BBB SparkCast

Brett Johnson
Before we get into the business piece of this podcast, I think it’s nice to counter it with nonprofit. So tell me about your, your favorite nonprofit that you give talent, time, and treasure to.

Jessica Kapcar
And so my favorite, I have to say, and I think it’s probably, you know, a big one for a lot of people. But I have a very soft place in my heart for Nationwide Children’s Hospital. And I actually in a previous lifetime, worked for Nationwide Children’s Hospital doing fundraising. So have a lot of experience kind of just knowing on the back end and what it takes to give the care to the children that they need, and went through a personal situation where my child was being treated there.

Brett Johnson
So whose children have not been through there? Right?

Jessica Kapcar
I don’t know if anybody.

Jessica Kapcar
I can remember my parents like, oh, we’re taking a trip to Children’s. And it’s just so I’m so thankful that we have it and it’s so close to you know, it’s right now backyard and it’s just a it’s a great resource. I think they do a lot of really wonderful things there. They’re starting on sorts of new initiatives. So that is the kind of one that really sticks out for me in terms of my personal

Brett Johnson
So what volunteer opportunities there that you take advantage or, you know, people that do?

Jessica Kapcar
Sure, yeah, so I think there’s a variety of opportunities to volunteer, it just kind of depends on what level. I think one of the things that my sister and my parents and my whole family has kind of said, like, Oh, we just love to go down and like, rock the babies or, you know, help with that. So, there are opportunities to do that.

Jessica Kapcar
But there are also opportunities kind of right in your neighborhood to take advantage of supporting the hospital. We have had experience and I say, we, when I was working there, you know, of just kids saying, hey, instead of bringing me a gift for my birthday, I want you to buy a gift for a kid at the hospital or I want to, you know, take up a collection at, you know, school and donate the money to the hospital or, you know, so things like that. Anything that’s really grassroots. Like lemonade stands. You’d be surprised how far that goes.

Jessica Kapcar
One of the things that I think is, you know, a really great resource for the hospital as well as the Ronald McDonald House. It’s right across the street. It’s one of the largest in the country. At one point, it was the largest, but that I think, I just heard that somebody built another one that’s a little bit bigger. Corporations, companies, individuals, you can volunteer there. I know that some companies have taken the time to help clean the Ronald McDonald House, provide some supplies for the Ronald McDonald House. Food, anything like that.

Jessica Kapcar
So, I would just say that reaching out. The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation is a great resource for figuring out where they kind of need time, talents or treasures. That’s the fundraising arm of the hospital. So they’re a great resource to kind of say, Hey, you know, I’m looking to help. Where can I put my time where can I put my time to use so good?

Brett Johnson
Yeah, I’ll put some links in the, in the podcast show notes.

Brett Johnson
Well, let’s talk about your professional background, where you were before the BBB of Central Ohio, and what you’re doing now, with the BBB as well.

Jessica Kapcar
Absolutely. So as I mentioned, my first, as I call it, big girl job out of college, I worked for Children’s Hospital in Columbus. And I worked for the Foundation, which is the fundraising arm of the hospital. So I was kind of a go between with the volunteers and the community and the hospital. So I was able to just get out and meet all sorts of fabulous people.

Jessica Kapcar
Part of what I did was, I worked on our team that was involved with the Children’s Miracle Network charities and the companies across the state who are raising money. So I got to go out to the Speedway locations and say, you know, thank you so much for collecting money, and selling the little balloons and putting them on the windows, that sort of thing.

Jessica Kapcar
I was also able to experience a fundraising effort through The Ohio State University, and they do a dance marathon called Buckeye-Thon, so I was kind of the point person for the hospitals can say to these students who were amazing. Here are some patient families that would be willing to come to the event that just really kind of was a great way to tie our mission and with what they were trying to do. So I worked there for about three years,

Jessica Kapcar
And almost nine years ago, started with the BBB of Central Ohio. My role when I first started is vastly different than what it is now, but really not so different at all. I was originally brought in to fill a role that they hadn’t really solidified yet. So they knew that they wanted someone to come on. At that time, our vice president of marketing and PR was doing everything by herself, so that they knew that she needed a lot of help. So I kind of came in to help fill that role with her. And then they also wanted someone who could be a touch point for our accredited businesses. So someone who they could call and say, I don’t know where my logo is, I’m looking for this, I want to put this on my website. Tell me about the benefits that go along with my accreditation. So I also filled that role.

Jessica Kapcar
My role has morphed and changed. Our team has grown a lot over the past almost nine years. So now I’m kind of in a similar role. But my title is technically Communications Manager. So we cover a little bit of everything for our BBB. We do all of our social media, we do all our website maintenance, we put all the content for BBB in our 21 County service area in Central Ohio, we do our blog, we do our podcast, we do all of the video creation that our BBB team does. So it’s a little bit of everything, but it’s it’s all good stuff. And it’s just grown and changed.

Brett Johnson
The last nine years have been a huge evolution for the BBB. That leads into your podcast,

Jessica Kapcar
Yeah. I think when I started, I don’t even there may have been one past podcast that I knew about. And it was something that was so far out of the realm of relating to what we were doing. And now it’s almost a no-brainer.  It’s very, it seems natural for us to have a podcast and to have gone down that avenue. But if you were to ask us two or three years ago, if that were the case was going to be the case we would have left and said, No way. It would have seemed so far out out of reach.

Brett Johnson
So, how did that process begin? That first discussion of, okay, you know, there’s podcasts? We should. Why should we think about that?

Jessica Kapcar
Part of what I think is interesting for the BBB is taking our message and our mission and translating that across the board for businesses and consumers. So we really kind of are trying to figure out is, is it a space that we can occupy and do it well, and be successful in giving the information that we feel is beneficial to the audience that we’re looking for.

Jessica Kapcar
One of the things that really kind of helped solidify the fact that we thought we had a message and a niche to get in was the creation of our Spark Awards, which is really targeting our entrepreneurial businesses. So businesses that were kind of, in the space of, maybe they were on the newer end of the spectrum hadn’t been in business for very long, but just had a solid foundation and we’re committed to, you know, this tenants of character, culture and community, those are the three kind of criteria that we kind of look at.

Jessica Kapcar
So, we thought what a great resource for us to provide giving those entrepreneurs kind of some of that, okay, well, here’s a company has been doing it for 15 years, here’s how they did it, when they started off, here are some of the resources that they utilize, here’s a nonprofit that doesn’t have a huge budget to work with, but here’s what they’re doing. And you can actually make it a very successful thing, whatever that topic or subject might be we just really thought that we could help kind of connect businesses who have been doing it for a long time, and doing it well to somebody who wants to do something or wants to do it well, but doesn’t quite have the roadmap to get there yet.

Brett Johnson
So who was all involved in that initial discussion?

Jessica Kapcar
When I first started, it was just myself and one other person, our VP of Marketing PR. And over the course of the past four years, we have added to our team. We had two people are contacting communication communications coordinator, who really is kind of the role that was instrumental in helping push that push our podcast forward. And then we also added our Director of Visual Communications. So she was the person who was able to say, Okay, here’s the technology that we need. I have the, I have the ability to edit the audio, because I knew where I wanted it to go. I knew that we wanted it to happen and be successful.

Jessica Kapcar
But, it’s all about kind of pulling together the people or the resources to actually be able to do it, I knew I did not have the talent to edit audio. So once she came on board, and then like I said, the person who was in the role of our content coordinator, Jordan, she really kind of just took it to the next level. And she was able to say, you know, here’s a resource for where we can house it.

Jessica Kapcar
You were a great resource to us,

Brett Johnson
Thank you.

Jessica Kapcar
Just kind of answering any question, because I feel like at first we were like, okay, Podcast, where do we start, right? So you were just such a great resource to say here are the four or five things to to look at, to decide on what you want to do with them how you want to  how’s it here, some resources to do that. So, yeah, it really kind of, I would say, in the last two years, we were able to take off with it, because we, we did kind of say, Okay, now we’ve got the team in place, we’ve got the resources in place, let’s, let’s get let’s get going on that.

Brett Johnson
Were you discussing any success factors at the very beginning about measurement marks in time?

Jessica Kapcar
Yes, I don’t know that we really kind of had a good handle on what measurements we wanted to talk about? I think we knew that we needed to have a solid base of content. And if that was there, that I feel like we even if, again, we kind of had a roadmap that was a little less defined than some,

Brett Johnson
But you had a roadmap.

Jessica Kapcar
We did, we had a roadmap. It changed it morphed, which I think has to happen with any plan for any, you know, project or new endeavor,

Jessica Kapcar
But we kind of just said let’s give it six a six months goal and a year goal and see, let’s make it very realistic for ourselves and see how we do.

Jessica Kapcar
I think that because we were able to utilize some of the resources and talents on our team and we’re able to do a little bit more of it internally, we didn’t feel the pressure to set some of the loftier goals maybe for, you know, the ROI right out of the gate. So maybe we had a little bit of an advantage to say, well, let’s take our time, see how it goes work through some of it. We also, like I said, we also knew that we had some great talent and content that we are going to be able to utilize.

Jessica Kapcar
Our podcast is made up of external participants. So we utilize our accredited businesses, we utilize our partners, we utilize our nonprofits, and we know that they have the expertise, the knowledge, the content, that is going to be such a great resource for the people who are listening to it that we weren’t at all concerned about that aspect of it as well.

Brett Johnson
So that that content piece, the interview style, is really what drew you into it because of the opportunity to talk to somebody.

Jessica Kapcar
Yeah, and we knew we wanted to make it very casual, conversational. We wanted to make sure that we made it friendly and approachable. And so we knew that, having somebody come in, and being able to have that conversation with them utilizing their expertise was going to be just a great way to kind of go to get things started. And it’s worked well for us.

Brett Johnson
So how long do you think it took from the very first discussion to the first public publishing date?

Jessica Kapcar
Oh, I’d say every bit of two years. Once we kind of figured out here’s where the responsibility of the podcast is going to lie. Here’s how to get all of the logistics setup. And then we did again, because we could take our time with it, we did populate a little bit more of the content. So we knew we could utilize our Spark Award companies. We knew utilize our Torch Award companies. So we’ve built out I’d say, probably a solid six months of content prior to that first podcast interview. Actually, the first one technically, was with Kip Morris, who’s our president and CEO. And that was just the way for us to kick it off and kind of have him introduce it. So I’d say it was probably ever been to two years before we kind of really, we’re recording the podcast itself

Brett Johnson
With an interview style that has its ups and downs, especially the scheduling piece of it. So talk about your interviewing scheduling, your strategy, that how, in the process of how you go about doing it.

Jessica Kapcar
So for the I was, like I said, we kind of had that content generally built out for the first six months. And what we did was, we really just knew that we were going to pick these the Spark Award companies, there were three recipient companies that we had, that we wanted to utilize right away. So when they found out they were the Spark Award recipient, we said, oh, by the way we’re going to be contacting you for that. So be ready. Yeah, we need to get you in the in the door. So we kind of gave them a heads up so that was a little bit easier to kind of draw them back in on

Jessica Kapcar
We have had our Torch Awards have been going on for this will be that we just had our 24th Torch Award event. So we had a pretty big pool of companies to choose from for that.

Jessica Kapcar
But what we did was we just use, we utilize the three recipient companies that we had honored that the year prior. Again, kind of give them a heads up, like, Hey, we’re probably gonna be tapping you for for an interview. So stay tuned.

Jessica Kapcar
The way we did it, in terms of the interview conversation, we picked a very specific topic, and when we felt that the company could speak very comfortably to. And we kind of scripted out some questions ahead of time, just to kind of give them a roadmap of, hey, here’s what we think we want to go, here’s the topic that we think we want to talk about. You’re the expert. So you you fill in the blank, if you think there’s another direction we should take or more wish to add in, please, give us your feedback

Brett Johnson
How has that been received?

Jessica Kapcar
Everybody has given us feedback that it was a very easy way to do it. Now, we by no means felt like we needed to stick with it. But we try to keep ours to about a 15 minute conversation. So it helps in terms of making sure that we kind of kept things narrowed, narrowed down a little bit.

Brett Johnson
So do you think that the podcast itself is is helping you showcase the BBB’s expertise?

Jessica Kapcar
I do, I really feel that it’s been a great resource for us.

Jessica Kapcar
Our mission is to educate businesses and consumers about you how to either be a better business or how to find a business who is going to be a trustworthy business or nonprofit, I shouldn’t just say business. You know, the nonprofit side of that as a really big aspect to as well because we do have accredited charities, especially local ones. And it’s been a really great resource for them to say here’s what we do, here’s our mission in the community here’s we can help or how you can  maybe start a nonprofit of your own or so, it’s, I think that it’s been a great way for us to just further our mission by utilizing the experts in whatever topic we’re trying to get out there,

Jessica Kapcar
Because we do have an entrepreneurial sort of focus, I think that that’s been a really great way.

Jessica Kapcar
Columbus is growing so much. And we’ve got Startup Week, we’ve got all of these great young businesses that are coming in, and they’re thirsty for information, and they’re looking for resources to do things the right way. So I think that’s been a really great addition to the BBB mission. We can say here’s how to do it. And here’s how to do it right.

Brett Johnson
And that’s not the first thing you’d really think about it from a BBB is to showcase something like that. You’re breaking new ground

Jessica Kapcar
Yeah. And traditionally it’s always kind of, no, the BBB, you guys handle complaints, right? And we do still do all of that. But we do a lot more as well. So, you know, that’s one of the things that my team has kind of been really focused on, especially in the past, I’d say, five or six years. Just getting that message out, that we’re not just a place to go for complaints we are a resource to utilize on the front end of things for businesses, consumers, nonprofits.

Jessica Kapcar
As a consumer, we always say, check with us first, before you commit to doing business with any company, because you may find that there’s information that you didn’t have prior to looking at our website.

Jessica Kapcar
For businesses, we say, we’re a resource for you to start with that foundation of trust. And that really is what will translate to a consumer that you’re looking for, or a donor that you’re looking to solicit.

Jessica Kapcar
We just actually found out that we are number four behind Facebook, Google and Yelp, and terms of review sites, so we do customer reviews as well. So it’s just kind of one of those things where we’re trying to get that message out there. And I think this has been a huge resource to do that, that the podcast has been instrumental on that.

Brett Johnson
How is the podcast and your blogs coexisting?

Jessica Kapcar
So what we found is, we actually have some really great crossover in terms of content that we could utilize for our blog. Because, again, the blog was one of those things that we were like, We really want to do it, we just need to have someone who has the expertise, some time to get it done.

Brett Johnson
Somebody to feed the machine.

Jessica Kapcar
Yeah, it just so happened that that same person was who was doing the podcast, so it was kind of this perfect marriage. And what our model is, is we have our own BBB content, but we open it up to guest blogs as well. So we reach out to our accredited businesses, our nonprofits, our partners and say, give us your expertise, we’ll get that message out to our audience.

Jessica Kapcar
And there’s been some great tie in with the podcast and blog, there’s been some crossover, we’ve been able to take content that we originally thought might be a podcast and get a blog post from it. And the flip has also been the case as well.

Jessica Kapcar
I think that anytime you can utilize content across all of your channels, it’s a great way to do that.

Brett Johnson
It’s time saver.

Jessica Kapcar
Yeah, for sure. Especially when you have a smaller team than doing it all.

Brett Johnson
So adding content to your website, have you seen any uptick in the site’s performance in regards to search?

Jessica Kapcar
We just actually went through a whole website redesign. And because we are one of about 110 BBB’s across United States, Canada, and Mexico, it’s been an overhaul of combining our website, but also building out our local content a little bit more.

Jessica Kapcar
So we really have seen some great results by embedding our podcasts into our website, pushing people straight there from our social media channels from our blog. Having added a little footer at the bottom of our blog posts about podcast and vice versa on podcast.

Jessica Kapcar
So yeah, we’ve I don’t know that I have the numbers necessarily to back that up. But it climbs every month, and we see more and more listeners. And we’ve kind of compared to podcasts similar to ours. There aren’t a lot of BBB’s who have podcasts. I think I know of one other BBB, a local BBB that has one, and then our Council For Better Business Bureaus has one for businesses and consumers. So it’s a little bit difficult to kind of compare in our industry.

Jessica Kapcar
Yes, so there aren’t many to compare ourselves. Anybody else just yet.

Jessica Kapcar
But I can honestly say that we’ve never said Well, maybe it’s not worth doing this. Because the time given is that we don’t feel like we feel like it’s being rewarded, for sure.

Brett Johnson
Well, staying on that same topic of marketing, what was your publishing schedule strategy? And what is it right now, how you began those talks in regards to, well, how many do we put out per month, per week, every day? Every hour? It can be extremely stupid, you know? And so, what was that discussion like?  How did you firm up what you wanted to do?

Jessica Kapcar
So originally we kind of took a look at the, the time that our team had to dedicate to it. And we wanted to be very realistic and say, Oh, you know, we would, we didn’t want to say, we’re going to do one every other week, because then we were like, oh, if we don’t do it every other week, or we’re going to be disappointed in ourselves. So our goal was to do at least one a month to start.

Jessica Kapcar
We found that we could do one about every three weeks, which is what our standard has really been. We’ve been able to maintain that we’ve been able to get the scheduling where has worked.

Jessica Kapcar
The benefit for ours is that we can kind of back schedule a lot of content. And we did that. We knew that summertime is going to be hard for people to maneuver their schedules with vacations. So we kind of stockpiled a little bit in the spring and had some content.

Jessica Kapcar
The other thing that we really kind of looked at was because we’re utilizing some of our nonprofits is that time of year. So we wanted to be mindful of the holiday season. A lot of people are more interested in looking for local charities and nonprofits that they can support. So we wanted to be able to showcase and highlight some of those, and the time of year that was maybe a little bit more beneficial to them.

Jessica Kapcar
So we just hit a year for our podcast in August. So, last year around Christmas time, we really kind of tried to utilize some of our nonprofit and charity content.

Jessica Kapcar
The other part of it is really just kind of who we can get in the door when. We don’t want anything to get stale, we did utilize some of our Spark Award content right around when we are going to be doing the Spark Awards last year, so it really just kind of depends on the topic, and what’s relevant to your audience. You know, for our audience, it’s pretty, pretty open. So we have a little bit more flexibility in terms of that.

Brett Johnson
Well, tied into that, what is the social media strategy on when you publish? And what do you do to support that?

Jessica Kapcar
At first, we were like, oh, we’ll just Blitz it out everywhere. And then we kind of pulled back a little bit. And really, we’ve taken more of a staggered approach.

Jessica Kapcar
What we do first is when the, the podcast episode is ready, we send it to the person that we recorded with, and we just say, Hey, you know, thank you so much. Here’s the podcast episode, it’s going to be, you know, live this date, we’re going to send it out through social media on this date, please feel free to share it on your channels, which we’ve always gotten good support from, you know, anybody who’s recorded a podcast.

Jessica Kapcar
So some of it is we’ll push it through our channel. And then some of it is, we are a little bit more reactionary. And we’ll share the posts that the the company or organization has done, because, we really want to promote them as well. It’s a partnership at that point in time. So we want to make sure that we’re saying, here’s some great information, but also here’s the actual content, here’s how you can connect with this business or organization.

Jessica Kapcar
So, what we typically do is, I think the first posts will be on Facebook, and then three days later, we’ll kind of shoot something out through LinkedIn, we share it on Twitter, and we share it on we usually try to do something kind of a little bit on our Instagram. For Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn every so often, we put will put some money behind it and boost the post or promote it, minimal. I mean, maybe $10. So nothing, over the top.

Brett Johnson
The social media conversion rate is questionable, unless you have a very good tracking system.

Jessica Kapcar
And an algorithm changes every day. So, who knows, but, but that has seemed to work really well, for us the staggered approach, kind of not pushing it out all at once because people go to different channels, and sites with different frequency. So, that’s been a really effective way for us to get that out there.

Brett Johnson
You have some great artwork, thumbnail artwork, everything.

Jessica Kapcar
Thank you!

Brett Johnson
Who is doing it for you? How did you start that whole process? Because I know again, that’s another piece to this going, Yeah, okay, we have somebody that can record it, we have, we know we’re going to do Oh, we have to have artwork, I have to create this new look, or whether incorporate our logo into it, or create something new. Talk about that process, how you get it looking really good.

Jessica Kapcar
I cannot take any credit for that. That is all Courtney, who is our digital communications manager. She does all of the design work for us. Part of what we kind of have to work through as well is that the BBB is a brand, has an international kind of brand, that we we have to maintain.

Jessica Kapcar
But we want to make sure that we’re creating something new and fresh and clean and fun to engage people. So she has just done a great job kind of taking our brand guidelines and morphing those into something that is brand new.

Brett Johnson
It’s a natural extension. It looks perfect.

Jessica Kapcar
Thank you. Yeah. And she works really closely. She tries to tie it into the topic of the podcast as well. So she is the person who sitting there kind of listening. And we always take some video clips as well. So she’s got a good idea of what the content is. So she does a really great job of kind of translating that into the artwork for the specific episodes. And yeah, she created the logo for us. And she, so she’s, she’s a great resource, and I don’t know that we’d be able to do without her. Yeah, I do know that we probably wouldn’t be able to do it without her.

Brett Johnson
It’s important, because the visual piece of it is, is pretty vital. When you want to direct listeners back to your dot com or your dot org, it has to look nice.

Jessica Kapcar
Absolutely. Yeah. And it has to be, especially for us because BBB is such a, a brand with with longevity. We wanted to make sure that it looks unique, but not so unique that people didn’t realize, Oh, this is BBB, you know, so it’s that it’s that fine line. But yeah, so it’s really helped in our marketing of it, I think to just kind of having that clean, fresh look,

Brett Johnson
Let’s get into some technical stuff. But it’s important, but at the same time, it can be overwhelming, deer in a headlight kind of, wow, what do I do here? So when we talked now, a couple years ago, I mentioned lots of different hosting platform options, but also dug a little bit deeper in regards to Okay, here’s the pros and cons for them. They all are kind of the same, it just comes down to what you choose to do. There are some nuances to some that are better than others. For example, one company may have a better embed player look than others. And that could be something vital for the website. You decided to go with Blubrry. What were some decision processes that helped you decide on Blubrry?

Jessica Kapcar
Yes. So we went with Blubrry. They are actually a local company, and they’re an accredited business. So those were two of the really great touch points for us. But beyond that, we knew that the capabilities that they had for us again, because we were so new at we were kind of, again, as you mentioned, deer in the headlights were like, We don’t know what we’re doing. We don’t know we need to do.

Jessica Kapcar
They actually came in, they talked us through it, they explained the platform to us. I felt like they were also a great a great resource, just in terms of like, okay, here are the four things that you need to have to get it up and running. Just to get the lights turned on and everything ready to go.

Jessica Kapcar
So from there, because it is an easy platform, we enjoyed it, we were able to kind of create the way make it look the way we wanted to create what we wanted to. We were able to embed it into our website. So it was just a great choice for us and you know, anytime that we are looking for a partner or a company to do business with, we kind of hope that they’re an accredited business.

Brett Johnson
And that was one reason I suggested them. I think again, this is not a Blubrry commercial, but at the same time every company has its pros and cons.

Jessica Kapcar
Absolutely.

Brett Johnson
And you have to make your own choice. And for you, that made sense.

Jessica Kapcar
It absolutely did.

Brett Johnson
And obviously it’s worked out very well.

Jessica Kapcar
It has. And I’m sure that they’re great resources out there for at any you know, capacity. We knew what our capacity was and this was a great fit for us so it’s yeah it’s worked well.

Brett Johnson
So the equipment you’re using. What is your setup? I know that was kind of a building process. Because one thing couldn’t happen till another thing happened to another thing happened. How do you do your recordings?

Jessica Kapcar
So it was a building process for sure. We finally now have what we call our media room. We redesigned our office two years ago almost three. So with the redesign we were able to have a space completely dedicated to the video and content creation. You know used to be that we’d have to go into the conference room of tables turn off music you know like it was moved lights it was a it was a process. Now we have all everything set up in there

Jessica Kapcar
We have two lavalier microphones that are attached to our point and shoot camera. It’s a little bit more than point and shoot, I guess. And we have someone on staff who kind of just is able to capture all the audio and she edits it in house. I think she uses Final Cut.

Jessica Kapcar
And it’s very straightforward. You don’t really need a lot of equipment, which is the great. I think an easy part of the podcast like I said, you know, we have two lavalier microphones, they plug into the camera, we do take video just again, for posterity sake. But you don’t have to. So it’s a really straightforward process for us.

Jessica Kapcar
And we’ve never had, well I shouldn’t say never. One of the biggest issues that we’ve run into is the memory card fills out. And that does happen. It’s kind of one of those things where we just take pause and refill and go from there.

Brett Johnson
I’ve been a guest on an episode.

Jessica Kapcar
Yes, you have.

Brett Johnson
It’s really a comfortable setting, honestly, because it’s a much different feel. And I was impressed because I’ve always been table, microphone and something physically in front of you. Where, in your situation, you’re sitting on a couple of chairs, lavalier microphone on, nothing in front of you. So it’s almost, you’re at a restaurant feel to it. Almost you go into a coffee shop that it’s really open.

Jessica Kapcar
We’ve got a little bistro table in the middle. Yes, we kind of try again, we wanted to make it very comfortable, casual, conversational. We’ve actually had one person walk out of the almost walk out with the mic on you kind of forget that it’s there were like, Oh, wait, hold on. “Hot mic.” Don’t leave.

Jessica Kapcar
So yeah, that and that was one of the goals that we had. And it might not be the most elaborate setup, but it works for us. And we hope that it’s a comfortable situation for people to come into.

Jessica Kapcar
Because we reach out to people and say, Hey, we want your talent, please come in. There are some times that people are like, Oh, no, I’m not good at that. Like it, you’ll be fine. Will coach you through, it’s going to be okay. So I think maybe, hopefully, that’s contributed to putting some people at ease that may not have been otherwise.

Brett Johnson
With businesses deciding to go with podcasting, I think this can be true of any social media planning, blogging, whatever, there’s that potential of the transition. One person leaving that was key to doing it. Now, you’re walking into that situation. Jordan has been hosting the podcast from the get go, transitioning to you, which actually is an easy transition, because you’ve been a piece of the party all the time. But what were those discussions like, to where to go with this now that she said, “I’ve got to go.”

Jessica Kapcar
So we’re in it. I mean, we are just on the tip of the iceberg. There’s always a little bit of transition in our team. She’s got a new adventure going on, I just kind of came back in after maternity leave. So it’s kind of that Okay, let’s catch up with each other. And where are we? What do I do? So that’s always a process.

Jessica Kapcar
But the really great thing about our team, and the thing that we knew going in was, we’re going to have changes come about. So that’s why we kind of laid out that plan ahead of time, we really made sure that we had a plan in place in terms of, Okay, what did we want the podcast to be? What do we want it to be about? What do we want the topic to be. We kind of honed in on that, and then we built out that content part of it as well. So, here, are the 10 people that we think might be potentials for interviews for this year. Here are the topics that may work for them. Here’s kind of some, maybe some of the conversation starters that we have.

Jessica Kapcar
We did that because we knew if, for some reason, something, someone left or you know, somebody was out of the office or somebody had to pick up or somebody else left off, at least we have a little bit of a plan in place and document it.

Brett Johnson
And breathing room as well.

Jessica Kapcar
Right. Jordan did a great job with kind of just taking things and running with it. So, I have stepped into a very comfortable position in terms of what it could have, like, so I feel very confident that will that will be okay.

Jessica Kapcar
And because our team was so collaborative at the beginning and we were all kind of there to talk through those things and instrumental in making the decisions about okay what platform Are we going to use?What’s our look going to be like? The rest of the team is still kind of in the know. So I just have to get my interview skills brushed up and hopefully we’ll be able to soldier on.

Brett Johnson
Let’s talk about that. With a transition, it can actually be an opening for maybe tweaking some plans.  Nothing negative about a previous host. It just comes down to a fresh start, maybe we can go in this direction, just tweaking. Let’s go into future plans for the podcast. What’s to be expected?

Jessica Kapcar
So going forward. I think, obviously, we still know that we want to utilize the resources that our businesses, nonprofits, charities have. I think, what what we might try to take a look at is, okay, do we need to focus in a little bit more? Do we need to be more laser focus? Do we need to open it up a little bit more? Do we need to take a look at the process that we’re using in terms of, Okay, here’s the content that we want to talk about, let’s find someone to fill it in or do we want to say, here’s the person that we want to have. Let’s let them say this is, this is what we need to be talking about with you guys. Right now.

Jessica Kapcar
We’re pretty flexible. In terms of that. We’ve never really tried to pigeonhole ourselves necessarily. But I do think there’s something to be said, kind of, for having a plan and sticking with it.

Jessica Kapcar
The plan is changing.  It’s working. I think that Jordan did an amazing job. However, now that I’m the one that’s going to have to be doing the interviews, maybe there’s going to be some benefit to bringing someone else in and saying, you know, for example, Kip, you know, this person, why don’t you here’s kind of what we’re thinking, why don’t you do the interview with them? You know, I think it would be just great

Jessica Kapcar
Because I think there’s something to having a person sit down with another person, that they have a relationship with having that conversation. Things come out of that, that maybe don’t, wouldn’t have come out of that if the person was just the interviewer. So I don’t ever want to limit ourselves saying, you know, I’m the host of the podcast, believe me, I am more than happy to share that. So, you know, just kind of taking a look at that and saying, who, on our staff or on our team, may be a great resource to tap into. Or who, as a partner in our community, would be a great resource to maybe have a guest host right, for? Maybe you?

Brett Johnson
Always up for conversation. I’ll always help in any way that I can, of course. So let’s end on this. Advice for business owners who are considering podcasting as a marketing tool, what would you advise?

Jessica Kapcar
I think the biggest thing that, and I was having this conversation with Jordan, actually, before she left, because I was picking your brain about everything, but especially this, I said,  what do you think that you would tell people in terms of starting a podcast.

Jessica Kapcar
She was like, I don’t think I would just do it to do it. I think I would decide what you want to say. And stick with the message. So having a plan again, doesn’t mean you’re going to follow it to the tee. It doesn’t mean it’s not going to change every month that you know, you do it, but having something planned, whether that’s your message, whether that’s your audience, whether it’s the people that you want to have on it and just sticking with that, that was one of the things that we were we both kind of decided that probably is why our podcast didn’t feel like a burden. And I think maybe has worked the way it has, because we kind of said, Okay, here’s what we know, we want to do, here’s who we know, we want to reach here’s who we know, we can utilize as experts.

Jessica Kapcar
Ours is a little bit different. Because we’re not the people imparting, necessarily our wisdom, we know what we know, we know are good at and we know we don’t. So we’re going to pull in the people who do know what they’re good at. So our model’s a little bit different than maybe some people’s model might be.

Jessica Kapcar
The other thing that I would say is, don’t let not knowing how to do something, or maybe not having a very specific roadmap, hold you back from getting your content out there. Because you never know you could do one podcast and then a light bulb will go off and whole door will open up and there There you have it.

Jessica Kapcar
If you have the drive and you have the time and you have outstanding resources in the community like you, go for it. It took us two years to get it up and running probably because we were a little gun shy but now we know that we probably could have done maybe a little maybe a little sooner so not to not to shy away from just because it seems like it might be daunting or you might not have exactly what you know exactly the plan in place that you want to have in place. You can always mold it.

Thanks to Jessica Kapcar, BBB of Central Ohio Communications Director, and host of the BBB SparkCast, for being my guest on this episode of Note To Future Me.

Recorded in Studio C at the 511 Studios, located in the Brewery District in downtown Columbus, OH!

Brett Johnson is the owner and lead consultant at Circle270Media Podcast Consultants. The podcast consultants at Circle270Media have over 30+ years of experience in Marketing, Content Creation, Audio Production/Recording, and Broadcasting. We strategically bring these worlds together with Podcasting.

You can email Brett at podcasts@circle270media.com to talk more about your new or established business podcast. www.circle270media.com

6 Reasons To Add Podcasting To Your Content Marketing Strategy

You own a business, you have some competition. Maybe your service or product is superior to others  in your market.

Maybe not.

And you don’t want to enter into any pricing war with your competition. Instead, concentrate on making sure your target market knows that your company is the right one for them.

Until they believe, they will never buy from you.

How can you set yourself apart from the competition? Publishing content online is a great first step. It has to be high-quality material that truly helps your target market. Your published pieces need to earn trust, build goodwill, and position you as an authority in your industry.

The key to successful content marketing? Those potential customers in your target market are struggling with something. That something is keeping them up at night. They want specific results, and you need to remember they’re willing to pay for it.

 

Because we live in the information age, they’re more than likely searching for information online  – smartphones, smart speakers, or their laptops and computers.  They’re searching for answers – content that can help them find a solution.

This is exactly why every business today needs a content marketing strategy. A sound plan ensures your target market will find you when they start looking for answers.

Content that is well-researched and carefully written helps your target audience. The only cost to them is their time.

Additionally, it’s crucial that all content includes a specific call to action, or CTA.  Your target audience expects a next step. Give it to them. It will help you to start build relationships and to acquire customers.

There are as many different types of content as there are people searching for it. Blog posts, magazine articles, videos, webinars, white papers and e-books are some of the most common. And because there are so many options, the sheer possibilities can leave many entrepreneurs and businesses feeling overwhelmed.

And to that end, they sit on the sidelines and do nothing.

So here’s what this is all about. My recommendation: If you’re not already engaging your target market with podcasts, here are 6 reasons why, and how to prepare to publish your first piece of audio content.

1. It’s convenient to consume.

2. It increases your reach and grows your audience.

3. It builds trust with your audience.

4. It helps you stand out from your competitors.

5. It helps you grow your customer base.

6. It gives you a forum to interview experts in your industry.

Recorded in Studio C at the 511 Studios, located in the Brewery District in downtown Columbus, OH!

Brett Johnson is the owner and lead consultant at Circle270Media Podcast Consultants. The podcast consultants at Circle270Media have over 30+ years of experience in Marketing, Content Creation, Audio Production/Recording, and Broadcasting. We strategically bring these worlds together with Podcasting.

You can email Brett at podcasts@circle270media.com to talk more about your new or established business podcast. www.circle270media.com

How To Get Started With Audio Content Marketing Right Now

 

Audio content marketing is here to stay. In this episode let’s focus on podcasting as a core audio content marketing strategy, and then look at supplementary content options that support each other.

Podcasting
Webinars
Audiograms
Voice Search

How are you planning to add audio content to your content strategy starting now?

Recorded in Studio C at the 511 Studios in the Brewery District, downtown Columbus, OH.

Brett Johnson is the owner and lead consultant at Circle270Media Podcast Consultants. With over 35+ years of experience in Marketing, Content Creation, Audio Production/Recording and Broadcasting, the podcast consultants at Circle270Media strategically bring these strengths together for their business Podcast clients.

Email us at podcasts @circle270media.com to set up time to talk more about your new or established business podcast.

www.circle270media.com