If you have a podcast, are you repurposing your content assets across other channels and formats? If not, then you are missing out on opportunities to reach potential listeners and customers.
Today’s guest is Holly Pels, Vice President of Marketing at Casted – a podcast platform for B2B marketers. Holly talks about how and why marketers should turn their podcast into a content creation engine to drive return on investment (ROI).
Ben: Good morning, Holly. How's it going?
Holly: Great. Thank you for having me. I'm so excited to be here.
Ben: Yeah, absolutely. I'm glad that we were able to overcome the audio issues that we were having a moment ago, or I should say, my audio issues that I am struggling to grapple with.
Holly: We can share the blame. I feel you.
Ben: Thank you. I will never turn down an opportunity to pass the buck. Anyway, I'm so glad that you're on the show. What we're going to be talking about is podcasting and repurposing. I think that these are both topics that get discussed a lot in content marketing circles, but maybe don't get discussed as often together.
Before we get too far along, broadly speaking, what makes podcasting such a great medium for marketers? Why is this a channel that marketers should really be paying attention to right now?
Holly: I think that there are lots of answers to this question, but I'm going to shoot probably for the two most important ones, which is that podcasting is super conversational. If you look at the direction that marketing has been headed in a while but especially after the last year where people are just kind of tired of sitting behind Zooms, tired of being bombarded with lots of different things, podcasting is a channel that's very authentic. It's two people having a conversation versus what a brand necessarily wants you to hear. It has that aspect to it that's great.
The other aspect is we're sitting here having a conversation, you are an expert in your field, and I am an expert in sitting and talking about how to repurpose podcasts versus one person or a company saying, this is what we think you should do. You have the opportunity to talk to subject matter experts, internal thought leaders, external thought leaders, and get straight from the horse's mouth as you say.
One thing that we talk about a lot at Casted is just this idea that as a content marketer, it's a hard job because you are expected to be the expert at every single thing that your company does when in reality, you have a lot of people sitting at your company who are experts and you have a lot of people sitting right outside your company that are experts. Why wouldn't you go talk to them and get that information versus you trying to be the expert at everything?
For those two reasons, I think it's a gold mine for marketers and I think everybody should be using them.
Ben: That's a really interesting point you touched on there about content marketers sometimes being expected to be the subject-matter expert when really, what I think is as content marketers, what we're experts at is storytelling, organizing information, and extracting the story from a source. Thinking about it that way, it's a platform that allows you as a content marketer to do what you do best just to get the story from people who are already experts.
For example, if you work at an engineering company and you're a content marketer, you probably don't know as much about what it is you work on than the person down the hall who's been at it for 30 years.
Ben: I think that's a really great point. Sometimes, it's worth putting some emphasis on that podcasting lets you not have to try to step into those shoes so much.
Holly: Exactly. It's like being a journalist. I am traditionally a content marketer. I just stepped into a new role at Casted, the company I'm at, but I went to school for writing. I was an English major and a writing major.
Coming out of school and getting into content marketing at the time that I did was a little different because it was a little SEO-heavy, a little different, and things like that. But the further I've gotten into my career, the more I realized that in a way, you're a journalist. You're trying to extract information. You're trying to pull information out of people.
Podcasting just lends itself to that because what are we doing right now? You're extracting information from me that you will hopefully then be able to use and talk about where you didn't have to sit and brainstorm, think about it, research, and find out that. You have a quote directly from Holly Pels versus someone else.
Ben: Absolutely. There are two things about podcasting that are great. It's very human-centered, people-centered, and it's a great conversational and storytelling medium. You can use that. The conversations that you have within a podcast can help potentially support lots of other marketing initiatives, give you opportunities to maybe talk about your brand's story or things that pertain to what your brand does with other people, and help tell your own story that way as well.
Sometimes, it seems like marketers will very often—if they have a podcast—launch an episode, promote it on social, and then they're moving on to the next thing. In your view though, how are marketers failing to maximize their podcast assets? Where are they missing the mark in terms of really helping their podcast become a more central focus of their content marketing?
Holly: I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that it's a one-off episode and then you move on to the next thing. That's a really big problem because you hear lots of people say podcasting is easy. You can just go record a voice memo. You can record this and just put it out to the world, but most brands aren't doing that.
Most brands are producing. They're putting music behind things. They're editing. They're taking things out. They're planning the guests. Getting guests is not easy either. It's a whole job in itself. Then, you put out these episodes and you just move on. It's like, what a waste. You put so much effort into this content. Why wouldn't you tap into it further?
It's also a silo piece for many brands. When you think about podcasting and you think about where it sits in the channel—this conflict and this idea of repurposing and reusing it—the reason most brands are doing this is because it doesn't fit into the rest of their strategy. They have a podcast because someone on the team said, this sounds like a great idea. Let's go chase it. Let's go do it. It's kind of living side by side to the rest of their strategy.
I'm a pretty big believer in the fact that it should sit more so in the middle of your strategy because it is creating all this content and creating all these conversations that then can fuel all of your channels. Unfortunately, most brands do have these side by side, so they're not infiltrating.
If you think about the way especially big brands work, everything gets really siloed, everybody's doing their own thing, and the messaging doesn't connect—that's a big missed opportunity because the conversations that you're having on your podcast goes back to what we talked about in the beginning about why it's so important.
People want that. People don't want to go download your ebook, give their email, and do this. We will. We still do it because we want that information, but at the same time, we want to feel connected to humans. We want to feel like we are learning from someone straight from the horse's mouth. I've said that a few times, but that's what you want to feel like you're connected to versus what a brand is trying to tell you.
The glory of podcasting is that you have these conversations that are driving that forward, and to your point earlier, could live side by side with the things that you're doing as a brand. But we're not having a conversation about a content calendar right now. We're having a conversation about podcasting and repurposing.
If you stopped and thought about it, oh, there are really easy blog posts or a few posts that you can talk about scheduling, all these things, and how this all aligns. But what we're doing right now is not talking about your business. We're talking about something that aligns closely in a way to that because content planning is really important when it comes to podcasting. This is much richer, better, engaging content than anything, so the fact that we look at it as a silo channel to the side is such a missed opportunity.
Ben: Yeah, absolutely. You've touched on this a bit, but would you mind expanding a bit more on what are the benefits that marketers can drive by repurposing their podcast content? Let's say they've gotten as far as seeing their podcast as a valuable piece of their marketing strategy or operation—whatever term we want to use. In very concrete terms, what benefit could they be producing that they're not right now by taking a piece of an audio, an image, and a video clip and putting that somewhere else?
Holly: There are lots of things, but one of the biggest things is if you think about any piece of content that you create, if you set it, forget it, move on, and never revisit it again, it's a wasted opportunity because as content marketers, our time is so important. We spend so much time creating content and then the piece after that—the amplification piece—is something that's also so important but something that we let roll-off after a week or two weeks. You're just like, onto the next thing.
It's a big missed opportunity because as content marketers, there's this expectation that more is better, more content, more this, more that. That's not true. Better content is better. If you go back into your arsenal and you look at all the content from the past two months that's really hit and performed well, why wouldn't you go back, take those content, topics, the channels, all the different things that we’re working really well for you and reuse it, repurpose it to fuel that again and move it forward?
The thing with repurposing is, yes, it makes things easier, but it also is going to give you this insight into what's really working for your brand versus just moving onto the next thing. As a content marketer, you don't have to do more. You can do less technically. You can do less better. I hate that phrase, but I've heard it a lot and it's true when you're looking at the right topics, the right content, the right things. That piece of it saves you time.
Something that we do with every podcast is we create a use case because on our podcast, we're talking to brands about how they're using their podcasts. We would talk to you about how you use your podcast as part of your strategy.
No two brands really are the same. You might be doing some of the same things, but everybody has a different flair for what they're doing. Right there, we have a use case of how podcasting can serve your brand. That's incredibly useful so why wouldn't we take that?
We have a recap blog. We pull out different clips. We use clips within our blog content so we can also see how people are engaging with the different topics from the article. Our platform also does something that does takeaways. You can actually summarize your episode, so you can also see what people are listening to the most, which parts of the episode did they like the best.
Then, that also gives us insight into, okay, these are different topics and areas that we can reuse, repurpose, and basically create better engagement because at the end of the day, traffic is great but conversion is better. I will always look at what is more engaging versus what's driving us the most traffic because if people are coming and they're not converting, something's wrong. But if people are coming, they're converting, and it's a smaller number, that's fine by me. There is an opportunity to look at engagement and focus on the conversion piece of it over-focusing on doing more, getting more, being more is what it kind of feels like.
Ben: Repurposing and repromoting content might feel like it's going to add a significant burden onto your plate on top of the work that you're already putting into creating your podcast itself, but something to keep in mind is that when you build repeatable processes for repurposing content, then repackaging assets for multiple channels really don’t have to take that much more work than what you're already putting into creating that podcast.
If you outsource some or maybe all of that work to another company, an agency, or maybe you get a little bit of help from an intern, you can make it even easier still. So easy in fact that there's simply no excuse not to do it. Now, back to Holly.
Let's assume that a listener already has a podcast of their own but they're not doing some of these other things with it. Maybe they're not measuring it that closely. Maybe they're not repurposing that content very intentionally right now. What are some actual tactics you would recommend that they start executing to repurpose that podcast content so they can turn one asset into a bunch of assets that they can use on many different channels rather than just a person's podcast app basically?
Holly: The easiest place to start in my opinion is if you're in some way hosting it on your website, that's a great place to start. A lot of people just use the syndication channels. They do the Apple, the Spotify, the Google Play, the Stitcher. That's great and you should do those things. It could just be as simple as using your host to have a player embedded in a blog on the website.
That is one easy place to start for anybody. Right there, you have two pieces of content because you have the syndication channels and you have the blog there. The blog can end up being a short recap. It could be just hosting that and a short paragraph, something that pulls people in—the easiest place to start.
The next place that I tell people to go is to create a certain amount of social assets. That could be five posts and can include two clips, one link, and things like that. However, you want to go about that and then you schedule those out. Making sure that you're extending the shelf life right away. Instead of just scheduling it, we have a new episode this month, carrying it out this week, carrying it out over the next month.
The next easiest place to start is then scheduling out a blog post. As you're listening to your episode, when you're editing and getting everything ready, you're going to probably immediately say, oh, that's a really great topic. We should dive further into that. Highlighting that there and then actually scheduling it out into your content calendar is a great way to immediately extend the shelf life because you're not setting it and forgetting it after one week. You'll revisit it again in a month and repromote that entire episode with basically the content.
Those are really easy places to start just because you immediately have built it into your process. Another thing that we do with the very beginning sometimes is if we have a really great episode, we might look at all the different things we want to do right at once instead of saying, we're going to just plan out one thing, move on, and come back to it.
If you have a really killer episode that just hit so many points, you leave it, and you're thinking this is amazing. Sit in a content bubble around it, treat it as a content centerpiece, and see all the different things that you can pull out of it. I would say you could probably do that for every single episode. We treat it a lot like that.
We also look at seasons as a whole. What can we create from the entire season? Can we create a lookbook? Can we create a cool narrative episode where we tie some of these things together? Those are all different ways that you can reuse and repurpose. People love it. People love when you're pulling all these little tidbits out and giving it to them on a platter versus hey, go listen to every single episode.
Ben: Definitely. How can marketers approach from the very beginning? Before they even write their first question or record a moment of audio, how can they actually plan out each episode of their podcast with repurposing in mind from the very, very beginning?
You've touched on this a bit, but what would that actually look like in terms of plotting out what you will need to do in order to not only create that episode but to spin it off into all those other pieces that you would like to do?
Holly: Do you mean for each episode or from the beginning of the show?
Ben: Per episode. You're planning one episode, you intend to repurpose content. I guess the nature of the question is how can you create that episode intentionally with repurposing in mind rather than creating the episode and being like, cool, now what can we do with this?
Holly: Sure. One, I think it has to start with this thought process of being intentional about it. As long as you're being intentional about it, you're already winning. You're already a step up for most people. But the easiest thing to do is to treat it like a content centerpiece. What you would do if you were building a huge lead capture, a huge thing. You think about it, you sit and put that to the center, you spin off all the topics, and everybody uses cloud bubbles or whatever they might use to plan all those different assets out. You can do that with each episode.
The hard part with that—if you don't have this in mind already—is sometimes, the conversation goes in different directions so it's not easy to say I know that this topic is going to come out. But if you say, for every episode, I know I want to create at least one blog post, at least one video clip, at least this, at least that, at least you go in knowing and you make it part of the process.
Actually, for us at Casted, it's part of our process. We know that we are going to do these five things for every episode. That way, it's just part of the process. It's there. It took us a minute to get there because as you're planning everything out, you're like, well, do we need this for every episode? Do we want this for every episode?
But once you figure out the cadence, for us, it's at least a summary blog post, at least a use case, hopefully, a crossover with topics from somebody else—that usually is a post that pulls in three or four different episodes—at least five social posts. We want to pull at least three video clips that we can schedule out across. Those usually align to the takeaways or key points within the episode. Then, we make sure that it's scheduled into a newsletter.
If it's a big episode, a new episode, or a new start of a season it gets a dedicated email and a dedicated little mini-campaign around it so that we're pushing it out and we're making it a big deal.
Outside of that, the other thing that we build in here is monthly, we look at what performed really well. What topics perform really well, what clips perform well, what blogs, et cetera and we start to identify what are the topics. That way, we can bake those into either more content or future questions when we're talking to different people and we're doing different episodes, making sure that we're hitting on those again because if it seems to be resonating with our audience, we want to make sure that we're giving them more.
Ben: Sure, absolutely. Last question I'll throw your way. Are there any examples of brands with podcasts that you think repurpose content especially well? Because obviously, Casted does a great job at this—as you should, given the nature.
Holly: That's our thing.
Ben: Right. Obviously, I would encourage our listeners to check out Casted and see what you're describing in actual practice. Are there any other examples that you would also throw out there that you think our listeners should go check out so they can actually see what this all looks like out in the real world?
Holly: OpenView. They are a venture firm, venture capitalist, but they're PLG (product-led growth) initiative. They are awesome at it. We actually had Meg Johnson who's their multimedia manager on our podcast. She talked about something called the content carousel or the marketing merry-go-round.
Basically, it's how their podcasts and everything else that they're doing fuels each other. It's this flywheel of things that happen, how they have a podcast, and then it'll go to their newsletter. They have a really great newsletter, a really big following on their newsletter that goes out every week. Then, what happens in the newsletter can fuel other types of content that they want to create from it. They do a really great job of that.
A company called Lumavate. They're an app developer. You can basically build an app without knowing codes. It's a platform to help marketers build apps themselves. They do a really great job at it. I want to say that their content marketing manager, for every single episode, plans out at least 2 pieces of content, 10–15 social posts, and then videos that they do around it. Then, they do an ebook, I think, at the end of each season. She, right from the beginning, plans and does all this with their episodes.
Then, one that's a little off-color because it's security is Auth0. They do a really great job of pulling in the clips into their blog posts because the content that they create is a little more technical. They actually use the podcast to supplement the very technical content with color commentary, which is really interesting.
Ben: Yeah, very interesting. Cool. I know that I will be checking out each of those and I would encourage all of our listeners to do the same. Holly, this is fantastic. Thanks so much once again for coming on the show. For anybody out there listening, if you don't have a podcast, start one and if you're not repurposing that content, now you know how to start doing that, too. Thanks so much for sharing your insight. This is great.
Holly: Thanks, Ben.
Ben was the Inbound Marketing Director at CoSchedule. His specialties include content strategy, SEO, copywriting, and more. When he's not hard at work helping people do better marketing, he can be found cross-country skiing with his wife and their dog.