(Re)Sessions 1: How to Make Your Brand Stand Out When Others Are Idle with Rachel Downey
Lindsay Tjepkema: The US economy is in a recession, right? Well, according to definitions that say a recession occurs when the national GDP growth rate shrinks for two or more consecutive quarters, we entered a recession in late July. So while the economy itself didn't technically shrink, the rate at which it's growing did decrease. Okay, all that to say, please trust me, I am not an economist, not by a long shot. But I am a marketer and a CEO, so all this impacts me a lot, just like it impacts you. Welcome to Casted's Amplified Marketing podcast. I'm Lindsay Tjepkema, CEO of Casted. This is the first episode of( Re) Sessions, a limited series empowering you to think differently about your marketing, no matter the size of your budget. We'll cover things like how have marketers adapted during the past downturns in our life and future proofing their companies. What creative ideas can you implement that help both brand and demand? How can amplified marketing help you do more with less?
Rachel Downey: My name is Rachel Downey. My title is Founder and Executive Producer of Share Your Genius.
Lindsay Tjepkema: If you create one episode this year, if last year you did 100, and this year you have budget to do one, holy crap, shouldn't you be getting as much value out of that one episode as humanly possible to make it worth it? And how do you go back to what you've already created, again, to get as much value as possible? What are you seeing in that-
Rachel Downey: Yeah, there's a couple of thoughts here. One is if you've done 100 and you can only do one next year, I would do one that talks about the 100 you already did so that you can go back and actually leverage the past content for net new opportunities. That's how I would use that budget. The other thing I would say is if you have the tendency to cut content first, I would say pause, and think about that because that might be the tendency that others will lean into and now's the time more than ever to lean into it more. Because as others pull back, that's when you go in. Podcasting is still, it always shocks me how immature the medium is for as long as it's been around.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Right.
Rachel Downey: But the reason I bring up the maturity around it is because there's still so much opportunity within the space to actually claim a niche, have a clear point of view, gain an audience, connect with your existing. There's just so much opportunity that's ripe, and it's here for the taking. It's here for the taking, especially people stop. We had a client who, they've been doing podcasting for 15 years, which is insane. They've been doing podcasting for 15 years. And we'd always talk about, " What's the success that you've seen? What are you doing that no one else is doing?" And constantly it was like, " Well, we just didn't stop." And so often that's what people do is they throw in the towel because they're not seeing a ROI or they have to cut something, so why not cut this? And I always am like, " Don't do that." So to your point, to your question, if you're like, " I can't produce net new, but I've got a backlog, like a catalog of content." Then I would say leveraged the heck out of that existing content. And a couple tactical things that you can do, one is obviously take one piece of one episode and you can repurpose it into different forms of media, different forms of content. Simple things like going through and identifying the key takeaways and turning those key takeaways into social posts, Twitter threads, et cetera. Twitter threads are huge and no one ever does it. The other thing that you can do is obviously if you're not using your podcast as a video, that's low hanging fruit. You should definitely be doing that. Podcasts are now sort of, what's the word when it's the same thing as the other?
Lindsay Tjepkema: Synonymous.
Rachel Downey: Everyone's always been, what is it?
Lindsay Tjepkema: Synonymous.
Rachel Downey: Synonymous. Thank you.
Lindsay Tjepkema: There it is.
Rachel Downey: Podcasts and video are now like peanut butter and jelly. And if you weren't considering it before, it's definitely a must.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah. I mean, when is the last time you recorded a podcast and you didn't do video?
Rachel Downey: I don't even want to answer that question because it's embarrassing because there are people who are still not doing it even if we tell them to do it.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Oh, no. Come on.
Rachel Downey: And, honestly, I think it's because there is a tendency to be more natural when you're not on camera. And so I think there's a comfort level with people, but even if you don't capture face video, you can still rip that audio into an MP4, and throw some graphics on it.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yes.
Rachel Downey: You know what I'm saying?
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah.
Rachel Downey: So to me, it's like you don't want to be on camera because you got a radio voice or whatever, radio face, however they say that.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Face for radio.
Rachel Downey: Thank you. Rip it into an MP4 and throw some graphics on it. But outside of the tactical amplification opportunities within the podcast episode itself, which we can dig more into, but there's so much opportunity to leverage that content for earned media opportunities. So you can basically look at what topics are trending, based on the content we already have, and I'm going to go pitch media for this topics that are inspired from my podcast. And it allows you to actually get more out of what you already did.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yes.
Rachel Downey: And get earned media opportunities secured. So it's kind of like a double whammy.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Rachel touches on it toward the end of her clip here, but repurposing is the name of the game in podcasting. Use your podcast as a hub, in a hub and spoke model of content marketing, where your podcasts can serve as collaterals, as social media videos, individual posts, long form blog and newsletter broadcasts. Here she is explaining the value of a focused yet disciplined marketing strategy.
Rachel Downey: As a content marketer, we're like, " What is our message? What is the thing that we want to be known for? What is the drum that I'm going to beat until my fists fall off or whatever?" Then your content should completely surround that, over and over and over again. We've had clients who have seen massive success by creating content, like creating podcast series around reports that they release, or around the events that you're trying to drive people to, or fill in the blank with whatever it is. And when you do that, people start to say, " Oh, that's what they do. Oh, that's what they do." And it's like, " Yes, that's what we do." And so if you continually repeat, and it's not necessarily like you have to create a Picasso every single time you release a piece of content, but if you create a throughline around your point of view? That establishes ongoing your strategic narrative, not only to your culture, but to then the whole world around you. And then you continually have pieces of content that your sales team can lean into because you're talking about the thing that you want to be known for over and over and over again in different ways. So my whole point in that is instead of like what you said is pressing publish and feeling like, " Okay, I can get out of the pool and relax," because that's not true. The reality is, " I just butchered that whole thing." But my point is instead of feeling like you can take a massive breath and then you have to go to the next one, you can actually take a massive breath and say, " Okay, how do I now take this content and turn it into something else? Or how do I take this content and improve it slightly? How do I change a new title so that my SEO is optimized, but the content is actually the same?" People don't know because we're saturated with content.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Right. It's true. It's true. And I just want to say it over and over and over because it sounds like a lot, because you and I are really excited about it. But this is easier. This is the easier way.
Rachel Downey: It's easier. Yeah, it is.
Lindsay Tjepkema: This is the easier way. I mean, it's so much easier and more fun to say, " Okay, what are the big rocks? What are the big themes we're going to talk about, go after, do? There's three this year, or there's two this year, or there's one this year. And how can we get creative?" And if you're going to spend time, either on Zoom or around that table in the boardroom, getting creative about something, make it this. What's the really cool thing? If we have to talk about apples as our theme for next year, how are we going to do it right? What are the really cool things we could do that our audience would really love? How are we going to be the connective tissue between our brand and our audience with something really, really, fun and creative that we're really, really, excited about? Do that. Do that thing. And then wring it out and keep coming back to it over and over and over. And like you said, it's easier because you're not coming up with net new messaging every time. You're not having to enable the whole team over and over and over on the what and the why. It's just like, " Hey, here's this new way that we're reaching people with this same message." And it's more effective because you're getting in front of people. Again, this is what they do, just like you said. And you go create one big thing and then you get to get creative about how you wring it out. Yes, it's a lot, because the end result is a lot, but it really is easier and it's a lot simpler and it's a lot more fun.
Rachel Downey: Well, and we talk about budget constraints. Let's say it's not one episode, but let's say it is 12. Let's say you can do 12 for the year, something like that. The reality is one episode can turn into 60 pieces of content. And so that one episode could actually fuel your content calendar for the month.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yes.
Rachel Downey: If you do it well. And taking the strategy aside, one of the tactical ways that you can execute this is, let's say you have a show, you've got some budget constraints, and then podcasting might be on the cutting room block, the cutting block, or whatever.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah.
Rachel Downey: The one thing I would encourage you to do is actually assess your show and specifically assess the show flow. And the show flow for those who don't know is it's your episode rundown. It's the way that you start the episode and then the beats and the segments within the episode that helps you deliver the right moments for the audience. Those segments you can actually intentionally craft repurposing around. So you can say, " My first segment I always repurpose as a videogram so that people know the type of content we're creating and why. The second segment, I always repurpose that into a LinkedIn article because it's so meaty and rich that it supports that. And that LinkedIn article, I'm also able to pull snippets out of, and those snippets turn into audiograms, they turn into quote cards, they turn into a carousel image, they turn into an email banner." You see what I'm doing. So you can literally up upfront design the repurposing that you're going to need for the channels that you own. And the other thing that you can do is if your show has a guest and you have an opportunity to get sort of a well known expert or guest on your show within the niche that you serve, you can actually save questions for those individuals that are not gated, because I'm not having the gate or no gate conversation today, but you can save those as secondary or additional content that people can leverage and use that have nothing to do with the episode itself.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Right.
Rachel Downey: Does that make sense?
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah.
Rachel Downey: So you're just maximizing the time that you have with that person.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah. So you're basically doing two or even three interviews in that one hour. If you finally land some time with that person who's going to make a big impact on you, on your audience, and what you're trying to do, break it into chunks and make sure you're covering all your bases. Looking for another way to start or beef up your podcast when your resources are getting cut? Your thought leaders and subject matter experts are a treasure trove of content. They're regularly participating in panels, in conferences, and doing speaking engagements, taking part in workshops, and obviously they're parts of sales calls and giving presentations. They're doing lunch and learns. I mean, the list goes on and on and on. And think about it, you've likely recorded most, if not all, of this content. So think to yourself, how can you take advantage of their expertise and use it to further your brand and continue creating high value content that you were accustomed to creating before the recession or that you were really hoping to after you heard the news of the recession?
Rachel Downey: There's an opportunity for you to take existing recorded content. Let's say you never released it as a podcast episode, but it's sitting there, and you spent all this time, I know on webinars or whatever, events, panels, that kind of thing. You can actually take that content, and you have to redo it.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yes, please.
Rachel Downey: Because I will never advocate for just taking your webinar.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Underline.
Rachel Downey: And throwing it on an RSS feed. Please don't do that. But I will say you can take it and you can script a narrative over it so that you're actually creating something that feels extremely high quality, feels extremely intentional around the podcast medium. And you do need a voice that might be different than the panel or the webinar host or whatever. You need a voice on top of that. That could be your host. But if your host is the same person, you could bring in a celebrity host. You know what I'm saying? But the idea is that you can leverage that content and you can create multiple series or seasons around that. You just have to crap the narrative through it. And there's a ton of great resources on how to write for audio specifically, but that's some low hanging fruit. And when it comes down to content, and people are going to roll their eyes, but people who are great at content take the time to be great at content.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yes.
Rachel Downey: But you can use one medium to feed the rest of them as long as you take the time to intentionally design what that content is for those channels, like how it will be different. But again, if you're stretched on resources and you're like, " Look, all I am doing today is paddling to survive," then do what Lindsay said at the jump, which is just re- share, just re- distribute, because nobody's paying that close attention to your brand and the content you're producing.
Lindsay Tjepkema: So Rachel leaves us content marketers with some parting words and advice for an economic downturn.
Rachel Downey: When others back out or pull back, you lean in because now is the time to own your voice and your point of view in the marketplace. Because if you don't own that voice, somebody else will. And everybody talks about wanting to have a category, be a category creator, blah, blah, blah. It's like, okay, then you got to be known for something. So the way that you do that is you get on the mic and you practice what you want to say, you curate the heck out of it, and you amplify it.
Lindsay Tjepkema: That was Rachel Downey, Founder and CEO of Share Your Genius, podcasting from a marketer's perspective. Can you see why she and I get along so well? So reach out to Rachel via social media or email her at rachel. downey @ shareyourgenius. com and get that checklist and future proof your podcast and content marketing. Special thanks to Rachel and Share Your Genius for sharing their genius in content expertise on the first episode of The ( Re) Sessions. Stay tuned for the upcoming three episodes where we dive deeper into amplifying your brand during an economic downturn.
What do you do during an economic downturn, when your resources are slashed, your team is cut, and you’re asked to do more with less?
Rachel Downey says while others are pulling back, it’s time for you to lean in and double down on what’s working.
Rachel is the founder and CEO of Share Your Genius, an end-to-end podcast agency built from a marketer’s perspective. She joined the first episode of (Re)Sessions to share her content marketing expertise.
You’ll learn why it’s important to stand out during a recession, how to create and leverage a consistent brand message, and how to repurpose podcast content for all of your marketing channels.