Sharpening the Difference with Janes' Joshua Wales
Lindsay Tjepkema: Welcome to season six of the Casted Podcast, where we're back with more of our very own users. Why? Well, because by becoming Casted customers, it's pretty clear just how committed they are. Not only to podcasting as a key piece of their future marketing efforts, but also to the bigger picture of how these shows all fit together into a bigger integrated marketing strategy. They're the most forward- thinking brands that are harnessing perspectives of experts with podcasts, and then they're ringing out those interviews to be amplified across all other channels. They are practicing what we preach, and I want you to hear all about what they're doing, why they're doing it, and how you can do it too. I'm Lindsay Tjepkema, CEO and co- founder of Casted, the first and the only amplified marketing platform for B2B marketers. And this is our podcast. Today I'm talking with Josh Wells from Janes. His show, the World of Intelligence delves into the open source intelligence industry, an area that we have not covered before. But what we learn is that despite the niche audience, the same podcast principles apply. The show is essentially about sharing information and that lends itself quite well to the podcast format. You see, after launching in 2019, the show has grown organically, but as Josh points out, " That's not by accident." In this episode, Josh will tell us about how he measures success and awareness and lead generation, how critical guests networking is for the World of Intelligence, and how content diversity is necessary to get the widest reach possible and meet the preferences of the audience.
Josh Wells: Hi, I'm Josh Wells, and I'm the senior marketing and events coordinator at Janes, and our podcast is the World of Intelligence.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Wonderful, well, Josh, I'm so happy that you're here. I'm happy to have you on the show, and I'm excited to tap into some of your insights about the show and why and how it exists, and the community that you're in. Before we do that, you come to podcasting from kind of an interesting perspective. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience in the world of audio and how it got you to podcasting?
Josh Wells: Yeah, so thanks for having me on the show, by the way. Basically for a number of years I've been doing music and naturally then recording the music. And so basically what happened was I ended up getting into podcasts a lot more because of the recording element and recording podcasts as well. So I have the experience in music recording software, and that really led me into the road of podcasts as well. So it really comes from that background of music and then having an eye for audio.
Lindsay Tjepkema: That's so great. And I'm excited to hear more about how perhaps it served you and the show and your company really well, just having that background. So speaking of which, tell me a little bit about the show and kind of what it's all about and what your company's all about. Give us a little bit of background there.
Josh Wells: Yeah, so Janes is an open source intelligence provider, and the podcast is called the World of Intelligence. And we basically talk about lots of different hot topics on what governments and national security, but also industry are doing in this area. So, that's what it's all about.
Lindsay Tjepkema: That's really interesting, okay. So tell me how long have you all been doing the show and how long have you been involved in it?
Josh Wells: Yeah, so we actually launched it in July 2019 and I was there for the launch of it, and we've really grown organically since then. And yeah, we just have access to lots of different influences within the open source intelligence community. And we've just been able to grow through word of mouth really with that and using our marketing channels as well here at Janes.
Lindsay Tjepkema: That's fantastic, and congratulations on that. Tell me why, kind of broadly speaking, so zooming out and we'll kind of get a little bit back into your show in a minute, but why from your perspective is podcasting so important today?
Josh Wells: Yeah, I think it's always been very important for information sharing since it began, but of course it's rocketed now and it's really taken off. And I think we're going to see in terms of how it's going to evolve in the future, I think we're going to see more brand deals such as The Joe Rogan Experience, Spotify- exclusive, for example, where podcast platforms are essentially buying out podcasters and owning them exclusively to get that market share and to get that exclusivity. So I think we'll see more of that in the future. And yes, it's been said that it is a saturated market, but because of these low barriers of entry, so you just need a mic and a laptop in theory, but that doesn't mean that the market's going to stop growing necessarily, because we're still seeing more podcast genres evolving, like true crime, for example, investigative journalism. And this is still growing each year. So, I think it starts to fragment the market and there starts to be even more niche areas that are being explored in podcasting.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah, yeah, definitely. Definitely. And I'm interested too in for you with your show at Janes, how do you see it helping you connect with your audience? Especially today that's something that we're really, really hoping to do since we can't connect with them in person. How do you see your podcast helping you do that, make those connections?
Josh Wells: Yeah, so I talk about diversity of content a lot, such as email, social media, videos, webinars, and so on, and they all have their own individual place. And podcasting is really just another form of content and people have their own personal preferences of how to consume this content. So if we have more diversity of content, which includes podcasting, then we're going to be able to reach more people and meet their individual needs. So I think it's just a case of reacting to people's preferences. And we can see that a lot of people do enjoy listening to podcasts. So we're able to reach that new audience through this form of content.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah, absolutely. And I want to dig in a little bit more to open source intelligence community. Can you tell me just a little bit more about what that is? And then I want to look at the really cool perspective that you shared with me before about how a lot of people, as you said, people see podcasting as kind of competitive saturated space, but you all see it differently in this community that you're in. So can you tell us a little bit about what an open source intelligence community, what that means? And then kind of how you view podcasting in your space and that it's not such a competitive situation?
Josh Wells: Yeah, so open source intelligence or OSINT for short. If you just go on to Twitter and look up the hashtag OSINT, what you'll find is a lot of crowdsourcing going on and information sharing and this community are very much open to getting the results, getting the information out there in the best way they can. So they share that information and it's open source, so it's free, using different tools. But Janes is really about the verification and the trust that is put into verifying that information and releasing it. But if you just look at it in general, there are all kinds of people on Twitter, et cetera, who are using this open source information that we have and sharing it. And that also applies to podcasting within OSINT, or open source intelligence, because these people who have podcasts in this area, they're not very competitive in that way, but they're actually helping each other to share information on podcasts. And it's a really friendly community in that sense, because if there's a good podcast, then it will be shared. And if there's information within that podcast, then that will also be shared.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah, I like that perspective too, because I think quite often we do see how saturated it seems. And first of all, one fun fact is that, we all have blogs and companies that continue to blog and produce more and more blog posts and still there's some apprehension among a lot of marketers to say, " Hey, but we shouldn't, should we do a podcast? There's a lot of people doing podcasts." But there's 600 million blogs in the world and there's still today only like 1. 7 million podcasts, right? So there's still a huge amount of opportunity to create a podcast, to own your space, to connect with your audience in a way that's real and meaningful and to really break through the noise. But even on top of that, it doesn't even have to be about competition and being the very best source of information, better than anyone else, faster than anybody else, more than anybody else, outranking everybody else. Because like you said, there is an opportunity to really look at the space as being more collaborative and cooperative and sharing information. And so I really like that perspective. Is that natural to you? Or was that a little bit of a different kind of experience for you when you joined Janes?
Josh Wells: Yeah, it was a bit new to me, but I had help from our podcast host who basically has a large network of people that he knows within the OSINT community. So they're able to reach out and then become guests on our show and that's been really helpful to showcase the kind of guests that we can get and also just promote that as well. So it really helps with the growth of the podcast.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Well, that's great. And I'm interesting too, talking about growth. What kind of metrics are you looking at? And we've talked about smarter content metrics and smarter marketing tools and that's something that's really important to us at Casted, but what are you, when it comes to growth and when you're looking at growth, and when you're looking at success, what are you looking for and what are you looking at as you think about ROI and impact of your show and the broader content around it?
Josh Wells: Well, from a brand awareness perspective I think the monthly average listeners that you're getting is really important and to track how that's evolving over time and changing, and then with the lead generation as well. You're able now with Casted to track the contacts on HubSpot. So it has that HubSpot integration, and you're able to create campaigns with UTM tracking as well. So we can really see the attribution there by using UTM tracking and HubSpot, across social media posts and email campaigns that we use to promote the podcast. So I think it's a combination really of brand awareness and then lead generation and attributing those leads to the podcast using the technologies of Casted and HubSpot.
Lindsay Tjepkema: I love that. I love that. What kind of advice do you have for marketers like you that have a show and are looking to better understand how's it doing? How's it performing? What's it doing for my brand? What are some things that you would, some directions that you would point them in?
Josh Wells: So if you want to set up a podcast for your company, I would say that you'd have to spend a lot of time in your research and development and get together all of the podcasts that exist currently within your industry. And you'd be surprised how many they can be. I was myself when I looked up podcasts in intelligence and defense, even that industry is just full with endless podcasts from companies. So you do really need to spend hours realistically listening to them and see how your company would be able to fit into that market and how you can actually differentiate and plan for how you're going to differentiate. Because that word differentiation is really important in marketing, and my old lecturer, he actually told me something that stuck out a lot over many years after graduating. And he said that marketing is about sharpening the difference. So it's really simple, but sharpening the difference in marketing is what allows you to innovate and to be ahead of the competition and just always adapting and evolving each year and each month, because if you're not able to continue sharpening your difference, then you're going to fall behind. And that applies to marketing in general, but it's also going to apply to your podcast. So you need to consume podcasts yourself first and then see how you can sharpen the difference. But if fundamentally, you do have to enjoy podcasts and have some basic knowledge around it. Otherwise it's just not going to work out for you and you're not going to enjoy it and it's not going to be a good production. So you have to also just love podcasting as well. And also I would say networking is key to really elevating your podcasts. So if you have influences within your industry that are in reach, then absolutely utilize them and find a way to get more of them as guests on your podcasts. And then, what tends to happen when you have a guest on your podcast, your host will then be a guest on their podcast and you get this kind of cross- promotion between companies or between organizations. And that can really double your reach. So I would say overall networking is key and then research. So just listening to podcasts in your industry, just absorbing all that information is going to be able to help set you up.
Lindsay Tjepkema: For sure. And some of the things that I've heard since we've been talking are the importance of really setting out to connect with your audience, right, which is super important. Being aware of other shows and other content, other podcasts in your industry, not so that you can be like everybody else, but actually so you can be set out from everybody else. And that, I love that sharpening the difference, and then also really seeking to network and making sure that you're plugged into people that your audience can seek and to connect with your audience would really want to hear from, and therefore want to go to your brand to, as a trusted guide to produce content from people that they really want to hear from. So I think that's great, and then it's all about what are you going to do with that content once you have it, and how are you going to measure it and really get the most value out of it. So I love that.
Josh Wells: Yeah. I think it does in marketing in general, it boil down to sharpening the difference. But I would caveat that as well, by saying that you can't just be different. Yeah, of course. You're supposed to interpret that in a way that you be different successfully with the correct targeting.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Exactly. Yeah, it's the equivalent, like cat videos are not going to make you a strong brand, just because it's different it's not necessarily good, it's really important. Don't spend so much time looking around at your competitors that you neglect to produce the content that's going to be most effective for your audience. Okay, so one last thing that I want to pick your brain on is that we get asked about a lot is the style, as far as like, " Hey, I'm going to do this podcast and it's going to be on behalf of my brand. Should I really script it and try really hard to make sure that it's really well written and it's planned out? Or should I take a chance and do something that's a little bit more authentic and more natural conversation?" Where do you stand on that question?
Josh Wells: Yeah, that's a really interesting point. And my opinion based on what I've seen is that if you look at the most successful podcast, it's not something that is scripted. So, if you look at the most successful ones, they're not going to be highly scripted, they have a natural flowing conversation, because that's what people are looking for really. So we tend to follow that model of having an open conversation and seeing where it leads you really. So I think definitely the latter is more appropriate.
Lindsay Tjepkema: You know, I agree. Absolutely. And I love to hear that from you too. So, okay. So as we wrap things up, you shared a lot of advice. I mean, it's basically what we've been talking about here is what you've learned and the experiences you've had and therefore how other marketers, our listeners today can take that advice. But what else might you share for marketing teams that either already have a podcast or haven't jumped on board yet?
Josh Wells: Yeah. Well, I think there's some tools that you can leverage from Casted that I'm using at the moment, like the key takeaways function. And so you're able to take your podcast to the next level and have these key takeaways. So if people don't have time or they just want to browse through, they can click on two different takeaways of the podcast and be able to just kind of scan through it really easily. And then you also have transcripts as well now. So with Casted we're able to get these really accurate transcripts, which just helps enrich the content. It's also good for SEO. So yeah, I think there's more that can be done that I've discovered by using some of the new elements of Casted, like the key takeaways and the nice smart transcripts and also the audiogram as well. So this audiogram function, it gives you the audio visualization bar. So you can create nice short one minute snippets and it does it all. It's all automated for you, which is really nice. So it saves you from actually going into Adobe After Effects, for example, and creating that audio wave yourself. And it just gives you that audio wave automatically. You just select the text that you want to use, and it does it for you, and then you download it. And so that's so easy because you can just have loads of different audio wave snippets that have the transcripts coming up with the subtitles as well. So, you can actually produce hundreds of those in a much shorter time. So automating that creative process really helps. So just, there's loads of different ways to improve efficiency, whether it's with promoting the podcast, using the audiogram feature, or just enriching the content with these smart transcripts and key takeaways.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Well, hey, thanks for that shout out. I appreciate it. We try to make it easy, right? That's the whole point to get as much value as possible out of your episode. And so thank you for all the value you added to this episode. I'm so glad that you came here. I'm so glad that you shared your experiences. Thanks for being here, Josh.
Josh Wells: Thanks very much for having me on.
Lindsay Tjepkema: That's our show. Thanks so much for listening. And for more from today's guest and some pretty amazing content that they've inspired visit casted. us, and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest on all things amplified marketing, B2B podcasting and a lot more.
This week we have Joshua Wales of Janes on our show. Josh is the Senior Marketing and Events Co-ordinator and is here to discuss his podcast, The World of Intelligence. He shares how he measures success and brand awareness, including to get biggest reach possible, you must meet what the audience is interested in with content diversity. Listen now to hear Josh share how critical guest networking is for his podcast, plus a look into OSINT, an Open Source Intelligence Community that focuses on sharing information with others.