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The first year of becoming a parent is a rollercoaster of emotions, from terror to pure joy and everything in between. You can’t sleep, you don’t have time to eat and you go from laughing to crying in mere seconds. But in the end it’s all worth it, because like every proud parent, your podcast’s achievements become your own.
Nope, that wasn’t a typo. We’re talking about a different kind of baby — one you can download on iTunes.
That’s right, folks, the Call to Action podcast just turned one, and we’re celebrating as many others have celebrated their first birthday: by diving headfirst into a volleyball-sized cupcake. (I wish!)
Join me, Unbounce’s Multimedia Producer, Stephanie Saretsky (a.k.a. Beansie), and Content Strategist Dan Levy as we chat about the lessons learned during the podcast’s first year, including how dang tricky it is to measure the value of a podcast and why not all ideas are good ideas. On top of that, we chat about what’s to come for season two, and how you can get involved.
Season 1 highlights:
- Cracking the iTunes ranking algorithm — ranking first in Marketing, first in Business and fourth in the entire iTunes store.
- Learning that it was Aaliyah and not Destiny’s Child that taught us to “…dust [ourselves] off and try again.”
- Answering the big question: Are you more of a Tom Haverford or a Ron Swanson?
Listen to the podcast
Mentioned in the podcast
Read the transcript
Stephanie: This is kind of a special episode. As you know, I’m Stephanie Saretsky. I’m the host of Call to Action. But with me, I have our content strategist, Dan Levy.
Dan: Hey, Stephanie.
Stephanie: How’s it going, Dan?
Dan: It’s going pretty well. We don’t usually talk to each other, do we?
Stephanie: No, I usually kind of just introduce you and then let you interview all of our awesome guests.
Dan: Of course, the secret is that you are in the room next to me when I interview those guests, so it’s not like we don’t actually talk in real life.
Stephanie: It’s true. Behind the scenes, we’re actually always together.
Stephanie: So today, we thought it would be fun because it’s been one whole year since we launched the Call to Action podcast. It first went live last January 28, which was a Wednesday. So we thought it would be fun to get together and chat about what went well, what didn’t go so well and what we’re excited about doing for this year.
Dan: Yeah, it’s a good opportunity to take a step back and to also look ahead. And of course, a big part of that is to get your feedback on what you’ve enjoyed and what you think we could do better, and what you’d like to see for the rest of the year and beyond that. So we hope that you’ll enjoy this walk down memory lane. We hope there will also be some valuable lessons and insights for you in how to launch a podcast and everything from ranking on iTunes, to how to get guests, to how to treat your guests.
One thing that’s been I think a huge success so far is that we’ve had a lot of guests on, who’ve come to us later and said that they really enjoyed the experience and asking us how we manage things on our end so that they could make sure to give their guests as good an experience on their podcast. So that’s been a huge win for us and we hope to share some of that love.
Stephanie: Yeah, it’s definitely something that we’ve been trying to spread awareness of since podcasting kind of exploded in the marketing world last year. So from posts on our blog to just well-crafted episodes every week, it’s something that Dan and I are trying to really bring, an excellent product. So again, any feedback would be appreciated. You can always contact us at podcast.unbounce.com.
Dan: So talking about when we launched, bring me back. Why did we launch a podcast again?
Stephanie: So this is kind of funny. Something that Unbounce does every quarter is a ShipIt Day. And I’m sure if you work at a tech startup, you’re probably somewhat familiar with the concept. So it’s two days, and one day you spend planning what projects you’re going to work on, and then the second day you ship it. So the marketing team decided that we were going to do our own ShipIt Day because at that point in the company’s history, we weren’t really involved and ShipIt Day was something that the dev teams more did on their own, which has since changed. But our marketing manager at the time thought it would be fun for us to try and do it ourselves.
Dan: It’s funny you mention our marketing manager at the time. That’s Corey, and he actually plays a pretty important part in the genesis of the podcast. I might be skipping ahead here, but one of the reasons we did launch a podcast, before we get to the actual KPIs and everything, one of the reasons, to be totally honest, was because Corey told us that he didn’t have time to read our blog, and that he didn’t really like to read. And so if somebody could just speak our blog post to him into his ear every morning, he’d be a happy camper. And that was actually the seed of the Call to Action podcast.
Stephanie: Yeah, because the Unbounce blog is something that’s been like a flagship at Unbounce since it was started. I came from the radio world so I had a background in audio. And since I started at Unbounce, I was like, okay, a podcast would be something that I would really like to do and kind of throwing around ideas. And then Dan, when we had this ShipIt Day idea, he was like: “Hey, okay, so Corey doesn’t like to read. Why don’t we try to put together a podcast where we’re actually synthesizing popular blog posts of ours?” And I was like: “Sweet, that’s awesome; that’s a super concise idea.”
We have a huge bank of really awesome posts that we can pull from and it should be fairly easy editing-wise because there’s not a lot of post production that needs to be done. So Dan called up Elizabeth Martsen, who at the time was at Portent, Inc. as their PPC manager. And she had written a really awesome post for us about comparing PPC to online dating, which was really fun. So she was super awesome. She was like: “Yeah, I’ll totally do it.” She was able to do it within the next three days. So it was super fast. We got the interview done, cut and edited.
And then we presented the episode to our team, and it went really well. So we were like, okay, I think this needs to be an actual thing. So this was in October, I believe. And then we proceeded to interview six other people. We did that in a span of two weeks.
Dan: And that was one of my faults. I proceeded to go on my honeymoon for a month to Thailand. And so I was like, yeah, let’s do this podcast thing, and I’m leaving for a month. So we rushed to do six interviews really quickly, and then I said to Stephanie: “Have fun.” And when I got back, like a little, nicely wrapped present, they were all edited and ready to go, which was awesome.
Stephanie: Yeah. So that was really – yeah, fast paced but it was really good. We had some really awesome first contributors. And then at the same time, I spent the time putting together the launch brief. So at this time in Unbounce, we had about eight of us on the marketing team so we were still in the instance where I would put together a brief, and I would send it to our marketing manager. And then we would have a meeting and talk about all the strategies, whether we hit the key points and then he would send it back to me, and then I would iterate on it. And then we would finally get to the last iteration of the brief.
Initially, we had wanted to launch at the beginning of January as like a new year, new podcast thing. However, it became clear, because of the pace that we had to record a bunch so that we could launch with a certain amount, and we’ll get to that later. And just the size of the launch that this project was going to entail, that the first of January wasn’t going to be feasible for us. So we ended up moving it to January 28 and the rest is history.
Dan: Yeah, of course when we launch any piece of content marketing at Unbounce, we try to not start – in this case, we did notably want to do a podcast but we do try to start with a goal. And besides getting Corey to listen to our blog, remind me what was the goal on that brief that we set out to accomplish?
Stephanie: The initial goal had two goals. The primary goal was awareness. We really wanted this podcast to reach a new audience. And the way that we saw this happening was through the iTunes store. So right away, the biggest thing for us was to get into the New and Noteworthy section in iTunes and to rank in the top 10 in iTunes. So that was huge. So I spent an entire month researching on how to do that.
And I will let you in on a little secret: it was so hard – or at least a year ago, it was so hard – to find any definitive points on how to do well in iTunes. There’s so much conflicting information. iTunes is notorious for having that stuff on lockdown. Like you can’t do keywords anymore, there’s no –
Dan: You thought the Google algorithm and something like Google quality score was hard to unpack; wait ’til you encounter the mystery of iTunes.
Stephanie: Yeah, and there’s so much conflicting information. So one thing that people say is huge is rating velocity; so how many stars or reviews you get. So that’s one thing. So try and get as many reviews and as many stars as you can. Try and get as many people downloading as many episodes on the same day as possible. So download speed, so launching with more than three. Some people say one is fine; some people say you need at least five.
Some people say that you should be posting your podcast once a day; some people are like once a week. Initially, we had thought we would do biweekly but then we decided to go for a week just in case this download velocity was a huge deal. And we found that at the time, we did have enough in our bank and enough capacity to produce once a week.
Dan: That’s one of the reasons we both recorded a bunch of episodes right off the bat was so that we could launch with several episodes. And also one of the reasons that we did go for the MVP — the minimum viable product — we decided that it was important to keep it as lean as possible. So we interviewed blog authors and limited the scope of the podcast initially to people who we had interviewed on the blog, who we had a relationship with, and that there was a post that we could easily write some questions around and jump right into the content. Rather than creating totally fresh content, doing fresh reporting, for example. That would have added to our workload.
Stephanie: And so this is where something that kind of comes in stats-wise is interesting and something that we’ll unpack a little bit later on is because we were so concerned with our ratings velocity, our download speed and just getting as many people to listen to it as possible, when it came time to launch, we put a lot of effort into an email campaign, a social campaign. And really, even though the main goal was awareness and getting it to a new audience in retrospect we were actually launching to our current audience, and we were really banking on also hooking the people that were reading our blog and being like: “Hey, this is a post that you liked; here is an episode.”
We’re going to go more in-depth on this post. You’re going to hear a little bit of new information from the author’s mouth. And so that was something that we were banking on so that we could have a really awesome launch.
Dan: It’s a bit of the chicken and the egg scenario because we needed that critical mass of people listening to our podcast right away in order to rank in the iTunes store and reach that new audience. And in order to do that, we had to leverage our existing audience. So it wasn’t perfect because we were marketing to existing leads, but we did get our podcast ranking really quickly, which we hoped and we think did reach a whole slew of Coreys out there who don’t read the blog but who like to listen to podcasts.
Stephanie: And launch day was amazing. We quickly went to number one in marketing. We went to number one in business, and we were at number four in the entire iTunes store after This American Life, Serial and –
Dan: Radio Lab.
Stephanie: No, it was Invisibilia, the new NPR podcast. Which is, if you’re a podcast fan – and I’m sure you are if you’re listening to this episode right now, like that is huge. Dan and I were freaking out.
Dan: Those are the three biggest podcasts in the world –
Dan: – and number four was us.
Stephanie: It was awesome. I still have that screenshot and I just look at it when I feel sad. Yeah. So that was great. We had an amazing launch and yeah.
Dan: Yeah, the launch was really exciting. Of course, we wanted to then keep our momentum going, and we soon realized that the format that we had originally launched with was limiting in some ways, right?
Stephanie: Yes. Because even though we launched with this MVP, because it meant that it was consistent, it was narrow and we could do a lot of it quickly, which is important if you’re doing a weekly show; it has to be somewhat easy for the producer, which is myself, to actually edit it and be able to do all my other work. It soon became apparent that it was limiting in what we could actually think about. And also, initially, like the very, very first iteration of the podcast, we were trying to promote another core piece of content that we had just published, which was our marketing glossary. So we were starting every episode with a definition, read by our cofounder, Oli Gardner, of a marketing term that would then be featured in the actual interview itself.
Dan: Yeah. So we were excited about that idea. Some of the feedback that we got was that people didn’t necessarily see the connection between that word and then the interview afterwards. They thought that it was filler, or it was just a roadblock on the way to the interview, which is what they really wanted to get at. And so we quickly – I don’t know, how long were we doing that for?
Stephanie: We did that for at least two to three months, actually. I think we moved onto our second format change in about May.
Dan: Yeah, I think once we realized that it was even a stress for us to find words that connected to the interview, that it was time to stop. That yeah, it was convenient in the sense that we were leveraging existing content and that we were promoting it, but it didn’t quite work so we moved away from that.
Stephanie: And we just got so much feedback being like this seems like it’s just thrown in here. So we were like, okay, let’s try and give it more of a story because Dan and I both are super interested in podcasts that have a lot of story content. So we were kind of like, okay, how can we make this more podcast-y, which sounds a little weird but like how do we make this sound like it’s not your typical marketing podcast?
Dan: The podcasters that we were looking up to were those three other podcasts, This American Life, Serial and Invisibilia, Radio Lab — lofty goals because these are radio professionals who this is their full-time job. But there’s also other podcasts that are lower production but that really connect with their listeners in maybe a more personal way and a more informal way. And so we wanted to make sure that we were honoring the tradition. As new as it is, there is a podcasting tradition already and expectations of podcast audience; we wanted to make sure we were honoring those.
Stephanie: But the challenge was then also making sure that the interview was actionable at the time.
Dan: Exactly. Because something that we’ve always talked about is that Unbounce content needs to be actionable. And if you read our blog posts, they’re super tactical, they’re really in depth. We really break down a marketing problem and how to solve it. And that’s great in blog form. In podcast form, I think there are limits to it because people listen to podcasts at the gym, washing dishes, in the car; they don’t necessarily have a pen and paper.
They’re not in deep learning mode. They want to learn something, they want to get something out of it for sure but it’s not necessarily the same type of – they’re not looking for the same type of content that a blog reader would. So the challenge was how to keep it actionable without getting too bogged down into tactics and details.
Stephanie: And that was something that we noticed when we were able to suss out what made a really good episode last year, was we had a few episodes that were super technical; topics like PPC come to mind, where it’s a lot of great information but pulling that out and making that interesting to listen to was difficult.
Dan: And interesting for us.
Stephanie: Yeah. I won’t – never mind.
Stephanie: Whereas, say, some of our really awesome episodes last year, and one that comes to mind for me is an episode that we did with HubSpot’s Ginny Soskey, which is one of my favorite episodes today. Was that it was actionable but it also was very conversational and you guys were actually discussing the state of content marketing and the thought of publishing a lot of blog posts, or publishing a little blog posts. But it went beyond here was our experiment and this is what we saw.
Dan: That’s it. Because Ginny posted this amazing, in-depth report on this blog publishing experiment that they’d run. And the numbers were there, and the charts were there, and it’s just a really great post, but just recounting that is not nearly as interesting as the way she impacts it in the post itself. So we realized that this wasn’t just about talking blog posts, but it was talking around them and getting a little bit deeper into the bigger ideas and the bigger issues behind the posts. So there might be a post about a blog publishing experiment, but what’s the interview about?
Well, maybe it’s actually more about what is this content marketing stuff about? How do you stay on goal while still providing value to the audience? That’s a much more interesting conversation, I think, to have than charts and numbers, which could get a little bit tedious in the verbal form.
Stephanie: Yeah. So it’s just not as fun, and then it wasn’t as fun for Dan and I. So we found that they were received better by our audience, but then also more enjoyable for us to actually work on.
Dan: Yeah, and the other thing that you hint at there is that we moved beyond just talking about our own blog posts; just talking to authors who had written for our own blog. We realized that there’s a whole ecosystem of really smart, amazing marketing content out there and we wanted to speak to those authors, as well. So we started to talk to the HubSpots and the Buffers and really great marketing thought leaders who may have published elsewhere to bring those insights to our audience.
Stephanie: Actually, what are some of your favorite moments from the last year?
Dan: Good question. Somehow Parks and Recreation keeps coming up, and I actually didn’t even watch that show until really recently. One of my favorite moments was when Allison Otting from Disruptive Advertising asked me if I was more of a Tom Haverford or a Ron Swanson. And I kind of like played along for a little bit and then I was like, I don’t actually know who these characters are. I thought that was pretty funny.
Stephanie: Yeah, that was a really good episode. I actually had forgotten about that at this point.
Dan: How about you?
Stephanie: I think one of my favorites… that’s a hard question. Actually –
Dan: If at first you don’t succeed…
Stephanie: Oh, yeah. Oh, my gosh, yeah. This was the best. Jonathan Dane was on and actually, at this point, this has been one of our most popular podcasts because he really – he can take something like PPC and make it sound like the most fun thing in the entire world. Actually in that title was a huge come around for us. It was something like why PPC is just like Nerf guns or something?
Dan: Right, PPC as explained through Nerf guns.
Stephanie: Yes, that was it. It was awesome. And so at the very end, we ended off on this kind of inspirational note of like if at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again. And then –
Dan: I think I said – what did I say? I said something like in the wise words of Destiny’s Child?
Stephanie: Yeah, Destiny’s Child. And then Jonathan was like no, no, I think that’s Taylor Swift. And then – oh, no. Did you say Taylor Swift and then he said Destiny’s Child? Anyway –
Dan: You know what he said – I’ll tell you what happened. I got this.
Stephanie: Tell me, Dan.
Dan: So he said something about shaking it off, which is a Taylor Swift reference. What I heard was dust yourself off, which of course is Destiny’s Child reference. However, Stephanie kept her mouth shut, you know, like a good professional, until she couldn’t take it anymore and she set that straight.
Stephanie: Yeah, so it was actually Aaliyah.
Dan: We were both wrong.
Stephanie: Which was hilarious, and then we actually put the song into the end of the episode and it was, yeah, really funny and a really excellent way to end it. But then I also think that one of just the more enjoyable interviews that we had was when we had our own Haley Mullen, who is our community manager on the show. And Haley’s hilarious, if you’ve interacted with the Unbounce Twitter, ever. She’s so funny and it was just a really awesome interview to produce because listening to you and her talk was just fun.
Dan: Yeah, and I realized talking to somebody that you do have a previous relationship with, but you don’t necessarily have these specific conversations, they go in really interesting, unexpected places.
Stephanie: Also another good one that we did for us, we did our April Fool’s episode.
Dan: We did, yes.
Stephanie: Which was pretty funny, actually. So usually how a Call to Action episode gets started is that I’ll pull questions from a post and then Dan will edit them to be in his own voice. And then we’ll actually interview the guest, usually on a Thursday. And so what we actually did for this one is we did a full script with read-throughs and everything, and then we went in and actually recorded it like a radio play.
Dan: Yeah, and that actually went through several iterations because the first time we played it for some people and they were like: we don’t get the joke. We thought it was hilarious. But then we realized that – I think we played it a little bit too straight. And we rerecorded it where I was a bit more of a proxy for the audience in asking – being a bit more skeptical myself and slowly getting irritated by this character I was interviewing, who was like this total, arrogant blowhard marketer. And we think that the result was a lot better in the end.
Stephanie: Yeah, which is actually a really important content lesson. That something that you might think is really funny, or even really just awesome, it may just be you. Just run it past some people and be like, how does this sound? And they’ll tell you: “We don’t get it. Is this actually a thing that’s happening?” And we’re like: “No, obviously we’re not developing landing pages to infinity or the Uber for landing pages; that’s silly.” They’re like: “No, it sounds real.”
Dan: Well, that’s it. And it goes to show how far off the rails digital marketing sometimes can get when something that’s so absurd could actually sound plausible to people.
Another episode, on a more serious note, that I really, really liked was my interview with Kevin Lee from Buffer. Where suddenly, the tables turned. I forget what we were talking about exactly but I asked him a question and he got, like, really quiet. He’s a really thoughtful guy, Kevin, and he’s the kind of person that doesn’t say anything without really thinking it through.
And if he doesn’t know the answer, then he’s really, in true Buffer style, kind of transparent about it and really humble. And so he said something like: I don’t know, what do you think? And I got really quiet because, you know, I’m the interviewer; I’m not really used to being asked that. And then suddenly, I started kind of pouring out my guts to him and it became this back and forth; it was almost like content marketing therapy.
Stephanie: Yeah, I think you guys were talking about how do you tell people what you do.
Stephanie: And what is content market, basically.
Dan: Yeah, it got super existential.
Stephanie: Which, as we were talking about before, is a place that we actually do want to take the podcast to. Because you know, we want to be actionable but at the same time, the podcast is really one of the mediums at Unbounce that we can address these existential questions that we maybe can’t really do on the blog or we can’t really do in, say, like a video marketing or any other content form that we have.
Dan: Yeah, I think we’re always – as marketers, we’re often moving really quickly; we’re in campaign mode. There isn’t always the time to take a step back and reflect on what we do as a profession and on the craft of marketing. And I think that’s an area that we really enjoy exploring. We’re marketers talking to marketers. We have a tool for marketers, which helps them with their marketing. It’s all very meta and we think this is a good forum to take a step back to sort of share best practices, to be open about where we maybe have made mistakes, about things that we’re not quite sure of yet and to be able to talk those things through with each other in what we hope is a safe space.
Stephanie: Yeah, which actually brings up something that I addressed earlier that I kind of want to go into a little bit more, is the stats problem with podcasts. Because that’s actually something that we’re at right now, is we’re kind of evaluating how the podcast is performing as a company tool. And it’s really hard if you are familiar with podcasts, or if you have one yourself, you know what I’m talking about. Because podcasts are almost impossible to track as a KPI. Like you can get download rates; if you have awesome analytics, you can get download rates.
You can see what country they’re from, what device they’re on but it’s just a download. You don’t know if they listened to it. You can’t see how many subscribers you have. So basically, my rule of thumb would be to just track the numbers for the first couple of days and if they’re standard, I assume that’s how many subscribers that we have, which is very nebulous; it’s not an actual –
Dan: By subscribers on iTunes, right?
Stephanie: Exactly. So in my head, I’m like, okay, say, the morning of, like two hours after it launches we have 300 downloads every week. I can assume that at least 30 people are downloading this podcast automatically, meaning that they’re a subscriber. But iTunes isn’t telling me this. There’s no stat that says how many subscribers you have. So it’s not really – you can’t tag an individual listener and you can’t tell if they’ve actually listened to the episode; you can only just see that they’ve actually downloaded it onto their device.
Dan: Yeah, and that’s just like the most high-level KPI: how many people are subscribing and listening to your podcast. Once you get further down into the funnel, into like generating leads and even to tracking conversions down the line, it gets really, really dicey. And I’m not saying it’s impossible but I think we’ve made a decision here that we’re going to treat the podcast very much as a top of the funnel discovery channel. And so it really is about speaking to a fresh, new audience; getting them aware of all these marketing problems that we talk about and, of course, how Unbounce might help them find that solution.
But for us, it’s not a direct conversion channel. And I think that’s okay. We’re conversion centered marketers but we’re also inbound marketers who really trust and believe in our overall strategy. And we know that we have tons of pieces of content: we’ve got PPC, we’ve got email marketing, we’ve got lead nurturing, we’ve got much more conversion centered content that we create that’s doing that job for us. And so that frees us up to treat the podcast at what we think a podcast is good at, which is just communicating with people, engaging them and making these new relationships that hopefully we could then nurture further down the line.
Stephanie: So we’re kind of entering into this brave new world of not relying on our email list, as we had talked about was a big thing for us, at lunch. And distribution, trying to figure out where we need to be posting this to, who we need to get onto the podcast so that they can share it with our audience – tactics like that. But then internally, as well, now we’re just trying to figure out if our KPI is awareness, how do we actually move the needle on that? So, say, if we’re getting 2,000 downloads on an episode, does that provide as much value as, say, 200 hits does on the blog post? How much more engaged is a podcast listener compared to a blog reader?
So we’re really trying to make sure that we’re measuring the podcast against our awareness blog posts because those are the posts that are more in line with what the podcast goal is, and so we’re going to have a better chance of figuring out whether or not the podcast is providing value.
Dan: Right. In that case, we’re comparing apples to apples, right? We’re not comparing a podcast against something like a webinar, which is much more conversion centric; but to compare it against a piece of awareness content that lives on the blog, for example, or a guest post does make sense. And so we’re trying to make sure that we’re still data driven and that we’re still measuring results, but that we’re measuring the right things and not getting distracted by: hey, we’re not able to track this to sales and conversions. Well, that’s not necessarily the point but it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be tracking it at all.
Stephanie: Yeah, because that’s the thing. Because there’s always this knee-jerk reaction to be like: oh, if you can’t track something definitively, we should cut it, or it’s probably not valuable. But when you have something that’s purely an awareness channel, and something that is unable to be tracked exactly like podcast, that’s where it becomes a little bit more grey and where, say, we’re kind of campaigning to be like: no, we swear that this has value. We’ve gotten feedback and we believe in it. Podcasting blew up last year and so obviously there is something there. And so it just comes down to actually figuring it out; how to show that.
Dan: Exactly, yeah. There’s a reason so many brands are tripping over themselves to advertise on podcasts like Serial or This American Life. I heard a film ad on Serial the other week.
Dan: So like a major motion picture, Hollywood studio.
Stephanie: Like a trailer?
Dan: Yeah, I think it was the Coen brothers, the new Coen brothers’ movie. And I was like: holy shit, like that’s entering –
Stephanie: That’s new.
Dan: Yeah, that’s new. And that’s like, to me, podcast entering the big time when they have Hollywood studios advertising. So the value of a podcast listener from a human standpoint, first, we don’t take that for granted because we realize how valuable your time is and how tenuous – how much content is out there and how we want to make sure to never break that trust. But I think that also bears out in business value, that we’re seeing in the industry that the value of a podcast listener compared to, let’s say, a blog post reader; if you compare podcast advertising rates to banner ads or even native advertising, that there’s a huge difference there.
And so we do not underestimate the value of this podcast. Just like anything else; a matter of figuring out how to measure that in a way that makes sense to the medium.
Stephanie: So along with figuring out the way that we want to evaluate it, we’re also having discussions on where we want to see the podcast going this year. So Dan, would you want to share some thoughts that you’ve had around where you’d like to take the podcast?
Dan: Yeah. I would love to talk to even broaden up the scope even more in terms of who we’ve talked to. So we’ve talked to the writers and editors of some of our favorite marketing blogs; some of our favorite SaaS blogs in particular. I’d love to talk to all sorts of thought leaders in the agency world, in the design world, brand marketers, also people in very specific industries like law and real estate. I want to know how they approach marketing differently. I just want to talk to as many marketers as possible to I think just broaden the scope of our understanding of things.
I think that, like anything else, the marketing, the digital marketing world, it could sometimes feel a little bit small, a little bit like an echo chamber. Everybody’s reading the same blog posts and looking to the same stuff. But I think that there are connections to be drawn to other industries. I think the world is actually a lot bigger than sometimes a cursory glance at like your Twitter feed or your Facebook feed would make it seem. And so we really want to make connections throughout the marketing world to help marketers do better and try new things that haven’t just been blogged about over and over again.
Stephanie: Yeah, and speaking on new things, too, just even playing with the format a little bit is something that I’m excited about. Like this episode is something we’ve never done before; just having an actual conversation and not like a standard interview, like actually –
Dan: I’d like to talk to you more.
Stephanie: Yeah. So from now on, we’re not having guests. It’s just gonna be Dan and I.
Dan: Just – you know, just chilling.
Stephanie: Just shooting, you know, the stuff. That was me censoring myself for iTunes.
Dan: I was gonna say and then I stopped myself so I said just chilling.
Stephanie: Because that’s something. If you swear on iTunes, you will have to have an adult rating. The more you know.
Dan: You know what? We should test that. I wonder if having an adult rating would actually increase our listens. Maybe there’s a certain cache to that.
Stephanie: Because people would be like, wow, that is a naughty marketing podcast.
Dan: I feel like a naughty marketing podcast would be something else, but…
Stephanie: Yeah, so like aside from just a standard interview format, having more chats, more discussions. Something I’ve even kind of toyed with is having debates or just really having more actual kind of documentary style, journalism style, reporting, potentially.
Dan: One thing I’d like to do more of is share our experiences here at Unbounce. Because I think we’re very wary of being too self reflective or too self centered, which is I think why even this episode, talking about ourselves, feels like a little bit weird or against our nature. But you know, in the last two years since I’ve been here, our marketing team has gone from five people to 35. And there have been so many lessons along the way. There’s been some pain, there have been some triumphs. We’re constantly trying to improve on our structure, on our processes. And so I think that there probably are a lot of lessons that we could share.
And one of our values as a company is to be transparent and generous in terms of what we share with the world. And I think there’s an opportunity in this podcast to do that, as well. Plus, like we have all these amazing thought leaders within the company that we never had before. Like we never had a PPC specialist, an email marketing specialist, a CRO – the fifth top ranked CRO works for our company, now, Michael Aagaard. So I think we should be tapping that expertise more than we have been.
Stephanie: Yeah, and it’s something that we toyed a little bit at one point when we moved from definitions. We did a little, quick Unbounce employee story, which I actually really liked and I thought it was kind of an interesting way to segue into the interview. But we got some feedback that it kind of seemed a bit more like filler, again. So I think there is something to be said from talking about the kind of roadblocks and solutions that we have experienced as a company.
Because it is – again, we get that more intimate feel in the interview itself, and it’s something that we also know intimately which can allow for fun format changes. We’ve experienced all these issues that people are writing blog posts about so we may as well just talk about it in a real situation.
Dan: Yeah, and we also want to know what you guys want to hear more of. Like, does that sound like insufferable to you, to hear us go on about ourselves? Is that something that you’re interested in hearing more of? Is there anybody in particular you’d like us to have on the podcast? Would you like to be on the podcast? Let us know because we’re obviously doing this for business value but, like any good piece of content marketing, we’re doing this for our audience, first. And if it doesn’t resonate with you, then there’s just no point in doing it.
The feedback that we’ve gotten so far has been amazing. The reviews and the ratings have been great. We’re so appreciative of all the downloads every week. But we want to, like true conversion centered marketers, we want to keep optimizing and keep improving. And so please let us know how we could do better.
Stephanie: Yeah, so you can do that by either emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re not a super big fan of email, you can tweet at us. I am @msbeansie, that’s M-S-B-E-A-N-S-I-E.
Dan: I am @DanJL, D-A-N-J-L.
Stephanie: So email, Twitter, you can – well, you can’t really phone us because we don’t really have phone numbers but yeah, just –
Dan: Look us up on Skype. There’s a lot of Dan Levys but you could find me.
Stephanie: If you find the right one. Yeah, please reach out to us. We’d love to hear your feedback. It’s super important for us. And like we said, this is the year that we really want to play around with the format and get a lot of new people on, so we would love to hear what you want to listen to.
Dan: Hey, Stephanie?
Stephanie: Yes, Dan?
Dan: Is that your call to action?
Stephanie: I think that was my call to action.
Dan: All right, then. Play the music. Thanks so –
Stephanie: Thanks for listening.
Stephanie: One, two, three.
Both: Thanks for listening.
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Lessons Learned from Year 1 of the Call to Action Podcast [PODCAST]