The Boagworld Show is back and asking; what is content marketing and why should you care? In this first show, we look at a crucial piece of the content marketing puzzle everybody ignores.
Paul: Hello and welcome to the Boagworld show. We are back! This is a podcast about all aspects of digital design, development and strategy my name is Paul Boag and joining me on this week’s show is Marcus, obviously, and Colin Gray. Hello Colin.
Colin: Hi Paul, how are you?
Paul: It’s about time we finally got you on the show. We were just saying before we started off, we once interviewed you before and then you got bumped.
Colin: You did and yeah I’m still outraged. I don’t know why I’m back.
Paul: Ah, you’re just… You can’t get the…
Marcus: I would be outraged at Paul if I was you. Because it obviously had nothing to do with me because I’m a really nice guy.
Marcus: And eer…
Paul: You are always outraged with me Marcus, always. (Laughter)
Marcus: Anyway, what I’m outraged at Paul is how lovely the place you went was, on holiday. I spent the last five or six weeks working, hard. And you’ve been taking photographs seemingly whilst sipping cocktails.
Paul: Yeah, yeah! I don’t see the problem with this. It all seems very sensible to me, it’s the way the world should be. It did look lovely though I have to say. I haven’t spoken to Colin either, Colin and me are working together on a few things and I’ve abandoned him as well so I’ve managed to abandon both of you.
Colin: I’ve got absolutely nothing done in two weeks, it’s terrible!
Paul: Is it because I haven’t been around, everything has ground to a halt? I don’t believe that Colin.
Marcus: I get way more done when Paul’s not around, so there you go.
Paul: Oh arse! (Laughter) So I’ve been in Canada flying drones mainly which has been great and yeah, it was an absolutely gorgeous time. I also went up to Alaska which was also lovely, on a cruise ship which was also lovely. So it was all lovely, lovely, lovely and you weren’t there ner ner ne ner ner.
Colin: Do you know, I’ve always wondered about cruises…
Marcus: The only thing…
Colin: It just feels like there would just be loads of old people on them. Is that true, or are they actually quite good?
Marcus: Paul is an old person.
Paul: Shut up.
Colin: Well, other people!
Paul: Well, yeah, I mean it’s. No. It was quite a cross-section. There weren’t many kind of twenty somethings. But there were probably late 30s up, I would say mainly. Which was, you know, it was good. It was great. It’s such an easy way of seeing places. It’s like they bring you to it, show you it and then feed you a lot.
Colin: Yeah, it feels like something I would never have considered before I had kids and now I do it’s like a holiday where you don’t have to transport them. The boat does it for you.
Marcus: Hmmm. With me it’s because my kids have left now I quite fancy it. But that is just because I am properly old now, I guess. I’m saga generation now.
Paul: Yeah, you can go on a saga, saga cruise.
Marcus: But, but, but, Paul. I was looking all those pictures and every single photograph had a perfect blue sky. It can’t always be like that there. You were just really lucky. I imagine it’s just pours with rain in Alaska most of the time?
Paul: No, it wasn’t perfect blue sky the whole time but we were pretty lucky. Yeah, we had good weather. We were very fortunate from what I can gather. Tell you what mind, it has decided me on my ultimate aim in life which is that I want to buy a massive 4×4 RV and just drive around north America and pretend to do a bit of work when I doing it. That’s my life goal.
Marcus: You have said that before, I’m sure you said that before. This but its connectivity isn’t it. We couldn’t do the podcast because you’ve tried doing it from, you know, your motorhome in the UK and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. So…
Paul: Like I care that I’m not going to be doing the podcast. You don’t think I enjoyed this to you!? (Laughter)
Marcus: That makes two of us hey!
Colin: I’m glad I’m the only one here enjoying it, that’s fine.
Marcus: No, I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks, I’ve been counting the days before Paul gets back from holiday.
Paul: Yes. I’m going to take that at face value. But connectivity is getting better and better isn’t it. You know, they reckon it’s 5G is not too far in our future so you know…
Marcus: Which should replace all our cables in and out of our houses, if I am supposed to believe all that is said about it. That we will no longer get our broadband and connectivity via cable.
Paul: Yeah, though I’m sure people are fed up with hearing about my holiday and my dreams of the future. Let’s talk about Colin instead.
Marcus: Talk about Colin, I’ll shut up.
Paul: Hello Colin.
Colin: Hello, hello.
Paul: So, basically Colin is… What do people need to know about Colin? Colin is a kind of content strategy, podcasting person. How would you describe what you do these days Colin?
Colin: I’ve got absolutely no idea! Yeah, I’m a podcasting teacher basically. I help people start podcasts. That’s where it starts but like you say it always ends up being general content because you can’t really do a podcast on its own. It has to be, well it doesn’t have to be, but it works best alongside a blog, alongside video, alongside social media, alongside all the marketing and outreach from your business so yes, there’s a lot involved.
Paul: Yeah, so you’ve been at some conference or other in the states haven’t you? Did I see that?
Colin: You did actually yes. Inbound in Boston. Supposedly the biggest marketing conference in the world and I have to admit it was blooming huge. It was crazy, it is like a music festival but a lot cleaner. Lots of party stuff at it. So yes, it was quite cool. And I was at a speaking thing as well, Heroic public speaking by Michael Port which was to try and hone my speaking skills so yeah, both of them good fun and a great trip.
Paul: Excellent, you do quite a lot of speaking yourself don’t you at various events and stuff, I’ve seen you?
Colin: Yeah, a fair bit. It was kind of primarily around podcasting of course, why you should podcast and how you do it. But a lot more these days about sustainable content actually. That’s kind of the thing I get asked about the most. It’s how do you… Well, podcasting is the kind of the one that everybody thinks you should be doing regularly. You guys put them out every single week you think how do you actually manage to plan it and fit it into your time every single week? Talking about how you make blogs and video and all that kind of stuff alongside your podcasting to make sure you are getting a lot of stuff out there on a regular basis.
Paul: This is where I’ve got actually a huge amount of respect for Marcus. And I think he is very, very smart in this that basically he just piggybacks on other people’s hard work. So, he doesn’t actually have to…
Marcus: I’ve been doing it all my life!
Paul: Exactly, he doesn’t prepare anything, he just waltzes up and relies on nme to come up with all the content.
Colin: There’s an official name for that, is called curation, isn’t it? So you are just a curator Marcus.
Marcus: Ooh, I like that! I was just going to call myself something worse but umm, but there is a point. A podcast has to be kind of engaging and without me, you know, Paul has to do all of the kind of the drudgery, all the bringing content in that people might be interested in and I just have to turn up and you know, be charming. That’s my job.
Paul: You do do the editing as well. Which is a pain in the arse.
Marcus: Well it depends, sometimes when our previous audio supplier stopped working I had to get very creative but sometimes if they work then it’s just upload a file and chop it up, it’s easy. But I will talk about that later.
Paul: Oh, okay. So, we will tell people very briefly about this season and why Colin is on the show. So, what we are going to do this season is we are going to be covering content marketing because increasingly this is the thing of the moment that everybody goes on about, that whether you’ve got a web design agency, whether you work in-house in a large organisation, what ever. Whether you are talking about your own personal career development, you know, content marketing is becoming a crucial component in success. By content marketing I mean putting out quality content in lots and lots of different formats that people read and it builds your reputation and it establishes you as an expert and all of those kinds of things. So we are going to explore that topic for the season and we are kind of breaking it down and looking at lots of different channels that you might use for your content marketing. So we are going to, as is probably guessed by now, we are going to look at podcasting on this show, we are going to look at blogging, social media, working collaboratively on content with clients. We are going to look at imagery, social media, headlines, video, how to write effectively, email marketing, creating an editorial calendar and all of that kind of good stuff. The idea of the season is to really equip you guys to essentially better promote yourself online, or promote whatever it is that you want to promote. Whether it be yourself personally, whether it be your App, whether it be your agency. Whatever. For those of you who work in-house and are quite happy there and are thinking “Hang on a minute, none of this applies to me.” It does for a couple of reasons. It does first of all from the personal career development point of view. That the more you build your own reputation online then the stronger position that you are in personally for your next job et cetera but also one of the things that I have found that internal digital teams are really bad at is promoting themselves within the organisation. So almost everything we are going to talk about could equally apply within your organisation. Especially if you work in a larger organisation and you are not kind of, you know, seeing everybody in the company every day. So, for example podcasting, there is no reason why you couldn’t do an internal podcast. Just talking about the work you do, your successes, sharing best practice on digital and that kind of stuff with your colleagues. So there are so many opportunities around this area and I think it is something that is pretty applicable to everybody which is why we decided to do it as a show. Okay, so then, how we are going to split down the show is that we are essentially obviously have a chat with whoever our guest is each week which is going to be a discussion but there are a couple of other things that I want to do as well. I want to also talk about reading suggestions. So places you can go to learn more about this. Because whenever you do a season like this you are not going to be able to cover, you know, all the in-depth stuff so we are going to talk about some places you can go and find some more information. We are also going to talk about some apps that might help you along the way as we go as well.
Play Featured Posts at: 12:33
Okay, I think we ought to start, before we get heavily into some questions for you Colin let’s talk a little bit about some reading suggestions of where you can go to learn more about podcasting and that kind of stuff. The obvious thing that I have got to say, because he is here is to check out the Podcasthost.com which is Colins site. Colin, tell us a little bit about some of the stuff that people can find on your site.
Colin: Yeah, sure. It started back in 2011 to be honest, I was working in the University doing podcasting there and I just started writing about equipment. I was writing about microphones, mixers about all the different ways you can set up and run a podcast with equipment and that has kind of stayed the most popular stuff over the years. So there is loads of stuff on there about kit setups and things. But also moves onto lots of other, more of the softer skills like presentation skills, like strategy planning, show monetisation, like promoting a show. Also we’ve got a few podcasts on there as well obviously! We got one called podcraft which is our “how to podcast” podcast and a range of other shows too to help you with other stuff like starting a business, UK business start up. Or if you just want to explore space can go and listen to hostile world. So we got a load of stuff on there.
Paul: So, you’ve also got various courses that people… So some content is, well, most of the content is free, it’s blog posts and that kind of stuff but you’ve got some more detailed courses and a membership type thing that people can see as well?
Colin: Yeah, thanks. We’ve got our Academy. So the podcast Host Academy and that is just a monthly membership where you can get in and you can get much more in depth stuff. So we’ve got all the free articles tend to tell you exactly what you have to do and then in the Academy we can show you how with videos and coaching and stuff like that. We also do live coaching in there as well and every couple of weeks we do a live session as well as the forum so everybody can get in-depth help there if they needed it.
Paul: So definitely check that out. I’ve got to say podcast host, like I say I’ve been working with Colin for a little while and obviously I’ve seen quite a lot of the content and it is really, really good. It is worth checking out. But let’s say people want to snub you because they don’t like the sound of your smooth Scottish accent, where else would they… You tell me, where is good for finding out about podcasting? How did you learn? Or did you just make it up as you went along?
Colin: Yeah, the funny thing is you talk about reading and it’s the reason our site, I think it’s the reason I started doing really well in the early days is because nobody was writing about podcasting, it was all podcasting about podcasting. It’s quite understandable really because if you’re into podcasting you do a podcast. So there actually are not that many great written resources out there, free ones, certainly. There are a lot of podcast teachers out there, there are guys I know well like Daniel J Lewis and Ray Ortega. They’ve got their own sites that have got some good resources on them. It’s well worth looking them up. And Dave Jackson, although Daves just started working for Libsyn. One of the podcasts hosts out there too. You know, there’s a couple of books that I actually tend to recommend to people. Which are not directly related, well kind of. One is called Out on the wire and its by a lady, Jessica Abel I believe who used to work for, or who still possibly does work for NPR. It’s more about the art of catching great audio, sourcing great stories and stuff like that. It’s written as a comic book, almost. It’s a graphic novel so it’s a really cool book and it’s got loads of great lessons in it. The other one that I talk about quite often is there’s one called “Writing for broadcast journalists – Rick Thompson.” And that’s actually designed for people writing for radio or for TV but there’s some brilliant stuff in there around how to really simplify your writing for speech. How to write for speaking in the first place. How to design an engaging bit of audio basically. So even though it’s not directly podcasting the same medium really. We are just radio but on demand. So radio resources.
Paul: That’s really… I would have never thought of that kind of approach but that’s really good. You saved me on that one because my problem was is that I’ve come up with this great idea for the show, yeah, were all going to make some recommended reading and I could not think of anything other then use so…
Colin: I’m glad, I suppose that’s a good song.
Paul: Yeah, it’s good. You knew that the podcast expert would know about places to read about podcasting! Strange isn’t it! Right, let’s take a very quick break, we have got to do our first sponsor for the day which is Videoblocks.
So, Videoblocks, I’ve been really pleased that they have decided to support the show again. I was really pleased last time they did it but obviously I have learnt a lot more about what they have got and it’s very, very relevant to this season because as we go through the season it is going to be obvious that successful content marketing is about a lot more than copy. The fact that we are talking about podcasting today it makes that really obvious. But it’s also about imagery and video as well and let’s be honest, video is particularly important because… Well we are going to get into this later in the season but video is very engaging. Something like… I read a fascinating stat on this recently that something like 85% of businesses have some kind of internal resource for producing video, of those that do online content. But finding content for videos is really hard. Especially just finding kind of stock footage or B-roll footage or anything really and creating your own is quite time-consuming and that is where something like Videoblocks comes in. So, you sign up for a subscription and then you get… once you’ve signed up for that monthly subscription, while you are using it you have unlimited downloads of videos. So they’ve got something like a 115,000 studio quality HD videos as well as things like after-effects, templates and motion backgrounds if you’re into that kind of thing as well. You can just download it and anything you download you can therefore keep forever to use royalty free. So you could sign up for one month download their entire library of 115,000 videos and never pay for it again. You won’t, because you will run out of space.
Marcus: I don’t expect that’s what they want you to say the Paul! Thats my guess!
Paul: Nobody is actually going to do that! Can you imagine trying to download 115,000 videos! (Laughter)
Marcus: I’ve just used all the Internet.
Paul: Yes, the Internet has been used up! So, oh, you’ve thrown me now Marcus. Unprofessional.
Marcus: Me? Little old me?
Paul: Yes, so in addition to the 115,000 videos that you will get you with also get access to a marketplace which is other videos. The videos that you will find on all of the other videos stock library sites that you kind of pay for individually. So kind of like you by an image from Getty, you pay for it individually. So as well as the 115,000 that you can just download and use as you want they have also got 5 million additional videos, the ones that you would find everywhere else but with them they are heavily discounted because you’ve got the membership thing. So, it’s a really, really useful resource that you will probably want to check out and give a go. So you can find out more about them by going to videoblocks.com/boagworld.
Colin: You know they do audio too, Paul?
Paul: They do actually. I’m not, that’s not the bit that I’m supposedly promoting as part of this agreement but I’m pretty sure… But yes, they do audioblocks.com.
Colin: Yeah, we’ve been talking to them a little bit actually because they do…
Paul: Oh have you?
Colin: … Because they do, it’s more, it’s much more prevalent these days that you will buy a membership to something. There are few services around and I had a look through their service recently and the audio samples are brilliant. Some great music, great effects. So if anyone is thinking of getting into podcasting they are good for that as well, for the background music and…
Paul: Cool. They are doing some really interesting things, and are growing at this amazing rate at the moment so they are definitely worth checking out. They are kind of altogether under a single brand called story blocks that has got, you know, all the different things, the images, the videos, the audio et cetera. So, there you go, that’s Videoblocks, check them out. Right.
Discussion with Colin Grey
Play Discussion at: 21:48
Let’s talk about podcasting. So, when you think of content strategy, content marketing that kind of stuff podcasting is not the first thing that springs into your mind, right? Why should people think about content, sorry, podcasting Colin? Go on, give us your elevator pitch, you must of done this a few times now!
Colin: Oh yeah, just a couple. You are right though, it’s not the first one people come to and is probably rightfully so. It’s not the first one they should come to. I mean, the way I usually think of it is that it is a three tier approach, I suppose. Blogging is generally the first that people started start with partially because it is easy, there’s a pretty low barrier to entry but it has also got the biggest competition. So it’s really hard to stand out in a blog but the advantage is that it is really visible, is still how people search more often than not, via text, they will be able to skim through text and find you that way so it is kind of the net, it’s how you catch people in the first place. But the thing is it is quite hard to engage people, to show them who you are, to get your personality across in text unless you are really good writer. So that is where the media comes in, and quite often people go to video at that point, you know, they’ll pull out their smart phone, they’ll stick it up in front of them and they’ll take a wee selfie video or something and start speaking to it. That really helps because suddenly your audience that have been captured by the text, you know, that your net that has got them in and now the video is growing trust, it is growing a personality, is growing that connection because they are getting to know you, getting to know about your personality, but then, the trouble there is that video and text both suffer from a pretty huge lack of attention so you are lucky if you can get people to skim through an entire article, you are also lucky if you can get people to watch more than a few minutes of the video on YouTube and that is where podcasting comes in really. Because Podcasting has a lot of the same personality, you know, engagement, connection type of advantages like video. It’s certainly an intimate medium, people feel like they get to know you really well, you’re kind of a friend in their ears just speaking directly to them so there is this really big intimate connection you grow but you multiply that by the attention you get. Unlike video and text where you are getting a few minutes. In a podcast you know, you will be, your episodes are half an hour, an hour and people out there speak for three hours at a time on a podcast and their fans listen to every single second of it. Dan Carlin is always the one I bring out. He’s speaks by himself about history for three hours at a time and he still attracts like half a million listeners at a time.
Colin: It’s just it’s crazy the engagement and the attention you get with podcasting so that’s how it works for me. It’s kind of a, draw them in with the text, then kind of hit them with a bit of video to engage them and then podcasting is really where you get a huge bit of engagement. That’s why people get to know you, to trust you and that’s where you grow a really loyal engaged fans. That’s when people are real fans of your work so they will either buy everything you do or help you promote your brand for you to others.
Paul: I’ve got to say.
Marcus: Podcasting is a kind of marriage then isn’t it? It’s like text is, you know, kind of early part of the relationship, the next step is moving in together with the video. That sounds a bit wrong! And podcasting is kind of sealing the deal.
Paul: That is the worst analogy I have ever heard! (Laughter)
Marcus: I knew you’d love that Paul!
Paul: What the… Where did that even come from!? It’s just that Colin shared probably the most articulate well put together argument I have ever heard for podcasting and raised points that I hadn’t even considered like the engagement thing and then you tromp on it. You just stomp all over it with some ball-shit whatever that was! (Sigh)
Marcus: I was impressed too. I thought it was fantastic. I think that’s what it was, I had never kind of… I’d always considered podcasting to be the kind of the poor relation really and the way you put that, Colin, it’s like “Oh, wow! Is completely the opposite.” So yeah, bit of a revelation really.
Colin: Thank you.
Paul: Yes, that whole thing about that you get that… It’s not that you get someone’s full attention, you know, I don’t think that people are sitting here listening to this podcast right now and they are just staring blankly into space, you know, with their eyes closed just kind of ruminating on every word I say. But you are right, it’s because the very fact that you can do other things whilst listening to a podcast means that they stick with it for a lot longer. That’s a really good point.
Colin: Yeah, there’s a shared kind of time that you spend with people. I think that’s what grows that relationship, isn’t it really. It’s funny when you go to… You always hear stories of podcasters and they go to conferences and stuff and it’s just people walk up to them as if they are pals, you probably had this for guys.
Colin: It’s much different. Theres something about video that there’s a bit of a barrier, where this this kind of perfection thing, the lighting, the background and all that kind of stuff. There’s something in between you and the person with videos. But with headphones in your ears it’s like somebody speaking directly into your head so is just something much more personal and intimate I think.
Paul: Yeah, you are really right with that because when you see someone who you have seen on a video to is almost a bit intimidating to go up to them. But somebody who you listen to, is kind of, yeah, it’s cosier somehow. I mean it does help that you have got a particularly cosy voice Colin. I’ sent’ve said this to you before, you make me want to drift off to sleep which is not the probably the reaction that you want but yes, it’s just like, ahhh.
Colin: One of the weirdest experiences I have had a conference is related to that in that I was standing at a bar once and at podcast movement actually one of the biggest conferences for podcasting. I went to order a drink, you know, I’m a Scotsman, in America, got to go and order a drink. And I just felt this hot breath in my ear and was about to turn round but before I could even turn around this kind of voice just said “Colin, it’s you, I fall asleep with you in my bed every night.” (Laughter) And it turned out it was a guy who listened to podcraft, and enjoyed the show and it wasn’t that it bored him to sleep it was just that it was a wind down. You know, it was a relaxing thing. He listens to podcasts to wind down at the end of the day and it was something he found interesting. He said the accent helped, so yes. But anyway, it was a bit strange.
Paul: So you’ve kind of sold the idea of adding podcasting into your content marketing mix but I know what every one is going to be thinking. And in fact we have already kind of touched on this which is, “Ah yeah, but podcasting is a lot of work isn’t it?” I mean have you got tips in order to… Now I’m getting a pen and paper out at this point, I have got high expectations because I damn well need these tips! How do you minimise the amount of effort that goes into these things?
Colin: Yeah, so there’s a few things you can do. I think the first bit is always the equipment. Because people go totally overboard on their equipment. So the thing here is, it doesn’t need to be overstated anything but keep it simple. Simple as possible. Because people just get into it, they see these shiny things, they see mixers and big condenser microphones and boom arms and all this kind of stuff and to be fair it is pretty cool, I’ve got a lot of that stuff! But in the early days you don’t need any of that and actually it stops you recording and it makes it take longer because it takes ages to set up. There’s always some set up filter or something broken so that’s the first tip. Make it really simple to record and you can do that with just a decent little USB mic like spend 50 quid on a Meteor or a Shure MV5 is great little USB mic or even, you know, smart phones are brilliant little recorders. Plug a Rode smart lav… Rode Smartlav+ is a little tie-clip mic that you can plug in to your smart phone and you can just pull that out anywhere, anywhere you are at all at any time and just record a really good quality episode. So that’s the first thing. Just keeping the kit really simple.
Paul: Aha. What about in terms of… Sorry, you obviously had more things. Keep going. I apologise.
Colin: I was going to, yeah. It was the art of the podcast, isn’t it. Pause to let people, you know, so you’re not bored by your voice for ages hey!
Paul: So what you’re saying is that I am a crappy podcast interviewer, is that what you are saying?
Colin: No, no, no. I’ll admit, I’ve been a crappy podcast… Anyway. The next bit is… What was it? I totally lost my track now. Keep it simple, yes. Saving time. So yes, the next one that I often tell people is what content are you doing already? So are you already doing blogging? Are you already doing video? So the first one maybe there are 2/3 to… 90% of people say they are already blogging at least so I just say well, there’s a really easy way to start here just get that simple USB mic and then just read your blog posts. Now, this isn’t ideal, is not perfect, it’s not great but it’s a dabble into it, it’s a start, it’s offering your content in a different way. It’s letting people consume it in their own way. Some times some people don’t have time to sit down and read as they would appreciate you just actually relating your blog post to them. I know you do that Paul don’t you? You must have some success with that?
Paul: I do. Yeah, I started it because a lot of people said, like you said, that they don’t have time to read blog posts, et cetera. And then a lot of people said “oh, I listen to the podcast while I’m at the gym or I’m commuting or whatever.” So it kind of… two and two made four, they’ve got time in certain situations where they haven’t got the opportunity to sit and read stuff so why not create the blog posts as audio format. It doesn’t take long, just read them back a few minutes and it’s proved hugely popular actually. It goes down very well.
Colin: Yeah, definitely. It works really well. A lot of people get into podcasting. They’ll start that way and they will go to… You know, they’ll get into it they will grow some listeners around a wee channel related to just the blog post and then they will dabble into doing some more like podcasts specific stuff. So, yes, it’s a really good way to start. The other thing is that if you are doing video as well, there’s no rules around the length of podcasts. If you’re doing a five a 10 minute video just take the audio track from that video and release that as a podcast episode too. I have rarely watched a webinar or a live video session. I have rarely watched that on video, but I will often stick them on in the car when I’m on a longer journey and listen to them that way. So, I think the key for me is planning it altogether. It’s not wasting the content idea. If you have an idea for a blog post don’t just spend it on a blog post make sure you are getting a blog post, video and a podcast out of it. And there are ways to really tailor them to the medium as well because you can create like a… Podcasts tend to be longer, like we’ve talked about. So maybe you had a series of three blog posts around one content idea, one thing that you are answering. A series of three blog posts that translate to a half an hour podcast episode that translates to you know, seven or eight videos actually when you end up cutting them up. There are ways that you can record that half-hour show and if you keep it in mind that you are planning to cut this up can cut it into shorter sections during the podcast episodes so that it is actually really easy to edit it into shorter videos so, it’s not so much about you know, fitting your podcast into the time that you already have. It’s around getting more from whatever content production time you have and getting more viewings and more reach from them.
Paul: Yeah, I mean I’m doing some work with a client at the moment where they had a limited budget that they wanted to get as much value out of me as possible for that so all we did is that we decided… We started off with a webinar that we would do a webinar in a particular subject, so that’s been scheduled up. Then we took that webinar and we reckoned, oh, there’s two or three blog posts in the same webinar. So I wrote those. Then we have also… The blog posts or the webinar is made up of a series of different pieces of tips, you know, hints and tips, that kind of thing. So we turned each of those into a little info graphic that we are going to release those on social media and then after the webinar is complete we are going to release the video and the audio as two separate things that people can download. So it’s that same principle from what I can gather isn’t it?
Colin: Yeah, I’ve written about it on the site I call it content stacking. You’re stacking much more content onto one content idea. It’s just getting the most from the one thing, really because so many people think of a question that somebody has asked them and they write one blog post on it and that it is it. But more often than not you can actually break that down into much more deep in depth things and get six blog posts out of it and then you get six podcasts episodes and 12 videos out of that as well so yeah, don’t waste the ideas you have, get as much as you can from them.
Paul: Talking of ideas that then brings us onto the second one. That is that one of the problems with podcasting is that you have got to, you know, you’re doing it week in, week out. You know, we’ve been going 110 years now and coming out with new stuff all the time is really tough. I mean how… Where do you start?
Colin: Questions. Whatever people are asking me. So I am a prolific collector of questions. Like when anybody sends me us an email… And I mean I suppose you have to get to a certain stage before it becomes really, really useful. I mean we get a dozen emails per day minimum of our content form. We get about 20 or 30 survey responses to those getting onto emails and all of that kind of stuff. And every single one of those people we ask “What are you struggling with in podcasting right now?” So we are lucky that we have got a lot of people that are sending us questions. But even if you are out starting on the journey, you know people that are in your audience, get out there and talk to them for half an hour and just say that. “What are you struggling with?”, “What is struggling with?”, “What you struggling with?” Keep doing that until they run out of things that they are struggling with and that’s what you write about. I think, as well, so I often talk about the idea of doing seasons in podcasting. You guys are doing it already so. But actually you are kind of unusual, there are more often than not when I am talking to podcasters they got no idea, they have no concept of this and if they do they think “It’s just for you know, fiction or reporting podcasts like Serial or Bright sessions or something isn’t it?” But I think it works really well for educational podcasts and it solves that problem of coming up with something new every week as well because you find a question like how do you do Content marketing? So, your season here, how do could do content marketing? You could do 1/2 hour episode on just saying so here’s how you do podcasting, ditto you do blogging, is how you do video. But you’re not, you’re breaking it down and going really deep into every single subject. It’s rare that you find a question that can’t be broken down into a season of 8, 10, 12 episodes and when you do that, you plan it all out ahead of time, you plan out those say 12 episodes, they all link together so there’s actually a common thread, a narrative that is through them all. That creates a compelling reason for listeners to come back every time. It helps you grow your show but it also helps you be really efficient with how you plan it and every Monday you turn up and you go “What am I doing next? Oh, I just have to look at my plan and here’s the next episode in the season.” And that really solves a lot of the problems around figuring out what you’re going to speak about next. And it helps the listener, you know, building on what you have talked about the last week rather than coming up with a new subject every time is how people learn well, isn’t it? So its a really good teaching technique.
Paul: And of course with the release of IOS 11 which has just happened we now have seasons being supported on the iPhone as well. They seem to be really pushing podcasting again. Have you noticed that? Even iTunes has been updated to bring podcasting to the fore so that’s quite encouraging isn’t it really?
Colin: Yeah, I mean it’s the fact that Apple have basically, they have created the podcasting platform like a decade ago and basically have done nothing to it since. They barely even acknowledged it exists. Like if they ask them what they are doing with it. But in the last six months they have brought out a bunch of different stuff. So there obviously it has jumped up their priority list which is great because like it or not they are the biggest, you know, search engine, the biggest proponent, the biggest stats holder in podcasting so if they get involved it is only a good thing.
Paul: Yeah. So is good up until the point where you’ve discovered that you have done 19 seasons of a podcast and need to go back through every single episode and tag it as being as part of a season. That was not a nice day, me doing that.
Marcus: Ooo, that’s quite a lot Paul.
Paul: It was, it took quite a long time. I have quietly ignored the classic episodes. They don’t get broken into seasons.
Colin: But it looks good though doesn’t it?
Marcus: I don’t blame you. Because they weren’t, to be fair.
Paul: Sorry Colin, you are going to say?
Colin: It does look good in Apple podcast. Like in the mobile app and iTunes and iPads or something it looks really good and you can scroll through and you can see the seasons are themed, they are… Yes, it’s great. I have to admit I have not done all my seasons for podcraft yet but I need to do them all.
Paul: I like the idea of season simply because it gives people a starting point if they are joining the show. You know, if they want to start… Until now podcasting has been very much like, as you say, like the radio. You could just start listening to it and you can get whatever is on this week kind of thing. But turning it into a library of teaching material, broken up into nice chapters for want of a better word. You know, seasons. It’s just so much more accessible. So if somebody wants to learn about content marketing now they can do that. They can come to the season and it is all laid out for them and whether they are listening to it today or in six months time or a years time it’s all there, which I think is great.
Colin: It’s always been a big problem with podcasting that the whole, like if somebody joins in episode 200 and there’s just this big mess of stuff like how do you direct people. So yes, it’s a great thing. I think that’s why it’s great for people to start doing that at the start as well. And I think when people when we talk about it one of the biggest things, that I didn’t really expect at first, that actually made it a little less intimidating for people to start podcasting I found. Because they see a season as an achievable chunk of stuff, if that makes sense. Like they plan out eight episodes, say, and they are not committing to do a podcast forever. That’s a ridiculous thing, because that has put people off for years and years, they say “Right, you start podcast and it’s gotta be weekly and you got to do it forever.” I mean that’s very big. Some people put it off, put it off.
Marcus: Until you die! (Laughter)
Colin: But if you say:- no, we’re just going to do a pilot season, eight episodes we’re going to teach something, we are going to break it down, teach a subject and you know what we’re going to evaluate it after eight weeks we’re going to see whether we enjoyed it, we’re going to see whether the audience enjoyed it, whether our business got something from it, if it did, if all those are a yes then we will keep doing it but we will take a break and plan the next one. If it’s a no then actually that’s fine. We will stop. But you know, we have created something we have created this resource that we can actually give out to people, we can pass on to people. It exists as an evergreen thing anyway so yes it’s a win win either way I think.
Paul: Cool, yes. I totally agree. Okay, one more question before we move on. This one is for Marcus really, because he needs the answer to this. How does… How do we stop the podcast being dull?
Marcus: Oh yeah, well I’ve already covered that. Just have me on it!
Paul: No, you see, no. It’s the other way round Marcus you’re the one that needs it! Actually, have you ever listened, dear listener, if you’re listening to this now, go back and listen to the first ever episode of Boagworld. You will…
Marcus: Oh, that’s harsh.
Paul: It was the dullest thing on the planet. Just this one person…
Marcus: Hello, my name is Paul Boag and I am going to do a podcast today.
Paul: In a monotone voice, yes. So how do you, I mean, that’s a very difficult skill to learn. Doing the technical stuff, that’s quite easy, setting up the technical stuff, all of that kind of thing. What advice would you give in terms of not making it as boring as boring-isness.
Colin: Well, I mean an easy starting point is to have more than one person to begin with because it is harder to make a really engaging solo show. It is not impossible, it’s not even difficult it’s just something that takes a bit of practice but it’s definitely harder. So like, you guys have some rapport, some chemistry some you know, chucking a bit of abuse back-and-forth.
Colin: (Laughter) Yes, so that helps. That chemistry makes for a more engaging show but you know, it’s funny in that actually I think that creating an entertaining engaging show it’s actually about being a bit more boring in your planning. It’s about being a bit more structured. So it comes back to kind of to teaching practice to me actually. It’s about thinking about what you are going to be teaching during the episode. Making sure that during the introduction you are giving a good summary of what people are going to get from it, you are giving a summary over two minutes, you know that this is what you’re going to get from the show, this is the conclusion. Tell them the whole thing within the first two minutes, that really hooks people in because they hear the benefits, they hear what they are going to get and why they should listen. I’m not talking about making it funny or entertaining this is just making it valuable, making it useful. That’s the first part of making something engaging and not boring. It’s not boring if they are getting something from it, if it’s helping them succeed or get better at something. Then you come into the theory. So then you come into the theory itself, try and obviously keep that as short as you can, a big part of being engaging is brevity. You know, not waffling.
Colin: Though, you know, entertaining waffle can be good. Just as a qualifier. Entertaining waffle can be good from time to time but you know, brevity is a big factor so doing it in as little time as possible. Then we go onto the fashionable bit, this is what everybody is talking about these days. Now stories??? So you’ve got to tell a story around it, if you are teaching something or you are giving… you’ve got to give some examples or case studies. If it is a story from your own life then brilliant. If it is telling a story from a client’s point of view, something that you have helped them do then even better. Or maybe it’s somebody you know that has done something, but include a story in there. The last bit to stop it being boring as well is that I have often seen those elements in a podcast, heard those elements in podcast, got to the end and thats it, finished and I’m still like “Ah, I’m kinda bored of the show because it’s not helping me get anywhere.” The way that you help people get anywhere is by telling them what to do, giving them a task, giving them a takeaway. Like this is your homework, and literally give them homework. This is what you’ve got to go on to do right now based on what I have just told you. Step one, step two, step three, this is what you will get from it. So give them tasks. It’s just like running a class basically.
Paul: So, planning.
Marcus: This is why I don’t listen to podcasts that much because I don’t want to be in school anymore.
Paul: Ah, we’re not do very well on this Marcus, planning, it never happens. Brevity, never happens. Tasks, never happens. We do occasionally tell stories, so one out of four we’ve got, so I think we’ve just failed our exam!
Marcus: In our next five or 600 episodes, because that’s what it is, maybe we could try and do a little bit better.
Paul: I like the idea of tasks. Okay then, let’s put you on the spot Mr. Podcaster, what should people go away and do after this show.
Colin: Right now they should go away and they should sit down and think of the most common question they are asked by their customers, by the clients, by their friends and their hobby. I do a show about a bit of mountain biking, I’m not into selling anything on that but people most often ask me in that “How do I fix my breaks?” or “How do I fix my gears.” So I did a season on how to fix my mountain bike and it was broken down into gears, brakes, wheels, that kind of stuff. So go out there and think about the most common things that you are asked in the subject that you are talking about and then break that down, see how far you can break it down, breakdown into say at least three or four episodes. It could be a mini season or if you can get it down into eight or 10 episodes then that is brilliant. That is like a full-sized season. It just puts meat on it, just break it down into those important subjects and put a few bullet points around each element and basically that is the outline for a whole season, that is your plan for a whole season. You can talk about that throughout the next two months.
Paul: Wonderful. But don’t go away and do that quite yet because we have got a couple more things. For a start our next sponsor would be very upset if he went away now right now.
They are supporting the entire season so we definitely want you to listen to them. You could not get a more perfect sponsor for the season. Because it is Gathercontent. Which are great, they are British, they are a British start-up, British app, it’s the way it should be people! So yeah, Gathercontent, if you haven’t heard of them before then shame on you. They are a tool for getting and managing the content you need for a website, an app, a social media campaign, hell, a podcast. You could use it for any of those situations. So, for example I tend to work a lot on content heavy projects. So websites that are very content heavy and almost always without fail I can pretty much guarantee that the reason a project will get delayed is because the content hasn’t been delivered. And that’s why I love Gathercontent and have been using it for so long. It was actually born out of an agency team that just got really hacked off with trying to get content from a client so they started the app which is just brilliant. They are such a nice team of people as well, I really love those guys and they are very open and responsive, they love talking to people about the product and, you know, how they can improve it and make it better so just to chat to them. They got a really good blog as well where they share some excellent content around content, they share content around content!
Marcus: Do they do a podcast?
Paul: I don’t think they do. They should do. We will tell them to
Marcus: They should do, the one thing I’ve learned today is the podcast the King of all media, there you go.
Paul: I don’t think that’s actually what Colin has said that you know, feel free.
Marcus: That’s how it’s been translated in my brain.
Paul: Fair enough. So, Gathercontent is used by thousands of teams all over the world to help organise their website content so it’s perfect for website redesign, new website fbuilds, creating new sections on a website, whatever. So go and check it out for yourself you can go to find out more about it and gets a 30 day free trial no credit cards or any of that nonsense by going to gathercontent.com/boagworld.
Play Featured Apps at: 51:03
So, talking about useful apps I thought it would be nice to just wrap up with a few tools that we use for podcasting and I’m sure Colin will chuck in a couple as we go as well. So, one tool I wanted to mention that I am using right now is Ringr. So R-I-N-G-R. Which is a tool that allows you to have multiple people together recording a podcast. It used to be just one person and a guest but now they’ve got conference facilities so you can have more guests on it which is really cool. You can run it on your desktop which is how we are doing it at the moment. It is running in Chrome, or they have got a mobile app as well for doing that kind of quick, smart phone type podcasting that Colin was talking about earlier. We used to use one called then zancastr?
Paul: Zencastr, but it turned out to be. Why have I written Zancastr? What in the hell was I thinking!? Zencastr. But it turned out to be a bit flaky for us didn’t it. We had problems with it.
Marcus: It might be better now but yes, I did want to kill people towards the end of using that. But yes.
Paul: In terms of editing the podcast you could go down Marcus’s route and by Logic and pretend that it’s the podcasting but actually it’s for creating your own music outside of work but you charge the company for it anyway! Or…
Marcus: It’s actually really good thing to edit with though. But if you’ve got a Mac you can have logic light which is Garageband and that will do your editing in exactly the same way that logic does. So I would recommend Garageband for free on your Mac.
Paul: Or if you are not Mac-based there is a great tool that I used to use a lot which is Audacity which is open source and in lots of different platforms. What about you Colin? What do you recommend?
Colin: Yes, Audacity is always the first stop for us because it is free and it is available on Mac and PC and it is decent. It’s kind of clunky, it’s kind of old-fashioned but you can’t blame it… Lost anything. We use Adobe audition in the studio here so that’s what we edit all our stuff in just because it’s great workflows and really good at saving time and automating things and a really good app. But I’ll take quick cheap plug if you don’t mind, we are developing an app right now…
Paul: Yeah, go for it.
Colin: … Which is called Alitu. A-L-I-T-U.
Paul: Oh yes!
Colin: And you can see it over at Alitu.com. It is in beta just now so that is the… intention for that is that you can upload a raw recording and actually just click “publish” and it will add your music, it will process it, like do the volumes, EQ, compression and all that kind of stuff and you don’t have to do a thing. But it also lets you edit if you want to so you can actually cut out mistakes from it and trim it all and that kind of stuff. That’s going to be a tool available openly in a couple of months which people could use to do all this stuff.
Paul: Yeah, I almost forgot to mention that Colin! That is shameful considering I was supposed to be helping you promote it! (Laughter) Honestly. That is just… I am honestly blushing here. I very rarely blush…
Marcus: You need a holiday Paul!
Paul: I will come back to that actually later in the season once it is fully opened up and running we will mention it again but you can check it out now, absolutely. It is a really good tool.
Colin: You can sign up for it, yeah.
Paul: Ahh, excellent, you’re doing a… You doing the beta are you?
Colin: You can sign up for a list. You can certainly apply and let us know what to do in podcasting and we can bring you in as we have the features that you need.
Paul: Oh, awesome. That’s cool. I didn’t realise you were in that far on.
Colin: Well, you’ve been on holiday for like three months.
Paul: Yes, I know. So… What, Marcus has just updated our notes in real time and he has just written… He has put his name, Marcus, not really relevant. Hi Paul… What are you doing Marcus?! What are you trying to secretly communicate to me?
Marcus: The professional podcaster Paul here he’s only done this for about a thousand episodes. I realise that what I said I could talk about actually wasn’t about apps so I got rid of it. I said it wasn’t actually relevant.
Paul: Oh, I see, okay.
Marcus: It had my name there anyway. I was trying to be helpful. I’ll stop doing that.
Paul: Yeah, you’re not implying that you’re not relevant, it’s rather that you’ve got nothing relevant to say.
Marcus: … In this particular point.
Paul: So what about recording via things like Skype and staff what do you use for things like that?
Colin: Yes, there’s two apps. Ecamm call recorder for the Mac and TalkHelper for the PC. That’s the two really. And if you are on mobile and you are just recording like we were saying earlier on, you were talking about Ringr if you want to interview somebody but I just use the dictation app, like the standard dictation app on my smart phone. A lot of our podcasts are made that way. Just as smart lav and a dictation app on a smartphone.
Paul: So what was this mic that plugs into the smart phone that you said earlier?
Colin: It’s called R-O-D-E and then smartlav+. And it’s just a wee…
Paul: Smart Lab or wav.
Colin: Lav, N-A-V. For Lavilier. Lavilier microphone.
Paul: Oh, okay. Oh, okay I’m with it! Oh, I might have to check that out because that would be quite useful thing to have.
Colin: Yeah really handy.
Paul: I use a little… To record Skype calls and things like that and just any input really. I use something called Piezo. P-I- E-Z-O. That’s a good little Mac app as well. It’s very, very simple it does the job. Okay, so there’s a few apps there to get you going. Is there anything else Colin that we should mention app wise?
Colin: Err, do you know what? I’ve been talking mostly about… It’s something that is kind of changed the way I planned my podcasts and makes it a lot easier to organise it all is the tool you’ve introduced me to recently which is Notion. I’m putting all of my podcast stuff into notion these days.
Paul: Oh yeah!
Colin: Just because it’s… There’s a few reasons, because it’s a wiki, I used to always do it in Evernote but because this is a wiki it kind of structures things much more easily, like you can have that kind of heart and hierarchy. Really simply, going into this is my season, this is my episode, this is the ad sponsor. And actually also actually it’s really easy to collaborate on and have it as a team so you can all have it open and be just like you and Marcus were just now showing the document.
Marcus: As we demonstrated live, just recently. (Laughter)
Colin: So I’m finding it really useful and I recommended it on our newsletter recently actually and got them about 200 signups apparently so…
Paul: Whoa, they must have been pleased with you!
Colin: They were like "Here have some free stuff!
Paul: Yeah, that’s very cool. Okay, I think that wraps it up nicely for the show so next week we are going to be looking at blogging where we are going to be having a chat with Vitali Friedman from Smashing Magazine. He is going to be sharing a little bit about his experiences with blogging which is going to be lots of fun. We are actually looking for guests so if you feel that you have got some expertise in any of the areas that we said we were going to cover on this season So things like SEO, imagery, social media, headlines, videos, writing effectively, email marketing, editorial calendars or anything like that then drop me an email at [email protected] No doubt I can source people but it’s always good to get fresh blood and people maybe that I haven’t heard of already. So drop me an email I would love to have you on the show. We end as always with Marcus’s joke, which I’m sure should be a tip for all podcasters out there that you need a terrible joke at the end of your show.
Marcus: I went and had a look at the boragworld slack channel bad jokes channel and I didn’t find that many so people, more jokes please!
Paul: Oh crikey!
Marcus: That’s my task for the end of the show. See, I’m learning!
Marcus: This one from Lewis Coles. Vegans think butchers are gross but people who sell fruit and vegetables are grocer./s
Paul: Ahh, yeah, no. Not so much funny as, “Ah, you know.”
Marcus: Ooo, Boo. Okay, here’s another one. I made a graph showing my past relationships it has an X axis and a Y axis.
Paul: That, I like. (Laughter) That was good. I like that.
Marcus: Sarah Stuart. Thanks Sarah.
Paul: Yeah, that’s a good one Sarah, I like that one a lot. Okay, so that’s it for this week’s show. Thank you very much for listening. Colin thank you very much for joining us it was great to have you. Where can people find out more about you.
Colin: It’s been a pleasure, thanks for having me on. You can find our site Thepodcasthost.com and if you want to sign up for the beta for the app as well that is Alitu.com.
Paul: See, I told you you should have come up with a product name that you don’t have to spell out loud!
Colin: Its quite cool though!
Paul: It has got a very cool little robot. I love the robot.anyway that’s it. Thank you very much and goodbye.
Links mentioned in the show
- Inbound Confrence
- Heroic public speaking by Michael Port
- Colin Gray – Podcasthost.com
- Daniel J Lewis
- Ray Ortega
- Dave Jackson
- Out on the wire – Jessica Abel
- Writing for broadcast journalists – Rick Thompson
- Dan Carlin
- Podcast movement Conference
- Meteor USB microphone
- Shure MV5 USB microphone
- Rode Smartlav+ Smartphone mic
- Serial or Bright sessions
- First ever episode of Boagworld
- Adobe audition
- Ecamm call recorder