New year, new beginnings. It’s a time to plan for new strategies to get more and be better. Algorithms are changing in 2019 and Tracy Hazzard walks you through all these tremendous changes as she provides effective tips in order for you to catch up. She discusses what you need to know and understand about content creation, creating platforms, websites, the importance of WordPress and a lot more important details you need to dig in so you can be head and shoulders above the rest.
I’m super excited to talk to you about content strategy. This is going to be a three-part master class. I am absolutely sure that there is plenty of things that we’re going to cover here that you’re probably already thinking about. This first class is an overview. It’s just going to give you a sense of why should we do content planning, what content planning might be and why it needs to be strategic. That’s the real important part of what we’re really going to talk about. As I mentioned before, you’re probably not getting enough. Think about why did you not get enough. Did you not get enough clients? Did you not get enough response? Did you not get enough listeners if you’ve got a podcast? Did you not get enough viewers if you’ve got a YouTube channel? Did you not get enough followers if you’ve got Twitter? Whatever it is, you probably didn’t get enough of that and there’s got to be some measurement that you’re particularly using. I’d love to go by numbers. I am a numbers girl, so I like to have qualitative and quantitative because there’s a certain number of, “Did I get enough of what I needed? Did I get enough dollars in revenue, that stream from all the work that I was doing? Was I putting in more effort and time? Did I track my time?” These are all kinds of numbers and things that we can all look at.
My favorite numbers to look at is lag time, the time from when you first get a lead until the time at which you close from them. It’s your closing time rate, but also then the conversion rates. I care about conversions more than just about anything else, but I also care that they’re quality conversions. I don’t want to really have a huge, big audience and then have a low, tiny conversion rate unless it’s valuable for me. I would much rather have a quality and have a higher conversion rate of quality and done maybe a slower job on my lead generation. Lag time is okay with me if it takes them time to warm up to get to know me, but then they become better clients. That’s always better for me. Everybody has their own way of measuring that. You, I’m sure though, are feeling that pinch and going, “I didn’t make what I wanted to for 2018.” I didn’t either. There’s always a grander goal here and we wanted to hit a thousand podcasters on our Podetize platform and we didn’t get there. We tried a bunch of different things and we now know what doesn’t work and we’re going to put it. We’re putting in a plan in place to make that happen for next year. You need to look at that as well.
Part of the problem with why you probably didn’t get enough is because there was so much thrown at you. There are lots of written content, editorial calendars, new social media tools and funnels. I’ve got to email market, I’ve got to do blogs, I’ve got to do promotions, I’ve got to shoot new photos, I’ve got to have a new website. All of these things keep coming at us and there’s a lot of money going out, time being just absolutely drained and we’re all really frustrated and overwhelmed. To top it all off, we’ve got a lot of competition and it’s hard to be heard. We thought 1.8 billion websites on Google, and this is probably a little old. There could be more now, so we can be over two billion by now. There are five billion YouTube videos viewed daily. That’s a lot of videos. Do you want to know why your videos aren’t getting watched? I get this all the time. People are like, “I only got five views on my video.” It happens because there are five billion YouTube videos and a lot of them are pouring money into their videos and they’re getting ranked because of that. There are 50 million Facebook pages. It’s probably a lot bigger than this last time that I updated this.
Those are business pages, so what we would call the business type style page, not your personal profile. Out of that 50 million, a lot of them are spending dollars, advertising dollars, and they get higher circulation on YouTube, so these are problems as well. There’s 3.5 billion new Google searches every day. We’re going to come back to that. Think about that. There are 3.5 billion new things typed into Google that Google’s never heard before. That’s pretty incredible. Social conversion is down as low as 1.3%. If we think we’re going to make a boom on Facebook, it’s just not going to happen. It’s not going to be amazing. Google Ads conversions, these are ad rates, is about 13%. It’s still higher, but our podcast conversions can be up around 37%. For us, we realize that that’s much higher. There are less people, though. We might have 10,000 listeners or 100,000 listeners, and so 37% represents a smaller percentage of it, but that high-quality conversion rate matters to me. That’s why I prefer it. I prefer things that have this higher than 1.3%.
I’m going to poll quickly. Are you a newbie, a pro-corporation? These are some things that I want to do. The first question is, are you a podcast, videocast or blogger, or all of the above? Are you a brandcaster, or are you none of the above yet? The second question is, how long have you been a content creator? A year, two years, three-plus years, or you’re not creating content yet? I want to know what your biggest challenge is in creating content. Time, money, help, know-how, all of the above it might be. Don’t feel bad if you’re brand new to this. That is not the point. There are lots of people who have been blogging for a really long time and then they stop and then they start back up again. There are those who thought that was passé. If you’re a live streamer, that counts as video casting, so go ahead and put that. You don’t just have to be a YouTuber.
Most of you have been doing it for either one year or three-plus years. That’s pretty good. We also have about a third of you who are not creating any content yet. 2019 is really going to change for you if you start creating content. You’re going to find this to be a crazy new world. The all of the above choice: time, money, help, know-how. That is exactly what we hear from so many people. I’m going to try and cover all of those things. I’m going to try and give you some things that are time-saving. I’m going to try to give you some things that are money saving. I’m definitely going to give you help and know how. More importantly, I’m going to give you all the other resources, added resources for which you can find more know-how and dive deeper, especially if you want to know that.The platform is the community underneath you. It's your stage. Click To Tweet
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Tracy Hazzard. I’m an Inc. columnist. I am the host of four podcasts because that’s one of my goals. I’m launching a podcast called The New Trust Economy with a new cohost, Monika Proffitt. For all my other podcasts, Feed Your Brand, WTFFF?! which was my very first one, and Product Launch Hazzards. My partner is Tom Hazzard, who is also the partner in both of the businesses that I run. I run a business called Podetize or Brandcasters. I run a business called Hazz Design, which we design products for mass market retail. Tom and I have both been featured in the Harvard Business Review. That’s just a little bit about us. You can listen to our podcast if you’re interested in any of those topics. WTFFF?! is about 3D printing. It’s the geeky term for 3D printing. The New Trust Economy is about blockchain and some amount of cryptocurrency. Feed Your Brand is the podcast for content producers. It’s for digital marketers, it’s for videocasters, it’s for podcasters.
This is our give back to all of you with all the content and detail that we need culled, this information. This is really important for what we do, is that we get this information from doing it wrong. We get it from 125-plus podcasters who are on our platform who may not get what they want and we find a way and we see what’s working across multiples. I like to see stuff that works again and again across industries. We try to provide that and bring that information to you. Product Launch Hazzards is for inventors and Amazon sellers. We are like you. We have the same problems you have that we are referring to with time, money, everything. We call this the marketing rollercoaster. It’s this thing where you get so busy that you forget to produce content, that you forget to do things like a podcast, just record.
You forget to do all of those things and then you find yourself at the bottom of not only the marketing rollercoaster but the revenue rollercoaster because you didn’t have the leads that you expected that you had been generating slowly over time because it was organic. You weren’t really realizing. It wasn’t like you were doing a promotion, then all of a sudden, you’ve got the clients. You’d been consistently doing it over time, then you stopped and you found yourself a few months later without as much business as you thought you have. We call that the bottom of the rollercoaster. We want to even everything out and we want to put you on a fast track that continually accelerates you throughout the year and you achieve your goal. That’s how we built Brandcasters. That’s why we built our team. That’s why we built the services. That’s why we built everything for ourselves first and then people begged us to do more of it. That’s what I’m going to share with you, some of those things, and how to get strategic power from what I call your profit platform. A platform is just what you think. It’s your stage. It’s where you speak from. It’s where you can be heard from.
You’ve heard people ask authors this all the time, do you have a platform? They want to know who your audience is. They want to know do you have an audience to speak to you? They’re not out there figuring out who your niche market is. They’re not out there promoting your book for you. You have to do it for yourself. Publishers want to know you can do that. Sponsors want to know that you can do that. This is where the platform is the community underneath you. It’s your stage and your authority above giving and being able to be heard from that place. The broader and the taller it gets over time, wouldn’t it be great if it just grew itself and you didn’t have to constantly up into work really hard to get to the next level and get to the next level? That’s what we try to build over time and we call that our platform.
What are your goals? These are some things that we have to think about. We have to think about what didn’t go right in 2018 and also think about something that we might want more of. I’m going to go over a few of those. This is our good friend John Livesay, who’s one of our podcasters. The Successful Pitch Podcast is a fabulous podcast. He’s been podcasting about as long as we have and he wants to write a book. It’s the second book that he’s written and he wrote Getting to Yes: How to Go from Invisible to Irresistible with Your Ideal Clients which is a fabulous book. He wrote it from his podcast. He built it right out of that. We planned it and then he podcast to it. He planned it and had the strategy by which he built the content for it. He had it in his head and built it in that order. You don’t have to do an order, but you could also have that outline in that plan. That’s something that you might have a goal about. You want to write a book next year.
This is our book. Our book is going to come out. We did it this way. We wrote it from here. I also wrote a book from my Inc. column and that’s going to come out as well. It’s the same thing. Wherever you’re generating content from, you can have a strategy plan to either go and strategically pull from what you did in the past and repurpose it or you can plan it for the future. You can also build a course. We did absolutely that. We built a course and many of our podcasters are a part of that course. Do we need to be concerned with music rights? It’s definitely a part of how to choose music for your podcast. These are all a part of our course. There are also addendums to our course. While we have the course itself, we also have these little bits and pieces of things where people can deep dive and get some more information. We utilize them to go hand in hand together.
This is Scott Carson. He’s got the Note Closers Show. He has killed it in 2018. This is old notice because I think he’s done way more than this. His videocast has been listened to just under 250,000 times. He got a lot of video views and he has it on both Vimeo and on YouTube. It doubled his audience in ten months. He did an amazing job of doing that. Plus, he had great listeners. One thing that he did was he started with a great list to begin with and he really nurtured that list along the way, grew it and gave them more and more value. He does a strategy of multiple shows as well.
Some people want to attract a tribe. They want to attract the community. They want to build. In this case, Raj wants to build a community of coffee enthusiasts. The Stay Grounded Podcast has all kinds of great detail into where the beans come from and stories behind it and it helps them sell more products and get more subscribers to his coffee subscription service. This may be a strategy for you. We also have a lot of doctors and professionals on our platform and they get new patients. Part of this is a way that Google is rewarding them for being a chiropractor in New Jersey. It rewards them by pushing up local, but by being a chiropractor who’s putting out content and no one else is. It’s also attracting. Patients get to know you even though they aren’t having sessions with you yet. That’s the way that they build trust and they decide they want to come to see you. Maybe this is a strategy, especially if you have something complicated or people procrastinate about, something complex to sell, a podcast or a videocast of creating deep content and having a strategy by which you put that out is going to really help move you forward in the next year.
The second part of that is who has the audience you want? You’ve got to have some competitors out there or you’ve got to have some people that you aspire to be like. I’m thinking about this is that we may not have a direct competitor for our RSS hosting for where we host our podcast. We may not have a direct competitor who has a podcast as well there, but we probably have podcasters who teach podcasting out there. I know we do. We look at that and go, “What content are they creating and where are they creating it? On what topics do they cover that we didn’t cover? Was that purposeful?” Looking and finding someone who has the audience that you want, it’s an opportunity to match them and to benchmark them. It gives you a starting place to do all the grind work. Think about all this stuff and how hard it is to be heard because marketing is a contest for people’s attention. I like to say that it’s a method of being seen, heard and found in a noisy world. How can we figure out what’s already resonating with that community?
The fastest path to doing that is to go straight into and find out what they’re already blogging, what they’re already podcasting about and what they’re already building videos on. The other problem is that some of your competition are heavy digital marketers. They’ve got all the hacker tools. They’ve got time, speed, the tech, the channel, hacking techniques. They don’t mind the risk and they will put the money in. This is something that you’re competing against. I had been working on a strategic level with an amazing health and fitness guru. He’s absolutely amazing. He’s top notch. He’s had tens of thousands of successful clients all across the country, and yet there are those out there with these scam diets and stuff outranking him day in and day out. That’s what he’s competing against. We have to look deep into what they’re doing and we can’t just ignore it. We have to look at that and say, “How can we debunk it? How can we circumvent it with better, more authentic and more valuable information?” We do have to look at those competitors that we wish we could discount and ignore. We don’t have to go after clickbait or go after anything like that. In fact, we want to do the opposite, but it doesn’t mean that we’re not hitting their topics so that we can outrank them, so that we can build content around them.
Remembering all this noise, there are 500,000 podcasts worldwide and 200,000 active in the US. That means that it’s a smaller pond than that 1.8 billion websites on Google. It’s less than the 50 million Facebook pages. We have a smaller pond to work with, so there is a lot of value in being a podcaster. I’m putting this in because if you’re a videocaster, this is a very quick and easy way for you to expand your content into a very interested audience. From there, we want to go one step further. We want to go blogging too because one out of every five Google searches is new every day. That’s 20% of searches that they don’t know where to send it to. If you’re speaking it, if your content is current, if you’ve been posting videos on it, if you’ve been podcasting on it, then your information is right there and available very quickly. Google’s going to reward that and they reward that consistent and constant content that you’re pushing out.
We want to be found. This is my sister-in-law, Laura, and there are $20,000 LA wedding planners with 33 million Google results. There’s probably more now since I pulled this originally. It’s hard to be found and rise above that. A way to rise above that is through really good content that you know is going to resonate with the community, that competes against other wedding planners who either aren’t doing it or doing it poorly, or just writing blogs or doing Instagram and don’t have time to do all of these things. I know it’s overwhelming and I promised you I’d get to that and I will. I’ll get to some tools and techniques and ways in which you don’t have to do all of this yourself, that you can automate some of this. Don’t freak out yet that I’m telling you to do all this stuff. It’s not going to be as overwhelming, I promise you. The one thing that I want you to do is remember to figure out what that content is and record it. That is your number one and two job. That’s it.Go and find out who has the audience you want then look for an opportunity from there. Click To Tweet
What we want to position you is where search happens and when search happens. Sometimes that’s like 2:00 in the morning. We’ve got to think about things in our content strategy, in the way that we’re putting things out there and the words that we’re choosing, the topics we’re going to be choosing. We have to be thinking about that as what matters to the listener, what matters to the person who’s viewing it, what matters to the reader, what matters to them, and what kind of pain are they in that they’re out there searching for it. It’s a whole lot easier to attract someone who’s out there looking for it than it is to push a message in the face to people who have never thought about whatever it is that you might be offering them or whatever your expertise is in. It’s a whole lot easier to be found by somebody who’s already searching. That’s where we really want to position you and you want to get yourself positioned in a place where they’re searching. We want to get you in the position of being there when they want you there as well.
This is a cautionary note. There are a lot of authority thieves out there. What this means is that they’re stealing your subscribers, they’re stealing your people, they are stealing your followers. These are all RSS host, their social media platforms, their blog talk radios. They’re the YouTubes of the world, or even Amazon, for those authors out there. They don’t share who downloads your book. They don’t share who downloads your podcast on iTunes, they don’t share their listenership on radio, they don’t share their viewers on YouTube unless they opt-in. Unless they’ve chosen to give you their information, and that’s a whole lot harder because their loyalty is to the platform that they’re on. We want to pull all of that and we want to make sure that we’re pulling it back into our platforms and make our platforms the authority. That we’re doing things that drive people back to us for more information, for a deeper dive, for more different views of things, for additional content.
We want to have both going on. At the same time, we want to be also out there and in all these places so we can be found where people are searching, but we also at the end of the day, want to drive them back to one single place. That’s what I want you to stop doing. I want you to stop sending people to your Facebook page, sending people to your YouTube channel, sending people to your LinkedIn, to your iTunes, to wherever you might be hosted, especially to places like Anchor and other things for those of you are hosting. Send them back to your website and give them a place to find you wherever they choose to subscribe because they do want you to be convenient to them. Send them back to your website for everything. Most importantly, anytime you have links out or anything in any of your posts, in any of your videos, anything you do, do not put the links in anywhere but on the blog post on your website. Make them go there to get it. Only give them one single thing to remember. For us, that’s FeedYourBrand.co. It’s Podetize.com if that’s when we are giving a different type, but FeedYourBrand.Co is our content place, it’s where we drive everybody back to, and then all of the information is available there.
Now we’ve got people in, they’re going to see our other things, so that’s how were found. We also want to be requested. This is something that’s really changing. It’s been shifting. It’s our voice. It’s voice recognition and people asking for us. It’s going to be very important in the coming years. The algorithms are shifting to voice pattern recognition, so it is extremely important that we stop writing blogs and here I am a writer telling you that. We stopped writing blogs. We use our transcriptions. We use the full length. We use our voice pattern to drive the Google search that’s going to happen or the Google scan that’s going to happen through our website because Hey Google, Alexa, all of those things are going to drive how things are requested in the future. To be honest with you, as much as it would be great if they scan the audio files, they don’t. They scan the written word. They’re based in data even though they serve it up in voice. Keep thinking about all of those conversions that we have to do. That’s how we’re going to get heard. We want to get heard. We want to be in all those places. We want to be in all of those formats, but we don’t want to do all that work. Absolutely none of us want to do all that work.
When we become bingeable, when we’re heard, when we have all of that going on, this is when we create commerce. We create trust. We create an ability for us to sell whatever it is that we want to sell to achieve an audience, to build a tribe, to sell a book, to build all of these things that we want to do that will get us to our goals and especially our revenue goals. It gets us more speaking engagements. It gets articles written, it gets press, it gets books launched, it gets more time and bookings. These are all things that we want to achieve. That’s where we’re going to be starting with them. That’s where we’re diving into the two steps. I’m going to give you a little homework after this third step, it’s just a little bit. Most of it is for you to sit back and reflect on and really think about this and jot it down and think about it because we’re going to use it to do some critical planning. The type of content is something I want you to reflect on. Strategic content competitively ranks.
I mentioned that. It’s the circles where you want to be found. It’s going to get you on that first page of Google. It’s going to get you so that people can find you on Amazon if it’s your book. It is competitively ranking you. It’s also at the right time and the right format. Remember when people are searching. It’s in the right format too, and this is critical because Google’s algorithm has shifted so that it’s serving us up relevant content. We may not even realize it that it’s already happening, but it’s going to be happening even more. If I’m a reader, and I am, it’s going to serve me up blog posts. If you’re a viewer of videos, it’s going to serve you up a video, and if there’s a listener of podcasts, it’s going to serve him or her up podcasts. It’s going to serve it up not just content for what we’re asking for, but it’s going to serve it up in a relevant format that I will likely click on because Google wants to be cognizant of that.
It wants to give me exactly what I want. It doesn’t want me to scan through all of it and then pick the one that’s a blog post. It wants to give it to me first, so it’s already choosing that for us. If you’re not producing your content and all of those formats by doing it once, then you’re missing out on a good percentage of people who just happened to be different types of learners or different types of searchers. At the end of the day, we want all of this to get found so that it builds your business. That’s what strategic content is. Let’s talk a little bit about what that format is. It’s Google-searchable like I mentioned. It’s giving valuable answers. This is not teasers and stuff. This is real deep dive information. Stop doing the three-minute videos. Do ten minutes as your shortest ones, because I know if it’s under ten minutes, you can transfer it to LinkedIn. For your shortest, like your tips of the day and all of those things, give it more. I speak fast. I can speak a lot of words, but not in three minutes. I can’t get enough to outrank 3,000 words, which is Google’s optimum level. It likes 3,000 words or more.
If you can speak ten to twenty minutes, you’re going to get to that 3,000 words. If you can do 45 minutes, you’re going to get ten, if you talk as fast as me. That’s where we want to be. We want to also have really valuable answers, and so that can come in that because you’re going to deep dive into something. You’re not just going to skim the surface of it. You’re not just going to give them a little tip and walk away. You’re going to deep dive. You’re going to go deeper into something when you have ten minutes or more into it. We want that relevant format. That’s what we’re thinking about. We want to go deeper into that.
Let’s talk a little bit about what good content and bad content is. Good content provides that value. It’s what I’m looking for. It’s the answers I want. Sometimes it’s not the typical answer. Keep in mind you don’t have to just toe the line, but I also don’t want you to be contrary to be contrary. Don’t be controversial to be controversial. Believe in the answer, whatever that is. We also want it to be somewhat timeless. I know that can’t always be the case. Not everything can be timeless, but we want to try to be as timeless as possible. We don’t want to put promos that can expire. There are different ways to do that and we can talk about that offline, but we want to keep things as timeless as possible because we want to reuse this content. We only want to do it once and reuse it again and again because when people find us, they want to feel like it’s new, like it’s still relevant to them even though it might be two years old to us. I have over 550 podcasts on my 3D print podcast. We have 550 episodes and we have people who are still starting from the beginning because it’s new to them. They just discovered this thing and all of that path is new.
There are some things and there are printers that no longer exist anymore. Stuff like that does happen, and they’re smart enough to know to skip it after a while, so they get that. For the majority of it, I would say 90% of it is timeless and still gives them the value they were looking for. The other thing is that we want to rank quickly, which means that we really need it to be dialed in. We need to know what we’re talking about. We don’t want to be so broad-brushed and all over the place. We want to have a very focused piece of content, narrow. It shows and tells. That means maybe you have some things on video that are visual, that are sharing. We want to also tell though because we want it to sound good when we’re doing it in audio. We want to make sure that we’re describing everything, we’re giving them the URL, we’re spelling things out if necessary. We want to make sure that we’re doing both things at the same time and be aware that we’re going to be in these multiple formats.
At the end of the day, it brandcasts you, meaning that it’s broadcasting you into all places that you need to be and it is making sure that it’s giving you the casting in the multicast formats. That content is promotional, it’s clickbait-y. It’s advertorial. It’s all about an ad message. It teases without delivering. You guys know it, you’ve all had them. They’re selling you on a webinar through their podcast or a webinar through their video. That’s not where you’re going to get the long-term good subscribers. That’s not where you’re going to get the long-term value. That’s not what good strategic content is.
This is how we become bingeable. I do want to invite you to go to the Feed Your Brand Podcast and subscribe because we will be providing more and more information there. We also do share with you interesting tools we come across and people we come across who are doing interesting things in growing and marketing your business. We try to make those aware. We are very pretty careful about who we bring on for the most part. Sometimes we just find them curious. It’s brand new, nobody’s really doing this. Let’s talk about it. We had an episode on chatbots and stuff because there isn’t somebody who has decades of experience. For the most part, if you hear Tom and I recommend something, it’s because it’s working across the board. We try to be careful about our recommendations. Let us know if you have a bad experience with anything that we put on that show because we would want to make sure that everyone is cautioned about that.Marketing is a contest for people's attention. It's a method of being seen and be found in a noisy world. Click To Tweet
I want to do that. Before I move onto questions, I hope it’s okay for me to share some of these tools because hope is not a strategy. You’ve got to have some tactics too. We want to make sure that you are not only strategically planning, but you’re going to build yourself some tactics. I have your assignment in here first. Let’s do that. Your assignment is to set your business goals, to benchmark your competition. Figure out who they are and where they are generating content. Is it on Instagram? Is it on Facebook? Is it on YouTube? Go in and check it out and see what their topics are. See what some of their top blogs are, their top videos are, the ones that get the most views. Check them out, write them down, bookmark them. Consider that content type. What are you doing now? Are you doing all of those formats? What aren’t you doing and are you willing to do next year? That can increase it. As you saw from Scott Carson, he added video and he had 250,000 more views. That’s amazing. In ten months, imagine what you can do if you just add a content type from content you’re already generating.
Here’s what I think. It’s the right things in the right order with the right resources. This is what I lecture about probably all the time. These are the most important things that you can do. If we’ve got a recipe for things and we put them in the wrong order, sometimes we get bad results. It matters what ingredients we put into things. It matters the order which we make them and it matters who we’ve taken advice from or who we’re going to utilize. All of those things really matter and I have been there, done that again and again. For every one of these things, they have to work consistently and they have to be good long-term. Even if it’s some new chatbots before, even if it’s some new thing, as long as it’s based in good conversational practices, then it still has its foot in things that we know work, things that we know consumers respond to or things that we know that will get you conversions.
Here are some of the right things that we use. These are some of the things that we use for our clients or our clients use or we recommend to our clients. WordPress and YouTube, you can’t do without them. Please change your website. If you don’t have a WordPress website, you are losing traffic, you’re losing value from all the hard work you’re doing. Please change that. Make that a goal. If you’re not transcribing using Temi and Rev, please come see us because we do this on Podetize. Canva or Adobe Cloud, those things are for creating graphics. If you don’t have graphics, you should. Get that and add that. You need visuals to go along with your posts. We’re using Zoom for our webinar. I’m recording and we’ll be using it. All of that is working. SquadCast is another one that people use. We used to recommend Zencaster, but we’ve had a lot of failures and we’ve had a lot of people have difficulties with it, so it’s not what we recommend. We also have had lots of difficulties since Microsoft bought Skype, so that’s also been a problem for a lot of us as well. We moved out of that.
There are lots of people who use Audacity to edit their podcast. We’ve got some secret coming out where you may not ever have to. You can go straight from your livestream and put your bumpers on right through Podetize. If you want to check that out, come see us, contact us because that’s going to become available. Buffer, Hootsuite, we use them for social. With booking calendars, I can’t tell you how many of your podcasts I’ve been invited on and you don’t have calendars. Please get a calendar if you’re going to invite people on your live streams or on your podcast because that is the simplest, easiest way. A lot of them are free. Do a simple form. Make sure I’m giving you my bio and my headshot and make sure you’re getting that stuff ahead of time so you don’t have to scramble to get it later. It just makes it easier to book properly and make sure there’s no confusion. No one wastes time. That is the number one thing you can do.
HRS, SEMrush, these are stats. Check your stats. If you’re not checking them, you should be. On Podetize, we have both your podcast stats and your website stats in the place because we feel these are important. You need to see the organic growth that your website is getting. A lot of our podcasts have 60% or more of their traffic come over their website, not over iTunes. Think about all that loss if you’re not utilizing it on your website. If you don’t know how to use Google AdWords or Google Trends, you should get to know that. PowerPress, the Smart Podcast Player, you should have a player of some kind on your website because when people are sitting on your website playing the podcast when they want to check it out before they go and subscribe somewhere, that gets you a lot of revenue with Google. It gets you a lot of credibility. Your site is worth sitting on and worth using, so you should definitely do that. SEO, those new school and old school SEO, it’s still important. It’s still something we need to pay attention to and that’s one of the tools, plugins that we use on our WordPress sites.
Get a decent mic and headphones or earbuds. This mic that I’ve got, it’s only $80. It’s not super expensive. I find the more expensive ones do worse because they bounce sound around. It’s better to have a simpler mic, but one that does exactly what you need. Get yourself a good RSS host. Stop hosting with the ones that are stealing your content. If your hosting is free, they’re sending people back to them, not to you. They’re taking your authority. Free is not free. Those are the right things. If you have questions, if you want to check out our hosting, it’s Podetize.com. We’d love to talk to you about it. We haven’t ad mixing model. We have a bunch of stuff on there. I’m not going to sell you here. I just want you to know it’s there in case you want it because I’m accused of forgetting to tell people that we’re here.
This is the right order to do things. This is where you can get the most value. You should videocast first. You should podcast from the video. You should blog from the podcast. You should make sure that you are RSS pushing it out. We do up to a dozen different places that we are syndicating our clients out to. There are lots of places to do that: Spotify, iHeartRadio, iTunes, Google Play, Google Podcast. All of these places are places in which you should be. You should be out in their directories. Stitcher and Google Play are my two preferred podcast players because I have an android phone. Not everyone has an iPhone and that especially happens when you have an international audience. You build out your social channels. You should be doing them all the time anyway, but once you’ve got content, it makes it really easy to push out to social. If you guys stay for the whole masterclass here, into all three parts, I’m going to send you a fourth video with my social media strategy. I have done this masterclass. It’s a social media masterclass. It’s already on FeedYourBrand.co, but I’m doing an updated version that shows you how to take the content I’m going to figure out and translate that directly into a social media calendar and posting schedule.
That makes it really easy and you don’t have to think about, “What am I going to post on my social channel now?” That’s something that you want to get as your fourth thing because now you’ve got content, so you want to push it out and not miss the opportunity to let people know you’re here. The fifth thing, and this is what I love, we’re using some of our sites right now, it’s an assessment quiz. If you guys are interested in this, please contact me, message me because I will hook you up with a person who writes these and they’re just amazing at lead generating and screening through those leads to let them self-assess and decide how ready and how committed they are. This is great for coaches and authors in their platform building and community building. That leads to funnels because once you have that community and something about them, you know what to put in your funnel, so your funnels work better.
I like the quiz first, then the funnel. That’s why I’ve lumped them together this way. Let me know if you had that, if you’re interested in that. If you don’t want to do video, you’ve got to have your hair done and you’ve got to look good and it just bothers you, skip it, but don’t skip the podcasting part. Don’t skip the blog. Definitely do these because you’re going to be missing out on some of that video audience, but you don’t want to miss out on a community that’s only 200,000 active podcasters. There are a lot of listeners out there though, and those listeners, you want to capture them. That’s the right order. These are some of the right resources we recommend. You should have a transcriber, an audio editor, a video editor, graphic designer, an SEO copywriter, a web developer. I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly updating my website all the time, and you need a social media VA. I want you to strategically reflect. This is going to be my fourth assignment to you.
What is your time worth? Where are you spending your time? Is it worth it to you to become an expert in SEO? Is it worth it to you to be a transcriber? Is your time worth too much and are you spending it in the wrong places? That is also part of why you’re overwhelmed, why you’re not getting enough, and why it needs to be different for you. You need to spend time in the place that you are brilliant in and the thing that brings you the money and makes the biggest impact. Number four, review your time spent and its value. Set your business goals and benchmark the competition. Consider adding content types, review your time spent and its value, and think about where you could spend your time better. That’s what I want you to focus on. Imagine if all this was done for you, if that’s where you’re at, please, Podetize.com/Inquiry. There’s no obligation here. This is free for you, but if you are interested, I don’t want you to miss out in making the inquiry.
Let’s start headed to some questions. Our next masterclass is going to be strategic topic planning. We’re going to deep dive into the topics and you’re going to do that work. Wix and Squarespace do not rank as well on Google. It’s like they have boxes around the content, so it makes Google hard to scan it. They’ve made it easier for you to make a website, that’s why a lot of graphic designers recommend it for their clients or people who don’t have a lot of tech skills like those, they’re easy to use. The problem is, is that it’s crowding everything and it makes it so that Google doesn’t rate them as well. How do we know this? We have so many websites and we consistently see that the Wix and Squarespace sites are always ranked lower than anyone else even if they’re putting out content. That’s our number one reason. That’s why we recommend WordPress. WordPress represents a good 80% of the market already. Also, because there are so many plugins and so many things that help us power up the content, so when we build it in like the SEO that I was referring to and the podcast player and other things that we do, the way that we embed YouTube videos in our sites, all of those things come and look really good. They are customizable and are able to be utilized easily in WordPress.
I know it’s daunting for you, that’s why I say get a web developer or let us help you. That’s the reason there. Olympia is asking, “How many people listen to the 200,000 podcasts?” I don’t have the exact number, but the last time I checked, it was 70 million people each month. What’s surprising is the age range of those people, it’s not all Millennials. There are all kinds of different age ranges. We found this early on. I’ve done my 3D print podcast for almost five years and we found retirees and students, really young students. There’s a big, broad audience. What about engaging a personality to front your content if you’re camera shy? It can be done, but I can tell you right now, you need to get over it because there is nobody better to sell it than a founder. There’s nobody better to sell it than you.Be as timeless as possible. We don't want to put promos that are can expire. Click To Tweet
I didn’t want to be on video when we first started. That’s why I chose podcasting, but again, video wasn’t as big as it is now. I didn’t want to have my hair done. I didn’t want to put makeup on. I didn’t want it to be an ordeal to pop the lights up, have a background. I wanted it to be easy. If that’s the case, start with the podcasting. Think about it this way. Do you have Zoom videos already? Do you already do interviews with people? Do you talk to clients that way? If you are, it’s no different. You don’t have to be live stream. You can record videos in a way that makes you comfortable. Plus, if you get yourself an editor or get yourself a Brandcasting team to help you edit, then you don’t have to worry about it. When you say something really stupid, they can cut it out.
We have a question, is videocast a YouTube channel? Yes and no. With videocast, you’d have to post on a regular schedule to technically be a cast. There is a way for iTunes to show video, but it doesn’t really cast quite like that. I would say as long as you’ve got a video show that is coming out on the same day, same time on a schedule, if you’re live streaming that or if you’re posting on a timer schedule, then you’ve got to cast. People can rely on it. What you don’t have that in YouTube is you don’t necessarily have what they call an RSS feed. It’s only pushing out to the subscribers that happened to like your YouTube channel. You have to work hard to make sure you get those subscribers. A lot of people watch videos and search for videos on YouTube, but not all of them subscribe to your channel, so that’s a difference. You have to be providing that consistent, constant value to get the subscribers so that every time you post a video, they get notified. That’s what happens in iTunes, that’s what happens with the podcast.
Do I recommend Facebook Live or just recording? I do recommend Facebook Live, but you don’t have to do it every time. We do a few Facebook Lives a month. They get a lot of traction. They get a lot of visibility. We get a lot of engagement from them, so they’re really worth doing. I do that. I also do record my videos and most of what I do offline in Zoom. I schedule those interviews. I like to have control over my schedule and do it in my time, so you can do it any way that you would like. I’ve got advantages of Instagram versus Facebook versus YouTube. I’m not a big Instagram user. There’s a lot of value in Instagram. We see a lot of people who are making a lot of money and doing a lot of that, but what I would say is that it doesn’t quite have the audience. It doesn’t quite have a broad age range. It doesn’t have a broad enough demographics.
I highly recommend being in both Facebook and YouTube. If you do your Facebook Live, there are three little dots up in the top corner after the video is fully loaded and it’s in replay mode. Click that, download the video, load it up into YouTube. Make sure you’re using it and putting it in all those places. Take a cue from Scott Carson. Start a Vimeo channel and loaded up into Vimeo too. It’s a little bit more work, but if your audience is there, then it’s worth it. I think that’s what you have to decide, is Instagram worth it? Instagram is probably worth it, but it may not be worth it for doing more than images or doing more than a couple of audiograms or an occasional live. You have to see what’s playing for you there because there are a lot of women on Instagram if that’s your focus, but there are also not as many professional women. They might be more in LinkedIn and that may be a better play for you. You have to play around with the social channels and find where you resonate with an audience and where you get engagement. It has to obviously engage with the kind of content you’re creating.
About a personality in front of your content, if you’re camera shy, that doesn’t work so well, but it can be done. We have a lot of professional shows that do that, corporate shows that do that, but I say get yourself a cohost. That’s another option. “WordPress is far too complex and far too much work for things to go wrong,” I understand that. We totally get that. That’s why we recommend a team. That’s why we developed a maintenance program. If you message Alexandra, she’ll be happy to share the data and information with you. Some are asking about WordPress being far too complex to manage and I totally understand that. It is for some people and we understand it.
We have a question, “What do you see the most from podcasters in their second year, doubling of numbers or pod fade? Any mistakes? I’m sure once people hit consistent content and posting that, their numbers climb.” That is a great question, Scott. Here’s the thing, if you are repeating your content, if you’re not going deeper, if you know your industry is changing, you can dive deeper. 3D printing is still growing and changing and we saw the numbers grow year over year because the content was, and then we were also figuring out what was working. If you’re finding product reviews or more interviews or more of your one-on-one, just you solo, whatever is playing and working and engaging, do more of that in the next year. That’s where we talk about content types and trying to do more of those. Pod fade can happen, but I think it happens more often with those that are employing this digital marketing strategy of where they hit all the key words and then they get bored with doing it.
How do I find people to listen to our podcast? Podcast listeners are there. They’re out there looking for new ones, but you have to have a concerted strategy or going out there and getting new listeners. This is why you want to make sure that you’re doing that competitive target, but the next step is going to be guesting and some of those things. We’re going to talk about the strategic guesting strategy in our third session. That’s really where we’re going to get to this place at which you will be able to gauge and tap into other people’s audiences. It can also be a guesting strategy where you go on other people’s podcasts. You want to drive them back to you to get more data because a podcast listener likes podcasts, so it’s going to transfer and say, “If I already liked this person on the podcast that I already trust, then why wouldn’t I go ahead and subscribe and try out yours?” Of course, they will. That’s how the transfer happens. You definitely wanted to make sure you also have the testing strategy, especially when you’re watching your show.
I’d be providing a strategy map. We can use this part of the masterclass. We will be talking about that more in terms of how they do it in posting on social and doing all that. We have a strategy map and I will make that available to you when we do our topic planning so that you can see clearly on that. I definitely will do that for you. We have a question, “What are your thoughts on Pippa for podcast hosting?” Pippa is stealing your authority. Stop using them. They’re sending them right back to them. They’re taking it and they’re syndicating their name and their URL in your content. You really need to stop using them. There’s Anchor at the basic level and Pippa is also doing that. We also have issues with podcast websites, so there are a couple of those that are problematic as well for different reasons, but a lot of them are giving you problems on the hosting.
“How do you maintain the consistency of your brand on so many platforms or is that even a concern?” Definitely tune into the social media strategy side of it because we’re going to talk deeper about it, but we want to have some amount of brand consistency that they know they’re at your show, whatever the show is, and that it’s you. You want to make sure that that’s clear, whether that’s at your social headers or whether it’s on that small icon that you use in your profiles. In the content itself, brand consistency yields lower ratings. I’ve seen it, read it and heard it before, and they skip it. We prefer this more visually graphic or different posting types all the time. Having that fluctuations in it, stylistic color changes, not making everything look the same, and having that over-stylized branding happen in your content is really important. You don’t want that on your profiles, but you do want the difference happening in your content.
We have a question, “Can you talk about monetizing? I have no problem with content, but I need help generating the income to pay for the support to get it out there.” Deborah, there are sponsors coming. They are coming around and I think that we’re going to see a tipping point with people saying, “The influencer level, the conversion rates on podcasts is high.” Some of the biggest sales that are going on right now on Amazon are coming from podcasters. People are starting to see that the conversion rate is high and that brand association is important and the trust level with podcast hosts are really good. Part of it is this is a strategy and making sure your show is going to resonate with brands and with the kind of brands and sponsors you’d like to attract. We probably will have a one-on-one about that at some point. We definitely should talk about that. We also have some companies that are coming on board because of this thing I explained to you before, where Google and Alexa and all of these things are recognizing voice. They’re also recognizing real people. Does the website have a real person on it? We have some websites that sell things that are looking to have sponsored content. In other words, they’re willing to take a podcast and put it right on their site. It can be a feed and it can be all kinds of things like that.
There’s a way for you to do both, but we want to make sure that it’s going to be a match for you if you get a top-level sponsor and they would do the production costs for your entire show and maybe you want to do that. You do have to commit to a year, but there are a lot of people out there doing that. Let’s see. “How do you get subscribers to the YouTube channel?” I’m not a YouTube expert. All I can tell you is that it’s really hard to get them to subscribe to your channel, but the best way to do it is to have a lot of content on there. Trying in the early days when you have one or two videos isn’t going to do good. Get more videos and it will help you move that needle and start to get people to subscribe. They’re going to subscribe to you if they want to watch your videos as opposed to listen to the podcast. They’re going to subscribe in the place that they go first every time to get their content.
They will naturally start subscribing to you and a call to action in every description to remind them to subscribe to the channel so they get your videos next time. You definitely want that in a written description. Try to give that shout out if that’s where you want to drive your traffic. I recommend you drive your traffic to your website and embed the videos in your website blog posts because that will naturally happen that people will watch them over there. You’ll get the views in both places. “Are you seeing success with people uploading video to iTunes versus just audio?” No, I’m really not. We have not. It doesn’t even work yet. It’s something that they started and they tried to do and then they realized it was cumbersome and it didn’t work, so they stopped supporting it. While it allows it and you see it, it doesn’t work.
I’m Alexandra. I help Tracy with all this. I just want to let you know that iTunes does accept video, but every other platform has problems with it. If you want to send your video of your podcast through iTunes, you would have to have a separate RSS feed that only goes to iTunes. It only has the video on it because it creates problems on every other platform because all the other platforms do not accept video.
You’re also asking how hard is it to make sure your Alexa searches were working properly. Alexandra is going to answer that in the Q&A because you have to be exact about how you do it. We do know how to do that. If you also want to reach out to anyone, we can help you with that. For right now, TuneIn is the preferred Alexa podcast platform, but the Alexa team is working on their own skill set. If you ask to play Feed Your Brand podcast, right now it will play even though I didn’t say play it on TuneIn, but eventually, it will play it elsewhere. “Are podcast listeners more fickle than those on other content sites?” I haven’t found that. For the most part, we find subscribers are consistent. If you can’t release new episodes regularly though, that it does affect it. There’s a definite shift in iTunes. In other words, if you haven’t posted content in three months and they haven’t listened to it, it starts to automatically unsubscribe people. It didn’t use to do that. That is some of the ways why people may see attrition, but they probably were never listening to begin with. That’s what we find. We find that there’s a consistent level of the downloads you have every single morning. Within a few hours of your podcast episode going live, those are probably your number of subscribers.
We use that as a gauge for ourselves to see, “Are we in the right place and as this is happening, it isn’t going up and down for us.” That’s really where we see as long as that’s staying in consistent growth, then we’re doing well on that. One of the things that I highly recommend is do not do replays. They get pissed at you and they will unsubscribe. We tried that, that didn’t work. Do not do replays. If you take a hiatus, let them know. That’s obviously a problem because if they think, “They just dropped off the face of the world. They might never come back,” they may unsubscribe to you. Make sure that you are doing that. “How does it impact your ranking?” It’s a good question and it does hurt your ranking if your episodes are not getting downloads. We think that downloads, as opposed to reviews, are more highly valued by the algorithms on all of the subscription platforms and all of the syndicated stuff.
“I have seen some podcasters publish their Facebook Live as a podcast episode. Is this a good strategy?” Yes, absolutely. We do it all the time. It is a good strategy, but you might need to edit it because there’s this weird thing that happens when you say, “Hey, so and so.” That happens on your Facebook Live. Either be really conscious of that as you’re recording or cut out in the audio tracks. Make sure that your podcast episode is heavily edited because when it’s being listened to, it’s different. Think about that as you’re recording, so plan it. Scott had some guest host takeover his show for three weeks and it boosted his numbers. Woo-hoo for you, Scott. That’s a great tip. I love that.
This is also the benefit of having cohosts. If I’m away and traveling, then Tom can take it. That’s also a benefit in having two hosts as well. I appreciate you and I am super excited about continuing this. Really dive into the homework. Dive in to thinking about what do you want to get, what types of competitors are you going to benchmark and who are you going to benchmark, what content types are you going to try or expand into. Diving into thinking, “Where am I spending my time and where is my time most valuable?” I’m going to give you a little hint that it’s on the content creation side of things. Please think about that. Scott’s channel is the Note Closers Show. Next time, we’re talking about guest strategies, guesting strategies, which we will be addressing in a third version here, but it’s more of how to find guests, which guests are the right guests. We’re going to talk about guesting strategies that boost you. Make sure that you check your emails. I’m going to try and send you out that map. Thank you so much.
- The New Trust Economy
- Feed Your Brand
- Product Launch Hazzards
- Hazz Design
- The Successful Pitch Podcast
- Note Closers Show
- The Stay Grounded Podcast
- Adobe Cloud
- Smart Podcast Player