camera or mic, try it. But see what you can do to make that interesting for the audience? Not for you, because you’ll have, you’re going to have fun. Yeah. But just by making podcast episodes, will it be fun for the audience?
Pam Didner: Yep. I want to make sure everybody understands that you can have a well-thought-out strategy and process before starting. You can also do it like, “you know what? I’m going to do organically.” And even if you do that after a little while, you still need to give some thoughts on how you’re going to improve it and optimize it. And it’s, in a way is a journey. There’s a. There’s no shortcut, isn’t it, Gretchen and Iva?
Gretchen Kilby: No.
Iva Ignjatovic: No short cut. Usually, you know, I often hear people say, “overnight success takes ten years.”
Pam Didtenr: Yeah, it is and to quickly wrap up. Uh, we are fast approaching episode 200! Yay! It has been a journey. It has been a journey for me. I learned a lot. I realize that I have become a better communicator and articulate myself a little bit better. The most important thing is I learned to be empathetic. I learned to see other people’s points of view, not just mine, and then see where they come from and how they do things differently. I learned so much from various guests in the past 60 and 70 episodes when I started doing guest interviews. And that was probably the biggest takeaway and the benefit from doing a podcast.
But before I do a final wrap up, I want to ask both my team members some silly questions. All right. So you have two questions you can choose from Iva and Gretchen. Number one is the place you always want to go to and have never been? The second one is what is the most useless skills that you have?
Iva Ignjatovic: Well, I’ll go with, um, with the place that I always wanted to visit, but I never had a chance. And that’s the Galapagos Islands.
Pam Didner: Oh, me too! That’s on my bucket list.
Iva Ignjatovic: That’s it. That’s one big wish. One day it will happen, but I just want to go there and see that. You see it on TV or the photos or documentaries, you know, but that’s not it. You want to see that with your eyes because. Whatever people say, we all look for something real; we want a real experience. And that’s something that I want to end my part of the conversation. Keep that in mind when you create content in general; people want to hear real experiences. They want to live it as a real experience. Everything is digital. We will still crave real.
Pam Didner: Yeah. Authentic. Yeah. Very nice.
Gretchen Kilby: Well, so on that point, I’m not sure if mine is, is completely authentic, but, um, ever since I was very little, I have loved giraffes, and some years ago, I heard about a place in Kenya called Giraffe Manor where it’s, uh, it’s like a three-story B&B and the drafts that are being taken care of in the sanctuary will come up and like peek in the window at you. Like when you’re having breakfast, things like that (laughs). So again, I don’t know if it’s authentic because they’re not in the wild, but, um, but I just always, I just always thought that would be very fun.
Iva Ignjatovic: Are you kidding? I’ve seen it. So I’ll go with you.
Pam Didner: Why don’t we make a pack? We will all go together, and that’s a little podcast live from Giraffe Manor.
Iva Ignjatovic: We are going to feed the giraffes, right? I mean, they’re going to eat from our plates. I suppose.
Gretchen Kilby: Well, yeah. We’ll make sure that they should like acacia leaves they should be eating, but yeah.
Pam Didner: Excellent. Hey, Iva, Gretchen, I know that, um, you guys are always behind the scenes and, uh, I’m tough sometimes. And I want to say thank you publicly and openly for everything you have done for me. And I want to say thank you to both of you.
Gretchen Kilby: You’re welcome.
Pam Didner: It’s wonderful to talk to my awesome teammate and to share what I’ll experience with. And I hope all of you have a wonderful 2022. If there’s anything I can do for you, or if you have any questions about B2B marketing, send me a quick email firstname.lastname@example.org. Love, love. Love to hear from you. Happy New Year! Take care. Bye.