Arlen: Welcome to the eCommerce marketing podcast. Everyone, I am your host Arlen Robinson and today we have a very special guest, Michael Greenberg, is the founder of Gentleman Of Technology LLC, a B2B venture creation and growth consulting firm. GOT specializes in B2B SaaS and Service businesses, as well as personal advisory services for serial entrepreneurs. He launched his first independent venture, Call For Content, in January of 2017. Call For Content is a full-service podcasting agency for content marketing, audience growth, and monetization strategies. Finishing his transition away from day-to-day at Call For Content at the beginning of this year, Michael is excited to expand his businesses further into podcasting and B2B services with the launch of Southafricatalent.com.
Michael: It’s great to be on Arlen.
Arlen: Yes, thank you. And it’s, it’s great to talk to you as well. For our listeners on this recording, will probably, I would say go live in, in, uh. Late April. Well, for those of you listening, hopefully by the time you listen to this, where we’re no longer under a global pandemic or at least coming out of it.
So, uh, just wanted to preface that, but, uh, everyone has gotten their fingers crossed, but we hope we can get out of this, uh, and recover from it, uh, successfully. But, you know, before we get into the topic of today, which is going to be regarding. A variety of how to, you know, really grow your business on a B to B side with regards to content marketing and, you know, an ad growth and, uh, you know, really how to leverage your outreach efforts and create comprehensive outreach lists.
Before we get into all of that, um, why don’t you tell us a little bit more about your background and specifically, you know, how you got into what you’re doing today. Yeah.
Michael: So I come from startup land. I dropped out of college, originally, went to the Bay, went to a coding bootcamp, joined a startup, raised some money with them, got some clients, and then left about nine months before the company finished imploding.
So classic startup story. I went off to start consulting afterwards, B to B growth strategy, and I was working with some agencies and one of the companies I was working with was a podcast production company that also operated a B2B network. I got to grow strategy together to help take them national and they decided to use a different strategy.
So about a year later, no more noncompete, none of that. I took what I knew and that turned into call for content.
Arlen: Okay, great. We have that. That’s awesome. Yeah. Thanks for sharing that. Um, definitely. Um, looks like you have a, uh, kind of a diverse background there and it’s all, I know it was exciting working for this startup because, you know, anytime you’re with a startup, there’s a million things going on.
It’s always an exciting time, you know, regardless of what direction it does go, it’s still, I’m sure you learned a ton of lessons and I’m sure that was very valuable for you.
Michael: Yeah, I mean, it launched my career. If I didn’t have startup experience, nobody would have hired a 22 year old. Hi.
Arlen: Right. Gotcha.
Gotcha. Yeah, that’s the, that is a, I’m sure that was definitely the case for sure. Well, uh, you know, today, as I mentioned, we’re going to be talking a little bit about, um, you know, how to leverage various outreach efforts, uh, for your eCommerce brand. On the B to B side, one of the things that I want to kind of start off with was, uh.
A kind of a term that I’m not quite sure that I’m too familiar with, but I wanted you to kind of enlighten us all on and how it can be effective for, for a business and eCommerce business. And that’s exactly what exactly is blitz branding and you know, how can that be an effective for an eCommerce business?
Michael: so blitz branding is a strategy we developed for B2B. And. The basis of the strategy is around a concept in advertising called ad momentum. And the idea behind this concept is that just like anything else, ads have momentum that extend beyond the life of the actual ad and advertising campaign. So blitz branding uses a blitz of ads at the beginning of a campaign, followed by.
Targeted direct outreach to that audience directly after the ad campaign has finished. So by the time you first reach out to them, they’ve already seen your brand anywhere from six to a dozen times from the ads. And the importance of it is not necessarily that they clicked through that they downloaded your ebook, any of that, but that they got the impressions on the ads and they are aware of your brand before reaching out.
So it’s really using these ads and concentrating what might be a six month campaigns ad spend into two months to maximize your impression share and try to get the brand right. As warm in the mind and is known in the mind as possible for when you send them that email or that message on another platform.
Arlen: Gotcha, gotcha. Yeah, that’s, that’s an interesting strategy and I’m sure it can apply really. It sounds like any type of business can really go that approach, and I would say even especially a newer business, you know, even as a startup business, so to speak, because. That’s one of the things that new businesses and startup businesses struggle with is this, that brand awareness.
You know, people may not have ever heard of them, and even if you go the targeted approach, which you know, you may think of off the bat, would be a little bit more effective because if you’re targeting a specific demographic that. Would base of the demographics would like your product or services, but you know, if they have never heard of your brand, it can make it a little more, it can make it a little bit more challenging and the overall conversion can be a little bit more difficult.
But yeah, I see what you’re saying as far as just doing a, uh, a blitz of. Getting your brand out there and then narrowing it down to a specific targeted marketing campaign. Because by then they’ve, they’ve seen your brand in their eyes. You’re not necessarily just kind of out of the coming out of the blue, you know, they have at least some familiarity with your brand and that can make the target campaign effort a little bit more effective.
So yeah, that’s definitely a powerful strategy that I can see can work, you know, really. Almost in, in, in any case.
Michael: Yeah. I want to just dig in a little bit and walk through that approach. Okay. We can use an eCommerce business as an example. Let’s say a friend of mine actually has a business that sells grills and more like high-end patio, stuff like that online, and one of his major distribution channels are partners.
You know, a hardscaping company, my already be building the patio and they want to be able to sell that stuff without holding any of the inventory,
Arlen: right? So
Michael: what he could then do is build out a list of, let’s call it two to 3000 of those companies and specifically the owners in the U S and we need a few thousand, but we don’t want to go much bigger than that.
We need a few thousand to build a custom audience, but we don’t want to go so big. That becomes prohibitively expensive to saturate the audience with the ads. So we’ve got this list from that list. We’ll probably want LinkedIn. We’ll definitely want Facebook. Maybe it’s Instagram or something else as well.
And we’re going to take. Let’s say it’s 2000 so let’s say we’re spending about 15,000 in ads. Month one we’re going to spend three to 4,000 of that, and during that first month, our goal, and to tie it into podcasting, our goal is if we have a podcast with that brand to get them to click on a video teasing the season of the show.
Or a specific episode. Then during the second month, we’re spending closer to 10,000 so you know anywhere about double the ad spend of the prior month. During that month, we are going to be looking at two things. One who among it actually converts in downloads because those are people that we want to reach out to a little differently.
Then the people who don’t touch anything, but we know have seen our ads. And then we also want to start trying to take the people who aren’t clicking through and maximize the number of impressions our brand name reaches. So if we’re using LinkedIn, we’re very likely to switch to sponsored in mail or LinkedIn conversation ads.
Something that lets us send a letter to them directly and on Facebook we’re going to use images because they’re cheaper to run than videos.
Arlen: Now, with that initial outreach, you mentioned one of the first things that you can do is. Pitch a podcast, a season of a podcast or a specific episode with that pitch.
You know, let’s say you pitch it and you get a, you know, a fair amount of those people that were pitched or are you gonna either listen to it or to either listen to part of the season or a particular episode as far as tracking from there, what do you typically do with that? Is there a promotional code that’s given during these
Michael: pod sites?
Michael: It’s listener read targeting. Okay.
Arlen: Gotcha, gotcha. How exactly does that work for the listeners that aren’t familiar with that?
Michael: So it works by taking the mobile device IDs of the listenership and allowing you to then export those so you could use them in something like Facebook mobile ads. Okay. And if we have this other pool of data on the audience already.
We are likely to be able to match a number of those IDs to people.
Arlen: Okay. Okay. How exactly does that work? Does that work regardless of the platform somebody is listening to the podcast on, or how is it, how has all of that data compiled?
Michael: It doesn’t work for Spotify.
Arlen: I see.
Michael: Okay. The way Spotify caches the episodes, it doesn’t have anywhere to ping.
Okay. And it’s not going to work for any streamed plays. So the pages we’re actually going to send to for a podcast are the podcasts distinct website. I see. So that we can try to capture them with traditional retargeting as well.
Arlen: I gotcha. So you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re sending them the specific link of the, of where the actual episode is and they’re there.
They’re listening to it from there. What about like through iTunes, if they were to just subscribe to that particular season and then listen to it from their particular device, is it able to recognize that as well?
Michael: Yeah, so that’s when we’ll get the mobile device ID.
Arlen: I gotcha. Gotcha. Okay, great. Yeah, that’s, that’s some powerful stuff because I know a lot of times with, with podcasting, it’s, you know, that’s something that.
Can be challenging, especially people that have kind of just got into it. You know, it can be challenging of how to track the success of, of certain shows, certain episodes, and really getting a handle on the demographics. Um, you know, you can get a fair amount from whatever podcast hosting platform that you’re using.
They’re going to give you some stats. Um, but. You know, a lot of times you may not get, you know, a hundred percent accurate stats. And so it sounds like, yeah, the pots pod sites is definitely really effective
Michael: from that will say Libsyn does not allow pod sites.
Arlen: Gotcha. Gotcha.
Michael: So if you’re on Libsyn, you can’t use pod sites.
Arlen: Gotcha. Yeah, that’s some, yeah, no, a lot of people are on that. But these days there, there are a lot of other platforms that are. That are popping up that I’m seeing all the time with podcasting because it is, it has really grown to really an incredible loud level. We started this podcast, the camera’s marketing podcasts about six, seven years ago when podcasts were kind of just kind of catching steam and starting to take off, and now it’s really, you know, the growth has really just totally been exponential.
Now. It’s for the listeners out there that are kind of agree with everything and it sounds like everything makes sense. Where do they actually begin with regards to, you know, starting their podcast and in determining, I guess even before that, how did they terminate if they, even if it even makes sense, do they have a customer base out there in podcast land that, um, would be attracted to whatever content that they put out in their particular niche?
Michael: Yeah. So there’s three different reasons to start a podcast. Not all of them require listeners. So if your goal is to grow your audience or increase retention among your existing audience and traffic, then a podcast doesn’t fact need listeners, right? If your goal is a more cost effective content creation process.
Because it’s cheaper to take audio and transcribe it than it is to actually start with written content. Then you don’t need listeners. Right. And if you’re just using the show to network with people who you want to meet and potentially do business with. Then you also don’t need listeners.
Arlen: Right, right.
Michael: And that makes things a lot easier, in my opinion.
Arlen: Yeah, it definitely does. And I’m kinda kind of the first persons that kind of broke it down really simply that way. Because I think a lot of times when people think of podcasts, you’re just immediately thinking, Oh, I got to get as many listeners as possible.
That’s their full focus. And they think that’s the only benefit from it is getting the listeners that can be potential customers and you know, getting them to charge your brand and your, and your company. Through the podcast, but you’re, you’re a hundred percent right. Those two other avenues, which are, you know, the content creation piece is a great way to get content out there, especially if you, maybe you don’t have a content team, you don’t have a content writer, but you’re knowledgeable about a particular niche and you know, you’re able to either leverage that information by interviewing someone or, you know, just kind of going through.
A kind of a best of type of thing, format, whatever format you come up with. It’s just like you said, it’s just a matter of transcribing that audio and there you go. You have your content, which can be multipurposed from your blog and you know many other places or wherever you want to actually use that.
So, yeah, very good, good information. And um, that really makes a lot of sense. I’m glad that you, you broke it down that way. Now
Michael: who for listeners shows. I do have a specific formula for setting your goal for the show also. Okay. What’s the largest number of people you’ve ever spoken in front of? Probably
Arlen: I’m a member of Toastmasters and I did, let’s see, do a contest one time.
I would say
Michael: probably a few hundred. And how many listens does an episode on the show get?
Arlen: We get typically about 3000 downloads per
Michael: month. Okay. So. That’s pretty much how we measure it. If we are outpacing your biggest speaking event every week with a show, then that show has blown out of the water, at least to my mind, all of your other speaking related marketing activities and the fact that you can’t do speaking engagements right now.
And that we’ve seen our inbound lead flow around agencies that book those go up three X cause they’re panicking says that I’m probably right.
Arlen: Right, right. Yeah. I think you’re right. Yeah. The, the, the fact that we’re kind of in this time that we are right now as far as this. Kind of global shutdown, where, like you said there, there can’t be conferences that just, it seems like just overnight, the value of on these online interviews and conferences, virtual summits have just increased, you know, just really, literally overnight, which is incredible.
Michael: Yeah. And that’s, I don’t think that’s going to change.
Arlen: Right, right. You think it’s just, just the way it is. It’s going to be from here on out, you think?
Michael: Yeah. I mean, we might get conferences and events back in person too. Right. But I don’t think we’re going to stop doing more stuff online.
Arlen: Yeah, I totally agree.
And I think what really is this has done, and then kind of the lesson year, and especially for anybody out there listening that hasn’t started their own podcast, is looking to get into it. I think just because people are, have to be more creative now, and the online way of reaching people right now is really the only way to do it.
It’s just we’ve seen right now already a huge influx of people just kind of jumping on to it because they have no other choice and they’re going to see. Because it was probably something that I’m sure a lot of businesses, people that maybe even facilitated conferences kind of had that on the back burner.
You know, they may have been familiar and more comfortable with doing the traditional face to face. Person to person type conferences. Uh, maybe they had the idea of doing something virtual, but you know, you know, just didn’t get around to it. But you know, at this point, this was just kinda like spot and spawning everything, you know, and that diff left everyone really kind of no choice.
So I can definitely agree to that, that it’s really not going anywhere. And this is really, I think, kind of more than kind of. Jump-started the efforts from a lot of people now, you know, once a business has really established, you know, one of those ways, or one of those reasons, rather for actually doing a podcast and if, if any of those make sense really, really, you kind of, what’s the next step?
What are they, what’s required for them to put this all together.
Michael: But easy way or the hard way.
Arlen: Well, let’s see. Let’s give them, let’s give them the easy way.
Michael: Okay. The easy way is you get set up on an app called squad cast.fm. Then you, bye. A USB microphone in about the hundred dollar range. So you sound okay and.
Then you email 20 people who would make good guests, and you’re already signed up with squad cast. So you record those episodes, load them up into a tool called D script, and the script is going to transcribe them and then let you edit them. And it’s a combination audio text editor, so it’s much easier to use if you’ve never edited audio before.
Once all that’s done. I would use Omni FM to host, it’s O, M N Y. Dot FM, and you stick your episodes up there. Take a picture of your smiling faces, the host, make it the photo for your show, black letter stamp out as big as you can in that square, the name of the show, and make the name really obvious so people know what the show’s about.
And then. Keep going. So that’s the easy way.
Arlen: Yeah, that’s easy. And just, just for all those listeners out there that you know are looking to take things maybe the next level and, and not, not afraid for a little hard work, what is the hard way. The
Michael: hard way requires actually recording and planning out an intro and an outro and things like a topic for the show and planning the episode ahead of time.
You know, just the little things to make it a real production. I actually cover and walk through all of that in our B2B podcast playbook, and I think that’ll be in the show notes at the end. It’s the same process. But with more work upfront where you want to do better artwork, you want to make sure you do the research and create a show that people might actually listen to and you take care to choose the guests and topics that come on so they relate to your overall content marketing calendar.
Arlen: That makes a lot of sense. It’s really the same base strategy if, uh, or, uh, steps that you have to take to actually physically get the podcast out there. That doesn’t change a whole lot. You know, there’s different platforms of course that you could use, but yeah, it’s just a, there’s a definitely a lot more prep involved.
If you, you’re, you know, you’re looking to do it the hard way and put a little bit more into it, a lot more planning and, you know, you’re just fine tuning really every aspect of it. Um,
Michael: so just back end, you’ve got to promote it.
Arlen: Yeah, right, exactly.
Michael: And easy way podcast. Maybe not the best thing to promote.
Great. For those options where you don’t really need listeners a hard way show, you’ve put enough effort in at that point, you really want to put in the effort on the back end and get that listenership growing.
Arlen: Yeah, that is, that is so true. And a great tips. I’m glad you broke down both methods and we’re going to have to kind of switch gears here a little bit and.
I wanted to pick your brain a little bit more about some of the B2B outreach efforts. Um, you spoke earlier a little bit about LinkedIn and how that’s, uh, you know, of course, a great platform that you’re very familiar with and it’s, uh, just really exploding these days. Um, I didn’t really, five, 10 years ago, I didn’t know, I didn’t really see LinkedIn being where it is right now today, but it is really up there as far as a great space for reaching other businesses.
So. If you’re dealing with LinkedIn, how can any business create a highly specified outreach list from LinkedIn and turn that into just a targeted social media ad campaign? How does that all work?
Michael: Yeah, so LinkedIn sales navigator, maybe my favorite tool of the past, however long since Microsoft bought LinkedIn and made.
LinkedIn really start working well for us in sales and marketing. LinkedIn sales navigator, you start with a search there and you start with a lead. This search, the account feature is nice, but it’s not going to give you the names you need to be able to go after and build out that list of people to actually market to so.
The other reason why I really like that method of using the lead list is it lets you review all of the profiles and make sure you get your targeting right. Once you’ve got your targeting down, you should have a few thousand people, and if you’re not going to be using actual paid ads, then you can get away under a thousand but if you’re going to be using ads in order to create a custom audience.
You’re going to need about a thousand just to get enough people on LinkedIn. They’ve got sponsored in mail, and then about three, four weeks ago, they pushed conversations into public access. Those are, in my opinion, your two best options for advertisements. Both of those are InMail ads, which means they show up at the top of somebody’s inbox in LinkedIn messaging the conversation ad.
Is more of a chat bot style and the sponsored in mail is more of a traditional direct mail. Right now I’m seeing them run anywhere from 30 to 50% under what traditional ad costs would be. So LinkedIn ads are well known for being the most expensive. They’re a lot cheaper right now.
Arlen: Okay, well that’s, that’s good to hear.
Michael: Yeah. We’re seeing cost per lead in the 20 to $30 right now on LinkedIn. Which is, in my opinion, a pretty good deal. Right,
Arlen: right. Yeah, that’s, that’s, that is pretty good. So, you know, it’s, I would say, if anyone’s interested, yeah, it’s best advice would be to get in there now because I don’t see those rates staying that way for too long.
Michael: No, I’m paying 20 cents a send right now. Okay. So it’s actually cheaper for us to like run the LinkedIn ad campaigns than it would be for us to go the normal way and find all of their emails and email them directly.
Arlen: Wow. Okay. Yeah. Very cost effective.
Michael: Yeah, so that’s a big change for us.
Arlen: Okay. Yeah, I can, I can imagine.
Well. Yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s awesome. And yeah, um, like I said, I’ve already known that LinkedIn has really just exploded over the years. And it’s, a lot of times it’s, it’s overlooked by a lot of businesses, but I can say as the years go on, it’s, it’s, it’s going to be a predominant player and, you know, as a, as a social tool and a connecting tool and, and lead tool, you know, for a lot of businesses, for sure.
Michael: I can’t sing the praises of sales navigator advanced search enough. There’s a lot of tools that will allow you to pull emails out of an advanced navigator search. None of them are allowed by LinkedIn, so I’m not going to name names on the show, but they’re easy to find.
Arlen: Okay, gotcha, gotcha. Cause otherwise, there’s no way to pull out the emails.
In mass without having to do it manually if you’re just doing their, their traditional search.
Michael: Yeah. Not without either having them opt in through something like a lead ad or bye. I think you can still download some of your LinkedIn contacts, but I’m not sure you can do the whole thing like you used to.
Arlen: Gotcha. Gotcha. Okay. Well that’s good to know. That definitely makes sense. Well, you know, as we get ready to wrap things up here, um, really wanted to. Pick your brain on just looking at some of the success of some other top eCommerce brands that have really leveraged podcasting and outreach lists to create a successful brand awareness on social media ad campaigns.
Because I think it, it’s helpful to be able to look at what others are doing, and really, especially with some of the top brands in the town, I learn from them.
Michael: Yeah. So I’ve got to make sure I get this name right. The. Company. It’s a Quito company and they have a really good podcast program. Perfect Quito.
Perfect. Kito has been using a podcast for a couple of years now with really strong success. The guy who runs their content marketing. Who started the agency that they operate out of. Nat Eliason ran his own podcast for a few years and shut it down because it wasn’t making them money like most shows, but he’s definitely taken that on to look at a number of other of his clients.
The shows that we create for eCommerce brands are almost exclusively through our white label program. And we generally see shows created as part of an audience retention strategy to capture the more of a middle of the funnel and to capture the most dedicated and avid members of the community that’s being built around the brand.
So if you already have a competitive media strategy as an eCommerce brand. Adding in a podcast and trying to funnel more of your listenership, more of your audience into that show is going to allow you to not only build this nurse ship, but build a consistent deeper channel to speak with your audience on.
Then you might be able to otherwise gain through blogs and newsletters.
Arlen: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. It’s just a way to really deepen that relationship. Get your audience members, especially, you know, those loyal customers to really even further trust. You’re bringing even more because you’re, you know, you’re empowering them.
Um, and you know, most podcasts these days are, are informational. They’re for empowering the listeners. And you know, of course there’s going to be a sales aspect to it of course. But. That’s a small percentage of the purpose of it. So I think people really do appreciate the, uh, the information that they can digest from the podcasts.
Michael: Yeah. I mean, as if you are an e-commerce brand, simply retargeting that listenership of your show is going to be a cheaper cost per purchase than any other ad spend that you can put out. And on top of that. And this is really where it can get interesting. Something that I haven’t seen brands do and we’re trying to convince somebody to try with us because we’ve seen it work for podcast networks and for shows, but we just can’t get an eCommerce brand to be like, yeah, we understand how this all ties together with you have an active show.
You can then go out and sponsor and partner with other midsize shows. In adjacent and the same niche and use their audiences to grow your own.
Arlen: I see.
Michael: That is a strategy that we would love to try for more of an audience growth and direct ROI from e-commerce podcasting.
Arlen: I see. Gotcha. Yeah. It doesn’t really make sense.
It’s just if you’re in a particular niche. Look for those other podcasts that are in that same niche. Try to try to get on there and you know, vice versa, you’re really just kind of exposing yourself to a whole nother audience by being able to do that.
Michael: Yeah. Except the end goal of this is you end up with something closer to a loosely aligned miniature network of shows.
Then any single one XM, you’re not paying to finance and network.
Arlen: I see. I see. I gotcha. Cause the goal there is those listeners that were on that other podcast that you just, you know, interviewed on, they’ve never heard of, you never heard of your podcast. But now. You know, that’s expanding. All of those listeners are now, you know, maybe subscribing to your podcast and vice versa.
So it’s just, I see how that works. You just get, like you said, you’re creating a. Really a whole network there. Yeah, that’s, that’s awesome. Uh, well, Michael, I appreciate that you’ve really broken it down. Um, a variety of things that I’ve never really touched on on the podcast before. Um, especially podcasting and, um, you know, really have kind of simplified it.
So I think all of our listeners really, I have a solid strategy of, of what they, what they can do and how to do it moving forward. What I always like to do before. You know, letting you go is just, I’d like to switch gears here and it’s to close things out just so our audience can get to know you just a little bit better.
What’s one fun fact that you can let our audience know about
Michael: yourself? I am an avid bread Baker and have been for. Like 12 or 15 years now.
Arlen: Okay. Okay. That sounds good. Was there a particular type of bread that is your specialty?
Michael: So I’ve been doing rise for about the past six months. Okay,
Arlen: great. Great. Yeah, that’s a, how did you happen to get into that?
Michael: Right. Our bread making
Arlen: bread breaking in general.
Michael: I apprenticed as a chef and Baker for pretty much all of high school. Okay. And then found out how much money they make and B came something else and said,
Arlen: okay, gotcha. So taking, this is not a lot of money in bread baking.
Michael: So fun fact, as I’m now much older, I am very seriously considering opening up a bread bakery.
Arlen: Oh, really? Okay. Okay.
Michael: In particular, rye bread with a brewery attached is a very sustainable model. I see. And like super old school too. It’s like, you know, that’s 14 hundreds Poland style.
Arlen: Oh, okay. Wow. Yeah. I can see how that goes together with, for the bread, you have the yeast with the EAs, you need it for the beer.
You need the yeast. And so, yeah, I can definitely see I’m working. So that’d be kind of like a passion project for you.
Michael: Yeah. Uh, definitely a hobby business.
Arlen: Gotcha. Gotcha. All right, well that sounds great, Michael. I appreciate your sharing that. And, uh, you know, if any of our listeners want to get in touch with you and pick your brain any more about what we talked about today, podcasting or you know, outreach, B2B outreach, LinkedIn, or any of the strategies that we talked about, what’s the best way for them, for them to get in contact with you?
Michael: Go to call for content.com that’s callforcontent.com. All
Arlen: right. Great. Thank you, Michael, for sharing that, and thank you. Of course, for, uh, being on the eCommerce marketing podcast.
Michael: Yeah. Thanks for having me. It’s been a lot of fun.
CEO of Call For Content