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Help First and Sell Second

“If you sell something, you make a customer today; if you help someone, you make a customer for life.” - Jay Baer, Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help, Not Hype

Why are you doing this?

B2B podcasting is a golden staple of content marketing, but what’s in it for you?

Businesses launch B2B podcasts for any one of a multitude of reasons:

  • Spread brand awareness

  • Promote to a highly targeted audience

  • Grow their network

  • Boost SEO

  • Build trust with customers

But what if we added one more point to that list?

Give listeners information they need.

The key word in that line is ‘give,’ not ‘sell.’ A podcast is a perfect tool to educate your listeners at no greater cost to them than the time it takes to ingest your show.

You may be asking, “Why would I blow my marketing budget on a podcast with no set expectations for ROI?”

In the foreword to Youtility, Marcus Sheridan wrote about the realization he came to after launching the blog for his company, River Pools, in 2009:

“... Consumers of all types expect to find answers on the internet now, and companies that can best provide that information garner trust and sales and loyalty. Success flows to organizations that inform, not organizations that promote.”

Think of Sheridan’s outlook as an extension of corporate philanthropy.




the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.

The fact is that the most extensive consumer base of your content today, Millennials, care about helping others - a lot. A B2B podcast may not be a tax write-off, but it’s a golden opportunity to build a relationship with your customers by echoing their values.

You do so by building your podcast around your customer’s needs rather than your own.

This is one of several reasons for why I’m a big fan of James Robert Lay.

I have the privilege of producing his show, Banking on Digital Growth - a podcast dedicated to informing and educating people and brands in the financial space. James Robert plays host to a parade of brilliant guests who are passionate about helping people escape financial stress.

James Robert ends every episode with the same question, asking his guest to give their listeners one practical application they can take away from the conversation.

That is Youtility in action.

It’s easy to get caught up in promotion and product placement when creating a B2B podcast, but pushing your new book isn’t going to win over your audience. Nobody wants to tune in to a thirty minute commercial.

Instead, you gain their loyalty by building a relationship of trust. Your podcast should be an investment that’s driven to improve your customers’ experience.

Of course, this strategy isn’t without cost, but as Jay Baer put it, “Youtility isn’t inexpensive; it’s just a different kind of expensive.”

And you’re not going to win the crowd overnight. It’s easy to get caught up in early analytics, but understand that you’ll need to put in the effort to stand out in a crowded B2B space. The fruits of your labor will need time to ripen, but you’ll see results if you stay the course.

When I think about the practical application of this philosophy, I think of Taxi Mike. In his book, Baer talked about this cab driver out of Banff, Alberta.

Taxi Mike printed hundreds of brochures listing local restaurant menus, happy hour specials, shops, golf courses, and so on. He then placed these fliers all over Banff, free for use by any visitors curious about the city. Business owners said that Taxi Mike’s brochures were a hit with locals and tourists alike.

Now, none of the people who perused Taxi Mike’s literature had any obligation to do business with him. But when tourists in town who’d picked up one of his brochures needed a ride, who do you think they called?

Give your listeners an enriching experience, and they’ll remember you when the time comes to close the deal.

Be a Taxi Mike.

Want to learn more about launching a customer-driven B2B podcast? Get in touch with us here!


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