Some blogs are debating the long-term strength of podcasting, and they are focusing on the B2C potential, as usual, and overlooking the B2B potential (which is just kicking in).
One of the oft-overlooked benefits of podcasting in a B2B use is its power as an efficient publishing mechanism. Companies need to publish, more than ever. Yet few people can write well enough, quickly enough to “feed the beast” on an ongoing basis.
Some bloggers do this prolific communications task well, but to tap the bountiful (yet ill-mined) tactit knowledge and expose the unique information welled up inside of companies, a quick recorded phone call between the inside and outside experts can generate a huge amount of high-quality, balanced content — fast.
Audio-based knowledge mining can be done as a service, at high-value, and can make companies with little core competency in publishing able to do it like a pro -- on a constant, recurring basis. They can bring audio-content capture publishing (nee podcasting) in-house or outsource (or both).
They can move up the modality spectrum to video, or down into just publishing the text transcript from the podcasts. They can add-in their own ads (aka house ads), or support their partners with embedded messaging and links. Put the content behind a firewall, or registration, or use your directory to allow admission to only those in the community that the company wants to share knowledge with.
So the podcast transcript and the audio become the cores from which companies feed their blogs, websites, mar-com, wikis, SEO, AdWords campaigns, speeches, powerpoint slides, and build-out the ongoing dialogues that attract and hold the communities that are their future. Savvy companies can use these as the mortar that fuses their partner and distributor ecologies.
If business is a series of conversations that leads to action, then podcasting -- in the B2B sense -- has a bright and loud future. And you are always free to direct this conversation out to consumers too, in the formats of their liking, perhaps through a podcast aggregation service like iTunes.