Marketers crave content, they are desperate for content, sometimes too desperate. For this episode, the Behind the Mic Guys talk about why podcasts are the largest available source of content. This podcast is for anyone that wants to offer insincere, storytelling, testimonial building, brand building, authentic content that can be used in 16 ways.
Behind the Mic's Podcast Guys
Jim Obermayer is the founder of the Funnel Media Group which produces internet radio and podcasting programs for thirteen companies. FMG has reached half a million listeners since its inception.
Paul Roberts, founder and station manager of OC Talk Radio, the powerhouse internet radio and podcasting channel for Southern, California with over one million listeners a year.
Read the Transcript (Literal). You can use quotes but please attribute it correctly to the podcast.
Introduction: You're listening to Behind the Mic on the Funnel Radio Channel. Listen as Paul Roberts, Susan Finch, and Jim Obermayer talk B2B podcasting tips for companies, speakers, authors, marketing teams, and the C suite.
Jim Obermayer: Welcome to Behind The Mic. Today, we have me and Paul Roberts. To remind everyone, Paul Roberts produces all the programs in the Funnel Radio Channel. And on top of it, he has OC Talk Radio. That goes out to about 3 million people a year in Orange County, California, and a much broader audience. He has over 1 million downloads a year with all of his programs, including Funnel Radio, with the Santa Claus beard.
Paul Roberts: Yeah, right. My Lincoln beard. That's trying to ... Abraham Lincoln famously grew a beard when a little girl wrote him a letter and said, "You don't look very good. I think you'd look better if you cover up your face." So I think that same applies to me here.
Jim Obermayer: We're going to talk about the many uses for podcasts from talk radio, to sales, marketing, HR, and customer service. There are long-term podcasts and short-term podcasts. There are over a million podcasts in the US now being offered, over a million. That's a big, big-
Paul Roberts: Big jump from when you and I started. It was a quarter that five, six, seven years ago, there were only 250,000 podcasts. People were still trying to figure this thing out.
Jim Obermayer: And 29 million podcast episodes, so it's a substantial number, but you and I have found through the years that there are many types of podcasts. Why don't you take off here and talk to us about the many, many kinds of podcasts in both B2B and consumer?
Paul Roberts: Well, let's start with an understanding. This is a new medium, and that I say that, it seems obvious, but it wasn't obvious to me when I started. I'd been in real radio 100 years ago, WMYKK 94, and thought this was just recorded radio.
This was something that we, like a radio show, you had a guest, you talked about a topic. The revolution was that was recorded and there were places storing these things you could do it. Webinars have been around as long or longer than podcasts, but there is no central repository for all the webinars taking place today. I don't know that you did a webinar unless you send me an invitation or you have it on your website, but I can go look up the podcast that you recorded today on iTunes, on Google, and a dozen other places, Stitcher, Spreaker, SoundCloud, and even places like iHeart that really were originally just for radio and music. Now they're collecting podcasts. Even Sirius XM is getting serious about podcasts. That's been the revolution in my understanding, that it's not just recorded radio. It's not just radio on demand.
It really opens up a whole world of things. For example, we know there's millions of storytelling podcasts out there. That's not something we heard on radio since the 20s, these serialized stories like serial the murder, did he really do it or didn't he? Each and every week we take a dive into this. The Great American Life, all the NPR shows are so popular. Comedy, I don't hear much comedy on radio anymore here, but there's tons of comedy. Politics, of course, all these different sorts of topics.
But types of shows, let's talk about internal versus external. There are a lot of people doing internal only podcasts. Cox Communication has one here in Orange County. They do a show. I don't produce it, but they do a show on meet our leaders and they get them to tell funny stories, insightful stories, tender touching stories so that you can actually feel like you get to know the people who run this company. They want to be a family, but it's an international organization spread out over multiple States, multiple countries. They don't have an opportunity to meet people. As we realize this is a new medium, we're finding new uses for it every day.
Jim Obermayer: Well, one of the things that attracted me to your platform, Paul, 11 years ago, pushing 12 now, was that it is a show that is broadcast live at a certain time every week. That's how we started SLMA, which has 556 episodes as of today, 117,000 listeners give or take a few. It started as that, certainly live program with the podcast replays. Most podcasts, they do it whenever they feel like it and it's in the garage or it's in the company studio, and they post it, but it's not live. Tell us a little bit about live versus podcasts that just podcasts, not a live venue, then the recorded podcasts.
Paul Roberts: Having come out of real radio 8 years ago and discovering podcasting, I thought, "Well, on the surface is kind of like what we did. It's a half hour program, there's an interview. It's kind of like talk radio. What if we really did it live?" And everybody said, "Well, that's not what podcasting is. Podcasting is recorded and on demand." I said, "Well, you can still have that component, but what if you add a live component to it? What if you created a station where the Huffington Post, where we collect all these podcasts and we stream them live first and then turn them into a podcast. What does that do?" One, it finds an extra audience. I don't know why, but there are certain group of people that want to listen to things live. There's an urgency. As Mark Zuckerberg always says about Facebook, "You can see what my cat's doing anytime, but here's what my cat's doing right now."
So this creates an urgency to listen, an urgency to participate right now. The second thing is it does, and I think this may be the most important thing, is it changes the whole perception of it. You want to be in my podcast? It's in your bedroom. I don't know when it's going to come out. Okay. But it doesn't sound real important. You want to be on a radio show, that means it's a collection of shows all being live that somehow has built up an audience for that station. Don't listen to just one show, they listen to multiple, and it's live.
And the real thing that changes, it's how the guest reacts. If the guest comes on your podcast and you can start and stop and fix it up, there's not much pressure, but if it's live and it's going out to a certain number of people, it creates a whole different kind of conversation I think. And particularly in the guest's mind the importance of doing this, because they've told their friends and family and coworkers to listen. They're not sure how many listening, but they know some people who are listening and they will run red lights to get here.
When it's just a recording, "I'm busy," they cancel all the time. It's just a recording session, book another one. So it changes the perceived importance and it changes their whole reaction to it. If part of what you're doing is trying to get big people to come on that you want to meet and start a conversation with and get to know, what a powerful way to do it if you do it live. Much more powerful than if you just recorded.
Jim Obermayer: We found that to be true on the Funnel Radio Channel. When we talk about the kinds of podcasting, I guess it goes back to the reasons of why people do podcasts. Some people, granted, love to have a podcast that increases their brand and their thought leadership in the industry.
Paul Roberts: Exactly, look at who I know and look at what I know.
Jim Obermayer: And they have their guests on and the guests help that. Those were very often talk radio type podcasts. Now you talked about one of the big telephone companies that has a podcast. Well, I know companies that the HR department has a podcast and it's private just for their employees.
Paul Roberts: Exactly, like Cox does. I was actually on a panel with them here at the American Marketing Association. That's where I got to know they were doing this. And they said, "We just bought the gear and we started doing this, and we didn't know anything about it, but we wanted to create a connection. We wanted to create a conversation. We really wanted people to get to know the executives in this company. So how could we do that? Everybody can't come in and meet them. We put them up on stage and they don't really feel like they know them. What can we do where they feel like they have an intimate connection with them?" And the podcast was a powerful way to do it. And they've tracked their employee engagement and all these other things, it's gone through the roof. People suddenly feel like, "I know these CEOs and executives, and I feel more connected to them."
Jim Obermayer: Which means that sales people, sales managers, can do private podcast to train their people on new markets, new products, marketing people can do a series of podcasts every time they do a product introduction.
Paul Roberts: Yeah. Right. It all goes back to the way we see the world and interact with the world. I don't read as much as I used to, I'm sorry to say. I listen or I watch. Even books, I listen to them now rather than read them in the car because we've moved to a mobile smartphone society and on that three inch screen it's harder to read than it is to listen or watch. That device was really designed to talk originally and to communicate. Now it's also watching because it's on all the time.
I don't know that we've adapted our marketing to fit that new medium. If that's where everybody's getting their information, if that's where they're learning about you and learning and downloading your information and doing their due diligence, if that's how they're getting to know you, then you've got to change all of your communication to be verbal or visual, and I think we're still living in a written world where we run, write pages and pages and pages of stuff. Maybe that's later where you give me the in depth info, but in the beginning, just talk to me and either show me, or tell me what you want me to know.
Jim Obermayer: Or shows on the Funnel Radio Channel are indicative of what's going on out there to a great extent in B2B. We've got INSIDE Inside Sales, Darryl Praill. He's got probably an average of 5,000 to 6,000 listeners a month. It's just for inside, inside sales.
Paul Roberts: Right, as he says. Yeah.
Jim Obermayer: He's bringing people, salespeople to the program, sales managers, and consultants to give tips to inside salespeople. He doesn't want tactics. He doesn't want strategy. He wants tips for inside sales people.
Paul Roberts: And don't you feel like you really get inside of his head, you really feel like you're in over listening on some intimate conversation? I mean, it's a very personal ... it doesn't feel like I'm watching a speech he's given. It feels like I'm really in a conversation with him or I'm listening to a conversation with ... I'm overhearing a conversation in the next booth here.
Jim Obermayer: Some of the producers love to have those high numbers. Matt Heinz over at Heinz Marketing gets 4,000, 5,000, 6,000 people a month. People can find that's public knowledge. Every month people go and listen to his programs going back four and a half years. Can you believe that, Paul? Four and a half years we've been doing this for Heinz marketing
Paul Roberts: And he wouldn't do it just for fun. I mean, he's really into measuring and monitoring stuff. As all these guys are, he sees a real return on this stuff, and it isn't just the numbers. That's the mistake most people make. I don't care if it's your Twitter account, your Facebook, you can't just count how many people are subscribing or how many people are listening or watching. That's one metric, but the true metric is who's listening. It's not how many, it's who. If you only did a podcast and it reached only five people, but they were five big, important customers that you wanted to land or five important to counts that you already currently had, wouldn't it be worth the investment to have that kind of connection where they come back each and every week to listen to us? They make time in their busy schedule to listen to you for not 30 seconds, but for 30 minutes, where do you get that kind of access and uninterrupted conversation?
Jim Obermayer: When I speak to people about having a new podcast, first things they say to me is, "How many people will listen to me?" I will say, "Well, how big is your audience?" We promote the programs. We do it on social media and we get them out there, but the people that are most interested in listening to you are the ones that know about your product category, that are on your database, that are your customers, that are your prospects, that go to listen to at speeches, and that's how they build it. Matt Heinz speaks all over the country and he still gets 4,000, 5,000, 6,000 people a month tuning into his podcast to see what he has to say.
Paul Roberts: And part of it is because it's a way to continue the conversation, not just the initial, meet me, here I am, listen to me. So he gives a speech in front of thousands of people at some trade show, okay, what's next? He packs up his dog and pony show and goes onto the next one here. But if he mentions to them, which I know he does, is, "You want to continue this conversation, listen to my podcast. You can certainly call me and schedule a meeting, happy to talk about that. But until that time, when you're ready to really sit down and talk to me about what I do, and if I can help you, you can keep connected to me. You can keep the conversation alive and going." For him, the introduction is to many of these people that they see in a trade show, the continuation of the conversation is the podcast. Too many people want it the other way round. They see it as just an ad to get leads.
Jim Obermayer: Well, this week, for instance, he's got Jim Benton, the CEO of Chorus.ai on. They're talking about your hired just in time for a pandemic. Q&A with Chorus CEO, Jim Benton. That is an interesting show that I'm going to listen to right after this one. Then we've got Asher Strategies coming on right after that. They're talking to Joe Benjamin CEO, CheetahIQ. How to spend less time researching and more time selling. Paul, we're going to have to interrupt things just a second, because we've got some commercials we have to give here. And when we come back, let's pick it up again. Then you can launch on why podcasts are so popular today-
Paul Roberts: And so powerful.
Jim Obermayer: And so powerful.
Paul Roberts: Yes, we do. And just a quick one to tell you that if you're intrigued by what we're talking about, you can join the conversation. You can start your own podcast. Have you ever thought about building your thought leadership? Have you ever thought about meeting people you couldn't otherwise connect with or creating content to fill up your website and your social media, then you've come to the right place. Funnel media makes podcasting easy. So you can be heard by hundreds or thousands or dozens or whoever you want to reach. Separate yourself from the crowd, contact Funnel media today to bring your story to life. We make it easy, convenient. You get the guest. We do the rest. We call it podcastmadeeasy.com, podcastmadeeasy.com. Let's do the rest of the conversation here.
Jim Obermayer: Well, we forgot about West Virginia University. They're a new digital marketing communications Master’s program. They have a new program out there. West Virginia university has been on our program for a couple of years. Every week they have professors and consultants come in to talk about how they teach their students. It's fully online, can be completed in a year. You can get a Master's program. It's with built in certifications from platforms like Google and Facebook. The program gives marketing professionals both strategy and skills to reach audiences on existing and emerging media, learn more at marketingcommunications.edu. That is, Marketingcommunications.edu.
Paul Roberts: It's not easy to read all those letters. I try and do it every week.
Jim Obermayer: Wvu.edu.
Paul Roberts: That's right. West Virginia university education. There it is, marketingcommunications.wvu.edu.
Jim Obermayer: Let's finish up our discussion about podcasting, why it's so popular. I want you to talk about the other programs you have on OC Talk Radio. What are the other kinds of shows that you have on?
Paul Roberts: Well, let's talk about topics, because that's ... Most of our shows like the shows on Funnel Radio fit a certain format. They are to a certain degree like a talk radio show. And what makes them so interesting and informative is you're getting access to people you would never otherwise meet. You can't sit with those CEOs you just rattled off, but Matt Heinz can. And through him, you vicariously get to meet these people. Then it's a conversation. It's not just a scripted thing. They're really sharing some vulnerabilities. I think they get open. They get honest. They get real. Like most social media today, we're looking for authenticity by over just information. We want to know, get real about something, the problems today.
Okay. Well, how do we handle the fact that we're bringing you salespeople online during probably one of the most difficult, horrible times to try and go out and sell anybody, anything here? How do you handle that? It's really a conversation and not just an infomercial.
Jim Obermayer: What were the titles of some of your programs?
Paul Roberts: So, we've got programs like Talent Talk Radio. Talent Talk is a show about HR directors. It's a company that puts out a background checks. Truthfully, they probably just wanted to meet all these people and start a relationship with them, but in the course of doing so, they found out, "Oh my God, people really want to tune in and listen to this stuff, who knew?" HR people can be the dullest people on the planet, in my opinion, but it's such a complex topic these days and the show host is so good at getting them to get real and get past the happy talk. "Oh, everything's perfect. We got no problems."
"Yeah. You're the only company in the world that doesn't then." How do you handle diversity? How do you handle all these issues that are hot button issues today here? And he gets them to open up and be real and really give some interesting insights. And he gets some really powerful people. It's amazing. He's had the HR director for Sears, for Vans, for Lockheed Martin, for Chipotle was on the other day. He had the HR director for General Motors on worldwide. You never get a chance to hear these people, so-
Jim Obermayer: How can someone go to his program? Where can they find it?
Paul Roberts: They can go to OCtalkradio.net. Just click on the button for the program, it'll take them right to it there. And he's on, as all our programs, as all the programs that we syndicate from you and produce here locally, we're on iTunes, iHeart, TuneIn, Spreaker, SoundCloud, Stitcher, any place fine podcasts are found you can probably find ... you can probably find it multiple ways. You can look up the show, Talent Talk. You can look up our station and see the station feed with all of that, just as there is a Funnel feed for all the shows on the Funnel network. So all of those are ways to find them.
Jim Obermayer: What are some of the other shows that you've got on? I know you've got a whole bunch of them on.
Paul Roberts: There's Riches And Niches. You ever heard that? We're not trying to get one show that gets 1,000,000 listeners. We're trying to have 1000 shows that get 1000 listeners. We're trying to own some subject, so we tend to drill down into very obscure things like alternative investment strategies. I didn't even know what that meant. I thought he was going to talk about odd ball things like baseball cards or coins. It turns out he interviews hedge fund managers and mutual fund managers, the people who come up with active investment strategies where they get in and get out of the market, no more timely topic today than that. They have many of these strategies, didn't see the giant downturns, because they're not just riding stocks and sticking them with them as they go up or down. They're trying to time the markets, trying to predict things, or they're trying to find things that don't fit the same patterns as the market.
They're trying to find business development corporations, or commodities, or other things that aren't correlated to the rise and fall of the market.
Jim Obermayer: Is the Charlie Hedges show?
Paul Roberts: Charlie Wright. And Charlie Wright's an RIA, registered investment advisor, means he manages rich people's money for a percentage. He's not a financial guy that's trying to get them to buy something. They'd give him, I don't know, 1% or 2% of their assets and say, "Go play with it and make us all more money here."
Jim Obermayer: What's the Zandbergen Report.
Paul Roberts: Zandbergen Report is another type of financial show. He is a financial advisor and he again handles extremely wealthy people here in Newport Beach. And he tries to give a more broad based understanding of many of the things businesses face today, inheritance, trust funds. He's done shows on how do you ensure your high value vehicles and other oddball topics that I thought, "I don't know, I guess I never thought about that," but it's for that group of people, most of whom have suddenly come into wealth. They've sold their company, they went public, and now what do I do with all this money? So he helps them diversify it and not just invest it properly, but to create an entire plan, how they're going to preserve it and pass it on and protect it from taxes and all these things.
Jim Obermayer: What's that program this morning that's on Thursday mornings before all the Funnel Radio Channel programs, the one at 8:00 AM.
Paul Roberts: Health Talks with Dr. Trinh. Dr. Trinh, he's on the board of Alzheimer's here locally. He's a physician at Memorial Care, big chain here, and also a clinical researcher. So very active speaker in the community. He does just an open talk about health issues every Thursday morning, and hundreds of people. We do that through his Facebook channel. We not only stream it live, but we also go live on his Facebook channel. And, oh my God, hundreds of people participate and want to know, "Should I wear a mask or shouldn't I? Is this going to go away, or isn't it? Tell me the facts from the fiction," and he tries to break it down and give what, as he said, is an ever changing story on an ever changing subject here, but he tries to sift through it and simply tell you. So, that's more of a community based show. We have a lot of specific niche shows.
Jim Obermayer: What about Collective Wisdom? What is that all about?
Paul Roberts: Collective Wisdom, the collective wisdom of ... Now, that's a topic I'm sure is near and dear to your heart here, Jim. It's the cannabis industry, the business of cannabis. Cannabis is a multibillion dollar business that's being born before our eyes. And as you can imagine, there's lots of rules and regulations being written as we speak. It's the Wild West. There are people who literally are going to make billions out of this, but there are people who are losing billions right now because they don't understand the complexities. They can't get credit cards because it's still federally prohibited. So banks won't let them, so it's a cash based business. Yet they're trying to be legitimate to retail stores, all sorts of craziness.
Jim Obermayer: Me made good on our promise today that there are many uses for podcasts, from talk shows to sales and marketing and HR.
Paul Roberts: And don't just think of it as a talk show. We do 99% of our talk shows, because that's what we all understand. That's the easiest to produce, but it could be a series. It could be a series that you sell. It could be a series of internal conversations. It could be a series like a giant ebook that explains something in great detail. Here's the four stages of growth. Here's the five steps to doing this. It can be fun. It can be informative, and it can be short. It can be long. It can be individual episodes or an arc of a story, but it's a new way of storytelling, which is what we're all looking for over a new medium that we all carry with us. That smartphone that's with you 24 hours a day, that's how you talk to people