An Interview with Todd Cochrane (Video Podcast)
In the 56th episode of the On Branding Podcast, Arek Dvornechuck interviews Todd Cochrane and talks about how you use podcast to build your brand.
Follow Todd on Social Media: LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
You can also watch this interview on my YouTube Channel
Table of Contents
*PS. Below you will find an auto-generated transcript of this episode.
Arek Dvornechuck: Hey, what’s up branding experts, Arek here at Ebaqdesign and welcome to On Branding Podcast. And today my guest is Todd Cochrane and Todd is a podcast expert. So he runs his own text show. The name is the Geek News Central Podcast, but he also helps other podcasters because he specializes in podcast advertising, podcast distribution, hosting, and basically everything around podcasting.
Todd is an expert when it comes to podcasting, and he’s also the CEO of Blubrry, which is his podcast media company. Hello Todd. Thanks for joining us today.
Todd Cochrane: Arek, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Arek Dvornechuck: Thank you so much. Today we’re gonna talk about using podcasting for brand building, right? And first I wanted to talk because you have a lot of experience with both advertising on podcasts, bringing those deals doing those deals, advertising deals, but also you help, you have this platform where you help others, start their own podcast.
Arek Dvornechuck: First I wanted to you to start with talking about why podcast is the way to go to build your brand, about the opportunities, how the podcast is, growing over, over the last years.
Todd Cochrane: Yeah. I think if you look at podcasting as a medium, it’s just the nature of this personal connection you have with an audience. So you know, a lot of businesses, they do everything. They do Twitter, they do Facebook, they do Instagram. Some of ’em folks are on TikTok. Maybe they even have a little bit of a stuff on YouTube. But oftentimes what we find is when businesses or even individuals start creating content and creating a podcast.
There’s more of a personal relationship with the audience. It’s more engaged. oftentimes if you think about how you listen to podcasts today, for me, I can’t work and listen to a podcast. I can listen to the radio, I can have the TV on in the background, but for a podcast, I really have to concentrate because it’s so engaging.
So when it comes to building your brand or using it as a funnel, whatever your goal of your show may be, I think that the ability to reach that audience at a real deep level is really key. And they truly get to know you, your business, your brand, whatever. Again, whatever the goal may be in, in doing the show.
So I think in the end it’s really about that connection with the audience and . If you think about you and I we’re having a conversation right now, but yeah, really what’s happening is there is this intimate conversation that’s happening almost on a one-on-one basis. If we think about a third person joining our conversation and being observer and keep that in mind, we can keep that intimacy very cool.
Close so it doesn’t feel like we’re just kinda shotgunning out there to all, but we’re talking to individuals and I think that’s the main difference.
Arek Dvornechuck: Yeah. Yeah, that’s a great summary of what of the benefits right. That come Yeah. With podcasting. I have some statistics for you guys. As of June, 2022, there are over 2.4 million podcasts, 66 million episodes, and it’s predicted that there are about hundred million active podcast listeners in the United States.
Podcasting is definitely booming these days especially. And you’ve witnessed that o over the past, 13 years, right? Or you have your own show and you also have other PO podcasters create their own show. So just to sum up, podcast is a great way to just market your brand your products or services. Or as you just mentioned, building that influence, building that following and connecting with with potential clients and audience. Right?
Advertising on Podcasts
Arek Dvornechuck: Now let’s talk about, since we understand the power of podcasting, first I wanted to talk to you about advertising on podcasts. so for those folks who just, you know they have their own business or they have their brand, a brand or a product or a service, and because for example, You brought Godaddy, right? As one of the first podcast advertisers back in 2005. So can you talk to us more about that?
Todd Cochrane: You know, I think from a business owner that’s thinking about advertising and podcast, again, it really depends on what your business is. If you are a car dealership, you maybe don’t. Podcasts are advertised on a national podcast, but if you have a product or service that is available and you can sell and reach consumers globally. In other words, if you’re gonna drop ship to somewhere within United States or Canada or even overseas, I think podcasts have this great ability to reach a global audience.
Now you can target where you want your advertising to drop. So let’s say you’re just regional. Let’s just say you’re on the eastern seaboard of the United States. You can target your advertising within podcasts to those regions. But I think what it really is, the most important thing is if you’re business, considering advertising, a podcast is number one, if your budget is let’s say, under $5,000 for a month of advertising spend. It would be much better to go direct to an individual podcaster, so that way you find 1, 2, 5, 10 shows that you love, you like the host content is relatable to the product that you are selling, and approach those content creators directly with a deal and you’re gonna spend less money doing. Typically on a traditional advertising buy, when someone comes to me to do a national advertising campaign that typically we price that anywhere between 20 and $25 per 1000 listens within the actual shows.
Now that’s just for a general podcast. That would be a podcast that doesn’t have a super tight niche. , some shows will demand more money. For example, if you are in the medical supply world and you wanna reach neurosurgeons, then you’re gonna pay a lot more for the advertising. When you go to a few specific shows that reach neurosurgeons, those dollars will be much more.
So you have, you can negotiate those deals on a one-on-one basis. But the most important thing, really, and I think it’s three pieces that you should ask for as a business. If you’re going to be advertising on a podcast, number one, a 30 to second host, red advertisement, that’s number one, and you help with that script, you help with those talking points to build a story over time, over the month or two that you’re gonna advertise on the show to, to make those, listeners, figure out who you are, build confidence in your brand, and of course have a call to.
Podcast advertising does not have the same frequency as radio, so you have to give a little more time in the cooker, as I would say, to really start seeing results the first couple of weeks. You may be disappointed, but you’ll get it on the back end. On the other hand, when it comes to the actual, requirements that you’re going to ask for from the content creator is if you have a product, send.
Podcast or that product, let he or she try the product and make sure that they truly can endorse the item or service that they’re going to promote for you. Another thing I also ask the content creators to do is I want a link within their show notes, something that I can track coming back. Maybe it’s a Bitly link, maybe it’s a unique landing page on my website, your.com/podcast. Somewhere where you can track the traffic that’s actually resulting from that promotion or even a promo code. And for even some of the deals, I’ll even ask for a banner ad to go on the website because what you’re going to get is you’re gonna get a trifecta, you’re gonna get the ad in the podcast, you’re gonna get a link in the show notes with a.
Link back to your website with the deal and maybe even a banner ad. So it’s a visual reminder, Hey, this app, this podcaster was talking about, or my show I’m listening to is listening to this ad and click through. Not everyone will visit the website. So it’s of a three-way play to get the maximize amount of money that you’re spending.
So again, those extras, aka the link in the show notes and the banner may cost you. If I was to choose an order priority host, read link in the show notes and then a banner ad on the website, and I think what you’re gonna find if that is executed correctly and you work with the content creator to have a good message. And a good call to act action and a good offer that they can’t find somewhere else. Now, if you’re advertising in radio or you’re on commission junction, or you have some other program going on where the listener can find a better deal that’s gonna undercut the value of your podcast advertising. So always make your podcast advertising deals something special.
Maybe owner offers something as a bonus in addition to a purchase they may make, and they think you’re gonna find fantastic results. But again, it’s a little longer from a gestation period in getting results. It’s not like dropping that radio ad and getting four spots an hour. You might be getting one or two spots in a single show in a week. So there is a big difference in that execution.
Arek Dvornechuck: No, these are all, yeah, these are awesome tips. I think. Some the, some of this beautifully here are some of my key takeaways. So if you have a smaller, so it depends if it’s regional or global pro product, right? So it depends on your product and service.
You can go regional, you can go global, right? You can target, yeah. Some, different audiences. Now, if you have a smaller budget, you should reach under 5,000 as you mentioned, right? You can reach out to directly to, to podcast. To relevant podcasters in your space, right? And then you would advice. But if you have a bigger budget that, that’s a different story. You, for example, charge 20, $25 per thousand of lessons, right? And then, some tips for the executions, how to do that. You need to help them with the script telling your story, right? You should send the product if you can, for a review. Also, it’s about the tracking those conversions, right? So as you mentioned, we can have a link or a banner and then you can track that, those conversions. And of course you have to have a good message and a good call to action, right?
Todd Cochrane: Arek, I think oftentimes business owners don’t set the goal. They say, if I’m gonna, let’s say I’m gonna spend a thousand dollars. I think before you go into the advertising, any advertising, you have to have a goal. If I’m gonna spend a thousand dollars on radio, I’m gonna want X number of conversions. Or if I send a thousand in podcasts, this is the minimum I’m going to, set a realistic goal.
If you don’t have a benchmark, then podcasting may be the one to set the benchmark. But I think a lot of advertisers for the first time that go into this really have no idea. So I cautioned. People that are doing advertising and podcasts for the first time are doing too short of a buy. It’s better to have fewer shows and longer than, more shows than shorter, if you get my drift.
Arek Dvornechuck: Yeah, I see what you’re saying. Yeah. That’s also a great tip. Okay, so that’s, that was about advertising on other people’s podcasts, but some of our listen. They have their own brands and or they, so they, perhaps they’re interested in starting their own branded podcast series, right? Which is, very popular these days. This is what I’m doing, by the way, right?
How to Start a Podcast
Arek Dvornechuck: So how to start a podcast because, the, we have all these platforms, you have your own platform, Blubrry, right? Because there are different questions that people might have. I imagine, when I started my own podcast, was thinking about things like, how to even start, like how to invite guests if I don’t have an, like those first guests, right?
Which is, might be. Quite a challenge. And then how to record, like what kind of like how to record the podcast, where to host it, how to make the transcriptions, how to make cover images, how to publish and distribute that podcast to Apple Podcasts and Spotify and so on. Should I create a website? Should they have my own website? For each episode and then how to promote that podcast. So maybe you could talk to us about some of these.
Todd Cochrane: Yeah, so that’s a big, we could probably spend three hours on that alone, but, if you think about you’re gonna start a podcast, I think the very first thing to really make a decision on what’s the goal, is the goal to have it be a funnel is the goal to just have fun.
Is the goal to build your brand is the goal to monetize? So I think you have to from the very beginning. First of all, obviously you gotta figure out what your topic’s gonna be. If it’s branded, it’s gonna be related to your business. Figure out what the goal of that show is gonna be, and if you can figure that out, that’s gonna help you a great deal.
In laying out the format of your podcast, can you say, okay, what do I need to do within my show to make this goal? and if the goal is monetization, it’s growth. If the goal is funnel to get people into your business, you’re gonna try to reach a very, you’re gonna try to reach your customers outside of your normal business area to drive them into your business.
So it, it really depends again, on the goal of the show. Every podcaster wants to have a big audience. Not every podcaster is gonna have a big audience. So set expectations. In that when you start your podcast, if you get a hundred, 300, 500, a thousand listeners, don’t be disappointed in those types of numbers.
If you can visualize what a thousand people look like sitting in front of you, it changes the perspective on the impact you’re having with your content. So more importantly, I guess it really is that content piece is if you are passionate about the topic that you’re talking. , and you know this topic, you should have no issues knowing that you can talk about this content once a week for two years.
I think most content creators when they get in this, they have too short of a vision they have to think about. 30 days from now, six months. No. You need to think, can I create content within this genre of content for two years? Now the question rises, where do I find. Myself personally, I run a business.
I’m a very busy person, so I actually hired a booking service that actually, I told them the criteria of the type of shows that I’m looking to be in. About 50% of the shows that the booking service presents to me, I reject because it’s not a perfect fit. So I use a booking service to find, to find for myself to be on shows so you can, you’ll probably get pitched by booking service.
For different guests. Let them know that you’re looking for guests in this specific genre. You reach out to all of them. You can Google who does podcast booking, say, Hey, my name’s Arek. I’m looking for these type of exact guest. And don’t be afraid to turn guest down. If it doesn’t match, turn that guest down.
It’s better to have a good guest than a one that doesn’t fit at the same time. When it comes to hosting your podcast, obviously, we’re in the business of helping podcasters build their brands. Blueberry is unique in that we believe that content creators should build their brand on their own dot coms.
You never saw a castle being built built on rented land. The land below the castle its own, no one can make you tear down the castle. It’s the same with having your own website. If you’re very strongly about this, I’ve been talking about this. Really since I, since the beginning of when I started podcasting and started our podcasting business, I really feel it’s critical because any podcast title can be found.
Doesn’t matter where you host, but it’s the episodes that you want to be found to drive people in. So you record for your audience, you write your blog post for Google. And giving good search terms and search descriptions. Basically you’d have to use good SEO practices and basically writing a detailed account of the episode within the show notes to be able to get Google to say, ah, there’s something that’s like this show.
Today we’re talking about podcasting. Growing a podcast. Starting a podcast, whatever title you use for this episode, follow that up with a good paragraph of. So Blueberry has a plugin for WordPress called PowerPress. It’s used by about 80,000 podcasters. It allows a podcaster to build their brand on their.com and be the point of origin for their content.
You can host almost any place, but as the farther you get out, let’s say you host, there’s lots of hosting. There’s, podcast hosting now is a commodity. There’s probably 25 competitors in the. , but I really feel that the goal is having your show on your.com. Where you host the media at is irrelevant, but you wanna work with a hosting provider that provides you good statistics, give you good tools, give you good insights on your audience.
So that’s what you should be shopping for. Instead of just looking for hosting, you should be looking at the package of, tools and services the hosting provider provides you to help grow your. Recording the podcast. It can be as simple as using your cell phone, but I don’t necessarily recommend that.
But I tell people they’re getting new into the podcasting space. Go buy a under a hundred dollars mic. Audio Technica makes a great one for under a hundred bucks. That is a great mic. Say USB or xlr so it work plugs right into your computer. That’s a great mic to get started to get going. Make sure you’re gonna do.
More than 50% of podcasts that start fail. And if you know that up front you have an understanding of, and they fail before they hit episode seven because they find that creating content is very difficult. So if you’re passionate about your content, you’re not gonna have this problem fill in the episode, whether you be solo by yourself or if you have a guest that’s helping fill the content for the show as well.
But I think the most important thing to remember, Arek, is listeners come for you, not for me. They come to the audience because they come to listen to your show, because you’ve invited me on thinking I’m gonna be a good input to your show, they come because they trust you. They don’t come because they trust me. You, it. It’s that type of a relationship. So I think if you keep that in mind in the back of your head that the audience really is subscribed to you and of course the great content you provide, I think that’s an important piece when it comes to anyone that’s building a show. So again, we could spend probably an hour on each of those little tiny segments of information. Yeah. But, there’s a little Reader’s Digest version.
Arek Dvornechuck: Yeah, there is a lot we can talk about here, right? Because there are a lot of pieces when it comes as you mentioned, it’s good to use a platform as you mentioned you have a blueberry but platform. But there are other competitors as well.
But basically you should use one of them because it there are, different things that you would need, you will need to send this podcast like, publish, use this podcast on different platforms, at once and have analytics and all this stuff, right? That’s right. But a great tip, you know that you should actually, because it’s a common question, should they own a website? Should they have a podcast website? So the answer is simple. Yes, you should. , you should have your own website, preferably.com with your show and then host your podcast there. And then, as you mentioned, you can use different platforms for, just, you just need to find the right one. S and it’s really funny what you said that, you, you said that half of the podcast fail by six or seventh episode. I actually had a situation I was about to give up because some competitor in my space, start tried to cancel me for competitive, purpose.
And he emailed all of my podcast guests, block a lot of upcoming guests, and I was I was really like, I was feeling horrible and I was about to give. But I didn’t, and I continued and and now we have 57 episodes yeah. So that’s very true and I can relate to that. Great tips. Any, anything else you would like to add? Maybe some common mis Yeah, go ahead.
Todd Cochrane: Yeah you mentioned the statistics about the number of shows and podcasting, but I think people get, oh my God, there’s so much competition. Yeah, there’s, if you break that down, even. There’s about 400,000 shows have created a new episode in the last 30 days.
So even though there’s three, 4 million shows that have produced content, not all of ’em are active. So if you take 400,000 is the number, and divide that literally by 30 or 40 categories, that as apple breaks up categories into subcategories, you have the top line and then you have secondary categor. You’re really probably only competing with maybe, and depends on the genre of content. You might only be competing with 10 or 12,000 shows per category and if you’re producing an episode every week, that puts you actually on the high side, cuz a lot of podcasters do every other week or once a month. So if you’re doing every week, you might only be competing then literally for attention in the podcasting space with.
A grand total of 120,000 or 130,000 shows that are actively producing a content every week. Add that with the ability to promote your show on social and all the things that you would normally do to get the word out about your podcast, going to events where they’re, it’s in your business, having the QR code on your business card, or whatever it may be, how you’re promoting the podcast.
That number’s very small as compared to YouTube or Instagram or TikTok, where there’s literally millions of creators on there producing new content every day. So I think with a little time love hard work, and again, creating podcast content is work and it’s a job. And you know the episode creation process for. I do three different shows, four episodes a week. Luckily I have pro production for one of those shows, so I just arrive and record the other ones. It’s two to three hours to produce an episode. So as long as you’re planning that, and I guess if you’re thinking about starting a podcast, also, if you have a partner, if you’re married, or if you have a girlfriend, a significant other, whatever it may be, boyfriend.
Make sure you have that discussion that you’re gonna say, Hey, I’m gonna be doing this podcast for my business. It’s gonna take two to three hours one day each week we’ll decide on the day I’m gonna produce the show. So it doesn’t affect our social interaction. So make sure you have that discussion with your partner ahead of time and get that buy-in so that when you’re working hard to build a show.
There’s not someone over your shoulder nagging you saying, Hey, why are you spending so much time on this podcast? I think it’s really important, and I see a lot of podcasts fail for that reason alone is that especially men, we have this tendency to jump into things and go, and then the spouses or the girlfriends or the partners are like, what are you doing? And then we have to backfill, right? And ask forgiveness. So have that discussion up front. I think it makes it much easier to get support from. from the back office. Now if you’re single, it don’t matter. You just make the time out from, the other stuff that single people do.
Arek Dvornechuck: Yeah, that’s, that is so true. That is so true. And what you said also earlier that you only. Have about 10 20 competitors, which is so true also in, in My space, right? And especially when you, and yes it is also true that, some of them only publish once a month, once two, or once two, twice a month, right?
There’s not someone over your shoulder nagging you saying, Hey, why are you spending so much time on this podcast? I think it’s really important, and I see a lot of podcasts fail for that reason alone is that especially men, we have this tendency to jump into things and go, and then the spouses or the girlfriends or the partners are like, what are you doing?And then we have to backfill, right? And ask forgiveness. So have that discussion up front. I think it makes it much easier to get support from. from the back office. Now if you’re single, it don’t matter. You just make the time out from, the other stuff that single people do. And so have a lot of episodes in Buffer, so hopefully. He’s gonna go smoothly. So thank you so much. Yeah. Yeah, go ahead.
Todd Cochrane: I think if you set the expectations with your audience, if you tell ’em it’s gonna be only every two weeks, that’s okay. But tell the audience what the repetition factor is gonna be, then be consistent. So anyway. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you so much.
Arek Dvornechuck: Yeah, thank . You so much. Thank you so much. So, I’m gonna link to your company, Blubrry. But how people can, who want to connect with you or work with you, what’s the best way to do so on LinkedIn?
Todd Cochrane: It’s easy. Todd Cochrane, you can find me on LinkedIn or Todd@blubrry.com. That’s blubrry without the Es because we couldn’t afford the Es blubrry.com. And I’m on, we’re on Twitter @blubrry, Instagram every other place. Look us up. Or just come over to blubrry.com. Check the website out.
But again, lots of choices out there for hosting. And but if you have any questions, happy to answer any of your audience’s questions. Or even, you, Arek, happy to answer any questions for you.
Arek Dvornechuck: Sure. Thank you so much. Thanks for coming on the show. I appreciate it.
Todd Cochrane: Yeah, thank you for having me.
Arek Dvornechuck: Thanks.