on February 19, 2021 (last modified on May 6, 2021) • 5 minute read
Recently, John Bonini connected with Amanda Natividad, Head of Marketing at Growth Machine, for an episode of our Metrics & Chill podcast. Amanda told John all about how they’ve turned a notoriously hard to attribute marketing channel into a conversion and sales engagement producing engine.
An SEO-focused content marketing agency, Growth Machine is a small team. Amanda represents the entire marketing team of one, meaning they’ve had to find ways to get the most mileage possible out of every piece of content they produce. Podcasting has helped Amanda extend the value of case studies, blog posts, and more.
Read on for more details, or listen to the full episode here:
As the sole member of the marketing team, Amanda knew efficiency was key—every effort undertaken needed to produce real business results, including conversions and sales engagement.
When Amanda first started at Growth Machine, they already had a podcast… but it was 8 or 9 months lapsed. Amanda set out to revive the podcast, with big expectations for its conversion potential. “When we first started, we said, ‘Okay, we think this is gonna be a really good way to generate and engage leads,’” Amanda said. “But we also didn’t go into it with a concrete goal.”
That confidence led to a singular focus on building high-quality content first—and letting the leads flow from there. “It was first focused on let’s get this going, let’s have great guests, let’s have good interviews, produce a nice quality podcast, and hopefully the rest will follow,” Amanda explained.
“The reason we honed in on the podcast was because we needed a channel that would be sustainable for me to produce content for,” Amanda noted. Whereas creating really high-quality blog posts can take hours upon hours, Amanda saw podcasting as a much more scalable way to produce that level of quality, without spending entire days on the research, writing, and editing.
Plus, as Amanda told John, “It’s a good way to ultimately tap into other people’s audiences, if they’ve built a following.”
“I was very intentional about wanting to make sure we were playing to our strengths and finding new ways to amplify our clients and our case studies,” Amanda added. “We do a blog post about each of our case studies, but not everybody reads blog posts. So we wanted to find new ways to repurpose content in a way that would most meet people where they are.”
It’s a new channel to reach people with the same content.
“Each episode that we do will become at least one blog post. We’ll take a topic that we explored in a given episode and I’ll expand on that in a blog post,” Amanda explained, noting that the podcast actually serves as a great way to test out which topics are worth investing in a blog post around.
When first relaunching the podcast, Amanda zeroed in on the easiest win: Turning client case studies into podcast episodes.
“One easy win for us was turning a client case study into a podcast episode,” Amanda said. “I interviewed our then COO (now CEO) who headed up the client account, and we had a 40-minute conversation about how did you identify this niche, what worked, what didn’t work, how did you bank content in advance.”
From there, Amanda simply published the recorded episodes on YouTube as full, unedited videos.
To flesh out the podcast and extend the mileage of their existing blog posts, Amanda also added mini-episodes into the mix. “I started publishing these mini-episodes, which are really just me reading a blog post. I was finding that we were getting a lot of downloads on those—just as many people as download our regular guest episodes were also downloading these mini-episodes.”
As for turning those episodes into conversions and sales engagement, Amanda said, “it’s the content itself that gets people to want to engage us as their content agency.”
Each episode’s show notes include a link to Growth Machine’s contact form—that’s really it. As Amanda explained, “I don’t like to make it too salesy, but I do like to make it really easy for people to reach out.”
We’ll have a couple people reach out each week.
Those who’ve launched podcasts before know that, while creating a great podcast is definitely beneficial, tracking and attributing leads and conversions back to the podcast is much easier said than done. Amanda approaches that challenge with a multi-angle view of the podcast’s performance.
“For us as an agency, if you get one client out of something, that’s a pretty good ROI,” Amanda said, noting, “Tracking is mostly manual. I have UTMs on each of the links in the show notes. Our Head of Sales will ask new contacts how they heard about us. That’s one way we’ll find out if we can attribute a new lead to a podcast. We also do some social listening and really keep an eye on the word of mouth thing.”
“Sometimes people will reach out to me or to our CEO or founder personally, and say, ‘Hey, I heard about what you guys are doing on this podcast episode. I really wanna do that for my business—can we talk?’” Amanda said.
According to Amanda, the podcast has actually produced a number of impactful leads for the agency: “Every now and then I’ll see that like 10 people filled out our Contact Us form after they clicked through on Episode 11.”
Plus, Amanda told John, “Lead quality from the podcast is on par or a little bit better than the leads we get organically.”
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