The History of Podcasting +
This is my 600th blog post so I thought that I’d be particularly insightful (in my mind at least.) Stay with me as I am about to ramble about me and some business development insights. A bit later, I’ll actually discuss the history of podcasting. But first, some back-patting.
I am consistently on Google’s page one for searches for ‘advertising agency business development’. This in-your-face ranking drives my business. How did I wind up on page one?
My Blog @ 600 Posts
I have posted about one subject = advertising agency business development since January 12, 2013. With this post, I am now at 600 posts. While not totally slavish to my primary keywords of ‘advertising & agency & business & development’ (note today’s Podcasting headline), I have hammed the subject of advertising, digital, design and PR agency business development and sales with short 200 to 500-word posts up to very long 3,000 word plus posts for 4.5 years. Google seems to like the consistency and dedication to providing relevant targeted information.
In addition to being a dedicated weekly blogger, I have effectively increased the amount of my content by publishing chapters from my 70,000-word book, The Levitan Pitch. Buy This Book. Win More Pitches. and love using interviews as long-form blog content. Interviews are a go-easy way to deliver 1000+ word content. Interview the right people via audio or video (I use my iPhone, Skype and Zoom) and voila – content. Interviews deliver content that can be transcribed to text overnight via a company like Rev.com. With just a bit of editing, you can easily have very valuable text (Google candy), audio, podcasting, and video (YouTube candy) for your blog and beyond.
Beyond? I amplify my content via my email list, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and SlideShare. This meets my Rule Of Five — get the content on at least five distribution platforms.
There is more to my content marketing strategy including a love of guest posting. However, you will have to take me up on my Vito Corleone Offer to learn more.
OK, one more. I’ll put a list of some of my most popular blog posts at the bottom of today’s blog entry. Number two at 23,078 views to-date is How To Build A Winning Advertising Agency New Business Program. No surprise here.
Some Words On Advertising Agency, etc. Sales
I use 4,000 as the number of advertising, digital, design and PR agency competitors that any single agency competes with every day. I could be off by hundreds if not thousands of options (these range from multi-nationals to one-person consultants.) However, the number isn’ t important. What is important is that your agency is one of many + many options that clients can choose from. The good news for you is that most agencies are both poorly positioned and do not run any form of 24/7 sales program.
Just for the hell of it, here are a few things I’ve noticed in the last five years of working with agencies on 5 continents.
- Most agencies do not have a business plan. Simply put, they are not 100% focused on how they going to make serious money. I mean very serious money.
- Agency brand positioning is a sore point. Most agencies have not defined a competitive, distinctive, ambitious positioning. I advise having a specialist or expert positioning to stand out. This will help with both getting found and desired beyond the agency’s home geography, and getting paid more. Experts get paid more than generalists. Experts have fewer competitors.
- Most agencies do not have a business development plan that they run on a consistent basis. Based on industry research, only about 40% of agencies have an on-going well-managed sales program.
- Most agencies tell me that referrals drive their lead gen. This is the default. If you do much else (like brilliant SEO or ABM), referrals are all you are left with. Plus, you give up directly targeting the clients you want.
- Agency websites are generally not designed as a sales tools. They are good looking brochures, but not strategic sales machines.
- Agency social media programs can be very bland – and sound me-too. Worse, they are created and maintained without a clear strategic and operational plan.
- Agencies need to have being ‘unignorable‘ as a brand, voice, content and sales objective. If an agency doesn’t demand attention, they can become just another one of the 4,000 interchangeable creative services options.
The History of Podcasting
OK, podcasting. I was looking at many of my older blog posts yesterday and came across this interview-based post with Mitch Joel about his agency Twist Image and how it hammers social media. Twist Image has been brilliant at using blogging and podcasting to amp up the agency’s brand awareness. In fact, Twist Image was acquired by WPP in 2014 and is now the Canadian HQ of global Mirum.
No question that Twist Image’s social media prowess helped them get noticed by WPP. Mitch has had a long-term social plan and has been consistent in delivering expert podcast interviews with people you want to hear from. Mirum’s Six Pixels of Separation podcast is getting ready to deliver its 584th broadcast. Wow! Happily, for me, two of Mitch’s podcasts are interviews with yours truly. That’s why I interviewed him back.
The History Part
My Twist Image podcasting post reminded me of “Podcasting: The Pod Has Landed.” – a white paper on podcasting that I wrote in 2005 when I owned Portland’s agency Citrus (then called Ralston360.) 12 years ago, I became enamored with podcasting’s audio platform because of Apple’s 2005 decision to add podcasts to iTunes. I had up to that point thought that the subscription-home-delivery aspect of RSS was very cool but, a bit too technical to manage for most humans.
Read the white paper for some history and note, if I do say so myself, we gave really fine white paper. We aimed to be unignorable in our 1) forward thinking and 2) copy style. Oh, yes we did have our own podcast. Though, 2006 was a bit too early for the market.
Why am I writing about podcasts?
Podcasts are a metaphor for all of your social media work.
If you have a social media program, make sure you have a very tight strategic plan. Do a creative Brief for the program and know exactly who you are trying to reach and excite and how the social program is going to drive Google or Facebook love. You want to drive traffic to your sales net, right?
Be focused on delivering information (and entertainment, why not?) that supports your agency’s brand position and… business development goals.
Please try to be unignorable. This means not running boring ME-TOO subjects or opinions. Chutzpah works. You might be getting a little bit sick of Gary Vaynerchuk by now. But, there is no way that you can argue that HIS chutzpah and strong opinions have netted him big bucks.
Make sure you have an agency process that is designed to publish on time.
Have a social media calendar and be slavish to it.
My Best Read Blog Posts
Just in case you were wondering, here are some of my most read posts. They are in no particular order. Since I mentioned Gary V up front, I’ll lead with him.
And… Thank you so much for visiting my website.