Whether you are consuming a podcast, thinking of starting one, or already well underway with a show, it is important to know the different types of podcasts out there. The most obvious difference is that there are some shows that are B2B podcasts and others that are B2C.
But what does that mean exactly? In today’s post, we are going to dive deep into exploring the unique differences between the B2B and B2C branded podcasts and understand the variances when it comes to each one’s target audience, content focus, tone, style, which channels they distribute on, how they monetize and how their individual success is measured.
So, let’s dive right in!
1. Target Audiences
When it comes to target audiences for B2B branded podcasts versus B2C, they can vary quite drastically. It’s important to understand the distinction to ensure your content strategies cater to specific listeners.
B2B branded podcasts focus on, of course, other businesses. Within these businesses, your podcast is typically targeting a certain industry, size of the company, and role or position.
The content of B2B podcasts is typically tailored to address the challenges, trends, and insights relevant to the target audience. The objective is to provide valuable knowledge, position yourself as a thought leader, and offer practical strategies that can help businesses thrive. For instance, by improving professional development and facilitating networking opportunities within the industry.
On the other hand, B2C podcasts focus on the consumer themselves, entertaining and informing listeners. Typically, B2C podcasts cater to a much broader consumer audience.
B2C podcasts tend to target consumers across different demographics, focusing on their specific interests, preferences, and needs. They often leverage storytelling, expert interviews, engaging narratives, and entertaining formats to captivate listeners and build brand loyalty.
At the end of the day, the goals between B2B and B2C podcasts will likely be similar, build brand awareness, drive customer engagement, and ultimately grow the businesses.
2. Content Focus
In terms of content focus, there are distinct differences between B2B podcasts and B2C podcasts. Content focus in B2B branded podcasts tends to center around industry-specific insights, trends, expert interviews, and business strategies. These podcasts delve deep into the challenges, thought leadership, and best practices within a particular industry or niche. They often feature discussions with industry leaders, subject matter experts, and successful entrepreneurs, who share their experiences and knowledge from being in the space for a long time.
B2B podcasts aim to provide valuable information and practical advice that can help businesses improve their operations, enhance productivity, overcome bottlenecks, and stay ahead of the competition. The content is highly educational, informative, and focused on addressing the unique needs and interests of business professionals, executives, and key decision-makers.
On the other hand, B2C branded podcasts have a broader content focus that revolves around lifestyle, entertainment, inspiration, consumer tips, and product stories. These podcasts cover a wide range of topics that appeal to everyday consumers, including personal development, health and wellness, entertainment, celebrity, pop culture, travel, cooking, style & fashion, and much more. The content is designed to entertain, engage, and inform listeners in a way that aligns with their interests, aspirations, and dreams.
B2C podcasts often feature storytelling, interviews with influencers or celebrities, practical tips, and entertaining segments to keep the audience entertained and coming back for more (they really play up the FOMO if you don’t tune in weekly!). The goal is to establish a connection with consumers, foster brand loyalty, and create an engaging listening experience that reflects the brand's values and resonates with their target audience.
3. Tone and Style
The tone and style of B2B podcasts are typically professional, informative, authoritative, formal, and educational. These podcasts aim to establish credibility and position the brand as a trusted industry resource. The tone is often serious and buttoned up, mirroring the nature of the business environment. The style of communication is professional with a focus on delivering in-depth analysis, data-driven insights, and actionable advice.
B2B podcasts prioritize providing valuable information, industry trends, case studies, and expert opinions to help businesses make informed decisions. The overall tone and style convey a sense of expertise and reliability, catering to the discerning needs of business professionals.
In contrast, B2C podcasts adopt a more casual, conversational, relatable, engaging, and entertaining tone and style. These podcasts aim to connect with listeners on a more personal level and create an engaging, intimate, and enjoyable experience.
The tone is often casual, friendly, and conversational as if the hosts are having a friendly chat with the audience (as if you’re simply sitting in someone’s living room!). The style of communication is less formal, incorporating storytelling, humor, and relatable anecdotes to capture the attention and interest of consumers.
B2C podcasts strive to entertain, inspire, and provide practical tips or insights that enhance the everyday lives of listeners. The overall tone and style create a sense of familiarity, building a connection between the brand and its audience.
4. Distribution Channels
When it comes to distribution strategies, B2B podcasts and B2C podcasts employ very different tactics. For B2B podcasts, you’re usually looking to target audiences within the business community. Some common strategies include:
- Collaborations and partnerships: B2B podcasts may form partnerships with relevant industry influencers, organizations, or associations. By featuring guest episodes or cross-promoting with established industry figures or brands, B2B podcasts can tap into their partner’s existing audience and expand their reach to targeted professionals.
- Industry-specific platforms: B2B podcasts are often distributed through industry-specific platforms, such as a business-focused podcast directory or platform catering to professionals within a particular sector. These platforms help ensure that the podcast reaches a highly targeted audience interested in industry-related content.
- LinkedIn and other professional networks: B2B podcasts have a strong presence on professional networking platforms like LinkedIn. They actively engage with relevant groups, participate in industry discussions, share podcast episodes and related content to connect with other like-minded professionals, and generate awareness within the target audience.
- Email marketing and newsletters: B2B podcasts often use email marketing and newsletters to promote new seasons and episodes. They may leverage existing mailing lists or partner with industry publications to reach a wide network of professionals who have expressed interest in receiving industry updates in their space.
On the other hand, B2C podcasts focus on leveraging channels that align with consumer preferences and habits. Below are the most common distribution strategies for B2C podcasts:
- Social media promotion: B2C podcasts heavily rely on social media platforms to connect with their target audience. They create dedicated pages or profiles for their podcasts and actively share engaging content, episode highlights, behind-the-scenes footage, and listener interactions on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or TikTok.
- Podcast directories and aggregators: B2C podcasts utilize popular podcast directories and aggregators, such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and other platforms, to ensure maximum visibility and accessibility to the broad podcast-listening audience.
- Influencer and cross-promotion: B2C podcasts collaborate with social media influencers, celebrities, or popular content creators to tap into their established fan base. Through guest appearances, sponsored episodes, or cross-promotions, B2C podcasts can expand their reach and attract new listeners who follow these influential individuals.
- Brand websites and blogs: B2C podcasts often have dedicated sections on their brand websites or associated blogs. They promote new episodes, provide additional content related to podcast topics, and encourage visitors to explore the podcast through website integration.
- Paid advertising and sponsorships: B2C podcasts may explore paid advertising options on platforms like social media, search engines, or other relevant websites to target specific consumer segments. They may also collaborate with relevant brands or sponsors to leverage their reach and tap into their target audience through sponsored content or advertising slots within episodes.
5. Monetization Strategies
It's important to remember that the specific monetization strategies adopted by B2B and B2C podcasts can vary based on factors such as audience size, podcast format, industry niche, and the podcast's overall goals and branding. Podcasts often employ a combination of many strategies to generate revenue and sustain the production and growth of their shows.
Let’s dive into the main monetization strategies that B2B and B2C podcasts zero in on. Let’s begin with B2B monetization strategies:
- Industry conferences and events: B2B podcasts may monetize through partnerships with industry events or conferences. This can include live podcast recordings, sponsorship of podcast sessions or stages, or promotional activities around the event. B2B podcasts can generate revenue through event-related ticket sales, sponsorships, or brand collaborations.
- Sponsorships and advertisements: B2B podcasts often attract sponsors and advertisers who are interested in reaching the podcast's niche business audience. These can include companies offering relevant products, services, or solutions to the target B2B market. Sponsorships can involve pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll advertisements within podcast episodes, as well as mentions or endorsements by podcast hosts.
- Premium content or memberships: Some B2B podcasts offer premium content or membership programs to their audience. This can include access to exclusive episodes, in-depth interviews, bonus materials, or educational resources like reports or courses. The podcast may charge a subscription fee or offer tiered membership options, providing additional value to subscribers.
- Consulting services and workshops: B2B podcasts can leverage their expertise and credibility to offer consulting services, coaching programs, or specialized services related to the podcast's subject matter. This can include one-on-one consulting sessions, workshops, or customized solutions for businesses seeking support and guidance.
For B2C podcasts, monetization strategies can look like a mix of:
- Sponsorships and advertisements: B2C podcasts often monetize through sponsorships and advertisements from brands targeting the podcast's consumer audience. This can include product placements, sponsored segments, or brand mentions within episodes. B2C podcasts may partner with companies in relevant industries such as food, fashion, beauty, travel, entertainment, or wellness.
- Merch sales: B2C podcasts can create and sell branded merchandise, including items such as apparel, accessories, or merchandise related to the podcast's themes or catchphrases. This not only generates revenue but also helps build a stronger connection with the podcast's fanbase.
- Crowdfunding and donations: Some B2C podcasts rely on crowdfunding platforms or accept direct donations from their loyal listeners. This can be facilitated through platforms like Patreon, where listeners can support the podcast by making regular contributions in exchange for exclusive perks, bonus content, early access to episodes, or personalized content.
- Live events: B2C podcasts may monetize through live events, tours, or experiences. They can organize live podcast recordings, fan meetups, workshops, or ticketed events that offer unique interactions with the hosts, special guests, or immersive experiences related to the podcast's content.
- Affiliate marketing: B2C podcasts can earn revenue through affiliate marketing by promoting products or services and earning a commission for each referral or sale generated through their unique affiliate links. This strategy often works well for podcasts focused on product recommendations, reviews, or lifestyle tips.
6. Success Metrics
It’s important to note that while there might be differences in which success metrics B2B and B2C podcasts look at, there’s a fair bit of overlap and shared metrics depending on the show’s specific goals, industry niche, and audience.
For B2B podcasts here are the top 4 success metrics:
- Thought leadership and brand authority: B2B podcasts often strive to establish thought leadership and position the brand as an authoritative voice within the industry. Success metrics in this category include the number of invitations to speak at industry events or conferences, media mentions or features, guest appearances on other relevant podcasts, and the overall perception of the podcast as a trusted source of industry insights and expertise.
- Audience engagement and retention: B2B podcasts focus on building a loyal and engaged audience within their target business community. Success metrics in this area include the number of subscribers or followers, episode downloads or streams, listener retention rate, average listening duration, average consumption rate, and audience feedback or interactions, such as comments, reviews, or social media mentions. High engagement and retention indicate that the podcast is resonating with its target B2B audience.
- Lead generation and conversion: B2B podcasts often aim to generate leads and convert them into customers or clients. Success metrics in this category can include the number of leads generated through podcast-related activities, such as website sign-ups, form submissions, or inquiries received as a result of podcast episodes. Conversion rates and the number of qualified leads or sales directly attributed to the podcast are also key metrics.
- Partnerships and collaborations: Success in the B2B podcast space can be measured by the number and quality of partnerships and collaborations formed as a result of the podcast. This can include partnerships with industry influencers, guest appearances by prominent industry figures, collaborations with relevant brands or organizations, or joint initiatives that extend the podcast's reach and impact.
In comparison, here are the top 5 success metrics for B2C podcasts:
- Audience reach and growth: B2C podcasts often prioritize reaching a wide consumer audience and achieving consistent growth. Success metrics in this area include the number of subscribers, total episode downloads or streams, unique listeners, overall audience size, and growth rate over time. High reach and sustained growth demonstrate the podcast's ability to attract and retain a large consumer audience.
- Social media engagement: B2C podcasts heavily rely on social media platforms to connect with their target consumers. Success metrics in this category include the number of social media followers, likes, shares, and comments on podcast-related content. Social media engagement metrics reflect the podcast's ability to capture and maintain the attention of its consumer audience beyond the audio episodes.
- Brand awareness and recognition: B2C podcasts aim to enhance brand awareness and recognition among consumers. Success metrics can include brand mentions or tags on social media, media coverage or press mentions, positive online reviews or ratings, and the podcast's overall reputation and recognition within its target consumer market.
- Listener feedback and reviews: B2C podcasts often rely on listener feedback and reviews as indicators of success. Positive reviews, ratings on podcast platforms, and listener testimonies or testimonials on social media platforms are valuable metrics that demonstrate the podcast's impact on its audience and their satisfaction with the content.
- Monetization and revenue generation: Success metrics for B2C podcasts can also be measured through monetization efforts. Metrics such as sponsorship or advertising revenue, affiliate marketing earnings, merchandise sales, or crowdfunding contributions reflect the podcast's ability to generate revenue and sustain its growth and production.
7. Examples of B2B versus B2C podcasts!
Lastly, let’s end with some examples of B2B podcasts versus some B2C podcasts:
- Our first example of a popular B2B podcast is LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman’s Masters of Scale. The podcast is known for interviewing big-name business builders like Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg to talk about best practices when scaling a business and how to go from something small to something game-changing.
- Our second B2B podcast example is Oyster’s HR New World of Work produced by Quill. You’ll hear the world’s best and brightest people and culture experts talk about the cutting-edge topics that HR professionals are most interested in today — all through a global lens.
- Our last example is the Marketing School hosted by Neil Patel and Eric Siu. This B2B podcast offers short, actionable marketing insights and tips for businesses, covering topics like SEO, social media, content marketing, and growth hacking.
- Our first B2C podcast is #LIPSTORIES presented by Girlboss Radio Network in partnership with Sephora. The show focused on self-love and body positivity; a great message for Sephora to own in the space. Never directly talking about makeup, the show talks about beauty from all walks of life and in turn leaves listeners feeling more empowered and motivated (and as a result loving Sephora as a brand even more!).
- Our second B2C podcast example is The Daily produced by The New York Times. This podcast provides daily news analysis and storytelling and covers the biggest stories and events shaping the world.
- Our final example of a popular B2C podcast is Inside Trader Joe’s. t This podcast beautifully showcases the history of the company and takes the listener on a journey. The podcast’s roaring success is in part due to the fact that consumers want to understand how a brand they love so much was built.
The difference between B2B and B2C branded podcasts
And that concludes our breakdown of B2B versus B2C branded podcasts. Although there are differences between the two, it’s important to note that inspiration can be taken from both sides of podcasting.
Don’t fear stepping outside of your industry’s normal when it comes to content production. If you’re interested in learning more about the difference between B2B and B2C podcasts or how to drive impact through your own, get in touch with our team and we’d be happy to help you navigate.