Episode Description

Ep. 108 – Have you ever considered starting your own podcast? In this episode Chris brings on a very special guest, Craig Hewitt. Craig is the founder of Castos, an industry leading podcast hosting and analytics platform. They discuss the history behind Castos, what’s in store for the future of podcasting with the private podcast movement, and how to market your podcast with email to generate sales. If you have a podcast or have ever considered starting one, you don’t want to miss this episode.

Check Out Our Show Notes

Narrator 0:00
You’re listening to the all systems go podcast, the show that teaches you everything you need to know to put your business on autopilot. Learn how to deploy automated marketing and sell systems in your business the right way with your host, the professor of automation himself and founder of automation bridge, Chris Davis.

Chris Davis 0:31
Welcome to another episode of The all systems go podcast where we invite startup founders and digital marketers to discuss strategies and software used to build automated marketing and sales systems that scale. I’m your host, Chris L. Davis, the founder of automation bridge. And on this episode, I’m not even going to try to hide my excitement. I have the founder and CEO of cast dose. Those who are a follower of this podcast understand how important Castillo’s is they are industry leading podcast hosting an analytics platform. Craig is also the father of two amazing children, two amazing children. And you, you will probably see an even a more amazing, right wife that gave those gifts to you. And he’s been an entrepreneur his entire life and of some sort in, in, in many forms, right. And his background is in sales and marketing. He he’s got his scars, his sales, stretch marks of success, working for various fortune 500 companies, and now he’s putting all of his energy into growing castles in helping the helping support the creator in economy through shared audio. Craig, welcome to the podcast. How are you?

Craig Hewitt 1:54
Chris? Man? I’m doing great. That was such a cool intro. Thank you so much for that. And for having me. I’m super excited to chat about marketing, automation, podcasting. Hello, that runs together maybe? Oh my gosh. And we might even talk a little sales. I know that’s like, right that the thing that we shouldn’t talk about, but it’s in there. It’s under man. So it’s a blurry line sometimes.

Chris Davis 2:17
So let me say this. The reason why I like to interview founders is because I like to give people insight of who’s behind the software and not necessarily from a point of hey, I like them. So I’ll use their software. I don’t like them. So I won’t use their software. Often when you know, the founders backstory you can under it becomes more clear why the software exists the way that it does. So I mentioned a bit entrepreneur for all that you could remember sales and marketing background. Tell us a little bit about tell us that that overall story of the journey to castos?

Craig Hewitt 2:53
Yeah, yeah. So it is like the winding path quite a bit. So got my start in the podcasting industry by starting my own podcast, and as you can probably attest, like, it’s hard, right. I think that’s why the adoption of podcasting has been slower than you know, blogging, especially somewhere like medium, you know, if you go back a few years, like it’s just so easy to do that just in one place, and maybe even YouTube, but there’s a lot of moving parts and editing platforms and what the heck is an RSS feed and so I started a podcast and figured all that stuff out Pat Flynn taught me everything that I knew at that point, which is amazing. He’s taught so many people it’s like just the most valuable resource I think in entrepreneurship. And quickly saw like this is a pain right? Like this is really hard. I bet there are people who would pay me money to do this for them and there are and so I started a company called podcast moto where we did like done for you podcast editing services, and that still exists to this day inside castos and we call it castos productions. So like this you record this episode pipe it over to us we have a team of audio editors but a team of writers we created Show Notes marketing assets, publish it to your your castos account your WordPress site maybe. So it’s really like you record we do everything else really cool service like further right person, like a lot of digital entrepreneurs, small businesses say like, Hey, I want to do a podcast but I don’t want to do all the other stuff. Right, that goes along with it. And that’s really our kind of USP so ran that for a few years. One of our customers there actually came to me one day and said Craig, I know you’ve wanted to get into product. Hey, a buddy of mine has this WordPress plugin called seriously simple podcasting. He’s going to work for automatic like the parent company WordPress, right? He wants to kind of get rid of this before he goes to work there. This might be interesting for you to buy it was a free plugin still is entirely free. And I looked at the market at that point and said like there are a lot of players in this space that aren’t very good right there. They’re there at the time. There were many fewer players than there are now. And you know, it’s like anything when like the big incumbents get there and And frankly, like they, they probably just get a little bit lazy, right? You look at like the, the market we all know really well is like, you know, Microsoft, right with Windows, it’s like there was a dark period for Microsoft like in the late 90s and early 2000s. They really turn it around now. But I think it’s really hard for those big companies to keep fresh, right. And so we saw a pretty big opportunity in the market. And this this cool way to acquire the WordPress plugin, which is a really cool piece technology and makes publishing your podcast from WordPress, really easy. And we built the the cast us platform as a way to host and distribute those files. But lets you run your podcast from WordPress. And that’s really the genesis of where castors came from. And for a long time, you could only use it just with WordPress, at this point. You can use it with WordPress or as a standalone platform. Like if you don’t have a proper website for your podcast, or you’re using Squarespace or something like that. You can use casters as a standalone tool. And these days, you know about half our customers use WordPress and about half Dalton.

Chris Davis 5:59
Hmm. Love it. i There’s this consistent theme I had Kyle on the podcast previously, and he was talking about how he had an SEO agency. And out of that birth of software, page optimization. So it’s it’s it’s so refreshing to see it be birthed from a need instead of just not knocking anybody who has these grand ideas. But you can kind of tell the the utility, the effectiveness of a creation, when the Create tour has used it for themselves, you know, or is birthed out of a need. And I’ll say this, I too. It was birthed out of podcasting through Pat Flynn, right. I knew about it. And it wasn’t until I was at Active Campaign. They’re like, Hey, we should start a podcast. And I was like, Okay, you guys should start a podcast. And everyone’s like, no, like, you should be like, What is a podcast? Like there’s microphones recording that? That sounds like a lot. So I think anybody that wants to do podcasting probably has stumbled across platforms Pat Flynn’s YouTube series on like how to start a podcast. So I go through it, I watch it. I’m ordering stuff. I mean, if you would have saw my initial setup, oh, I just laugh at it now. It’s hilarious. I’m fumbling on the post audio, because it’s like, I’ve got two microphones in a room initially. And one mic is picking up the other person’s. So I’m like manually cutting out the person’s mic while the other one is talking. Post production is now three hours. And I’m like there’s got to be a better way to run a podcast. Yeah, long story short, you know, you got developers, they build a custom WordPress site RSS feed. So I got my entry into podcasting was publishing an episode on WordPress. And it being pushed out to all of the platforms. I was familiar with that. When I started my own podcast, I had to find a replacement for it. I was like, I am not a developer, I can not create my own RSS feed. And I want it to be as simple as WordPress. I want to own my content. I didn’t want to necessarily put it in somewhere else. I wanted to be the controller of it all. And I’m I can’t remember all of the plugins I tried. I just remember coming across Castos thinking it was too good to be true. I was like, wait a minute, you guys like put the links either put your link to Google, Google podcasts here Apple podcasts. And I was like, I just put my links here, hit save hook this thing up to my WordPress website and it pushes out you know, and it has been rock solid even if I need to make an update to an existing podcast. It pushes out within like 15 to 30 minutes. Yeah, I mean, everything just works seamlessly so I say that to say not did not just to give people background on me but how effective the plugin is. It’s it’s it’s one it’s the one that I recommend if you’re going to Self Publish. I just learned everybody about the production side. Great so now I’m gonna log into my ID check that out but that’s amazing man.

Craig Hewitt 9:20
Yeah, yeah, I mean I think that one on the on the production side like this service it really like I think a lot of SaaS folks and a lot of product people say like I don’t want to offer a service because it’s a service and it’s not cool and it’s not sexy and stuff but really what you’re doing when you say that is only offering half of the solution, maybe less that your customers want right like you don’t want Casto productions you want a freakin podcast right? You want to sit down and talk to me and ship this off to somebody and not worry about it until it’s published and cast us in seriously simple podcasting as great as they are only provide like the nuts and bolts you know or the the pics and the axes and to provide service with software, we think really like rounds that out. And it’s a small percentage of our total customers that take advantage of it. But like for the right person, it’s just like, oh, great, yeah, I can go to one place, I can publish blah, blah, you know, all the stuff we’re going to integrate with tools like Zen caster, to where you come here and just push a button and it sends to productions, they do their thing, and then they publish it cast us. It’s like, literally record and, and go and I think that’s, I mean, bridging some of those gaps is why podcasting is getting more popular, because like when you started, right, it was like hard coding this RSS feed all this kind of garbage. Right. Like we and other people in the industry have made it easier. And I think that’s a big reason why podcasting is as popular as it is these days.

Chris Davis 10:43
Yep. Yeah, I agree. And I love it. And it’s not it’s not without a strategy. I know some people who have really niched podcasts and they don’t have like real big listenership. But since it’s so neat, the value comes, you know, from that particular industry, and you got sponsorships. And then there’s some like, myself, I’m not, I can’t necessarily say, Greg, you know what, I’m going to take over the world. But the podcast I like I want to dominate. I think that’s on the back end of everybody’s mind, like why do something if you can’t dominate, but for the most part, I was, I was my catalyst into podcasting was just getting the word out, there was so much misinformation or non existent information around marketing automation, how it’s actually done. There’s a lot of confusion. Well, isn’t marketing automation, digital marketing? No, actually, it’s not. Yeah, there’s a difference, you know. And I figured if I was going to create a term like automation service provider, and there was going to be a huge learning curve for the market. What better platform than a podcast? Right? Yeah. And since then, now, I’ve started to be more strategic with who I’m bringing on how to structure it and XYZ. And I’m sure you’ve seen it time and time again. That’s the whole evolution of birthing the podcast. And as it grows, like being able to really change and shift with it, as the market responds as the listeners respond to it.

Craig Hewitt 12:18
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And I think that a lot of folks get hung up on that beforehand. And they just have like analysis by paralysis or whatever paralysis by analysis and say, like, I gotta figure all this out before I record the first episode. And like, we’re really blue collar about it, man, like, flip the mic on record something with your friend or your colleague, and that’s your first episode. And then you learn, right, like you’ve done it, you get it out there, you get feedback, and you iterate from there. I mean, it’s just, I mean, it’s how it’s how I podcast is how we run the business is we have a hypothesis, we do something to test it, get it out in the world and see how things go from there. And I think that’s, that’s probably like, the biggest piece of advice that that we give folks is like, one get a decent mic, right? It can be $80, like the one I use, and and just do it, right and see how it goes and see if you like it right? And then you might not like, it’s unlikely, I think, because it’s it’s fun and easy. But I think a lot of folks spend way too much time upfront, trying to figure everything out and make it perfect and scrip a whole 20 minute episode, Thomas, just like, oh, please just like record something with your friend. And then that’s it. And you can go from there. Yeah.

Chris Davis 13:25
And I would, I would mention too, is gonna take some episodes, even if you have an idea, and you know what you want to do? Yeah, it’s that repetition. You got to record that intro a whole bunch of times, he realized, Oh, I guess I do serve this audience or, you know, hey, I want to change it. You know, I’m on I’m above episode 100. And I feel like I’m just now really tapping into the identity of the podcast, right? Yeah. So in I do a weekly Craig. So it’s every week I’m here nice and consistent. But I do, I would encourage anybody that’s listening, their recorded conversations, if you can talk to somebody, you can record a podcast. And I think that’s the best way like you and I are having a conversation. I don’t have a script in front of me. I’ve got some some notes that some things I want to bring up. But let it flow, let it flow where it goes and record the conversation. I guess if you’re a great conversationalist, that’s a bonus. Not required, but a bonus. And yes, so with that being said, as I’m saying that I’m kind of thinking of the future of podcasting, and I think it’s already defined before us. One is mass adoption right there. The word podcasts even mean something different when Apple had podcasts. In the beginning, it was all audio now people have videos and they call them podcast. People have all kinds of things that they call podcasts now, and part of me is just like, can you get away with that? But the other part is like, look, it doesn’t matter as long as the knowledge and acceptance in the marketplace is is rising, that means I get a front row seat because I already got 100 episodes in mind. Right? So that’s one side. But the other side is something that I see you all that Castos really leading the charge with and that’s private podcasting. What brings private podcasting is something exclusive to your platform that you guys make sure you mentioned in call out you can run private podcasts from your website from you know, cast those once you have a paid account. What what are you seeing what why why the pivot because even now, when I go to the website, it’s podcasting private podcasting. You know, it’s like or all in the in the headline which great redesign by the way, thank you. Um, yeah, what tell us what are you all seeing you are the experts, your your 10 toes down? What do you seen in the marketplace that really pushes that private podcast envelopes?

Craig Hewitt 15:50
Yeah. So just to go back to what you’re talking about with like outlines and stuff, I’ll give you like, kudos for sure. For the email, I’m sure it’s automated that you send with like a prep document. For me before the episode to prep me of what I should expect and what you’re hoping for out of me. Like, it’s not rocket science, right? It’s just what you think that the podcasts gonna be about, it should be pretty general. So you can just reuse it over and over. So like, if folks aren’t doing that, hook it up to like your Calendly, or acuity scheduling, or whatever you’re using. It’s just a great way to prep the guests have what they should expect, you know, be in a quiet room have good Mic, I guess, like all that preventative maintenance. So like, yeah, thumbs up for sure. Like, that’s, to me the sign of like a season podcast that knows what they’re doing. Thank you. I’m talking about before I get in private podcasting, the word podcast. Um, when we named the company castos, we didn’t want to use the word podcast in the name, we wanted to kind of hint at it because and it’s even like, on our homepage, these days, we call it the center of your audio universe. Because there will be a time I think, when we don’t call it a podcast, necessarily. It’s shared audio, social audio was the big thing last year right with with clubhouse. And I think that like you, when you think about how to use audio, you shouldn’t put yourself in a box to think about, it’s a podcast, or it’s not a podcast, and this applies to private podcasting, a little bit that like, what you want to do is use audio as a medium to communicate with people. And it can be a show like this, where it’s on Spotify, and it’s, you’re going to put this video on YouTube, and people might just listen to it. Or it could be a private podcast and what what the concept there is think about, like a membership site, right? Like you’re part of this membership site, where it’s just you and a bunch of your digital marketing friends or marketing automation friends. And it’s only you, and only people that have signed up or maybe have paid have access to it. And a private podcast is exactly the same thing. And there’s really two applications that we see it be used for two kind of big buckets. One is, you know, the crater economy, right membership sites, courses, online communities who want to add podcasting as a way to connect with those members or students, right. So you have a community, you have this podcast, right, that’s public and available for everyone. You also could have a members only podcast for your community. So like, Hey, if you’re part of this community, you know, automatically, you know, get you connected through upcoming Active Campaign integration, automatically, where when a custom event happens, or a tag gets applied in Active Campaign that gets piped to casters, and that individual gets added to your private podcast, they get an email from us saying, Hey, Chris has invited you to the super secret private podcast. And you can listen to it one of two ways. Here’s an individualized private RSS feed that you can paste into Apple podcast app, or overcast or whatever on your phone, or we have our own mobile app, download it from the App Store, iOS or Android, log into your email address. And you get all of the content platform wide on casters that you’re kind of eligible to see. And the way Yeah, so we see a lot of folks in the crater economy saying like, it’s hard these days, right? It’s hard to stand out for your course or your membership site or your whatever, whether you’re charging money for it or not, to to provide such awesome value, because a lot of folks are doing this. And so the really savvy ones are saying like, I gotta do something different to stay connected with my tribe. And they’re using podcasting, again, as that means of communication, right? It’s it’s a podcast, because that’s what we call it, but it’s really just a way to connect with people. And the other one that’s super interesting, and we use this internally is companies doing this internally for like corporate communications. Right? So instead of everything as a freakin zoom call, right, like why can’t I just sit down record something for five minutes, send it out as a podcast is asynchronous, right? It’s mobile first. So you can do it while you’re walking the dog. You can listen. It’s gonna be multi directional with us in the future. And that’s kind of the knock podcasting is like, we talk and folks Listen, there’s no way for them to participate. But But that’s, you know, if you asked me like what the future of podcasting is, especially in private podcasting, it’s like audience participation, things like replies and comments and, and things like that. Oh, wow. So you start thinking about like, yeah, it’s still a podcast, but it really is, is quite a different animal than when you know, you and I started podcasting, you know, these years ago?

Chris Davis 20:25
Yeah, I love that. And it’s, it’s similar to how even I think it was web 2.0 is what they call it, when you started to see comments and everything on blogs from the public is similar to how websites evolved. And they were like, look, we’ve been using Dreamweaver, HTML web sites, there’s a time where people are going to talk back on the internet, then you got your bloggers and tumblers, and you start to see people submitting comments, and then WordPress and blogs. And now it’s now it’s a thing like, if you can’t create a, submit a comment, somebody watch a video on YouTube, and it’s like, comments have been turned off, you almost feel away like, wait, I can’t comment or I can’t read comments. Right? This is, this is where we’re at. So we’ve already seen Google acknowledge podcast by saying, hey, look, we’re gonna start searching audio now. And what we hear in audio will also help to your search results. I think that you’re right. I hadn’t thought of it credit. But you’re absolutely right, that bi directional engagement. I mean, I don’t know what it would look like. But absolutely, who wouldn’t want to engage with their audience? And you can definitely say that that’s a shortcoming because it’s asynchronous. Somebody is riding in the car listening to this right now? Well, I’m not in front of my mic anymore. By the time they listen to this, who knows where I’ll be, yeah. However, if there was a way for you to ask a question, or leave something for me to respond asynchronously, as well. I mean, this it does, it changes the game and it brings a different level of intimacy, honestly, to the Spaceman. So thanks for sharing that Craig. Yeah, a little preview

Craig Hewitt 22:07
of what’s to come. Yeah. Yeah. Right. Cuz I mean, there’s times where I’m, I’m driving somewhere and I’m just yelling at the windshields cuz I listen to this podcast, I’ll you should do that you should do this. Or why didn’t you think of that? And, you know, if it’s just a quick type, you know, type something into the phone and have that go back to the host. And then they get to talk about it in the next episode. Like, it just begins this virtuous cycle. I think,

Chris Davis 22:28
I love it. Because right now, you know, reviews, they’ve got to go and some people get lost. It’s not easy. There’s nothing about podcasting. You mentioned it, they, it’s like it’s intentionally difficult for everyone. Some people, like it’s hard to even go where to find to leave a review. So anyways, enough about that, I’ll say this, the more I talk to you, Craig, the more I see the marketer in you, right? out, you lay it approach, you’ve got a keen eye to the market, ear to the ground, you’re seeing what people are doing, you’re thinking about, okay, how can we? How can we meet market demand, but not limited? Right? meet them where they’re at, but don’t keep them there. So just the fact that you’re saying yes, podcast, and now, it’s, it’s gonna be something, we want to be open to all of the audio universe, that’s to come. Because people want to listen to other people. That’s just what a lot of times I’ll see people I like to look, I like to watch people’s behavior and consuming content. So I’ll just watch my wife, my kids, random people at you know, in the stores or whatnot. And I can’t tell you how often somebody will be listening to something. And then when they pull, pull their phone out to change something, it was a video, they weren’t watching the video. Oh, they played the video, or the audio. You know, it just shows you if if, if the most convenient mode for me specially with air pods and all of these earphones that look like you don’t even have anything. I mean, who would have thought the day and age everybody looks like they’re wearing a hearing aid wouldn’t be like cool. Right? Like it’s it maybe I’m dating myself here, but you’ve got these personal communication devices that you can put in your ear, just one you don’t have to have to, and you can listen to whatever. I’ve seen cashiers do it

Craig Hewitt 24:24
like every cool, isn’t it? Yeah. Yeah.

Chris Davis 24:27
It is man. So so with that being said that I mentioned the marketer for reason. I wanted to talk about you know, I’m marketing automation. That’s my sweet spot. Podcasting is your sweet spot, but you’ve got a vast marketing and sales background. Someone starts a podcast hat. How does marketing and podcasts go hand in hand? Don’t I just speak and like everybody just listens? Do I need to send email? Do I need to capture emails? Like, how does that happen if they’re listening like But where do you How does that intersect take place? Correct?

Craig Hewitt 25:04
Yeah, I mean, I think that that’s probably that that question and then people’s assumption about the answer to that question is the reason there’s millions of podcasts and you know, the the failure rate is so high, right? And the answer is, in very, very, very few circumstances is it you know, you talk and they will listen, you record it, and they will come right like Field of Dreams. You have to treat this like a product, right? Like this podcast is a product and Chris, I’m sure you treat it like that. And it’s, it’s, it’s hooked in there with the services and products that you provide and sell. Your audience knows about it in the same way. And I mean, to start with, like, you touched on earlier, like, meet people where they already are, connect with them how you already connect with them is the simplest thing, right? So if that’s email, sweet, include, you know, a mention of the podcast episode for this week, and the email newsletter that you send to folks like that’s one, that’s what we do, right? And it’s just easy. We, we have like, kind of strategic placements of the podcast in like social media, that that’s like another obvious one using things like audiograms, to provide like multimedia experiences of the podcast on social media, especially Twitter, for us. And for a lot of folks, I think, and LinkedIn for the more b2b crowd. And you mentioned like capturing email addresses. Honestly, this is just a tough one, right? It’s like, hey, and this is where the the crux of podcasting comes in, is you’re bridging platforms, right, and you’re bridging experiences for people. So someone is, you know, walking the dog or going for a run and listen to this podcast, you’re asking them, okay, pull out your phone, go to Safari, enter this URL that you just have to remember, right? Maybe you click the show notes. And like, folks don’t know how to do that most of the time and like, go to this place and opt into this thing like that. That’s just really hard. So I mean, to be honest, I don’t have the perfect answer for this. But but like you, as a marketer, or business owner, should be thinking about like, okay, how can we get folks from engaging with the podcast onto our turf, so we can engage with them in a different way and ask them to take whatever action the next step is opt in to this email or watch this video or, you know, like us on Twitter, or whatever it is. The the best ways that I have seen this are having a dedicated page on your site that is only available for podcast, not only available podcast listeners, the only place that people would know to come to it, or if you mentioned it verbally in the podcast, it’s not in the show notes. It’s not linked from the navigation. It’s, you know, for us, it’s cast us.com/subscribe, right. It’s a landing page, right with, with an email opt in, and we have links to our podcast and all the platforms. And it’s not linked anywhere on the site. But Matt, who runs our podcast or audience podcast, and I mentioned it on every episode that we do. And, and we kind of just know, like, Okay, we have so many pageviews in Google Analytics, we have so many email opt ins from this page of people submitting this form like that. That’s the truest like attribution that we can get, like, there’s a bunch of other ways that people find us and kind of filter from the podcast into into our world. But that is the that is the way that I know that is like the most sure way. And I got that from the folks that CO schedule. They turned me on to that. Because that’s what they do.

Chris Davis 28:42
Yeah, good. Good. folks over there, shout out to Nathan, I connected with Nathan a while back. He hasn’t been on this podcast. But previously, I want to say this, this, everything that you mentioned was so good, right? And well, I’m just adding to it. I don’t want to replace any of it. I will leave it unmolested. Just it’s perfect. Just just as is watch this. The value that you commit to consistently in delivering on your podcast will force people they will be compelled to search for you and find more. Yeah, they they will listen to man this guy is so one they’ll binge Man, this guy really knows what he’s talking about what more and more and more. And when that bins stops. It’s like a junkie, more and more, where can I so I cannot stress enough, Craig. We’ve strategies for days, I can add a couple strategies on top of the ones that you’ve you’ve mentioned, but just having valuable content. And sometimes the value of your content is limited to your engagement with your market. Some of you need to be doing some marketing outside of your podcast. Get some people on your list to do a q&a webinar, do something to talk to your audience to understand what questions are they asking I can’t tell you how many episodes I, I recorded that came from conversations with clients that came from conversation with friends that had no clue of what I did. I’m like, Oh, wow, you really don’t know what that word means. Yeah, that’s a good podcast episode. Right? Like, that’s the marketer in me, I’m always paying attention to the market. So leading with that value is, is fundamental. And I want to stress that to everybody, people will search people will go out of their way, I, Craig, I promise you, as a marketer, I understand, we’ve got the attention span of a goldfish online, right, like, you’ve got only half a second, two seconds at most, I get all of that, I get it. But when there’s value perceived, and there’s a desire to want more people will go out of their way, they will go out of their way to find more. So once you get them, make sure you just give them value, that’s the that’s the best thing. That’s the best advice I can give. And I’ll say this, I don’t want to mention the platform because I haven’t used it yet. But again, you all are leading this charge. I haven’t used the platform yet. So I don’t know how well it works. But to the point of using a podcast to generate leads or whatnot, I really love the idea of using like mid roll to promote something. So right in the middle of the podcast, it kind of blends out and then it’s it could be you it could be maybe a sponsorships play space that you’ve sold. But it’s prime real estate to really say, you know, hey, coming up this weekend, we love to see you, those of you who are in the Oakland area come out to our XYZ as you grow your listenership. And the reason why I mentioned this is because there’s a platform that shall rename will remain nameless, unless you want to bring them up that you all integrate with. And I have crikey, I have to say, the integration with this ad platform. I’ll give a hint. There’s a dog involved. The integration was so simple. I really did not believe it was that simple. So within minutes, because you guys have it already set up, put your link here, did it click the button and the platform is like, Alright, you’re good. Where do you want to place it? So we’re ready now to do to do to test this platform out. But it just speaks to you all. And in abling such a feature to let people get more out of the podcast that they’re publishing. So have you seen that? Have you seen that work? Well, with dynamic pre post roles and mid row? Are you seeing that more as a common thing? Or is that still amongst the elites of those that know podcasting and are really focused on on monetizing?

Craig Hewitt 32:44
Yeah, I mean, this is where, like my personal bias as a founder creeps in a little bit. And this, this comes to monetizing your podcast, right. And I think you’re talking about something different, which which makes dynamic content management really, really cool. Like, my my personal stance, and where the company is, is now and where we’re going is that monetizing your podcast via ads and dynamic ad insertion in particular, is garbage. Right? And then it’s it’s financially really hard, right? It’s so like a good CPM cost per 1000 downloads. It’s like $25. So I won’t ask you how many episodes how many downloads you get for for your podcast, but but I’ll tell you that our POS get podcast gets a couple 1000 downloads an episode. And like we think that’s good, because it’s not something we’re trying to monetize. It’s a way for us to communicate with our audience. Um, so we make $50 An episode. If we monetize that, right, maybe 100 If you have two ads, like that’s not paying rent for anybody, right? Yeah. But we hypothesize and we have a ton of people that do this, that if you have a public podcast that gets you know, whatever, and then you have 100 people paying you $10 a month for your private podcast. That’s real money, right? That’s paying rent. Absolutely. And so we say for the majority of podcasters is much easier to monetize a podcast effectively with private podcasting impede access to content than with dynamic ad insertion. But what I really like that you’re talking about doing is using a tool like ours, if you go to Casper comm slash integrations, you’ll be able to check it out and find out what what Chris is alluding to is to not use ads as the concept but just content right? And you can do this dynamically. You can do it by batches and say hey, we have this thing coming up. Yep, we’re in Oakland this Saturday come down we’re gonna do a barbecue whatever. Okay, I want to apply this to last 12 episodes, you can go in there and click like three buttons and it does this pipes all the new episode files to cast us and everyone who listens or binges hears that not to the most recent episode, but to all the other ones. And so it’s like this is a way better experience them like hard editing in these ads? Oh my goodness. Yes. And for that reason, yeah, I really like it. Um, I would just say like, and I don’t think it’s a lot of folks that would listen to this podcast, say like, Hey, I want to go be Joe Rogan and make a whole bunch of money just by podcasting. But I want to use my podcast as a tool to like further the rest of my brand, which is what this show is and what our audience podcast is that dynamic content is really good for adding those CTAs. Right, those things that you want to let your, your audience your listeners know about or take action on. In a smarter way. Yeah.

Chris Davis 35:35
Yeah, you know what I liken it to Craig. So by the way, I, I’m in agreement, you have to be very careful, you have to be very careful when you take on sponsorships, and all of those things. It can really muddy down and cheapen the brand, if you’re not a very strategic with it. But what I liken it to dynamic content insertion when I found it, it’s like a pop up. Right, right, you’re on a website, instead of you having to find the most important thing at a certain amount of time. Here it is right in front of you. So it gives you an opportunity to put the most important thing in front of your listeners. Right? Not selling something, but just directing them somewhere why you have their attention to continue that conversation. And I think when you mix that, dare Dare I say that dynamic content insertion could be a mention of the private podcast? Yeah, like beer, I blend the two. And we’re talking about another form of monetization. I’m so glad you brought it up. Because I agree wholeheartedly. I do. I think that you will go further quicker. Just putting that extra effort into a private podcast. Yeah, people are all about exclusivity. There’s so much free that is made exclusive, even more appealing to people. So they’re like, Oh, you listened to that? Oh, yeah, I listened to that. But I’m on the insiders too. I listened to the plus one. This is where he talks about all the stuff he doesn’t say in public or maybe

Craig Hewitt 37:05
Irana. You want to trip out even more think about this. So Active Campaign, right? Is your your marketing automation platform of choice. Say you have all these attributes of subscribers, right? Tags and custom events and things like that? What if you could pipe that into your podcasting platform to dynamically change the content of your episodes? Right? So like, Oh, Bob, I know Bob is from California, but he bought something two months ago, I want to and you know, have this call to action Bob or this is a person that’s never bought from me. So I want to have this like, Hey, join my email list. To this person whose private podcast just like you do email, right, like liquid tags and podcast.

Chris Davis 37:50
Okay, listeners, what’s happening right now? Great. I’m usually the one that drops the bomb on the guests. Craig just dropped my mind. It can’t. I’m trying to stay calm and composed. That is next level.

Craig Hewitt 38:07
That’s pretty cool.

Chris Davis 38:09
That’s amazing. Because we I do it everywhere else. If you have this tag, even to the page, if you have this tag, go to this page. If you don’t, I’m customizing everything. And the idea oh my god, it’s so beautiful for you have to you know, you knew it. I

Craig Hewitt 38:25
figured that you and your listeners get a kick out of that. Yeah, I mean, so it definitely doesn’t exist yet. But is 100% like on our roadmap for next year is like dynamic content based on you know, custom attributes. And again, like it applies mostly to private podcasting, just because you know, that person and you know, these these things about that person? And like I think like folks say, like, from a privacy perspective, oh, you know, you can’t put like, like, these people have opted in, right, like double opt in, hey, yeah, I want you to give me a better experience, based on the things that you know about me, so you’re not bombarding me with these stupid ads for this thing, or this, you know, call to action for this thing I did two weeks ago. Um, so I think, you know, we’re talking about podcasting be kind of asynchronous and the limitations of the RSS feed conventionally are real, you know, and that’s why when you think about integrations with other tools that especially like, you know, marketers use that that are really smart and are able to provide a better experience to to their listeners. It gets pretty cool.

Chris Davis 39:27
Yeah, I absolutely love it. If there’s a takeaway today is one there’s two takeaways, two main takeaways. One start a podcast as seriously it it may be will get easier. I think everything is easier as technology evolves, but at this level, anybody can send it podcast up with Castos, anybody I’m not. I’m technically inclined, but I’ve also helped people who were not set it up and they’re like, I love it. Chris, thank you so much. To is if You’re not preparing for private podcasting. You should be. You should be. I am 100% on board with you, Craig. Not not just for the monetization, but it creates that known environment. Yeah, that known audio atmosphere, where now I can personalize the airwaves. When in where have we ever been able to personalize the airwaves? dynamically? This is Oh, my goodness, let me stop dreaming. Let me get come back down to reality. Craig, you, you took me there. I’m trying to close up this podcast, but that there’s so many input implications there for the marketer that wants to create that dynamic and personalized customer journey. I never I never lean towards like, B being big brother. I’m trying to enhance the experience. Absolutely. Every customer.

Craig Hewitt 40:57
Yeah, you know, yeah. Yeah. And I think that I think the cool thing about about podcasting even going going back to that word is there is 100% always gonna be a place for a show like this. Right? It is, this is a kind of top of funnel marketing tool, right? Yeah, resource. And then there’s the next level, right? It’s like, Hey, I have the website, and I have all the content there. I have the pop ups, right? But then somebody opts in, and then I’m going to give them that really cool journey. And we just think of ourselves, you know, a lot like an Active Campaign, maybe where like, you have broadcast campaigns, and then you have automations, or workflows that are customized based on what you know, of, you know, a person and their behaviors.

Chris Davis 41:38
Absolutely, man. Absolutely. And again, only a marketer.

Craig Hewitt 41:44
Better or worse, I guess, right?

Chris Davis 41:47
What’s the such parallels Craig, I can’t thank you enough, man. This has been great, selfishly, for me, but collectively, for everyone. I was excited when I saw you come come through the pipeline. And real quick, everybody. If you were listening, I can’t remember if I shared it, I talk so much. Now, it may just be in my community. But that document that Craig received, there is a way to automate your prep doc, so that you’re not writing it and creating it every time. Just a quick peek into my stack. It’s a combination of Padley I think I’m using instead of Zapier, air table and Google Docs. So got all kinds of automation set up there. But you want the guest experience to be just as good as the listener experience with your podcast. So, Craig, I cannot thank you enough for coming on to the podcast today. I know you’ve mentioned many links and it’s easy to find the company but if there’s one place that you want to drive people to if they’re looking to get a podcast started with casters, where should they go?

Craig Hewitt 42:53
Yeah, so the place to go is Academy.castos.com so cast Academy entirely free. Just oodles of information about everything you need to get started the podcast. So go there sign up totally free, and binge away. Yeah.

Chris Davis 43:06
Love it. Well, thanks again, Craig for for coming on to the podcast, we’re gonna have that link in the show notes, everyone, for those of you who are like running or on the treadmill and couldn’t type fast enough with your fingers. Don’t worry, the link is in the show notes. Again, I strongly encourage everybody to at a bare minimum contemplate a podcast in the industry that you’re currently in. Even if you’re an employee, Craig, even if you’re an employee, absolutely. You could argue when I was an engineer, I know I need to stop. But listen, you got me going crazy. You could argue when I was an engineer, we could have had a podcast for all of the employees just about stuff that’s taking place in you know, in on the job or particular areas of the job for other engineers that other at other companies to listen to, like the applications are endless now that this tool is here. So again, thank you for sharing, sharing your time, your platform, time platform and your and your intellect Craig is greatly appreciate it. My pleasure. Thanks

Craig Hewitt 44:12
so much, Chris. I appreciate it. Alright, great. See

Chris Davis 44:14
you online craig. Cheers. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of The all systems go podcast. If you enjoyed it, make sure that you’re subscribed at the time of recording the all systems go podcast is free to subscribe to and it can be found in Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts new episodes are released every Thursday. So make sure you’re subscribed so that you don’t miss out and while you’re at it, please leave us a five star rating and review to show some love but also to help future listeners more easily find the podcast so they can experience the value of goodness as well. We’ve compiled all resources mentioned on the podcast as well as other resources that are extremely valuable and effective at helping you grow your marketing automation skills quickly, and you can access them all at allsystemsgopodcast.com Thanks again for listening and until next time I see you online automate responsibly my friends.

You'll Learn

  • [2:53] Craig’s journey to becoming the founder of the podcast hosting platform Castos
  • [10:43] Why Chris originally started his podcast
  • [12:18] A common piece people get stuck on when starting their own podcast
  • [14:26] How podcasts have evolved over time and what’s to come with private podcasts
  • [18:57] How you can use private podcasts to help your course, membership, or program stand out from the crowd
  • [19:33] An interesting take on using private podcasts internally for companies
  • [20:06] Craig’s thoughts on the future of replies, comments and audience participation within podcasts
  • [24:49] The best practices for marketing your podcast
  • [31:13] Using dynamic ads on your podcast as a way to generate new leads
  • [37:05] Craig hints at a mind blowing feature that may be available for private podcasts in the future

Today's Guest

Craig is the founder and CEO of Castos, an industry leading podcast hosting and analytics platform. I’m also the father to two amazing children and husband to an incredible wife. He has been an entrepreneur all of his life in one form or another, and with background in sales and marketing for several Fortune 500 companies he’s now putting all of his energy into growing Castos and helping support the Creator Economy through shared audio.

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About the Show

On the show, Chris reveals all of his automated marketing strategies he has learned from working in fast growing marketing technology startups so you can put your business on autopilot quickly and without error.

Discover how to deploy automated marketing, sales, and delivery systems to scale your business without working long hours to do so.

Chris L. Davis - Chief Automation Officer

Chris L. Davis

Chris is an Electrical Engineer turned entrepreneur who is the Founder of Automation Bridge, an international speaker and facilitator, and startup consultant