Podcasts can be powerful tools for agencies to showcase thought leadership, make connections, and build their own brands. New research from Dante32, a podcast production and promotion agency, looks at how brands are deploying their podcasts what that indicates about best practices.
Chip and Gini use this research as a jumping off point to share their insights on using podcasts in the agency context. They review the key findings from Dante32 — and of course have a little fun along the way.
The following is a computer-generated transcript. Please review the audio for accuracy.
CHIP: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Agency Leadership Podcast. I’m Chip Griffin.
GINI: And I’m Gini Dietrich.
CHIP: And we’re here today to talk to you about something that we didn’t initially think of as an idea. And that’s we’re going to take you behind the curtain a little bit and let you know that sometimes we actually get a little bit lazy because some of you listeners are kind enough to send along your own ideas and things that we should talk about.
GINI: So it’s nice to get ideas. Yeah, I love that
CHIP: it is it is really appreciated, particularly when you provide some additional resource or research or information so that we can jump off of that instead of having to actually use our own brains and come up with topics and do our own independent research. Hey, it works for me. Absolutely. So, Word to the wise, if you were listening and you’ve got a good idea for a show, feel free to let us know if you’ve got some resources or research that you’d like to add to it even better.
GINI: Yes, so a friend of mine from Dante 32 here in Chicago, which is a podcasting business fee, probably would not Like me to describe it that way, but that’s what they do. They create, produce, develop brand, everything that goes into doing a podcast for organizations and
CHIP: and these types of agencies are becoming a lot more common today there’s a around the world. I know there’s a fair number of these folks who are working with brands, even with other agencies to put together branded podcasts that, you know, all you have to do is show up and do the interview. Basically, there’s all of the the other work is done.
GINI: Pretty nice. It’s pretty nice. So they did. He sent me a link to an article or some research that they had done on how to promote your podcast essentially, and what that all looks like. So things such as, should you integrate it into your website, should it be part of your navigation? How do you name it all that kind of stuff and I think they looked at I think you have the number exact Chip but I think they looked at 65
CHIP: it was mid 60’s. I thought it was 63
GINI: 63 of the top branded podcasts from fortune 500 names to startups to niche brands to find out more about podcast website best practice practices. So if you are go if you’re thinking about a podcast or creating one or you have one and need some additional insight on how to promote it or get it out there in a different way, we are about to save you.
CHIP: And we will, of course, include a link to this resource in the show notes so that you can get over to the Dante 32 website and look at it yourself. But we of course, will jump right in and start commenting on it. And I particularly like that the the very first question that they looked at, it caused them to eject two of the 63 from the study altogether and didn’t even bother continuing to research them so and that one was, should your podcast be indexed by Yes. That really shouldn’t be a question today and honestly, I I would actually be interested in finding out who you’re looking
GINI: to see if it’s because now I’m curious
CHIP: what I can assure you that this podcast is in Google. So that’s good. Yes,
GINI: it is. So
CHIP: it takes some real effort to avoid being by Google. So I’m, I would be really curious as to who they are and how they managed to accomplish that. Because usually, even by happenstance, I mean, even if you set up on, you know, a third party hosting site, and you just use their place to put them in use, you still get picked up by Google. So who knows? But yes, so no brainer. Of course, you need to be indexed by Google, anything you do online, you pretty much want to have indexed by Google or you should name it online.
GINI: And they said, this is the only non negotiable element in this list, which is great. So if you only do one thing, make sure that it’s indexed by good
CHIP: Alright, so now that we’ve gotten the people who apparently don’t know how the internet works out of the way, then they started diving into some of the more substantive questions. I think there’s some they really come up with some interesting ones to look at here. And I think the second one is probably still close to a no brainer but it’s should you integrate your podcast into your website
GINI: 82% of brands researched had their podcast site integrated with their company’s primary primary donate domain, which is great. Yes, there was there were just wasn’t integrated at all and there were a few that were separate.
CHIP: The you know, I mean, separate is look at sometimes for depending on your organization, you may have challenges integrating because maybe you’re more with the IT department and they don’t like you or whatever. And you know, I mean there there are certainly reasons for it, but not for a good ones generally. So certainly you should be integrating it with your website. Yeah,
GINI: otherwise, what how would people know it’s there? Although I will tell you that we had an interesting conversation about this in the spin sucks community and we young woman who works for a university, she does communications for a university was having that exact trouble that you’re talking about Chip where the IT team was like, yeah, we’re not integrating this into the website. And so she was considering doing something separate. And we were all like, no fight the fight because you have the domain authority, and it will be automatically indexed by Google and all it so we gave for all of the reasons that should be integrated. And I think she ended up winning that fight. But certainly she was up against that. She definitely had to fight the battle. She was up against it from it from the IT team saying no, we’re not going to do this for you.
CHIP: Right. And I think for most of our listeners in in the agency world, it’s less likely to be an issue with it because frankly, most agencies aren’t big enough to really have that kind of it. You know? Yeah, you may absolutely with your clients and the friends Actually, the reason why I see some agencies who, you know, might not do this is because it’s it’s does require a little bit, not a whole lot, but a little bit of technical work to do it. And so they may just say, hey, look, you know, we’ll build this over on on Lipson, or on one of the, you know, on Spotify, or one of those places and just be done with it, and just link over there. And that’s, to me, that’s, that’s not a good reason, you should go through that little bit of extra effort to get it fully integrated with your website as an agent.
GINI: Um, so the third one was, should you use your company’s name for your podcast, and I think we have a really good look at just at we recently have agency leadership, not the name of, of either of our companies. I have spin sucks, which is the name of my company. And then I’m also the co host of inside PR, again, not the name of a company. So there’s a different mix just between the two of us on that, but they talked about, you know, reboot does the reboot podcast and do lingo does the lingo podcast, but jack daniels has around the barrel, so really think about it. it from the perspective of, you know, does it make more sense to have it as part of the company name? Or can you be a little more creative? Because it’s a more standalone content piece.
CHIP: Right? And and, you know, with with three quarters of the folks say, Hey, no, we’re not going to have our brand name as part of it, you know, clearly, that shows some general direction in the market. But I think what it comes down to, and whenever you’re naming something is what name works, and the name needs to work, you know, for, for everything, whether it’s, you know, how you want people to discover you, whether it’s how you want to frame it, so that you can cover the topics that that are relevant, that will help you develop the audience that you want, etc. So there’s, there’s a lot of things that go into the mix when you’re naming your podcast. And, you know, I’ve gone both directions in the past with my various podcasts. And, you know, I don’t think this is one where there is a right or wrong answer. It’s really more just thinking about what the implications are of whatever the name Yeah,
GINI: and I mean, There are lots of branding experts out there. Jeremy Miller is one of my favorites. And he has a new book out on exactly this, how to name things. So, you know, don’t overthink it, but at the same time do spend a little bit of time just internally brainstorming doesn’t make sense or not.
CHIP: Yeah, there was there was a conversation in the spin sucks community recently about naming as well and look it whenever it comes to naming, you’re absolutely right. Don’t overthink it, right? There is that that happy middle ground. I’m always surprised by folks who name a company or a product and didn’t bother to do a basic trademark search or a domain search or look for social accounts being available or just throwing it into Google and seeing you know what possible side effects there
GINI: might be. You know, I mean, as part of that conversation you even said, I bet the Ginny sometimes regrets using the word sucks and then the name of her company and that is indeed true. I do sometimes regret it.
CHIP: But in fairness, I didn’t say that you regret it but I I said that they do criticized it right, you know, because, yeah, because you know, some people just every
GINI: book today has the F word in it, but by golly, I’m using the word sucks.
CHIP: Well, one of the first phrases that my eldest son learned my, my wife very proudly taught that to him. And, and whenever she would, whenever my son when he was like two years old would be on the phone with my brother who lived in New York. He would just he would just start yelling at me suck into the phone. I wouldn’t be very proud of that. I don’t even know if he knew. That’s amazing. Yeah, it was. Hi.
I love your wife for that. That’s amazing.
Yeah, I was I was slightly modified to be honest. I
CHIP: I wanted him to that phrase I wasn’t sure that you know it should have come right after
mom and dad still.
CHIP: But but but it did admit city. It’s still a running joke. Now today, even though he’s six foot four and 18 years old.
Oh absolutely brainwashed
GINI: him early. Good. That’s good.
CHIP: Yeah, he’s he’s contemplating college decisions and, and he’s he’s been particularly enamored with Boston University because it’s the closest school, Fenway
GINI: great way to decide on where you’re going to go to school, I think
CHIP: now of course, you know, when he was younger, he wanted to go to George Washington University in DC because it was closest to your favorite restaurant in the world.
Whatever it takes.
CHIP: I explained to me would not be going there as a college student, too expensive, sending him money to go to that particular restaurant, so he’d be very close to it, but he only knows
GINI: he can make it there and then he got for free.
CHIP: Absolutely. Or maybe he could start a food and wine. You know, he would have the opportunity. I guess since he’s not 21 yet he probably would have to wait to begin a food and wine because just
GINI: Later, there you go.
CHIP: Yes, yeah, I did that years ago and it got me all sorts of really tasty free food. But that’s a topic for another day. Anyway, alright, so next up,
GINI: you include show notes and or transcriptions for your podcasts.
CHIP: And I think the answer is absolutely, yes, shockingly, only only two thirds, included, show notes. And, you know, I will tell you that for all of the podcasts that I do and have done, the show notes in general could have been better and could be better. But there there’s something I think you need to have something there that I’ve made up for it, because I always make sure that every podcast I do have for years has a transcript. And so you know, that at least gives you something that makes it easy for someone to reference and see what was discussed on the episode so they don’t necessarily have to listen to all you know, 20 or 25 minutes of it.
GINI: Yeah, I mean, you need you know, they make a great point in this in this research in that you can It’s a great way for hearing impaired listeners. So when we’re thinking about making sure that our websites are accessible to everybody, that’s something that you should consider because hearing impaired listeners can’t. Maybe they can, but not everybody can listen fully. So you have the show notes or a transcription of the actual podcast, then you are, you’re able to work to achieve something for everybody.
CHIP: And it’s also helpful if your clients or prospects are Luddites, which, historically I’ve I’ve made a habit of having websites for clients. So it’s been helpful for me for that reason, no comment. Hey, look it if you’re able to bridge that gap between the technical and knowledge of the day, there’s actually a business to be had of Matt so I really don’t have a problem that that I’ve attracted by clients.
Oh, okay. Number five.
CHIP: Should your podcast website be mobile I think
GINI: this is also a non negotiable. Yes, absolutely, positively it should be mobile optimized?
CHIP: Well, I would say even more so than your actual website. Right. Your your primary website certainly should be mobile optimized because every website should be mobile optimized these days. But for a podcast, because chances are your listeners are listening to it on a mobile device. Most people, most people listening in, you know, whether it’s on an iPhone or an Android or something like that, maybe an iPad, you know, maybe their desktop, but you know, I would, I would say that most people are listening on some sort of mobile device. So there’s no reason not to have your site optimized for that, unfortunately, what they studied 93% were mobile optimized. So that’s a message that seems to be being received by the marketplace.
GINI: This next one kills me. Should you make it easy to share your podcast on social media? The answer is yes. But again, only two thirds of branded podcast websites have social sharing icons buttons. Why is that? Why?
CHIP: Because it’s too hard to add the plugin and WordPress allows you to do that. Oh, right, sorry, right there’s, there’s a million of them, most of them are free and you just basically activate automatically Yes. For you actually the one that surprises me is people who activate those plugins but then don’t put fill in their own social account so that on Twitter, it says via whatever the site is, that to me that doesn’t make any sense. You get a free reference back to your your Twitter account, just by telling men, you know, agency leaders or Chip Griffin or whatever. Yeah, just do that, please. But yeah, you should, you should absolutely have them. Now look, I will say one of the challenges with podcasts, social sharing is that a lot of people, myself included, listen on some sort of an app. Sure. And you know, so on. I’m not going straight to the website. So most of the time when I share it, I am end up actually having to just make a note of it and having to come back because some of these, like I use overcast and overcast has the ability to share it out. But it doesn’t do it in the way that I would like to be sharing on my social account. So usually what I do is I, I save it out to Evernote or pocket and then go back and share it later. Yeah. But nevertheless, you know, some people are going to come to the show notes page. So really think of it they’re sharing the show notes page, just like they would share any other blog post that you’re putting out there. So any means make it easy, maybe yes. You want people to know what you’re doing, presumably, and if you don’t, don’t put it on the web.
GINI: Yeah, I don’t understand that one. And I also don’t understand this next one, we’re only 30% of branded podcasts are linked from the website homepage.
CHIP: You know, I and I have not seen their full list of who they looked at here. But you know, based on what they had suggested earlier on with some of the brand names, it sounds like they were looking at some larger brands, so I could see for some Larger brands where, you know, perhaps the podcast is not targeted at their entire audience and is more for a slice of it that they might not link it from the homepage. So I guess that’s one where I withhold judgment but certainly for for agencies. If you’re listening, you absolutely want your podcast link to from your homepage as an agency. But if you’re, you know, if you’re Coca Cola, and you’ve got a podcast, you know, unless it’s a general consumer one, which I and I don’t know, maybe Coca Cola has one I just picked them out of the blue. So sorry, Coca Cola here. You know, it may or may not make sense for that to take up homepage real estate because there are a lot of other things that they could spend it on, right? Or let’s say Amazon, Amazon, right. You know, if Amazon were to have a podcast would that be on their homepage given all the customization so that has for customers? I don’t know. I think it’s
GINI: different because you don’t go to Amazon to get company information. You go to Amazon to buy stuff, which I’m very good at. I’m probably too good at
CHIP: right That they listened to what I assume one of the ones they looked at was jack daniels. Right? And so, you know, jack daniels is a big enough brand that, you know that I could see them potentially saying, hey, the podcast really is, you know, and I don’t know what the topics that they discussed on their podcast, but you know, maybe it’s maybe it’s more for industry professionals or maybe it’s solely consumer fault. You know, who knows? There could potentially be reasons all it does certainly seem illogical that that such a low percentage would be linking from their homepage.
GINI: Yeah. And I’m on their website right now. And it doesn’t look like yeah, it doesn’t look like they do. Um, they don’t even have it in the press room, which, so you, how do you find it? Right?
CHIP: Yeah. Hmm. Probably won’t solve that one.
GINI: No. I mean, if if it’s a client of ours, I’m, I’m recommending it goes under, at least in the media room, if not under some sort of resources or some page like that.
CHIP: Yeah, I think you know, like everything else when it comes to websites. The bigger website, the more places you should be linking to things from, to make sure that it’s easy. So that you know if, you know if you think, well, GC, if I’m looking for the podcast will be in the media room and someone else says, Well, you know, I think it’ll be in resources or, you know, whatever, you want to make sure that it’s as easy for people to find as possible. So I think typically, that would mean the homepage and again, certainly, it’s hard to imagine reasons why an agency wouldn’t want to feature their podcast on their their homepage.
GINI: Yeah, totally agree. Totally. 100% agree.
CHIP: Now, Number eight, honestly, it confused me a little bit. So, and the question was, should you link to individual episodes? And that
GINI: one can confuse me a little bit too,
CHIP: because? Well, yeah, of course, you want to link to your individual episodes, but almost again, how do you not, I didn’t. And I read through it, and maybe I just read too quickly, but to me, it didn’t jump out at me as to exactly how the 11% that we’re not linking to withdrawal episodes managed to accomplish that.
GINI: Yeah, I don’t know, either.
CHIP: And so my suspicion was that what this was indicating was that this is this means that they didn’t have like, show notes pages on their website. And maybe they just linked directly to iTunes or something like that. Or I guess we call it Apple podcast today. But, you know, so that was that was the only thing I could think of was that, that they were talking about what’s linked directly from the website, not what’s, you know, if you get over to Apple podcasts, each one is obviously linked individually. So this may just be an extension of the earlier question right about having a presence on your site. If you get the presence on your own site, chances are you have the individual episodes of its integrated.
GINI: And then should you include podcasts or with logos on your site. 70% do include major podcast service logos, including Apple podcasts, Google podcasts and Spotify.
CHIP: Yeah, so this is you know, I’ve gone back and forth on this one over the years and if you look at my various sites, you will see that I sometimes I do Sometimes I don’t, I’ve actually lately gone more just doing text based links instead of the actual badges. Because I think the the badges have come to look, frankly, ugly in most cases. Yeah, I’m not sure how much I’m not sure how much value they’re really adding at that point. You know, to have to have something visual as opposed to just a text based link. And it’s challenging to because, you know, now there are so many different used to be, you know, as long as you had iTunes, again, now, Apple podcasts, it was that, check the box, you know, but now, if you’re, you know, if you’re using something like power press to integrate into your WordPress site, you know, there’s like 17 different options that you can include there. But if you if you look at the research that Lipson has done, it’s actually a very small percentage of these apps are podcasters, whatever you want to call them, they’re actually used by the majority of people. So you know, usually if you have, you know, four or five, you’re, you know, you’re good and happy. So look, bottom line, You want to make it easy for people to subscribe? Yes, a lot of folks aren’t going to subscribe directly from your page, but you might as well offer as a convenience for them. I know when I, for example, when I’m subscribing to a podcast, I just type it in my app search engine. I don’t actually click anything from the site, because it’s not particularly convenient to do it that way for me,
GINI: gentlemen, which actually leads to should you embed your podcast audio on your website? 95% do?
CHIP: Thank God, because look, there are the Luddites out there who want to not have an app and they will want to just listen on your site. And frankly, I will use it to evaluate a new podcast sometimes. If I come up with if I’m typing in the search into Google, and I come across a resource, and it’s in a podcast, I will sometimes hit play and just kind of listen and say, okay, does this these people sound like people that I would want to actually have in my ear on a regular basis? You know, because there are there are unfortunately some podcasts out there that are poorly produced and You know, sort of like this one sometimes but you know, I think we’re more or less holding it together this week
holding it together this week this week. Yes,
CHIP: yes. But you know, it’s it’s very much a week to week kind of thing. It is Episode Episode. But that’s the excitement for our listeners, they never know what to expect, except for some good insights, and hopefully a little bit of fun, hopefully, a little bit of fun. And so that those were the 10 primary questions that they asked a bonus question. In their research about promoting your podcast with Apple’s App banner. They didn’t seem to come to any conclusions on that one as far as I
GINI: just shows you how to do it and use how to use your Apple podcast ID for it. So yeah, yeah, it’s kind of ugly. So I agree with you, me.
CHIP: Yeah. I don’t think that one’s necessary. Look, the at the end of the day, you want to make sure that whatever you’re doing for your agency’s podcast is it’s thoughtful. It’s targeted well at your target market, you know that it really is something that your prospective clients or your current clients would actually want to listen to, or potential employees if you’re using it for that purpose. So, you know, define what you want to do. But as this research suggests, make sure that you’re fully incorporating it into website, making it easy for people to consume the information, making it easy for them to find the episodes, they want to listen to making it easy to subscribe. All of those things will make sure that your investment in podcasting pays off. And it will because podcasts are really a great tool these days for learning for brand promotion for lead generation, all of those things for agencies, so I certainly encourage them to be looking at it.
GINI: Yes, amen.
CHIP: So, with that, that will bring to an end this episode of the agency leadership podcast and you know, we’re pleased that we followed most of the rules here and didn’t get didn’t take too man letter grade as
GINI: we are indexed on Google, so that is good.
CHIP: Well, thank god yeah, that would just be horrendously embarrassing.
So with that, I’m Chip Griffin
GINI: and I’m Gini Dietrich
CHIP: and it depends