Podcasting 101: The What, Why and How

Michael Greenberg discusses niche B2B digital marketing, marketing spend, authority marketing and content-based networking with James Carbary on the B2B Growth Podcast.

Logan Lyles  1:16  

Welcome back to B2B growth. I’m your host for today’s episode Logan Lyles with Sweet Fish Media. I’m joined today by Michael Greenberg. He is the CEO over at Call For Content. Michael, how are you doing today, man?

Michael Greenberg  1:27  

 Logan, I’m doing great. How about yourself?

Logan Lyles  1:29  

I’m doing fantastic. It’s great to talk to another person in marketing here in Colorado, we’re finally getting out of the snow which lasted way into May for us this year, and the sun is actually shining, or at least it is often on today. So I’m doing fantastic man. I am really excited to talk with you today about some very specific steps that people can take to leverage authority marketing. Before we do that, I would love for you to give listeners a little bit of context on yourself and what you and the team at Call For Content are up to these days, man.

Michael Greenberg  2:00  

 So my background is as a B2B growth strategist and consultant. And so I came to marketing through that lens of operational excellence, and through technology, before I was in growth strategy, I did app development. So I’m coming not from the creative side and at Call For Content. We’ve started to narrow down to focus on that non-creative business side of podcasting. So not production like you guys, but instead, how do we grow our audience for an existing show? Or, more importantly, how do we get placed on other shows? And our background as a company is in B2B content marketing, and we developed a strategy called Authority Marketing, which is focused around using content to position yourself within a very niche high-value market for your business. And so it’s a marketing strategy. That’s designed to complement and work with sales. Not purely alone.

Logan Lyles  3:05  

 Yeah, absolutely. So many of our guests have been talking about the power of sales and marketing working together. Alignment has been a buzzword for a bit now. But as you point out there. When they are working together, there can be a lot of power in that strategy. So we’re going to be talking about some steps to execute, what you mentioned here, authority marketing, I think it warrants us taking a step back real quick. How do you guys define authority marketing? Michael, let’s give people some context who don’t necessarily have a clear definition in mind when they hear that term authority marketing.

Michael Greenberg  3:41  

 Yeah. So, authority marketing is a marketing strategy designed to position you as an expert in your niche high-value field. And it’s specifically done using a combination of partnerships and content creation. And the core foundation for that is deep customer research.

Logan Lyles  4:08  

 Yeah, if you’re going to go after, as you mentioned, a highly targeted niche market, which, you know, people like Christopher Lochhead and others have been advocating for, I think, with very good reason, then you have to start with understanding what that market is. So really in this kind of four steps of going after an authority marketing approach, the first is to identify your target market. Right?

Michael Greenberg  4:33  

 Exactly. And the best way we’ve seen to do that is by finding your favorite customers, so those who pay well pay on time and are easy cells. Have a faster sales cycle than other groups. So that’s normally because they have some sort of education,  or those buzzwords that you’re trying to sell into, already exist in their market. And so you start by looking at those. And what we try to do is develop a specific persona, based on a specific example of a person. Personas that we use at Call For Content are based on old clients, and they still have their names. So Kai is, you know, Kai that we worked with two years ago. And Ruben is Ruben, the executive coach that we’re still working with today. And so we try to personalize those down to the single person and build three or four for that market. And for the total addressable size of that market. We’re generally looking around 10,000, maybe a little lower.

Logan Lyles  5:46  

 So tell us why this approach of going to a specific person to build this persona that is still going to have a lot of attributes that maybe you pull from, from multiple people, but starting in on one person as opposed to trying to draw from the masses?

Michael Greenberg  6:03  

Yeah, so one, it works really well for some enterprise sales or something like that where you may only have one or two clients. So works well for companies with high ticket small client numbers. And two, at least in my experience, those people are much more similar to each other that you’re selling to than you initially thought. And we tend to get better results, especially once we start moving to ads, by having these very specific people that we can build personas and interest profiles off.

Logan Lyles  6:39  

Yeah, absolutely. So the next step from there, once you build those personas, and you start with some existing clients is to start creating content for those personas. What are some of the next steps? I know from an overall perspective, most marketers understand that next step, but what are some of the do’s and don’ts that you can see that can make this next step really effective or ineffective as marketers are going through this thought process, Michael?

Michael Greenberg  7:09  

Yeah, so the number one thing is matching your content to your market. If you’re selling into the 60 plus C suite, the podcast is probably not the way to do that. But if you’re selling into, say, a middle-market tech company, then Sweet Fish Media producing a podcast is potentially your best option out there. Because millennials and Gen X are executives with a college degree in technology is almost assuredly going to be listening to shows. So number one is matching the kind of content to your audience. But then beyond that, I try from day one to bring the audience into the content creation process. And so that might be having a podcast where you can interview some of them on air or that might be Reaching out before you publish your first ebook, and finding out if we were going to publish one end to end how-to guide for you guys, what would you like it to be? And since we have these personas, we’re able to reach out to specific people and specific organizations to find out what that content they’re looking for looks like. And then, once we have these ideas of topics, we can scrub away some of the organization’s specific details and publish them to the general audience. 

Logan Lyles  8:33  

Yeah, I love that idea. We talked about the idea of content-based networking in how you can collaborate to create content with people from your target market, in the relationships that that builds. But it also, as you’re pointing out here, Michael sets you up to create better content because you’re not just in the silo in a dark room trying to hack away at a blog post or how-to or whatever format of content. You’re trying to build, and you know, fingers crossed, hoping and praying that it resonates with your target market, you go to them and have these conversations about what they think about, what they care about, the struggles that they’re dealing with. It’s just a more effective way to develop that content. So everyone listening knows that we’re big fans of interviewing people from your target market on your podcast. And as you point out here, it is wildly effective, whether that’s a podcast or any other form of content. It doesn’t have to be a podcast necessarily, but I love the benefits that you’re talking about them. You guys focus as well, Michael, on how to rank that content. Once you get into a steady stream of producing this content. You’ve identified your market, you’ve built some buyer personas off of initial clients and real people, like some of the folks you’ve mentioned here, and then start to create content with and for them. Tell us a little bit about this next step as you try to increase the rank of that content. After each Google update.

Michael Greenberg  10:02  

 So we focus on partnerships. And those can take a number of forms. But content partnerships are probably the most common ones that we do. So that’s reaching out.  I include inviting somebody on your podcast as a content partnership because I feel like it really is coming together to create content. But beyond that, looking at webinars, and blog posts and other ways that we can work with this audience in longer-term partnerships. So beyond a single piece of content, we want to do a series with you over the next three months. And that helps us build that link profile that’s going to allow Google to recognize. And the way we talk about that is borrowing authority. So when you partner with somebody else, and when you guys get to co-mingle, your presence in Google picks up on that co-mingling. It’s going to realize, Oh, this guy who’s an expert in podcasts thinks this guy might also be kind of an expert in podcasts. And it’ll break down, okay, we have these combinations where this guy’s talking about these things related to this, and this guy’s talking about this whole other area, but I see the overlap. And it’s in that that you’re able to start securing the long term presence by establishing yourself through social signals. As much as through technical ones.

Logan Lyles  11:39  

Yeah, man, I love where you’re going here. We talk a lot, as I said about content-based networking and the way that it helps you build relationships, but then you’ve also talked about the way that it helps you create better content, and then downstream it’s helping you build authority, not just relationally but technically in your SEO efforts, right.

Michael Greenberg  12:00  

Yeah. And it really comes back to, if you take a social network nerd, like somebody who’s a Ph.D. in social network analysis. And you ask them how to develop a content marketing strategy. I think they’re going to end somewhere closer to this than anything else.

Logan Lyles  12:18  

Yeah, I love this overlap in how you’re showing authority marketing and the steps you can take there. And really how that kind of plays nicely with the concept that we’ve developed here in content-based networking not really developed, we just tried to put a name to it. There are a lot of people doing it in a lot of different formats, podcasting, and otherwise, what are some of the other growth strategies beyond that, that you recommend to marketers, founders at early-stage companies or entrepreneurs as you guys work with, Michael? 

Michael Greenberg  12:48  

Yeah, so definitely having a podcast is fantastic. I can’t recommend that enough. But outside of that, email, like just plain old cold email still works. We’re in the US. So we have easy can-spam compliance to maintain. And it’s a very valuable avenue to develop lead generation. When we look at content, we’ve really started to focus on ads as one of the primary drivers of traffic to the content we put out. And so that’s not something I was expecting to see. But it’s been very effective, especially for that early-stage group that has no real traction yet. Outside of maybe one client, we can build that persona. If we’ve done the research. It’s very easy to build that persona or lookalike audience with ads, and then go after that market with a few pieces of content. 

Logan Lyles  13:47  

Absolutely. I mean, a lot of marketers have been through the ups and downs of Facebook ads, but especially now in B2B, you’ve got to dedicate some budget to it, but the targeting that you can get with LinkedIn ads is just unbelievable. And especially like you said, if you start with your authority marketing strategy, and your content based networking strategy of really defining that target market. And really knowing those buyer personas, then you’re going to set yourself up for success with these other strategies that you’re talking about. If you missed the mark there, then that little angle can set you off on a real wayward course once you’re 500 miles out to sea. Right. So I think the importance of those first steps can’t be reiterated enough that you talked about towards the top of the conversation.

Michael Greenberg  14:35  

Thanks. And to put that in perspective I have gone in and audited multiple companies where they’ll spend 100 or 200,000 in ads, without the proper targeting in place. And so when I come into audit, I get to say your marketer doesn’t know what they’re doing.

Logan Lyles  14:57  

That’s a fun conversation, I’m sure.

Michael Greenberg  14:58  

Yeah, as a consultant. That’s the best word you can be having. But LinkedIn ads, and in particular I’d recommend LinkedIn sponsored in the mail if you want to get started with a LinkedIn ad quickly, that’s one where you can write a letter toss $500 or $1,000 behind it and get it out in the same day.

Logan Lyles  15:19  

Yeah, very targeted, gotta have something to put towards it. But like you said, pretty quick ramp time with something there versus other ad platforms where you’ve probably got to develop some more creativity to go behind it, because I think that’s where a lot of ad campaigns fall flat as well as the creative is just off the mark. That’s probably a whole other conversation. I love the methodical approach you’re talking about here, Michael, as I said from the top of really identifying your target market, identifying what your ICP looks like, I think a lot of marketers struggle with that idea. And we just look at what is our potential customer profile. Well, it could be this, it could be. As you mentioned, who are the people that you like working with, you know, they close faster, they pay on time, they really see the value in your service, it feels limiting. But as we’re talking about here, you’re going to see much more, you’re going to be able to resonate with that audience as opposed to just trying to reach the masses when you niche down and focus. And then these steps of building your authority marketing, using some content-based networking, which we’re obviously big fans of. I just love the way that you’ve broken this down and talked about it very methodically here, Michael, anything you’d like to leave listeners with, either on this idea of collaborating with your market to create content, or building your authority before we head out today.

Michael Greenberg  16:45  

On the topic of collaborating with your market to create content, even if nobody listens to your podcast, you can still repurpose it and turn it into blogs and ebooks and full-length books that people might actually check out. And so I really love audio as your first step in your content trade.

Logan Lyles  17:03  

Yeah, as you know, Michael and a lot of people in our network now we’re big fans of starting with that audio because it’s just a lower barrier to entry to create. And there are a lot of people who aren’t necessarily great writers, but they have a lot of great things to say, they’re great at holding a conversation and extracting valuable content out of the people in their target market. So I just love that starting point. Obviously, we’re big advocates of it here at Sweet Fish. But it’s great to hear you say that as well. And again, I just love the step by step approach that you’re talking about here to build authority in your market. Michael, if anybody listening to this would like to ask you any follow-up questions on authority marketing or any other topic or stay connected with you or any of the content that you guys are putting out at Call For Content, what’s the best way for them to reach out.

Michael Greenberg  17:52  

So the best way to reach out is to find me at callforcontent.com. I have office hours every week where you can come in and ask me whatever you want. And then, I get some great questions to create content off of later. Or you can find me on social media at gentoftech.

Logan Lyles  18:14  

I love it. Michael, this has been a great conversation, man. I always love talking strategy with someone who’s so like-minded. And it sounds like we share a lot of the same beliefs in how you can create content for your target market. And again, love the way you broke it down very step by step for listeners today. Thanks so much, man.

Michael Greenberg  18:33  

Thanks for having me on.