[podcast_motor_player url=”https://episodes.seriouslysimplepodcasting.com/PodcastMotorShow/025_-Scaling-Podcast-Advertising-with-Andrew-Connell.mp3″ title=”025: Scaling Podcast Advertising with Andrew Connell”]
This week’s guest is Andrew Connell, developer and podcast host of the Microsoft Cloud Show. His podcast keeps listeners up to date on all things Microsoft Intelligent Cloud, including Azure and Office 365.
On today’s episode, Andrew shares his successes in growing and identifying his audience, and using that information to obtain relevant sponsors that are a good fit for his listeners. Listen in for valuable tactics he used to get his show’s paid advertising off the ground and generate revenue from his podcast show.
Topics Discussed in this Episode:
- Andrew’s show formats and evolving with listener feedback
- Episode download metrics and thresholds for advertisers
- Paid acquisition approaches to gaining listeners
- Tactics to identify your audience and find relevant sponsors
- Pricing and selling sponsorships packages
- The importance of mailing lists and methods to increase conversions
- Generating revenue from podcasting
Craig: Hello and welcome to The PodcastMotor Show. I’m your host Craig Hewitt. Here each week, we’re going to bring on the best and brightest minds from Podcasting for them to share exactly what’s working with their shows right now. We’re going to show you how to grow your listenership, build your online brand and engage with your community more effectively. Let’s jump into the show. Welcome back! This week on the show, we have Andrew Connell. Andrew, how are you doing?
Andrew: I’m doing just fine, Craig! Thanks for having me.
Craig: No. It’s my pleasure. Andrew and I have been talking inside of Podcast Hackers, our Facebook group, a bit about this show and a couple of things. I think we began our discussion around paid acquisition for podcasting which I think is a really interesting topic that maybe we can dig into later but Andrew, do you want to share with folks who might not be familiar with you and your podcast about you and what you’re up to with podcasting?
Andrew: Sure. Sounds good. I’m primarily a developer who got into the whole podcasting thing about three and a half years ago or so. Always big time listener of a bunch of shows but as we co-host, a friend of mine, we decided to stand up a show called the Microsoft Intelligent Cloud Show. Their Microsoft public cloud which is Azure and their productivity suites called Office 365. We focused on it primarily from a developer point of view but we do mostly about 50/50 on interviews and new shows, a couple of geek outs. We call it the Microsoft Cloud Show, domain same thing, find them on iTunes and all that. We’ve been doing weekly episodes now since October of 2013. We’re up to 185 this morning.
Craig: Congratulations! That’s some great staying power.
Andrew: It’s a lot of work. Jumping on the shoulders of giants and taking a cue from the whole make sure you publish on a regular cadence and all that. It makes a big difference. That’s an interesting experience. I enjoy it.
Craig: I have a question before we get into some of the other topics. I wanted to talk about the mix of formats. I think most shows find to be one, maybe two formats. It’s a solo show or just an interview show or you and your co-host. Sounds like you guys have three pretty different focuses and formats. Can you talk about how that’s evolved and how you view it at this point 185 episodes into it?
Andrew: Absolutely. It’s funny because we talked about it this morning. We’re looking at where we want to change here. The geek out thing that I mentioned, the two of us are both big in the auto racing and cars and stuff like that. Those are few and far between, I think we’ve done like three or four of those out of that 180. I probably shouldn’t have put those in the category.
We try and do a good 50/50 mix between news and interviews. Almost all of our shows, both of us are involved in it, as not just a solo run show. I like the idea of a co-hosted show because I like the interaction between each other. It seems like a lot of fun and even when you’re just doing a news kind of a show. Our listeners enjoy it, they like the interaction but we started out just doing news and then started to pivot a little bit more in doing more around the interview bit.
We made a big mistake early on in not starting a mailing list where we could communicate with our listeners all that well. It’s very hard to get people to leave a review inside something like iTunes. We finally started an email list and when we put out a survey for everyone, we found that people really enjoy the news show a lot more than we thought they did.
As other podcasters know, you speak out, it’s like a blogger, you speak out into this vacuum and you have no idea if anybody is listening or if anybody even cares. It was nice to see that people were resonating with the news shows and mixing them up with the interview shows.
We even fell into a little spot last year where we had a lot of interviews backed up, we started doing a bunch of interviews back to back and found that our listeners were asking for like hey, we come to you guys for the latest news and get caught up on stuff once a week so, when are you guys going to jump back to that? Thankfully, our listeners told us what they wanted, told us what they were missing and we’re just now trying to make it a 50/50 split between the two. There’s so much stuff to talk about with what we cover that it’s hard to fit it down as you try and time box down to about 40 to 50 minutes for every episode.
Craig: A couple of things, one, nice that you have a level of engagement with your audience for them to tell you what they want more or less of. I think that’s something that even successful podcasters might not have but then once you get that down into the two things you’re able to manage, the content planning and strategy to where you can say, okay, it’s time for a news episode or it’s time for an interview episode with an expert or something like that. It’s a tough thing and something that even some successful podcasters have a tough time managing that balance.
Andrew: It is. It is tricky to manage. I would love to have someone help us with the scheduling side of it because we do it all ourselves. We don’t mix the show ourselves. We have someone that helps us mixing our shows. Case in point today, next week, I’m going on vacation. We had an interview that we recorded a week or two ago but we don’t want to sit on the interviews for too long, we want to push them out because then things become a little dated. Inevitably, someone’s going to say during the show yesterday or today and when you publish it three weeks later, that doesn’t mean as much.
It’s tough to get those people scheduled and lined up the right way and making sure that you got enough things that you can almost pull something out of a hopper and if you need to be able to publish a show that something either recording failed or somebody wasn’t able to make the show or something that you can keep that consistent basis.
It’s an ongoing bit, an ongoing challenge to keep it going but it’s one of those things that having the engagement with the listeners is what we get the most value out of it or at least for the most part, that’s one of the biggest aspects that we do it. We go to our conference and someone comes up out of the blue you never met and say, hey, I love the show, can I have a sticker? How is this so cool?
Craig: I love that. I went to a conference a couple of weeks ago and I had a couple of dozen people come to say, I listen to your podcast every week. I love what you’re doing. It’s nice to meet you in person, I feel like I’m in the podcast right now or something. I’m internet podcast famous in a very, very small way. It’s funny.
Andrew: We call it you’re a celebrity in a subculture. It just has to be a very small subculture so you don’t get your egos too big.
Craig: Yeah. Andrew, at this point, how many downloads are you guys getting per episode in the first 30 days or however you want to quantify it?
Andrew: I’ll get into this when we start talking about a little bit more about advertisers but we were told that advertisers or sponsors are interested in the number of downloads of your episodes six weeks post publication. Our numbers are around 3,000 downloads for each show that comes out over the six weeks after it has been published. That’s about 40 or 50 days, something like that. It’s a pretty good loyal bit of listener base. It’s a steady incline.
The thing you and I first started talking about on our Facebook group was we’ve been able to generate some revenue from the show. I guess it’s a good thing and a bad thing, as a developer, I always want to hear negative feedback because that’s the part that you can always improve on. Good feedback is nice but it doesn’t help you. We get a lot of good feedback from people but we don’t get much negative feedback because I’m always trying to figure out how can I reach out to other people to let them know about our show to grow our listener base? We’re looking at all these different options and the whole concept of doing paid acquisitions with normal online businesses, relatively speaking, it’s simple to figure out and to measure. But with a podcast, it’s like billboard advertising. You can’t tell the direct correlation for this ad spender, this giving your message out, how it translates to people showing up and downloading the show which is the important part.
Craig: I know that The Art of Manliness show, I don’t know if you listen to it. It’s a fantastic podcast. I know they do some paid acquisition and I’m sure it’s Facebook ads. The one thing I’ve heard that’s a handy trick looking at tracking those “conversions” is if you go all the way back to how your podcast affects your business which is the end goal of what you’re looking for is having a URL that you send people to, that you only mention in the podcast and you don’t link to in the show notes. For us, it will be podcastmotor.com/show or whatever it is. We don’t have it in the show notes or anywhere so anyone who comes to that page, you know that they listen to the podcast itself. Of course that’s someone who listens to the show and “converts“ but looking at finding a true metric of conversion, anyone who lands on that page then you would know it was a conversion. It’s tough.
Andrew: It is. I think that the first time when you try and do something like that, you think about what is your behavior? What is your behavior going to be with something like this? You mentioned that podcast just a minute ago, I’m the kind of person that’s not going to go to a website, I’m going to pull up Overcast on my phone and I’m going to do a search for it and subscribe that way. That doesn’t help the conversion. I look at it and say, well, having a landing page that people can go hit, that’s only put either through that specific ad that you put on Facebook or something. That’s a fantastic way to click through and to see it and it’s for the people who look at it and say, oh, I heard about the show. It’s always tough to capture all those things.
As a developer, I have the flaw, at least in this case, it’s a flaw to where if I can’t capture all the data then I see it as like was that a good approach. If I’m getting most of data, that’s probably good enough, but the developer side of me is too black and white on it.
Craig: Paid acquisition is a very slippery slope for your check book. You can go spending a bunch of money on whether its AdWords or Facebook or whatever. Especially with the podcast, seeing the increase in listenership over a six-week period or something, you could’ve spent several thousand dollars. At least today, here in March 2017, it’s not something that’s very well understood, that scale, I don’t think.
Andrew: It’s tricky. It’s definitely something that somebody has got some idea on how they could crack this nut, kind of like medium was with publishing and I think that being interesting for someone to “reimagine” how to figure that out with podcasting but somebody’s got a smarter mind than me on it. I’ll just keep trying to play around with a little and try to figure out here and there and how to figure it out.
Craig: Cool. 3,000+ downloads in that first six-week period that advertisers look for and you guys have attracted some advertisers in the past year. Can you talk through a little bit of that process? One of the biggest questions that we get within the Facebook group and at Podcast Motor in general is I want to start a podcast because I want to make money by podcasting or I want to make the podcast be a break even event for my business where I pay for a service like Podcast Motor editing services or hosting and all these things that go into podcasting that people want to make some money back from it directly by advertising or product placement.
The question comes like how do I line the advertiser with the brand of the podcast and my listenership and being true to that and the things that they’re interested and they want. There’s a lot of questions all in one but I think it really is a mindset and a framework that sounds like you guys navigated pretty well. I’d love to hear how you walked through that journey and maybe some people who are listening can walk in your shoes as well.
Andrew: Sure. I’ll start out with one of the things that I think is the hardest about this is when you are a show that has a general approach. It’s like any kind of a product. When your market is absolutely huge, it’s hard to target that market.
For us, we’re called the Microsoft Cloud Show, we talk about Azure and Office 365, developers and IT pros. The easiest thing for us was to go find the different conferences that are put on throughout the year, look at the sponsors of those shows then identify and say, okay, there’s a handful of people that we can go and target and say, would you be interested?
We ran the show from October of 2013 and then starting some time in 2015, we started mentioning on the show that we were looking for a sponsor but we weren’t doing any specific outreach for it. We talked to a few people but no one wanted to be the first one. We had a company out of the blue where one of their employees listened to us, mentioned it and they came in and they asked if we’d be interested in sponsor. We had no idea what to charge. We through a number out there, they didn’t come back at all. They just sent us a check, so of course we didn’t charge enough.
We had that one sponsor for a few months. They’re still a sponsor of ours but they jumped on in January or February of 2016, and last year, a couple months after that, I went to a conference, MicroConf out in Las Vegas. I met up with a few other podcasters. A few of them had some pretty good revenue coming in from advertisers and I learned about the whole, you know, you want to look for a number of downloads over six weeks, that’s going to tell what your CPM is, that’s your multiple so you have a dollar amount times your CPM is going to give you how much each episode costs and then you figure out what you’re offering is to different sponsors. Finally, I had a way to measure stuff. I was like, okay, now that we figured this out, what we really need to do is grow our base, get better numbers so that we can have a pitch. We have a front and back piece of paper that we hand potential sponsors and say here’s some demographics about our user base.
The things that we learned after we started doing this that I wish I knew beforehand, they talk about an avatar or an idea of who your listener is, we didn’t have that. We knew who it was but it was just a feel. From the very first day, I wish we had started a mailing list. When people sign up for the mailing list, like we do now, we send them a survey to ask them to self-select themselves. They can be anonymous, they can give us their email address. It doesn’t matter but we want to know who they really are. For us, developer, IT pro, business users, stuff like that, what kind of a person are they? We were able to take that information and then go to other companies to see if they would be interested.
We’ve had a couple rules around it in place. Going back, finding the companies, finding potential sponsors was the easy part. Going to all these different conferences or at least just finding the conferences, looking at the page that had a list of all the sponsor or all the exhibitors, writing those down and then we found someone on Upwork that went and found the marketing contact for each one of those different sponsors, filled it up in a spreadsheet and then we just sent a mass, about 100 or 200 emails out and just said here’s our prospectus. We did it in a staged approach but we said here’s our prospectus, here’s what we charge, here’s what you get in return for it, here’s how many episodes you have to buy, are you interested? A lot of people came back. Out of those 100 people that we reached out to, I’d say 25 came back to us. I was pretty happy with that response.
Of that, we had serious conversations with about 10 of them. We go back and forth between a couple of them now who end up being our sponsors here and there. The big thing was the communication and sharing the stats with our sponsors from our listener base for specific episodes, for specific topics to help them better understand our listener base.
The one thing that we have stayed away from, and that’s primarily because of the overhead that it would cost, is selling sponsorship for specific episodes. We essentially say we have a normal episode that we do, it’s either a news or an interview show that’s 40-45 minutes long and you buy a contiguous subscription or contiguous sponsorship to those. We’re not going to give them the choice of saying I want to be in this episode or I want to be in that episode, that never worked.
We lived for most of 2016 with just one sponsor. We had a pretty epic guest that we were able to land that we’ve been working on for about two years that we were able to interview in November of 2016. Once we had that confirmed, I reached out to about 10-15 sponsors and said here’s the deal. The next episode has this person on it, we’re going to have up to three sponsors, here’s how much it costs, and you have to do 12 episodes. That got the interest going.
Landing a big guest or a big name was a big deal because since we’ve done that, it’s almost like it legitimized us. A lot of them were coming back towards us and saying, now I’m interested or put me on the list for the next batch that comes up. When we did that one big guest, we only had one of the sponsors not renew with us and the other two are still with us and we’re going back and forth between a couple different ones. It’s funny.
Right now, we’ve received checks from two or three other sponsors but we haven’t gotten the information that we needed from them to be able to put them on the show to either play their recording or for us to call them out on the show or put them on the website. We have a new challenge which is trying to get them to fulfill what they’ve already paid for so that we could sell additional sponsorship to other people.
Craig: I totally understand where you’re coming from there. I have to peel back a couple of things in what you said. Talking about selling packages and not letting sponsors buy a certain “episode.” When you started, how did you structure, not tell what you charged, you sold for X dollars for three episodes or five episodes, how did you go about that kind of decision-making process?
Andrew: Very selfishly, to be honest. Between my co-host and I, we split the work and then we have a producer that we’ll send the files to, we send them a text file or we fill out a Google form that he gets and we get an MP3 back from him. We have someone who helps us go through and publish this show every week.
What we didn’t want to do is that we didn’t want to sell two episode spots here or two episodes there. We would be going through a big churn. We didn’t want to have to go through onboarding a new sponsor every couple months or every other month.
We figured out what that CPM number was. That was the first step. How many people download and listen to the show over the course of the six weeks after the show has been produced or published? We looked at the average numbers and we were sitting around 3,000. That’s going to be a CPM, that’s 3.0. Figured out a number, talked to a couple people and said, what’s the right number for a podcast?
Our very first one that we just through a number out was $45 per CPM. An advertising spot on one episode would be 3.0 CPM times $45, so 3.0 times $45 is one episode. What we did is we took that number and we then said we’re going to sell sponsorships in batches of four episodes. Let’s say, 4, 8, 12, all the way up to 20 but we put in an incentive and that is if a sponsor bought 12 episodes, then we gave them a special episode that we would interview them. They would give us the questions and we would interview them. We will treat it as a normal episode with no other advertising spots in that episode, it’d be published out of our normal band that we normally do. We usually publish on Tuesday, so whenever it was ready on a weekday, we would just go and publish it. It was essentially an advertisement show for them but it was more of an interview based show. They didn’t end up paying for that show, none of the other sponsors paid for it.
Craig: It’s like sponsored content in the blogging world.
Andrew: Exactly. It was just like that. We don’t tell our listeners that’s what it is but we do call it a sponsor feature or something like that, I can’t remember the exact name we use.
Since we started doing that, and we see that a couple of our sponsors, they didn’t want to have to deal paying for four episodes, we do weekly publications. They didn’t want to deal with this every month. We’ve since now said that we only end up selling 12 at a time. That’s every three months, we can go through sponsors, and we are now talking about doing a discount if they buy 20 or 24 or something.
Craig: You have the same sponsor for every episode for three months in a row or can you have multiple in there that you’re alternating between?
Andrew: Good question. We have three sponsors that we run at any given time but we don’t have more than three active sponsors at a time. Those three sponsors, if you buy in at episode 50, then you’re going to be 50 through 62 with any exceptions if we do a Geek Out or if we really do a short episode where we interview people for five minutes at a conference. We don’t put sponsors in there because it just starts to muddy it up. We just say if it’s a real content show, you buy 12 episodes, that’s 50 through 62.
Another perk, sponsor could come in at say episode 55, and they go 55 through 67. You have a contiguous 12 episodes and we do a max of three sponsors per show. We do one spot that comes in right after our introduction of the show, one spot. If it’s an interview show, we’ll do one right before we do the interview and then one right in the middle of the interview. If it’s a new show, then we try and space those other two out somewhere in between after we go through our opening banter and then jump in halfway through the news.
If we’re only down to two sponsors at a time, like we are right now because we’re trying to chase down some details from some of the other sponsors that have paid but they haven’t given us their logo or the text they want us to read out, then we just cut it down, we just do the exact same thing. We just say instead of three spots, we’ll be just putting two spots in.
Craig: Interesting. The other question I had about how you identified your audience. I know you said building an email list is the thing you wish you would’ve done earlier. When you actually went back to build that demographic avatar as you put it of exactly who your listeners are, what kind of approach and tools did you use to go into that and say, alright, we need to build a really clear picture of who our ideal or sample listener is to then present to your potential sponsors?
Andrew: We thought we had a great idea and then we heard what somebody else did and we ditched our idea and we stole their idea. I shouldn’t say we stole it. We imitated what they did, we flattered them by imitation.
Craig: And iterated on them, I’m sure.
Andrew: Exactly. My co-host who is a CTO of a company that just got founded, he was asked to be on another show that was looking for sponsors and this is a fairly big name show. Right after the end of the interview, he got pitched to, “Does your company wanna advertise with us?” He went and he asked, “Let me see what you guys do and let’s see what kind of stuff you guys give potential sponsors, maybe that’ll help us.”
They talk to a similar audience that we talk to and we saw the demographic breakdown of what they were looking for and it essentially told us you need to ask questions to get the same kind of data from your listeners. That’s when we had the big slap in the face of we should start a mailing list because how do we get people that are listening to us, how do we get them to come back and answer these questions?
Quite frankly, the reason why I said I regret it is that we are still struggling to get people to convert from being subscribers of the podcast to being also subscribers of our mailing list. What we did was we just created a simple google form, asked a bunch of questions, tried to keep it fairly short but we also try to get things of not just who they are but what their behavior was.
One of the most eye opening questions that we ask people is we ask them how they listen to the show. We give them a couple options between working out, commuting or when they’re at their desk or something like that. Or an other, and we gave them a free form thing.
The big one is how they listen to the show and why they listen to the show, what was interesting to them. We gave them a few things and when they submit their entries, we also gave them away when they would submit it. Other people can see what they had submitted, some people could say yes, plus one on that other guy said.
The majority of our listeners, they listen to us when they’re in the car, or on the train on the way to work, on the way home. That explains a lot of why people aren’t subscribing to the email list because they’ve probably forgotten about the fact that they were listening to our show when they can actually hear something about subscribing to an email list. That was one.
The other things was just finding out why they listened. Like I said in the beginning between the interview shows, the news shows, the one that we were really surprised by is that people saying, my name is Andrew Connell, I go by AC, my co-host is Chris Johnson, he goes by CJ and they just responded with we just want to find out the things AC and CJ are working on, we’re trying to stay up to date because you guys seem to be working in the interesting stuff.
That’s when we’re like let’s do the geek out stuff, let’s talk about space as well sometimes. We don’t work on it but let’s see if they are interested in that. Sure enough, that played off really well too. It was mainly just a Google form. That was the big thing. Right now, we’re playing with the idea of using some of our proceeds from the sponsors to create a monthly giveaway that we give our listeners that are on the mailing list to try to entice more people to get on that list because we found that sponsors were very interested in our mailing list as well and getting in our normal mailings we send out.
Craig: My next question is how do you incentivize listeners to join the email list because it’s not hey, sign up and we’ll let you know when a new episode comes out because everyone is subscribed in Overcast on their iPhone, it just downloads automatically. You got to have some sort of hook to get people to get off the couch or get off the treadmill and go sign up.
Andrew: We’re actually going to change this up, this is deliberate. If we have a cross pollination of listeners to your podcast to this one and to ours, I might get a couple of people angry here but who are hearing behind the scenes.
Because we talk about the news, we have a lot of links that we reference in our show. We put all the show notes not only in the notes of the episodes, they get them in Overcast. We also send them out via email the same time the show gets published, about five minutes after the show gets published on our feed. What we plan on doing is we plan on removing the links from the actual show notes and just keeping the description there and then keeping the links either on our website or just in the email.
It sounds kind of like a trick that we’re playing on them, but one of the reasons we’re doing it is actually in response to a lot of feedback we got which is people would listen to the show and we started getting questions coming back saying, hey, a couple episodes ago, you guys talked about this one thing. I can’t remember exactly what it was or what the link was, could you share that link with us? I’m like, that’s not nearly enough information to figure out what you just asked for.
What we started doing is we told them and say hey, if you subscribe to our show, then even though you’re going to be getting the show automatically downloaded on your phone, you’re also going to get an email on the same day that you can easily delete if you don’t want it but it’ll also have all the links that we talked about during the show so that you got it right in your inbox. You don’t have to worry about trying to write something down or take a note when you hear us talking about it. If we reference something in the show, we will include a link in the show.
The two of us take turns as we’re recording a show. We have links that we know we’re going to talk about but if one of us says something during the show, we send the other person a note so that when the other person starts talking, I’ll grab the link and put it in our shared notes to put it in the show notes when we’re finished. That’s a big thing that we do, they get all the notes of the show in an email, at the same time they download the show, they get it right in the email.
The other one is we’re going to do some sort of a fun little giveaway for the show. We haven’t figured out what it’s going to be but something that’s maybe a monthly kind of a little contest that we do pick somebody at random, for people who are on the mailing list, and just promote that on the show. We know that we can get up to 3,000 people because that’s how many downloads we’re getting, we know that we get up to 3000 people on our mailing list and we’re just trying to get that number bigger and to get that number to convert to actually sign up to the mailing list. It’s primarily just to be able to reach more people into and to talk to them.
We talked about in the beginning trying to make money off the show, we had grand visions of being able to make this a five figure monthly recurring revenue business. What we’re finding is maybe that can happen but that’s why we’re looking at paid acquisition, we have a great audience and we’re just trying to grow that audience more.
To get that audience to grow bigger, to be able to charge more for our sponsorships or not just raise or rates but be able to get more revenue from that increase CPM. We were finding it to be a lot harder to make it a revenue stream that is as big as what we’ve heard other people do.
Right now, we’re making plenty money, we paid all of our cost back from the three years we’ve done it, we’ve been able to upgrade our hardware on both sides, just got ourselves a nice Zoom H6 this past week and we also have a good healthy bank account that we’re sitting on that we can use to be able to do certain things with. It’s not going to be enough to be able to pay the mortgage and stuff like that for six months or twelve months, but it’s enough to be able to at least make it a business that you can pay attention to and you can invest more time in and try and use the revenue we’ve pulled in to level up the show and to attract more sponsors and more listeners.
Craig: That’s fantastic to hear. It sounds like you guys are doing a lot of the right things, building the community around your show is something we talk about a lot. You guys are doing that through your email list and incentivizing and giving people a real, honest reason to join your email list and you’re providing a lot of value to them through that list. Not just hey, here’s our stuff and here’s a place where we can have sponsored segments or whatever but here are the links for every episode in your inbox. You don’t have to go to the website and search what episode was it.
It sounds like you guys are doing a lot of things the right way and filling the top of that funnel with more listeners is the only key. All I can say is that it sounds to me like more of those big guests are going to be the way to not only increase what you charge per sponsor segment but increase your listenership too. It’s a double whammy.
Andrew: That’s the way we’re looking at it as well. I know this isn’t available to a lot of people, it wasn’t available to us until late last year. We lucked out on it. There’s a Microsoft Teleconference last year called Ignite. It’s about 20,000-25,000 people show up and they were doing a little podcasting thing at the show. What they did is they invited some kind of alternative influencers. They offered to livestream a video version of our show for free. We just had to have a place to be able to host it.
It just gave us a little snip at HTML. We created a new page on our site, threw it up and told our listeners, go here at this day and this time and you’ll see us broadcast a live show. By the way, we’re going to record it and we’ll be able to publish this as regular episode. We did that live show, it got a good response from our viewers, our listeners. We saw a nice little bump on our subscriber base when that happened. There’s a lot of buzz around the social sites, we’re on Facebook and Twitter.
We’ve since been offered or invited to go do that in a few other shows, not just Microsoft shows but a couple other shows as alternative media from the traditional people that normally were to cover these different conferences. We found that we’re trying to take advantage of that a little bit more because it gives you a little bit more of an angle of knowing someone. Like when the Super Bowl is going on, you have the reporters walking around on media day and catching people that you don’t normally get to catch and do a decent interview with. It’s surprising how effective that was.
The challenge with that one is you got to somehow get the conference. It’s been a great way for us to go to conferences for free, at least the registration part is free and you just gotta pay your way there. We’re getting great content out of that. Our sponsors end up paying for us sometimes to go there and to highlight some of the stuff they’re doing at the conferences. That’s another angle that we’re looking at being able to take advantage of.
Craig: That’s great. I think it’s an underutilized one. Every business or every industry has their conferences and the developers, it’s pretty easy to find but I think everybody can identify with a couple of conferences they can go to a year and conferences are great. If you spend the time to be real intentional and not just go to party or to mess around, they are a great way to grow your brand and your business and your network which is ultimately where all this stuff happens.
Andrew: It does. Great conversations, great buzz. It’s funny because we were doing the interviews too. We had our stickers there and you’d have people that would walk up in the middle of an interview that would, hey, can I grab a sticker? I’m like, we’re in the middle of an interview right now.
One of our friends stood there and was just handing out stickers to people that were coming up and like, what are you guys doing? I’m like, interviewing for the Microsoft Cloud Show. He goes, oh, I’ve heard about that. It was like, here’s the sticker. Just go look for that domain that you see on the sticker. Go there, subscribe, and it worked. We got some plans to try some new things. Try and do interview, some video based interviews that may be posting to a YouTube channel or on Vimeo or Wistia or something and to publish the audio side but have the video side there as well to try and attract more people to pay attention to it. Just try a couple of different things like that.
For both of us, I think that we’re starting to treat the show more as, hey, it’d be great for it to be able to be self-sufficient and generate some revenue that maybe pays for some cool opportunities for us to level up the show but I think we’re both starting to instead leverage the show for our primary lines of business that each one of us does, to share in what we do, what we’re interested in and have a chance to sell the different things that we’re working on. For me, I do video based training. For him, he has a software SAAS that he sells. Talking about those a little bit on our show, they still talk straight to our audience, kind of cooping the show for our own advertising, being our own sponsors as well.
Craig: That’s awesome. Andrew, it sounds like you’re doing a lot of things right. I’m impressed with what you guys have done with the show. Thank you very much for sharing everything you’ve learned along the way, especially about advertising and building that base to present to advertisers. Super useful and I think a lot of you will get a lot out of listening to this episode. Can you share where folks can find out more about you and your podcast and connect with you online?
Andrew: Absolutely. These are really easy to find. To find our podcast, it’s the Microsoft Cloud Show which is microsoftcloudshow.com or @mscloudshow on Twitter. For me, it’s andrewconnell.com and @andrewconnel on Twitter. Those are the two primary ways you’d find me. I also do a video based training business that is called Voitanos. You can find the exact same spelling, sounds exactly like it’s spelled, or just go to my site and you’ll see links to it on Twitter and Facebook and main website as well. That’s a way to find us.
I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to come on your show. I’ve recently discovered it the last few months. I enjoy listening to the show and it’s flattering to be able to come on and share some of our experiences with your listeners.
Craig: It’s my pleasure. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
Andrew: Thank you.
Craig: Thanks for tuning in to another episode of the PodcastMotor Show. If you’re enjoying the show, head on over to iTunes and leave us a review. I’d love to hear what you think. As always, head on over to podcastmotor.com for more great resources on how you can become a better podcaster. We’ll see you next time.