Marketing Like a True Crime Podcaster

September 2022

During my early morning walks, I often listen to true crime podcasts. I listen as much for the storytelling as the sleuthing, and I’ve come to see B2B content marketing similarly.

Some true crime podcasters retell a solved crime to cast doubts or confirm a killer. Others attempt to open unsolved cases to bring new attention to an old case. In many ways, B2B content marketing does something similar: It lays out details of a product or service, so prospective customers reach their own conclusions.

It’s how that content is constructed that can influence a purchase, even make or break a marketing campaign. So, with a tip o’ the hat to the best true crime podcasters, here are suggestions for removing all doubts that your (or your client’s) solution is the one.

True crime podcasters turn to the experts

The best true crime podcasters turn to the experts. They research a crime from all angles—official law enforcement reports, interviews with detectives and survivors, books on specific crimes, etc. Untold hours of research go into an episode because the narrator needs to get it right. They attribute sources to lend credibility. The same holds for those who write content for marketing: They need to know their stuff and give credit where due.

Before embarking on a new campaign or project, gather a great deal of information, sift for relevance, talk to experts, then distill everything to the most salient details. Experts should include product developers for technical details and actual customers for testimonials. Do not make claims that cannot be substantiated.

The devil’s in the details

Many a true crime podcaster gins up the action by hinging a scene or episode on a small detail previously overlooked or dismissed. They want to sow doubt about the official story. Or at least reflect questionable moves in the original investigation.

Buyers need a reason to purchase goods, and good content marketing not only provides those reasons, but it wraps them in compelling imagery to entice decision-makers without getting bogged down in data points. This is where language and presentation are paramount. Remember: The right details presented at the right time help a prospect put together all the pieces leading to a sale.

True crime podcasters get to the point … we hope

There is nothing more annoying than listening to hours of a true crime podcast, only for an episode or season to end without knowing whodunit. Some podcasters admit upfront they are reopening a cold case in search of new leads. But others strongly hint at a resolution that never lands. They also fill airtime with extraneous material that has nothing to do with the case.

The same can happen with poorly written marketing material that hypes goods or services without social proof. Or, they spend too much time talking about the company and not enough talking to the customer.

Let me say that again: Your content should be about the user, not the producer. Good content marketing writers understand that P.O.V. and craft copy focused on what it all means for someone else’s business, not theirs. Why more B2B content marketers fail to follow this best practice is a bit of a mystery. They may have a fantastic product or service, but unless its expertly written and intriguingly presented, it won’t land with potential purchasers. And that, some would say, is a crime.

Thank you for reading this,