Our guest today is Michael Greenberg. Michael is the founder of Gentlemen of Technology, a B2B venture creation and growth consulting firm, and the CEO of the podcasting agency Call For Content. Michael has a great technique for automating content creation through podcasting.
In summary, to automate content creation with podcasting:
- Find guests for your podcast strategically. Build on topics you want to learn or people you want to build an alliance with
- Record your interview via Zoom
- Transcribe your podcast in Descript
- Convert your long-form text content into posts, quotes, audiograms and audio snippets
In the full interview below, Michael and I discuss:
- The 2 and 3 main components of the podcast content automation
- The exact steps for marketing managers doing implementation
- Who should be the face of your podcasting
- The best industries for leveraging podcasting
- Common problems people face when implementing content automation
- The future of content automation
The Show Notes
Benjamin Boman: Welcome to the marketing automation discussion. I’m your cohost Benjamin Boman. Today, we’ll be talking to Michael Greenberg. Michael is the founder of gentlemen of technology, a B2B venture creation and growth consulting firm and Call for Content. Call for content helps firms, leverage automation and podcasting for B2B campaigns. Today, we talk about four ways to leverage content automation through podcasting for both B2B SaaS and authority. If you’re looking for a way to automate and tie together your content marketing efforts. You’ll love this episode.
Benjamin Boman: Michael, thanks for coming on today.
Michael Greenberg: Thanks for having me, Ben. Great to be here.
Benjamin Boman: So, I’ve been super keen to get you on and chat because you’ve done a lot with two of my favorite industries, B2B SaaS and professional services marketing. But just to start, do you mind telling us a little bit about your background? You know, what’s been your journey so far leading up to starting Call for Content.
Michael Greenberg: Yeah. So, before Call for Content, I was in B2B growth strategy using technology-enabled operations. And I actually got into that working in startup ops and helping a startup build out their initial prototype, helping them raise, helping them build out the initial sales automation to find those first few clients. And I took that knowledge and I started consulting with it and with this background, you know, how are you applying automation in your own business? Or how are you applying automation in the marketing space in general? You just continue that initial sale.
Now, I’ve gone quite a bit beyond that and then the systems that I thought of is just for sales when we started are now the systems that we use for PR and for other sorts of outreach and networking. But the core way that I use automation in my business today is for content production. To automate as much of the content production as possible to increase the efficiency in which we can create content and knowing from the start that we are going to repurpose whatever thing we create, figuring out how we can develop a process to maximize efficiency in repurposing that content.
How do you automate content creation?
Benjamin Boman: So, what do we need to make this work? How does it work in practice?
Michael Greenberg: So, the simple version of it uses one tool. You probably know which is zoom, a zoom.us. It’s a common call app and conferencing app, and then otter.ai, which is a transcription service that does automated transcription and gives you a little bit of ability to train the transcripts as well and when I say train, I mean train their transcription AI on your particular voice or on various words used and so that’s very useful. Zoom allows for cloud recording, which you can then integrate with others so then your cloud recorded copy of your conversation goes directly to be transcribed and the layer we add on top of this that specializes the operation for podcast production and for content creation, more than just getting these, this all kind of transcripts is a tool called Descript and what descript does is it’s a specialized combine audio word processor. So you can put in audio and transcribe it and correct the transcript and then also you can teach it somebody’s voice and use that taught voice to create short phrases when you need to reedit portions of the document. And so that changes the game for podcast production.
Benjamin Boman: Interesting, how would you use Descript in practice? Would you just connect the applications like you said and then you log into an interface and record some things that you say and connect those to trigger, or how does that work?
Michael Greenberg: So, particularly for the one where it generates words in your voice, that tool’s called Overdub for them and the way it works is they ask you to record a few specific phrases and then it uses that to generate an approximation of your voice and my understanding is that it can only do maybe two to five words at a time at this moment, but that’s more than enough to fix a stumble. In an episode, we generally use Descript to create compilation episodes where we’re bringing together multiple pieces of audio, and to make sure that we maintain a coherent narrow or to simultaneously edit the audio while editing a final written document at the same time.
What else can podcast discussion transcripts be used for?
Benjamin Boman: You mentioned compilation episodes. What would you say is some of the use cases for this type of automation?
Michael Greenberg: So, content creation and content repurposing is definitely the number one, the simple zoom other combo. That’s really useful just for internal meetings. We actually have a team member on staff whose entire job it is, is to go through the recordings of our meetings from the prior day, and then turn those into actionable meeting notes and make sure all the tasks get assigned in anything else we talked about gets properly documented so that we can search back through it in the future. We use it with our clients that we’re placing on podcasts to develop a knowledge base based on their interviews and then take that knowledge base and start crafting new guests posts or other blog content and social media content for them. Now that we have all these transcribed answers in their exact words and then we use it as the basis of our content creation so when we create content, we start with audio first. It’s why we’re now a podcasting agency and we use audio first to create written and video content in addition to audio, to slot into your standard, local SEO content strategies or your other content marketing strategies that has allowed us to do things like create an e-book or create an entire book from a season of a podcast and in the process, save our clients a lot of time and money because we’re able to reuse that knowledge in multiple mediums.
Benjamin Boman: So, we’ve got meeting notes, knowledge base, content creation, a bit of SEO, I suppose, a bit of authority marketing as well. Have you seen any particular industry be able to make the most of this automation?
Michael Greenberg: Coaches and consultants professional services 100%. The nature of the work is such that having a recorded log is beneficial and podcasts and other more personal mediums like that tend to outperform for those types whose businesses are built on their singular expertise. For B2B SAS. We’ve seen it effective in creating a multi-channel multi-format content marketing operation without having the actual budget for more than like two people on your team.
Benjamin Boman: How would someone, for example, a B2B SAS marketing manager implement this into their existing tech stack and into their workflow?
Michael Greenberg: Yeah. So, if you’re at a B2B SaaS company, odds are, you’re already using zoom. So, let’s check that one off, but if you’re not, you can start using zoom. It’s 80 bucks a year for an Otter subscription that gives you almost unlimited transcription and then Descript I want to say is $20 a month. I would personally recommend you go download our B2B podcast playbook and we’ll get a link to the PDF and that walks you through the steps of planning a season, but the basics of it would be if you’re a marketing manager or you have an existing marketing plan, look at your editorial calendar, find about 12 blog posts that fit into a single editorial ark and create a single podcast season, reach out to 12 subject matter experts and have one of the senior leadership members. Whoever is the face of your company. Be the host of the show, prep the questions in advance for SEO and then what you’ll end up with is not only a bunch of SEO optimized podcast episodes, but the perfect base content to then repurpose after you get the show notes from the initial release, you get a blog post. If you’ve planned your editorial arc properly for the season, then you should be able to get a full e-book out of it as well and you’ll get your social content for that entire time and so in about a month production work around the podcast, you’ll be able to get 80% of the way to having a quarter’s content done.
Benjamin Boman: Well, I guess if you were inclined, you could just really go for it and stack up the content for a whole year just by doing it more intensely, I suppose
Michael Greenberg: Exactly, or release a different schedule of content. It takes less time to record a podcast episode than it does to turn that podcast episode into a blog, 10 social media posts and part of an e-book. So, if you create a lot more episodes, then you can pull smaller, more specific items from each one and it makes it easier to produce more content at volume with less work.
Benjamin Boman: You mentioned planning it correctly so that you can get an e-book out of it. Do you mind explaining that a little bit more?
Michael Greenberg: Yeah. If you’re going to turn the podcast into an e-book, the best option is to plan the e-book before you plan the podcast. So, if you have the outline of the ebook you want to create, then you can figure out the subject matter, the specific topics that you want to find people to interview on. And in doing that by starting with the e-book and then planning the podcast, you can plan a podcast that better gives you the comprehensive information you need for the e-book because in reality, let’s say you’re doing a 30-minute episode. That’s going to be six hours core four to six hours of content on eight to 12 episodes in a season at 150 words a minute. That’s a lot of content, but the average person speaks at about 150 words a minute and so you have to edit down the content, you have to fit the plan when you’re turning audio to written. So, it’s easier if you know what the written outline is when you plan the audio, because then you’re able to guarantee you have more than enough but if you’re trying to create written from existing audio content, then you’re searching for those golden nuggets.
Benjamin Boman: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. I was also curious how it, an authority figure or, you know, professional service provider leverages this process differently to a B2B sales.
Michael Greenberg: Yeah. So, because you’re operating on a lower level of lead flow, it makes more sense to use the podcast to interview your target market or potential partners for your business, rather than using it for content marketing directly and so, in a case like that, you’re looking to interview your target market probably weekly or multiple times a week. You’re looking to create a consistent output of content from it, but you’re not planning the e-book upfront. And what you’re doing is you’re looking back at the end of every six months or every year, picking out the warmest prospects that haven’t converted and that you want to solidify relationships with and you’re using their interviews to repurpose into an e-book or book. That is more about establishing and continuing the relationship and establishing you as an authority in that relationship around a singular topic that you have brought them in on and made them feel good about so that they trust you to buy from you in the future.
Benjamin Boman: Sounds like you could actually use both strategies in combination. So for example, if it was a B2B SaaS, and they had, you know, only a few accounts that they were targeting, they could really knuckle down on a few contacts, do podcasts with.
Michael Greenberg: Now you’re giving away our secret sauce. Actually, we use the combination strategy to publish a book for our professional services clients, if they are selling in to more of an enterprise style sale. So, selling in an account-based manner, much more similar to a SaaS like you’re talking about that is our single most successful strategy. The combination of account-based marketing with these techniques allows you to develop a full multi-channel account-based campaign that includes outreach and the initial steps of contact with the client in the content creation process.
Benjamin Boman: How would you deal with a situation where the target had a really bad podcast? Would you just not publish it or do you set expectations upfront?
Michael Greenberg: You know, I haven’t had one that’s that bad that we wouldn’t want to publish it. We’ve produced shows where I have recommended the client not publish because it makes them sound crazy in one way or another but from a production standpoint, it has never been the case. We’ve had a few where somebody’s audio is bad enough that it’s unpublishable and, in those cases, we come back and say, hey, your audio is shot. We’ve got to rerecord. And so, I guess if we had really bad content from somebody and we thought we could get better content, we’d probably do the same thing and just tell them their audio shot and we need to rerecord.
Benjamin Boman: Code of content has implemented this. I would say that plenty of times what have you seen to be common problem implementing this automation into, you know, tech stacks and marketing workflows.
Michael Greenberg: So, it’s pretty tech stack light, which is nice. It works into most workflows, fairly easily, but we have had issues in particular with the planning. If a company is too heavily focused on optimized content, this does not work and on the other end, if they’re looking for a really in-depth process, walk-throughs this does not work because what ends up happening with the process walkthroughs, as I’m sure you know from interviewing people about automation is you lose some component of it in the process. There’s some knowledge gap that is normally not conveyed accurate and that can lead to serious issues in the content, as it compounds over months of repurposing.
How can podcast transcripts help improve SEO?
Benjamin Boman: You mentioned that if they have an SEO focus strategy for this, it’s not ideal. Why is that?
Michael Greenberg: It’s not an issue with this working with SEO, but rather that I see many companies still operate on an SEO methodology that emphasizes optimized content to an extreme. And at least my understanding of the way in which most of the mechanisms around ranking sites work today, the authority measures and the overall context of the piece as well as more complex topics and the explanations around them and the link profile around that piece of content matter far more and are much more stable across update.
Benjamin Boman: From what you’ve outlined, this is a pretty cool way to apply automation and really leverage the content creation process. But before we wrap up, having worked in the space for quite a while, what are some trends that you’re seeing in marketing automation? You know, what do you think is just around the corner.
Michael Greenberg: Further automation in the creative field, I think it’s necessary and I have been loving what I’ve been seeing. Everybody uses Canva now or an equivalent thereof, and that’s been a huge leap forward in being able to design things without a designer, but now I’m seeing technology like headliner come online, which allows us to create audio grams and short videos and I can have somebody who’s never created a video before up and running creating social posts for a client in under a week on that program and then some of the new cloud-based tools for presentations, beautiful.ai is my preferred, but I’ve heard good things about pitch and those are just like when keynote first came out and it auto line things up. Everyone was like, whoa, presentations look a thousand times better, but now the technology is doing more than just line things up and it’s making presentations look a thousand times better again.
Benjamin Boman: Definitely. Thank you for sharing this today with us, Michael, just before we go. If people want to connect with you, what’s the best way?
Michael Greenberg: So, the best way to connect with me is either on LinkedIn or by going to call for content.com which will be linked in the show notes, but C A L L F O R C O N T E N T.com clicking on office hours at the bottom and you can book a discussion right with me. We use the office hours conversations to create content. That’s why they are free and they are just conversations, or if you’re interested in learning more about how we actually do these things in the processes we use, go and download one of our playbooks on the website.
Benjamin Boman: Perfect. Thank you very much.
Michael Greenberg: Thank you.