In this week’s episode, we talk to Adam McQueen, Content Marketing Manager at Klue and host of the Competitive Enablement Show, about how he grew and humanized their podcast from the ground up with very few resources.
In this week’s episode, we talk to Adam McQueen, Content Marketing Manager at Klue and host of the Competitive Enablement Show, about how he grew and humanized their podcast from the ground up with very few resources.
You’ll learn more about how Adam and his team chose the concept and hook of the show, how they measure success and think about ROI, and how he successfully launched a live community during the early stages of the podcast.
Name: Adam McQueen
What he does: Content Marketing Manager at Klue
Connect with him: LinkedIn
Even though Adam was new to the topic of competing in business, he took the podcast as an opportunity to bring in experts to learn from. Not only did this give him quality content to share with their audience, but it provided a level of education he could then use to confidently form his own unique point of view on the topic of competitive enablement. You can either be the expert or the guide to the expert and in this case, Adam was the latter.
As a host, you need to know how to facilitate the conversation and extract real examples. It’s also important to know when to poke and prod at the guests’ answers to uncover why they believe what they believe. This may also lead to healthy debates or contrarian points of view, which help to solidify the authenticity of the conversation and keep listeners engaged.
Canvas the market and take inspiration from the best podcasts you see in your space, but put your own spin on it. Be human and figure out what makes people want to listen to you over anyone else. No one follows a copycat.
You can take clips, snips, highlights, guest quotes, etc., and use those moments as fuel for your other marketing channels, like newsletters, socials, or blogs. Just because someone doesn’t have 30 minutes to listen to a full episode doesn’t mean they can’t still learn from you from a 60-second segment. This, in turn, might be a gateway to getting them to listen to the next episode.
Klue keeps a searchable internal repository of podcast content within Notion so their sales team can easily access clips and “SparkNotes” on specific topics covered on the show. They can then use this content to share insights with prospective customers and showcase the company’s POV.
Are you making a connection with the audience? Do they send you feedback on the show? Are they sharing your episodes on social media? It’s more impactful to have 100 people listening to your show who really care and engage with you than it is to have 5,000 downloads with little to no feedback.
It shouldn’t be a one-hour presentation or a siloed conversation between the host and guest. Instead, make it human. Open up a Zoom room and actually interact with the faces on the screen. Have conversations, and let people chime in. That’s where the magic of community is built.
Oftentimes, B2B content can feel a bit repetitive. It seems like when you scroll through your feed, everyone is talking about the same things or sharing the same style clips. Don’t fall into the trap of “sameness”. Ask yourself, “What can I do, even with a podcast clip, that’s different than everything else out there?” Continue to iterate and improve your content until you find your unique voice and approach.
Even if your numbers are modest to start, it’s important to analyze why certain episodes get higher downloads than others. Is it your hook? Is it your episode title? Is it your guest? Is it because of a specific clip you shared on social? Was it the way it was distributed to your email list? Learn from these tactics so you can apply them to future episodes and grow your podcast.
You’re not going to get your podcast right from the start. You’re going to make mistakes. You’ll likely cringe when you listen back to your episode 01. But the key is having support from the top to take those creative risks, test different strategies out, fail your way through a few of them, and learn from it all so you can make a bigger and better show.
Identify who your audience is, the problems they face, or the questions they need answers to, and go out there and create a show that helps them work through these challenges. If you’re not giving your audience the value they’re looking to get from you, your show will inevitably fail, regardless of the level of production or guest roster.
Adam McQueen: The measure of success of a good podcast is this engagement and this audience connection. Like I would rather have rather than like 5,000 downloads, I'd rather have a hundred people that really freaking care. And they really listen and they really provide feedback and they help build this thing better than what it was the episode prior.
Jeremiah: Hey there, welcome to Brands that Podcast. Each week we talk with the people running podcast strategies at successful brands so you can learn how to grow your company through podcasting.
Today's guest is Adam McQueen, content marketing manager at Klue. Klue is a competitive enablement platform that lets you collect, curate and deliver competitive intelligence across every department of your business. They just raised 62 million in series B financing led by Tiger Global and including Salesforce Ventures.
Klue is one of the best case studies of a podcast execution done the right way early in their marketing strategy. Adam was able to get the show off the ground with very little resources and quickly grew it into 25 episodes featuring guests at Airtable and Slack. It's been an incredibly impactful marketing channel for them.
And I think this is going to be one of the best episodes for any marketing team who's listening who's thinking of starting a podcast in a B2B space. In this episode, you're going to hear how Adam and his team chose the concept and the hook of the show, how they measure success and how they think about ROI, the leadership strong belief in podcasting and their willingness to take risks, and how he launched a live community with the podcast.
Something I was surprised to hear that he did so early on and actually was very successful with it. You'll also learn some of the major lessons he learned and advice that he has for other B2B brands thinking of starting a show. I hope you enjoy.
All right, Adam. Thank you so much for joining Brands that Podcast, really excited to have you on the show today, Jeremiah.
Adam McQueen: It's a pleasure. I'm excited to be here.
Jeremiah: So I want to get started talking to you about your role as content marketing manager at Klue. Is that right?
Adam McQueen: I'm leading the content team and kind of the content strategy over here for our
Jeremiah: team. Awesome. So you host the Competitive Enablement Podcast. You've got over 25 episodes now, and you've been able to secure for a new podcast, this is pretty difficult, you've been able to secure some really amazing guests. Some of them work at Airtable and Slack. My first question is, what was the driving factor behind creating the podcast? Like for you, with the whole world of content you have, why a podcast and sort of like why this year?
Adam McQueen: Yeah.
So I guess a little bit of context on that front. I take over content at Klue shoot. Maybe that's 18 months ago, maybe two years ago. And I was new to tech. I was specifically new to competitive enablement and the space that we're working in and I kind of pivoted over from journalism and I'm thinking shoot, imposter syndrome immediately.
Why would someone listen to me about how you should run competitive at your organization? Why does anyone care? What I have to say? I actually don't even know. And so I guess the driving factor originally was, I want to get subject matter experts because especially when we're creating a category, we in this nascent space is like a huge thing is educating the market.
And there's so many different topics, angles things you can talk about around competitive and competing in business. And I needed to start bringing experts on so that first of all, the quality of our content would be good and the audience could learn stuff, but it was also kind of twofold actually helped educate me because ultimately now I'm more confident, although I've never ran compete at an organization, but I have my own point of view perspective.
I've talked to a lot of customers. I've talked to a lot of experts now, so it was kind of fold on that, bringing the subject matter expert in, and then also educate myself and allow me to kind of build up my chops in this,
Jeremiah: in this space. That's amazing. Yeah. We're fans of, uh, Dave Gerhardt and he says something we've like latched onto, which is marketing either needs to be the expert or they need to be the guide to the expert.
And so it sounds like you're stepping in as the guide to the expert, but along the way, you're gaining more knowledge about your space, which is then going to help you like, so follow up question to that then like now you like leading content 25 episodes. How much more do you feel like you've learned, like, you know, your audience better?
Adam McQueen: that stuff? Oh, a hundred percent. Like it's night and day. I mean the first couple of episodes I just brought in sort of internal Klue experts, I think less friction in terms of just getting them on a bit more comfort. I had my list of questions, hand over the mic. And I still, like, I still firmly believe when I have guests to kind of, don't take the air from the room, like give it to them, but it's now you have this kind of feeling where, okay, I can probe on that question.
Oh, that reminds me of a conversation I had with someone in a podcast before. Oh, that's different from what someone else told me once before. So you just have this sort of like an, a bank of knowledge to start to add. You just have more like three-dimensional conversations rather than. Question, boom response.
Those are my favorite kind of podcasts, right? There are some way you do to interview question, answer, question, answer, but what I love about podcasts, and I think what's worked with eyes is you start to build sort of a, an engagement with your audience when it's supposed to feel like a natural flowing conversation.
Jeremiah: I think 100%, that's something I was really intentional about when we spun up season two was like, You know? Yes. Obviously we're handpicking guests that we think are going to be able to share incredible information, but we also have something to say too, and it's not too like, whoa, toot the Lemonpie horn, but it's just to say, like, we want to riff on this with you.
Like we have thoughts too. And I'm with you. Like, I have always felt when I kind of like reversed diagnosed like my own thinking, like what shows do I listen to? It's always the one where, like you say, like, yeah, Probably, you know, 60, 70% is the guests, but the host is like equally knowing when to probe or maybe like has a contrarian opinion or something like that.
And I, I just think it makes it so much more interesting.
Adam McQueen: Yeah. Cause you need to know, especially from a guest posts, I mean, we could go down so many avenues in this podcast here as we start. But you need to know, like the guests, some of my guests haven't done a podcast before, so you need to know how to facilitate the conversation, how to extract out real examples.
And then some people that are super confident, very they've been doing this for years and. As a guest or as the host. Sorry. I'm I know that I can push back. I know it can be a little bit more, like you said, I encountered them a little bit or just kind of like start to poke it and product why they're saying these things or why they believe these things.
So yeah, it definitely adds this kind of layer of authenticity, because I think that. Key to building a true audience that comes back and there's some other things we've done, like from a tactical standpoint, like doing now monthly live shows, things like that, that we can get into. But, uh, oh yeah. I think the key element is being a person and being a human and having a conversation.
Uh, there is also. Guardrails. Sometimes I can go down a rabbit hole. I love to go down where I was, but you do want to, there's like, almost like this structure to it, but you don't want it to be prescriptive. Right. And actually that's something with prepping with, like, I think you mentioned that with lemon pie, you like to riff on sort of the ideas.
It's cool. It beforehand I'll send a doc to my guests or whatever, but then I'm like, put your notes in here, Jim, which questions do you like? Which ones don't you like, where do you want to dive into? And then like the sync call beforehand. Kind of becomes this collaborative
Jeremiah: thing. That's a piece, a lot of people miss, like, as you know, I mean, I found out about your podcast on LinkedIn.
You're sharing great stuff on LinkedIn and that's how we connected. And I feel like now me, like when I'm surfing LinkedIn, I'm like, oh, so apparently everyone's starting a podcast in 2022 is like the general sentiment I'm getting, but they don't realize like how much those little things you're doing and iterating on are contributing to the show, actually working, moving forward, like so many people are just like, okay, I've got this.
Here, all my questions answered, but we're doing a similar thing, like sharing these questions. What do you want to talk about? What's important to you? Is there anything you can't cover having like a warmup call so that you can kind of get right to the meat of it? Like these are the things that make it, like why your show will win or work for a while.
Like for every, like one that does, there's like nine that are just the me too, like lookalike podcasts that get put out
Adam McQueen: there. Yeah. I'll give a call out to my marketing director, Katie sort of, even before deciding we're going to do a podcast, dies sort of an ethos. I think she brought up. Let's go quality over quantity.
And one of, sort of the staples around how her approach to content when she was a marketing team of one, and then as it expanded to me and now my team is like, okay, let's take inspiration. So podcasts they're working, but as you mentioned, they can get saturated. So take inspiration from some of the best podcasts you see, but then put your own spin on it.
Be human, be what makes people want to listen to you. And then also. The guests, the topic, there's a bunch of other things, but I love that idea of yeah, you canvas. But copycats, no one follows a copycat.
Jeremiah: Right? And like, people don't realize YouTube is a little different, like YouTube. We always compare it because people are like, oh, podcasting is done.
It's like, podcasting is 2 million channels. YouTube has like, I think 12 million at this point. So it's like podcasting has a long way to go. But I think the reason why it feels saturated is there's like you're consuming for a longer amount of time. And there's less room in your feed. Like I've got three shows I listened to like, and then once in a while, If there's a topic that catches my eye to help me learn or overcome a problem, like with marketers, to me, I'll tune into someone else's show.
But for the most part, I've kind of got my rotation on lock and it'll take a lot to move me from that. So yeah, if there's like five sales or competition shows and you can either be a really unique niche, that's going to help them solve a specific problem. You better be like one of the best sales shows they've ever heard.
Adam McQueen: A hundred percent.
And honestly, to your point too, I think we'll get into this as well as. You're only listening to three on the regular three podcasts on the regular. And when I produce a podcast, I don't expect every single person, even the people that listen, I don't even expect them to listen to the whole episode. If they do great, sweet, come again.
Love it. But like, I think that's an parcel of why data podcast, why I think podcasts is so effective is this like fuels for other content channels. You could take clip it, snips highlights takeaways that fuels all of your other content channels. Is it your newsletter? Is it your social? I mean, this is what we did.
This is what I did as a team of one to survive, social quotes, newsletter, clips, blogs, like those things fuel everything else. And so if someone doesn't have 30 minutes an hour to listen to a conversation, but shoot, they'll listen to that two and a half minutes segment. When you talked about how you de-position your competitive.
Uh, when it comes to pricing, that bit is relevant to them. And then also that's like kind of the gateway into maybe they want to listen to the full episode next time. So it's sort of this like feedback loop, right? Sorry for saying feedback loop. That's the biggest buzzword ever. I apologize.
Jeremiah: No. I was about to use potentially a bigger buzzword.
I was about to say content flywheel, which has kind of a word I hate, but it was the only word that was coming from. I mean, I could not agree with you more like we've literally done episodes. Like literally your wording basically summarized like an episode we've done on an estimate. I was going to ask you almost like how you're thinking about repurposing, what you just covered.
And that's something we have found is like I've seen companies do it both ways, but I've seen companies when a podcast is like the fifth thing that they're doing. It feels like it's almost harder because there's like this machine that's already like in place, it's harder for them to think about utilizing it.
In other words, We're like the small teams that start with a podcast, then it's like, well now, like I have my content calendar. So it's like a big switch where like bigger teams I've seen. They're kind of like, well, what topic are we talking about in February? Like, okay, let's see what we can pull from the podcast to fit our agenda.
But teams like yours are like ours where we're like, we're smaller. We just let the podcast dictate where we go. Like, we don't have like themes or anything. We're just like, Let's take the best, most insightful bits. We say, like, let's not be arrogant enough to assume that all of our audience is going to a, like, want to spend an hour.
B is a podcast listener. Let's just take the best. And serve them up natively and contextually to the places where they're hanging out and the very minimum we're giving valuable information and making a more compelling follow on social at the maximum over time, the ones that are interested, know where to find us.
We don't need to like keep being like, come listen, come listen. It's like, you know how to use a search bar in Spotify, if you really care, you know what I mean? Totally
Adam McQueen: man. It's like, Hey, I'd love you to follow us. So I'd love you to listen to the whole podcast. But when we think through. Sort of different people consume content through different ways.
Right. And so having that podcast fueled these different channels, and then maybe someone just wants to read the takeaways on the news. I've even now I like to repurpose our podcasts on our podcast page. We'd like the spark notes. It's like, if you don't want to listen to anything thing, here's three things you can take away.
Exactly. Or just follow up, like yeah. It makes for an interest in following social, maybe you would just consume passively some of the stuff that we produce on our LinkedIn feed. Like that's cool too. Anything. It just, it is fuel for every other channel. I
Jeremiah: think it comes down to like, I don't want to say like metrics aren't important.
Like I think downloads will show you. That if a tree falls, does anyone here at like, does it really fall? Like it lets you know, like, okay, people are listening and if they're going up into the right, even if that's slowly, you know, that you're saying something compelling or worthwhile, but that isn't the end all be all of like if ultimately the end goal is to have them think like in your case, I would think the end goal is that Klue is to convey competitively.
That like Klue is a thought leader and an educator in this space. We're one of the smartest best brands. And we're going to show that by. Putting out free education and the best value that we can. So it's like at the end, why does it really matter whether they consume it for 45 minutes or whether they're getting those insights on LinkedIn, because that's where they prefer to be.
So that's what I think like people needed detach is like the podcast can still be effective, even if they're consuming the value in the education, the brand awareness and stuff on other channels. Oh, a
Adam McQueen: million percent. And it's funny that the metric side of things, uh, like I'll look, it downloads, obviously I'm not going to not look it down.
And it's like a nice macro view at it, just to see, like you said, overall trends. And now I have kind of like this archive of topics and I can see which one's popped. Was it the title? Was it actually the continent in there, but I don't get like tied down to like, I like to track download growth and like there's some things we've seen that's helped improve traction.
But the thing that really from the early days that like the metric that I realized was most important was the qualitative feedback for sure. First of all, like relationships. Built some great relationships with some of the first guests and they come back now, uh, I'm going to have them in, on some cool future projects, but it's the qualitative feedback.
So not only like questions people are asking me now to get answered on the podcast or before a live session, they're sending me questions. They want answered by the expert or myself, but it's also sort of, yeah, I liked that episode and getting like six of those, like that episodes where it was someone posted on social, I listened to this episode, the first time it happened, I'm like, People who are listening to this thing, like this is real and it's crazy.
And then like, even an then from like a business standpoint, because you want to justify this to like the business case, or this is like the first, the moment the sales reps are great giving feedback to marketing, which is just like, it's keep. And the first couple of times I'm like, yeah, our prospect or buy, it was like, just like out of nowhere, kind of mentioned, oh, I love listening to podcasts.
That's great. Okay. So now there's actually like a business imperative to this, to beyond downloads.
Jeremiah: Okay. I'm really curious about this. This is amazing. So are you using. Is this just purely like good salespeople being proactive to tell marketing, Hey, they're talking about the podcast. Are you using, like, there's been a big push to something we do is like, have an open field of like, how did you hear about us?
And we're actually tracking the qualitative like stuff through like to revenue, um, or is this like gong is like pulling a search query for the word podcast and letting marketing know, like how. Feedback being facilitated. I
Adam McQueen: think you're a month ahead of us. It's myself and the demand gen manager like we need.
And I really would love to, like, how did you hear about us field? I think that's great. I want that it's right now, it's just the awesomeness of our sales reps, giving us feedback, pumping our tires. Maybe there's a bunch of times to people are telling them, I was like, yo, it sucked. And they just don't tell me that.
Hopefully not. It's been mainly there for your back, but that's so funny. You mentioned it like how you heard about us form and you said it's like a push to do that. It's just like an ability to achieve in some way, quantify qualitative feedback. So that's on the road.
Jeremiah: It's been unreal. I will say, like, I know Chris Walker and a lot of those guys like talk about it.
It's like, man, it's so funny. Like the stuff that we used to get with just like check boxes or like whatever selection thing. And then like now I had someone that always say saw your post on LinkedIn, like resonated with it, like checked out your profile and came over here to submit a form. How's that for dark.
So like someone took the time to write like that. It was like a paragraph of like feedback. And I was like, this is incredible. So anyway. Yeah, definitely do it. It's worth the work in that. Would be excited to see that I actually do have a question about the content, the repurposing. I was really impressed with your resources page.
You have like a really beautifully laid out. Like there's just, it's an amazing, it's really unique. Like it's not just like for anyone who's listening. If you go to Klues website, it's not just like articles, videos, whatever. It's like really compelling, like laid out resources. Do you anticipate folding in.
Like in my mind, what I'm thinking is we talked before the call about the way Klue works, like you're typing a keyword and surfacing cards. Like, do you anticipate taking pieces as like sales enablement or for the sales team or something like that, where, and then like incorporating them into that resources section.
It looks like the podcast was broken off different from that. Do you anticipate linking the two or what was the reason behind keeping it
Adam McQueen: separate? It's been separate now. Working through, uh, I wonder if it gets done in the next week actually, um, like reworking our navigation bar as well. So like that resources page is cool.
We actually built out a fully fleshed podcast page as well with each episode, a little write up recap and the episode itself. So there is going to be that like integrated within there, like on the resources page with the other kind of bit. With finding the homes with them. So like I said, we've got plenty of like meaty clips from each episode.
Some are from customers, we're going to integrate them onto our customer's page. And they might not even be talking about Klue, product Klue the product itself, but it might be like, it's a fun wait for a customer page, not just making it all about Klue, but like our customers just thought like, And they come onto our podcasts and they talk about interesting ways that they're running competitive enablement at their company or enabling reps.
So that's one fun way to, I think we're going to start to integrate clips on our website and then on the resources page. It's a funny one. I originally started like writing blogs on each podcast episode. It wasn't scalable as a team of one, but we do have all of these clips kind of good quotes and those kinds of things that we want to find a way to do it properly, but there isn't a roadmap yet.
The podcast page has been kind of the starting point, which will be launched an easily accessible. Hopefully end of day today. Oh,
Jeremiah: that's awesome. Cool. Very cool. I have to check that out. Yeah. I mean, we, we don't have a system. Like we have our repurposing system, but we don't have a system like right now, what we have found really effective, but I think there's probably a better way to do it is like, you know, when we chat with people in the sales process, if they have questions or whatever, we're just like, Hey look like.
There's a really no pressure way to go listen to our insert on this. Like we refer 45 minutes on how you can track the ROI of this, or like our thoughts on this or whatever. We'll send them like three episodes and that's been super helpful for them and for us, but I wish there was like a faster way to be like, click this and it jumps to the three minute segment.
Adam McQueen: That would be cool. And one thing we are doing this like off website, especially from a sales name on case is I'm working with one of our inbound sales team and she's freaking awesome. And she actually made like a notion board where our content lives. So it's searchable for reps and it's been categorized by sort of like you mentioned, I like topics.
So if they're looking at like, how do I measure the ROI of my competitive. Well, we did a podcast on that reps. AEs can search that. And then with when they searched that they will find the podcast episode, there'll be a couple of clips. And then we're in the process of adding like sort of a SparkNotes, because for reps they need to kind of has had those SparkNotes kind of fed to them a little bit, but yeah, pretty much just trying to be where the reps live on that side.
So that's kind of like internal facing, like people browse on our site couldn't do that. It would be sick if they could, but again, it's one of those things of like, it's a great sales enablement, collateral little clips within a.
Jeremiah: Yeah, that's incredible. I'm going to have to explore that as well. Um, that it's just something that I think a lot of companies should consider using their podcasts for.
Like, it's not just about the re-purposing, you know, the impressions you're going to get on LinkedIn or Twitter or whatever, or like the downloads there's so much, we've heard people literally say the reason why. I came to you or like I've heard clients say this, like, the reason why they got business was because like what we heard the podcasts and we love the thought leader.
Like, we can tell you're good at this. Or, you know, like it's really, really a compelling, uh, sales enablement tool. So I'd still definitely something. I think more brands should consider a hundred percent. Okay. I want to know this is something I thought about for this show, but I think this show might be a bit too niche.
And so we're considering it for a future potential show. I am really curious about the move to live. I'm super impressed that you were able to do it so early on. And like, people don't understand, like it's like flooded with content, like to get like live people tuning in and like QA, like questions being asked and like actually engaging with the podcast committee.
That's incredible to me. So what led you to be bullish on the move to live? Like how did you pull that?
Adam McQueen: So it was Chris Walker inspiration, obviously, right? He's kind of the, OG of doing this State of Demand Gen, it's a live episode that then gets repurposed into a podcast. And so when I looked at that, I'm like, what?
And I think the cool thing about you see someone like his content, you're like, this is like top notch, a bunch of engagement. But if you go to his actual lifestyle, it's pretty bare bones. It's just a zoom. You sign up, it's just a zoom meeting. Like that part is not as important and that's easy enough to set up, but it's having good content and facilitating discussions.
And really, again, it's just like being a human thing. So like reaching out I'll personally. I'll make a personalized email, like asking for specific questions, giving a teaser on what the topics are. If I see someone signing up that I kind of had a conversation before I'll DM them, be like, Hey, what do you think about this?
Like, get them kind of revved up for this live event in terms of like the takeoff on it. So that was like the inspiration, how to actually do it is I wanted to get some good guests to start and have like a good topic for it to hook people in. And then we'd ran webinars in the past. We had good experts, good guests, but personally, as the host and maybe I'm a sample size of one, I kind of got bored of like handed over 40 minute presentation, 20 minute Q and a, it works.
And there were some good sessions, but it's a bit repetitive. And I think that's part and parcel why people don't tune in live to things anymore. As I think webinars kind of, it
Jeremiah: feels more like a webinar that way.
Adam McQueen: And we even called them webinars. We positioned it as webinars. They're good. And literally everyone's like, can I get the slides after I'm not going to be in live?
Can you send me the recording? I'm like, yeah, yeah, it will be recorded. And now our lives are recorded and they sent through his podcast, but it's, I think the webinar and like the positioning of the webinar and that you're going to sit here for an hour. And listen to an expert talk like I'll do that, but also a lot of the times I won't.
And especially when you're glued to your screen already, do I want my like time to like consume content, just like staring at this and not being able to engage. So I think with that said I was my favorite parts of podcasts are the conversational part questions. And to measure of success of a good podcast is this engagement and this audience connections, like I would rather have.
Rather than like 5,000 downloads, I'd rather have a hundred people that really freaking care and they really listen and they really provide feedback and they help build this thing better than what it was the episode prior. And so. That was sort of the premise behind the sea life. I mean, we could get into the nuts and bolts of launching it.
It was sort of like we're still working through how to do it best because we have people like sign up through a landing page. And then when they sign that form, I'll send them like personalized emails to kind of prep them in advance. And my favorite thing is I like to set up is just as. Um, so instead of the webinar, what is just the two speakers faces you can see and everyone else's guest like as a guest, like hit your head up the chat, whatever.
I don't like that. I want to see people's faces. I feel weird presented to like 300 people and I can't see any of them. I want to just see faces. And that was the coolest bit. So although we spotlight myself in the expert, then when people have guests, my producer in the back and he's like, oh, this person has a good question.
And they want to come on. Boom, pop them up. They jump on screen. And now we're starting to have one-on-one conversations with people. I'm actually learning what our audience wants to hear about more like if there's a common trend, boom, next episode. Let's just hit that up. I personally feel like, and we've only done a couple of these so far, but yeah.
The feedback's been overwhelmingly positive and people just feel like they're part of something more than just listening. So I could go all day on this stuff, but it's, it's, it's been one of my favorite things that we've done so
Jeremiah: far, I'm blown away by this. And what I think it seems indicative of is like something you said you'd rather have a hundred, like really tuned in people then like a thousand downloads or like vanity numbers.
Like that's a belief. I think that. Like, especially B2B podcasting, necessitates. And it seems like I was going to ask about this. Like, you obviously are approaching it with like the completely right mind on this, which I think is making it successful. Like you're doing. Like there's no like ridiculous automation.
You're literally like, oh, here's the guest list. I'm going to take time and thoughtfully email everyone who's coming. I'm going to be a real human. I want to look them in the face. I want to ask them what they want to hear. And then like, it's not rocket science, like they're literally telling you, so you've got this like patient, what is evident to me as like this patient, like believe and like move forward.
Like with the system, it sounds like your marketing lead and like your sealer. Do you like they have a good backing of this? Like, and how important is that? You know what I mean?
Adam McQueen: I mean, this is my only experience and I'm blessed to have a CEO that comes from a marketing background and Jason Smith and then our senior director of marketing, Katie, who's kind of being the person that has like completely educated me on the world of marketing.
And like I said, the ethos has always been like, create the best content possible. She handed over to me. Like, I want you to lead content strategy. I want you to find out what works. I want you to test, screw up. Tell me what you learned from the scrub. What could we have done better? That kind of ethos from the top?
Obviously it trickles down is being a fortunate, like, I mean, I came in at Klue. I think I was like the 40th hire right before series a and now we're shooting border and on 200 people, 18 months later. So it's grown at such a rate, but the cool thing is that I think when you have that many people and you're growing at that rate, Nobody knows let's test, let's figure this thing out.
Like don't be rooted in, well, we need to do our biggest competitor. They love to hit SEO, ultimate guides and generate their backlinks through that. Like, I mean, we could do that. We could copy that. I've got no experience doing SEO, but I like interviewing people. That was my journalistic background. I think we could make way more intimate content and engaging content doing.
I obviously put together a bit of a business case. So I didn't just go today. We're doing a
Jeremiah: podcast. Yeah, it wasn't that simple.
Adam McQueen: There was definitely like rationale, but it was not like friction. It was like, justify this test. Just go. We're not going to give you a bunch of money, bootstrap it, which is cool with podcasts.
You can do it as a team of one fairly sustainably and then reporting the results. From there, you can kind of like learn qualitative feedback might important and quantitative see what's working in the field, but put our own spin. So long-winded I answer again, but yes, having that freedom to run, it's critical when marketing, because, and I could get philosophical here.
And this is something we talk about is like, especially in a B2B space. Stuff can be very samey, even podcast clips themselves. Now, when I scroll through my LinkedIn feed, there's so many talking head video clips that I was like, shoot, I've just kind of fallen to the sameness of these. Like what can we do even with a clip, just that little bit, like what can we do in that clip?
A little bit different. Thank God we have this hilarious new social media hire that has pop cultural references that go over my head that help hook people in. Um, but there's always different ways to kind of iterate and
Jeremiah: improve. No, I mean, first, an aside on that, it's actually funny. Cause like literally this morning I was like the one post that caught my attention amidst the noise was like someone took like an office.
Yeah. Or Jeff, depending on how you pronounce it and like layered this stuff over it. And I was like, man, like you do see LinkedIn trending to be a little bit more like culturally relevant that way. But I agree. I think this is a really important takeaway. I think for listeners at orgs that are thinking about starting a show is like, if leadership is going to hold their feet to the fire and treat.
Like they would like Google ad words. Like if they're going to hold the same expectations out of it, like they would sort of like a paid channel that you have more control over accelerating things. It's not going to work. And I'm curious, like when you say, when you made the business case, what was the one.
Like you said they had like a couple of things they were looking for, but obviously they've been extremely like bullish on letting you test it. And it's obviously paid off and they'd see ROI. What were the things they were kind of looking for to know whether or not it was working? Like, were they happy with your answer of like what kind of qualitatively?
No. Or. As long as downloads are going up into the right and people are listening, keep
Adam McQueen: going. Hmm. I'm trying to, you know, cause my memory might not serve me correctly, but I actually also think that Katie spurred me on to doing this. So like I said, I was like, I want subject matter experts in. I want to get the expert opinion.
So I'm going to interview them. And I think I actually interviewed her and I interviewed some other people, but I was only interviewing them and then writing a blog and then Katie messaged me and she's like, and I'm going to humble brag here. But she's like, I think interviewing is like your super. Like lean into that.
And that's good leadership identifying where your employees like skillsets really lie. And she's like lean into your interviews more man, like this interview. No, one's seeing this interview, but you've just taken a couple of quotes from it. Like that was sort of my journalistic. So I was like, okay, I'll just kind of pull the best quotes, put it into a written form.
Didn't think about the other elements. So sorry. They spurred me on to doing that. In terms of what they were looking at for measurements, definitely like followers and downloads, where like the first things that we would look at and we still look at, but I think it was. Okay. One of these as we, like, they gave me the rope to really try a bunch of different episodes.
And it was like, okay, why did this one pop compared to others? They were modest numbers to site, but one did stand out one, got 30 more downloads. Why? And we'd kind of just do like a, cross-examination like a deep dive into, why was it just the hook? Oftentimes it can be just the hook. Was the guest part of like a big brand name company that people like, Ooh, shoot, they've got a heavy hitter in here.
Was it the way we distributed? I mean, one of our. Like, where we really started to spike is I remember promoting my podcast with Clara Smith from Slack. You're coming back on my favorite she's the best, but we did an email to our broader inbound list and just kind of like hyped it up a bit and boom, everything spiked from then on out.
I was like, yo, why am I not using email to promote our podcast episode? So again, it's like, Kind of diving into why an episode worked and sometimes it can feel pretty like, okay, I don't know. It's just a couple more downloads. Does it really mean anything, but taking that time to try and identify and ask all the questions, it's what will lead to growth in the future.
So again, I wouldn't say that there was like a clear and hard metric, but having the faith that like I'm looking for the producing valuable. They're consuming the content too. And they're like, yes. Okay. We think this is good, but this could go somewhere. Seeing it is slowly trending in the right direction.
And then the qualitative feedback sprinkled in from reps and whatnot kind of gave me the green light to keep working, but it was like pushing the buttons on how do you level the sing up? Okay. You've done a lot of nuts and bolts on how to run competitive programs. Yeah. And that's kind of a little redundant, maybe a little bit.
So why don't we talk about competitive strategy? Why don't we talk about more real life examples. I mean, before I got on this podcast with you now we've started this thing called the versus series where we do a monthly breakdown of like some of the biggest battles playing out in real life. So how did apple kill Blackberry?
Super fun. I love that. We're going to that. How did Tesla dominate the EV market and who are the competitors are about to come potentially eat their market share. We keep iterating on like, what will make this better? Okay. What can we test here again? Is this going to get. And by no means, is it a finished product, but it's going in the right direction.
And there's been a ton of lessons learned on the way.
Jeremiah: Yeah. I feel like I was going to ask this as a question, but I feel like I'm going to say it in the way. I want to say it for listeners. It's like the three big lessons I'm taking or three lessons I'm taking away from you for brands that want to cause in a lot of ways, like to be honest, I really feel like you want.
The success case and a good one to point to of what a lot of these companies on LinkedIn are trying to do. Like they're trying to make a show for a fairly like specific ICP and they want it to be successful. They know it won't be like millions of downloads, but they want it to be successful. I feel like you are an amazing use case for this.
But you're doing three things that I know from working with these brands. Like they're not all doing, which is one you're approaching it like a journalist. So you're probably putting a good bit of time prepping. You're thinking about intelligent questions. I've read your LinkedIn posts that you are not just answering, asking.
Yes, no questions. So you approach this like a journalist, which means you're going to get a better interview anyway. The next thing is you have support from your management team and you've got belief from the C-level down that you feel like it's okay to take creative risks and to fail and to try and pump out a live thing.
And maybe nobody shows and that that's okay. You're not going to like lose your job over it. And number three, you're iterating continually and listening to user feedback to make the show better and in an ongoing way. And I think. Those are the three things that like more companies would have success with their podcasts if they did that.
But a lot of them are like, well, podcasting is the thing now. Right. Let's launch when everyone's launching one, our competitors have one and they kind of put it out, but they don't do those three things. And it's like, why is there only 50 downloads a month? It's like, well, that's what.
Adam McQueen: That's such a losing approach, right?
And it's not just for podcasts. It's oh, this is the thing that people are doing. Let's do it. And you're just taking a box, but you're not putting the time and effort to think about how the actually, because realistically podcasts is just like a vessel to share contact, to share your perspective and to educate the market.
It's just a vessel. People could get it through social. They could get anyway. But sometimes I see an approach as like, oh, this is the hot new thing. Let's take a box and also do. But that's not the thing that wins. It's the thing within the podcast. It's the interview. It's the content. It's the human connection that actually causes it to be a success or failure.
And actually, can I give you one real quick example about the cause I realize I haven't given real examples, please. Creative risks. I just remember this now is the first live. I was like, yeah, I want to do a live event, get some engagement. And it was such a flop because I don't know. Now I look back on that.
Why did I even think that was a good idea? It was like, I wanted to make it a private. And only invite people that were like customers and like not even customer, it was just like people actively evaluating Klue or a product I'm like, let's just get the people pipeline. It could be cool. Like a deal closer kind of thing.
It flopped dude, it was so bad. The speaker was great. Actually. Mark was awesome, but the attendance was low. Engagement was low. I then. Immediately. It's like what we're trying to do too much. This isn't a deal closer. This is open the floor. I wanted like an intimate setting, but I was like, you can still be intimate and generate engagement, but open the floor for people by it.
Like, I don't know why I made that a private thing for active pipeline only. It was a huge growth, but again, my management, I came to the table. I was like, yeah, these are the three clear as day reasons why this screwed up. Here's what we'll do in the next one. And with that management. That was bad. The next thing will be better.
Jeremiah: Wow. Yeah. I mean, man, it's just so important to have that support and uh, and to try things like, it's not a bad idea to take people that are at a certain stage and give them like compelling more information, but just maybe not the right time. Maybe not the right priority.
Adam McQueen: Don't do it as your first ever one.
Jeremiah: Yeah, that's fair. Okay. I want to be respectful of your time. You've been gracious. We're a little over, I'll wrap up with this question. We've talked a couple of times now, a lot of brands are looking at starting getting into podcasting. I think you are an amazing use case. What advice would you have for either the marketing leader who's managing the content team or the content person like you, who's going to be responsible for leading this charge.
We've talked about a lot of stuff. What would be like top of mind advice that you would
Adam McQueen: give the advice I would give? I think, and I don't want to get too cliche, but. The value is in the quality of the content first and foremost. So whether that is so identify who your audience is, identify the problems they're facing or the questions that they have, and then go out there and try and answer them.
And you don't have to answer them yourself. If you don't feel comfortable, being able to do that, bring experts on, maybe there's even internal experts. I don't know if you're selling in the cybersecurity space, you have a CSO come on as a subject matter experts and you interview them like bring in experts and answer the questions that people in your audience that you've identified.
Have. I think that would be probably my number one piece, because even if it doesn't go viral or whatever, like you've talked about, sometimes it can be very niche, your audience, you're still providing value and you're still helping because at the end of the day, this is business. And you're helping educate people that may or may not become buyers and worst case, they get better at their job and they get better at the space you're working in best case shoot.
They come along and they want to learn more. They become a potential customer. So I think that that is where I would start from the content creation standpoint, marketing leader. I mean, I've never been a barking leader. I mean, I lead a team now, but to give the sign off, I would say. Again, let them fail.
Let them scrub, but also don't blindly greenlight. Like there needs to be a vision of what this is. What is our story we're gonna tell? What are the topics? What is the vision for this podcast? There needs to be a business case presented because otherwise you're just going to be another podcast that no one listens
I love that amazing advice, Adam, thank you so much. Where can people learn more about Klue and where can people find your podcast? Yeah,
Adam McQueen: you can learn more about Klue. Well, there's our website Klue.com, but we're pretty active on social. So I would go follow us on LinkedIn Klue. It's with a K so K L U and then myself again, LinkedIn, Adam.
It's easier for me to just communicate that way. But if you want to shoot me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, but yeah, just shoot me a DM in LinkedIn, always keen to chat. Awesome. Thanks so
Jeremiah: much, Adam. Thanks so much.
Thanks so much for checking out this episode. If there's a company you'd like us to interview or a question you want us to answer on the show, just let us know. You can ask us at brandsthatpodcast.Com or DM or tag Lemonpie on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. And if you want to reach your audience on podcasts, that they're already listening to be sure to check out lemonpie.fm.