Jan. 14, 2021

How ThoughtLeaders Uses YouTube To Help Advertisers Sell On Podcasts

How ThoughtLeaders Uses YouTube To Help Advertisers Sell On Podcasts

Daniel Conn's unique company, ThoughtLeaders, takes the intelligence from YouTube and newsletters to help advertisers sell on podcasts. In today's episode, Daniel tells us how leveraging data from other content creators (predominantly long-form) has...

Daniel Conn's unique company, ThoughtLeaders, takes the intelligence from YouTube and newsletters to help advertisers sell on podcasts. In today's episode, Daniel tells us how leveraging data from other content creators (predominantly long-form) has helped shape how advertisers are buying ads in podcasting. 

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This transcript is unedited.


[00:00:29]Heather Osgood: [00:00:29] Hello and welcome to the podcast advertising playbook. I'm your host, Heather Osgood. And today, I am fortunate to be joined by Daniel Conn of ThoughtLeaders. Daniel is actually one of the founders of ThoughtLeaders and has been in this space for a while now. And I thought it would be great to have him on the show to talk about their platform and maybe some trends and different things that they see, Daniel, welcome to the program.

[00:00:54] Daniel Conn: [00:00:54] Thank you, Heather. Always a pleasure. Nice to be with you.

[00:00:57] Heather Osgood: [00:00:57] It's great to have you, so why don't we start? Can [00:01:00] just give us a background on who exactly you are and how you came up with this idea of ThoughtLeaders, and what your presence in the podcast space has been like?

[00:01:11] Daniel Conn: [00:01:11] Sure.  ThoughtLeaders itself, if you haven't heard of us, we're a sponsorship intelligence company. Our focus is looking at the world of sponsorship. Multi-platform, really, so we look at podcasts, YouTube, newsletters focused on long-form content. That's really where our world begins is maybe distinct from influencers, which has a lot of conversation in the industry about where those lines are.

[00:01:38]I've always been in revenue background in marketing tech personally, and I came together with David, who's one of the other co-founders, a few years back because he was a creative self. He had a blog, a newsletter about a podcast. It was called Hacking UI for web designers and developers, and like [00:02:00] many content creators, the principal revenue stream was selling sponsorships. There are other things as well, but that was the main way of paying the bills, so to speak. And it quickly became apparent as we were building it that there were a lot of other creators out there that needed sales support. You know that better than anybody that there's a difference between creating and business building.

[00:02:24] And so we started to connect up with other creators in that space and develop all the tools that we needed to help sell advertising in there and to help advertisers reach the right audiences. So ThoughtLeaders is the culmination of those experiences and the development path that the last few years it's a technology that we were using internally for three years and then released as an asset in 2020.

[00:02:51] Heather Osgood: [00:02:51] Okay. Gosh, I know that we've had an opportunity at True Native Media to work with thought leaders. And I guess it's crazy to me to think that [00:03:00] you did release the platform in 2020. Cause it feels like in my mind that you've been around longer than that, but the platform did just come out in 2020.

[00:03:09] Daniel Conn: [00:03:09] As a standalone saas, yes. It was available for a few years now for media buying and selling. So what I mean by that is, is our original principle business line was helping publishers sell media. We're also helping advertisers find publishers; we're more of a network in that sense. And so there were two profiles of the platform that was at a distance for a few years.

[00:03:34] One of them was an app for advertisers to actually purchase the media when they were a media buying client of ours. And the other side is for publishers. You actually have around 1200 users of the platform on the media selling side that creates individual creators, also pretty large networks as well.

[00:03:56]In that group, everything from Bloomberg and media [00:04:00] conglomerates like that, how they are using the platform. And they knew of us, and it was that they knew what we were doing and bringing the media for it. And they had that functionality, but bringing the actual intelligence component has come to market in 2020.

[00:04:13] Heather Osgood: [00:04:13] Yeah. Yeah. And I think the intelligence piece is so interesting. So to dive into that just a little bit deeper on the platform, you're able to see essentially what is happening in these different industries, right in podcasts, YouTube, and newsletters. So you can go on the platform, and you can see who, which companies have been placing ads. The podcast they've been placing the ads on and really just the frequency of their campaigns.  Is that the case? Do I have any of that wrong?

[00:04:43]Daniel Conn: [00:04:43] No, that's right. I guess the way that we look at the space is, and the way we built the platform is its content first.  The original design and functionality of ThoughtLeaders were to bring in the feeds of the actual content itself.

[00:04:58]Because, [00:05:00] especially when we were beginning, we were dealing with a lot of clients in the B2B space. That was good, mainly because Hacking UI was B2B publications, designers, and developers, and the most important thing for them was niche. And understanding niche is understanding the individual conversations that are going on; who knows what they're talking about, really? Who touches on something occasionally? So when we're designing the platform, it was a matter of, okay, where are these conversations happening? Who are the ones that got the authority of it? And by tracking the content, you also are able to bring in which brands are featured both organically and sponsored, and that's how it's constructed.

[00:05:38] So you can search by keywords and the platform across these different platforms, multi-format, or single format, depending on how you want to do your searching. You can search for brands that are featured and which brands featured with which keywords, and you can aggregate things so if you want to look at trends.

[00:05:57]If you're a podcaster or if you're in advertising, you wanna understand how [00:06:00] many brands have featured around a certain type of content? Know when did true crime really begin? You want to ask these sorts of questions, and how to scale that's what the platform can do as well.

[00:06:10] Heather Osgood: [00:06:10] Interesting and tell me how many I know you obviously here at this show, we're really interested in podcasting. And so I know you track the YouTube and the newsletters, but tell us in terms of podcasts, how many podcasts are you tracking on the show? Is there a certain number?

[00:06:27] Daniel Conn: [00:06:27] We're at 12,000 today. But it's increasing every month. Yeah. But that's where we're at in terms of our scope of what content we're bringing to the platform.

[00:06:36] Heather Osgood: [00:06:36] Great. And I always am curious, how do you choose, which shows you're going to bring in? Are there, are you pulling from certain players, or is it, based on what you see in terms of like trends on any of the charts, how do you pull those shows in?

[00:06:52]Daniel Conn: [00:06:52] Would say the main method is fundamental, right? So at the end of the day, we, as I said, we sold media for many years. I was the principal [00:07:00] business line and clients will come in, we have certain requests, and then it points the arrow in a certain direction and saying, okay, let's that's bringing everything that these people might need in a certain area.

[00:07:12]So it's actually ended up with a really interesting mix of podcasts, and yes, we have all the big shows show that is being tracked. But some really weird and wonderful podcasts out there that stuff that various clients want for very specific reasons. And that's one of the benefits that we can do as a platform, and the way that we were built, it's pretty customizable at ThoughtLeaders. If a client's working with us once a scenario is explored, it's not hard for us to pull in—the entire history of a podcast or a series of podcasts ever a certain subject matter.

[00:07:43] Heather Osgood: [00:07:43] Yeah. Yeah. And that's so interesting because I think one of the challenges in the podcast space is certainly discoverability. If a client came to you, a potential advertiser, and said, Hey, we're really interested in podcasts that are all about homesteading. And that, that's our target market [00:08:00] isn't necessarily super easy to find. Of course, we can just do a top-level search and find any of the podcasts that say they're homesteaders.

[00:08:07] But really if you're looking for a broader reach or more in-depth information, that's where ThoughtLeaders comes into play, because we can go on the platform, put in homesteaders, and then this is going to give us a list of the shows essentially that are using those keywords?

[00:08:25] Daniel Conn: [00:08:25] Yeah. The market doesn't know the company better than anybody, so they're going to know who they want. More specifically, the language that is used for their target audience. They know what words are relevant to their industry. They know what the keywords are. So by giving them the flexibility to just add a few key phrases and it's okay, these are the serious ones that they're using this phrase. And these are the amateurs. You really can build that very distinct profile in terms of who you might be after. The other thing is when you do that way is because I've mentioned before that we have a brands table. You [00:09:00] can see which brands feature around certain topics. You might be surprised who might else be featuring in that audience.

[00:09:07] So let's say we mentioned homestead is you might, there are obviously broad advertisers out there that are doing a lot of sponsorship for a lot of different categories. They might find that somebody is actually putting a lot of the time and attention into this. Now, these people, someone that does a lot of advertising and you go, okay here's a brand I can use as a guide point to let me know that, I know that our overall podcast program is working and if they're investing in this space, then they're probably getting their returns off of it. So there's a lot of clues. It's all about finding the breadcrumbs that other brands are sort of leaving behind. 

[00:09:42]Heather Osgood: [00:09:42] And so when I look at ThoughtLeaders, I think what is so wonderful about the platform is that you have just built this intelligence around a very broad kind of open-source environment that we see in podcasting.

[00:09:56] And as you mentioned, it is about looking at those [00:10:00] breadcrumbs, seeing what other people are doing, and then also making educated decisions about which directions to go. Because with all of the podcasts out there, sometimes it can be really difficult to determine which ones are going to be the best fit for you.

[00:10:13] So you've got essentially multi-data points that you can look at to really assess if this campaign essentially going to be successful, really?

[00:10:22] Daniel Conn: [00:10:22] Yeah, correct. And it's also whether the formats come in a little bit. It's if you are a marketer; um, a marketer perspective. I say that podcasting is a significant part of the media mix.

[00:10:32] And it's interesting how people took to really come from two different angles. They're coming from myself, radio into podcasts angle, or from sponsorship or influencer into podcast angle, depending on how that teams are constructed and how they pencil it.  If you're a podcaster, if you are a network of podcasts and you're looking at who might be entering the market, it's really interesting to analyze.

[00:10:55] So, for example, so Xpress VPN, I think it was [00:11:00] over the last year. It's really started to make some noise and waves in podcasting, but they were the first. The years before, they've been building up that profile in YouTube, and now you start seeing their competitors, VPN, really just in December the last couple of months, November, December started to pick up the advertising and clearly doing some testing there. You see these weird and wonderful patterns of how podcasting is perceived in the marketing mix.

[00:11:28]It's the same buyers. It tends to be. Maybe slightly two different people, but on the same team, usually that's doing this stuff. So there's really is a lot of clues to pick up from about who's doing what and who is likely to do what in the future.

[00:11:42] Heather Osgood: [00:11:42] I love that you do analyze things beyond podcasts because while the information is really interesting and relevant as to what's happening today in podcasting, or maybe what happened last week or last month, we also, as a newer industry that still has so much potential in front of us [00:12:00] should be picking up clues from what advertisers are doing in other mediums.

[00:12:04] And I do feel like YouTube is such a great parallel to podcasts. We have a lot of host-read ads that happen in the YouTube space. And I think that we can look and see, gosh, video still is a really huge powerhouse, and I don't think that's going anywhere, but if people are succeeding with these host read endorsement type ads in YouTube, are they going to be progressing into the podcast space? And when is that going to be? And could those companies be really good prospects for us to analyze what they're doing on YouTube and then try to bring them over to podcasts, which I think is pretty fascinating? Is that kind of why you created that connection is because you do see such a link between the two?

[00:12:48]Daniel Conn: [00:12:48] It's also podcasters are using YouTube as a distribution platform. So the connections are really strong. If you take Joe Rogan, the great Joe has [00:13:00] got 2.5 billion views on YouTube. And you think that his podcast, his podcasters, but that's some serious traffic we're talking about, Ben Shapiro who is another sort of very prominent podcaster two and a half million.  Sorry 250 million approximately views on YouTube as well. So there's all a major reach, and they're not alone. That being said, you have people like, This American Life is also one of the biggest names you could possibly come across. But they've got 8,000 subscribers on YouTube and stopped publishing two years ago. So I'm looking at the interconnection between them. What works between the two platforms? Yeah, there's an analogy. I think you almost can say if you're a podcast that is likely to work on YouTube. And I think that's really talking head style podcasts, interview-style podcasts rather than, let's say, storytelling podcast that is likely to work on YouTube, especially if you're able to film in the studio.

[00:13:57] Then you can really look at the comparison in [00:14:00] terms of the media because it is, it's absolutely, one-to-one it's hosted read If you take a brand like Raycon, for example. Somebody is gone; that's a brand that has gone crazy in terms of their advertising in the last few years, but it feels like they've been around forever, but they didn't. During 2019 is when they really started getting busy, and the data on their podcast and YouTube advertising, it's a graph that matches itself perfectly. It's a big spike in the middle of 2019 and then a big spike in the middle of 2020, which is related to their own buying patterns. But it's, one-to-one, they're clearly looking at it in the same way. So who's the next one. Who's the brand that's going to come in and looking at what's the patterns there? Because whilst that spike is really overlapping, YouTube just started that little bit earlier, the extra few months' time.

[00:14:48] So if you're looking to be first to market, as a network or a podcast, and then you know who to be prospecting from a brand's perspective if you're trying one or the other [00:15:00] platform first there's a lot of lessons you can learn from looking at the other end.

[00:15:03] Heather Osgood: [00:15:03] Yeah, yeah, for sure. Do you find that people do tend to enter YouTube sooner than they enter the podcast space? So is it like usual, they're on YouTube, and then they come to podcasting?

[00:15:14] Daniel Conn: [00:15:14] Not necessarily it really can change.  And it depends. I think most marketers tend to start with the creator of the content that they've heard of. So that's the first buy, right? So I think there's probably a different sort of perception of if not a product level.

[00:15:30] So, if you're an online education platform, right? Many of them are around today, or if you're something like a VPN, it's natural that you would have started on YouTube first. But if you are direct to a consumer product or something in financials, for example. Yeah, definitely starting on the podcast. You can see that very clearly or work-related, anything sort of B2B or B2C, like ZipRecruiter or something like that. Or Legalzoom, [00:16:00] very clearly going podcast first and maybe dancing around and trying YouTube and newsletter. Then there are direct consumers who just sit right in the middle. It can go either way.

[00:16:11]Heather Osgood: [00:16:11] Interesting. So I know that the bit of research I've done around YouTube has shown that typically host read endorsement-type ads in the YouTube space are at about $100 CPM. And I find that it's always so funny because oftentimes brands will complain about the high CPMs in podcasting, and yet they are much higher as far as I can tell on YouTube. Is that something that you guys have seen as well, or is that information that you guys have access to or knowledge of?

[00:16:41] Daniel Conn: [00:16:41] Yeah. I think that's probably a high estimate for YouTube. I think when you're talking about, I'm not saying that there isn't advertising that costs that much, and YouTube definitely is, and there's definitely a podcast that costs similar depending on their niche and their area.

[00:16:56] Yeah. But I don't think anybody that as [00:17:00] doing this advertising at scale, I'm looking at it from an ROI or a ROAS perspective is paying that kind of money on either platform. Maybe if one-off, one-off videos, or one-off podcasts with somebody, they really think actually it's pretty similar.

[00:17:14]If you're talking about podcast industry average, which is around $25, something like this, I've got the perceived benchmark, and it changes and goes up from show to show. It's not too far off. There's more of a range in YouTube, for sure. As far as standardization, especially as more creators. I think more creators are independent on the YouTube side when they're selling sponsorships; then on podcasts, they tend to be more hooked up to a network on the podcast side, which means there's more uniformity or standardization.  But no, there are good deals, and there are bad deals. That's for sure.

[00:17:47] Heather Osgood: [00:17:47] Yeah. Yeah, for sure. That's interesting.

[00:17:49] I, I'm glad that I asked you that. It's nice to hear that perspective. So I'm curious because you have all of this rich data at your fingertips. We're recording this at the very end of 2020. [00:18:00] Do you see any maybe surprising trends or what has been most interesting to you as you've analyzed some of the data and the podcast ad space?

[00:18:11]Daniel Conn: [00:18:11] I'm pleased with how robust this year has been. It wasn't obvious. If we go back to February, March, this March, especially, it felt like the world was going to collapse for our whole industry. I mean everything in general; for us, we feel the industry. And it didn't, and seeing that actually the numbers have not just stayed constant, but they've actually grown in terms of the number of sponsorships.

[00:18:35] Number of brands has grown year on year from 2019 to 2020. That has been the most encouraging thing as far as I can see, and I'm happy about it. I think there's I think what was also interesting is the variety of advertiser that is coming in. There are more or more categories coming to market in terms of people that are interested in the space [00:19:00] across the board as more and more content gets produced.

[00:19:03] Lots coming in around sports. But for example, when that starts to cross over, as it will do. To e-sports and gaming, and that's not as strong yet in podcasts, but it's big on YouTube. And the first few players have started to migrate their way over, and that is an industry with a hell of a lot of marketing dollars.

[00:19:24] So it'd be exciting to see that it's really starting to come into the podcast and find its way into the audio soundscape because that will be a big boon for everybody, that's for sure.

[00:19:35]Heather Osgood: [00:19:35] Yeah. That's so funny. We were in at a game store the other day, and they were closing our local store. And the guy that checked us out was like, I don't know what this company is doing wrong because this industry is just made of money, and there's no reason they shouldn't be succeeding. And I think you're totally right. I think e-sports and gaming and all of it is huge, and you are, that's a really good perspective that there isn't a ton of it.

[00:19:58]There are more traditional sports [00:20:00] than there are e-sports and gaming, so that certainly is definitely a category to watch. Thanks for that info. And you pointed out something too that I think is really fascinating; last I checked, and I'm sure that number is incorrect now, but there are about 1.6 million podcasts now this year.

[00:20:15]And I do think that with the development of new content, then we also have new sponsors that come in. Obviously, with that, with an Apple, we have specific categories. And sometimes I think really is that show good for that category, but it's like they have, I don't know how many they have 20 or something. And if you don't fit in that category, you just have to pick one. But do you think that with all the new shows and with the new content that, that really is bringing new advertisers in, are you seeing that?

[00:20:42] Daniel Conn: [00:20:42] Every month, there's a whole host of new advertisers coming in, but all kinds of angles is a rich mosaic of brands and interest entering podcasts.

[00:20:54]Everybody knows the big ones, right? It's nothing new, and everyone wants a [00:21:00] piece of that budget pie. Sure. Great. But, it's just fascinating to see the number of entries, especially, I think, in B2B. Because I think with B2C, you do get put into certain columns, right?

[00:21:14] You are direct to consumer or your consumer app, or you are some kind of consumer FinTech or a few different key areas in that space. You can bring them down into categories. Sure. But I think with B2B, it's so fascinating because there are a thousand different areas of interest.

[00:21:35] That's highly expressive. It's always specific, what's the difference between sales technology and sales enablement technology. And which podcast do you go on?

[00:21:44]Heather Osgood: [00:21:44] Yeah, those are difficult conversations. I've had them.

[00:21:47] Daniel Conn: [00:21:47] Isn't it.  But that's happening every month, more and more brands finding their way into this space. I think the challenges for a lot of brands, and I think that this is where we try and be part of the solution. [00:22:00] There are many other companies that are trying to be part of the installation. As I say, it's a really new industry still. It's been around a few years, but in terms of really getting going, it's the last few years that's when the curves are really gone.

[00:22:13] So until you've got the real norms established, reliable third-party data established, the barriers to entry are going to be still a bit high for a lot of people, because at the end of the day, as you can't do one podcast and assess whether the podcast works for you.

[00:22:30] Heather Osgood: [00:22:30] Absolutely. Yep. I preach that all the time.

[00:22:33] Daniel Conn: [00:22:33] Okay. It doesn't work that way. So if you're thinking about a small brand that's just getting into the market and try and marketing channels in a variety of different ways, you can understand why more programmatic advertising still has this appeal because it's a lot more controllable in that sense. But the rewards are there for the ones that are willing to take a risk, and it's our job in our industry to help them reduce that risk with information, [00:23:00] right? That's the barriers that we've got to bring down, and you see it happening more and more people are willing to take on. More companies are willing to take that leap in and see what it's all about, which is fantastic.

[00:23:12] Heather Osgood: [00:23:12] So given the background you've had in working with advertisers, you just, I think, put a really good tip out there, which is you can't run ads on one podcast and assess whether podcast advertising works. What are some other tips or things that you have seen advertisers do to create successful campaigns?

[00:23:33] Daniel Conn: [00:23:33] Excellent question. You've got to create and work with the creators that you're working with, basically. You've got to find an offer that's going to appeal, good. Okay. Excuse me. It's the end of a long way.

[00:23:45]Heather Osgood: [00:23:45] Oh, no problem. I know. Yeah. It's 10:30 PM your time. Gosh.

[00:23:50] Daniel Conn: [00:23:50] So it's personalized, right? That's everything. Now I know there's a lot of debates today around, the host read. The host read dynamic, pre-record yeah, that sort of stuff at [00:24:00] the end of the day, if you're coming into it for the first time, go for people, if possible, know you already and are somewhat of a fan because they're the ones that are going to be the biggest advocates.

[00:24:15] And they're going to be more willing to personalize that sort of experience and personalize that story. And that goes a hell of a long way. Then you have got to create an offer, right? Your attribution in podcasting is tough. We know there are tools now that are making it a lot easier for sure. But the click doesn't exist because there's audio.

[00:24:36] So until Alexa really comes in and says has that kind of attribution, is that Alexa, take me to wherever. That's not quite there yet. We've got to rely on other means, so having an offer, whether that's a coupon. A specific landing page in terms of where you're directing them to. And that's the other thing you've got direct, the traffic there. But something that's going to be real and good. Give them a, you [00:25:00] give them a year free, give them 50% off, make it outrageous in terms of the, what you're willing to put on the table for their audience because that also helps that audience feel special.

[00:25:13] And it feels like they're getting something from the creator that they're a fan of. So a lot of people do that really well. Some people don't do that; they do that as well. But I would say those are the fundamentals. At the end of the day, if you find somebody who knows and likes you and is willing to give.

[00:25:29] Authenticity into the experience. We need to personalize it. If you can give them a really good offer to talk about, and if you can have them, direct it to a landing page, direct them to use the coupon. That's the foundations at the end of the day; I got there in the end. That's what part is a personalized offer direct.

[00:25:48] Heather Osgood: [00:25:48] Nice. And yeah, an acronym. Yes. That's an acronym. Yeah, no, but I do think that is a really good way of looking because there are those [00:26:00] three really important points to have that personalized offer and direct them to something that really does allow them to see success. So in terms of, when you, if you had a new brand that was entering the space for the first time, how would you suggest that they go about coming up with a strategy or coming up with a plan?

[00:26:23] Should they work with somebody like ThoughtLeaders? Is it better for them to work with an agency?  How should a new brand be approaching a campaign if they've never done podcast advertising before?

[00:26:33] Daniel Conn: [00:26:33] It's an excellent question. I think it's really a personal story related to the brand and where they're at in their journey.

[00:26:42] If you know what works right. If you let's say if you've got offers that really fly in other media, You at least got a benchmark, so you can come into it and understand that. Yeah. If I give a percent off whatever I'm doing, or if I'm giving a month free trial or whatever [00:27:00] I'm doing, it's going to work, or it's likely to work because I'm moving product in every which way. If you're not sure, or if you're not sure about your target audience, then you do have to come to any other marketing channel with an understanding that the first few months are going to be testing. And this is the, I think, the single most important thing. When you look at this in perspective, this is going to sound bad, but it isn't most tests in sponsorship, not just podcasts, but podcasts included most individual podcast tests don't work. That's the truth. If you're hitting a 30, 40% success rate in terms of the individual creators, you're working with, that's good.

[00:27:44] But if you actually extrapolate that over time and you look at what, cause somebody you're getting success with, you're not coming back once you're not coming back twice, there are podcast relationships that last for years. So when you do get it right. [00:28:00] You're building something that gives and gives an individual creates level.

[00:28:05] So be patient with your own program, look for signs, look for pleases success. But if your first bite doesn't go as planned, then necessarily be discouraged. You are; you would probably benefit from it. Yes, you can do that with the audience. You can also do with agencies, can-do people like yourself who really know what they're talking about to help them identify whether something might be working or not.

[00:28:26]But that's across the board. Even the biggest sponsors that you see today, still years into that program, fail with most of the tests that they're doing and the name of the game for them. And for everybody else's to limit the number of failures to even that one extra, every 20 creators that you work with, that one extra success is going to potentially provide millions and millions of impressions over the lifespan of your engagement with them.  So be patient and look for the gems.

[00:29:00] [00:28:59] Yeah.

[00:29:00] Heather Osgood: [00:29:00] Yeah, for sure. And I think that you make such a good point. I don't think that we talk about testing enough in the podcast space. I think there is this perception that it should work right out the gate. And the reality is that nothing works right out the gate. Like everything you have to test, you have to. What kind of offer is going to resonate? What kind of podcast is going to resonate? What is the host relationship like?

[00:29:23]Like you said, where are you directing them? What is the landing page like? How are you tracking the results? There are so many different elements that go into the success of a campaign. And I think what is so tricky sometimes is that brand new advertisers do try something, and it may not succeed. And then they get discouraged because they're like, gosh, how come this didn't succeed? So I think that going into it, knowing, Hey, we're running this test, and it probably isn't going to give us a return on our investment, but it'll give us the learning that we need to go ahead and create a next campaign that will be successful.

[00:29:59][00:30:00] And yeah. And it's so hard, right? Because when we're working in the sponsorship space and new advertisers come to us, of course, we want to say Hey, this is amazing. It's going to be great for you. And it can be right. I, we certainly have had lots of campaigns where they get started in the first campaign is a success.

[00:30:16] But oftentimes, when you are doing multiple shows, which you should be doing, you can say at the end of a run, gosh, these two performed much better than these two. So next by we're going to keep these two, we're going to eliminate those and add in two more. And I think that it's a constant process of iterating and figuring out the shows, the audience, the host relationships that are going to produce the results.

[00:30:38] And that is something that takes time. You can't just do that with the wave of a wand, right?

[00:30:44] Daniel Conn: [00:30:44] Absolutely. Look, it says it all. There's advertising we all know. I've been doing this already for a good few years, and I'm telling you, you may fail most with most of their tests. So if they're failing for most of the tests, but it's still that the overall program is growing [00:31:00] in terms of the number of individual episodes that they appear on over time.

[00:31:04] It's compounding. It says a lot. So I'm going to go into it with don't put the blinkers on. And I, for one, over what we do at the thought is when we're working with brands from the media buying side, I'm always buying the platform and is unsure. For me, a little bit of truth can hurt, but it's going to set them up for success in the long run.

[00:31:22]I'm telling them straight up there's a good chance that you're going to fail a lot of the time. But what we're all about and what anybody that's providing sort of third-party data is truly trying to do is to hope you fail less. So that's what it is. It's just to help you fail a bit less, and every incremental improvement in your success rate has an incredible amplification effect over the years that you're working on this program. Yeah.

[00:31:54] Heather Osgood: [00:31:54] Excellent. Gosh, I know we need to start wrapping it up. I'm curious [00:32:00] as we head into the new year. Do you have any predictions for 2021 and what's going to happen in the podcast space?

[00:32:07]Daniel Conn: [00:32:07] I'm always interested to see how to podcast creators, especially because you know what we do specifically where they distribute and how they look to find new avenues.

[00:32:17]And I know you are a big sort of advocate of getting your content out on LinkedIn. I'm really interested to see what happens there; all of these platforms are trying to find a means book. You're a creator, creators like yourself to find points of distribution in new and innovative ways.

[00:32:37] And I think LinkedIn is one of them. I'm really curious to see the relationship between podcasters and Twitch evolve and that period and continuing distribution on YouTube and see what happens there. So I think that's the interesting thing for me as it is really looking at, there's podcasting as an industry, and it's it's own.

[00:32:57] It turns, and it grows, but actually, you got [00:33:00] really spread out over the lines are really blurry. So seeing that as a phenomenon is pretty fascinating to me, and see where you get, where you go next.

[00:33:10] Heather Osgood: [00:33:10] Yeah, I totally agree. And I think you are right. It is. I think so much tradition in the podcast space; we have these very strict opinions.

[00:33:19] What a podcast is and what it isn't, and it has to have an RSS feed. But the reality is that there are lots of different platforms to create content. And ultimately, it doesn't necessarily matter maybe so much where the content is being created or how it is being distributed. And I think as we evolve as an industry, that's going to be a really interesting discussion and has already been discussed is. What exactly is the definition of a podcast? And, if you have a podcast that's just on YouTube, is it a podcast? Does it have to have an RSS feed? All those things are so going to be talked about, for sure.

[00:33:54] Daniel Conn: [00:33:54] So then, at the end of the day, if you're a passionate creator making great content and you [00:34:00] found a way to build and connect with an audience, that's the essence of it all.

[00:34:04] Heather Osgood: [00:34:04] Absolutely totally agree. And ultimately, advertisers are going to succeed with hosts, whether it be on YouTube or LinkedIn or a podcast, when they are genuine, and they like the product, and they can speak highly of the product.  It really is the same. It's just figuring out the combination and making those connections, and building those relationships.

[00:34:27] Daniel Conn: [00:34:27] Yeah, for sure. Awesome. Thank you so much, Daniel, for being on the show; where can people find you? If they'd like to find out more about ThoughtLeaders

[00:34:35] Come to ThoughtLeaders.io. Come and have a chat with us. Get in contact with contact forms all over the place. And we'd be delighted to answer any questions about data, and also you can sign up for our newsletter and our podcast, which is very good, but

[00:34:51] Heather Osgood: [00:34:51] I don't know if I've ever listened.

[00:34:53] Daniel Conn: [00:34:53] Really? It's the ThoughtLeaders Podcast with Ariel Burstein. Yeah, he [00:35:00] does a great job, but really we've got some great people on there that we're interviewing from across the content space. Some pretty significant players, so yeah, come check it out. It's great.

[00:35:10] Heather Osgood: [00:35:10] Really excellent. Excellent. Thank you so much, Daniel. Take care, and we'll talk to you again soon.


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Daniel Conn