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Episode Transcript

Benjamin: Welcome back to the MarTech podcast. It's just you and me today, listeners. Well, we've made it to the end of the month of August, which means a few things. Summer is almost over. The kids are heading back to school and the MarTech podcast is now five months old. For those of you who are new to the MarTech podcast community, at the end of each month, I tell you how we practice what we preach in the marketing of this show and as we do every month. Let's start off by recapping the goals that we've set for ourselves for this quarter. I've set three primary areas of focus. The first is scaling our audience. We're trying to reach the 10,000 downloads per month mark. The second one is lowering our cost per acquisition. We're developing organic growth channels and investing in low cost acquisition channels, and the third channel is understanding monetization, trying to figure out how people monetize content assets like podcasts. 

Benjamin: So to get into the details, let's talk about scale first. For starters, it looks like we're going to land somewhere between 70 508,000 downloads for this podcast this month. For context, last month, the MarTech podcast generated about 6,000 downloads, so our growth rate is somewhere between 25 to 33 percent depending on how the last few days of this month pan out. To put that in context, if we reached 8,000 downloads this month and we have a 25 percent growth rate next month, which is sort of the bottom end of the range for what we did this month, we're going to hit our goal of 10,000 downloads per month, which is really exciting. That was actually the first goal we set out when launching this podcast and we have a chance to do it within the first six months of it being live, so outside of our raw download rates, the show's engagement has been holding steady with about 90 percent of our listeners being subscribers and on average you. 

Benjamin: Our listeners have listened to about 75 percent of each of our episodes, which is great. It means you're engaging with our content. This month we launched our new career day content franchise, which we publish every Thursday for our career day chats. Instead of focusing on one specific topic, I interview marketers with interesting career paths and while we're still working out some of the kinks related to the length of the show and the pace of the episodes, I'm really excited to be able to bring you the perspective of marketing generalists with interesting backgrounds and based on your engagement stats, it looks like you're finding those episodes at least as useful as our subject matter expert interviews. So we're excited to be able to bring you more content, which also helps the shows growth, but still provide value. Overall. I'd say that I am generally happy with how this show has been growing and more than anything, I'm ecstatic with how you, our listeners have engaged with our content not only with how you're sticking around with how much of the content you're consuming, but also over the last month or two. 

Benjamin: More and more of you have been reaching out to me either on Linkedin by clicking the link in our show notes to give us feedback on the show. Say That you've enjoyed it and some of you who have reached out will actually be our guests. In the next month or two on the MarTech podcast, so it's helping us make the content creation process easier. So if you're interested in being on the show, please do know that I check all of the emails@podcastatBenjshap.com and there are links in our show notes or on our website for you to contact me directly and we also share that with our show's producers. So again, please continue to reach out to us and we're excited that you have found value in the content that we've been producing. Okay, let's turn the page and talk about our goal to lower our cost per acquisition. 

Benjamin: So our strategy for this was to build out organic growth channels to set the baseline in total live invested $4,700 primarily in podcast advertising through the platform knit, which has helped us to drive 17,000 total downloads since the launch of this show. That means our blended cost per download is right around twenty seven cents per download. This month I only spent $250, which contributed to driving our 7,500 downloads, which makes our blended cost per download for the month, about three cents, which is fantastic. It also means that we're relying on our installed base. We haven't invested a lot in marketing and also means that our cost per new download is about sixteen cents, so the good news is that our cost per downloads are decreasing. Then the show is continuing to grow. The truth is I would love to invest more in podcast advertising, but outside of being your podcast host, I'm also managing a new home construction project which requires a lot of capital and I haven't implemented the monetization strategies that I've been researching and telling you about, so the budgets are a little tight for Benjshap llc these days. 

Benjamin: That said before the end of the quarter, we're planning to launch three organic growth strategies to to reach more subscribers. The first is blog content. Turns out the transcriptions that we've been publishing for each episode aren't really well traffic. They don't drive much seo value, so we're still working on creating a process to build more shareable summaries for each podcast that are also more seo friendly, so keep your eye on changes to our shows, show notes, and also if you go to MarTechh pod.com, you'll see that not only do we have transcripts of each episode, but we're gonna, provide bulleted summaries that make it easier for you to digest our content outside of just listening to it on our podcast. The second thing we're doing is we're building out email newsletters. We're going to be trying to make our content more consumable outside of just listening to the audio, and so the newsletter helps to deliver recaps of the podcasts. 

Benjamin: If you don't have a chance to take notes while you're listening because we want you are subscribers to be able to put what you hear on our show into action. So we're going to share the notes from each episode with you. And the third thing that we're working on is building out more social content. We're going to take the best quotes and soundbites from our interviews and repurpose them on Linkedin and twitter. We've started to test this out a little bit and it's been super beneficial for increasing the show's reach socially, so our hope is by posting shorter pieces of content more frequently that it'll help our social media channels be more relevant. And if you haven't already, check out Benjshap LLC on twitter, on Linkedin, or you can look for my profile which is just Ben j Dot Shap, which is b e nj o s h a p. 

Benjamin: okay. Let's talk about our third goal for this quarter and this is monetization. In our last month update, I told you that the mission for the show is to help marketers understand how to use technology to promote their brands and products. That said, to continue to do that, we need to find ways to make money to be able to afford to keeping the show going. And I've done a little research and found that there are three main ways that podcasters and content creators are driving revenue. The first is advertising from what I understand to attract sort of the big national brands, the squarespaces, the freshbooks, the casper mattresses to advertise on a podcast. Most of those companies are going through services like midroll and to reach them you need to drive roughly 10,000 downloads per episode or 40 to 50,000 downloads per month. We're just about to hit the 10,000 downloads per month mark, so it's going to be a while before this show hits that audience side where we're able to really attract the national advertisers. 

Benjamin: So my focus is turning towards building out custom sponsorships. So if you know anybody that's looking to test out podcast advertising as a marketing channel, if they're looking to do something small or something custom, we would love to talk. We want to do deeply customized, very engaging ad units. Needless to say, since I'm already discussing the MarTech podcast stats on the show, you hopefully have a good idea of what you're getting. So if you or anyone you know is interested in sponsoring the show, we would love to find a couple more sponsors and you can email me directly@podcastatBenjayshop.com. The second way that we're planning on monetizing the podcast is by building out some referral and affiliate relationships. If you happen to listen to yesterday's interview with the chief of MarTechh himself, Scott Brinker, you may have noticed that the pre roll ad spot was filled by our friends at the podcast advertising platform instead of the sponsor of our show from day one, which is searchmetrics. 

Benjamin: The reason for that is first off, I'm a huge fan of the net service and I am not getting paid one red cent to promote them right now. That said, since I believe that their platform is the best dynamic ad insertion platform, I'm already engaged in talking to them about creating a referral agreement where I would be compensated for onboarding new ad buyers to their platform. So here's the deal. If you are interested in testing podcast advertising, if you have a small budget, if you have a big budget, I don't care. I will personally walk you through the Ad Platform on a video conference myself just so you can understand how dynamic ad insertion works, what is required to get a podcast, advertising tests up and running, and we can talk a little bit about what media makes sense for what you're trying to accomplish. 

Benjamin: So if you're interested, you can click on the link in our show notes or you can visit [inaudible] dot com slash knit. That's k n I t and we can schedule a time to walk you through the platform and talk a little bit about podcast advertising. Doesn't cost anything. The rates will be the same as if you went directly to the net platform, but I would love to personally walk you through how to use their platform. The third way that I found that podcasts are being monetized is lead generation for professional services. That's the primary way that most podcasters monetize their content is by driving their audience to purchase professional service agreements from them. So generally in this is in the form of classes, can be coaching or consulting relationships and when talking to other podcasters about the show, I've come to realize that I haven't spent enough time telling you my audience about what my primary source of income is, what my business is built on, which is brand development and marketing strategy consulting, and truthfully the marketing strategy. 

Benjamin: Consulting is what I talked to you about when I was walking you through how I can help you with podcast advertising through the nit platform is that giving people guidance, how to validate and understand whether a marketing channel works or not. But there's another component of my business which is called brand development. And while I love using technology to enable marketers, my philosophy is that you need to have a solid foundation before you can build your house of marketing. Sorry. Construction metaphors are on my mind. So if you're an early or a growth stage company and you want to better understand who your customers are, how you can address your needs, what you need to say to them, how to build out marketing personas, had to do your customer segmentation, how to figure out how to better target the right people with any of your channels. 

Benjamin: That's really the core of what my business is about. And I do that through a lot of the same methodologies that I use with producing the content for these podcasts, which is interviewing you, interviewing your customers, and basically consolidating all of the feedback that I get from that process into a single deliverable that you're able to use and implement in your business across multiple channels. So at the end of the day, what it really does when you work with me is you'll have a better understanding of what your company is trying to accomplish. Whether everybody is on the same page in terms of what your company's vision is, who your customers are, what their needs are, and how you can reach them. So if you want to find out more information about my brand development services, you can visit my website, which has been j dot [inaudible] dot com. There's got to be a link in our show notes or you can reach out to me again the email, his podcast@benjshap.com. 

Benjamin: Okay. Enough of the sales pitch. I promise I'm not going to talk your ear off about my services too much. I'll save that for the monthly recaps, but let's recap what we've talked about so far with the growth of this podcast. To date, we've spent $4,750 to drive 17,000 downloads, which means our cost per download is twenty seven cents. We've had 7,500 downloads per month and we're on a pace to reach our goal of 10,000 downloads per month. This month we launched our career day content franchise and now we're working on new forms of content in our episode summaries, our newsletters, our social media content to try to increase our organic reach and listener engagement. Lastly, I'm starting to put together and communicate my plan to monetize this podcast and that goes across three different types of monetization strategies, advertising, referrals, and lead generation for professional services. If you noticed, the title for this episode is what I've learned from recording 50 podcast episodes, and this is actually the 50th episode of the MarTech podcast, and while the last five months working on this project have been rewarding for me on multiple levels. 

Benjamin: Here are my biggest takeaways from building the MarTech podcast. Number one, consistently creating content helps you increase your reach, authority and influence, and I'll give you an example. Yesterday I publish an episode with the chief MarTechh Scott Brinker, who is the biggest influencer in the MarTechh space five months ago. I don't think I would have been able to get on Scott's radar. I don't think I would've been able to get a meeting with him and I definitely didn't have a tool or anything to offer him to start building our relationship. I am incredibly excited about having met Scott. I'm optimistic that not only will we get to continue our relationship, but those types of relationships are going to help me and this podcast become more influential in the MarTechh space, so creating content, doing it regularly helps you increase your reach authority and influence learning. Number two, like with business, your growth rate is going to slow over time. 

Benjamin: This has actually been the biggest learning for this quarter. When the MarTech podcast started, it was small and we were seeing things like 300 percent growth rate and 200 percent growth rate. The show is doubling every month. That's wonderful, but it's also not realistic to expect to keep that pace of growth without continuing to invest a large amount of capital and that was never the plan for building out a content asset. So while I've looked at the shows growth rate, it's gone from 300 to 200 to 175 to 50 in this month, you know, somewhere between 33 and 25. The slowing growth rate is not necessarily concerning. I would love to see it grow, but it means that when you're building out a content asset, you need to be patient. You need to understand that it's going to take a long time to build the reputation that starts growing on itself and I think that we're getting to that point and eventually what we'll see is having to rely less on paid advertising. 

Benjamin: While I'm a huge fan of using paid advertising to get your content assets up and running and eventually your reputation and your organic growth starts growing on itself and you'll see the growth rate pickup over time. But when you're starting huge growth rates up front, they slow over time and I think that was one of the biggest learnings from working on creating this show. The third thing is the goals that you set out to accomplish on day one are likely the wrong goals and that's okay. We're on the precipice of reaching the 10,000 downloads per month goal and that was the original goal for this show and hopefully we're going to do that within the first six months of launching the MarTech podcast. And now that we're on the doorstep of reaching 10,000 downloads, don't get me wrong, I really want to hit that mark, but now that we're close to being there, I've realized that that goal isn't the right one. 

Benjamin: The goal is to build an audience that is engaged, that gets value out of the content and figure out a monetization strategy from the assets that you've built that allow you to continue to build sustainable growth. So the goal for me, you know, I mentioned a couple of things with being able to monetize this podcast and I don't want you to think that this is all a sales pitch because really it's not. I love learning about MarTechh. I love talking to other marketers. I've learned a tremendous amount from building this podcast and I really want to continue to be able to do that. And I'm trying to find monetization channels that allow me to provide more value to you, more value to my consultant clients and more value to my partners and hopefully do that in a way that doesn't feel pushy or abrasive or overly salesy. 

Benjamin: So at the end of the day, I'm here not only to learn from other marketers to be able to help teach you about marketing and its overlap with technology, but hopefully to be able to build a sustainable business out of this content asset. So if you have questions, if you're looking for marketing support, or if you'd like to be a guest on the MarTech podcast, click the links in our show notes or head over to our website. You can go to MarTechh pod if you want to see more and MarTechh content, you can go to Benjshap.com if you'd like to see more about my consulting business and I would love to learn more about the MarTechh show's audience. So honestly, if you have questions about MarTechh, feel free to reach out to me anytime. If you have thoughts or comments about the show, feel free to email me the email address as podcast@benjshap.com. 

Benjamin: That's b e nj o s h a p.com. This next month we've got some amazing guests recovering. Really important topics like privacy, artificial intelligence. We've got some great career day episodes lined up. I think you're going to love the content we have. I hope you do. If you don't, let me know. If you do, let me know. Let's talk. Let's get engaged. Really looking forward to continuing to build the MarTech podcast community and bringing you other great episodes. So thanks for listening. It means the world to me that you guys and girls are sticking with the show and until next time my advice is to just focus on keeping your customers happy and you're are my customers, so I hope I'm keeping you happy.

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