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Authentic brand storytelling that connects with the audience, clearly communicates your message, and positions you favorably in your industry is crucial — but not plain sailing.
You need to craft vivid and compelling stories that cut through the clutter in today’s fast-paced world.
Discover how you can leverage B2B podcasting to cultivate an authentic narrative around your brand to connect with audiences.
Storytelling in business is an art form.
When done well, it looks easy and seamless. But behind the curtains of those gripping stories is an abundance of creative thinking, strategizing, and planning.
Effective brand storytelling aims to create content that audiences will actively seek out. This is in stark contrast to traditional marketing campaigns, which are seen as annoying ‘interruptions’ that the audience has to endure.
Brand storytelling is a great way to get your point across, differentiate your brand, and work out new ideas. Today, if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur or leader, you also have to be a storyteller.”
When storytelling in business is ‘mastered,’ it’s memorable, humanizes the brand, entertains, and helps build a loyal community.
But how do you turn your brand into a purveyor of engaging content that adds value to the audience’s experience?
B2B podcasting is one way to go about it. Here’s why and how?
This post is the 7th in a series of “Podcasting Mastered” chapters designed to help you launch and grow an enterprise lead-generating podcast.
There has never been a better time to make your voice heard – and we’re here to help master the art of podcasting with step-by-step guides.
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Top 7 Podcast Storytelling Tips – How to Harness the Power of B2B Podcasting.
Podcasting is one of the most effective ways for businesses and brands to share their stories and connect with the target audience in a meaningful and intimate way. It’s personal, and it humanizes the brand. But how do you go about it?
Here are some useful tips for impactful podcast storytelling:
1. Be Authentic.
Ensure your business podcast is credible and authentic. Stay true to your company’s mission and vision. Ask yourself?
- Who is your ideal listener?
- What are the key points you want to get across with your brand storytelling?
- What are the most important topics in your industry?
- What do you hope to achieve from B2B podcasting through your brand storytelling?
- What is your overall brand vision?
The above question will help you formulate compelling and thought-provoking episodes that engagingly tell your brand’s story.
2. Analyze Your Audience.
You already know your target audience or the persona of your ideal listener, as covered in Lesson #4 – Why Choose a Niche for Your B2B Podcast? of the “Podcasting Mastered” course. Now tie into their demographics, values, pain points, and needs with the appropriate verbiage for compelling podcast storytelling.
Find a unique voice/tone for your audience, industry, and brand—and keep it consistent throughout. If you’re a B2B company, you might be tempted to maintain a formal tone, but you have to keep in mind that people adore podcasting for its humanized touch.
Picture yourself having a candid conversion with business decision-makers in your niche. Share your enthusiasm for your area of expertise in an endearing and relatable way.
3. Listen to Other Business Podcasts.
Sometimes the insight you need to take your business podcast to the next level lies on the other side of the fence. Don’t shy away from peeking at what other podcasts are doing.
Figure what they’re doing right, how they’re doing it, and how you can implement this into your show in a better and personalized way.
- What makes them popular?
- What sets them apart in their niche?
- Why do listeners keep coming back for more?
- What makes their brand storytelling compelling?
4. Start Off Strong.
Podcast listeners may be engaged, but they need something worth sticking around—and fast. Around 27.5% of your podcast listeners expect you to grab their attention or give them a reason to sit through the entire episode within the first 5 minutes.
The statistics show that you must start off strong to hook listeners immediately and entice them to keep listening. Make sure your intro is succinct, to the point, and engaging. A brief teaser of something interesting coming up in the episode is a great way to go about this.
5. Design a Good Structure for Your Stories.
If you haven’t settled on the best type of podcasting format for you, read What is The Best Podcast Format for Your B2B Podcast? If you have, you need to create a structure for effective podcast storytelling.
Figure out the characters, the plot, themes, setting, and an alternate point of view (i.e., conflict). These elements allow the narrative to flow smoothly in a way the listener can follow.
Think of your favorite books or TV shows; they lean on these storytelling elements to captivate and hold the audience’s attention to the last second. This is what you should aim for in each episode and your overall show.
A well-defined B2B podcasting structure creates a sense of familiarity for your listeners and better engagement. It can also help you map out the topics you’ll cover in your episodes.
6. Listen to Listener Feedback.
Podcast storytelling is for the audience. Whatever you’re creating is for your audience’s ears. As such, listening to their feedback is a crucial way to polish your brand storytelling skills.
You get meaningful and valuable insights right from the ‘horse’s mouth’—and when implemented, your listeners feel appreciated and included. It’s a win-win.
7. Don’t be Too Sales-Y.
Effective brand storytelling is not about preaching how good you are or the perceived superiority of your offering. No one wants to listen to you gloat insistently about how you think you’re the best.
Aggressively pushing your services or products will do your brand more harm than good.
People want to know how you can help them. How can you solve their problems? How do you add value to their lives? This is what compelling podcast storytelling is about.
Top 5 Podcast Interviewing Tips – How to Extract Compelling Stories from Guests.
Interviews are an ultra-popular podcast format for a number of reasons. And if this is your format of choice (and we highly recommend it), you need to master podcast interviewing for compelling brand storytelling that differentiates you in your industry.
It’s the interviewer’s responsibility to extract interesting stories, foster genuine interest, avoid clunky segues or meandering tangents, and ensure everyone is enjoying themselves. If you’re critical of your podcast interviewing skills, take heart in knowing that it’s a learned skill that can be honed with practice.
Here are some tips to help you ask the right podcast interview questions and conduct some of the best podcast interviews in your niche.
1. Invite the Right Guests.
Good podcast storytelling hinges on having the right characters for your narrative. You need to feature the right podcast guests in your business podcast.
Some things to look out for include:
- They should ideally be influential voices who are on the frontlines of their industry. Think along the lines of designers, scientists, researchers, or professionals who have their hands in the clay, doing exciting work.
- Job titles and expertise aside, you need to pick compelling guests who have some charisma.
- They should also be people who you’re genuinely interested in their viewpoint. This helps avoid ‘forced’ or canned conversation.
- For your B2B podcasting, you might want to consider featuring prospects or potential leads to your show. This not only provides attention-grabbing fodder for your audience, but it’s an opportunity for networking, building key relationships, and improved lead generation.
- Ensure you know enough about your podcast interview guest that you don’t come off as disrespectful. Look into the topics they’re enthusiastic about, their personality, unusual or interesting details, and even how they tend to answer questions.
2. Formulate Podcast Interview Questions.
- Ask podcast interview questions that attract answers worth listening to. Find creative angles that’ll extract compelling stories from your guest, not rehearsed answers.
- Put yourself in the audience’s shoes. Ask “why” and “how” questions to help them learn something new—and don’t hold back on probing your podcast guest for concrete tips or more details.
- Make a list of questions to act as a prompt that helps ensure you touch on every topic you’d like to discuss. This is especially handy when you’re nervous, and you start floundering.
- Even with a list of podcast interview questions, maintain a degree of openness and flexibility. Move with the flow in a controlled manner and be prepared to go off-script.
- Keep your podcast interview questions direct, concise, and clear. It might be tempting to ramble on at length when the subject matter is right up your forte. But remember that the guest is the star of the episode. It’s their opinion and not yours that should take precedence.
- Consider having a signature question that brings the conversation back to the theme of the show and creates a natural ending to the conversation. This facilitates some level of consistency.
- Respect your guest’s privacy and feelings. The best podcast interviews are effortless conversations between like-minded individuals. You’re not grilling or interrogating them.
3. Have a Pre-Interview Process.
Before hitting record, it is important to spend a few minutes with the guest discussing what to expect from the conversation.
Here’s what a pre-interview session might look like:
- Have some friendly chatter to create familiarity. This is a good time to gauge the guest’s style of talking and mood.
- Podcast interviews can be nerve-racking. Use the pre-interview stage to help your guests feel at ease.
- Understand each other’s boundaries. It’s helpful to know what is off the table for both parties. As the host, some examples of boundaries you can enforce include time allocation, the use of taboo language, ethical considerations, or topics that your audience might be particularly sensitive about.
And as for the guests, they can highlight questions that they’re not comfortable answering or any other personal boundaries. The idea is to help foster a sense of respect and trust.
- Outline what will occur once you hit record, including how long it might take, how the episode will be promoted, and any other details.
4. Listen Actively.
Pay close attention to what your podcast guest is talking about. It’s easy to miss the point when you’re distracted or ignorant, which may lead to an awkward conversation.
Listen to understand. Active listening allows you to respond or follow up with a natural response that seamlessly keeps the conversation flowing.
This way, listeners will get the most value from the conversation, and guest will appreciate that you are paying attention to their opinions.
5. Avoid Interrupting Your Guests.
It is important to give the guests time to exhaust any point they’re making without interrupting them, which may come across as rude. If you think of something interesting to chip in, it’s best to jot it down somewhere and only raise it after the guests are done with their current train of thought.
Of course, there are instances when you may be necessitated to interrupt your guests. This includes when they wander off-topic or violate any boundaries you may have set for the conversation.
Top 5 Brand Storytelling Podcasts for Inspiration (examples).
Consumers/clients are in control of their relationship with companies like never before. To win over your target audience, you need to tell a good story.
This is why the tips and tricks covered in this lesson of the “Podcasting Mastered” course are designed to hone your podcast storytelling skills.
But sometimes you need real-life examples or case studies. The following brand storytelling podcasts should help you.
Dubbed “the world’s most industrious storyteller,” Park Howell shows you how to tell brand stories that make you stand out by tapping into the insights of the brightest business storytellers in the game. The podcast is inspiring, strategic, and tactical in equal measure–making it a valuable resource for any company.
Having a good brand story is one thing. Knowing how to share it with your target audience is a whole ‘nother ball game.
The “Be The Drop” podcast with Amelia Veale is a treasure-trove of strategies and tips on how to tell stories that resonate with people. She interviews guests who “inspire collective thinking and action” to uncover what makes their stories tick.
If you had to pick one business storytelling podcast, “The Business Storytelling Show” with Christoph Trappe is a decent pick.
The renowned content marketer welcomes proven guests to discuss a wide range of topics revolving around how you can connect better with target audiences. There is over 450 episodes worth of valuable content that businesses can implement in their outreach strategies.
“The CMO Show” is an award-winning podcast hosted by Mark Jones, the CEO of ImpactInstitute.
An experienced master storyteller himself, Mark shares his insights and welcomes business leaders to talk about how companies can leverage purpose-driven storytelling to bring their ideas to life and achieve their goals.
Learn “practical and time-proven strategies to attract and convert more premium (“high-end”) clients” with Alex Mandossian as he lays bare experiential knowledge of business storytelling to improve your conversion rates sustainably. This is a podcast about how you can ethically influence others to realize your goals.
Continually Polish Your Podcast Storytelling and Podcast Interviewing Skills.
B2B podcasting is fast becoming one of the most effective ways for businesses to share their authentic stories with the world. Podcast storytelling can play a crucial role in your brand’s long-term success — especially if you’re looking to build meaningful relations, network, generate leads, and foster trust.
We understand that podcast interviewing and storytelling can feel intimidating at first. But with some research on the best practices and a little on-hand practice, you can create business podcasts that your audience will enjoy listening to.
Leverage the tips and tricks we’ve covered in this lesson to host some of the best podcast interviews and elevate your brand storytelling.
Don’t know where to begin? Well, we advise you to start by understanding the common podcasting myths and pitfalls to ensure you don’t fall into the traps that lead to so many unsuccessful podcasts.
We talk more about this in the next post of our “Podcasting Mastered” series.