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So What? Identifying Influential Podcasts by Digital Footprint

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In this week’s episode of So What? we focus on identifying podcasts by digital footprint competitive analysis. We walk through what determines influence, how to look at competitive data, and what data points to use to make a decision. Catch the replay here:

So What? Identifying Influential Podcasts by Digital Footprint

In this episode you’ll learn: 

  • What determines influential podcasts
  • How to look at the different types of competitive data
  • Which data points should you use to determine podcast influence?

Upcoming Episodes:

  • Video SEO – 5/13/2021
  • How do you benchmark a website’s performance? – TBD


Have a question or topic you’d like to see us cover? Reach out here:

AI-Generated Transcript:

John Wall 0:22
Hey everybody, welcome to So what? Trust Insights marketing analytics and insights podcast Katie robear has more important things to do today. So that’s just the raw truth. You’re stuck with the grumpiest old men and for marketing over coffee listeners, you know what to expect. But this is it, you get to see us live and then video in front of the screen. Christopher, what’s going on today?

Christopher Penn 0:47
Well, today we’re gonna be talking, you know, funny, you mentioned marketing over coffee, we’ll be talking about podcasts, particularly identifying influential podcasts and then trying to essentially build a work back plan if you’ve got to show what you could be doing to improve your the marketing of your show, the constant joke we have is that the the cobblers kids not only have no shoes, they walking around on bloody stumps. Because we don’t wanna show for a well,

John Wall 1:16
this is it? Yeah, this is the bloody stump episode, no doubt.

Christopher Penn 1:20
So we are introduced an idea that we’ve worked with, I first built Gosh, in 2012. This concept of a sort of a digital footprint, trying to understand based on a whole basket full of different measures, what is the relative footprint of any digital marketing property compared to your peer or aspirational competitors. And so what we did was we pulled together the data for marketing over coffee, and then for other similar shows. And each of these, what’s in this report is five categories, search metrics, social media metrics, earned media, which is, you know, referrals and public relations and stuff like that owned, which is the content on your physical properties, and then paid the ads you’re running. And we compare individual metrics within each of these categories, like social media, number of followers, you have engagement rates, things like that in paid the amount of estimated budget that you spend, how many ads you’ve got running, etc, and come up with this sort of blended indexes. And what the footprint report shows you is essentially, who’s doing the best job of marketing. When I wrote this in 2012, for a private equity firm, now, I want to use it to say, which company should we go by, right? Which company is most likely to survive because of good marketing. And we’ve obviously evolved a lot since then. So what we see today, here for marketing over coffee versus for other shows, is that marketing over coffee is sort of number two in search metrics, right? It’s behind entrepreneurs on fire, and then marketing opinion number three, and so on the sofa. So doing pretty well on on on search for social media akimbo, which is Seth Godin, his podcast, I believe, definitely doing a great job of winning that there with entrepreneurs on fire in second place, marketing over coffee, and third, for earned media, public relations.

there for owned media, entrepreneurs on fire again, first place there. And then for paid media, entrepreneurs and fire running a lot of ads. So that those combination of things puts entrepreneurs to the fire sort of in the in first place, a Kimbo and second, marking companion third and marketing over coffee in fourth place. So John, as the owner of marketing over coffee, how do you feel?

John Wall 3:59
Yeah, you know, I think unfortunately, we were put in the place that we deserve and where we’re at. I mean, it’s interesting, just to see a bunch of those stats on a front, the one that I looked at immediately was paid just to see what’s going on there. And that one is pretty clear. It’s not that Entrepreneur on Fire is doing such an amazing job is that nobody is doing anything else. Like they’re the only ones doing anything. So that one at least is not as ugly as it looks. But yeah, the owned is interesting, too. I’d be interested in any opinions you’ve got on owned and where we should go with that one.

Christopher Penn 4:31
So owned media content, a lot of that is your traffic estimates. What kinds of traffic sites are driving, and this is comes from tools like you know, SpyFu or SEM rush or whatever, where there are actual traffic estimates in there. And so, the big question is, what is that site doing that is attracting so much traffic, that it can, you know, sort of outweigh almost everybody else. And to be fair with podcasts? It’s tough because your site isn’t necessarily the podcast, the podcast is wherever people listen to it. So it’s on Apple podcasts on Stitcher, or on, you know, Google podcasts. It’s not, you don’t have to go to the website to listen to the show. And so for a podcast, you almost have to have like two different media properties, you have the show. And then you have the support of the show the show notes and things like that. So for that, no big questions, we I would have her What is the owned media strategy for marketing over coffee other than putting up a blog post every time an episode drops?

John Wall 5:35
Yeah, that’s it’s really not there. And then that as we look at this do, I kind of it makes it obvious that so John Lee Dumas, Entrepreneur on Fire, he has a whole training curriculum built around all this and he makes no bones, he’s got his numbers up there, he’s doing like 300k a month in training and video. And that’s all on that same site. So that’s what that is, that’s all business. And then it’s also reassuring to see Seth Godin akimbo, who’s pretty much in the same boat, just throwing a podcast out there. So even if we were as famous as Seth, you know, that would be worth one percentage point, I guess, from looking at this, and marketing companion, the same deal. That’s Mark schaefers. Business blog. And he’s, I imagine he’s probably drawing more traction from his blogging stuff in his business stuff than podcast. So I guess it’s not, you know, it looks terrible for us. But, you know, if we were to pour all the effort into the world into that, and raise it two points, I don’t think that’s going to make much of a difference on anything.

Christopher Penn 6:31
Yep. And I know, future iterations are going to incorporate things like email marketing metrics, as well, trying to get a sense of like domain reputation and things like that. So that we there’s a lot more balance there. Because, again, a lot of these a lot of these sites, a lot of these podcasts are all kind of doing the same thing trying to communicate with an audience. So the question that you would have for someone looking to advertise in a podcast was, if he’s a look at this, and go, okay, does this show have the kind of reach or traffic that you’d want? It does have a good strong social presence and things like that? And then, you know, how much does the show invest, to promote itself? And to try and attract audience? So you know, looking at this, I would say what, obviously, the easiest low hanging fruit is to is to fire up some paid advertising right to just, you know, start putting 50 bucks a month or something just towards basic. You know, retargeting reminding people that the show exists, things like that. We’ve run ads for marketing over coffee in the past, what’s what’s sort of been the strategy and thinking around that?

John Wall 7:31
Yeah, it’s, you know, we’ve gone with the, you know, stay out of the network. It’s only organic results and keep it laser focused, like only people that are searching for, you know, cmo marketing podcast, like, I think marketing podcast is not even on there. Because there’s too many people searching for how to market their podcast. So you know, podcast marketing, and some of those terms are negative out. And yeah, basically, no, my had about 20 bucks a month just kind of running. And it was one of those things where we were, you know, if we got 13 bucks worth of clicks in a month, that was a busy month. But yeah, I don’t know, like, somewhere just along the past five years, they stopped running, and I stopped paying attention, I’d made my Amex card expired or something. And I just have paid no interest or looked at it. And as I, as we talk about this now, too, it seems like Facebook, we really should be running some Facebook ads, that seems like a no brainer that you know, somebody that’s likes these four other podcasts I should be spamming their feed every day with, you know, I don’t see any reason not to do that. So yeah. So if that’s your main prescription, I think, yeah, adding paid back into the mix of stuff that I should just turn on this weekend.

Christopher Penn 8:44
Yeah, I think I would personally do two things, I would have one retargeting and stuff, you know, and, and, you know, going after other other shows trying to post to their audience a little bit. But two, I would have a dedicated campaign, trying to get people to sign up for the mailing list, because that is something that has real tangible value. And then when we go to advertise, or when we go to position, the show, as an influential show, we can say like, yeah, we’ve got the show and has x many downloads, but we’ve also got a mailing list, you know, with x 1000s of people who are ready to hear from you. And I think that makes it easier to sell to to potential sponsors or people hiring influencers, like, Yeah, we got, you know, we got a huge list that is just waiting to hear from from, you know, waiting for us to endorse, you know, your clients, whatever product.

John Wall 9:30
Yeah, we’ve not done the same kind of work on the MSE list. I mean, it’s only around 4000 subscribers, but even at that, it just delivers huge, you know, I mean, it’s easy. 3040 leads a month from that thing to driving the sponsors, which, you know, there’s podcast I know, with, you know, 50 100,000 downloads an episode that can’t, you know, provide those kinds of leads. So, yeah, that’s another interesting idea. I hadn’t thought of that having the social ads, just go to the mailing list, and it’s great. It’s a Low asked, it’s like, once a month, you get the thing, we’re not going to be spamming every day with this. It’s just sign up in here about the lightest. And the other one would that is having the greatest hits in there as the intro for the series. You know, when they sign up, they get this first message that looks like all the other newsletters, but that content has been curated and tuned, so that we know that they tend to click through on that stuff, and it gets them engaged from day one. Exactly.

Christopher Penn 10:23
Now, the other thing that everyone who makes content has control over to some degree is what they get found for in search and how and also how search is working. And when we look at marketing over coffee, it’s it’s doing reasonably well, if I pull up the actual search tool here, you know, we see that there’s there’s tons of backlinks, you know, so we’ve got a great amount of inbound links, decent domain coverage, not a ton of keywords, right. We’ve got 1600 keywords here, and not a whole lot of traffic in general. Again, it’s We know, we know this, we know this is an issue. If we look at the leader in our thing, we have, you know, 91,000 backlinks, so fewer backlinks, way more keywords, right, we’re talking probably, you know, 30 extra keywords, and obviously a lot more traffic. So it’s interesting. Normally, what we see is we see good keyword coverage and poor link acquisition. In this case, it’s kind of flipped around. So for the show, I would say you know, first things for us to check out would be like, are we even using the right SEO plugins to add? Are we optimizing the pages? are we finding the right content that I’m checking the box on on key terms to be sure we’re being found for the things that we want that we want to be found for? Let’s do a fun book. So this is a competitive tool. Let’s do marketing over coffee.

And now let’s add entrepreneurs on fire. And let’s add in

Unknown Speaker 12:06
marketing companion,

Christopher Penn 12:09
what we see is there’s a very small, there’s no overlap, actually, for all three sites, which I find kind of interesting. There’s 25 keywords that marketing over coffee and marketing companion share eight keywords between marketing over coffee and entrepreneurs and fire Seth Godin. So a lot of the same folks, you know, Oren Klaff stuff, but then there’s 5000 keywords the Entrepreneur on Fire has that nobody else seems to have in place. Tony Robbins podcast at podcast group, how to start a podcast and so on and so forth that they’re doing really well for. So one of the things that I know we’ve talked about a lot in the past on the show is no talking, you know about the show on the show. But that actually seems to be a kind of a success formula here. Right? You know, what equipment how to start a podcast how to market a podcast, which microphone should you use? So we may want to spend some time on that? Yeah. And

John Wall 13:06
well, then what do you think of the big one that jumps out at me? That is, we don’t we rarely do transcripts of the show, you know, should we just have transcripts of every episode on earth? Because that would just because we are using Yoast to, you know, prime the title and one or two keywords. But if we just had 5000 words on every one it would that be a game changer.

Christopher Penn 13:25
That would certainly help. And we actually have all the transcripts, you know, the irony is we have we sent all 600 episodes out for transcription not too long ago, we have them, we just haven’t had time to put them up. Because you got to go back and manually add them back in one by one. But we do have that we used the auto transcription service to transcode. All that. The other minor challenge with that is that a lot of the guest names it gets it really, really hoses guest names. But then let’s see 49 keywords between marketing companion and entrepreneur fire and look, it’s all podcast stuff. Yeah, marketing, podcast. Marketing over coffee has this huge backlink profile, right? Which means that whatever we put up, is gonna do well. And as it stands a good or better chance of knocking other people out of out of the competition for for ranking. So we might want to to tackle some of those popular topics, maybe even do a couple of episodes young show about the show kind of things.

John Wall 14:27
Yeah, or even like now that you’re saying that, that we could just totally branch off and just be a subset of the site is the whole here’s the marketing over coffee podcasting guide. And we can do three or four episodes that are just about that and have a whole section of the site that just does that stuff. It would be interesting to have to come up with some because Entrepreneur on Fire has got the whole kind of like, Oh, you know nothing let’s get you you know, to podcast in 60 days, but we’ve maybe we could do something with a little different spin on it. So we’re unique but yeah, go for that same HOW TO ONE ON ONE crew.

Christopher Penn 14:59
Yeah. I know for sure, you know, when we look at the history of podcasting, and we’ve been doing it for whatever. This is year 15 for us. A lot of people seem to still be going after Okay, I need to drop, you know, $10,000 worth of gear and do all this that male thing and there’s not a lot of you probably try recording 10 episodes first to see if I’m good at it.

John Wall 15:25
Yeah, no isn’t that’s totally it, because it’s just amazing how many times I get pitched by, you know, hey, we’ve done our fifth show. And it’s like, and you go back four months later, and they’re they’re given up on it. So

Christopher Penn 15:36
Exactly. So maybe a guide on you know, sort of the the bare bones ness necessities, you need to do a podcast, you should probably have some kind of audio device. I mean, obviously, the audio, because we used to do that we did this at conferences, just holding your phone up really close to your mouth and turning on The Voice Memos app isn’t bad. It’s not studio microphone, but for your first 10 episodes to figure out whether you even like podcasts, you know, it’s

John Wall 16:02
not bad. Oh, no, absolutely. And this is something that, you know, it’s very easy for everybody to get wrapped up in the shiny object of like, okay, What software do I need to buy? What kind of hardware Do I need to buy? And people are never asking the right questions about, well, how do I make, you know, 30 minutes to two hours, so entertaining, that it’s better than the other 65,000 other podcasts out there? You know, like, that’s really the thing. And yet, there’s plenty. There’s a bunch of cats, I would much rather see somebody do five episodes on something really cool that their company only does then to be like, okay, we’re gonna sign on and do a year every week. And we’re going to show up and record every week whether we’ve got something interesting or not, you know that that’s just your it’s just like every corporate blog, right? It’s just filled with a bunch of stuff that ultimately nobody cares about.

Christopher Penn 16:51
Exactly. So the last thing I think I want to tackle is search. I put in a bunch of other sites too. In addition to the five that we were analyzing, I put I grabbed a let’s see, who did I grab here for our backlink study? We’ve have Amy Porterfield, digital duct tape marketing is in their growth everywhere. Joe pulizzi stuff. Neil Patel. Spin sucks. And I wanted to get an understanding of if you turn backlinks, which is essentially what this is, if you know what backlinks are, who’s linking to your website, and you pull the backlinks for all these these different sites, I want to know, who do at least some of these sites have in common? And you know, are we getting links from them as well, because if we’re not, then it’s an opportunity for us to go and get some, you know, some more high quality links. So I went through and I pulled all this together, and it turned into a network graph, network network map. And without the super fancy visuals, because my computer was choked to death on it. What I found was really fascinating, somebody and I suspect who but we’re not going to name names. Somebody has a bot network. Because there’s a ton of these blogspot blogs that have no domain rating, no traffic, and stuff like that. But they’re just cranking out links like crazy. And so somebody is playing a little gray hat here.

John Wall 18:24
Right. And so the idea of what they’ve there, they’ve just got 20, or, you know, 1000s of these free blogspot sites up there. And they’re just doing random posting back to their content. And so Google is seeing that, and what I don’t know. So the argument with that is always at some point, Google will be smart enough to realize that that content is automated crap, and that’ll just vanish instantly. But at least for now, it has to be working because they’re still up.

Christopher Penn 18:48
Yeah, exactly. So right, at least for the moment, it’s still having some impact. I would say we definitely never want to endorse, you know, crappy automation tactics. Because Yeah, you’re right, eventually Google will catch you and you will, you will not enjoy the consequences of it. But then so what we’re gonna do is gonna take this domain rating, let’s just slap a simple filter on it here. And let’s filter our domain ready Trump the junk ones? Yeah, exactly. Let’s do greater than, you know, 25 even that is going to help. And now we’ve got a nice list of you know, the old reader which is a blogging platform e commerce platforms, marketing twins. There’s McCracken stuff. So now we have a whole list of sites social media today, that for us would make a lot more sense to to be pitching these folks. Makes a little bigger here. And seeing what you do with some of these folks be decent guests. Even Hubspot is in there. Obviously. Code verge, marketers brain trust, some show called six pixels I met and so Now once we’ve, we’ve trimmed out some of the fat, we can definitely see that there are places that we could go, that are getting good that have decent reputation that could help contribute to our link graph. And if we add ourselves another filter here, let’s go ahead and filter on traffic adds to traffic, greater than five, I get more than five visits a month. Now we’re starting to figure out okay, how can we get over that on the owned portion of our report? These are the pages that are getting traffic. So these are the folks that we would want to maybe go after, you know, doing guest posts on the the Amex open blog, for example, you know, Lee Oden’s agency here, guests guesting on the Hubspot blog. These are all places that are getting the traffic. And so we might want to try and and pitch them see if they’d be willing to take some additional content.

John Wall 20:59
What is it I just saw Neil Patel up in the three hundreds, but then you’ve got Seth Godin at 1100. Just that’s what happens when you have 20 years of blog post, it’s just insane.

Christopher Penn 21:09
Exactly. So there’s, there’s a lot of sites out there, they’re cranking out good traffic, we should help our owned good domain reputation, which would help us with our with our search stuff. And somebody would also fall into earn too, if we again, you hired a public relations person, just go and pitch the show to people say like, Hey, you know, if you’re covered, if writing about marketing podcasts, who knows. And one thing that would be probably do very well would be to write up essentially a companion paper to this episode, and pitch it to all the podcasters out there saying like, here’s how to identify his or prove your podcast.

John Wall 21:51
Yeah, that’s true. We’ve got the whole list of everybody on there. And you can even counsel the criminal to clean up their act. So it’s not so visible.

Christopher Penn 22:00
Exactly. So that’s what the digital footprint report really does a good job of is identifying those influential places, but then finding, it’s the starting point to say, Okay, well, where do I need to look like what’s broken? Most and and what are the things they need to fix, and then you can start doing more advanced techniques to go and find those influencers, additional influences to help you become more influential. Without doing that, you know, you can just kind of sit there and think about optimizing things. But once you see the data, and you see the metrics, you’re like, Okay, I know what the problem is. Like I was saying with the, with the backlinks, I think this is so fascinating, because again, most companies don’t have enough inbound links, like they just they don’t have the social currency to trade. Whereas marketing over coffee, because of its age, the domain age, and the sheer number of episodes has a lot to trade. One thing that might be interesting to try would be also doing it using a plugin on the site itself to auto link, certain topics, so that you got your internal linking of the site as well.

John Wall 23:10
Yeah, yeah, that would be interesting.

Christopher Penn 23:12
How about you? Do

John Wall 23:12
you know anything about the, because I’ve noticed the domain rating and the href tool here is always solid, but that you are the URL rating is low, there’s something structural, I think is up and I’ve never been able to get to the bottom of that.

Christopher Penn 23:27
URL rating is at the individual page level rating. So how much does any one given page perform? Well, and it’s interesting, I think one of the things that’s tricky about marketing over coffee is that because there’s so many guest interviews, there’s a lot of sort of tent polling where, you know, you have Seth Godin on everybody, you know, links to that page, because, you know, he’s a popular guy, I would imagine, if you were to have on, you know, Joe Rogan to talk about anything except vaccines, you would get a lot of links to that page. And then you have other episodes where, yeah, the URL ratings can be low, because people aren’t linking to those, those pages. Typically, those are the non guest episodes, where it’s, there’s not a network of external leads promoting them.

John Wall 24:11
I see. So that’s not a, like something is broken and your scores too low. That’s more of a graph of like, how the site is being hit. And let the fact that we don’t have like, kind of that standard thing of the last two months worth of stuff is getting millions of hits. Ours is spread all over the place. Okay, so that makes a lot of sense. That’s excellent. Yep.

Christopher Penn 24:28
But that goes to the point that you were making earlier about the transcripts and stuff. If we go in here to this for the top pages. We try and get a sense of, you know, what are those pages? There are some episodes in here? like yeah, let’s take a look at this one. This is Aaron Clift. This would be an episode because it’s already performing well. We get the transcript on that page, you know, give it the 5000 words.

John Wall 24:54
Yeah, yeah, that’s a great point instead of slogging through them one at a time starting at the back this Is the to do list? In fact, what is there’s probably a point beyond which when I’m at the 201, it’s not even worth. Yeah, cuz it is getting zero traffic, right? I don’t even bother, or will it still get spidered at least be in there.

Christopher Penn 25:11
Alright, you know it. So it’ll get crawled for sure, it’ll get indexed. And it may or may not rank depending on what the word is for that page. So one of the things we see here is that, obviously, marketing over coffee and your name are in that in the top because people are finding it for the branded terms. And then you look down here as to what people you know, what the top terms are, and it really is all about the guests. Right? So people looking for that particular guest person. So I would say, you know, for episodes where we have a known good guest, those would be the episodes to prioritize first, and then, you know, the the ones where there’s not necessarily, like houseless here is not as good a thing, it’s not bad, but it’s not, it’s not as good.

John Wall 25:59
Right? And well, at least is so in our defense to like I did at least know enough, like all the Seth Godin, the Simon Sinek, you know, the the king ones do I’ll have transcripts?

Christopher Penn 26:07
Yep, exactly. So you can see there’s, you know, you can start to pull in some of the trends to take a look at like, what’s been happening with the site over time, in terms of the top pages, how many top pages do you have? definitely time to start adding more content to them? To deal? Yeah. So that’s the footprint report. What you, what you do with it is you’ve analyzed if you got where you are, we have found that if particularly for agencies, this is really good for clients, to help clients understand where they are, if you are an agency, if you work at an agency, this is an incredible sales tool, because you you build a report like this, and then you can use it in a new business pitch to say, here’s all the things that you’re doing wrong. It’s an incredible upsell tool for existing clients to again, run this and say, hey, you’re falling down on these two other areas, you might need some help on that. And of course, you have the ability to upsell for that. And then for whatever reason, you know, in house marketers, it executives love to compare themselves to other competitors and say, Okay, well, how are we doing against, you know, our three years competitors? Well, this is a handy scorecard to get that in front of them and go, okay, you know, we’ve improved or we have not improved since last month.

John Wall 27:28
That’s great. Yeah, now I’ve got my got my marching orders.

Christopher Penn 27:33
So we should check back in and record and see if marketing over coffee has, has dominated any of the categories via put some maintenance in other things. If you’re interested in running one of these reports, you know, let us know we’re always happy to have a chat with you go to Trust slash contact, and I can certainly try to figure out how to how to help build one of these for you. Any other thoughts, John, on, on ways to you could use this report to to move your marketing forward?

John Wall 28:08
then yeah, I think it is, it’s pretty clear. It’s like transcripts and run some ads. That’s I’m just gonna start running with that. And yeah, it’ll be good. We can check in on a couple months and see if I can really see this is one of those classic ones, I can definitely guarantee that in the paid number, we are at least going to triple our score in paid. I can absolutely guarantee that today. So you guys will have to hold me to that.

Christopher Penn 28:32
All right. All right. Well, if there’s still I won’t see any comments in the comment stream. So we will go ahead and hop on out here. And stay tuned, wherever it is that you’re joining the show. We’ve got other opportunities to tune in, but we’ll talk to you all next week. Take care. Thanks for watching today. Be sure to subscribe to our show wherever you’re watching it. For more resources and to learn more check out but Trust Insights podcast at Trust slash t AI podcast, and a weekly email newsletter at Trust slash newsletter. got questions about what you saw in today’s episode. Join our free analytics for markers slack group at Trust slash analytics pro marketers. See you next time.

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