The Power of Podcasting – Interview with Jamie Turner

A growing number of B2B brands are looking to increase thought leader visibility, capture loyal listeners and drive demand generation through podcasting. Backbone Media's Paul Salvaggio discusses the power of podcasting with marketing thought leader Jamie Turner in this audio blog post. 

Paul: Today I'm speaking with Jamie Turner, the CEO of 60 Second Marketer about the power of podcasting. He's a business, technology, and marketing thought leader, author and international speaker. And Jamie recently launched his own podcast called, "The Jamie Turner Show." The show has nearly two dozen episodes so we're going to talk to him a little bit about those shows. But before we do Jamie, this medium has been around awhile so I have to start out with why podcasting and why now? 

Jamie: Yeah, you know, it's funny because normally I'm the kind of person who jumps at new technologies, and I'm traditionally early to market. And I did that with my Go Mobile book, that talked about mobile marketing, which was a little too early to the market believe it or not. Even though people were talking about it, nobody was jumping in on it. So when podcasting started coming back around, and don't forget, it was already around in 2007, 2008, 2009, and now it's coming back around.

When it started coming back around, I was like, "Oh, I've seen this, this ain't my first rodeo, I've seen this one before, I'm going to sit on the sidelines for a little bit." And that was probably actually a good move, although normally my instinct would be to jump in. Because it let the marketplace settle in and figure out if it was actually for real. So effectively, instead of using a first-mover strategy, I used a fast-follower strategy. A first-mover is, you jump in quickly, you learn things, there's a land grab so you get in early. This is one of those times where I did the opposite and I said, "I'm going to do a fast following. I'm going to see the marketplace. See what happens, and then jump in as quickly as I can if it matures the way I think it will."

And sure enough, it has. There's about 39 million people are listening to podcasts every month right now. In fact, it's the second biggest share of ear going on right now for audio content, AM/FM radio is number one. About 27.5% of the people listen to AM/FM radio. Podcasts are at almost 26%, so it's right behind AM/FM radio. Ahead of everything else, so when I saw some of that data, I was like I better jump in on this thing, and did. And we're off to the races. We ended up getting on Apple's "New & Noteworthy" on iTunes, which was a big sort of indicator that things were heading in the right direction.

Paul: Reading your blog posts on podcasting, there were two points that struck me in terms of why brands need to get into this now. Which is, in a few years every car will have access to the internet, and will essentially be a driving computer. What do people do in their cars? Would they listen to either podcasts or other types of information that is driven by talk? Another aspect that we liked is the fact that not too many people relative to blogging are doing podcasting now, so it's a great opportunity for our clients to test the waters.

Jamie: It is. Exactly. It's still early. And even though I was talking about, sort of sitting on the side lines to see if the marketplace matured enough, it's still early in the life cycle of podcasting so there's time to get in and make a mark and hit the ground running. But not a ton of time, you know? We're talking, in a couple of years, it's going to be so flooded that it'll be difficult to carve out a niche. But right now you can still get in, and dive in. And assuming you've got and interesting podcast that consistently delivers, the key is to deliver actionable information. Something that people can learn and walk away from.

In fact, funny quick story. When I started writing my very first book, I ended up going in and writing the book, and I got about a third of the way through and the publisher sent over a document that I'd wish they sent earlier, and it was like "Here's how to write a book." And I was like, "Well, gosh. I'm a third of the way through. I really wish it would have come in earlier than that." But the book said, "In the end, nobody buys a book unless they're going to learn something that they can apply to improve their life tomorrow." And that was a big idea. And I thought, "Wow. I wish I had known this earlier." But I shifted gears.

And so now, with the podcast, pretty much I'm trying to make sure that people learn something, that they come away with actionable information. And I'm going to be totally honest. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our interviewee's story about their career, that we kind of go off on these tangents about stories. But I've always found the stories fascinating because it talks about how they've overcome hurdles and obstacles and things like that. But, the net-net is, at the end I'm always trying to bring it back to, "OK. Thanks for telling us your journey and how you became so successful. Tell us some actionable information that we can walk away with from that journey that we can apply to our lives tomorrow." And that seems to be the trick, or the magic.

Paul: Exactly. And that's what we speak to our clients about is we go into writing about what we feel the target audience wants to hear. And one of the questions we ask is, "What is keeping your target audience up at night? What's on their mind now? What do they want solved?" One of the things you touched on, Jamie, was the quality of the content. We spoke to a number of thought leaders over the last year, talking about that a lot of people are kind of disillusioned by content marketing and saying it's simply not working. But then you look at the quality of the content, and a lot of it is sub-par. How can a podcast sort of jump start a company's content if they're feeling that it's sub-par content? What would you recommend in terms of having an effective content-based podcast? And how could that revitalize a lagging content marketing strategy?

Jamie: Yeah. Good question. I think the key, what I did personally, was I listened to a ton of different podcasts. I know everybody who's thinking about starting one will do the same thing, but I started analyzing which ones worked and which ones didn't. To my great surprise, some of the better known ones out there, I found inanely boring, and mostly it was because they seemed to believe that their listeners were fascinated to hang out and hear their perspective on bacon, or their perspective on their trip to Disneyland with their family.

And I was just going, "Oh my God, I can't believe people are doing this. And I'm OK if you have a podcast called the bacon podcast. Talk about pigs and bacon all you want, but when it's a business podcast, I'm really not that interested in that. I don't mind a joke or two, but I do mind getting off on some tangent about your perspective on bacon. So the net-net is, what I started doing was going, "Alright, what do people really want? I'm not following a personality, I'm listening to a podcast because of what that personality brings to the table."

So let me give you a great example. All of us watch the Barbara Walters specials every year. Fascinating people, and we're riveted by them. Why? Not because of Barbara Walters. I mean, she's wonderful. But because of who she's interviewing. So to me, I thought, "This podcast is not about me. It's about my listener and about the person I'm connecting them with to." So I'm acting as a conduit between those two things. So personally, I'm trying to make sure every podcast has as interesting a person on it as possible.

And, by the way, while we're on that topic, what's fascinating about that side of the equation is, that some of the people who I thought were going to be the most interesting turn out to not be great interviews. They're absolutely stellar business people, muses, all that sort of stuff, but they'd give you one word answers in the podcast. So then you're kind of stuck with that, "Wow. How do I handle this one because I'm getting one word answers back," and actually, I haven't figured out what to do with the handful of podcast interviews, we haven't put those up on the air yet.

Paul: Yeah. I'm sure they're not going to get an invite back, but that's a great point. The fact that you need to first vet who your guests are, to maybe they've done podcasts in the past where you know what you're getting into. You know that it's going to be quality content for your target audience. But more importantly, that they are providing the value. I tell, when we host podcasts for our clients, I make sure to tell the host that, "Yes, you need to add value, but pull the value out of the guest and let them kind of run the show, because that's really what the goal is."

So with that, Jamie, can you give me a round up of your podcasts to date. You've spoken to some great thought leaders. Give me some key takeaways if you will.

Jamie: Yeah, what I have found across the board...so we've interviewed a bunch of people, all of them well known aAuthors and basically thought leaders in the industry on a global basis. So they've gotten all sorts of recognition. What I came away with were a few things. One is, each one of them had a unique story, but their stories generally revolved around a couple of things. One is, they're all bright, but none of us is a rocket scientist, otherwise we'd be working at NASA instead of in marketing.

The second thing was they're all hard workers. There's no easy way out of this, and the bottom line is you're just going to have to put in some elbow grease if you're going to make this work. And then the third component was, they fired enough shots of ammunition that they eventually hit something. And so what I mean by that is, nobody hits their target the first time every time. What they do is they have the hutzpa to continue moving ahead even when they have tripped and skinned their knee. They get up and they keep moving forward, and they just keep plowing through and dust themselves off.

And I had written a blog post not too long ago about where I've been on my journey, and the whole blog post was about, "Hey, I've failed eight times for every two times I've succeeded." The thing is that I talk about the two times, so you see the books, you see the CNN appearances, you see whatever, and you think that's what I'm all about. No. I'm all about how many times I failed at starting a business or failed at a project, or pissed a client off or something like that. And in the end, what I've found is, it's about getting knocked down and getting up and dusting yourself off and keeping on truckin' away.

Paul: Exactly. And that's what really Backbone Media is trying to do over these last five years, we're developing content for our clients, and we're seeing an upwards trajectory. But we always have a slice of what we do in experimentation. So if we do slip and skin our knee, it's on a smaller scale and we get back up. But sometimes that can't be possible where you do it on a large scale. But we have strong beliefs in what we do in creating content, especially the content that is created by recording thought leaders.

So one of the things that I want to do is, I want to touch on it, and I think this might be our last point. But touch on the power of podcasting to kind of integrate into other channels like social medium, mobile. What can you do with that podcast or that audio in order to better leverage it in other channels?

Jamie: Yeah, the key, and I wrote about this. The first book I wrote was called "How to Make Money With Social Medium." We didn't get into podcasting specifically, but it had a topic in there that is something that I bring up a lot, which is called circular momentum. And circular momentum is basically the power of individual tools that you're using to connect with one another and help each other, and leverage one another and be greater than the whole. So if you've got 10 spokes in your wheel of tools that you're using to promote your product or service, and those 10 spokes are connected in some way, they they're really the equivalent of 15 spokes.

So circular momentum is sort of the snowball effect. As things start interacting with one another, that you do the podcast and that gets on your blog post, and that's promoted via your e-newsletter. And that's then promoted via your social media channels. And then all of that kind of adding up and becoming this big sort of wheel that's going down the highway. And suddenly that wheel will get some momentum, and it enables you to really leverage the power of the combined entities instead of just the one-off entities.

Paul: Exactly. And one of the things that marketing departments are doing is, they're really having trouble getting things done with the resources they have. There's so many things, marketing technology, analytics, so many things that need to be done but you really need to leverage this circular momentum concept so you can get the most out of your resources and you can also compete with that competition, who likely is doing that right now.

Jamie: Yeah. Yep. Absolutely. Totally.

Paul: OK. So this has been fantastic, and what I'm going to do, is I'm going to give you a second just to let everyone know where they can find the Jamie Turner Show. I'm sure they can go to 60secondmarketer.com, but tell eveyone where they could find you.

Jamie: Yeah. If you go to 60secondmarketer.com, that's the best place to go because we've got all of the information there that you need to kind of zero in on it. Or, if you just went in and did TheJamieTurnerShow.com it would come up. But the best place is 60secondmarketer.com. I have two books out, one called, "How to Make Money With Social Media," another called "Go Mobile," and I also have an agency called Sixty Second Communications that does basically work in a lot of different fields.

But the key thing is, take the information that you and I've talked about today for all of your listeners. And it's one thing to listen to it, it's a second thing to digest it, but it's a third thing to take action on it. So I'd encourage everybody listening to this to do all three of those things. Listen to it, digest it, but then most importantly take action.

Paul: And we're out of time. That's a great way to end it, Jamie. I want to thank you taking the time to discuss your podcasting experiences and insight. I hope we can do this again real soon.

Jamie: That sounds great, thanks a lot.

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