Podcasts for B2B Marketing? Some Decision-Makers on LinkedIn Listen In

December 1, 2017

More than one-third (35%) of LinkedIn members around the world listen to podcasts, and fewer than 1 in 10 (8%) don’t know what a podcast is, according to results from a recent LinkedIn survey of more than 2,500 members. Respondents ages 18-34 are most likely to be listening to podcasts, with 42% claiming to do so regularly.

There’s not a drastic difference among the age groups, though: 36% of LinkedIn members ages 35-64 regularly listen to podcasts, as do one-third (33%) of those ages 65 and older.

In fact, only one-eighth (12%) of LinkedIn members ages 65 and older are unaware of what podcasts are, per the report.

Podcast listeners are spread across the globe: 41% of LinkedIn members in Brazil listen, as do 39% in the US, 39% in Hong Kong, and 37% in both France and Germany.

Podcasts for B2B?

The LinkedIn analysts argue that podcasts are underused in B2B marketing, pointing to higher engagement with these platforms among senior executives.

Specifically, 44% of senior-level decision-makers on LinkedIn (department heads, VPs, owners and C-suite executives) who know what a podcast is say they make time to listen to them. That compares with 36% of less senior executives and professionals responding to the survey.

The results don’t break out the percentage of executives who know what a podcast is by seniority, so it’s possible that while engagement is higher among senior execs, knowledge of podcasts is lower.

Recent survey data from the Content Marketing Institute indicates that some B2B marketers are making use of podcasts: almost one-fifth (17%) report podcasting as part of their content marketing efforts, up from 12% last year.

Separate data from Marketo suggests that about one-quarter of B2B buyers use podcasts and webinars to engage with vendors when comparing products and services, though their use of these channels diminishes during the purchase and post-purchase stages.

While “a podcast that provides real business value could be just the right content to make a difference” per LinkedIn’s analysts, podcasts seem to have more value as a supplemental source of insights than a primary one. Research from Forbes Insights and the Deloitte Center for Industry Insights reveals that feature-length articles and reports, along with business books, are C-suite execs’ preferred formats for business insights. Just 1% identified podcasts as their preferred format.

Nevertheless, podcasts at the least have an attractive audience profile. A recent study from Nielsen found that podcast listeners are:

  • 68% more likely than the adult population overall to have a post-graduate degree and 45% more likely to have a graduate degree;
  • 32% more likely to have a household income (HHI) of at least $75k and 45% more likely to have an HHI of at least $250k; while being
  • 51% more likely to be working in management and 60% more likely to be professionals.

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