How Podcasts Drive Better Content Marketing and Thought Leadership
In this episode of the Marketing Spark podcast, I talked to Lindsay Tjepkema, CEO and co-founder with Casted, which offers podcasting services to B2B companies. We talked about how podcasts have become an invaluable tool for B2B companies looking to drive their content marketing. A key element is the ability to have conversations with industry experts and thought leaders. In addition to podcasts, this content can become eBooks, blog posts, social media updates, and more. Mark Evans: Well, let me put you on the spot to start this interview. In a recent press release, you said that Casted is revolutionizing the traditional content marketing strategy. What do you mean by that?
Lindsay Tjepkema: Over the last 20 years, we as marketers, specifically content marketers, have been working from the same playbook. You create blog as the center of everything you do. You work to optimize it for search engines. You leverage keyword opportunities. You take what the business and leaders and marketing need to say. Your line it up with the product and push out written content in mass quantities to cut through the noise as a foundation of your strategy. Then, you use CTAs and advanced content promotion on social media. That’s the foundation. As we’ve been doing this, a few things have emerged, like social media and the rise of mobile devices and things like video and podcasting. We’ve crammed those in on the side, even though our audiences are demanding richer, more engaging types of content. We’re still leveraging old, more outdated forms of content production. By revolutionizing or talking about next generation of content marketing and marketing in general, we’re saying, “okay, all of the pieces of the puzzle still apply. Blogging is still very effective and lots of people like to read blogs”. There’s nothing wrong with it. But what if instead of putting that at the very center of everything you’re doing, you turned everything on its side and said, “what if we started with conversations, like the one that you and I are having right now, and made that into a show, and then spun all of our content out from there?”. Our blog content comes from this conversation. Social media content comes from this conversation. The way that we’re enabling sales and creating marketing and email marketing campaigns, comes out of these conversations that we as brands have with experts in the areas that our audiences are interested in. So it’s, it’s about taking in a new perspective, a different perspective on how we’re addressing content, marketing, and reaching our audiences. Mark Evans: So some people would argue that as the CEO of a podcasting company, you’re biased because of the fact that podcasts should be at the center of our content marketing efforts. makes complete sense from your point of view. But does that mean that every company, especially b2b company should have a podcast? Lindsay Tjepkema: Absolutely. And I’m biased, I’m not biased, because I, I’m in this position, running this company, I started this company, because that’s the perspective that I have in my past role, I was leading brand and content for a large global MarTech enterprise SaaS company. In the first year that I was there, I ramped up our content marketing engine in the way that I had in the past: we needed to focus on written content and search rankings. And, and again, still, it’s been pretty foundational for me throughout my career to leverage the voices of experts. But really, it was going out and doing interviews and using that to produce written content. And then, you know, the second year that I was there, I was like, you know, we need a podcast. So, heading into that second year, I leveraged podcasting. I was thinking this is the thing that we need to do. We need a voice. It’ll be a great way to build a relationship and trust with our audience. We launched a podcast and started created podcast content. Yes, we had a show. But why in the world would we leave so much value behind by just publishing that show? We started saying, “what else can we pull from each and every episode to fuel all the other types of content that we’re already producing?” It made us more effective with our content and resonated with our audiences. But there wasn’t really software to help us to do that. We were doing it very manually, which is why we started Casted. This is the approach you should take. And by the way, here’s the platform you should use. Mark Evans We’ll get into Casted, but let’s take a bit of a step back and talk about what has happened to make the podcast the center of your content marketing activity. Thee idea is that you connect with domain experts, who give you amazing content for all kinds of different things. But what do you do with a podcasting conversation, other than producing a great podcast? What are the steps that you take to make sure that you leverage that expertise? Lindsay Tjepkema: You’re right, you have a great conversation turned into a show publish it. That’s step one, right. The next steps in no particular order and also depending on the type of organization you’re in — whether you’re a team of one, or you’re in a very, very large corporation that has multiple teams doing these things — you publish that show. Then, you provide access to it so that people that own those types of content can access it and amplify that conversation and the voices of those domain experts across other areas. What that looks like is you have this show, you get a transcript, right? You translate this audio content into written content, as long as that content is accurate, that transcript is accurate, you can publish that transcript, and that gives the audience another way to consume that content. We also talked about search engine optimization. You serve up that content on your website and help search engines and people find what you’re talking about by providing a transcript of that conversation. Once you have a transcript, how can you pull parts, like literally pull parts of that transcript and dig deeper into them, and expound on them and create blog content? How can you use it in this new way by harnessing the voices of experts to be amplified through written content and social media content? How could you pull clips that have you pulled actual audio clips from this conversation, break it down into smaller little bite sizes, and publish them on social media with audiograms to give people something to be excited about that they can find on social media, and hopefully come in and listen to more? You take a piece of that show and embed it on your website, or in an email so that people can find that content. How can you provide your sales team with clips of that content that will resonate with the customers and prospects? So again, you can see how turning it on all of its sides to say what are all of the different channels that were already using and how can we use this content by breaking it apart and amplifying it across those different areas? Mark Evans At the core of your approach to content marketing is the ability to tap experts to provide you with insight. There are conversations going on about quality content versus quantity content. And if you’re going down the quality road, the ability to take a conversation with an expert, and leverage it in many different ways, that has to be the magic of a content marketing strategy. Lindsay Tjepkema: We’ve made the word expert mean an influencer, author, or speaker. But an expert is your customer. An expert is people in the product or engineering team. They are your salespeople. It all depends on who your audience is, and what they’re hungry for, what they’re excited about, and what will engage them. Find those people who have that expertise in whatever subject matter your audience is interested in and harness it. Why in the world would you stop it simply publishing it in a podcats show? Why wouldn’t you do as much as humanly possible with it? You’re right, that’s the magic. Mark Evans I asked you earlier whether a B2B company should have a podcast and your immediate reaction was “absolutely”. Is it too late to get on the podcast bandwagon? I know what you’re going say but I have to ask it anyway. How do you start? How would a company that’s never done a podcast before but is excited about its potential, get going? Lindsay Tjepkema: You knew that I was going to say yes, absolutely. Every company should have one. And here’s why. It’s not too late. In fact, it’s the opportunity is incredible. Right now, there are over 600 million blogs yet many companies use them as we should. Our audiences expect us to have them. But what about podcasts? It feels like podcasts are all over the place. But if you compare 600 million blogs with the fact that we just cracked one million podcasts. If I just told you that number alone, how am I going cut through the noise? Well, we’re all blogging and we’re looking at ways to provide better blog content. It all comes back to who’s it for and why are you doing it? How can you resonate with the people that you’re trying to get excited about? The questions that you need to ask are: Who’s it for and why are you doing it? if you’re going to create a show, make sure that the first step is to identify your audience as clearly as succinctly as narrowly as possible. You know exactly who you’re talking to and understand why you’re doing it. Why are you as a brand doing it? What purpose does it have? From there, you can start to work backward to say, “okay, what is going to be interesting?” What is the format look like? Who should host it? What kind of show should it be? How, how many episodes should we do in a season? How often should we produce it? There is no one size fits all approach. You want to understand what works best for you and what’s going to resonate best with your audience and address it like any other type of content. Try it, give it a fair shot, and give it a long shot, before you try to make any drastic changes. Mark Evans That’s great advice. Let’s talk about the story of Casted. How did you go from being a digital marketer to being an entrepreneur in the eye of the podcast hurricane? And what did you learned along the way? Lindsay Tjepkema: As I mentioned before, I was leading branding and content for a global company. When I was there, I started a podcast and quickly saw the opportunity that existed for our brand to better connect with our audiences in a more human to human way. We launched it and I saw the power of it. Bu there was no software that existed to serve our team and me as a marketing leader to leverage this rich content in the way that I’ve been talking about through our conversation. Anyone who is doing a podcast knows it’s a sea of one-off tools and point solutions, some of which aren’t even made for podcasting. So I said, “what if there was a platform that allowed us to leverage these conversations that we’re having, and work together as a marketing team, and also with our agency to produce great shows, but also use that content in a lot of other ways to provide access to that content to each other as a team and to other people within the company?” I left that role, I partnered up with High Alpha Venture Studios in Indianapolis and got started. That was April of 2019. Here we are almost a year and a half later with this platform. It is what marketers need to leverage podcasts as the center of their brand strategy. Mark Evans: So is it fair to say that Casted is a one-stop-shop for companies that want to record produce, distribute podcasts, and then leverage these conversations into social media blog posts, and other kinds of marketing? Lindsay Tjepkema: The platform says, go create your show. And then when you upload it into Casted, everything else happens from there. We do have services on top of that if you need more, we can and work with you on the production of that show. We can do that and help to bring out that content on the platform as well. Mark Evans: One final question; Casted raised about just over $2 million in seed capital earlier this year. What was that journey like? And what’s the reaction to fast-growing podcast companies? Lindsay Tjepkema: It was, in hindsight, incredible. Anytime you’re in something like that, especially for the first time, it’s a lot but I think as a marketer going through raising a round, you have a lot of experience on your side in presenting and being the representative of the brand and the face of the company. That was it was a lot of fun. It was a lot of work and I’m excited to do it again soon. What did I learn? There is a ton of opportunity in podcasting. There are the questions that we got along the way like: why didn’t this exist yet? Tell us what you think the future of content marketing and podcasting looks like for brands? There’s a lot of excitement around it for good reason. The opportunity is huge for brands to leverage conversations as a way to build stronger, more meaningful relationships with their audiences. Mark Evans: That’s great, Lindsay, I really appreciate your insight. I’m fully on the podcast bandwagon. Since I launched marketing smarter a couple of months ago, I’m amazed by the potential of podcasts and your ability to connect with really smart people.
I’m a fractional CMO for fast-growing B2B companies that want to drive more engagement, attract better prospects, and grow sales. I help companies with brand positioning and strategic plans and oversee tactical execution.