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Brands That Podcast
1 minutes | Aug 10, 2022
That's a Wrap on Season 2!
Hey BTP listeners! Claudia here, Lemonpie’s Content Marketing Manager. I hope you enjoyed season 2 of Brands that Podcast and all the incredible guests we had on the show. We are officially wrapped with this season but will be back for more in the future. In the meantime, make sure you follow us @LemonpieFM on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. And if you’re interested in reaching your audience on podcasts they love, be sure to check out www.lemonpie.fm.
37 minutes | Jun 1, 2022
Salesforce: Using a Storytelling Approach to Podcast w/ Michael Rivo
In this episode, we talk to Michael Rivo, director of Salesforce Studios, about their incredibly produced show, Blazing Trails, and how they use podcasting to grow their brand. Tune in to learn more about Salesforce crafted its flagship show, how they built a network of shows for different audiences, how they work with their PR team to repurpose podcast content, and so much more. Guest-at-a-Glance Name: Michael Rivo What he does: Director of Salesforce Studio and host of Blazing Trails Connect with him: LinkedIn Key Takeaways It all comes down to creating content that brings value to the listeners. The focus of the Blazing Trails podcast is to create content that helps people be better at work. In large organizations, it’s easy to fall into the mentality of thinking about yourself first and falling back on those company talking points. But Michael says it’s important, particularly in an intimate medium like podcasting, to have those conversations be really authentic and centered around how they’re going to help the listener. Take a newsroom approach to planning podcast content. One way the Salesforce team puts episodes together is by topic. They come together as a team, discuss what’s happening in the world, what’s most important, what’s top of mind for their listeners, and then figure out who would be the most interesting person they can bring to cover that topic. Then, they ask themselves, “Who at Salesforce is really tackling this issue? And how can we bring those people together?” It’s a very organic approach. Get your leadership team involved in the podcast. Provide your team a vehicle to have exciting conversations with thought leaders in their space. This will help you expand your network, bring value to the show, and helps foster relationships inside the organization. Salesforce connects directly with their SVPs and leaders in the company, presents them with a podcast topic, and asks who from outside the organization they would want to have a conversation with about that topic. It gives them a say in the content. If you’re going to use your podcast for product announcements, make sure there’s a story behind it. Don’t just think of it as an announcement. Really think about the why. Why is this coming out now? What’s important about it? What does this mean for a listener in another company? Explain the reasoning and story behind the product vs. just how they would use it. You can also bring on guests who believe in the mission of the product, use it regularly, and can talk about how it benefits them. Podcasts are the perfect medium for brands to employ storytelling. In most other marketing situations, you have a few seconds or minutes to grab your audience’s attention. Whether that be with a tweet, a 5-minute blog post, or a short 60-second video. The constraint of other marketing channels is they make it hard to have in-depth conversations. With podcasting, you’re able to be in someone’s ear for 45 minutes and really tell a story from start to finish. Think about your podcast like a Thanksgiving dinner. From one recording (i.e. Thanksgiving meal), there are so many other pieces of content (i.e. dishes) you can create to increase the number of touchpoints you have with your audience. Blog posts, embedded audio clips, audiograms, LinkedIn posts, Twitter threads. And now, with all those pieces of content, you’re better able to see and track the ROI of the podcast. Treat each episode as a content generation center point. Podcasting is a pretty level playing field. Nothing is stopping you from creating a top-level show. Particularly with remote interviews, you can now bring on guests from all over the world. All you need is a strong brand identity, compelling copy, a unique hook, and an interesting guest list. Anyone can do it. You just need to be willing to put in the work and be consistent with it long enough to really build an audience. Successful podcast hosts are not afraid to show their personalities. Your host doesn’t have to be a performer, but they do need to understand they’re creating an intimate relationship with the listener. They should approach it from a journalistic standpoint where they can be really authentic with their personality and are comfortable speaking and facilitating conversations. Interview prep is key. As a host, you need to take a couple of hours to prepare for each interview. You should be comfortable with the topics, the materials, and the guest’s background, and you need to come up with a strong set of questions to guide the conversation. But with the right prep, you’ll also be able to deviate from your list of questions and have a real conversation. Think about yourself as a stand-in for the audience. Less is more when it comes to creating a podcast network. You should only consider adding new shows to your network if the audiences you’re trying to reach really are so different that they need separate shows for each. Michael believes in the less is more approach. There are only so many shows that your ideal listener is going to have in regular rotation. So your best bet is to build up your singular feed and use series or seasons to separate out topics rather than asking them to subscribe to yet another show.
50 minutes | May 25, 2022
Ahrefs: Maximizing Sponsorships w/ Tim Soulo
In this episode, we chat with Tim Soulo, CMO at Ahrefs, about the power of podcast sponsorships. Ahrefs is a leading SEO tool with about 75 employees and $100M in annual recurring revenue. Simply put, they’re one of the biggest brands in marketing. Tune in to learn why Ahrefs spent $214K in podcast sponsorships over the course of a year, how they measure ROI outside of direct sales and leads, how they use qualitative attribution, and so much more. Guest-at-a-Glance Name: Tim Soulo What he does: Chief Marketing Officer and Product Advisor at Ahrefs Connect with Tim: LinkedIn | Twitter Key Takeaways If you’re looking to sponsor podcasts, make sure you pick shows with active audiences and credible hosts. Make sure you’re not sponsoring a show with inflated numbers or a host who is simply doing this as a hobby for themselves and their friends. This is crucial to ensuring your sponsored message actually gets in front of the right audience and is worth your investment. Podcast ads help you build brand affinity through the “mere exposure effect”. The “mere exposure effect” is a psychological phenomenon where the more people are exposed to your brand, the more likely they are to develop an affinity for it. When the listener is faced with making a choice between your brand versus one not on their radar, they will choose yours merely due to the fact they heard about you numerous times on a podcast. The best host-read ads come from hosts who’ve used your product. When a host can give a more natural read of your product because they’ve used it themselves, the audience will listen more attentively because they already know and trust the host. Your goal is to partner with hosts who will genuinely recommend your product, regardless of whether you sponsor them or not. Always negotiate sponsorship pricing. Podcast sponsorship pricing is all over the map. The best strategy is to reach out to at least 20 podcasts, gather pricing information, and figure out averages before you commit to anyone. This will help you determine who’s pricing is above standard and who is undercharging so you can negotiate better deals for your brand. Treat download numbers with suspicion. It’s commonly known in the podcast industry that download numbers aren’t the most accurate representation of the number of listens per episode. When you consider sponsoring a show, make sure the host is well known in the industry. Look at their social following to ensure they have a loyal audience versus worrying about their monthly podcast download numbers. Partner on a giveaway with the host in exchange for engagement. You can offer the host a free version of your product to giveaway to their listeners, and in exchange, they can ask listeners to leave reviews or subscribe to their show. Not only will this get you extra air time at no additional cost, but it will increase the attention span of the listeners because they’re getting something of value for free. Sponsor an interview question instead of a host-read ad for a more organic insertion of your brand. Rather than paying for the typical host-read ad at the start, middle, or end of an episode, consider sponsoring an interview question instead. This will give you the opportunity to create a natural plug for your brand within the conversation and won’t break the attention of the listeners. Convert hosts into brand advocates by offering them your product for free. If you’re targeting hosts who are your ideal customers, offer them your tool or product for free for a limited time, help them set it up, and help them understand what it can do for them so they give you a more genuine endorsement on their show and continue to organically talk about you outside of your sponsorship agreement. It pays to pay creators. When you sponsor creators, you form relationships through the process of educating them on your brand. You pay them for their time and for their work, and if your product is good, you essentially turn them into organic fans. Meaning, even after you stop sponsoring them, they will naturally continue talking about you. Think about sponsorships as paying for the creator’s work. In 2022, Ahrefs is investing exclusively in creators versus big advertising companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Their philosophy centers around the idea of paying talented creators for their work, not their loyalty. Rather than investing in brand advocates, think about it as investing in a piece of work that would’ve otherwise not been created. Mentions Ahrefs Podcast Advertising Lessons Learned Article Ahrefs Podcast Advertising Lessons Learned Video
53 minutes | May 18, 2022
Transistor: Transparency in Podcasting w/ Justin Jackson
Today’s guest is Justin Jackson, Co-Founder of Transistor, our favorite podcast hosting platform. In this episode, we talk about ways companies can use podcasting to build a community of supporters. You’ll learn more about the number one metric businesses should be measuring when it comes to their podcast ROI, how critical it is for shows and brands to be transparent, and the different use cases of internal or private podcasting. Guest-at-a-Glance Name: Justin Jackson What he does: Co-founder of Transistor and co-host of Build Your SaaS Connect with him: Twitter | LinkedIn | Website | YouTube | Instagram Key Takeaways Podcasting helps you build a community of supporters for your brand. Justin and his business partner, Jon, were able to build a community of supporters for Transistor right from the start through their podcast, Build Your SaaS. They weren’t afraid to address real problems and have hard conversations on the show. Not only did this help them build an authentic community, but it helped them grow as partners. Your audience doesn’t want to listen to a buttoned-up podcast. They want the hero’s journey. They want to see someone struggle and not be there yet because it’s more relatable than a typical corporate podcast where everything is cleaned up and they have it all together. Your audience wants transparency from you. They want to follow along as the hero faces different obstacles and overcomes them. Response rate should be the most important KPI you measure for your podcast. Does anyone actually respond to your show? Are you compelling your audience to take an action? Did anyone care enough to reach out and give you feedback or a review? Did anyone write you an email to tell you how much your podcast helped them? Did anyone tweet about an episode and recommend it to their followers? That’s the best way to measure success, not downloads. Transparency in podcasting isn’t black or white. There’s a spectrum of how transparent you can be about certain situations. You need to be judicious about what you choose to share in a way that serves your audience. For Justin, sharing Transistor’s revenue from the inception of the company worked until they reached about $30K in monthly revenue. After that, the arc of the story passed. They made it from $0 to $30K, and it was no longer advantageous to them or their audience to see their revenue numbers. Most attribution is “dirty”. The reality behind marketing and podcast ROI is most attribution is dirty, meaning it’s incredibly difficult to get right. There’s usually a lot of noise surrounding the tools that track people and their activity, particularly in podcasting where metrics and attribution have challenging history. That’s why Justin prefers measuring success through a simple metric, like response rate. There’s no need to put it in a spreadsheet or track every comment. It’s a simple feeling of the general momentum of your show. Prompt your audience to engage with your podcast. During an episode, use prompts and questions to get your audience to engage with you. You can ask them what they think about a certain portion of the episode and have them email you their thoughts or even tweet them. You can’t expect the audience to act without giving them a reason or asking them to. Have conversations with your audience to gather qualitative data. The only way to turn qualitative data into quantitative is to actually have conversations with your listeners. If you talk to 100 listeners and 85 of them say, “I loved the episode you did on X,” now you have a quantitative metric to show that that particular episode was important. You can then take it a step further and figure out why they thought it was important so you can replicate the success in future episodes. Use internal podcasting for training and onboarding. Justin suggests companies take advantage of internal podcasting by using the platform for training and onboarding. Create a compelling 6-episode series that explains your company, how you got here, what to expect, etc., and share that with every new hire. You can even drip feed the episodes where the employee only gets one episode at a time to really help maintain the storyline. Private podcasts aren’t just for employees. You can use them for customers too. If you could give your best, most important customers an inside look into things you’re working on, what you’re thinking about, what you’re wrestling with, etc., you’re making them feel like they’re an exclusive part of your brand. You can use Transistor for dynamic ad insertions. Rather than having to manually download your episodes, edit them to add a special announcement (e.g. you’re hosting a conference and want to share with your audience), and reupload the episodes, you can now use Transistor’s dynamic ad insertions to set up campaigns. Your announcements/ads will run on all live episodes for whatever specified time you set in the backend, and once it’s done, the ads are automatically removed from all episodes. Mentions Bootstrapped Web Podcast The Art of Product Podcast How I Built This: Patagonia
40 minutes | May 11, 2022
Purdue: Podcasting for Universities w/ Kate Young
In this week’s episode, we talk with the host, writer, and producer of This is Purdue, Kate Young, about why a university like Purdue would start a podcast. You’ll hear how they measure success, what their goals are with the podcast, how it impacts growth at the university, and how they grew to 116,000 listeners in 2021. Guest-at-a-Glance Name: Kate Young What she does: Host, writer, and producer of the This is Purdue podcast Connect with her: LinkedIn Key Takeaways Use YouTube as a way to grow your podcast. Don’t forget about YouTube when it comes to sharing your podcast. Particularly, if you record video versions of your episodes. The Purdue team uses a mix of organic and paid strategies to boost their podcast views by taking an entire 40-minute interview, optimizing the titles and descriptions, and also uploading the audio version of the podcast using Wavve or Headliner. They’ve seen a 195% increase in downloads using this strategy. Podcasting allows you to tell a more personal story. Purdue uses their podcast as a pure brand play. Rather than writing these stories, they bring on faculty, alumni, and students so listeners can hear these stories directly from the voices making an impact on their school. Not only does this create a sense of community within students, but it also connects alumni and faculty back to their alma mater. You can reach older alumni by sharing the podcast RSS feed on Facebook. Some of the older alumni might not be as familiar with podcasts or podcast apps. So in order to reach that audience, the Purdue team connects the podcast’s RSS feed to Facebook so people can listen directly from that platform. YouTube would be another great way to reach an audience who might be less likely to subscribe to a podcast but are more likely to subscribe to a YouTube channel. It’s important to repurpose each episode into digestible social content. Purdue shares everything from audiograms and TikToks to short video clips and quote graphics for every episode they publish. Because this is their official university podcast, the marketing and communications teams are able to manage the show from start to finish, meaning the branding is consistent throughout, and social content is created on a regular basis. This helps their audience grow on all platforms. Work hand-in-hand with your PR team to cross-promote your podcast episodes. When pitching to media outlets, Purdue’s PR team embeds any relevant podcast clips into their articles to provide an audio version of the story they’re trying to tell. Not only does this give the reader and media outlets a more personal perspective on the story, but it also increases your podcast reach and downloads. Growth can explode when guests share your show. It’s important to give your guests a nicely packaged set of assets they can use to promote your podcast episodes. This should include graphics, videos, show notes, and even social copy. Make it as easy as possible for them to share your content in order to increase your podcast’s reach within their audience. The ultimate success metric is getting positive podcast feedback from people outside the Purdue community. When Kate hears compliments on Purdue’s podcast from people who went to other schools (even rival schools), that’s when she knows the show is a true success. Those people aren’t tied to Purdue, they didn’t drink the Kool-Aid, yet they still enjoy listening to the podcast and find value in it. That’s the ultimate goal and measure of success. It’s not too late to start a podcast. It may seem like there’s an overabundance of podcasts out there and your window to start a new one may be closing. But Kate mentioned out of the millions of podcasts in production, only 322,000 are active. Many people and brands realize how much work goes into creating and sustaining a show and give up after a season, or even after 10 episodes. So if you’re thinking of getting into podcasting as a marketing or brand play, know that it’s not too late. Having 100 people listen to your podcast for 30 minutes is more impactful than 500 website impressions. The power of audio is undeniable. Having 100 people listen to your branded podcast content for 30 to 45 minutes and truly immersing themselves in your brand has a much larger emotional impact than 500 website visits. A podcast allows listeners to spend quality time with your brand, which is incomparable to a 2-minute article read. This allows you to build trust and brand affinity. Mentions Riverside Descript Wavve Headliner
40 minutes | May 4, 2022
Mailchimp: Creating Holistic Podcast Content w/ Julie Douglas
In this episode, we chat with Julie Douglas, Senior Manager of Mailchimp Studios, about their on-demand audio and video platform for entrepreneurs, Mailchimp Presents. You’ll learn how they got started and the philosophy and belief in brand that drove the creation of Mailchimp Presents, how they think about the success of their content, how they develop concepts for the platform, their podcasting goals, and so much more. Guest-at-a-Glance Name: Julie Douglas What she does: Senior Manager of Mailchimp Studios Connect with her: LinkedIn Key Takeaways Podcasts give you a way to bring people into your brand’s ecosystem without directly marketing to them. Mailchimp creates content that truly addresses current and potential customers in a very holistic way. They think about all the different aspects of being an entrepreneur, from the emotional to the tactical journey, and create podcasts that speak to those experiences. This helps their listeners connect with the brand on a deeper level without feeling like they’re being sold to. Research and speak to your customers to understand how to position your podcast in a way that brings value to them. Run focus groups, get on the phone with customers, and collect survey responses. Do whatever you can to hear from your target market directly so you can understand them on an emotional level. By doing so, you’ll know exactly how to position your podcast in a way that inspires them and helps them through any challenges they face. The purpose of a podcast isn’t to Trojan Horse your company out there. The purpose is to create content that is meaningful and sincere. Your audience can see right through any marketing play you might throw at them by creating a branded podcast. In order to create a meaningful and emotional connection with the audience, think about how your content helps them. How does it inspire them? How does it make them feel? Make sure your host is a stakeholder in the topic you want to cover. Don’t just hire a host for the sake of hiring someone that is talented on the mic. They need to be a stakeholder, an expert, or a guide in the topic your podcast will cover. The show needs to reflect the host's own world in order for it to feel authentic to the listeners. This also helps the host know how and when to dive deeper into certain topics. When creating a podcast, think about whether it can stand for the long haul. Your podcast should be centered around a topic or concept you can execute for a long time. The reason being is it takes a while to build an audience. When you think about starting a podcast, think about what it looks like 10 years from now versus just 1 year from now. This will help you determine if you really have what it takes to grow it into a cornerstone piece of content. If you’re considering running ads on your podcast, think about how it benefits your audience and customers. Rather than running ads as an opportunity to open up a revenue stream, think about how the content in those ads is going to help the listeners and potential customers. Take a page from Mailchimp and be “customer-obsessed.” When you put your listeners first, you create the trust needed to build a loyal audience and customer base. Mailchimp measures the success of the Mailchimp Presents platform by how it supports their spirit of generosity and support. Yes, they measure the analytics behind the platform. How many people visit the site, how many people consume their content, and how many of them convert to customers. But they also look at it from a holistic perspective of how is this platform helping or supporting its audience and creators. Approach podcasting from a sincere angle. Try to get to the why of what you’re doing with your podcast and identity what can be useful for the audience. At the end of the day, you want it to be a two-way conversation between you as a host (and brand) and the audience. Mentions Mailchimp’s ad on Serial The Jump Bloom Season Hands on a Hardbody Going Through It Pineapple Street Media Little Everywhere Call Paul All in a Day’s Work
39 minutes | Apr 27, 2022
HubSpot: Building a Podcast Network w/ Alanah Joseph
In this episode, we talk with Alanah Joseph, Head of Creator Partnerships at HubSpot, about the ins and outs of building a podcast network through unique partnerships. You’ll learn why HubSpot started the network, the innovative ways Alanah and her team form mutually beneficial relationships with the hosts, and how they’re taking it all to the next level with their new HubSpot Creator Network. Guest-at-a-Glance Name: Alanah Joseph What she does: Head of Creator Partnerships at HubSpot Connect with her: LinkedIn | Twitter | YouTube Key Takeaways Successful podcasts have talented hosts who want to inspire and educate their audience. When looking for podcasts to add to their network, HubSpot focuses on finding talented hosts who are dedicated to bringing educational content to their audience. Instead of looking at downloads, they analyze reviews and comments on social media to see how engaged the audience is and to gauge whether or not they appreciate the content the host works hard to create. Sponsored ads should be customized to fit the audience of each show. As an advertiser, HubSpot collaborates with the podcast hosts in its network to ensure their ads fit the personality and audience of each show. They work hand-in-hand with their podcasters to figure out who their audience is, what they care about, where in the world they are, etc., and then create ads that will be valuable to the listeners. The success of a podcast network depends on whether the hosts see value in it or not. Of course, you can measure the success of a podcast network based on acquisition and lead generation. However, it’s equally, if not more, important to understand how the hosts feel about working within the network and the value they see from it. Do they feel supported? Is it a collaborative partnership? HubSpot, for example, has a match program where they help match a podcaster’s ad budget so they can run larger campaigns on Facebook or Spotify. When it comes to podcast analytics, qualitative feedback is king. While downloads are an important number to keep track of, it’s also important to monitor the qualitative data from your show. What sort of feedback are the listeners sharing with you? Are they leaving positive or negative reviews? Are they sharing your episodes on social media? Because the tech behind podcast analytics isn’t quite where it should be, you need to be able to go off of instinct based on what you hear from your audience. HubSpot Creators is a program focused on helping smaller, more diverse voices grow. HubSpot’s newest initiative, HubSpot Creators, is a program for emerging business-related shows and creators. They want to make an effort to bring forward smaller, more diverse voices that are offering valuable content and support them as they reach success. Mentions Selling Made Simple Podcast Podsights Chartable HubSpot Creators
41 minutes | Apr 20, 2022
Klue: Humanizing B2B Podcasts w/ Adam McQueen
In this week’s episode, we talk to Adam McQueen, Content Marketing Manager at Klue and host of the Competitive Enablement Show, about how he grew and humanized their podcast from the ground up with very few resources. You’ll learn more about how Adam and his team chose the concept and hook of the show, how they measure success and think about ROI, and how he successfully launched a live community during the early stages of the podcast. Guest-at-a-Glance Name: Adam McQueen What he does: Content Marketing Manager at Klue Connect with him: LinkedIn Key Takeaways Running a podcast for your business can help make you an expert on the topic. Even though Adam was new to the topic of competing in business, he took the podcast as an opportunity to bring in experts to learn from. Not only did this give him quality content to share with their audience, but it provided a level of education he could then use to confidently form his own unique point of view on the topic of competitive enablement. You can either be the expert or the guide to the expert and in this case, Adam was the latter. The key to building an audience that comes back is having authentic conversations with your guests. As a host, you need to know how to facilitate the conversation and extract real examples. It’s also important to know when to poke and prod at the guests’ answers to uncover why they believe what they believe. This may also lead to healthy debates or contrarian points of view, which help to solidify the authenticity of the conversation and keep listeners engaged. Don’t make a copycat podcast. Canvas the market and take inspiration from the best podcasts you see in your space, but put your own spin on it. Be human and figure out what makes people want to listen to you over anyone else. No one follows a copycat. Podcasting is extremely effective for marketing teams because it fuels every other content channel. You can take clips, snips, highlights, guest quotes, etc., and use those moments as fuel for your other marketing channels, like newsletters, socials, or blogs. Just because someone doesn’t have 30 minutes to listen to a full episode doesn’t mean they can’t still learn from you from a 60-second segment. This, in turn, might be a gateway to getting them to listen to the next episode. Use your podcast content for sales enablement. Klue keeps a searchable internal repository of podcast content within Notion so their sales team can easily access clips and “SparkNotes” on specific topics covered on the show. They can then use this content to share insights with prospective customers and showcase the company’s POV. The success of your podcast should be measured on engagement, not downloads. Are you making a connection with the audience? Do they send you feedback on the show? Are they sharing your episodes on social media? It’s more impactful to have 100 people listening to your show who really care and engage with you than it is to have 5,000 downloads with little to no feedback. Don’t treat podcast lives like webinars. It shouldn’t be a one-hour presentation or a siloed conversation between the host and guest. Instead, make it human. Open up a Zoom room and actually interact with the faces on the screen. Have conversations, and let people chime in. That’s where the magic of community is built. Avoid the “sameness” of B2B content. Oftentimes, B2B content can feel a bit repetitive. It seems like when you scroll through your feed, everyone is talking about the same things or sharing the same style clips. Don’t fall into the trap of “sameness”. Ask yourself, “What can I do, even with a podcast clip, that’s different than everything else out there?” Continue to iterate and improve your content until you find your unique voice and approach. Looking into why specific episodes get more downloads than others will help grow your show in the future. Even if your numbers are modest to start, it’s important to analyze why certain episodes get higher downloads than others. Is it your hook? Is it your episode title? Is it your guest? Is it because of a specific clip you shared on social? Was it the way it was distributed to your email list? Learn from these tactics so you can apply them to future episodes and grow your podcast. It’s important to have leadership support to take creative risks. You’re not going to get your podcast right from the start. You’re going to make mistakes. You’ll likely cringe when you listen back to your episode 01. But the key is having support from the top to take those creative risks, test different strategies out, fail your way through a few of them, and learn from it all so you can make a bigger and better show. The value of your show is in the quality of the content, first and foremost. Identify who your audience is, the problems they face, or the questions they need answers to, and go out there and create a show that helps them work through these challenges. If you’re not giving your audience the value they’re looking to get from you, your show will inevitably fail, regardless of the level of production or guest roster.
27 minutes | Apr 13, 2022
Databox: Using a Repeatable Podcast Format w/ John Bonini
Today’s guest is John Bonini, Director for Marketing at Databox, a cool SaaS platform that lets you build reporting dashboards and track performance from every tool you use. In this episode, you’ll hear why podcasting was one of the first channels John chose to invest in after seeing massive success with SEO. He also explains how their podcast, Metrics & Chill, plays into the rest of their content strategy, along with how he thinks about growth, and a ton more. Guest-at-a-Glance Name: John Bonini What he does: Director of Marketing at Databox, host of Metrics & Chill, and creator of Some Good Content Connect with him: LinkedIn | Twitter Key Takeaways Podcasts are a great way to stand out from the competition. Databox was quick to convert to podcasting once they realized none of their competitors were in that space. It was a great way to stand out, talk directly to their ideal customers, showcase their brand’s personality, and help break them into the industry. Podcasts with a repeatable format are easier for smaller teams to manage. John decided to use a repeatable format, or what he likes to call “The Tonight Show Approach”, with the Databox podcast in order to make it easier for their small team to manage. With quicker episodes and a consistent set of questions, their podcast content can easily be transposed into different content formats, like blog posts or newsletters. If your content strategy is focused on SEO, don’t overlap that approach with your podcast. Use the two content channels differently. Many companies treat podcasting as another way to drive more traffic or leads, but if you already have a written content strategy in place that performs well at the top of the funnel, then your podcast should be more of a brand play. Use it as a way to showcase the views of your company and leaders to cement your positioning in the minds of the listeners. A repeatable podcast format helps listeners know what to expect from each episode. Rather than freewheeling an interview, you could take a repeatable approach and ask the same 10 questions to each guest. After 25 episodes, you’ll be left with a lot of qualitative data around those questions that you could then use to create reports, blog posts, or videos. A strong podcast host knows how to get the human side out of a conversation. Avoid asking yes or no questions. Instead, focus on pulling out stories from your guests. Lead with things like, “Tell me about…” or “Tell me a time when…” or “How did you feel when…”. This helps guests open up about their feelings and experiences rather than respond with short, surface-level answers. If you can get the human side out of a conversation, that’s where the magic happens. Don’t start a podcast because everyone else is doing it. You have to have a desire to start your own branded show. Don’t feel pressured by what the rest of the market is doing. It’s important to ask yourself, “Should you do it? Do you want to do it? And do you have the staff to execute a full show?” Podcasting is a good way for legacy companies to stay in the conversation. If you’re running a legacy company, you might wonder if you should even bother podcasting at all? John thinks it’s a great way for staying top of mind. Particularly, for consumers who are trying to decide between you and your top competitors. If you’re one of 5 big players in your industry and all 4 of your competitors are podcasting, they’ll be more relevant in conversations than you.
77 minutes | Apr 6, 2022
Q&A: How to Run a Podcast PR Tour
In this special Q&A episode, Jeremiah is joined by Lemonpie CEO and Founder, Erik Jacobson, and our Head of Talent Relations, Josh Crist, to talk about what it takes to run a podcast PR tour. This is a must-listen if you’re considering a tour for your brand but aren’t sure where to start. Erik and Josh walk you through the ins and outs of identifying shows to pitch, strategies for landing interviews, the value of podcast guesting, and how to measure the success of it all. Guests-at-a-Glance Names: Erik Jacobson and Josh Crist What they do: Erik is the CEO and founder of Lemonpie and Josh is the Head of Talent Relations at Lemonpie Connect with them: Erik’s LinkedIn | Erik’s Twitter | Josh’s LinkedIn Key Takeaways Podcast tours are like the digital version of a book tour but for your brand. Podcast tours, like book tours, are a way for you to build awareness for your brand and for you (or your employees) as a thought leader in your industry. It’s the proactive strategy of finding podcasts that your ideal customers or ideal team members listen to and getting interviewed on as many of them as possible over a short period of time. Being a guest on a podcast helps position you as the expert in your space. The more your name appears across podcasts in your industry, the more dominant the perception of you and your brand becomes. You don’t have to be a market leader to reap the benefits of a podcast tour. Instead, your goal should be to give the best, most transparent interview those shows have ever had in order to build trust with the audience and be seen as an expert in your space. Leads from podcast tours come from the aggregation of multiple interviews. Rather than micro analyzing the number of leads you get from one specific interview, you should take a more holistic approach. Look at the aggregation of leads coming from all the interviews on your tour. It’s about setting the sail in the right direction versus narrowing your focus on each individual opportunity. Repurpose episode content from your guesting opportunities. Many guests miss the chance to repurpose content from their interviews to share across their own organic channels. Rather than waiting for the host/show to send you assets, you can actually record videos of yourself for every single interview you give or even write blog posts out of the topics you cover. This will give you the ability to distribute your own repurposed content even if the host/show doesn’t provide you with marketing content to work with. Go into your podcast tour with clear and realistic goals so you don’t quit too early. What are you asking of this channel in relation to the goal you hope it achieves? If you’re looking for podcast PR tours to drive leads in the first 30 days, there’s likely a mismatch between what this channel can do for you and what your goals are. Measuring podcast tour results is not the same as measuring paid acquisition channels. You need to be willing to stick with it long enough to see the outsized returns it can drive, even with the limitations of podcast tour analytics. Podcast tours are great for companies that believe in raising the profiles of the executives on their teams. If you believe that people want to buy from people, then this is the right strategy for you. You need to go into this channel with the philosophical mindset that brand building comes from raising the profiles of the executives on your team. The compounding results of a podcast tour come in months 6 through 12+. This isn’t something you see results from within the first 3 months of your tour. Yes, you will see and be able to generate activity, but there’s oftentimes a lag from when the podcaster agrees to interview you to when the episode goes live. So you need to go into the first 3 months knowing it’s a ramp-up period where you build up a snowball effect with compounding results in months 6 through 12+. The key to being a successful podcast guest is having domain expertise and sharing it in a vulnerable way. A podcast interview isn’t a 30-minute pitch or webinar of your product. Instead, it’s a time for you to share the expertise you’ve learned from being in the same position the listeners are in. What sort of experience do you bring to the table that only you could have from having lived the same experiences of the listeners you’re speaking to? It’s more important to look at the impact of a show vs. the size. When deciding which shows to pitch and guest on, it’s important to look at the size and impact as two separate factors. Shows with hundreds of downloads versus millions of downloads both have their place and can be valuable. But in the end, what matters is the impact this show has and what the audience fit is relative to your brand. We use the Lemonpie Score to figure out which shows to pitch for our clients. Lead your podcast guesting pitch with empathy. When pitching to be a guest on a show, it’s important to lead with empathy and show up with value whenever you’re engaging with a host. Rather than assuming you have something they want, take the time to learn, engage, and build them up and their show in some way. Get to know the podcaster, what they care about, what kind of guests they like to spend time with, what community engagement they like to drive, etc. and figure out how you can help them succeed in those areas. Timing, fit, and approach are all critical to how you pitch a podcaster. Whenever you pitch a guest to a podcaster, think about the timing, fit, and approach. Timing means they must be in need of and open to guests. Fit means you’re bringing value to their listeners that’s relevant to the show. And when you’re approaching them, you need to meet them where they are and not assume the host wants to engage with you on your terms. Personalize your pitch and add a “5-Minute Favor”. Personalizing your pitch emails seems obvious but it’s a point most people miss. Take the time to actually listen to the podcast, comb through their social media, find out what the host really cares about or what excites them so you can reference those conversations in your email. Also, you can add a “5-Minute Favor” where you do something to be kind, helpful, or deliver value to them that shows up within the first 5 minutes of your engagement with them. This could be a thoughtful and personalized review of their show, it could be buying their book and leaving them a review, it could be tagging them on social and promoting their show. Prep is key to giving the best guest interview. The research and prep that happens before your interview isn’t something to skip over. This can be as simple as listening to previous episodes, researching the host on social media to understand what matters to them, reading any articles they’ve written or been featured in, or watching videos they’ve produced. A lot of the work you do to prep your pitch can then be used to build a relationship with the host so you can give the best interview that show’s ever had. Increased vulnerability = increased trust. One of the main reasons you go on a podcast tour is to build trust with the people you want to know you and your brand. Trust is more easily created when you show vulnerability to the audience. This means you open up about your failures and how you learned from them, or you are willing to give away information for free that is deemed to be extremely valuable. Your goal is to give away as many “head-nod moments” as possible in your interview. “Head-nod moments” refers to moments in your interview where you’re giving away so much value and information that the listener has to pause the episode, open their Notes app, and write down what you’re saying. You can spark these moments by sharing your methodology, framework, resources you use, or how to get from point A to point B. Self-reported attribution is the best way to measure the success of your podcast tour. This means you have a blank field on your website asking people how they heard about you, or you ask your sales team to add that question to their follow-up strategy. By letting people explain to you, in their own words, how they found you, you’ll be able to better track which leads are coming to you from a podcast. Mentions Podcast Guesting Guide Podcast Tour Strategies Rephonic Listen Notes SparkToro How to Measure Podcast ROI
39 minutes | Mar 30, 2022
InVision: Establishing a Loyal Audience w/ Eli Woolery
In this episode, Jeremiah sits down with Eli Woolery, Senior Director for Design Education at InVision, to chat about the impeccable execution of their content platform and podcast, Design Better. Design Better is an entire brand within InVision that produces books, industry reports, a podcast, a newsletter, blogs, and so much more. It’s entirely focused on delivering high-quality education and value to its audience. Tune in to learn why they built Design Better as a complementary brand to InVision, how their focus has changed over the years, how they execute their 6-season podcast, and why they believe in investing in podcasting for the long haul. Guest-at-a-Glance Name: Eli Woolery What he does: Senior Director of Design Education at InVision and Lecturer in Product Design at Stanford Connect with Eli: LinkedIn | Twitter Key Takeaways Create content that is useful to people without expecting anything in return. The entire philosophy behind InVision’s Design Better brand is creative generosity. They produce content that’s useful for people purely with the intention of helping them become better at what they do versus promoting their own product. When you lead with value, you have a better chance of building a loyal community around your brand. Growing a podcast takes time, no matter who you are or what brand you represent. Even though InVision started with a base email list of millions of subscribers, it still took them a couple of years to really build up the Design Better podcast. It’s important to set the right expectations from the start that these things take time. You won’t see an immediate ROI, so your leadership team needs to have the confidence and patience to let the podcast run its course. If you, as a host, are bored of your content, your audience likely is too. How do you know when it’s time to switch up or expand your podcast? Eli says when you, as a host, are bored and no longer curious to learn, that’s when you need to move beyond the topics you normally cover. Because if you’re bored, your audience likely feels the same if they’ve been following you for a while. Your podcast content should continuously align with the overall direction of your product. Whether you’re working on a podcast, blog, newsletter, video series, or a combination of all channels, your content should always align with the direction your product is taking. If your product is now serving a purpose for a broader audience, your content needs to reflect that broadening as well. Design Better, for example, shifted its focus from primarily design-heavy content to more broad collaboration to reflect the change in InVision’s target ICP. Themed seasons help create guardrails around who you want to bring on as guests. Each of the 6 seasons of Design Better has a unique theme, and the purpose of those themes is to help anchor the content and guest roster. However, they make sure the theme is flexible enough to where it doesn’t restrict them when they want to bring someone really interesting on the show who might not fit the exact criteria. Podcasts are a great top-of-funnel strategy to build brand awareness. With podcast metrics being hard to track, InVision focuses its podcasting efforts purely on brand building and brand awareness. To them, success comes in the form of audience growth season by season, which means more people are exposed to the InVision brand and hopefully stick with them throughout the customer journey. They also repurpose podcast content on their blog where they can better track click-throughs on their CTAs. The quality of your podcast reflects the quality of your brand. If you’re asking people to listen to you for 45 minutes, it’s in your best interest to provide them with good quality audio. By simply switching from Zoom to Riverside or Zencastr, you can 10x your audience’s listening experience. Remember that your podcast is a direct reflection of your brand. The higher quality you provide, the more your audience will trust your expertise. Podcasts are a great alternative to traditional media channels. Podcasting allows your audience to connect with you on a deeper, more personal level for longer periods of time than any other traditional media channel allows for. You’re better able to have discussions and go deeper on topics, which means there’s a better chance for you to build credibility and trust with your audience. Plan to invest a year’s worth of time into your podcast before you see any tangible results. You can’t run a podcast for a few months and expect to see any results out of it. This type of format requires a long-term mindset and a lot of patience. You need to be willing to invest at least one year’s worth of time before you see any tangible results, like audience growth or an increase in customer leads. Don’t discount the power of audio storytelling. Even if you have a smaller audience, if you look at your numbers and see your listeners are engaged and growing (albeit slowly), you’re still building an intimate connection. This isn’t something you can normally do with other forms of media, including video. It’s harder to keep someone’s attention through a one-hour video than it is through a one-hour podcast. The power of audio is unbeatable. Mentions Freehand Seth Godin Design Better Episode Riverside Zencastr
37 minutes | Mar 23, 2022
Q&A: How to Use B2B Podcasting to Grow Your Brand
In this Q&A episode, Jeremiah covers various ways you can use B2B podcasting to help your company grow. We’ll cover everything from how you can use your podcast to empower your sales team to how it can fuel ongoing market research. We’ll also cover examples of great B2B podcasts you can use to emulate or take notes from, and we’ll provide you with a couple of agencies and tools we’d recommend to help you get the job done. Key Takeaways Use your podcast to empower your sales team and shorten the sales cycle. Build a library of episodes that cover common concerns your sales team hears from prospective clients. This way, whenever that question comes up in the sales process, your team has multiple, long-form episodes they can share with prospects for them to consume asynchronously without the pressure of a sales call. This also gives clients the opportunity to share internally with the rest of their team so everyone can get on board. Having a B2B podcast helps you build serendipitous relationships. The people you interview on your show can eventually become industry partners, collaborators, co-sponsors, or even future customers. Your B2B podcast gives you the platform to connect with leaders in your industry and create mutually beneficial relationships due to the trust that is built throughout the interview process. You can build an audience and community around your brand. Think of your podcast as an audio version of your newsletter. It gives you the opportunity to build an audience that’s connected with you and wants to hear what you have to say every week, outside of social media. While social followers are looking for quick insights, podcast listeners are allowing you to take up 40+ minutes of their time. Your podcast helps you stand out from the competition. Your competitors are likely all on social media or have a newsletter. But depending on your niche, they may not have a podcast yet. This means you could be the first in your industry to capture the power of audio with your branded podcast. Even if there are 10 other shows in your space, you still have the opportunity to be the best, to provide the most value, or to be the most creative. It also helps give your brand a voice that listeners can grow an affinity towards. B2B podcasts act as amazing content marketing engines. Your podcast can either drive or supplement your content strategy. For established B2B businesses with long-standing content plans, a podcast can help drive more content into their channels and can supplement specific topics or themes they want to cover for the month. But for B2B startups without a strong content team, your podcast can drive your entire strategy, meaning you take the content from each episode and turn it into 20-30 pieces of content for each of your marketing channels (articles, newsletters, videos, social posts, etc.). Your podcast can fuel long-term market and customer research. Similar to your marketing team listening to sales calls to better understand your customer’s pain points, you can use your B2B podcast on a wider scale to learn more about how top leaders in your ICP think about specific topics, what their day-to-day is like, what content they consider valuable, what they do to grow their business or their careers, or common pain points they all share. Avoid “podfade” by setting realistic expectations from the start. Most businesses give up on their podcast after 10 episodes because they don’t see results as quickly as they’d like to, which is why it’s important to set your expectations before you start. The average podcast gets about 175 downloads per episode, so if over the course of your first year, you’re able to get to 500 downloads per episode, then you’re doing really well. As you continue to grow, if you can get between 500 to 5,000 downloads, you’ll perform better than 90% of existing shows, which can have a huge impact on your business. A great way to grow your B2B podcast is by guesting on other shows. The idea here is you guest on as many related podcasts in your niche as possible that reach your target ICP. When the host asks where people can find you, you can mention your podcast, the hook of your show, and one or two episodes you think will appeal to that specific audience. This gives listeners the ability to continue to learn from you, for free, without feeling like they’re being sold to. You can grow your podcast by sponsoring an episode drop in another show’s feed. Another more unique way to grow your show would be to sponsor other podcasts in your space that you know your target ICP is listening to. But instead of paying for a typical 30-second ad read, you could suggest sponsoring an episode drop, meaning you’re paying to have one of your episodes dropped on their feed with an intro read by their host. You benefit by exposing an entire episode of yours to their audience, and they benefit by having fresh content on their feed with no production time. Make sure your B2B podcast has a web presence. This is where so many B2B brands go wrong. They launch a podcast and do a terrible job of promoting it on their own sites. Make sure you create an episode directory on your site with episode pages, show notes, embedded audio, graphics, etc. And be sure to add your podcast to the main navigation menu or mark it clearly under your resources/education section. Don’t just bury it in your blog. Examples of great B2B podcasts: Drift Insider (Drift) - a podcast network tailored to their diverse ICPs Design Better (InVision) - a podcast designed to reach every level of management, as their SaaS tool expanded Metrics & Chill (Databox) - niche, specific show custom-tailored to attract their target audience Breaking Brand (Buffer) - a great example of an innovative, storytelling and narrative show Production agencies we recommend: High cost, high production: Pacific Content or Pineapple Street Studios Middle cost, B2B-focused: Caspian Studios Lower cost: Hatch Mentions: Descript Podcast Guesting Guide Podcast Tour Strategies How to Build a Podcast Website
39 minutes | Mar 16, 2022
Drift: Repurposing Podcast Content w/ Elizabeth Hilfrank
In today’s episode, we sit down with Drift’s Content Marketing Manager, Elizabeth Hilfrank, to talk about the company’s amazing execution of Drift Insider, a video podcast and article repository. Drift is the world’s leading revenue acceleration platform, focused on transforming the way sales and marketing teams work together to drive more revenue. They had a record-breaking year in 2021 making $120 million in revenue, which is why we were so excited to chat with Elizabeth about their content strategy. Tune in to learn more about how Drift launched their network, how they create their show concepts, how they select hosts, and how they repurpose episodes into articles, webinars, and videos. Guest-At-A-Glance Name: Elizabeth Hilfrank What she does: Content Marketing Manager at Drift Connect with Elizabeth: LinkedIn Key Takeaways Audio and video allow your customers to get to know the people behind your brand. Drift is a strong believer in the human element of B2B buying and selling, which is why they add audio and video elements to their content marketing. This strategy gives customers the opportunity to connect with them on a more personal level, which in turn builds brand trust. Measure the success of your show on the type of content you deliver. While Drift does pay attention to the downloads and engagement rates of their shows, they also look at whether the host and listeners are getting what they want out of the content. Are the listeners learning what you set out to teach them? Does the host feel aligned to the original mission of the show? Your host should embody the persona of your podcast listeners. Because Drift uses internal employees as hosts, they know exactly what’s going to resonate best with their audience because they live and breathe the same problems as them. The more interconnected your host is to the listener, the better content you’ll create. Look for guests who are passionate about the topics you cover. When looking for guests to bring on your podcast, it’s important to find people who are not only experts in their field but are also passionate about the topics you want to cover. Look at their LinkedIn, research past interviews, watch their videos, or read any articles they’ve written to gauge whether they would want to be on your show or not and also to help you personalize your outreach to them. Having prospects or customers as guests gives them another touchpoint with your brand. Drift believes podcasts are a brand awareness play that allows them to build relationships with prospects and current customers. When they have the opportunity to bring them on as guests, they give them another point of contact to Drift and a better understanding of the company as a whole. There’s a lot of planning that goes into launching a new podcast. For Drift, launching a new show takes about 3 months. First, they ideate on the overall concept and goal of the show. Then, they figure out a title, description, and hook. Next, they move into the requirements. What’s the length? What type of guests do they want? What will the artwork, trailer, and promotions look like? And finally, they record a backlog of episodes before they officially launch. Don’t reinvent the content wheel every time you need new content. The power of repurposing content means you can find value in what you already have and spin it off into something new. Drift repurposes episode content from their various podcasts by turning any interesting takeaways into blog posts or even webinars. They typically pick a general theme from the episode and turn it into a listicle or a tips-style post. SEO is the name of the game in 2022. Don’t forget about SEO when it comes to your podcast. Make sure you optimize titles, show notes, and descriptions to align with the keywords you want to rank for. It’s also helpful to add embeddable clips or videos within the articles you write referencing your podcast to boost organic traffic. Use your blog to promote the launch of a new show. Whenever a new show launches in the Drift network, the content team teases the launch with a blog post focused on some of the biggest takeaways from the show so the audience knows what to expect over the course of the season. Think of it like a written trailer for your podcast. Don’t underestimate the amount of collaboration needed to start a podcast. Content marketers often forget how much cross-team collaboration is needed to launch a podcast. Think about the coordination of content, guests, host schedules, social calendars, blog writing, video editing, etc., and make sure you have a strong team in place who can execute a successful podcast program. If you find there are certain pieces of the puzzle that require too much internal bandwidth, like audio or video editing, look into how you can outsource those tasks. Mentions Drift Insider Conversation Starters Asana
30 minutes | Mar 9, 2022
Q&A: How to Build a Podcast Website
In this episode, we’ll talk about how to design and create a podcast website that encourages visitors to listen to your episodes, subscribe to your show, and makes it easy to search and find any other valuable content you want to present to your listeners. We’ll cover common mistakes we see, why your company needs a website or web presence for your podcast, design components you’ll need to think about, and technical considerations. Think of this as the ultimate guide to building your very own podcast website. Key Takeaways Make sure you separate your podcast episodes from your blog and link it prominently on your website. If you’re going to add your podcast episodes to your existing company site, make sure to give them a dedicated home versus mixing the episodes into your blog. This will allow visitors to easily distinguish between written and audio content. It’s also important to link your podcast page prominently on your site (add to the main navigation, not just the footer) to increase visibility. Take full advantage of your episode pages. Make your episode pages robust and intuitive for your visitors. Rather than simply embedding the audio and adding a description, think about how you can incorporate top quotable moments, important resources mentioned, more info about the guest, related episodes, and even the full transcript. Not only will this encourage your visitors to engage further with the episodes on your site, but it will also give you some residual SEO benefits. Giving your podcast a web presence opens you up to backlink SEO benefits. By having a podcast landing page or section on your website, you’re making it easier for others to share your episodes on social media and link to your site if they want to refer to any of your episodes in their own content. This helps you build backlink SEO juice, which improves your overall domain authority on Google. Many people prefer to listen to your podcast on your website vs. a podcast player. We often see this with clients where the number 2 or 3 most listened to platform for their podcast is their website, oftentimes ahead of Google or Amazon and sometimes even ahead of Spotify or Apple. Your podcast website or directory listing should include a robust episode search. Allow listeners to search and filter by category, topic, or keyword to make it easier for them to find exactly what they’re looking for. This search could also surface related articles or guides making your website a stronger and more robust content play. Include a clear CTA on your podcast website. You can invite visitors to do a number of things on your podcast website, like subscribe to your show on their preferred platform, submit questions or guest requests, or sign up for your newsletter if that content would be relevant to them. You want to make sure you promote a clear call-to-action so listeners know what step to take after they’ve visited the site and listened to your show. If you’re trying to build a long-term community around your show, consider building a separate podcast website with its own domain. Rather than nesting your podcast within your company website (yoursite.com/podcast) or even tying it to a subdomain (podcast.yourcompany.com), you’ll want to consider giving your podcast its own branded domain name if you’re thinking of building a long-term community from this. The benefit of this is it gives your podcast a completely distinct brand identity, separate from your company’s. You can style how you want, give it a different navigation menu, include forums or Q&As, etc. It also helps you build implicit trust with your audience because they won’t feel like they’re being sold to. Building your podcast site as a sub-directory on your company website gives your brand more visibility. When your podcast lives within your company site, you’re better able to take advantage of the SEO benefits of adding all this content to your site, and it lets you promote your brand more. Your podcast listeners can view your full navigation and explore your product, use cases, or even book a call without having to go somewhere else to find you. Along with your website, you’ll need a podcast hosting platform. This is where your episodes are hosted and then distributed to all the major podcast players. We recommend a platform like Transistor or Simplecast. This is where you’ll upload your episode audio file, artwork, show notes, and transcript for it to be shared with Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts, etc. Consider automation tools to help you build your podcast content on your company’s website. Apps like Zapier allow you to build automation funnels where when an episode is published, it can automatically create an episode page on your website and put it into draft mode. It could pull in the title based on the title of your episode and maybe even automatically pull the episode description. This will help save your marketing team from having to rebuild episode pages on your site after inputting all information into your podcast hosting platform. Mentions Webflow WordPress Squarespace Ghost Transistor Simplecast Zapier Mailchimp Presents Design Better by InVision
62 minutes | Mar 2, 2022
ConvertKit: Building a Content Flywheel w/ Nathan Barry
In this episode, we chat with Nathan Barry, creator of the wildly popular email marketing platform ConvertKit and host of “The Art of Newsletters” podcast. One of the many reasons we wanted to talk to Nathan is because he’s been an avid podcaster long before it was popular (circa 2014). In addition to hosting his own show, Nathan and his team created a network for ConvertKit where they currently run 3 different podcasts. Nathan is also a veteran of the podcast guesting world, appearing on dozens of shows to spread the word about the brand. Listen in to learn more about how ConvertKit built their network and why, how they think about the ROI of their network, advice for guesting on other shows, and so much more. Guest-at-a-Glance Name: Nathan Barry What he does: Nathan is the creator of ConverKit, an email marketing platform powering 250K creators, including Tim Ferriss, Gretchen Rubin, Tim McGraw, and more. He is also the host of the podcast “The Art of Newsletters” where he covers topics like marketing, self-publishing, and building a profitable online business. Connect with Nathan: LinkedIn | Twitter | Podcast | Website Key Takeaways Podcasts allow you to grow your network, educate customers, and generate ideas. Nathan podcasts for three reasons. First, he’s able to meet new people through the guests he has on his show, which allows him to grow his network and, in turn, convert some of those guests into customers. Second, he uses his podcast as an educational content machine for his 250,000 customers where he teaches them how to build and grow a business. And finally, podcasts are a great way to generate content ideas. He can refer back to his library of 50+ episodes to analyze how his guests answered a particular question and then write about it in his own newsletter. Even if your podcast isn’t popular, you can still use it as a powerful content machine. Measure the success of your podcast doesn’t always go back to download numbers. For ConverKit, they use their podcast network as a powerful machine that feeds into their content ecosystem as a whole. Rather than starting from scratch on a specific topic, they can turn to their collection of episodes to pull insights from to build their next piece of content, be it a newsletter, article, case study, video, etc. The biggest mistake you can make is launching new shows without growing the ones you already have. Nathan and his team are really careful about how many shows they add to ConvertKit’s network because too many people make the mistake of launching new podcasts without taking the time to grow the ones they already have. Growing a podcast is a huge challenge that takes a lot of time, dedication, and consistency of output. So think twice before you start a new show if the shows you already have aren’t hitting their growth marks. If you cut a show due to loss of motivation, you’re dead in the water. Many projects in the creative world rise and fall based on the motivation of the person behind them, which is a terrible recipe for success. If you’re running a podcast, you’ll likely lose motivation far before you see results, meaning you need to push through and stay consistent before deciding whether to cut a show or not. ConvertKit uses its podcast network to raise the profiles of the people on the team. While Nathan believes it’s critical to have an honest assessment of your show’s downloads and subscribers, it is equally important to understand how your show builds brand affinity and helps to create deeper connections with customers. ConvertKit uses its shows to deliberately raise the profiles of the people on the team so customers associate the brand with leading voices in the industry. When it comes to creating shows, think about how you can build a skyscraper versus a strip mall. When creating shows for a podcast network you run the risk of growing too big, too fast by expanding horizontally. Meaning, if you take 5 experts from your team and create 5 different shows, now you have 5 separate entities you have to take care of, much like a strip mall. Instead, Nathan suggests you create a Venn diagram to see where their expertise overlaps so you can dedicate your time creating one or two killer shows (a skyscraper) versus a handful of small ones with less of an impact. Breaking shows into seasons is a great way to better manage your team’s time. If podcasting isn’t your full-time job (which it likely isn’t for most of us), you’ll benefit from breaking your show up into seasons. Produce a set of episodes in a season, take a break, and then come back and do another season. This gives your team the ability to step back and focus on the other priorities, and it gives you an opportunity to promote new seasons as they come out. On the flip side, seasonal shows don’t necessarily make sense for consistent interview shoes where there’s less continuity between each episode. It’s also important to not break your momentum between seasons by setting deadlines, which then forces you to plan your content better. Podcast guesting is one of the best ways to grow your own show. Being a guest on other podcasts allows you to speak to an audience that is already loyal and interested in the topics you cover. It also allows you to insert a more organic CTA where you have the ability to drive listeners to your show versus having to sell them on your product or drive them to a landing page. If you’re new to podcast guesting, start with smaller shows that don’t feel worth your time. Rather than going for the big guns, start with shows that don’t really feel “worth your time.” This is where you can refine your message, practice being in front of a microphone, and gain the confidence needed to be interviewed on bigger shows. Don’t be afraid to ask the host questions. Think about things you want to learn from the host and work those questions into the conversation. This not only helps you elevate your profile as both a podcaster and a guest, but it makes the episode more interesting for the listener. It also makes it a win-win relationship between you and the host because you’re giving the host air time to talk about their own expertise. Mentions Daily Content Machine Notion Khe Hy’s Rad Reads Marie Poulin Notion Workflow Training My First Million Indie Hackers
31 minutes | Feb 23, 2022
Q&A: Starting a Podcast for Your Business
Thinking about starting a podcast for your company? In this solo episode, Jeremiah covers everything from how to set your creative strategy to producing and growing your show. Rather than going into depth on how to set up a great podcast website, or the exact recording tools you should use, this episode is focused more on what you need to know before starting a podcast for your business. Do you know what your goals are? Is your team aligned on how to measure ROI? Have you done your research and talked to your ideal audience to better understand what your show should cover? We take you through each step of the process so you know exactly what to expect before you dive in. Key Takeaways 3 things to know before starting a podcast for your business: You need to evaluate the commitment, expectations, and bandwidth required to start a podcast for your company. Are you willing to commit yourself to this project for the better part of a full year? Is your team aligned on how you will dictate the success of your show? Do you have the bandwidth and budget to dedicate a team to this for the next 6 to 12 months? These are all crucial questions you need to ask yourself before you dive in. Determine how your podcast fits into your business goals. What are you trying to get out of this podcast? If the goal is sales enablement, for example, make sure your episodes cover any objections your customers have. If your goal is to share your company’s point of view and strategy, focus on creating a branded show. If you want to promote internal communications, think about starting an internal, private podcast instead. Don’t skip creative strategy. This is where a lot of companies go wrong. Rather than researching their competitors in the podcast ecosystem and talking to their ideal listeners to better understand their pain points, they skip the creative strategy altogether and create a lookalike show. Spend your time evaluating 20 to 30 shows in your space and talking to at least 10 to 30 of your happiest customers to craft your position in the space. Decide on your hook, scope of content, cadence, and style. After your creative strategy is done, you need to define your hook (what sets your show apart from the rest), the exact type of content you want to cover, how often you want to publish episodes, and what style of podcast you want to create (narrative, interview, solo, hybrid). Jeremiah recommends publishing at least once a week to really build momentum. Your host should be a subject matter expert with a flexible schedule and a willingness to commit to the podcast. Ideally, the host of your show is a subject matter expert on the topic you want to cover. Why? Because they’re going to ask the right questions, understand the audience better, and have more engaging dialogue because they can push back, disagree, or elaborate with confidence. It’s also very important that they have a flexible schedule to fit in recordings (particularly if you’re going to have guests on your show) and a willingness to commit to hosting for the long haul. The last thing you want is your host to bail on the show two months after launch forcing you to find someone else to take over and risk the show taking a dip in quality. 95% of the work that goes into creating a great show happens behind the scenes. This is why it’s so important to create a strong architecture to run your show. You’re going to want to create a repository where you keep all your episode information (episode number, guest info, interview date, prep guides, production status, release date, and show notes) so everyone can see what stage each episode is in. If you’re managing your show internally, you’ll also want to use a project management tool, like Asana, to build out repeating tasks for your team to keep each episode on track. Your podcast episodes shouldn’t live in your blog. Make sure you build out a space on your website where every episode lives and has its own piece of content. Don’t bury these within your blog! Whether it’s a separate landing page or a section of your “Resources”, it’s important to give your podcast a home. This is where you can embed sound files, videos, show notes, transcripts, and information about your guests. Produce 1-2 months’ worth of content before launch. The more episodes you have in the bag before launch, the easier it will be to stay true to your publishing cadence. This will make sure you’re ahead of any inevitable hiccups like guest reschedules, content shifts, holidays, sick days, etc. You’ll have plenty of episodes in the pipeline in order to help accommodate those gaps. Growing your show takes time, patience, and consistency. It's really tempting to look at 150 downloads after 4 months and think your podcast isn’t growing fast enough and scrap it. But being patient and consistent will help you see larger numbers as you go. It’s also important you listen to reviews and feedback, repurpose your episode content on the channels your audience hangs out in, and consider running a podcast tour to grow your reach. Mentions: Best podcast hosting platform: Transistor Best podcast recording platform: Riverside Best noise-canceling microphone: USB Mic Best DIY editing tool: Descript or Riverside Best repurposing tool: Descript or Headliner Best done-for-you editing: Hatch Best sound design: Artlist or Soundcloud
68 minutes | Feb 16, 2022
HubSpot: Driving Listener Growth w/ Jonathan Barshop
In this first episode of BTP Season 2, we talk to Jonathan Barshop who is responsible for all podcast growth at HubSpot. In case you didn’t know, HubSpot is making major moves in the world of podcasting. They're building one of the most impressive podcast networks, acquiring top shows like “Goal Digger” and “My First Million” to join the network. We talk to Jonathan about the paid and organic channels he’s either used, is using, or plans to test to grow HubSpot's “My First Million” podcast, along with how a numbers-driven organization thinks about attribution for what is traditionally a dark, unattributable channel. We also dive into TikTok’s effect on podcast growth and how Jonathan thinks about social attribution. This episode is full of advice for other brands who are thinking about starting a podcast or growing a top show. About the Guest Name: Jonathan Barshop Role: Head of Podcast Growth at HubSpot Goal: Create a podcast growth playbook and apply it to all the shows in the HubSpot network, like My First Million and The Hustle Connect with Jonathan: LinkedIn | Twitter Key Takeaways 08:58 – If you’re tired of renting space on other channels, pick a platform you can own. HubSpot was tired of renting space on other platforms and felt like they milked all their SEO juice as far as they could, so they looked at podcasting as a platform they could both own and grow that could feed into all their other marketing channels. “Basically, they kind of tapped into all the SEO juices they really could. And so they looked at the ecosystem and we're like, okay, what are other channels that we can leverage? And that we're just tired of renting space on. And podcasting was kind of the biggest one. Podcasting is something they've been doing also for the last 5-7 years. And so they had some experience there and a lot of the content that they're making on these podcasts are transferable to the blog, to YouTube, etc. So it just made sense for it to be the cornerstone of all the other strategies that we're building.” 11:27 – It’s important to keep your cost per download between the $1-$5 range. With HubSpot being a data-driven organization, it’s important for them to track their cost per download, which equates to the number of downloads per dollar spent and the number of subscribers per dollar spent. Jonathan says it’s important to keep the range between $1 to $5. Anything lower typically translates to lower quality, short-term listeners. “Ideally across all of our paid strategies, the average CPM is in the $1 to $5 range. You can pay 50 cents or less per listener, but you're going to get very, very, shitty listeners generally. It might not be like a click farm per se, but that's kind of what we're seeing on some ends. Some of those campaigns drive a good amount of downloads, but almost none of them end up staying.” 24:59 – Be strategic with your host-read ads scripts. When creating scripts for host-read ads, focus on a happy medium between open-ended and highly scripted. Jonathan suggests using Jordan Harbinger’s talking points as a template and recommends giving the host 3 episodes from your show to choose from to call out in the read. “Think about it in that way of what's scripted enough to where they don't miss any of the key things, and what's not overly scripted to where they can like still freestyle a bit? Rather than giving the host a laundry list of episodes to choose from, let me just pick three that I know will play well in an ad read, and then if they want to expand on it, great. But if they just mentioned, ‘Hey, they bought Michael Jordan's home or they want to buy Michael Jordan's home and turned him into a museum,’ it would still turn out good.” 30:22 – In order to increase your show’s chart rankings, you need to gain a large number of subscribers over a short period of time. The best way to do that, according to Jonathan, is through giveaways. Dedicate a portion of your budget to a giveaways contest, like Jonathan did with My First Million. Anything you can do to entice listeners to subscribe over a short period of time will help you move the needle and increase your chart rankings. “Number of subscribers over a short period of time is the biggest driver there. We did that early on and we got 300 plus reviews in 14 days, which was incredible, but it didn't really move the needle. Then, we did a more dialed-in [giveaway] where you can win 60 minutes with Sam and Shaan if you follow My First Million on Apple Podcasts and that worked. We got to the number 4 spot in the entrepreneurship category and 15 on business. But it's hard to do that really well.” 43:23 – Creating viral podcast clips for TikTok takes talent and dedication. You can absolutely create video content from your podcast in-house using programs like Descript. However, Jonathan says if you want something with more “virality” for a platform like TikTok, you need to be prepared to dedicate 3+ hours towards scripting, finding B-roll footage, and editing. In this case, you might want to consider hiring outside help or working with a video editing agency if you don’t have the talent in-house to create that level of content. “Do you want to just focus on TikTok and have someone pull those clips and make those style videos and have a huge opportunity to go viral there? Or do you want to be everywhere and then edit it in Descript and pull all those clips for all the different channels and sort of do a spray and pray approach? I don't think either of them is wrong, but you just got to decide what your goals are.” 45:32 – Podcast guesting, Facebook ads, and cross-promotion are the top 3 ways you can grow your podcast on a smaller budget. If you have a smaller budget to dedicate towards podcast growth, Jonathan recommends staying away from host-read ads and network ads, and instead focusing on guesting on other shows, running targeted Facebook ads with your video clips, and working with other podcasters on cross-promotion. “Save your shackles. Buy Descript, figure out that workflow, and then go the route of testing a few Facebook ads, just to see if that could be a viable option, guest on other shows, find cross promos. And then you have some budget to play around with and decide, ‘What can I funnel back into the quality of the show to make it better?’” 57:43 – Be realistic about your goals behind your podcasting strategy before you jump in. If your goal is to start a podcast to get to the top of the charts, good luck! Jonathan says, even with wildly successful shows like My First Million, it’s a really challenging goal to run after. Instead, think about how podcasting fits into your business goals. “I think first things first, just get real with yourself. Do you want to do it for the clout? Or do you have other business goals? If you have other business goals then perfect. Podcasting is the perfect thing for you because you can use it as a way to build relationships. You can use it as sales collateral. You can use it for so many things like that. And you have to ask yourself, ‘Is this something that I would want to do for five years on this topic?’” Mentioned Chartable SmartPromos Zvook Andrew Southworth Toneden Jordan Harbinger Talking Points Podcastnotes.org Daily Content Machine Descript Podchaser Darknet Diaries Ahrefs Spends $51K on Podcast Ads Jack Rhysider Tom Webster’s “I Hear Things” Pod News My First Million Greatist Hits Episode 2021 Visit lemonpie.fm or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram for more.
3 minutes | Feb 9, 2022
Season 2: What's Next for BTP
We're excited to announce that season 2 of Brands that Podcast launches next Wednesday with Jeremiah as your new host! Whether you're a communications or marketing manager, we can't wait for you to hear what we have in store for you this season. We've lined up interviews with the people running podcast strategies at Mailchimp, HubSpot, Salesforce, and many more incredible brands. In these episodes, you'll get insights into how they run live networks, how they grow listenership and downloads, how they think about strategy and ROI, and so much more. You can also expect bonus live strategy episodes where we take a company not currently using podcasting and talk through a full strategy breakdown along with short Q&A episodes where we tackle specific topics, like how to measure ROI or get buy-in from your team. If you already use podcasting at your company, we know the content in these episode will help take your strategy to the next level. And if you're not, you'll get a free crash course on how to get your own podcast strategy off the ground. Be sure to follow Lemonpie on social for the latest drops and message us directly with any questions you want hear answered on the show. Twitter LinkedIn Instagram See you on Wednesdays!
47 minutes | Dec 10, 2020
Buffer: Building Brand Transparency w/ Ash Read
Buffer is a social media management company serving small businesses, and it's especially known for one thing: radical transparency. From the start, the company has openly shared revenue numbers and the ups and downs of building the business. This transparency extends to its two podcasts: the Science of Social Media and Breaking Brand. The podcasts serve different purposes and are produced quite differently, but there is one commonality: each places a premium on providing value to the audience. In this episode of Brands That Podcast, Ash Read, Buffer's Editorial Director, sits down with Erik to discuss: Why podcasts are valuable (even if audience growth is slower than a blog) Transparency as a tool for growth How to get creative with your podcasting style Being resourceful with your podcast content And a ton more. As always, hope you enjoy it and use it to grow your own brand.
43 minutes | Dec 3, 2020
Q&A: Is Podcasting Better than SEO?
Should invest in SEO or a podcast? In this "unedited" episode, Jeremiah talks about the pros and cons of each, the goals that each channel is trying to achieve, best case scenario for both, and how ultimately - they play really nicely together.
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