Podcasts in B2B marketing: Are they useful?

National storytelling week highlights how widely lauded this communications tactic has become in B2B marketing. Maxine-Laurie Marshall looks at an underused storytelling technique, the podcast, and assesses its usefulness

The words ‘once upon a time’ almost have a calming effect. They have the ability to take you back to a time where your worries were minimal and your evenings were usually wrapped up with a bedtime story. With these positive connotations and the notion that stories have a moral to be learnt, it’s no wonder marketers are fond of using storytelling as a strategy to share their messages. The beginning of February played host to National Storytelling Week and was a reminder that this medium began in oral form. People told stories and others listened. With this in mind and the podcast Serial going viral, should B2B marketers be looking to exploit audio storytelling in the form of podcasts?

Podcasts never really gained the mainstream popularity other communications channels did, e.g. video and social media. It almost has a reputation of being a bit ‘uncool’, sort of like what a mini-disc player is to the portable music market. But they’ve never disappeared. Podcasts of the radio-based The Archers, Britain’s longest running radio soap Opera, became the BBC’s most popular radio download in August last year. Serial, the podcast about a real-life murder investigation, has been downloaded more than 40 million times.