Jeremiah Owyang, director of corporate media strategy at PodTech.net, has a great analysis blog on the state of B2B podcasting. This is clearly a powerful informational medium and distribution capability that is in early innings.
Jeremiah, however, did not dwell on the cost and value -- the economics of B2B podcasting. Yet many of those using B2B podcasts -- internally produced or via third parties (and as one I may be biased) -- are getting great value via the podcasting/transcript/blog triumvirate. The cost savings come in both the ability to capture a lot of knowledge (via phone calls) and then package and distribute it globally via a network as diverse-yet-targeted as iTunes to, well, ZDNet and Blogger.
Proper creation of this content -- when the interests of the listener/reader are paramount -- balances the need for sponsorship with the imperative for value, credibility and acceptance. If it's not worthwhile, people won't listen or read it. If it is, they will -- and they will tell their friends in their communities. It's that simple. After all, it's a blog ... with all the social-Web Darwinism that entails.
And the innovation around B2B podcasts is only beginning. When listeners link to a blog of a transcript, it raises that URL in search rankings, so there's a search relevancy benefit. The sponsors can point their AdWords click-throughs to the educational discussion transcript, not just to a registration or brochure-ware page. So there's a search-based ad benefit by providing the best content along with the best keywords.
When done right, podcasts are a cost-benefit-analysis slam-dunk. The total cost of producing and distributing podcasts, sponsored or otherwise, is a fraction of a white paper, an ad campaign, AdWords, a booth at a trade event, a direct email marketing campaign, a webinar/webcast.
And yet podcasting is often more credible, "lasts" longer as searchable content, is easier to absorb, and can actually extend the value of other outreach activities. Any of these outreach activities are enhanced appreciably at incremental cost when B2B podcasting is used along with them.
For instance, I have already been part of a repurposing of webinars into podcasting/transcript/blog content. I happen to be the featured analyst on the webinar on SOA issues, so I am obviously biased, but it proves a point of new content uses.
Bottom line: B2B podcasts are offering more bang for the buck as native content creation, as well as quickly and easily extending the value and ROI of other informational outreach approaches.