Ep. 132 – How B2B Companies Can Grow Through Podcasting w/ Eric Melchor

How B2B Companies Can Grow Through Podcasting

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B2B podcasts that have been around for a few years have managed to build a credible online presence as well as a loyal audience who tunes in regularly. It would then make sense from a strategic perspective for B2B companies to leverage these podcasts to help grow their own brands. How can they do it? What should they be looking out for?

That’s why we’re talking to marketing expert Eric Melchor (FounderB2B PodPros) about how B2B companies can grow through podcasting. During our conversation, Eric discussed why he feels this is an untapped opportunity for B2B brands and highlighted which pitfalls to avoid. He also talked about the three ways to grow, the importance of having a good pitch, and which metrics to pay attention to.

Play Video about B2B Marketers on a Mission EP 132 Eric Melchor Youtube thumbnail

Topics discussed in episode

  • The 3 ways brands that can grow through podcasting
    • Guest-podcasting [3:02]
    • Creating your own podcast [14:56]
    • Podcast sponsorship [17:55]
  • Some pitfalls to avoid [6:13]
    • Paying agencies to get you booked
    • Not doing any research on the show
  • Eric shares some tips from his experience on pitching yourself to be a guest on podcasts [11:07]
    • Show the hosts that you listened to the show
    • Finding out if you have a common connection and mentioning them
    • Sending reminder emails the right way [26:43]
  • Eric explains why companies should use B2B influencers [28:52]
  • Eric provides some actionable tips: [33:10]
    • Guest-podcasting vs. sponsoring
    • Go for mid-roll ads
    • Let the host write and read the script
    • Sponsor 7-10 podcasts over 4 weeks to test the results
    • Use a UTM tracking link 
  • Erics explains why people do not just tune into podcasts to learn something. [41:29]

Companies and links mentioned

Transcript

SPEAKERS

Christian Klepp, Eric Melchor

Christian Klepp  00:03

Welcome to B2B Marketers on a Mission, a podcast for changemakers where we question the conventional, debunk marketing myths, provide actionable tips, think differently, disrupt the industries, and take your marketing to a new level, from improving your campaigns to making you a better marketer. These are the inspirational stories that will help us change the way we think and approach B2B marketing, one conversation at a time. This podcast is brought to you by EINBLICK Consulting, helping you to stand out in the market and drive revenue to your B2B business. And now your host, Christian Klepp.

Christian Klepp  00:44

All right, everyone. Welcome to this episode of B2B Marketers on a Mission. This is the show where we help you to question the conventional, think differently, disrupt your industry and take your marketing to new heights. This is your host Christian Klepp. And today I’m joined by someone on a mission to make podcast sponsorships cool for B2B brands. So coming to us from Bucharest, Romania, Eric Melchor, welcome to the show, sir.

Eric Melchor  01:08

Thank you, Christian for having me.

Christian Klepp  01:11

Great to have you on the show, Eric. I think this one was many months in the making, I believe. And, you know, thanks to you, of course, for introducing me to this wonderful community of podcasters. And we’re probably gonna get to that in a second. And I’m just really looking forward to this conversation, because you are probably the first person I’ve had on the show, who is talking about this specific topic. So yeah, looking forward to it, man.

Eric Melchor  01:37

Yeah, no, same here. I mean, printing right now is the term B2B influencers. And when people think about that, they’re thinking about the people that are on Twitter, or Tik Tok or Instagram, even LinkedIn. Right. But podcasting, no one’s really talking about podcasters. And I don’t know if we fall into the influencer category. But in my mind, we certainly do because we can help elevate a brand through our podcasts. And you know that, you know that as well as I do that we have a very valuable audience. It may not be the 10s of 1000s of followers that some people may have on Twitter, but even just a few hundred listeners who are loyal, who tune in, who like your show, that’s a very valuable audience for people in the B2B space.

Christian Klepp  02:27

Absolutely, absolutely. FYI, um, in terms of Twitter, I think they call that X now (laugh)

Eric Melchor  02:33

It’s cool, man.

Christian Klepp  02:38

I’m glad you brought that up, Eric, because, you know, let’s jam on that a little bit further. Right. Like, you know, in terms of how B2B companies can grow through podcasting, why do you believe, you know, it’s such an untapped opportunity, because it’s gonna sound so biased coming from me, but yes, I think podcasts, you know, there’s something to be said about tapping into those.

Eric Melchor  03:02

Well, I say it because I lived it. And I think there’s three ways that brands can go grow through podcasting, the first, the first exposure that I had to one of these ways was when I worked for Bonjoro, SaaS startup based out of Australia a few years ago. And I was working with Casey Hill. And he is kind of known throughout the SaaS and B2B space. But we had this idea of why don’t we just go as a guest on podcast and talk about how Bonjoro really helps brands elevate their personal customer journey with our customers, and combine the three of us, me, him and Ali, we went on more than 100 different podcasts, talking about Bonjoro. With over the span of about 12 months, we looked at the data, as measured by what did you hear about us, and when people were signing up for the product, and more than 10% of new customers were saying through podcasts. And when we looked at the data, it really amounted to about an extra $300,000 in annual reoccurring revenue that podcasting was, you know, was helping us and we weren’t really paying to go on these podcasts. There’re services out there that you can pay and different agencies and they charge anywhere from maybe $300 to $500 to get you booked on one podcast. We just we just created a system that worked for us. It was very simple. We would listen to the podcast first. So we would actually have something too. We would know what the podcast was about what the host and star was about. And we kept everything in a spreadsheet. And so when we reached out, we could say, hey, we enjoyed your show, we heard this episode, and we think we can add some value to your audience by talking about X, Y and Z. And so we had a pretty good pitch. And over time, we became really successful with that. And then I went to another SaaS startup called Optimonk. And I repeated that same playbook. Guest-podcasting and I went on more than 40 podcasts on their behalf talking about the benefits their product provided. And sure enough, nine months later, once I started doing that, about 10% of new customers were indicating that they heard about Optimonk through podcasts. And it was just the guest podcasting. So that’s one of the ways that I think brands can grow, is through guest-podcasting, going on telling your story, you know, telling your mission, telling your customer success stories about your product, and sure it’s not one of those things that you can scale very quickly. But if you, if you keep at it, and even do maybe one interview a week or something, you know, within six to nine months, you’ll start seeing, you’ll start seeing an impact on the traffic that’s coming to your website, as well as the new customers that you’re generating, that if you can give a decent interview, as well as the new customers that you’re generating from this effort.

Christian Klepp  05:48

Yeah, no, absolutely, absolutely. We’re probably going to get into that in more detail later on. But I’m gonna move us on to a common mistakes. Or let’s say, what are some of the common pitfalls that B2B marketers should be looking out for or try to avoid when they’re trying to grow through podcasting?

Eric Melchor  06:11

Yeah, I think some of the pitfalls are when paying agencies to get you booked, because many times they may get you booked. But it’s on a podcast that one probably doesn’t have a large audience or two is not very consistent. And so when you are researching the podcast that you do want to go on, you should use a search engine, like maybe listen notes, and use their filters, and only look for podcasts that had an episode published within the last, let’s say, 20 days, because you really just want to be on a podcast that’s consistent with their publishing, that’s at least putting out maybe one episode one new episode every other week. So I think that’s a big mistake is hiring an agency that’s not really doing that for you, and is getting you booked on podcasts that are not very consistent, or just not that reliable, just don’t really have a good audience, right. So you want to get yourself booked on podcasts that have like maybe a minimum of 30 episodes that are published, and that have a consistent publishing frequency. So I think that’s one of the biggest mistakes and paying for it too. I mean, this is something that you can do on your own, the money can add up very, very quickly, if you’re paying, let’s just say, $300 to get booked on one podcast, three shows that’s already $1,000. I mean, 10 shows, you know, you do the math. Pretty quickly, you’re talking, you know, three, four grand for just 10 shows. So if you, if you really want to move the needle, you got to get on at least 30 podcasts. And so if you’re paying an agency to do this, this can escalate very quickly into you know, $10,000 or more, versus if you just cut out maybe two to three hours a week and do it yourself. You don’t really have to spend any money out of your pocket, you may pay for a search engine to be able to utilize listen notes for like a day or two. And that’s maybe $20. But for the most part, that’s it. Oh, of course, you want to get a good microphone, because that always helps. But you can find a quality microphone for less than $100 on Amazon, somewhere.

Christian Klepp  08:11

Yeah, no, you’re absolutely right. I’m just gonna go back to what you said about avoid going through agencies because  you know, truth be told a lot of these agencies reach out to me. There’s two of them that I work with, closely, I’m not going to say that they always reach out, but when they do, they do send me qualified guests. And when I say qualified, and it’s not to put anybody else down, it’s just guests are the right fit for the show. Right. But I guess the follow up question to you, Eric, is why do you feel like, cost factor aside… But what why do you feel that this this booking agency business is so lucrative? Right, if people can do it by themselves, and why do they still go to these agencies?

Eric Melchor  08:56

I think they just don’t have the playbook. And one of the biggest reasons is that it’s hard to find the host’s email address, because it’s rarely listed on Spotify or Apple podcasts. 99% of time, it’s not. And a lot of podcasts don’t have their own website. So you can spend a lot of time looking for the host’s contact information. But again, that’s probably one of the biggest reasons why they think, Okay, well, I don’t know who to reach out to, I don’t know who to contact. But again, you could pay a service like listennotes.com a search engine and pay like $20 to have that information that access and you can access the host’s contact information for 95% of the shows that are listed on their, my podcasts, Innovators Can Laugh, it’s on there. If you look it up, you’ll see me and you’ll see my email address. And for 95% of the other podcasts that are on there, you can find the host’s contact information.

Christian Klepp  09:51

Right, right. Absolutely. Absolutely. So besides avoiding or not using these agencies to get you on podcasts. Well, what are some other pitfalls that people should like watch out for and try to avoid?

Eric Melchor  10:08

Yeah, I think some of the pitfalls are not listening to an episode. Because you don’t really know what to expect, right? If you’re going on a podcast and thinking that all podcasts are the same, I think that’s really a mistake. And so, a good podcast host is going to educate you before you even come on the show. But you should still, you should still do a little bit of homework and listen to at least one episode. So you get the style of the podcast host, and you get a feeling of what to expect, the type of questions of what to expect. Every podcast is different. Some may be more serious than others, some may ask you numbers behind your business and get into details about the financial projections. What is your, you know, expected revenue for 2024? How many employees do you have? You know, they may get into the gritty details of like, the stuff that you can pull from your spreadsheet. Other podcasts may be more coffee like casual conversation like, and they want to know about your entrepreneurial journey. You know, can you share stories from your childhood of when you first became an entrepreneur? Or how did you know that you really wanted to be a B2B marketer? You know, can you share some stories about your background, right? So that’s a big mistake is going on to a show, and not having any idea of what the show is, who their audience is, and the type of questions that you can expect. And it just, it really just takes 15 minutes to go listen to an episode, even if you just put it out 1.5x speed. Do that for one episode, and you can get a good idea of who the podcast host is and what to expect. So I think that’s another pitfall that a lot of guests make, is not doing their research.

Christian Klepp  11:43

A little bit louder for the people in the back please, because that is such an important point. And I’m gonna just put that one in layman’s terms. Don’t wing it!

Eric Melchor  11:55

Don’t wing it. Yeah absolutely.

Christian Klepp  11:58

We’ve all been on shows, or we’ve all listened to podcasts where I’m gonna say either or, it’s either the host, or the guest, or both are just absolutely winging it. And it comes off, like it’s very obvious, right, like in the conversation that they both don’t know anything about each other.

Eric Melchor  12:19

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, there’s two things, the host has to do his part, his or her part by asking beforehand, what topics can you talk about, you know, what is the topic you can talk about for 30 minutes, without any preparation? And okay, now, the other part is your part, you know, as a guest, I love it. I love it. And it rarely happens. But I love it when a guest sends me like, Hey, here’s some questions, you probably already have your set of questions you want to ask me. But if you don’t, here’s some questions that you can ask me. Right. And that gives the hosts just sort of like a playbook to follow if he doesn’t have one already. And he knows that, okay, I can go down this journey, go down this path if I ran out of questions to ask or if I didn’t do my homework, right. And most guests don’t do that. I think if the host is not doing his or her part, then the guests certainly should do their part and not just winging it by just showing up on the day of the recording, going inside the studio and saying I’m here. That’s not going to be a good show. Right, Chris? It just says… Not really. No, no, I’ve listened to your show. I’ve listened to a few episodes, I know that the guests provide a lot of value. And I know you always want to go into the details. And so they should have good clear Chris examples of what it is that they’re talking about. So I know that this is going to be a show where Chris you’re going to be holding your glass of wine, or you know, have a few beers already. And we’re just gonna, you know, BS our way through the episode. No, this isn’t one of those shows.

Christian Klepp  13:48

No, no. No alcohol involved whatsoever. Like, I think we all go wild with a little bit of water. (laugh) No, absolutely. Absolutely. Eric, I’m gonna go back to those three approaches that you were talking about, you know, regarding how folks can grow through podcasting. So can you talk to us about the three methodologies again, or just elaborate on them a bit further? And the pros and cons if you can?

Eric Melchor  14:17

Yeah, so the first one I talked about was guest podcasting. You know, the pros there is that you can do it on your own. If you do it on your own, it’s fairly inexpensive. A little bit of time involved, right? The cons are, is that it can take a while. I mean, it could take roughly 9 to 12 months before you start seeing some results. And that’s if you’re consistent, that’s if you’re going on at least 3 to 4 podcasts a month. The other con there is is that maybe the shows that you’re going on, just don’t have the kind of audience that you should be targeting. So you do need to do some research and target the right shows there. Right. The other two ways.

The other second way is actually creating your own podcasts and a lot of brands are starting to do this, the pros and cons of this… The pros is that, okay, it’s like your own media channel. And once you start building an audience, you have an audience of loyal listeners who learn a lot about you, because your in their ear for 30 minutes, right? The con is, is that it can take two to three years to build an audience, especially if you’re a brand that is not well known. Right? If you’re a brand that’s fairly new, that’s only been around maybe three or four years, and unless the owner is hosting the podcast, and even then it that doesn’t guarantee that you’re gonna have this like this big group of listeners right off the bat, because if the owner is not well known, then it’s going to take some time building a podcast. You’re competing with several others that are already out there and in your space. Even if you niche down, it’s still a big ask to tell somebody, Hey, for 30 minutes, go listen to my show, right? It’s not like a blog link that they can click on and they can quickly skim. And within 20 seconds, they know whether or not it provided value. It’s not like a lead magnet that they can go and think, Okay, let me just enter my email address. And I can see what this is about. No, it’s making a conscious decision to put a headset in their ear, and listen to you and give you at least you know, five minutes to see whether or not it’s going to be something valuable for them. It’s a huge ask, most people would rather rather pull out their wallet and give you $5, then say, Okay, let me spend some time listening to your podcast, because it takes time and time is the most valuable resource that we have. And the other cons are that it takes a lot of work. The average production time and I’ve asked dozens of podcast host this question, how long does it take for you from A to Z to produce a show, from booking the guests, you know, from recording the show, editing the show, getting the distribution ready, creating the podcast cover art writing the notes for the show, right? It takes on average, 8 to 15 hours per show, every week, every week. So you got to have somebody that’s dedicated, full time, minimum part time, right. But you have to have somebody who’s dedicated who has the bandwidth and the energy to do this every single week. And that’s why I think 95% of podcasts don’t even make it to Episode 11 is because the host does not realized the amount of work that’s involved. So the cons are real big here. It takes two to three years to start building an audience. And then second, there’s just the production time to put it to show, to create a show. It’s a lot every week. And that’s why most podcasts fail, right? The pros is if you’re willing to have that sort of resiliency, that tenacity and that persistence that in the long run, you can have a pretty good audience and have a good loyal following. But again, it’s going to take a while. Now the third topic, Christian.

The third topic is sponsorships. And this is where I think a lot of brands don’t really see the potential and how powerful it is to do podcast sponsorships. Some brands have done this. There’s been especially in the DTE space, there’s been leafy greens that has actually scaled by podcasting through sponsorships, they started sponsoring Tim Ferriss, along with some other podcasts. And they were spinning. It was their main growth lever and they became $100 million brand because of podcasting. There’s been a few other brands that have done it really well. But in terms of like the SaaS space and the B2B space, haven’t been a lot of brands that have dipped their toe and podcast sponsorships. There’s been a few out there Chili Piper is one of them, Dealfront is one of them. Active Campaign is starting to try to get in on this. But some brands that are fairly well known like HubSpot have gotten into this like three four years ago. It was one of the reasons they came out with the My First Million podcasts. And they said okay, we’re not just going to sponsor one podcast, we’re going to sponsor about six of them. And so the podcast network they created started with six or seven podcasts. Now there’s more than 30 different podcasts in the HubSpot network. And they support these shows. They they obviously they sponsor them, meaning that they do finance the shows, they give the host some financial backing, but they realized that a lot of their customers and future customers were no longer just reading blogs and white papers. And so they want to be in front of an audience where their future customers were and that was newsletters and podcasts. And so they realize the power that podcast sponsorships had early on. And they got in on the ground, you know, four years ago. And I think there’s a lot to be said about HubSpot, a brand that it’s got a market cap valuation, I think somewhere around $15 to $20 billion. And a lot of it has been their innovation when it comes to marketing. They were very quick to come up with different tools early on, like a website grader, they had a lot of different blog posts, a lot of different lead magnets. And then the past few years has been all about podcasts.

Christian Klepp  20:11

Thanks for sharing those man. That was fantastic. Just going back to a couple of things that you mentioned. So first off, speaking of Active Campaign, I had the pleasure of interviewing Casey Hill, and that episode will be published shortly.

Eric Melchor  20:27

Good, good, good. Good. How was he as a guest?

Christian Klepp  20:31

Oh, dynamite man. He handled all the questions and the spontaneous follow up questions like a champ. Right. I mean, it was it was super insightful as I expected, because we had a great pre-interview call. A lot of the tips were very actionable, because I tend to ask that kind of question on the show. If somebody didn’t have two years to deliver, what if they had only six months or three months to show some kind of indication of progress? Like, what would you advise them to do? And he was, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. Alright. So it was a great conversation. It’s a great conversation.

Going back to your point number two about creating your own podcast… that really resonated with me, because I can tell you, when I first started out, during lockdown, I had a couple of people, not many, but there were a few that said, like, come back to me when you’ve got 20 episodes. They didn’t want to be interviewed until they saw like, yeah, you’re gonna… let’s see if you stick around long enough. And so yeah, I’m with you on that one that, that it does take time. And it took some time to actually get some guests on that I felt like, okay, these guys are, you know, they’re prominent, I’m gonna say prominent figures in their space. Not necessarily because of the number of followers that they have on LinkedIn, for example, but just really, because they put out a lot of great pieces of content. I’ve listened to a couple of their interviews and other podcasts, it’s like, you know, listening to them, I’m like, wow, this person, you know, I should try to reach out to them. And we’re gonna get, we’re probably gonna get to that in a bit. But cold outreach is not an easy thing to do. There is I think there’s an art and science to it. It’s not something where you… There’s a couple of camps out there. I’m not the kind of person that believes in just you know, templating everything because I think that that type of outreach should be personalized. Case in point, Eric, when you reached out to me, right? It was very clear that you had actually done your homework on me, which I really appreciate it. Right. Because there’s some people out there I got one this morning. Hi, I am so and so forth. Right. And this is the reason why you should have me on your podcast. I’m like, did you even listen to my show? (laugh)

Eric Melchor  22:48

I get those all the time. Oh, man. Yeah, I hate those. I’ve been published in USA Today are all these different like major websites, and I’ve been featured this and I’ve been on this podcast.

Christian Klepp  23:00

Yeah, Me Me Me Me Me Me… Right?

Eric Melchor  23:02

Exactly. Yeah, exactly.

Christian Klepp  23:07

Cool. Moving us on to the next question. And you kind of brought it up already, but the importance of having a good pitch. So talk to us about that. Walk us through your thought process. And most important of all, for the benefit of the audience. Tell us what you think works and doesn’t work.

Eric Melchor  23:25

Yeah, so if we’re talking about pitching to be a guest on a podcast, right. You get a lot of these every week, I get a lot of them every week, and a lot of them just go straight to my trash bin. I don’t respond or even reply. And the reason why I don’t is because I want somebody who has actually listened to my show. And know what the show is about, knows the show’s format, knows my style. And the pitches that worked really well when I was podcasting, guest podcasting on behalf of Bonjoro and Optimonk, where the pitches were two things: I referenced a previous episode and I talked about what it is that I learned or what I appreciated about that episode. Right. That was number one. And that was the most important thing because it showed the hosts that I actually listened to the show, right, and I got something from it. Right. Another thing that worked out and I tried to do this whenever I could, was that I could reference somebody else who also listened to the show, or maybe was also a guest. Right? So there was a lot of podcasts, especially now when I was at Optimonk. And I would try to get on the show. I could say, Hey, I noticed you recently had so and so on the podcast. And so and so and I actually did a webinar together or we collaborated together, or we share the same views or he turned me on to your show. So just by having that, that reference of somebody else that they knew that I could reference and that we were in the same circles, that helped a lot too. So whenever I had those two things on there, and then finally, is, the last thing was the three topics that I could talk about, you know, I think your audience could benefit from either boom, boom, boom, three bullet points, three different topics. And if the first email didn’t work, then I would send a follow up email. And I would actually introduce a second set of three topics, three new topics that I could talk about, and just say, hey, if the first three topics didn’t interest you, I could also talk about, you know, EDF, as well. But the first two things, were just proving that I actually listened to an episode and referencing that in the very beginning, and then also tying in a person that we had in common that they knew. And that I also knew, that we were in the same circles.

Christian Klepp  25:46

So in plain English, do your homework, please. (laugh)

Eric Melchor  25:52

Do your homework, I mean, yeah, I get pitched all the time, and 99% of the pitches just go in the trash, because they don’t do their homework.

Christian Klepp  25:59

Well, and it goes back to something that you said earlier, Eric, it’s such an important thing, a lot of people out there tend to skip it, they just don’t bother to actually do any background research on you, or the show, or the topics that are being discussed. It’s like, it’s the spray and pray approach. And let’s see, you know, if we get any response to this at all, and they just throw you into an email sequence, right? Because, you know, to your point, plenty of these emails, either go directly to my spam folder, or I just ignore them. And then, you know, two days later, they said, you know, they activate their email sequence of like, hi there, bumping this up, even bumping this to the top of your inbox, which is a phrase I absolutely avoid like the plague, right?

Eric Melchor  26:43

Yeah. Yeah, I had a system where I had a Google spreadsheet. And I have the host’s name, a link to the podcast, and a link to an Evernote. Because for every podcast that I tried to get on, I would create a new Evernote. And as I’m listening to the show, I would jot down my notes in there, who the guest was, what the episode number was, and then whatever takeaway that I could reference in my pitch. And the great thing about doing your homework is that you actually learn a lot. And so as I’m scrolling through the episodes, I’m thinking that sounds interesting, you know, let me listen to that. And usually half the time, I would learn something new that could benefit me. Maybe it was something that I didn’t know that you can do in ChatGPT, or about a new tool that I had no idea of, and so many times, I was actually learning something new, I would write that in Evernote, and then I would put that link to the Evernote in a Google sheet so I could reference. And then if I didn’t hear back. Seven days later, I would go back and send a follow up email. And I would list you know, other things that I can talk about. But I would say my average pitch rate, the first email was maybe 25% that it would work and I would become a guest. And then the follow up, added another 8% to 10%. So my conversion rate probably went up to almost 35% by sending the follow up email. And then sometimes I would send a third follow up, and I would actually get, you know, that conversion rate up closer to 40%. Because we’re all busy, a lot of people are getting dozens of emails every day. And sometimes we’ll mark that and say, I’ll get to that later. And we just never do. Right. So it doesn’t hurt to follow up. I think if you’re in business and you’re selling yourself, this is kind of like sales. You just got to have that… I’m going to follow up. Just know that, okay, don’t think you got ghosted or you just didn’t get a response the first time around. There’s been times where I missed an email. And somebody followed up and I’m like, Hey, I’m sorry that I missed that email. But yeah, I definitely want to do this. People get busy or they just miss email sometimes.

Christian Klepp  28:39

Yeah, well, absolutely. Absolutely. Okay. I’m gonna move us on Eric. B2B influencers, should companies use them? Yes or No? And why?

Eric Melchor  28:52

Absolutely, absolutely. Because these B2B influencers, right, they have an engaged following, an engaged audience, and they can reach an audience that your brand probably couldn’t reach, or is going to have a very difficult time reaching and can only do it maybe through paid media. Whereas these influencers, they already have that same audience that’s your ideal target market, your ideal ICP. And so because that audience is already glued in. They are already engaged with that influencer, whether it be somebody on X or podcaster. Right. And anytime that person talks about that product or whatever service they’re using, their ears perk up. There’s been so many things. I bought dried crickets from Tim Ferriss one time. Dried crickets! I was going through a phase where I was making protein shakes. And he was talking about he puts them in his blender, and they have more protein than your average whey protein shakes. And so I ordered a dried crickets. Point is… There’s been plenty of things I purchase from podcasters that I’ve listened to where they talk about a service or a tool or a product and it works with B2B influencers as well. I can’t say so much about people, you know, B2B influencers on X or other channels. But I can tell you, the ones who podcast, whenever they talk about a product, because maybe their show’s 30 minutes and for 30 minutes, you’re not getting bombarded by ads, right? You’re not hearing. It’s not like watching TV or listening to the radio station, where seven of those minutes is going to be ads. No, maybe one of those minutes is going to be about a product or service. And 9 times out of 10, the host has either used that product or service and believes in it and stands by it, and therefore doesn’t mind promoting it. And the audience is going to take note of that.

Christian Klepp  30:44

Okay, fantastic point. I’m gonna play a little bit of a devil’s advocate here, right? Because while I do agree with your point of view, how do you address the doubters out there that say, Well, yeah, but Eric, the cost. You know, some of these guys are really expensive. How can we justify the ROI? You’ve probably heard all this before, right? Like, okay, let’s say, I spent a couple of $1,000 in this one influencer, can you guarantee me like $100,000 in converted leads and sales, etc.?

Eric Melchor  31:14

Okay, that’s a mistake. I believe that’s a mistake if you spend a lot of money just on one influencer. The approach that I advise is that you take a shotgun approach, right, and you do a test. A test with many different influencers. So in my case, my podcast network, I always recommend to brands that we do a minimum of five to seven podcasts that we feature your brand. And then over the next few weeks, you assess the performance. And you find out which podcasts are working, right, because not all five or seven of them is going to be a great fit. Maybe three or four of them will be. And that’s exactly what happens to our clients. They do maybe a three or four week tests, they find out okay, we’re able to track and see that these four podcasts are working, let’s continue that campaign and extend it for maybe another two or three months. And then let’s just do it with those four podcasts as opposed to doing it with the initial seven. So that’s what I advise, I think it’s a smart approach. Just because you believe or maybe you listen to a certain podcast, and you think, Oh, that’s my, that’s the same audience that we want to attract. That may not be the case, you should try to test everything and experiment. But definitely don’t go the route of just sponsoring one podcast. I think that’s a big mistake. The better approach is to do a test over a few weeks, and try to do it with as many influencers or podcasters as you can.

Christian Klepp  32:40

Okay, okay. Well, that’s fair point. That’s fair point. All right. Um, we get to the point in the show where we’re talking about actionable tips. And you know, Let’s appreciate and you brought it up a couple of times already. That it takes time. So all these things can’t be done overnight. Let’s just assume that there’s somebody out there that’s listening to this conversation that you and I are having, what are probably 3 to 5 things that they can take action on right now to help growth through podcasting?

Eric Melchor  33:10

Yeah, I mean, if you’ve got the time, do guest-podcasting. I think that works. And the time is like, Hey, you got at least 9 to 12 months to really test this out. And you got somebody that’s in your organization who enjoys talking about the company’s mission. And the value that you guys provide, by all means, go that route, right. If you don’t have the time, and you’re looking for results very quickly, like within a couple of weeks, right. I say go the sponsorship route. Some tips there, always try to do a host read ad. Host read ad is when the host himself or herself actually reads the script. Don’t do a pre-recorded ad because usually those get skipped over, they just don’t flow as well in the show. Whereas if a person is continuing to hear the same voice of the host, he’s going to continue listening to what that person is saying.

The second thing is, is try to do mid-roll ads. Mid-roll is where it plays within the conversation usually anywhere between minute 5 to minute 15. Those have the highest conversion rates out of the three different ads that you see in podcasting, you have the pre-roll which is at the very beginning. You have the mid-roll and then you have the post-roll. The least converting is the post-roll so I would say shy away from the post-roll ad and stick to mid-roll if you can and then let the hosts write the script. Okay, you can provide talking points. You could provide value proposition for your brand or service. But let the host write it in such a way that he or she would say it naturally. Right. Because that’s going to come across as being genuine. And so I always recommend to brands is like let the host write the the way he or she would be comfortable and would naturally talk about your brand. That’s why you’re paying them. That’s what you pay influencer. You don’t pay an influencer and say, Hey, this is how I want you to say it, this is exactly what I want you to do. No, you’re paying them because 1) they have an audience and 2) they have their own creativity and their own imagination, right. So utilize that, let them do what they’re really good at, right? Same thing with the podcast host. Let them create the ad for you. Right? I think a couple of other tips is like the one I just mentioned, use a shotgun approach, try to advertise or sponsor 7 to 10 different podcasts over a short period of maybe four weeks. And always use a UTM tracking link. Now most people listening to podcasts are like at the gym working out, that’s how I usually listen to my podcasts. Or maybe they’re out for a run. Maybe they’re doing laundry or something like that. And they’re not going to click on the link. But there are some people who will. And when they click on their link to learn more, whatever the call to action is, that link can be tracked if you provide a custom, like a UTM link. And so that way you can measure the performance and see how many people are coming from that link. And so it’s a good way to kind of see which podcast specifically are driving traffic to my website. So always use UTM tracking links for each podcast.

Christian Klepp  36:14

Wow, those are some really great tips. And thanks for sharing those. Eric, I think you’ve been on your soapbox all this while but I’d like to ask you to stay up there a little longer. Just for this next question. A status quo in your area of expertise, but you passionately disagree with and why?

Eric Melchor  36:37

Oh, status quo that I disagree with? Well, I disagree with Okay, I’m gonna throw this one right back at you, Christian. You tell me something that you disagree with first, right? And then, and then I’ll tell you what I disagree with.

Christian Klepp  36:59

If it’s along my area of expertise. So I’m the branding guy. So I’m the branding guy in B2B. And I disagree with that notion… It’s changing a little bit. But I disagree with that notion that branding is not important in B2B. And that’s something that people should be paying attention to… when you know what, when the company, when the company generates more revenue, or when the you know, when the sales are up. It’s not to say that that never happens. But even if that does happen, the funds get allocated elsewhere. Right. And a lot of times, I’ve seen this, you know, people pushing back on branding in B2B because they just don’t feel it’s important. And I always say, you don’t feel it’s important, until it actually becomes a serious issue. And what I mean by that is, your company ends up having little to no differentiation. Your sales don’t know how to answer the question, “what makes you different from the other vendor?” Right? And then they start the, you know, their default is always going to the product features. Right? Yeah. So and I get it, that branding can be a very abstract concept, and especially in industries where it’s all very, you know, we need something logical, and it’s going to be chock full of information and facts. It’s very hard for people to sometimes wrap their head around the concept of the importance of strategic branding. But I’m going to water that down a little bit further, Eric, because, you know, it sounds like a lot of like shop like industry jargon there. Right. So the, the comparison that I like to use to explain the importance of having a strong brand and having a brand strategy is, well in North America, I think, at least, people can relate to this using the real estate analogy. And what I mean by that is, just imagine you’re building a house, right? So you’ve got the piece of land, you’ve got all the construction materials, you’ve got your contractors, everything’s ready to go. But you don’t have an architect’s blueprint. So, while you have the folks there ready to build the house, they don’t know what it’s going to look like when it’s done. So what’s that going to end up looking like? Probably a Franken house. So using that, right, using that analogy, and you know, transplanting that to the B2B context, it’s the same for branding and a brand strategy, because if you don’t have a brand strategy, how are you? You know, that will reflect on things like you know, something as as pedestrian as like your website copy. Right? How are you going to differentiate yourself? How many times and you know, you’re in this space… How many times have you been on a website of a SaaS company and you’ve spent five minutes on their homepage scrolling up in down and you still can’t figure out what it is they do.

Eric Melchor  40:04

Yeah, yeah, there’s been a few times I was actually I went today and I couldn’t figure out what they do. I was on a call with it with the owner. And he was trying to explain it to me. And I still really couldn’t get it. And I was like, Okay…

Christian Klepp  40:19

And it’s in situations like that. And unfortunately, it’s it’s not rare. It’s actually more common than you think. Right? Yeah. And it’s in situations like that, where it will pay off to have that brand strategy, to do that homework, again, to do homework upfront, right? Because if you have that brand strategy in place, you have that good branding, it will also dictate the way that you communicate to others about your company, the way that salespeople talk to potential prospects about your company, or what makes you different. And it will also outline what you should do in your marketing. Right? Because at the end of the day, okay, marketing, you pointed out,  white papers, blog articles, videos, podcasts, etc, etc. But what’s your messaging going to be around if you don’t have a brand strategy?

Eric Melchor  41:10

Yeah, I agree.

Christian Klepp  41:11

So, I’m gonna get off on my soapbox. So that’s a status quo that I passionately disagree with, right. B2B is not all dry, boring and factual. There has to be some emotion to it, there has to be some clear differentiation that goes beyond mere product features.

Eric Melchor  41:29

Yeah, yeah. Well, on that note, one thing that I disagree with, because a lot of people think… People will need to tune in to podcasts to learn something. And I’ve heard this many, many times. People really believe that. And I tell them, No, you only to tune into podcasts to learn something. There is a lot of people who tune into podcasts because they just feel like they’re hanging out with the hosts and the guests. And they’re not necessarily tuning into to, to learn something, but they just felt like they’re just hanging out. Because they liked the persona, they liked the way that the style, the conversation. They think the host is, is charismatic, it could be one of their friends that they’re hanging out with. And that that’s something always you know, that’s my response, where, oh, no, it’s got to be all value, every episode is gotta be you gotta turn in, you’re gonna learn X, Y, and Z. Listen, I understand, you’re not going to listen to a podcast, because they tell dad jokes, you know, every time, right? That’s just maybe there is a podcast out there that some people do, right?

Christian Klepp  42:29

Oh I might tune in to that one but like…… (laugh)

Eric Melchor  42:32

It may be so right. But some of my favorite podcasts I tune in, because I just like the hosts, he feels like somebody who I would be friends with, right. And every now and then I learned something from the show, you know, he’s got a guest. And I’m like, Oh, that’s interesting, I learned something interesting. But I don’t tune in expecting every episode to where I’m gonna get this value, and learn something new. It’s just isn’t the case, I’ve turned into podcasts that people rave about. And I listened to it. I’m like, I didn’t like that show at all. You know, I just did not like the style of the hosts. So I believe that people are going to give their attention to something. Sure, there’s some podcasts that are great for learning something. But over time, the longevity, they’ve gotta like the host. And that it can’t just be value 100% of the time, they got to see that personality come out, they got to see that human aspect. And that’s one of the beautiful things about our channel is that is that you really get to know somebody, their characteristics, as well as who they are as an individual by tuning into them every week, you know, for 30 minutes over time.

Christian Klepp  43:41

Absolutely, absolutely. I always say and, you know, in an ideal world, you’d have this combination, but you know, it should be a combination of something that’s interesting, relevant, insightful, relatable, and to a certain degree entertaining. And by entertaining. I don’t mean like, it’s got to be a comedy show. Right? Yeah. Because I do think that that’s really hard to pull off in B2B. If you can pull it off, then I mean, you know, hats off to you. Right? Yeah, that’s just my take on it. All right. So two more questions before I let you go, Eric. So this is the bonus question. So this is something I’ve been trying out since the beginning of the year. And this question has nothing to do with podcasting. You’re from Texas. You said you’ll love Tex Mex food. So I thought I’m gonna ask you something around that. What is your favorite Tex Mex dish? And here comes the deeper question. What kind of memories does that dish involve for you?

Eric Melchor  44:45

Yeah, well, I think the famous chicken enchiladas with the verde sauce, right. And I think I like it so much, because my mom used to make it when I was a kid. And it was one of her dishes that she would make. And so whenever I go to restaurants, it’s always is a choice between fajitas and then the chicken enchiladas with a verde sauce. That’s my favorite. We went to this Tex Mex restaurant here in Bucharest, that’s many considered be the best in the city. You could take their worst Tex Mex restaurant in Houston, and you would still blow this one out of the… (laugh) Yeah, oh man.

Christian Klepp  45:25

All right. Fair enough. Fair enough. So chicken enchiladas.

Eric Melchor  45:31

With the verde sauce, or the green sauce.

Christian Klepp  45:33

Fantastic. Fantastic. Eric, this has been a blast. I mean, as expected, I really enjoyed this conversation. And thanks again for coming on the show. Quick introduction to yourself and how folks can get in touch with you. And that quick question, what is a Texan doing in Romania?

Eric Melchor  45:51

It’s the same reason all American men are here. They met a woman. So a woman is the reason I’m here. My wife is Romanian. And we actually met here 14 years ago. I worked here for one year. And that’s where I met her. I convinced her to move to the States. We were there until COVID started. And then with two little kids. Trying to juggle work and two little kids at the same time. It was just really hard during COVID so we moved here so her parents can help out with the kids. Yeah, people can find me on LinkedIn. I’m pretty active there. Just look for Eric Melchor. And then they can also check out the service that I provide. We make podcast sponsorships cool for B2B brands. You can learn more at B2Bpodpros.com

Christian Klepp  46:32

Fantastic, fantastic, Eric once again, thanks again for your time. Take care, stay safe and talk to you soon.

Eric Melchor  46:38

Thanks, Christian.

Christian Klepp  46:39

Alright, bye for now.

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