Dec 16, 2019
How did David Bain turn his podcast content into a book?
This week on The Inbound Success Podcast, Marketing Now author David Bain talks about how he went from podcasting to livestreaming to publishing a book - and how any marketer can repurpose audio content into electronic and printed books.
Highlights from my conversation with David include:
Resources from this episode:
Listen to the podcast to learn how to repurpose podcast content into a book - and what that can do for your marketing results.
Kathleen Booth (Host): Welcome back to the Inbound Success Podcast.
I'm Kathleen Booth, and I'm your host. This week, my guest is
David Bain, who is an author with the book, "Marketing Now", coming
out any day now, and also a prolific podcaster. Welcome, David.
David Bain (Guest): Hey, Kathleen. Great to be on with you. Thanks for asking me.
David and Kathleen recording this episode.
Kathleen: Yeah, I'm excited to talk with you, because you have quite a bit of experience with podcasting. You're also a marketer by trade, who has held various marketing roles. But, it seems like recently your focus has really been on the medium of podcasting, and now turning what you've done with podcasting into a book. Maybe we could start out and just you could tell your story, your background, what you've been doing, kind of led to you where you are now, and what you're doing now?
David: Sure. I've come to realize recently that's impossible to do everything in the world of marketing. It used to be possible, I reckon, maybe about five to 10 years ago when you're talking about marketing or maybe digital marketing, to say that you're a marketer or you're a digital marketer, and people would understand that you do a broad variety of different things, but all under the marketing umbrella. Nowadays, it's just so much involved, I think you have to specialize a bit. I guess I'm specializing a bit in podcasting and live streaming, and turning that into a book, as you say.
I've been involved, I guess, in marketing for about 15 years or so. It was about 2004 that I really started to realize that I could publish webpages and do things like Google Ad Sense onto the pages, and start to make some decent money out of doing that. That's how I got started in marketing experience.
Within a year or so, people were asking me, "How on earth do you actually do that?" So, I was helping a few people to do that, and I ended up building that into a few digital marketing courses, and discovering podcasting about the same time. I actually launched my first podcast way back in 2006.
Kathleen: Wow, that's really early days for podcasting.
David: It is, it is. It's a year or so after iTunes introduced podcasts. Prior to that, I guess you could do it with RSS feeds, but it was becoming really technical, and there wasn't much of an audience out there. It was really iTunes that brought it into the mainstream.
Kathleen: That's amazing. I mean, that's so early on. How did you decide to do a podcast at that point?
David: I think I had an iPod, or maybe a device that could listen to it, or at least I was able to download iTunes onto a computer and then discovered podcasts through there, I think, and then thought, "Wow, this could be an incredible medium for marketing, or for actually broadcasting content and distributing content."
I had a website at the time, that was a fairly generic business article's website, because at the time when you're involved with SEO, then if you wanted a webpage to be ranked fairly highly, then all you had to do was submit an article to a third party article's directory, and have yourself an author bio at the bottom that had a keyword-rich link back to your website.
That could fairly quickly rank it highly. I thought, "Okay, I'll get into this article's game by having an article's website." So, I had a business article's website. The first podcast was actually reading articles in audio form that people had submitted to me.
Kathleen: So, you were like Audible before Audible. That is so interesting.
David: Well, maybe a very, very small version of that.
Kathleen: Yeah, wow. Fascinating. It's changed so much over the years too, really. It's gotten so much more sophisticated in terms of the delivery mechanisms, and the people that are participating, and the formats, et cetera.
David: It's absolutely crazy. Back then, you're only talking about 30 years go. We're obviously recording this in 2019, but it's night and day in terms of quality and technology that's available to you, but also people's Internet connections, and devices. There's just so many things that have happened over the last few years or so.
Kathleen: Yeah, it's amazing. Now, your latest kind of adventure is taking some of what you've done with podcasting and turning it into a book, correct?
David: Yes, it is indeed. I think podcasting lends itself quite nicely to either producing transcripts, or making the content available to people in other means. What I tried to do initially was produce some transcripts of the show and publish that. I came to realize fairly quickly, that actually people don't love to read transcripts, books, articles, whenever people write anything. It's an entirely different form compared with the way they actually say something.
What I ended up doing was transcribing a series of live streams initially, and then taking the transcripts and completely rewriting them, to be honest with you, to make them into a readable form for our book. It's a whole lot of work to do that.
I figured out that actually, I had to have an eight hour live stream to produce roughly 60,000 words of transcripts, and that is an average size of a 250 page book resource, or an average book basically. But in order to actually get the book in really nice readable form, you have to rewrite it. So, it's as much work, if not more work, than actually writing a book from scratch.
Kathleen: You know, this is actually a really interesting topic to me, because I have show notes, and my show notes include an executive summary, if you will, but then I include the full transcript. Part of the reason I do that is also just for accessibility, anybody who is hearing impaired and wants to be able to read it. There's also an SEO benefit to having all of that copy and keyword-rich stuff on the page, but I will say that it's interesting when you look at a transcript. I really read mine, and I go through and I don't really heavily edit it, but I just sort of clean it up a little bit, and I add some headings to make it a little bit more digestible. I'll add some links in here and there.
One thing I've learned from doing that, is you're absolutely right when you say that people speak differently than they write, and also than they want to read. I have learned that I start pretty much every sentence with "Yeah."
David: I know, it's horrible, isn't it?
Kathleen: From reading my own transcripts.
David: When you edit everything.
Kathleen: It's horrifying. I have now this conscious effort I need to make to not say the word, "Yeah" at the beginning of a sentence, and I'll probably do it 20 times on this podcast now that I've said it.
I've had a few guests who have, for reasons connected with how they manage their personal brands, who've wanted to go back and edit the transcript and make it sound like it was something that was written as opposed to said. It totally turns it into something different. I've actually had some debates. With one of my guests in particular, I had a real debate about this because I was like, "It's a transcript. It's there for people who can't listen to the podcast, and want an accurate representation of it. So, we can't just completely change it."
But I like what you're talking about, because that's really taking it to a different medium, where you don't have to preserve the integrity of the transcript. You can turn it into something that captures the spirit of it, but is much more elegantly written, if you will.
David: Definitely. There were so many things you were sharing there, Kathleen, that we could probably have a full conversation about. When you were talking initially about the fact that obviously transcripts themselves have to be turned entirely into something completely different.
What I find is actually the guests, as you've to a certain degree alluded to, actually prefer the written form when that form is representing them. I've reached out to every single person that have participated in the production of a live stream, and they've been completely happy. So, I've done it with the approval of other people as well.
But you're also talking about SEO, and an SEO benefit as well. I believe that although Google, because it's probably the most important search engine for the majority of us listening, although it is looking for text to crawl, it's increasingly becoming better at being able to look into audio and see what people are saying, and looking through videos and seeing what the video is about as well.
It's not perfect yet, but we're getting to a stage where Google is going to be able to transcribe audio without the written text being there. To a certain degree, the SEO value of producing a transcript, I think next to a podcast, is going to diminish over time.
Then the question is, why are you doing that? Are you doing it really for people to view? I've probably been a little bit lazy in the past, of not wanting to do podcast transcripts beside every single episode. Have you actually had many people ask you specifically for transcripts? Or are you doing it because you feel it's great as an inclusive thing to do for all of your audience?
Kathleen: It's really more of the latter. Philosophically, I like the idea of making the content accessible regardless of someone's ability to consume it in a certain format. I've philosophically chosen to include transcripts for that reason, but I will say that it's interesting, I publish my show notes on IMPACT's website, which has a lot of traffic. There are several podcasts on that website, and I believe, if I'm not mistaken, that my show notes get more views than most of the other podcast show notes. So, I do have a theory that from an SEO standpoint, there's something there.
But again, it's not just a straight transcript. Like I said, I put some H2s in to chunk out the sections, help kind of make it easier to digest. There's also a section at the beginning that if you don't want to read through a whole transcript. You can just look at that. It's been an evolving experiment, honestly.
David: I think that's a lovely tip, actually, putting H2s in there, because Google is looking for ways to break down the tanks on a webpage. If you're demonstrating that actually it's more than a transcript to a certain degree, that is what you're greeting because you're editing it so much, and you're ensuring that it's correct, and you're making it as easy as possible for the reader to consume it.
I guess those simple things like H2s and perhaps some other small elements that you can bring in like list elements, maybe, if someone's referring to a list as well, would make it much more likely for search engines to treat that text positively.
Kathleen: Yeah, it's a labor of love. Quite honestly, I'm not sure if you just made an ROI calculation, if I could prove that there was the ROI and the amount of time I spend. But it's interesting. It's just sort of the direction I've been going lately.
Kathleen: I feel like we could have a whole conversation about that. But back to yours. Let's actually rewind for a minute. Can you talk a little bit about the podcasting or the live streaming that you were doing, that led to this notion to create a book?
David: Sure. Sorry, I can't help asking questions. It's the podcast career in me.
Kathleen: No, it's great. I love it.
David: I love having a conversation.
Kathleen: This is a good conversation.
David: I believe that when I see other people live streaming, or producing lots of video content that they get some of the basics wrong, such as decent quality audio.
I'm a strong believer that people should start off with a basic quality audio podcast to begin with, and that if they do that, if they have a piece of equipment like... Sorry, I'm talking a microphone that I'm using at the moment actually, but this ATR 2100, I wanted to refer to. The microphone that I'm using is an Electro Voice RE20, which is a more professional microphone.
The microphone that I was wanting to refer to was the ATR 2100. The ATR 2100 is a very basic dynamic microphone that you connect to a computer using a USB. It's got a more professional connection cord, an XLR as well, but you don't need to worry about that. If you have a basic microphone like that connected to your computer, you connect with someone using Skype, and you record using a free piece of software that you can connect to Skype. That's all you need to begin with. Then you record 20 or so episodes to begin with, and you get comfortable with producing your audio podcast, and then you move on to video after that.
I would encourage anyone that is looking to do live streaming, produce video, is to really think about your audio quality to begin with because certainly when it comes to YouTube, many people consume YouTube videos by walking around the house and occasionally referring to the screen. They're actually out for the decent audio quality content, and they're more likely to skip your video if you're difficult to hear, or you're just not good enough quality.
Kathleen: Yeah, I think that's so true. I mean, I have a Blue Yeti microphone, which is, I would say, kind of comparable to the ATR, around the same price range, and easy to connect. You don't need to be any kind of an expert to use it, and don't have to spend a lot of money. It makes a huge difference.
To that, I would add, having a really good Internet connection because I definitely had a good solid few months when I moved offices, where my Internet was not reliable. It was some of the most painful times.
I had people messaging me who were listeners going, "Have you checked your Internet? It's cutting out a lot." It makes for a terrible experience. You're absolutely right.
David: I love your guest booking experience as well, because you are very definitive with guests, with regards to what's good and what's not so good as well. I've done the same thing with many shows as well. Unless you're very specific with people, then people are going to get it wrong, or their audio quality isn't going to be as good as it could actually be, and you're not going to be delivering the highest quality of audio product to your consumers. Some people are switch off because of it, so you have to be like that.
Kathleen: Yeah, no one wants you in their ear for 45 minutes with terrible static, or as one of my guests once did, shuffling papers right next to the microphone.
David: Yes, or beards, yes.
Kathleen: It's just a horrible sound.
David: I don't know if you've experienced many beards on microphones. They are not so good either.
Kathleen: Yeah, yeah it makes a big difference. So, what type of podcasting were you doing that led to the live streaming?
David: Sure. I got more serious about podcasting about 2014. I think I played with a little bit before then, but as I alluded to, I did about 20 or so shows to begin with solely in audio format.
I moved onto what I considered the next stage to getting a decent microphone, doing things like incorporating my intros, my outros, and different bumper noises. I've got this app on my iPad called Boss Jock that I connect to a mixer, and then I can bring that audio into it as well. That makes the show easier to edit in that you don't have to do everything towards the end as well.
After that, I started recording on pre-recorded video. I started Hangouts at the time as unlisted video. Then that made me feel more comfortable, because I knew that if everything went wrong I didn't have to release the video at all. It made me feel less stressed to begin with, when I was getting involved with video.
The next stage after that, as I see it, is live streaming and actually live streaming to social media, and looking at comments as you're live streaming as well, and being able to bring those comments into the conversation.
There's so many different skills involved, and different aspect of that when you're starting video to begin with. You want to be comfortable looking into the camera, at least for the intro and the outro sections of your show. You want to be incorporating your musical elements, if you bring that into the show as well, and of course the readers' comments as well. You just can't do that to begin with. I see so many people, as I mentioned earlier, just starting live streaming and not being able to do that because they haven't gone through those steps.
Kathleen: You were doing some podcasting, if I'm correct, for SEMrush as well as for MobileMonkey. You've had a lot of experience, both with your own podcasts, working with some other companies.
Kathleen: What gave you the idea to think about venturing into the world of books?
David: Of books. Well, I've done, as you say, a lot of different podcasts. I've probably interviewed about 500 different marketers, so I've got an incredible database of contacts out there, people that I can reach out to. About 2015 or so, I decided to produce an end-of-year show, so perhaps I'd interviewed about 100 people by then. I thought, "Okay, it's be a lovely pre-Christmas-type show to get 20 or 30 marketers on and all give their thoughts of the year, what's their number one tip from what's happened during the year."
Yeah, I had about 20 or 30 people on. It was about a two hour live stream, and it went really nicely. The following year, I decided to double it up and potentially make a book out of it. The following year, I did a four hour live stream and had just over a hundred marketers join me live. I gave them all three minutes each to share their number one actionable tip.
I took the content and made my first book out of it. It did fairly well. It sold a few thousand copies. It just seemed to be the next logical step in terms of publishing content.
I think you have to go where the opportunity is, but you have to really look to see what your competitors are doing out there, and also you have to work harder than other people who are out there. 10 years ago, I used to be able to publish blog posts and quite easily get those blog posts ranked. Then it moved on, and you had to publish incredible blog posts that 2000-5000 words long. Now, unless you've got a fairly authoritative domain name, it's even quite hard to get those sorts of posts ranked.
"So, where are the other publishing opportunities?" I thought. Well, perhaps it's not even online at all. Loads of people still read books. It doesn't have to be Kindle book. It doesn't have to be any book in any form. It could be a physical copy book, and people still read physical books: paperback books, hard copy books.
"First of all," I thought, "Well, it's very hard to publish a book. It's a lot more effort to publish a book. So, if I publish a book then it's going to position me above other people producing content around the same kind of topic."
Then I thought, "Well, there are thousands and thousands of people that want to read this copy in book form as well." So, I guess those are some of the reasons I chose to publish a book.
Kathleen: I have to laugh, because hazards of podcasting, I'm in my quiet home office and my dogs start to go crazy. That's the home alarm system, as I like to call it.
David: Oh, that's great. I heard that in the background, Kathleen. I was wondering if you were able to edit it out at all. I thought, "Okay-"
Kathleen: No, I always tell my guests when I listen to podcasts, I like it to be really organic and not overly scripted. So I say, "You know what, we're going to roll with it." So, I'm leaving this segment in so everybody can hear my two Labrador Retrievers who like to play- literally, if anybody walks by the front of my house they go crazy.
David: And I was trying to talk over it, thinking-
Kathleen: You're so good.
David: Maybe you were going to be able to edit that out, and it was going to be easier for you to-
Kathleen: No, we'll leave it in, because-
Kathleen: It just gives more color to what's really happening behind the scenes.
David: Great stuff.
Kathleen: You decided to publish a book. Can you talk a little bit about how you went about doing that, because I've had a couple of people on who've talked about writing and publishing books, and they've all taken different approaches.
This is something I'm very interested in. I've spoken to so many marketers who've talked about either wanting to write a book, or wanting to use the content creators within their company to create a book as part of their marketing strategy.
Kathleen: There's the route of working with a publisher. There's self-publishing. There's so many options now. Can you talk about how you specifically did that?
David: Sure. I haven't gone down the working with a publisher route, mainly because I think there's more profit in it being a self-publisher. I initially, several years ago, published some books just for Kindle. If you publish books for Kindle, then as long as you're charging between $2.99 and $9.99 in US dollars, then you can get 70% commission as a result of doing that. So, that's quite appealing.
Then after that, when I published my first physical book, which was called "Digital Marketing" in 2017, that book was also published using a service called CreateSpace at the time.
That's been merged into KDP, which is called Kindle Direct Publishing, but you can publish paperback books through that service. If I'm publishing a book for $14.99, and through that service for a book that is 268 pages long, it's costing me about $4.10 per book to get that book produced-
Kathleen: Hard copy.
David: No, that's our paperback copy. That's a paperback.
Kathleen: Oh, okay. Well, yeah, but I mean printed. Printed copy.
David: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, sorry. I'm just differentiating because hard copies-
Kathleen: Hard cover and paperback, right, right, right.
David: Exactly. They cost quite differently. But paperback, they cost in general just over $4.00 if you're producing a book which is about the same size as mine, which is 268 pages of paper.
Kathleen: Am I correct that, because I've talked to somebody else who has used Kindle Direct Publishing, am I correct that there is no minimum quantity for orders? You can order like one at a time?
David: Yes. Yeah, yeah exactly. You can order them yourself personally. You can get your pre-published copies, which have a bit of a nasty extra bit on the front to say, "Do not resell." Then after it's published, then you can get the proper versions, which are the single copies. However, obviously you're going to be charged postage for doing that. So, sometimes you're better off getting 10 copies, or something like that.
You can also do the same through another service called IngramSpark. IngramSpark also will produce that hard cover version of your book for you. If you're producing a hard cover version, then it's normally about five or six dollars to produce, because you've got that hard cover on top of it, and you've got your sleeve on top of it as well. So, you generally have to price it a bit higher. Hard cover versions, they're generally about $25.00. The paperback version is generally about $15.00. There's not much more profit in the hard cover version.
I think the only benefits really for the hard cover version, is the perceived value of it. Because again, it looks like a higher quality product, so if you have your own events, and you're speaking at events, and you want to take hard cover copies of your book with you and sign them, then the hard covers are very nice in terms of perceived authority.
Kathleen: Yeah, it's really fascinating to me, because the technology is such now that anyone can really do this. There's no issue with affordability. There's no issue with you need to have the connections in the publisher world. Anyone can write a book and publish it, and create a really very professional quality-looking printed version, as well as Kindle version, which presents an amazing opportunity from a marketing standpoint that so few people have taken advantage of.
David: Well, it's hard, hard work to do and it takes a lot of time to do. So, I can understand where people don't want to do it. But I think it's about planning your content marketing out for the entire year, and if you're doing a podcast, if you're doing a series of blog posts, if you really think about it then you can design 12 chapters in a book out of the content that you produce.
To a certain degree, you can write your book over your year out of your content that you're already producing. So, it needn't take a whole lot more effort.
Kathleen: Is that the way that you went about doing it this time? Did you really conceive of this in advance, and then create audio content kind of knowing that your end game was to create the book? Or did you have this audio content and then think, "Wait, this would be great fodder for a book."
David: It's the way that I probably will do it in the future at some point. What I did this time was a few months ago, I hosted a massive live stream which was eight hours long. I had 134 marketers on that. Then I took the transcript of that and then completely rewrote it. Then I determined the categories of each piece of advice that all the marketers share. So, it was just the one question that I asked everyone. Hello doggy.
I've got a two old son, and he likes to say, "Hello doggy." Anyway, look I think what I did this time was a whole lot of work, probably too much work, but it was a learning process as well. I categorized all the content after receiving it, because I was just about to say I asked all the marketers the same question, "What's your number one actionable marketing tip right now?" They all shared that number one tip. I thought the tips that were shared fitted very neatly into three key sections of the book, and then also into 12 categories from there as well. The 12 categories, of course, turned into 12 chapters.
From the research, I've done 12 chapters. It's quite as nice number to have within a book. That's a nice way to break it down, if you're planning a book as well. If you want to write a whole book as a one-off, 60,000 words, that sounds quite a lot. But if you break it down into 5000 words per chapter, even 4000 words per chapter, plus an introduction and conclusion, then that's not too much to do.
Kathleen: Now a lot of the marketers that listen to this podcast are prolific content creators. They are very accustomed to blogging, to writing articles. Many of them are also podcasters of their own right. I'm interested to know from your perspective, what do they need to know about creating content that is intended for a book as opposed to writing articles or blogs, which is a little bit more episodic, is there something different that you need to do as you approach that project?
David: I think the key thing is, is to have that thread. So, to have that thread that binds the different chapters together. So, you can't just write 12 separate large pieces of content without that intended thread together, and the intended overarching topic of your book.
I think you have to start with the end in mind. A good way to do that, is actually to research Amazon, to have a look at categories of books and to see what exists already, and where the opportunities are. Because one outcome that some authors wish to achieve is to get a bestseller. You can get bestsellers in different categories of Amazon as well. It's quite nice to take a screenshot of your book being number one in a category of Amazon.
If you look into what topic of marketing, or another area of your business, and you find a category that's either under-serviced or perhaps doesn't actually have the type of book that you believe that you can offer, then that's a good place to start. Then you've got your topic of your book.
Then it's a case of brainstorming maybe three sections, then four different chapters within those sections of your book, and then starting writing from there. Then you've got your thread, which binds everything together.
Kathleen: So you write the copy, you probably create cover artwork, you pull all this into the Kindle Direct Publishing system so that you're able to publish the book through it. You just talked about people wanting to have Amazon bestsellers.
What does someone need to know as far as the work that has to happen to market the book, especially before it's even published, because the little amount of research I've done into this, it's very clear to me that a lot needs to be done before the book even hits the virtual shelves, to lay the groundwork for a successful book launch. I'd love to hear from your standpoint what you're doing for that.
David: From a successful marketing perspective on Amazon, one of the key things is reviews. It makes it more likely for people who stumble upon your book to decide to make that purchase if there are positive reviews. So I think that's a bit of a given.
It's much, much better to have something in the region of 10 reviews in the marketplace that you want to target. I'm targeting with USA and the UK, and you want to have a reasonable number of views in those marketplaces. You've also got to be thinking about [crosstalk 00:31:22] together.
You've got your hard cover, your paperback, and also your Kindle edition, and perhaps even an audiobook version as well. They can be all tied together. You can ask Amazon to tie those things together.
One of the important things to try and get on a bestseller list within Amazon is to get a decent number of sales within a short time period. I would be guessing to a certain degree, but I'm pretty sure that if you can get maybe even just 100 sales of your book within 24 hours in a category of Amazon that's not particularly competitive, then you're quite likely to get fairly high within that category.
So, a number of reviews. If you publish your book a few days before you intend to say that you're going to publish it, you reach out to your friends and your colleagues, and you ask them to buy it, and then you ask them to submit a review as well. Then on publishing day, you do some kind of live event.
I'm doing a massive live stream on launch day. One of the intentions behind that is to get as many people as possible to buy it as soon as possible, and to get that algorithm of Amazon to notice that there's a lot of sales of that particular product happening. That's going to move it up the rankings.
Kathleen: So I did see that. I went to your MarketingNowBook.com website, which if you're listening, you should check it out. I saw that you have the book launch party set for December 10th. I'm definitely going to sign up to listen to that. I'm curious to see how that comes off. It's a great idea. It's interesting what you said about having a slightly different date when the book goes up onto Amazon versus the official launch date.
David: Yeah, well you can do that with one person. With IngramSpark, it's possible. There are lots of strange technicalities. With IngramSpark, it's possible to have your book available to purchase prior to launch date.
With Amazon paperback, with a KDP paperback, it's not possible to do that. But with Kindle, it is possible to do that, to have pre-orders, is the technical term. You could have your book available for pre-order. I believe though any sales made within that pre-order period doesn't count towards the ranking after the book's been ranked. That's not going to help a lot with regards to your ranking afterwards, so you do want to make a lot of sales, if possible, on rank day.
What I'm going to do is make my hard cover version and my Kindle version available on December 10th when it launches. I'm in the process of doing a quiet launch for the paperback version. That's going to be publicly available hopefully within the next few days. We're recording this on the second of December, so it'll be available a few days just before the 10th of December if everything goes according to plan. Then I'm going to get a few friends and colleagues to buy it, and to publish reviews on that version.
I'm going to have that linked together with the hard cover version and the Kindle version, which is going to be then published on the 10th of December.
Kathleen: That's great. Well, I can't wait to check out the book when it comes out. Again, if you're listening, you definitely need to go to MarketingNowBook.com so that you can sign up to attend the live stream.
This has been so interesting, David, just hearing this whole process laid out. While I think you've made it clear that obviously writing a book is no easy undertaking, and I think it's important to understand, but I also feel like you've made it very accessible in terms of understanding the process of bringing a book to market. So, I appreciate that.
David: Yeah, hopefully a couple of people give it a go. It's not easy, but if you plan it out beforehand, then you can save yourself a bit of heartache, perhaps, that I've gone through.
Kathleen: Yeah, that's great. Now I have two question I always ask my guests, and I'm curious to hear what you're going to say. We talk a lot about inbound marketing on this podcast. Is there a particular company or individual that you think is really killing it right now with inbound marketing?
David: The company that springs to mind is a company called Conversion Rate Experts. They've been doing this for a while. What they do is they put together blog posts that are on a fairly infrequent basis. They probably publish maybe just once every two months or so, but they are incredible case studies that really help you with conversion rate optimization. Although these blog posts are thousands of words long, they've got videos in there, they've got wonderful images in there as well. You feel that you're getting a lot of value from that.
Towards the bottom of the page, they say what you should be doing now. Then they've got a list of call to actions at the bottom that introduces you to their service. But it never feels like they're asking for the order beforehand. They're providing so much value beforehand, and they link up lovely emails with this as well, and entice people to read the articles. I think that a lot of marketers haven't necessarily got the right idea of what a blog is. A lot of blog publishers don't have this sense.
Obviously, blogs originated from web blogs, which were regular updates of people's activities. To me, a blog is just a publishing opportunity. It's a CMS now, with some marketing opportunities baked into it. It's just a publishing opportunity. If it's a publishing opportunity, you can publish any type of content in there, and I think this company, Conversion Rate Experts, demonstrate that a blog can be used for different reasons.
Kathleen: I love that point that you just made about a blog being a publishing opportunity. The last job that I was in, I was really charged with building out essentially a brand publishing business for the company, which is really just like a blog on steroids, if you will. It's articles, it's podcasts, it's all the different type of content that you think of when you think of a publisher. There's no reason that any company can't do that. It's certainly a more aggressive approach to content marketing, but it can be a very powerful one, all of which lives on a blogging platform.
Kathleen: So, you're absolutely right when you characterize it that way.
Kathleen: Love that. Now, second question, the world of digital marketing is changing at what can seem like a lightening-fast pace. How do you personally stay educated and up-to-date?
David: Funny enough actually, since I've started being really serious about podcasting in the last five years or so, I've probably read less to keep myself up-to-date with things. I've interviewed about 500 or so different top marketers out there, and that's been a wonderful way to keep up-to-date with things.
I would say to people if you haven't started a podcast, simply do it to have great conversations with powerful authorities within your niche. I would have done all these podcast episodes with a view to just having the incredible conversations, and making incredible contacts that I've made.
Obviously, not all my guests would have wanted to do that. They would have wanted to have the content distributed as well. But for me personally, that's been a great source of knowledge. I listen to a couple of podcasts as well. I listen to a podcast called Podcasters Roundtable, which is a good source of podcasting news, what's happening in Apple Podcasts, and podcasting in general. I listen to Mixergy, which is more of a digital business/entrepreneurship-type show, but that's a great source of information for me with regards to what's happening right now in digital businesses. Then I could tie different marketing activities up to that.
The final source that I'll give you, if I'm hosting shows that relate to SEO and pay per click, then Search Engine Land is probably one of the key blogs that I go to, to keep abreast of the latest news there.
Kathleen: Yeah, that's a great one. You are preaching to the choir when you talk about the power of podcasting. I always say if people listen to this, they've probably heard me say it several times, that I would keep doing the podcast even if no one listens, which as you pointed out, I'm sure my guests would not want that. It's an incredible learning experience, and I get to talk to people I would never otherwise meet, and to learn from them. That's just such an amazing gift, so I could not agree more with what you said about that.
Kathleen: Well, if you are listening and you are interested in connecting with David or learning more, David, what's the best way for people to get in touch with you?
David: I've got a brand new domain name that I just acquired a couple of months ago or so. Obviously, I'm using MarketingNowBook.com as the landing page for the book, but I'm really happy that I've finally got the DavidBain.com domain name. It took me a long time to get that. There were many people that squatted on it for a while, but I eventually got it. I had to go down to auction to get it. I'm thankful to have David Bain on LinkedIn, David Bain on Twitter, and DavidBain.com as well. I guess any of those areas are good.
Kathleen: That's great. All right, well if you're listening and you liked what you heard, you learned something new, please head to Apple Podcasts and leave a five star review for the podcast. That's how new people discover us. If you know somebody else whose doing kick ass inbound marketing work, Tweet me @WorkMommyWork, because I would love to have them be my next interview.
Kathleen: Thanks so much, David. This was a lot of fun.
David: Great to be on with you, Kathleen. Thanks again.
Kathleen: Yeah, and you win the award, by the way, for muscling through more dog barks than any other guest. So, kudos to you.
David: Sounds good.