In today’s episode, we sit down with Drift’s Content Marketing Manager, Elizabeth Hilfrank, to talk about the company’s amazing execution of Drift Insider, a video podcast and article repository.
Drift is the world’s leading revenue acceleration platform, focused on transforming the way sales and marketing teams work together to drive more revenue. They had a record-breaking year in 2021 making $120 million in revenue, which is why we were so excited to chat with Elizabeth about their content strategy.
Tune in to learn more about how Drift launched their network, how they create their show concepts, how they select hosts, and how they repurpose episodes into articles, webinars, and videos.
Name: Elizabeth Hilfrank
What she does: Content Marketing Manager at Drift
Connect with Elizabeth: LinkedIn
Drift is a strong believer in the human element of B2B buying and selling, which is why they add audio and video elements to their content marketing. This strategy gives customers the opportunity to connect with them on a more personal level, which in turn builds brand trust.
While Drift does pay attention to the downloads and engagement rates of their shows, they also look at whether the host and listeners are getting what they want out of the content. Are the listeners learning what you set out to teach them? Does the host feel aligned to the original mission of the show?
Because Drift uses internal employees as hosts, they know exactly what’s going to resonate best with their audience because they live and breathe the same problems as them. The more interconnected your host is to the listener, the better content you’ll create.
When looking for guests to bring on your podcast, it’s important to find people who are not only experts in their field but are also passionate about the topics you want to cover. Look at their LinkedIn, research past interviews, watch their videos, or read any articles they’ve written to gauge whether they would want to be on your show or not and also to help you personalize your outreach to them.
Drift believes podcasts are a brand awareness play that allows them to build relationships with prospects and current customers. When they have the opportunity to bring them on as guests, they give them another point of contact to Drift and a better understanding of the company as a whole.
For Drift, launching a new show takes about 3 months. First, they ideate on the overall concept and goal of the show. Then, they figure out a title, description, and hook. Next, they move into the requirements. What’s the length? What type of guests do they want? What will the artwork, trailer, and promotions look like? And finally, they record a backlog of episodes before they officially launch.
The power of repurposing content means you can find value in what you already have and spin it off into something new. Drift repurposes episode content from their various podcasts by turning any interesting takeaways into blog posts or even webinars. They typically pick a general theme from the episode and turn it into a listicle or a tips-style post.
Don’t forget about SEO when it comes to your podcast. Make sure you optimize titles, show notes, and descriptions to align with the keywords you want to rank for. It’s also helpful to add embeddable clips or videos within the articles you write referencing your podcast to boost organic traffic.
Whenever a new show launches in the Drift network, the content team teases the launch with a blog post focused on some of the biggest takeaways from the show so the audience knows what to expect over the course of the season. Think of it like a written trailer for your podcast.
Content marketers often forget how much cross-team collaboration is needed to launch a podcast. Think about the coordination of content, guests, host schedules, social calendars, blog writing, video editing, etc., and make sure you have a strong team in place who can execute a successful podcast program. If you find there are certain pieces of the puzzle that require too much internal bandwidth, like audio or video editing, look into how you can outsource those tasks.
Elizabeth Hilfrank: You can just turn on your mic and start recording, but there's so many other smaller logistics at play. If you just launch it in two weeks, who's to say, you're going to be able to like, keep that momentum going three months down the road.
Jeremiah: Hey there. Welcome to brands that podcast. Each week we talk with the people running podcasts tracks at successful brands. So you can learn how to grow your company through podcasting.
Today's guest is Elizabeth Hilfrank content marketing manager at Drift. Drift is the world's leading revenue acceleration platform. They're focused on transforming the way that sales and marketing teams can work together and drive more revenue faster. And they're doing this through the use of conversational marketing and conversational sales tools.
They had a record breaking year in 2021 making 120 million in revenue. And the main reason why I wanted to talk to Elizabeth was the amazing execution that her and the team have done creating drift insider, which is a video podcast and article repository. Essentially that's designed to bring value and education to their various target audiences like operation growth and sales.
Their podcast network is really, really impressive. It's a blend of short and long form interview and narrative style show. And it was really evident to me how people first, they are more than other brands that I've seen even from the artwork, which might seem silly, but they're really putting the hosts, their employees and resident experts front and center, and letting them build their own personal brand and elevate that while at the same time, winning by letting the audience, their customers hear the voice of drift the people behind drift and the people behind the brand.
So in this episode, we'll cover a few things. We'll talk about Drift's deep belief in having conversations with their customers and how they're doing that through audio, the deep belief they have an audio. They were doing podcasting long before many brands were, so we'll talk a little bit about that.
You'll also hear how they launched the network that exists now and thought about creating the concepts for that. Selecting the host. And then we'll also talk about how they think about repurposing episodes, how Elizabeth coordinates with the blog team and the interplay between articles and episodes that goes out and sometimes webinars and videos. And also how they measure the success of their shows, how they set the expectations for each one and how they think about the ROI of podcasting in general, along with a ton more, I hope you enjoy.
All right, Elizabeth. Thank you so much for joining Brands that Podcast. Super honored to have you on. I am blown away by Drift Insider. Like when I first experienced it, I signed up, I was watching a video. I forget his last name, but Peter with Plannuh, does that ring a bell? It's like P L a N N U H some CMO planning software.
Anyway, he was in one, a marketing strategy and I think I found it organically. Like I was looking up something from marketing strategy, hit the like Drift Insider thing, and I was just blown away by the execution of it. So I'm really excited to chat with you about how you're integrating podcasting into that.
I guess as like a first step, can you talk a little bit more about what your role is as it relates to podcasting? Like what's the role that you're doing running the network right now?
Elizabeth Hilfrank: Yeah, so I am the primary producer for the Drift podcast network. So we currently have five active shows running. We do have a total of eight under the network.
Some have come and gone and new ones coming all the time. But I started in this role six months ago, I originally joined Drift under the direct video team. So making the videos that you see on Drift Insider, and then recently moved more directly on the content team to think through the strategy of the podcast.
So for those five, I am responsible for the majority of the guests outreach, content planning episode to episode, and then basically just getting it from that pre production through production and promotion stage. And then I report to Molly Sloan, who also owns our blog and newsletter. So we work a lot together in tandem of figuring out how can we then use these podcasts to write a blog post, or incorporate them into eBooks, or have the same guests on a webinar that kind of stuff.
Jeremiah: That's awesome. I know I immediately am going to have questions at some point on how you, I want to get there in a moment, on how you like plan the content and what that interaction with the blog content looks like. But I guess stepping back foundationally, obviously the network you've built is really impressive.
I've got some questions about the network itself, but foundationally Drift seems to have gone like all in on audio. There seems to be like a deep philosophy and belief behind audio as a medium. Can you talk a little bit more as to what that is? Video is something a lot of companies tackle and that's kind of like enough for them.
So why the additional emphasis on audio for you all?
Elizabeth Hilfrank: Yeah. So I guess starting with the video perspective, our CEO, David Cancel has always been very strong proponent of video and a lot of Drift's talk track is about being human in B2B buying and selling. So we've always had audio and video is just adding that extra personal connection to the experience and getting to know the personas and the people behind the product and seeking was some was our first podcast that David started back basically when he started Drift.
So really getting into the space early before podcasting certainly is what it is now with so many different shows everywhere everyone doing it. Yeah. But if you listen back to the really early episodes from 2016, it was really David talking about how they were building Drift then. And that from the start just creates that trust in the brand and more personal experience.
And that's why we've continued to lean into it today.
Jeremiah: Okay. What's the driving concept behind shows? So it seems like from an outside observer, it's maybe like based on ICP or something, like based on the kind of personas that you're working with or that find drift valuable. And you're trying to make content for sales content for growth content for operations.
I know, there's probably more elaborate than that. When do you think about it's time to break out? How did you go from one show to multiple? What was the driving force behind the concepts of each show? Like how did you dictate when, where the hard lines would be around a show and what kind of content would go into that?
Elizabeth Hilfrank: Yeah, I think the expansion to the network kind of came naturally, um, just as we grew. In terms of hosts, people would come to us with podcast ideas and then fitting those specific niches in generating again, connections between our operations workers and then other operations people in the field trying to solve problems together.
And so from that perspective, like operations and growth just kind of naturally grew out of seeking wisdom. They were like the next two shows. And now with our most recent show conversation starters, also, it just kind of grew out of the Drift methodology that everything starts with the conversation and wanting to more clearly get our message out there.
And our host Sammy is on the content team as well. And she's deep in the weeds of that product education every day. So it just made sense to have her on the show. And again, it was another way to share our story and then give people another resource, whether they're hearing about Drift for the first time, or they're wanting to learn more about how they can optimize their experience with Drift, it's kind of solving for two problems.
Jeremiah: Yeah, that makes a ton of sense. When you say certain people have come to you with ideas, are they like outside people or are they internal employees that say, "Hey, we have an idea of something we could do?"
Elizabeth Hilfrank: Internal employees. So we've had people across the organization slack, Molly, or I saying, "Hey, we have this podcast idea."
And sometimes they come out like Operations and Growth. Other times we have to be like, "well, we're just about to launch this other one. So maybe in six months we reconsider this one as well."
Jeremiah: That's pretty cool though, that you have a culture where this is something that people are keen to do, or like volunteer to host or bringing ideas of.
I feel like a lot of people, like a lot of brands we've talked to, it comes to this like internal competition of whose voice is best or like no one really wants to be on mic, so they're kind of like gingerly push someone forward. So it's pretty cool that you've all cultivated a culture where it seems to be like something that people are free to bring to you and kind of execute if they're interested.
Elizabeth Hilfrank: Yeah, definitely. It probably makes my job a bit easier. I guess having people come to me saying they want to be on a podcast, but yeah. And I think that goes back to again making that human connection. So yes, people can grow their personal brand through these shows, but that's also working to Drift's advantage too.
Right? Because now they know that Sean is leading operations at Drift. He may be in Drift every day. So if Sean's doing this, maybe they'll try this, get connected there. And from there, maybe a stronger relationship comes out of it.
Jeremiah: Yeah, that's awesome. That's something I noticed when I was looking at your site is wow.
Even the artwork that you've designed, the people take up like half of it. And it's like, wow, this is so people first are people forward. And what a great, that was my first thought was like, wow, these people are really building their professional and personal brands hosting these shows. But then to your point, Drift is winning as well because people get to feel like they know Drift because they know the people behind Drift.
It seems like something that if anyone's listening, it seems like if companies are on the fence about, I don't know, sometimes I think certain brands have this reluctancy to let their people put themselves out there and put their brand out there. But it seems like it's this really like win-win and is maybe the way forward, especially at B2B.
Elizabeth Hilfrank: Yeah. I mean, it's been working for us for sure. I mean, it goes back to everything, starting with the conversation, the power of conversations and building those human connections.
Jeremiah: Another question I had about the network was, I'm not sure how to ask this. So I'll ask it in a couple of different ways. And if I, you can take it whatever way you want, what are the different expectations for each show or do you have? I know some companies are like, okay, we're expecting X amount of like downloads or we're making this purely to repurpose.
Do you have a foundational guide as to what dictates success on all the shows or is each one kind od different? David Cancels really trying to do one thing. And the goal is something with that, where operations is maybe like a completely different thing. Do you hold them all to like a base level, then have different expectations for them?
Or how do you think about what makes the show successful? What makes it, maybe we should consider pulling this one if it doesn't show XYZ in a certain amount of time? Yeah.
Elizabeth Hilfrank: So that's a great question because I have been deep in all of that as we start the new year and how we're going to track success.
Overall, we do track all the shows in terms of downloads, mostly for that looking at growth. So if the shows are growing month over month, ideally they are, if not, at least staying stagnant and just not decreasing. And then also we look at engagement rates. Is our content resonating. Are people staying for the majority of the episode? Underneath that though there definitely are secondary things that I'm looking at. As you said, breaking down like operations a bit more tactical versus the American dream with Elias is much more storytelling of underrepresented people getting into the tech space. So those are going to have two different goals underneath them.
It really goes back to when we start making the podcasts, getting what the hosts saying, you know, what do you want to get out of this podcast? Like what do you want your listeners to feel from it.
Jeremiah: The content is kind of like a hybrid, you know, some messages you want to convey, but you're also like working with the host as well, a borrow a phrase from ex Drift marketer, Dave Gerhardt, which is like, you either have to be the expert or be the guide to the expert.
So is that the way you're thinking about it, that the hosts are the experts they're internal drift experts at their craft. And so you're kind of leaning on them to help inform the content of that. But you kind of have this like 30,000 foot goal of what you want out of.
Elizabeth Hilfrank: Yeah. And I think with that twos are hosts because we're having our employees be our hosts.
Our hosts are also the same persona as people who are going to be listening to those podcasts. So they're going to know what is going to resonate with the audience best. So for example, for growth, Right before this call working on, coming up with some more guests for the episode. And usually I'll write down a bunch of guests that I think, and kind of maybe what topics, and then Matt will go through and yay or nay them.
Because at the end of the day, he obviously knows a lot more about growth and products than I do. And sometimes he'll be like, oh, we should cover this topic. And I'm like, I have no idea what that topic is. Yeah. Sure. If you didn't care, it's going to resonate. And then I learn a lot by sitting in on the podcasts, but that's definitely another benefit of having the hosts be the employees.
Jeremiah: I love that. That was something we would encourage brands to as like, you need to be the resident expert. We've seen it happen where sometimes maybe the resident experts like really busy. And so they're like, oh, we'll have marketing run it. That's fine. Maybe it's better than nothing. If that marketer can be really quick on their feet and savvy with conversation.
Have on good guests, but there's still never going to get to your point, the level of expertise in questions and guests filtering that the actual people who are experts at your organization doing it. And I think that's something a lot of companies find tricky, but it's super impressive that you all have pulled off and probably pays dividends for
Elizabeth Hilfrank: you.
Yeah. And I think even though our hosts are the experts within Drfit, they're always trying to solve problems. So going back to being the guide by having these other people on the podcast, they're solving problems together. So sometimes Sean or Matt will have real life problems they're trying to solve and discuss it on the episode.
Jeremiah: How have you seen, even if it's just anecdotal, have you seen any ways? It seems to me that one of the main benefits of a network like this, where your internal professionals are running, it is they would have their ear to the ground so well of their industry. They're getting to have these amazing conversations with people that are thought leaders and experts.
And peers in many ways, and they're probably able to stay up on current pain points and what's trending and things like that. Like, have you seen any benefits from the departments themselves or even you like that? You're just like, man, I really, I feel like I can create content better through this network for our customer, because I'm getting all this input from.
Elizabeth Hilfrank: Yeah, definitely. Certainly people come to me with trends or topics, and especially in being on the marketing team, I'm hyper aware of what the trends are. And that's been really helpful, especially as the team builds out their campaigns from a broader sense. It's just good to know what's top of mind for them.
And then I can kind of take those campaigns and topics we're looking into and go look for other experts in the area, creeping through LinkedIn and Google, and who's really passionate about this and then having them on the podcast.
Jeremiah: Is there any like guidelines you have for anyone playing your role at another organization?
Like what factors go into guests lineup for you when you're thinking about getting people on these shows?
Elizabeth Hilfrank: Pretty much, it goes into what company they're coming from. So is it another B2B tech company? Or sometimes we like to go like a little out of just the standard B2B SaaS and look into different areas, and then mostly just their background and trying to figure out like what these guests are passionate about.
So one way to do it is if there's a company that's been doing something interesting kind of looking at who are the experts in whatever aspect of that company that your podcast is focused on and then reaching out to them and you can kind of gauge by what's what's on Google and LinkedIn on what these people are passionate about, and if they want to be on your show.
Jeremiah: Yeah, that's awesome. I've been doing a little bit more of that where I'm like starting to see people like, who are really on fire. Like they're sharing a ton of stuff about what they're doing at podcasts in their company. And I'm, it's making me take note more. Cause I'm like, I know when I come across a brand using it cool.
Why I want to talk to them or that I want to talk to them. But I think LinkedIn is like a really, for me, even like an untapped source of like, oh yeah, like there's people out here that are like super passionate about it and you can see it over time in their messaging. I'm making a note for myself as like a more place to find people that are passionate to share, because I think that there is, to your point, there is a difference between like you could go head hunting for someone that's like won awards or is really innovative in this space, whatever, but it doesn't mean they're necessarily like passionate to come on and talk about it like that.
Doesn't equate to a good guest. So I think that's a helpful.
Elizabeth Hilfrank: Yeah, social media is very telling, especially if they have a Twitter, that's also very great. You can really go down a rabbit hole for
Jeremiah: sure. So like, you'll like find somebody and then you'll go check out their Twitter and then you see like what kind of engagement they get and how often they're talking about
Elizabeth Hilfrank: it.
Yeah. So usually if I find someone I'll look at their LinkedIn, any other social media, see if they've been written up in the, in the news or have some blogs on their company's site. And then that also helps me just have more personalized outreach. If I'm able to then email them and be like, we want to cover specifically this topic.
And then once it gets to the actual prep, I'm basically deep in there. If they've had anything on YouTube, I'm listening to that. They've been on other podcasts, that kind of thing. So just going gets deeper and deeper each stage, I go,
Jeremiah: that's awesome. You mentioned you're tracking downloads and growth. So it sounds like just as a basic, are we seeing downloader?
Like you're not probably looking for like radical numbers on like the operation show, but you're probably like checking downloads. Are the downloads going up into the right, albeit however slowly or at least, like you said, staying the same and not dropping. Do you think about, is there anything that you have to report on as far as ROI or like this is, you know, podcasting is a notoriously difficult to attribute channel.
And the only way I have found so far is, and I know others like Chris Walker talking about this all the time is like qualitative attribution. And letting people tell you how they heard about you or what they thought was impactful that led to their signup and finding a way to take that qualitative feedback.
And attribute that and make sure there's a way to tie to that. And the CRM. Is there any way you guys are doing that or is it primarily just looking at the downloads and it's just a deep belief in creating the content
Elizabeth Hilfrank: foundationally? I definitely agree that ROI on podcasts is very hard and definitely something that's still top of mind, but most broadly we believe podcasts are a brand awareness play.
Just getting our voice out there more. But also with the relationship building, sometimes we have, we dove prospects or customers on the show as guests, and then that's again, just giving them another point of contact to drift and better understanding, um, our companies. So from that aspect, we can then say, oh, that was like another touch point.
Other than that, yeah, podcast metrics are pretty tough. A lot of platforms are starting to have those marketing automation integrations, but still figuring out exactly who they are is kind of hard. So we do take a lot of value in though. If people are messaging us on LinkedIn, saying something about the episode or email.
Just knowing that kind of information is a bonus.
Jeremiah: That's something. Um, and I was going to ask about this cause you've hired him to host one of the shows, but Jay Acunzo that's something I think he talks about is actually tracking unsolicited mentions of your show or your brand due to that on social. But it requires a little bit more of this work that I think a lot of brands aren't aware they need to put in in order to track this stuff.
As far as getting a show launched, what does that timeline look like? Is it different by show or are you able to spin these up and like, I'm curious what people have different perceptions on what it should take to launch and having launched a few it's like, is it fairly quick? Are these fairly lengthy processes?
Like what does that look like for you from beginning to end to add something to the network?
Elizabeth Hilfrank: Yeah. So this has been a big learning for me as we launched conversation starters, that was the second show that launched while I was on the directly on, in this role. But we'll teaser. We have a new podcast launching in March.
So I am, I am deep in that right now, but the idea for that started in December, beginning of December. And so then it's going to launch in March. So three months. So about a quarter I would say is from that ideation, figuring out what's your title, what's your description? What's the goal of the show for us that looks like we have a whole brief that we outline.
And then also what are the requirements of the show? What's the length, what's the type of guest we want to have? What do we need from other people on the team? So that artwork, trailers, social promotion, all of that. And then from there, figuring out what's our guest list, starting to get a bit of backlog of episodes, then working with your platform to do the RSS feed and get that all set up the landing page.
It's a solid three months, I'd say. Okay.
Jeremiah: Yeah. That's helpful to hear. I think people are all over the map on what they think it should take maybe some longer, but a lot shorter. And I know I've talked to brands that are surprised when they hear. Cause I think they were doing a video series on YouTube.
They'd be like, oh yeah, of course. It's going to take three to five months. Like of course, but then a podcast, like, come on, it's like a microphone. So like how hard can it be? And then when they walked through the process like, oh, this is actually pretty different.
Elizabeth Hilfrank: Yeah, definitely a misconception because yeah, you can just turn on your mic and start recording, but there's so many other smaller logistics at play.
If you just launch it in two weeks, who's to say, you're going to be able to like, keep that momentum going three months down the road.
Jeremiah: Yeah. I mean, just the moment, like the role that you're playing is super difficult. We are well aware of like the mechanics of that, and it is really hard to keep a show running successfully and smoothly.
People don't think about like, oh, what happens when guests shift schedules on you or something like that? It is a ton of work
Elizabeth Hilfrank: for sure. Yeah. I just had that happen this week. Someone was like, oh, my daycare is closed. I can't record. And I was like, I was banking on you for this episode. And luckily we were able to shift things around, but you never know.
Jeremiah: We're trying with this one, like, this is why we're delaying we're recording before this is launched, because we're trying to get like one to two months in the can before, like we go live. Cause we're like, we know life is going to happen and stuff's going to happen with people and it's going to get difficult.
Okay. I want to come back to this. Now you mentioned the integration with the blog and like other content team. So when you put something out, is there like a framework that you're running it through to repurpose it? Or what is the relationship like? Is a podcast turning into an article? What's the relationship with the blog?
What, how do you thinking about repurposing is something everyone's talking about right now? I think the number two things you're going to see, and at least based on LinkedIn is like every brand starting a podcast in 2022 and everyone, all of a sudden believes in repurposing. So I'm curious how you all think about it.
Cause you've been doing it for a long, long time with videos.
Elizabeth Hilfrank: Yeah. I mean, I think repurposing content goes back to something we always say is like, we don't always need to be reinventing the wheel and creating that new content, but finding value from what we do have. So, I mean, it's really great to have your manager be the owner of the blog because we can just be in lockstep.
But how that usually looks is. I so like every other week in our one-on-ones, I'll go over who we have coming up on the podcasts and the topics, and specifically highlight maybe some that I think would be great to turn into a blog. And then from the episode, the other day we recorded an episode and one bit came out and me and the hosts, me and Sammy were like, oh, that'd be great for a blog.
So then going back to Molly, we keep track of everything in the Asana, and so there's a whole content calendar. So I have my podcasts listed every day that they released with the title and the URL and all of that. And then if I think there's something that we can repurpose from it, I'll tag the blog calendar as well.
So then it's on Molly's radar. So that's usually how it works. Sometimes we also work with the webinar team. We've used some webinars as podcasts and we've had webinars guests also come on podcasts to go deeper on a certain subject. And that again, all falls under the content team. So it's just that constant communication.
Jeremiah: So when you draw an article from an episode, is it taking the overall summary of the episode or theme of the episode into an article or is something catching you like some insight a guest says, and you're like, oh, that's a good breakaway article or a hybrid.
Elizabeth Hilfrank: I'd say a hybrid of both, depending on one, which podcast it is.
And just the nature of the show. Most of the time it's specific to one part of the podcast, because a podcast can be 45 minutes and that's really hard to fit into a blog that someone's going to read all the way through. So a lot of times we do kind of listicle formats. So three things that you'll learn from this CMO or something like that, or like three tips.
Jeremiah: Taking notes for us as well, because we're always trying to like, evaluate how we think about this. And for a long time prior, usually it would be like similar to what you're saying either. Like, how do we summarize the top five points if it fits neatly under that framework? Or is there one overarching emphasis?
And like, Claudia, for example, in our team will be like, okay. Yeah, like this episode, A big emphasis on ROI of podcasting. We already touched on a bunch of other stuff, but like, that was the main thing. There was tons of good examples. Let's spin that out. Or it's just like, okay, this was all good. And evenly split into five things.
Like here's five tips from so-and-so. Yeah.
Elizabeth Hilfrank: And I think that goes to who the guests is too. Like if you have a really noteworthy guests that you know is going to generate a lot of clicks and stuff, then people are more likely to read every single point that that person has to say. Versus if it's maybe someone who's maybe an expert in their craft, but less known in the field, then making that more educational blog is probably going to resonate
Is there a strong SEO play with all of that stuff? Or like with the shownotes are you trying to drive organic traffic with this? Or do you have articles that drive organic and you just kind of let these be standalone thought leaders?
Elizabeth Hilfrank: SEO is the name of the game in 2022. So we are working on that, but no, I do try to optimize our titles and show notes descriptions in an SEO way, and then align those keywords to whatever the blog is also pulling for us.
So then they can work in tandem and then having those embeddable clips or video clips of your podcast is video-based to also just boost the SEO of the blog and helps with your lessons. So
Jeremiah: win-win yeah, we've done the same. We found just improving. Uh, I forget what it's cause it dwell like time on page or dwell time.
I, I feel like there's a difference between the two and S any SEO nerds out there getting like, there's a difference. So that's fine. You can ask me,
Elizabeth Hilfrank: I'm not an SEO nerd, so I don't know
Jeremiah: I'm a former SEO nerd, but I don't remember the difference between the two and I feel like they're going to get on, but it's okay.
So the point is that keeps people staying on longer. That's the something we thought about doing, like we've been embedding the full episode in as well, just to be like, Hey, if you just prefer to listen to this, an audio form or putting calls to action to Spotify and apple, and like, you got to run and you want to consume this, you can go over and listen to where we drew this inspiration from like to the full episode.
Elizabeth Hilfrank: Yeah, our CTAs are usually till the full episode as well. We also do blogs for the launch of every new show. For example, for conversation starters, since it's seasonal, we have most of the episodes I recorded. So for that one, I did here's three big takeaways and there were from three different episodes to give the audience a taste of what they can expect over the course of the
It's like a written trailer, the same thing you would try and like communicate in the podcast trailers. I like that. I want to get some recommendations for other companies, for like other content managers or marketing managers, listening from your experience recommendations, you might have, people are in different camps about this, so there's no right or wrong.
When do you think a company should consider podcasting at all? Whether it's like ad sponsorship, guesting, just kind of tapping into the power of letting them hear your brand's voice, like the humans behind your brain.
Elizabeth Hilfrank: I think early, I think as soon as you figured out what that voice is, go for it. My thing, especially now since podcasting is so big, it's just a way again, to get your voice out there early, get your message across, start generating those connections.
Jeremiah: What do you think most marketing managers get wrong when they decide to start a podcast? Or what are some things that surprised you? Or do you see people getting wrong that needs to be corrected when it comes to starting a podcast or a piece of advice? You'd give them if you want to do more positive about it, what's advice you would give people that are thinking
Elizabeth Hilfrank: about getting stuck.
Yeah, I think it goes back to what we were saying around launching a podcast is people underestimate. I underestimated before I got into this role, how much cross team collaboration there is of coordinating the content, the guests, the hosts schedule, the social calendar, the blog, all of that. There's just a lot more small pieces that constitute a successful podcast program.
Jeremiah: do it all internally. Your team internally, like handles everything from start to finish, or do you utilize any like third-party stuff?
Elizabeth Hilfrank: We do have a third party editing agency to do our audio and the video edits they do as well. And our thumbnail.
Jeremiah: Is that what you would recommend people outsource first?
Like if it feels, if they're not, if the team isn't as big as Drift and they're listening, what parts have you found the most difficult that if you were to say like, Hey, if you can allow any spend outsources there, anything you'd outsource or do you think there's a ton of value in doing as much as you can internally?
Because like you said, you get to share these insights. Collaboratively with other department.
Elizabeth Hilfrank: Yeah, well, we didn't actually have this third party until about six months ago, which it was basically just a bandwidth thing. And for us, we knew we wanted to have video podcasts for all five shows, which obviously is a huge, huge, uh, weight for the video team.
And then. Other videos to be making. So we just recently outsourced that. I think it definitely is something that can be done in house. I'd say the most important thing is just figuring out the platform that you're going to keep your podcasts on to then spew out to all the different platforms. I think if you can find one that is going to work effectively, provides you, those embed codes gives you an option for a landing page.
If you have the extra money to get dedicated support from that platform. That's to me what the biggest investment is.
Jeremiah: Yeah. I think that's one of the things I think people don't spend enough time on at other brands is doing a really good job of, I feel like a lot of brands publish their show and then they kind of are like hoping for organic traction within the podcast players.
And that's great. Like, of course you'd want that to happen, but then like you try and find the show on their website and it's like, so buried or it's like mixed. All there is, is like blog and the dropdown and like literally in their CMS or whatever. It's just like another blog article that this one happens to be like an episode with something embedded.
That's something that I would just encourage anyone who's listening to go look at. Let's see. What's the URL here. It's drift.com forward slash insider forward slash podcast. You all have made it like podcasts is in the main nav menu. Like it's front and center. It's really easy to scroll to browse. And I think some brands just make it so difficult.
Like they don't prominently promote it. And I think that's something that people need to be doing better to, to gain. Like if you're not going to get a million listeners from Spotify overnight, you can at least be driving the existing traffic you have over to it. And that's the channel I think a lot of people are missing.
Elizabeth Hilfrank: Yeah, promotions are definitely another thing that's underplayed in podcasts. I forget the exact stat, but it's like, even if you're getting like 500 downloads a week or something, it's like, you're still in like the top 10% of podcasts, but that just shows you how many podcasts there are that like, you're still gonna rank pretty low, far down.
So people are really gonna have to scroll apple podcasts or Spotify if they want to find your show. So you got to make it easy for them to find. I'm
Jeremiah: curious. I spoke with Jonathan barbershop from HubSpot and his role is dedicated to podcast growth at HubSpot. Have you or the team talked at all about, you're kind of on the cutting edge with the network and with what you're doing?
You're, you're one of the few brands executing it like a really high level in this. I'm curious if you've thought about dedicating any marketing roles to listener growth, or if you've talked about that at all.
Elizabeth Hilfrank: I guess I'm the first podcast hire and that was only six months ago. So guess I have to prove my worth first.
It's just bringing another person on to help me, but that'd be awesome.
Jeremiah: Cool. I can make an intro if you want to. And he's got where I'll send you the episode. He has a ton of really it's just been fun. It was fun to chat with him. And here, like they've got like organic ways, paid ways, really out of the box, ways that they're focusing on podcast growth.
I think the thing is at the end of the day, so far, it's still boils down to like foundationally without great guests, great content and persistence you can't. But there are all these other things that they're doing and testing and experimenting with. And I feel like they're kind of on the cutting edge of that.
So I'll send anything I find your way, but yeah, excited.
Elizabeth Hilfrank: I'll have to listen to that. Yeah, it definitely starts like you can promote the heck out of it, but the content is not there then. There's no point, but yeah, definitely. Always looking into new growth strategies, for sure.
Jeremiah: And I think the other thing people miss is the quality over quantity.
Like a thousand people may scroll past your brand's post on LinkedIn. And that's cool. Like you made an impression on them and maybe some stuff. But it is funny to me that some founders would fly across the country to speak to a room of like 250 people. And think that that's like so amazing. But then when they're told like there's 300 people that are giving you 45 minutes of their time and letting your message be in their head every week, consistently month on month, they're like, ah, it's like too small.
So I think it is also, people need to like shift the way they. Even YouTube, they're not consuming content like podcasts listeners are, they're just a different breed. The people that do decide to consume your audio content are really engaged in like a whole nother level that I think people are discounting when they just see like the small numbers.
Okay. I have some wrap up. I know you gotta run. So I've got just a couple fun, last question. What do you think the future of audio is for brands? Like what are some unique things that you think, or is there anything, any way that you envision brands using audio more in the next five years?
Elizabeth Hilfrank: I think asynchronous audio is going to become more and more important in business and digitally.
I think podcasts are not going away. They're just going to continue to grow. But I think there's going to be more emphasis on audio recordings in the sense of like voice memos and meeting wrap-ups and that kind of thing. Over
Jeremiah: text. I love the idea of async meeting, wrap ups over voice. Yes. I love the idea of anything that reduces meetings, but that especially is fun.
I'm curious as question number two, as we wrap up. Do you use any Drift playbooks with your own Drift bot that eventually reroutes people to the podcast? So like if they come in and somehow like, you know, their operations folks and they're like, Nope, I'm just browsing the bots, like, okay, cool. In the meantime, while you think about everything, here's some stuff to help you grow your career and reroutes them to like the operations podcast,
Elizabeth Hilfrank: not rerouting to the podcast, although maybe I should bring that back to.
That's a good idea, but we do have the Drift bot on all of our podcasts landing pages. So if someone visits the operations site, it can be, Hey, do you have feedback for Sean? Or want to leave him a message you can do so here? And that will take
Jeremiah: Oh, cool. So they could like request a guest that way or something, or like ask a question or something.
Cool. Very cool. All right. Last one. I think I asked everything else here that I wanted to. What are your favorite podcasts that you've been listening to?
Elizabeth Hilfrank: Well, I'm a big fan of the Skimm. So the podcast used to be skinned for the couch. Now it's nine to five ish where the co-founders interview other co-founders and entrepreneurs.
So that's really interesting. I'm also a big runner. So I listened to Allie on the run podcast and that's really great. I run in the morning. So I'm usually spending to your point of being really, really engaged. I'm like I'm spending 45 minutes with Allie this morning. So those are kind of the. To my brain right now, I've also been listening to one, the Gilmore guys, which is based off of the Gilmore girls show.
That's pretty funny. So I like to have a variety. Cool.
Jeremiah: Love it. That's awesome. Well, Elizabeth, thank you so much for your time. Thank you for sharing everything that you've learned. All these insights would be excited to have you come back as you continue on in the role some time if you're interested and thank you so much for giving your time today.
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