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How to integrate a podcast within your inbound marketing strategy featuring Ben Sailer

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Episode Summary

Podcasts have drawn the attention of both older generations because of their similarity to the radio and younger folks who are into just about everything that can be consumed digitally. In addition, podcasts have become a powerful tool companies can use as part of their content strategy.

But it has become clear that running a podcast is more than just owning a mic and pressing the record button. Also, there is a major difference between creating just another fluffy interview versus creating actionable content that helps your audience. In order to truly benefit your ideal customer, podcast creators must focus on producing valuable, entertaining, and educational pieces while also ensuring episodes don’t sound too scripted.

In this episode of Recorded Content, our host Tristan Pelligrino welcomes Ben Sailer, the Inbound Marketing Director at CoSchedule. Ben is an experienced writer, marketer, and podcast host. Ben hosts the Actionable Marketing podcast, a show which has been a part of CoSchedule’s marketing strategy for nearly 7 years. Ben and Tristan discuss the difference between actionable and fluffy podcast episodes, the importance of preparation, and how to tie your podcast into your overall content marketing strategy.

Guest Profile

Name: Ben Sailer

What he does: Ben is the Inbound Marketing Director at CoSchedule

Company: CoSchedule

Noteworthy: Ben is also the host of CoSchedule’s Actionable Marketing Podcast

Key Insights

  • How to avoid fluffy podcast episodes: One of the reasons people love podcasts is their immediacy. Listening to conversations allows them to learn more about a particular topic in an engaging manner, making podcasts one of the most popular digital formats today. However, podcast hosts sometimes lose track of how the conversation should go, leading to low-quality and fluffy content. “I think podcasts tend to veer into fluff territory if the hosts don’t have a clear idea of the direction they want a conversation to take. I think sometimes there’s a tendency to just press record and let the conversation flow, and that’s more fun for the host and the guests than it is for anybody listening.”
  • Each episode is like getting 30 minutes of free consulting: Most podcast hosts admit that running a podcast helped them become better at their roles and grow professionally. So aside from creating content that will be attractive and educational for listeners, podcast hosts look at how the episodes they produce can benefit them and/or their organizations. “Of course, not every episode will provide you with A to Z steps, but they should help you broaden your horizons. Not every episode is necessarily going to be about anything that’s directly applicable to what we’re going to do. But there’s always value in just broadening your lens and your perspective on what are the things that modern marketers care about.”
  • Can you be different while being visible in the SEO-driven digital space? When your overall marketing strategy includes content marketing, you need to differentiate yourself from competitors and provide something unique to your audience. However, that’s easier said than done because it seems like regardless of the quality of your content, if you don’t follow SEO rules, it’s less likely your content will be visible to a broader audience. According to Ben, it’s time companies focus on customers’ needs and preferences rather than competing against each other on who uses SEO better. “It’s better to create something that stands out because it’s completely different from all that stuff. But then the challenge becomes how do you get Googled or rewarded? I think solving that question is top of mind for me right now, but even beyond that, I really want to think about how we create content that resonates with people and resonates with the right people. I can see us starting to think more in terms of what a reader or a potential customer thinks or cares about. And then how do we work backward from that question rather than starting with ‘What do we gotta do to beat the guy next to us?'”

Episode Highlights

When starting a podcast, be open to learning and embracing a healthy degree of failure

“I’ve been a freelance journalist in my spare time for 15 plus years. And so I’ve interviewed a lot of people over that time. So I felt pretty comfortable interviewing people in general. But I think maybe my biggest fear was that I wasn’t really used to those conversations being public.”

“With anything that you’re trying to learn, you can’t ever go into it with the expectation that you’re going to be amazing at it immediately. Even though I had a lot of experience interviewing people, I had no experience running a show. And so there are a lot of things to learn. I think I’ve got a better grasp on them now than I did maybe when I started the show.”

A podcast is a valuable relationship-building tool

“Every time we bring a guest on the show, that’s potentially a new connection for us. It also helps us get our brand in front of their audience. So being able to do that each week, I think, has a lot of compound benefits. Some of it’s hard to quantify. It can be a little bit difficult to measure, but we know that it’s providing value and we know that we’re reaching new people every time we ship an episode. It’s also a really good opportunity for us to just hear from other people in the industry, to hear from other marketers, learn from what they’re doing and how they’ve attacked specific problems.”

Preparation is a prerequisite for a high-quality episode

“If it’s something I’m fairly familiar with, it’s pretty easy for me to pick out what is and isn’t important and write questions that are going to draw out what I feel is a useful answer. If they’re an expert on something that I don’t know anything about, I’ll spend some time reading or listening to what I can about the topic to be like, ‘Okay, so amongst people who are really smart about this stuff, what are they talking about? What are they saying?’ And sometimes that helps to just write more informed interview questions that are going to help that guest really draw upon their depth of expertise effectively rather than answering some amateur-hour questions from some ignoramus with a mic. I’ll just do whatever research I feel like I need to do so I can go into that conversation with some confidence and feel like I’m not going to waste the guest’s time.”

Define why you want to host a podcast and identify your specific audience

“If you want to know whether your content is effective, whether your show is effective, I think you have to start with the question of why are you creating a podcast? And think about what value a podcast is going to deliver for your audience. And so I would start with that and then I would start by asking, well, what can you bring to a podcast? What can you bring to any channel or type of content that you don’t think people are getting from their existing options? And I think if you can start with those two questions, you’ll start on the right foot. I think it’s really important to get clear on those two things first. They don’t have to be hard questions to answer. I wouldn’t overthink it. Just have an idea of who you are trying to create this for and why.”

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Schedule a call with us

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step 2

We'll discuss your requirements

Discuss your goals and requirements with our team to tailor a content solution that fits your business.

step 3

We'll scope out your ideal program

We’ll create a detailed plan outlining your ideal video series or podcast program, aligned with your objectives.

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We'll build & execute your content plan

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